Archive | 11:49 PM

The Chapusero and His Karma

21 May

I just missed it.

It could have been a repeat performance of my 50 mile adventure with a motley crew of amateur and professional bike riders. I could have been riding next to the inebriated biker who stopped by Puerto Nuevo for some lobster and Dos Equis. Or I could have been left in the dust by the crazy biker in the skin-tight Lance Armstrong suit and matching shoes. That could have been me … burning calories and sweating next to them in celebration of Cinco De Mayo.

Starting line

But alas I was at home, drinking my solitary margarita during my kid’s nap time. Burning no calories whatsoever. In fact I think I was accumulating them. When looking for my big athletic challenge, I had no idea that the Rosarito-Ensenada Fun Bike Ride had started up again. It had stopped due to a lack of participation, but was back at full strength. Seeing the flyer again reminded me of the first time I did the race. 

I was nervous about the fifty hilly miles through the Baja California coast. But once I got started and felt the adrenaline and camaraderie of the fellow bikers, I was all right. I knew I would finish.

The Beginning

It was quite an adventure. The first twenty-twenty five miles seemed like a breeze, but once I got to the hills and inclines my quads were cursing me out.

I remembered being at mile thirty-something climbing what seemed like the Mount Everest of all inclines. My bike gears were all the way down, and I was still struggling. Some riders got off their bikes and walked it. They saw no point in continuing the grueling effort. I mean who were they kidding, right? But I couldn’t. Fifty miles were fifty miles.

But I had some motivation. I heard the beat up old Toyota truck’s radio at the top of the hill blasting the Rocky theme song. How could I stop? I continued my turtle-pace up the killer hill, quads burning and sweat dripping down my face. Then I heard it.

CHAPUSERO! Hey! Hey Chapusero!

Being Guat I had no idea what this Mexican lingo was … but as I see them pass by I got the picture.

Another small pick-up truck, a local trying to get home using the non-toll road, the bike race path, to go home. They informed us that from time to time we would have to share the road with locals, so I wasn’t surprised. But then I saw the cargo.

A handful of bike riders were hanging on to the back of the pick-up truck, being pulled up the mighty hill, avoiding the challenge. Some bikers laughed, others called out: Chapusero! Chapusero!

My medals. Did the race twice.

As I looked up I recognized one of the bikers. It was my boyfriend at the time. He smiled as he waved and pumped his fist up the air. I shook my head, and pretended not to know him. He was not a Guat.

My dude and his fellow bikers could care less if they were called cheaters, they were getting a free ride. They didn’t want to bike up the hill, nor walk up there either. So they lucked out. They still got their medals at the finish line, after all it was a “fun ride” not the Tour De France.

But karma seemed to bite him in the ass on our way back to the hotel. Unfortunately since I was with him, some of his karma landed on me.

The Finish Line Party

After the finish line celebration with live entertainment, tacos, and beer we loaded our bikes and boarded the shuttle back to Rosarito. We decided to stay there, instead of Ensenada. A mistake that was not repeated the next year.

With a few miles away from Rosarito the shuttle breaks down. They said they had called for somebody to come fix it, but that was over half an hour ago. There is no Triple A on this side of the border.  We weren’t sure if another shuttle would make the trip. It was dusk.

So the passengers decided to ride back into town. Never mind that we just rode 50 miles and stocked up on tacos and beer. What was another ten miles, right? It was not ten miles. It was more like fifteen-to-twenty.

There I was in Baja California riding in the dark cold toll-free rode, with no flashlight, barely being guided by the moonlight and hoping not to get run over.

Damn Chapusero and his karma.

Bike photos via