Last week I celebrated 41 years of life on this planet. I wanted to celebrate by riding 41 Km on my bike. The final result was a 43.7 Km ride (even though this map shows further (the map is stupid)). I rode from our house in Gonnet to Ensenada up by the river. I have never been to Rio de la Plata before. The river is just 5 miles “as the crow flies” from the house, but by way of roads the shortest route is about 9 miles. A 41 Km ride (about 25 miles) sounded like a great time to visit the river.
From Ensenada I rode out to Punta Lara taking a road along the coast. It is not a very pretty coast, but the river is so large that it looks like an ocean coast. The next closest point of land is 25 miles across to Uruguay. Maybe if I practice my swimming enough then next year I can swim 42 Km to the other side.
When I was going out to the northwest along the coast, I noticed the wind was strong in my face. But I didn’t realize how strong it was until I reached my turn around point and started coming back. As soon as I turned around I immediately went into my highest gear and didn’t slow down until I had to turn off the coast road and started heading back down to La Plata.
The main highway connecting Punta Lara with La Plata is a divided highway that is straight and flat. Actually a very nice road to ride on. It is concrete and mostly smooth. I was impressed by how few cars were on the road. However, in the video below you actually see a couple of cars and a motorcycle. That was a rare few moments on my ride down that road. I probably only saw 2 other cars the whole time. When I got back to La Plata I discovered why. There were protests going on (for what reason I never found out) and the protesters were blocking the road. No one coming from La Plata to the river could drive up the road. I assume that the lack of traffic going my way was because anyone who had come from La Plata knew that it was blocked going up, so they did not return that way.
When I got back into La Plata, the main road going around the city was blocked by another protest group. I had to take a couple of detours from my intended route to make it back home. That is where I added on the extra distance to my ride that I had not planned. However, because of the change in route, I was not sure if I had gone longer, shorter or about the same. So I added a little bit extra to the ride at the end.
My stats were 43.72 Km in 2:18:04. My average speed was 11.81 MPH. That isn’t too bad considering I am on a mountain bike and not a road bike. I also did not stop the clock when I pulled over at a store and bought some water and peanuts. I also stopped for a bit to take pictures of a strange sight. There was a tractor sitting by the river’s edge. It had a boat trailer connected like it had just delivered a boat to the water.
It was a fun ride. I need to do some more long rides like that again. I want to do a bike tour, but I need to find some time to take a couple of days off and decide where I want to go. I was thinking that if I could couple a 3 or 4 day trip with an opportunity to visit another church that would be great.