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Mextrek #9: Destination Guanajuato June 22nd - 30th, 2019

Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
1,568
Location
Sugar Land, TX
Please note: Please register by 5 pm May 2nd. Registration for this event after May 2nd does not include lodging. Rooms would be your responsibility and things are filling up fast. Mexicans travel a lot during the summer months. Cost for lodging is between f225 and $450 depending on room preference.


Dear Mexico Riders (and prospective riders - we welcome all with open arms):

Previous threads related to Mextrek in case you have no idea what I'm talking about:

Mextrek #1
2008 Planning: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27799&highlight=mextrek+2008
2008 Reports: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33656
Mextrek #2
2009 Planning: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41336
2009 Reports: http://twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?p=671326#post671326
Mextrek #3
2010 Planning: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46716
2010 Reports: http://twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?p=749178#post749178
Mextrek #4
2015 Planning: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102388
2015 Reports: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1384620
Mextrek #5
2016 Planning: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106148
2016 Reports: http://twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=111763
Mextrek#6
2017 Planning: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=112382
2017 Reports: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=115745
Mextrek #7
2018 Planning: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116147
2018 Reports: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117666
Mextrek #8
2018 Planning: https://www.twtex.com/forums/threads/2018-mextrek-8-oct-20th-23rd-2018.115969/
2018 Report: http://twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1577869#post1577869


Mextrek #9 will be a step change different than the previous Mextrek rides, following the paths laid out by Richard in his "RunDown" ride in 2016, a couple spots visited on previous Mextreks, and continue to our favorite colonial towns in central Mexico. This ride is designed for bikes with 300 mile daily capability. A whirlwind tour of Puebla Magicas taking us into the heart of the culture and lengthy history of the interior of Mexico. We'll witness small indigenous towns turned early missions, silver mines with wealth on par with European counterparts, cultural traditions going back 500 years, mummies, waterfalls, hot springs, salsa dancing classes, amazing world class food, etc.... on a modest budget. This ride will primarily be on paved roads, meaning a "mexico rated" touring bike will suffice, but there are many interesting sections that can be easily linked by dirt if a dirt challenge is desired. Ideal bikes for Mextrek #9 are bigguns, like 1200 GS's, 1000 vstroms, 1190's, and Africa Twins, practical ADV "style" bikes like the CB500X, VStrom650, Versys 650, Tenere, and of course the iron butt guys riding 690 / 701 style enduros with true highway capability. I would not consider this ride if you are not comfortable with 6 to 8 hour days in the saddle at highway speeds. I will cover most highway at 80 MPH and most back roads at a spirited pace on my CB500R/X on TKC80 50-50 knobbies. We'll cover 1400+ miles in basically 9 says of riding. It could be easily 1600 miles if you take day trips on our off days. Not to worry, as evidenced in last June's Mextrek #7, we have amazing amounts of daylight in Mexico in June. Sunrise by 7AM, sunset at 9 PM. 14 hours to sweat it out. Highlights / Itinerary includes:

Visiting the Monterrey outskirt vacation getaway town of Santiago, the convergence of wealth and culture; catering to the Monterrey Elite.

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Swim downstream after a boat ride up past the Tamul falls:

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A visit to the amazing Las Posas and hilltop city of Xilitla in the heart of the waterfall / canyon region

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Xilitla...just try and drive your car here, jaja.

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We'll ride the phenomenal and challenging Highway 120 thru Jalpan and the Friar de Serro's 7-Mission region (see "The Rundown" and Wild Bunch threads). Hands down one of the 3 best roads I've ever ridden, anywhere:

Rundown Report: https://www.twtex.com/forums/threads/bad-choices-make-great-stories-the-rundown-2016.108868/
Wild Bunch Planning Trip Report: https://www.twtex.com/forums/threads/the-wild-bunch-in-the-remote-backcountry-of-mexicos-sierra-gorda.103589/



64741


Experiencing the phenomenon of "Gringolandia", San Miguel De Allende with its beauty, rooftop restaurants, luxurious hot springs, art, and history...and gringos by the hoardes.

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La Gruta:

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Landing in Guanajuato, the most beautiful and walkable city in Mexico. I've visited Guanajuato since 1999 when I discovered this gem thru a Texas Monthly article on immersion schools in Mexico. unknown in the US, times have changed. A 2001 ish New York Times Travel article ran 15 pages, effectively bring Guanajuato into the light. How much so? Ken Block just ran the streets and tunnels in his latest drift video:

Click to 8 minutes, 10 seconds to see GTO to the 10 minute mark.


A 500 year old mining town turned higher education, is the gem of central Mexico with a rich history of wealth, affluence, theater and arts, revolution, and old world tradition.

