Blade Cleaver is embarking on a solo bike ride to Tijuana, Mexico, that he’s dreamed of since he was in high school.
The 31-year-old left Sun Peaks for Tijuana, Mexico Aug. 28, and he hopes to complete the 3238 kilometres ride in 21 days. Once there, he’ll fly to visit his family in Oaxaca, Mexico, before flying back to Sun Peaks for the upcoming ski season.
Friends showed up to wish him well before he hit the road and Cleaver said he’s received encouragement from his employers and the community.
While Cleaver initially dreamed of heading south more than a decade ago, it wasn’t until he started cycling long distances this summer that his dream was sparked once again.
“I did a few super long rides earlier this summer. I got to Revelstoke in 13 and a half hours and then just sort of laid on a soccer field and thought to myself, ‘what am I doing working [construction] and destroying my body? Like, should be riding my bike to Tijuana.’”
So, he started planning his route by determining the distance between towns and finding the easiest routes on secondary and gravel roads, as well as paths.
“Then I figured out what was the earliest thing that opened in the town and the latest thing open for refuelling,” Cleaver told SPIN.
On his bike, a cannondale topstone 4, he’s packed gear for sleeping, from a mat and sleeping bag to a tent, as well as a change of warmer clothes. He’ll carry a day’s worth of food and buy more along the way, aiming to consume 10,000 calories from sunrise until sundown.
Another important item is a GPS he has to share his live location along the way. He’s trying to make the journey without outside support and only plans to contact others in the case of an emergency.
Cleaver is aiming to clock in 200 kilometres per day before he reaches California, after which he wants to ramp up his riding to 300 kilometres each day. The challenge of the ride is his driving force, he said.
“When you say 3200 kilometers, it seems really, really far. But when you break it down into daily numbers, it’s achievable. Except, it’s not easy. I think that’s what I get the most gratification out of, is how difficult it’s going to be. But in the end, it’s gonna feel worth it.”
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