Today was a straightforward ride to town of Tecate and then border crossing into Mexico. It was cool and overcast, but fortunately stayed dry all day long. I decided to get on the road early since I knew I had a lot of climbing to do and it gets dark early (~4:40pm sunset). The first 4km were flat but then climbed ~1200m over the remaining 60km today. I initially followed larger roads through suburban San Diego, most of them with bike lanes and overall not very heavy traffic.
At 13.5km, I came to edge of suburban development and followed Otay Lakes Road. This was flat or very gentle grade as the road came past a sky-dive center and a commercial campground. At 28km, turned right onto CA-94. This road had more traffic and not much of a shoulder. Fortunately, all relatively well behaved. My odometer had a few short sections of ~7% grade but mostly less.
Close to noon and I could see Tecate in the distance. Interestingly, I didn’t see much of town of Tecate, CA but a lot more on the Mexico side.
Border crossing was remarkably easy. Nothing required to check out of USA. It asked customs officials about the FMM form which I knew I would need to travel further into Mexico. I was directed first to immigration to get the form, then to a bank office and finally back to immigration to get the form stamped. Glad I had read this on internet as it would have been surprisingly easy to enter and skip getting this form.
I was now in city of Tecate where photo above was taken as I passed the square. Traffic was remarkably easy and before I knew it I was already following signs to climb the hill to Mexico 3 – the wine route to Ensenada. There seemed to be several hotels, though I had made things a little easier by making a reservation online at place ~10km south of the town.
I can tell I’ll need to get out the dictionary to translate signs I don’t know (I think the one above is for “snow cones”).
The first kilometers south of town still had a nice shoulder, but expect this to go away at some point.
Overall, crossing at Tecate was simple. I’ve already passed the border town, but still need to get a few errands in a city center such as getting a Mexican SIM card.
I should have told you that you could have gotten the FMM online before getting there. Didn’t think of it since I don’t need one.