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The mountain town valley from the "La Pipila" scenic overlook. At 7500 feet its nice and cool when you're hot and sweaty back in Tejas:

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Returning thru Real de Catorce, the silver town thru the tunnel, as visited on other Mextrek adventures

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Itinerary:

If this itinerary and timeline seem abitious, it is because they are. But once you take into account the 14 available hours of ride time per day they make a lot more sense.

Saturday June 22nd: Arrive in Santiago, N.L. Argentinian Steakhouse Welcome Dinner.

Sunday June 23rd: Head South to El Naranja with stop at Minas or Tomosopa falls.

Monday June 24th: Ride to Xilitla via some dirt and Tamul falls. Afternoon swim at Las Posaz and into the evening

Tuesday June 25th: Early departure , Ride 120 to San Miguel. Dinner at rooftop cafe.

Wednesday June 26th: San Miguel / Las Grutas / Late afternoon ride to Guanajuato

Thursday June 27th: Full day in Gunajuato

Friday June 28th: Full day in Guanajuato

Saturday June 29th: Ride to Real de Catorce

Sunday June 30th: Ride home
 

Attachments

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Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
1,568
Location
Sugar Land, TX
Registration Link Here:

https://goo.gl/forms/s7tC15oy6rYDe6GV2

Cost:

$100 covers registration, tee shirt, all you can stuff in your banquet dinner in Guanajuato. On the signup form you can indicate paypal, Mextrekadv (at) gmail.com, sending a check, or using an old refund credit.

Attendees:

Peter S Shadman 100% Organizer
Steven M Fang Needs to register Ride Guide (Guanajuato / San Miguel Expert)
Sean S Kodiak 100% Private group leader
Thomas M ThomasM Needs to register 1200cc BMW club leader, lol

Attendees in order of signup:
1 Peter S Shadman CBR500Xish
2 Tim B "Tim" Paid, riding his trusty 04' KTM 950. Guanajuato expert!
3 Frank V Mr. Venco Paid, riding his almost too nice for mexico 16 1190
4 Andre N Shovel Paid, riding an Explorer of some sort. Details, who has time for details...or maps! (Triumph 1200 I think)
5 Gaylon B Clingon to the back half of Andre's rig Paid
6 Thomas M ThomasM Paid GSA1200
7 Ben S Ben Bodie KTM 1190 "Sending Check"
8 Phil S Liteitup Super Tenere 1000 Paid via check
9 Roger R Paid txsignguy 1200 GS Ehhhhhh!!!
10 Erik E Paid Bitte ein Bit 1200 GS no Ehhhhhh!!!
11 Dao H Paid Dao Weeeeeeeeeeeestrom
12 Edmin H Muddmissile Paid katoom 99 oh
13 Charles N Paid Nevlec Ford 3.5 Ecoboost
14 Dawn N, Charles' + 1
15 Jeff C JeffC Paid
16 David M DragonDash VStrom 1000 that took a wrong turn in Albuquerque!! Paid cash
17 Steven M Fang KTM690 Enduro
18 Farhan S Paid Farhan2112 Vstrom 1k
19 Paul N Oso Paid Sudaroso Husky 701
20 Sean S Paid Donkey Puncher Husky 701
21 David B Paid Bump 1190R
22 Everett Need to reg
23 Zara Need to reg
24 Matthew (support)
25 Michelle (support)
 
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Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
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Location
Sugar Land, TX
Misc Information:

Maps: I'll distribute maps from Jalpan and Galeana areas for those thinking they want to run some of the route on dirt

Is Mexico Safe:

Keep tabs with 100,000 other adv riders who might know a bit about Mexico here:

http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/is-mexico-safe.546927/



Radios:

Communications: If you plan to come to Mextrek we really really really really hope you to come with a radio, its charger, and if you want to...some type of speaker or ear piece in your helmet. Amazon is your friend on this one:

Basic radio: 4 watt / 1 watt: UV-5R V2 About $25, includes charger and earpiece. Programming cable not required.

Extra power model (NEW): 8 watt high power: BF-F9 V2 About $36 - 38 (Recommended radio for 2018 ride). Same as UV-5R otherwise

With varying degrees of success we utilized the mighty Baofeng UV5-R radios on Mextrek 2017. They are amazing. The feeling of security a ride leader has when he also has a designated sweep with radio is amazing. And when everyone on a group is equipped the ride leader has the ability to tailor speed as requested, assess difficulty of terrain on slower riders, point out side tracks and stops for items of interest. In short, communication while riding in a group is a whole new realm of riding connected. I'll do my best to lay out the little info I know on radios and add points as others chime in:

Basic: $25 radio, supplied headset: One ear in helmet has speaker. Microphone is clipped to chin bar. Talking is accomplished by pressing the push to talk button on microphone or on side of radio.

Pros: Cheap, easy, worked for me last year.

