A long unpaved riding at the age of 60 as a female
I see Mexican men at the gas station making fun of the way I look. It is before the ride to Punta Allen. A small village beyond Tulum, near the beach at the end of a peninsula. You can only reach it by a dirt road. Google says it is 54 kilometers. And I have no idea of the conditions, on Google Streetview, it looked okay-ish with lots of gravel. But it has been raining and the photo was a few years old.
I know I do not look flattering according to Mexican female standards. The women here mostly look like they spent many hours in front of the mirror and in a salon. Wearing clothes that leave little to the imagination. I am not that kind of person. As a Dutch by birth, I am down to earth, and at my age, lots of make-up can make you look worse, so I prefer natural. I am not a beauty, I sometimes joke that Claudia Schiffer was in front of me in the beauty line and when she was finished there was nothing left. So I know why the men laugh, I wear jeans, a riding jacket, boots, riding gloves and I have a BMW G 310 GS motorcycle, that I am filling up. No gelish nails for me, and no heels, although I sometimes wonder if elevating myself just a few inches will help me get on the BMW more easily. The bike is rather high. Anyway, I leave them en at their jokes, I could not care less, I only noticed because they were loud.
I have a long ride ahead of me, and a few hours off-road. So who cares how I look, as long as I get there safe right?
Riding unpaved roads at my age takes its toll on your body
The road was awful. A true unpaved ride, through mud, puddles, and more potholes than road. 54 km of remote driving, with some amazing views, a broken bridge, and a pelican. But I must admit that at some point, I wondered if I would ever get to Punta Allen, it took forever.
The sea views that popped up unexpectedly were amazing and although Punta Allen was nearly flooded the first time I visited, it was a cute little village with an amazing church on the beach. (Oh yessss!! I went back and did it all again…..Continue reading!)
I have my rides on video for you. If you are interested in this ride you can download the GPX file here for your own day trip to Punta Allen. (this video is Dutch spoken, but you can use the YouTube automated subtitles. There is an English version below of the ride a second time around under totally different circumstances)
After the ride, I was exhausted. I had to ride home all the way from Tulum to Cancun, which made it, all in all, an extremely long day. But it was satisfying. I loved every mile of my journey.
I rested for a day or so and felt great after that, the most common physical occurrences were:
stressed shoulders and upper arms
some lower back pain
pain in my upper tighs
reoccurring cramp in my left thumb and my feet
All explainable, and nothing serious. After a day of rest, I was as good as new. And now, even more, prepared for roads like this, I do these unpaved roads full of sand and rocks without any problem whatsoever. (Coming up soon is a surprise ride where we went to Merida, but not over the highway, a stretch of 60 km that looked asphalt on Google Streetview, where there was no pavement whatsoever due to lack of maintenance)
My learning curve in this ride was that
I hold the handlebars too tight. I forget to let the bike “dance in my hands” I guess the idea of losing control over the bike makes me hold on too tight.
Standing up for me makes it more uncomfortable, I do not prefer standing on the bike. I do raise my butt here and there a little.
I had to switch off the traction control (ABS) for more control over the bike riding under these circumstances (just push the ABS button for a few seconds and the light will switch on, meaning ABS is off).
I should not be scared. I did not know what to expect and that gave me an agitated feel in the wrong way. And I had to accept that a fall is just a fall, not that I fell, but I experienced some fear for that especially in the muddy areas.
When I did the ride the second time on another day, I was so much better at it and full of confidence. See for yourself. I go with the speed of light, hahahaha!
What a dirty motorcycle!!!! ……this is after that first ride, after the second ride there was just dust
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