Dear Carl & Lorena,
¡Hola! from a long-time reader and fan. Through your writing and sharing of your stories you have made many friends who feel they know you. I am hoping for your out-of-print books to come back, especially Lorenas On The Road cookbook. Several years ago I actually persuaded someone at John Muir to dig one up out of the basement and sell it to me, only to loan it to a friend that never came back.
I enjoy receiving your newsletters and always drop everything to read them cover to cover.
In the winter 97-98 newsletter, Peter Herman wrote and asked your opinions on mountain biking in Mexico....would it be safe etc... Coincidentally, I had just checked a book out of the library called Bicycling Mexico by Ericka Weisbroth & Eric Ellman. ($16.96). This is more of an armchair fantasy for me and I almost didnt check it out, except when leafing through it, I saw they had a section on Oaxaca, one of my favorite spots in Mexico. Bicycling Mexico turns out to be a really entertaining travel book, whether you are interested in tackling the rigorous trip or just as an on the road kind of travelogue. The authors are very through in listing gear and clothes to bring, as well as what to expect in the way of traffic. Every chapter is a different ride complete with a good travel story, some history or background, maps and color pictures. At the end of the chapter is their kilometer by kilometer road notes.
The road notes include the names of the restaurants and hotels they stayed at + prices. (1990 peso values). They are honest and mention the good as well as the bad. When it is safer to pitch your bike on top of a bus and go that way they advise as much. I especially loved reading about so many of the out of the way places and the always gracious people who live in them.
As it turns out Ericka hadnt been on a bicycle in 20 years and was almost 43 at the time...encouragement to say the least! She & Eric, the more experienced cyclist, started their journeys in the flat Yucatan for training.
Then the book covers several trips each in Chiapas, Oaxaca & Puerto Escondido, Cuernavaca, West Central Mexico, i.e. Guadalajara to Lake Chapala, Uruapan, Morelia, Patzcuaro and lots of places in between. San Miguel and Guanajuato, Puerto Vallarta to Acapulco, Baja and, one of your favorites, The Tarahumara Highlands and Barranca del Cobre.
They stay at hotels quite often, but there is plenty of info on camping. Actually it sounds almost like you had better count on it! They also include what I thought was a crucial detail: when to fill up on water because there is no more for X number of kilometers. All in all a very entertaining book and a must if you are considering this kind of trip.
Bicycling Mexico by Ericka Weisbroth & Eric Ellman © 1990
Published by Hunter Publishing Inc. 300 Raritan Center Parkway, Edison, NJ 08818, Phone: 201-225-1900.
Christina Cannon, Forestville, CA