Cons: Hard to talk and ride. Sound clarity at speed lacking. One ear aches a lot. No earplug in that ear. Radio has to be charged every 10 hours or so.

Basic with push to talk: $25 radio, motorcycle mounted, handlebar mounted switch $25 , upgraded headset $25

Pros: Motorcycle can power radio. Talking is possible with both hands on bars. Increased sound clarity. Able to broadcast at highway speeds.

Cons: Riders becomes attached to bike with headphone cable

Full shebang: $25 radio. Push to talk button $25 Sena SMH10 bluetooth headset $160 Sena SR10 bluetooth 2 way transmitter $195 Baofeng to Sena cable $20

Pros: Hands and cable free 2 way communication using push to talk button on handlebar. Sena transmitter can also route music from your phone and GPS audio from your garmin, all seamlessly. So you are free to jam tunes, get turn by turn directions, and talk to everyone on e the ride with both hands on the bars.

Cons: $$$$$$$$$$$$$, charging up every night (10 hours max use), becoming "that guy", Sena not staying affixed to helmet mount, potential for crash damage


GPS:

GPS Tracks / Guidebooks:

If you haven't done so already please order one of Richard's awesome guidebooks and topo maps for the low price of $25. You order directly through Richard via PM on this forum: TrailBoss is his username.

You get info, general info, specific info, tips, maps, route descriptions with small maps, pictures, and all sorts of warm fuzzies and fuzzy mink glove good feelings after taking a day or two to fully digest the content.

And the rides in the linked GPX files match up to the rides in the guidebook perfectly, so there is very little guesswork deciding which routes to take.

And a little pro tip....downloading google earth onto your PC will allow you to preview a GPX file and see in great detail the route, topography, etc... if you are the type to preview what you are going to ride. Email with actual GPX files is going out to all registered participants in 3...2...1....

http://www.texasadventure.net/mextrekgpsroutes/

Thanks Richard for all the work on these files and the guidebook. They are awesome!!!!



Insurance:

Mzungu writes: Well, this is not a "how-to" but "how I do" as everyone's requirements are different. In summary:

- Baja Bound for motorcycle damage and liability
- Ripcord to get me from a point of injury or crime to a hospital and for "get me in the door for treatment" assistance
- MedJetAssist to get me from remote hospital to my US hospital

There are other companies that are a good or not so good fit for me for this trip. Please research those and decide for yourself.

I've previously booked a policies with MedJet Assist on motorcycle trips and for hunting dangerous game on safari in Africa and in remote Alaska regions -- I thought MedJet would come to me in the field - they do not. I finally read the policy.

There is little in overlap in coverage (which can cause a catch-22 resulting in no coverage at all when coverage overlaps between two or more companies as the insurance companies point at each other and say "you first").

Here's a good article:
https://expeditionportal.com/buyers-...tion-services/

Medivac Insurance:

Tricepilot writes: The short, technical answer is that MedJet air evac insurance is purchased separately BUT air evac insurance is included with most policies underwritted by MexAdventure. The following quote is from my Guide to Riding Mexico on Adventure Rider:

"Mexadventure advertises: "Medical Evacuation Insurance and Plane Tickets Home are automatically included with our Mexican auto insurance policies"!

FAQ: So, why bother with the extra expense of MedJet?

Answer: If you need medical air evacuation, go with the pros whose job it is full time. Based in Atlanta, experienced on a daily basis doing this, always on their "A" game. When Whiskeysmith crashed in Mexico, and was hospitalized in Parral, we thought he had MedJet but all he had was Mexadventure's "Platinum" coverage which appeared to offer medical extraction as a bonus. I was on the phone with their rep all night long as was told to "call back tomorrow" - and this was a Spanish speaking operator in Mexico City. You want that when you are in a tough bind? I don't. Don't get me wrong, I've been with Mexadventure for years, and always go back to them. But I consider medical extraction by air the same way I do a parachute: you want some extra, seldom used, old model lying around the back of the hangar on your back when you jump? Or do you want the state-of-the-art, tested frequently, highly rated rig on the other end of the line when you pull the coord? Your body - Your money - Your choice."

Spot (and other) Emergency Locators:


Permits and Visas:

Motorcycle TVIP: AKA, Permit for bike. Must have valid registration in your name (wife / mom / sister doesn't count...do a family title, transfer $5, with state of TX), no lien or lease, with license plate # matching what is on the bike. Pay $40 fee and $200 - $400 deposit. Check out when you leave Mexico and get $200 - $400 deposit back.

Where: If you are the cautious type, get your TVIP and Visa in advance at the Austin or Houston consulate / Banjercito office. If you have time to get it the day before Mextrek at the border (office closes at 10PM) you can do it at Anzualdas Crossing (2 miles away) or 24 hours at McAllen crossing (10 miles away), or in Laredo / Nuevo Laredo 24 hrs. Worst case, skip breakfast and get it at 6:30 AM the border office.

