GPS Track: GPX (MapSource, et al), or KMZ (Google Earth)
GPS Cycling Data:
Distance: 135 Km, Total Ascent: 1000 m
It is a pity that I can arrive early only to others invitation to ride. This travel to Zacatepec (in the southern state of Morelos) started at 13:00, because as usual: I had to sort some things on Sunday morning (things that must get sorted the day before). This route to Cuernavaca is becoming our most beloved route. It usually offers good weather, provides a good elevation (if rided both ways) and its free highway has a lot of towns along the road in case of need. It even offers some 17 km as "jogging" before the ascent starts. The only drawback I notice is that the summit top is a little flat, compared for example against Llano Grande, on the road to Puebla, so you can't know where the hell is the real summit. That is why I have decided to mark it on Km 44.
First thing in this route is to take Tlalpan, a big big avenue that cuts the city in two parts, north-south direction. Its big advantage is that it has no traffic signals, so you can ride on this avenue at 40 Km/hr with no problem, the only limitation are your legs :-). You have to save them for the oncoming ascent to La Cima. Again, this summit has an altitude of only 3020 m, 200 m less than Llano Grande, but well, you can not always ride to Puebla :-)
Tlalpan was full of traffic, owed to the late hour and to a soccer match that was being played in a big stadium along this street. Police forces were present in every corner ! I guess in order to prevent vandalism. Once we took the free highway to Cuernavaca, the traffic diminished, and now our only concern was the sun. We had lots of it. But i do not make any complaints. After last Sunday's ride to Puebla under heavy rain for the most part of the day, a ride under an unobstructed sun is always welcomed. This time we decided not to stop is the Mirador, a sightseeing points at 2700 m, because the traffic negotiation in that point gets always a little complicated, and we have been there over 4 times (in past rides), so we decided it was time to forget that custom.
So we headed direct to our first stop (to take a picture): summit La Cima. We passed Parres (last town in the city), leaving behind the DF. But just before we reached La Cima, there was an accident on the highway, involving a motorbike, whose driver had crashed against the contention wall in a curve. The motorbike was on the floor (with big apparent damages), but its driver did not appear near. Other motorbikers were looking for him in the surrounding area. It was really a sad view. At that time, I did remember the motto: "Speed kills". In fact, after La Cima, there was a second accident, this time involving a car, which rested on its roof ! 2 accidents in a couple of kilometers. The ambulances were arriving at both sites. After taking our mandatory picture at the summit La Cima, we started our descent to Cuernavaca.
I can not say a lot of the descent, as my five senses were fixated in the road conditions and traffic (in both lanes). When I arrived at the Zapata (alt: 1800 m) I couldn't stop there to take a picture, because there was a lot of traffic, so I continued to La Paloma (the Dove), in order to gain access to the Libramiento (a big big turn around the city of Cuernavaca, in order to avoid its traffic jam). Once we took a picture on the Libramiento, we started giving the city a turn, just to take the free highway to Acapulco, once we encounter it at the other side of Cuernavaca.
We rided to Temixco and to Acatlipa, two towns along the road to Acapulco. In Acatlipa we took a road that enabled us to cross the autopista (paid highway) to Acapulco, since we were heading to Zacatepec (which was on the other side of this highway). The route that we have decided to take was a new one, shorter that the conventional one, but now i reckon it was more hilly. We headed to Tepetzingo and Acamilpa. These town appeared like phantom towns as they are far of the bigger cities of the region, but anyway, they were calm and peaceful. On our way we passed the Cementera Cuauhtemoc (a concrete factory). I didn't know it ever existed, and I have been a lot of times in this state (albeit in car). The road was hilly, ups and down, between green fields and running rivers :-) It was an idyllic scene, if it were not for the hurry I was for having started this ride so late.
Along the route we reached Pueblo Nuevo, and later Tlaltizapan, where I could pass to salute some friends. After a short stop (because it was now 18:00 and night was looming), I continue the ride, this time to Zacatepec (a city where we could board the bus to get back home). In Tlalquitenango, the darkness took reign and we have to ride the last leg again, under the cover of the night. The good thing was that there was no much traffic, and we could finally arrive at Zacatepec with no surprises. Here we decided to have a look at the Ingenio Emiliano Zapata (sugar cane processing plant, main economy activity of the city) and to the main square, were we could observe its Cathedral, a beautiful high-towered Gothic-styled church, in the middle of this tropical city :-) After taking a couple of shots, we rided to the bus station, where for 73 pesos, we could purchase our home ticket, for the bus that was departing in just three minutes. We arrived at Mexico City 2 hours later (21:30), so I could even took the subway to arrive safe at home :-)
Thank you for reading. Till the next journey.