06 March 2011

Devil's Backbone and the Forever Downhills

Location: Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
Kms from Durango to Mazatlan: 320
Elevation difference: 1890 meters
Reported number of curves in the road from Durango: 3800
Days lazily squandered in Mazatlan: 7
Percentage of Canadians encountered here that are D-bags: 80%
Current scale of the time-share scam in Maztlan: 50 million dollars
Showers to date: 13
Tortilla (purchased) count: 431
Months on the road: 2

The initial plan from Durango was to head south towards Guadalajara, through the Huichole country on dirt roads. No maps showed the roads carrying through without putting me on major highways, so I thought of other options. When I looked at the road to Mazatlan called El Espinazo del Diablo, I knew no amount of other consideration would sway me. How can you NOT ride that? So the first 2 days are a lot of climbing with some fun little descents. Then, the real fun begins. Espinazo del Diablo is actually a section of the road where sheer cliffs border the highway on both sides for a short distance. Basically, the highway descends to the coast along a ridge of the Sierra. You climb a little bit, but the last 80 miles are overwhelmingly downhill, dropping you down to sea level, and balmy tropics full of cacti and palm trees.
Before I left Durango, Pepe and Blanca of Centauros Bike, a Durango club, took me in and showed me around town. If you are seriously interested in riding the devil's backbone, every year they do a massive ride to the coast in 2 days (back to back centuries) with the second day being insanely fast due to almost non-stop descending. All the food and lodging and shuttles are all taken care of with around 100 riders. September 15 and 16th this year. The climate ranges from high plains of Durango, into the pine forests of the sierra, and all the way down into balmy coastline with sandy beaches and blue waters.

One made me chuckle.  But once I realized about 20% of the license plates of Durango start with GAY, I had to take a picture.

Durango, where the traffic lights sport iron work.

The quantity of limes in the supermarkets here is a sight to behold.

Meet Whiskey and Mojito, the dogs Centauro.

Spices in Pepe's shop

Pepe and Blanca with their shop, Plasticos Centauro and the club Hummer.

Centauros Bike escort out of town for 60 kms.  I was huffing and puffing to keep up.


Rocking my new riding togs.  Thanks Centauros Bike!

Centauros Plastico company logo.  I love it.

SAG support?  for 40km?  Get outta town!

Pepe and Blanca on their Motobecanes, with the Centauro SAG truck in background.

May the curviness begin!

Bottom of a descent, with the climb in the background.

On the road to Mazatlan!

El Salto.  Home of delicious Gorditas.

Ummm, easy choice?  Toll or free? 

New socks for 10 pesos FTW!

More squiggles ahead.

Gorditas!  Let's go eat one now!

Wood fired and 75 cents apiece.  Get full.

Vista through my sunglasses (cuatro ojos)

Biking into Espinazo del Diablo country!

Ho hum.  Just like this for 4 days...

Campsite view near the backbone.

LOL  this is awesome.  i am crazy.

looking out the other side of the ridge...

I love this road.  OMG.  bring the bike.  it is awesome.

Breakfast.  Instant coffee with chocolate and milk.  Pinole (corn grits with brown sugar and spices).  Glutamine for the road.


I love my bike!

Helmet cam holder.  The videos are 2GB so you'll have to wait til I can load them.  Sorry.

Sheer drop.

Tatanka loves the downhills.

Bike + mountains = love

curvy roads!  Yay!

Climate change as I begin crossing the Sierra.

So Lush!

Jose putting a new yolk on his diff.

Jose and his truck.  Lumber for furniture.  Headed for the coast.

Happy trip!

I support even tire wear.

"My taco is not of double tortilla, it is doubly tough."  Why is this on a soda?

You gotta love seeing this sign after a hard day's downhill.  6000 feet to go!

Any excuse to celebrate with a cupcake!

Beyond the mountains there are more mountains...

Refresher on scrap metal prices and building supplies... 

wipe out on a goat track looking for a campsite...

results in shoe blowout! 

yes I will have a scoop of that in my coffee!

more mexican road kill

magnificent tree.

500 year old church, big tree, and mountains.

flat and straight.  home stretch to the beach.

shout out to Kelly.

a local told me that it is "20 minutos" by bike from here to Mazatlan.  WTF?


taking the boat out to Stone Island for a little campy campy

Tatanka's first time on a boat.

Sunrise over the bay, with some power plant smoke.

The key shop had an impressive Simpsons collection!

Friends have been here!  Bike shop in Mazatlan...

Suzi Samurai with rims, tint, and Jeep lights.  Only in Mexico

Holy hit, it's the specific!

Cris'  Nishiki, with custom panniers.  The back bag is detachable! And you can order them here!

Nishiki on the Malecon.

Starting the shoe surgery.  Stay tuned for the full process of making new bike shoes...

Flatbed VW bug.  Bugs and Things rule the streets of Mazatlan.

Getting free breakfast while listening to the timeshare scam.

Beer, Bikes, Boobs, Beach

Lined up for the parade...

Making great friends from Minnesota- Jay, me, Leah, Carol, and Bob (with 2 O's)

Corn with sour cream and cheese!

Pacifico girls!

Looking along the Malecon.  8 miles of beach.

15 gallons of reverse osmosis water, delivered by motorcycle weekly: 30 pesos including tip.

Miyata 610 at the coast.

Chris and his Miyata, left in Mazatlan by a cycle tourist who had enough of the road.

Mazatlan is known for its sea food.

Headed for Guadalajara.  Ish. Over and out.


dd_traveler said...

LOVE these pics :)

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

Nido not in a can! **Amazement**

sick photos dude.

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