The La Paz cycling community is friendly and welcoming. Here’s how I got started.
By Fern Corraini
I have a bossy friend who decided that I should take up cycling at age 64. I firmly told her no. That’s completely out of the question, I said, because I don’t like cycling. Or biking. Or spinning. Or team sports. Or sports. Or getting run over.
Despite my protests, she was firmly persuasive, and the next day I was over at her house getting outfitted with real cycle gear: padded bum shorts, a top with lots of pockets, and a bike that might possibly have been worth more than my car. It certainly looked high-tech compared to my last bike, which had nothing to squeeze, push or otherwise manipulate. The only accessory that bike had was a basket.
Apparently, with this bike there would be decisions to be made while peddling. At the same time. Hmm…I’d been having a little trouble multi-tasking recently. Bossy Friend gave me a 2-minute tutorial in gear-changing out on the street, adjusted my seat and declared me road worthy. I was ready for my first day of cycling. You will love it, she said.
And I did. My ass was on fire, my hands were numb and my thighs were having a temper tantrum. Even as I was doing it, half of my mind was still saying that I couldn’t do it. But boy, did I love it. It was like meditation and exercise in one. And in this spectacular location!
Bossy Friend and Mr. Bond were challenging riding partners…patient but pushy. (Whaddaya mean I can’t use the wind as an excuse to sleep in? The palm trees are horizontal!) I kept at it, and it got easier. It’s been over a year now, and I can now drink (water, not tequila) and pedal at the same time. We ride, 25-30 kilometers, three times a week. And I can’t imagine my life without cycling. Traveling down that desert highway takes me back to grade 5…flying like the wind down the only paved street in our small town, alone and powerful and free.
Maybe you already cycle for recreation, or to stay fit, or for competition. Maybe you’ve been thinking of trying it out, but don’t know where to start. Take it from me, La Paz is a great place to cycle; the sport is really hitting its stride here. The city boasts over 15 kms of new highway with extra-wide shoulders, a multitude of bike races and daily training pelotons (a fancy word for a group of cyclers that ride together). In fact, La Paz will host the Mexico stage of the Tour de France in 2019.
If road cycling isn’t your thing, there are lots of great desert trails to ride. Three new cycle shops have opened recently, and bike repair shops are abundant. And one of the best things about cycling in La Paz is that you can do it almost 365 days a year. Come join us! Like me, you may just find cycling makes you feel like a kid again.
La Paz Cycling Routes:
La Paz Bike Shops:
Thunders Bikes: http://www.thundersbikes.com/Thunders_Bikes.html
Pedal Works: https://www.facebook.com/pedalworksmx
Taller Bicicletas: Tony Luna, a well-known, professional cycler with numerous awards to his credit, owns a bike shop in Chemetla, just outside of La Paz. https://goo.gl/maps/qTt6QN9ZesG2.
La Paz Bike Rentals
In town for a visit? Rent a bicycle and pedal your way around La Paz at these rental shops:
TIM Rent a Bike: http://timrentabike.com
Adso and Nara: https://goo.gl/maps/jiAt4BsPtDr
Fern Corraini is a veteran traveler and explorer who moved to La Paz from Canada eleven years ago and is happy to call Mexico home. In addition to her international travels, Fern has been an English teacher in Canada and Guadalajara, a customs officer, a beekeeper, a sandblaster, a travel agent in the Dominican Republic and a motel owner. When she’s not busy keeping Vista Properties organized as our administrator, Fern loves to cycle, visit the beach and spend time with her two rescue kitties. She loves La Paz for its year-round great weather and adamantly believes that the taco is the perfect food.