Riding and Working in Douglas Arizona and Fronteras Mexico

It has been a wild few months, a great bike tour followed by a month of mayhem, packing, moving, followed by working in Arizona and Mexico. Things are still busy, but at least it’s warm down here.

Sunrise on the BorderTo recap the past few weeks in a pointed, brain dump format…..

  • Buried in work, packing, moving, goodbyes, etc. for the month of August
  • Caught the Burlington Criterium on Labor Day

Green Mountain Stage Race Criterium 2013

  • Flew to Phoenix Arizona on September 5th
  • Rented a car and drove through 115 degree “dry heat” with the windows down to Douglas Arizona.
  • Found out why it’s called monsoon season

The fence between the US and Mexico is just behind the the houses across the street

  • Was reunited with the bicycle I just built and had shipped down

Parked out front of where I’m working in Mexico

After many years of touring on Long Haul Truckers, I built a Surly Troll for this trip. There are a few reasons for this, I wanted a higher bottom bracket, I already had a frame bag that fit, and …….. Rohloff compatible rear dropouts.

I’ve wanted one for years and this trip gave me the excuse to pull the trigger. Laced to a Mavic 729 it should make for a bomb proof wheel. Up front I have a Schmidt SON28 dynamo hub laced to a Mavic 719. A lightweight wheel that so far, has been holding up. Tires are Maxxis 2.4 Holy Rollers with Slime self sealing tubes. I’ll make a separate bike post in the future.

  • Drove across the border to Mexico and had the car and bags searched for 45 minutes by the US Border Patrol
  • Was denied entry for the car due to a paperwork error by Enterprise Car Rental
  • Was detained again coming back into the US
  • Returned the rental car and am now using rides / bicycle / public transportation
  • Got a ride with a coworker down to Fronteras Mexico
  • Worked a lot of hours
  • Stayed in a guest house for the week and ate some great Mexican food.
  • Explored the dirt roads and trails around Fronteras (a separate post to come)

  • Rode back up to Douglas – Rt. 17 in Mexico is not a fun road to ride on.
  • Headed east on Geronimo Trail out of Douglas Arizona.

I packed my full kit to give the bike a shakedown.

Same border, different type of fence

  • Found a great camping spot

  • Explored some of the side trails on my way back to Douglas the next morning
  • Checked into the Motel 6 and got back to work.

Feeling safe

6 thoughts on “Riding and Working in Douglas Arizona and Fronteras Mexico

  1. John – so good to read that your adventure has started. Love the bike and the build kit – it looks like you built your dream touring rig.
    I just got back from a couple of weeks of mountain biking in BC with a big group of friends. It is an amazing place with mind-blowing trails.
    I look forward to following your adventure.

    1. Hey Malcolm,
      Biking in BC has been on my wish list for years. The troll is pretty close to my idea of the perfect touring bike, I only wish the front end was a bit stiffer. The Rohloff on the other hand is German perfection.

    1. Hi Andreas,

      The rack is a cheep Sunlite Gold Tec that mounts to the canti posts, but I removed the posts and use M6 bolts and nuts to mount the rack closer to the fork blades. I only use the rack to hold light items like my helmet or extra food, so durability is not an issue, yet.

  2. I’m psyched to imagine you rolling around the southwest (or the northwest if you’re Mexican) on the almighty Troll. Having not heard from you in a couple of weeks, I was concerned that you had committed to permanent employment. Scary thought . . .

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