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Biking the Contiguous Pacific Coast for Sustainable Fisheries.

The ocean is big. Really big. 139,434,000 square miles big. That's bigger than all of Earth's land area big. That's the kind of big that we humans just can't wrap our heads around. Seeing as our conscious mind can only hold about seven things at once, tops (according to some experts even less [1]), then trying to imagine the estimated 3.5 trillion fish in the ocean is a downright folly [2]. It’s understandable then, how something so unimaginably big as all the fish in the sea would seem inexhaustible to us. What could ever impact something so huge?
The answer is us. Our appetite for seafood and energy, along with our propensity to pollute are exhausting the ocean. I’ve read enough staggering statistic to know how real the situation is, and how paralyzing those numbers can be. Chances are if you’re reading this, you don’t need to be convinced. You’ve probably seen these things on your own coastline or the news: Ocean acidification, oil spills, declining populations, t…

Epilogue

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63 days. 5 states. 2 countries. 0 flats. $1,335 raised. Innumerable tortillas. Total mileage: 2,787. ish.

The numbers hardly capture the journey, and neither can the photos and writing in this blog, really. Though we rode the same roads the whole way down, even Lluc and I have had entirely different trips. Given the bias, it's been as best of a document of 'how it was then' as I could supply, though its meaning to me and to others is sure to change.

I reached the Arc of Cabo San Lucas on November 2nd, only a day after we had anticipated arriving there in the itinerary we wrote back in Seattle. I wouldn've pictured getting there alone, but alas, our jouney does not really end in Cabo. Old friends may be apart or together, but they never lose sight of each other. It wasn't a place I was looking to spend too much time, and Lluc had already been cooling it for a while in Todos Santos, so the next morning I got back on the bike and rode another full day, Northwards alo…

EDF - In Conversation with Ana Suarez

It might seem odd at first to do a trip for the ocean by bicycle. The bicycle is strictly a landlocked vehicle-- it is no sea kayak nor sailboat or even stand-up paddle board. I have come to think however, that a landlocked view of the ocean is fitting for this trip. As people with legs that need air to breath, we mill about on land and only know the ocean in the context of the land; we know the ocean of the Puget Sound, the ocean of Coos Bay, the ocean by Point Reyes, the ocean of Bahía Magdalena. For most of us, we know the ocean from the shore only, and similarly, we know the fish by how it looks on the plate, or perhaps fileted on ice. The deep ocean beyond the shelf, below the swells, all of this is familiar to us only through nature shows or aquariums. To do a fundraising campaign via submarine through the deep ocean would be missing the point: ocean issues are as much about people as they are about the ocean.

This thought is far clearer to me after speaking with Ana Suarez, Se…

Day 63 - Touchdown

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The last day? How could it be so? I contemplated the notion as I rose to pre-dawn light in the abandoned soccer field. Not knowing what awaited me in Cabo San Lucas, it was hard to feel like I was getting closer. More than that, once I got there, my plans were uncertain. I hadn't a place to stay and I didn't really feel like staying there for long, from what I've heard about Cabo. Still, I had miles to go before I could answer those questions. Nevertheless, they remained on my mind through the day.

I packed and made my way back to the town square where the man at the abarrotes told me there was a free wifi connection. Can you believe that? This is the 21st century. I sent a message or two back home and then split back up the hill that had taken me down into Santiago.

The mountains were crisp this morning, the grey rocks of their jagged tops defined against their green carpet, flowing dosn onto the plain.

Almost immediately I passed a sign: Tropico de Cancer. Wow. I guess…

Day 62

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The dogs of the arroyo were not pleased by my presence, especially the one fenced in at the house just above me. I would turn over and make just enough noise to set him off, and he'd bark and growl, making every other dog in audible range also loose it's head. Ug.

Realized in the morning it had been Halloween night. While I have been a bit sad to miss the Fall back home, I didn't mind skipping Halloween-- not my favorite of holidays. If they ask what I was this year, I guess I can say "the biker troll."

The morning was cloudy and I thought it would burn off, but it stayed. The first cloudy day since Northern California. Fine by me. I rode out of El Triunfo and ascended a small pass into the next valley, which held San Antonio. It was deeper than the Triunfo valley and the green hills were rather majestic in the clouds.


Up the other side and I spilled down a long hillside into a plain. The trees here are bigger, overtaking the tallest of the cacti. The air was th…

Day 61

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La Paz was something else for each of us travellers. For some, the end the line. I watched as Tayla packed her bike into a box and Jenna try and find a ride back to Tijuana to get a flight home. For others, it was a pit stop. Riskje had been there a week and would take a boat to the mainland that weekend and continuing on to South America. For me, it was like rounding third and headed for home.

I made ready in the morning and had real milk with my granola. I remembered two things: Mexican granola is far better than you'd imagine, and nothing beats real milk. We all exchanged some contacts and I got a good "hasta la vista" chorus from them as I left.

Getting out of the city wasn't so exciting. There were plenty of trucks and I went straight on a main road going south until it turned into the highway. The carnitas and tomale stands continued for a long ways out of town, even longer than the llanteras and other car shops. Eventually there was a military checkpoint afte…

Day 60

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Un gran día.

Even though the dog took a liking to my tent and kept trying to sleep on it while I was in it, I slept fairly well and crawled out in the little tent village of the garage to begin the day.

I put a load of laundry in and asked Tuly where there was a Birriería nearby. Our whole time in Baja I've been seeing signs for these on the roadside, but when I've tried to get it before, I was told "only in the morning." Apparently it's a popular hangover food. There was one down the street, so packed my backpack for the day and hit the town.

There was no one in Birriería Don Gilo, but they served me the good stuff. Essentially it's a meat soup, without much else in it "carne en su jugo" as one would say (literally, 'meat in its own juice'), served with warm tortillas and some fresh onions and cilantro. You can make some very drippy tacos from it, and it's all a very slurpy affair, but it was tasty. Check that one off the list.




I walk…