Heading home - Costa Rica Trails - CycleBlaze

November 6, 2022

Heading home

Some closing thoughts on our cycling trip to Costa Rica.  The tour was a great deal of fun with some challenging cycling but nothing I couldn’t manage even if I did have to walk some of the hills.  Every day I thanked Sylvie of Sweet Skills for her mountain bike training or it would have been much harder.  As a result I concluded that a modicum of mountain biking skill is highly recommended for a tour like this one.  I was also happy that I decided not to use clipped pedals or I would have fallen at least 3 times. 

I knew this before but, this trip confirmed that the effort needed  in this type of riding is twice road riding so 40km on a mountain  bike in these conditions is like 80km on the road, and with steep hills possibly more. So 253km felt more like 500km or more.

The people of Costa Rica are very friendly and welcoming especially away from the big city of San José.  I enjoyed the food especially gallo pinto (rice and beans or beans and rice), the national dish of Costa Rica.  I have the recipe and the special sauce required to make it at home, so I will.  Also, the pineapple here is SO good I ate it at every opportunity.  From now on I am going to look for Costa Rican pineapple when I want to buy some.

We had 4 fantastic guides all of whom were clearly proud of their country and loved to show it off to visitors.  They were knowledgeable about Costa Rica’s culture, history, flora and fauna and shared it freely.  Our United Nations group of participants developed a real collegiality over the 2 weeks thus making the trip even more fun.  Thanks to all for making this whole experience very special.

Saddle Skedaddle continues to be a good cycle tour company but pay attention to their grading system.  This was only a level 3 and it was plenty hard enough so 4s & 5s are seriously challenging.   My 2 week adventure across France 8 years ago was rated 3-4 and that also was very challenging, I am not sure that I could handle it now without a motor.

Lastly I realized on this trip that touring in hot humid countries are no longer on my radar, it is just too hard on the old girl.  Once acclimatized it got a little better but not much.  This means no more tropical countries or SE Asia, so Vietnam is out for me.

Adios Costa Rica, Pura Vida!

My new T shirt.
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And my new cycling jersey.
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