This series

Clueless on the Bayou

This series

Episode

1

2019-08-14

Prologue – the end of the beginning

Preparing for the first Clueless trails series. Clueless in the Bayou - A ten day ride between Houston and the big easy-New Orleans.

The genesis of Clueless trails

Last year we returned from another bike tour, but this one was different, this one was ‘our brilliant fail’. As always we had meticulously planned and prepared with the intent of riding south to north through South Australia.

So there we were, about to board when those dulcet tones, ubiquitous of every airport intercom with its all care and no responsibility calm warmly reassuring our already anxious crowd of the carnage to come.“Good morning everyone, I’m sorry to inform you that your flight to Adelaide has been cancelled, have a nice day”.

Her quiet calm immediately replaced with chaos, as the crowd scrambled for alternatives. After racing connecting flights over two countries we eventually reached our trailhead, but alas our bikes had not.

It was ‘our brilliant fail’ because all was lost. Our bikes were lost, our plan was lost and more importantly, we were lost. But we also gained the best adventure in the losing. We travelled for days with no idea where we were going. Travelling without a plan or a clue soon became our credo. Because to get lost we had to remain clueless.

So here I sit twelve months later pressed between two bulky blokes, occupying the middle seat somewhere over the Pacific. Ahead of us our trail head of Houston and the beginnings of our first unplanned adventure. Our first Clueless Trail. We‘re about to get intentionally lost.

Here’s the how

Tonight and everynight  (our time) we’ll post three potential trails we could ride tomorrow. The choice is yours, simply click on the ‘Vote’ button and check back in to participate in the adventure!  There are plenty of opportunities to get in on the action.

Go on… get lost.

Highlights

Central city contrasts

Central city contrasts

Poverty and Catholicism are constant companions.
A long day in the saddle

A long day in the saddle

Taking a break from the trail.
Estatua Ecuestre de Carlos IV

Estatua Ecuestre de Carlos IV

The statue of King Charles IV outside the Antiguo Palacio de la Secretaria de Comunicaciones.
Palacio Nacional

Palacio Nacional

The colonial centre of power rested here for large swathes of Spanish dominion from as far into the north of what is now the USA and south into Central America.
Canal Nacional

Canal Nacional

Just north of the historic gardens of Xochimilco is the original canal that transported fresh produce into the heart of Tenochtitlán (CDMX), before the conquest.
The random and the bright

The random and the bright

Colour. If there is something for the senses in this place it is colour.
Strewn between the wires

Strewn between the wires

Many edificios in Mexico City are adorned with Catholic symbolism, patron saints and the Virgin de Guadalupe. This one overlooks the Jardín Centenario in Coyoacán.
Definitely where I don’t want to be

Definitely where I don’t want to be

Iztapalapa has a population about the size of New Zealand all within one Colonia. I am on the edge of this as I ride back along Nacional Canal back to Centro.
Good morning

Good morning

Just a small doorway that looks into the undead.
Faded edificios

Faded edificios

The new arrives between the old here in Colonia Roma, as time takes it toll on the some beautiful facades.
Templo de Nuestra Senora del Pilar (La Enseñanza)

Templo de Nuestra Senora del Pilar (La Enseñanza)

There is so much of this in Centro Historico.  This Iglesia squeezes between two equally elegant edificios.
Chasing old trails

Chasing old trails

Paseo de la Reforma now has a designated bike path. How many times did I ride this in traffic. Too many close runs.
Casa de los delfines

Casa de los delfines

Part of the former Hacienda San Ángel in 1786. It’s a lovely alley in the heart of the community.
El Zacatito

El Zacatito

Back street soap opera in San Ángel.
Tlaloc

Tlaloc

The Aztec god of rain, with supernatural powers to this day. When moved to CDMX in 1963, it rained incessantly for days, being the wettest period in recorded history  in the valleys dry season.
San Ángel

San Ángel

Once a small village outside CDMX. It has been swallowed whole, but it’s interior streets of old cobbles and weathered stucco still remains.
Into the traffic

Into the traffic

The crunch on Paseo de la Reforma. W
Basílica de Guadalupe

Basílica de Guadalupe

I haven’t been here in a while. The north of Ciclovia CDMX
Ambulantes

Ambulantes

One of the many many street vendors (ambulantes) around Centro Histórico
Palacio de Bellas Artes

Palacio de Bellas Artes

A cultural centre of México City. This grand dame hosts music, dance, theatre, opera and literature.
Catedral Metropolitana

Catedral Metropolitana

Built from 1573-1813. Situated on top of a former Aztec sacred site of Templo Major.
Jesús de María

Jesús de María

The Catrina. Never showing her age.
Iconography

Iconography

Behind Catedral Metropolitana is located a small mall selling all manner of Catholic memorabilia.
Catching up with the locals

Catching up with the locals

Centro never fails to surprise. Stuck between the space between Templo Major and the Catedral Metropolitana.
Out exploring

Out exploring

Into Centro histórico y La Merced. Parked up outside La Casa de los Azulejos
La Roma records

La Roma records

This one is for you AP.
Days end… or beginning

Days end… or beginning

Old haunts and memory.
Neveria Roxy

Neveria Roxy

Another institution dating back 75 years, with a range of flavours too difficult to pronounce. I’ve been looking forward to this.
Hola tacos

Hola tacos

Lunch. This place is an institution if you like offal. Two tacos for 50 pesos. Thinking of you Horse.
And now it begins

And now it begins

After waiting four days my bike and belongings are finally here. Thank you United. They really are the friendly skies!
Photo taken with Focos

Nuevo día, nueva oficina

New morning commute to the office. What does this day bring.
Back street bill stickers

Back street bill stickers

An early morning good omen for a day spent with old friends and long hours working back in the old country.
On my way to a meeting…

On my way to a meeting…

Just another surprising, random delight in this city of twelve and a half colours.
Back in the hood

Back in the hood

Roma Norte and it’s mix of French colonial and Art Nuevo inspired edificios.
Detour for flowers

Detour for flowers

An endless traffic detour past mercadeo Jamaica( the flower markets of big city) and rows of tiendas selling wreath’s and arrangement.
Fortress

Fortress

A fence and fortress of cacti on a back street.
Dog walkers of Parque México

Dog walkers of Parque México

Dog walkers take their jobs seriously as you can see row upon row of dogos going about their daily lives in Parque México.
Back street Virgins

Back street Virgins

There is always a place for a Madonna. Tiny impromptu alters.
Walled gardens

Walled gardens

There are lots of these tiny spaces strewn through the back streets of CDMX. As I wind my way from Reforma to Roma.
Good morning CDMX

Good morning CDMX

It was one hell of a way to arrive. All I have is a small backpack and a bag of wits. Good to be back in big city
Estoy empiezo

Estoy empiezo

And so it begins…
Time for beer and sausage.

Time for beer and sausage.

That’s it. Calling it. Been a good day with a few lessons on how to make things work better for the next days ride. Bring on Bavaria!
Made it to the Palace

Made it to the Palace

Fab ride up through the autumn fall. Not much of a headwind to speak of.
Visiting the king of Bavaria!

Visiting the king of Bavaria!

Taking the back trails to the castle.

Time for zee coffee.

Really spectacular and tame uphill ride into the mountains. Doing this one again.
Into the mountains.

Into the mountains.

Looks like the weather is bollocks here as well!! Heading up from Hinterrisse.

Getting on the road

Testing out the video
The beginning

The beginning

Just getting back in the saddle with a warm up

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