Caution: If you get it in advance and don't make the trip you will have to cancel it before the date it comes into effect at the office you got it from. Otherwise you'll have to make the trek to the border at some point to have it cancelled, as if you made the trip.

Duh: One bike per rider. No truck and trailer if the bike gets a TVIP. Without a TVIP you likely will not make it through the trip without some hassle, threat of bike impounding, bribes paid, and mental anguish, although it is possible.

A 180 day permit will be required for this 9 day trip. 7 day won't see you you out of the country in time.
 
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Joined
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Messages
1,568
Location
Sugar Land, TX
The itinerary for this trip mimics my father-son trip to Mexico with Sid in conjunction with Richard's The Rundown in 2016. We continued onward past Jalpan with Tricepilot and a small crew, eventually spending 5 days in Guanajuato. Since then Sid has lived in Guanajuato for 5 months, studying Spanish, and I've been back 7 or 8 times. Here are some highlight pictures from our trip that may not have survived the Photobucket heist.

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Tourmeister

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Man...!! If those intro posts don't MAKE you want to go... there's just something not right in your head :brainsnap
 
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Looks so gooooood!
I can't believe I'm gonna miss it :( Must attend to a family event on the same week
 
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copb8

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Visited many of those cities last spring. You're hitting my 3 favorites in Guanajuato, San Miguel De Allenda and Real de Catorce. Plus you're hitting some I've wanted to stay in. I'll put this on my calendar and see how things turn out. June is usually a bit difficult for me.
 
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Looks so gooooood!
I can't believe I'm gonna miss it :( Must attend to a family event on the same week
I'll be back the last two weeks of July if you want to fly down to Guanajuato for the Guanajuato International Film Festival in San Miguel and Guanajuato. Guanajuato is not only the town name, but also the state, like NYNY. For lodgings, you have to refer to Guanajuato Centro, or Historico, or Guanajuato Capital!
 
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Visited many of those cities last spring. You're hitting my 3 favorites in Guanajuato, San Miguel De Allenda and Real de Catorce. Plus you're hitting some I've wanted to stay in. I'll put this on my calendar and see how things turn out. June is usually a bit difficult for me.
Bart, can you elaborate on why Guanajuato and San Miguel are so special? Lots of guys just have no idea. Then they visit and BOOM...
 
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Pics I took from the similar path in 2016, though we based out of Jalpan.
https://flic.kr/s/aHskxVqTws

San Miguel (not in the above pics) is a beautiful city - my wife and I spent a week there earlier this year.

I am eager to go back to this area, so much to see - awesome roads, great food, waterfalls, caves, cool people, history, just joyous times bro.

For the history buffs you can look up Junipero Serra - some of the area this ride will cover is his stomping ground before he moved on to California and founded the missions that went on to become places like San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara and many others. Dude was a mission founding monster - founded 7 within the Sierra Gorda region in Mexico which is the neck of the woods this ride will hit.
 
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How many typically make one of these events?
Largest crowd for an October event was around 80. Last June we had 25, I think, mainly due to the threat of a hurricane and having the event over Father's day weekend. Hurricane, it never happened and the weather was hot in the plains, and perfect in the mountains. I prefer June, FWIW.

For this ride I think the magic number is 20. 12 is my minimum, 30 or so my max. 4 groups of 5 or 6 riders works well. For these long haul rides its a bit like herding cats so big numbers make it hard to make moves. Our "After Party" rides after each Mextrek are 25 or so strong and we can make good time and coordinate fairly easily.
 

copb8

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Bart, can you elaborate on why Guanajuato and San Miguel are so special? Lots of guys just have no idea. Then they visit and BOOM...

Guanajuato explodes with color splashed across steep hillsides. Great exploring both on the bike and on foot. Loved the narrow alley ways and the tunnel system that runs under the city is so cool to cruise in.

Here's a raw un-edited gopro video I took of a quick loop through the tunnels: Guanajuato Driving Tour (If you get bored and want to skip forward there's a cool alley starting at 11:10)

Funny thing about several of the places we stayed in Mexico. They looked liked rundown dumps from the outside but when you went through the doors they were beautiful.

You're pictures of the church square brought back some cool memories as we lucked into being there when they had a huge parade and festival that lasted forever. 100's of taxi-cabs were involved for some reason and all the occupants were handing candy out to the kids. All the locals were either dressed up in traditional garb or dressed to impress. Really fun to watch although the music was LOUD, and that's from a guy who likes loud music. Our one riding buddy, Roger, found us the most insane airBNB within walking distance to everything. Such a cool building with a balcony over the street and panoramic views of the city. Toured the mummy museum which was far more sophisticated than I thought it would be. Definitely worth the time and walk. Street taco vendors were delicious and so friendly.

San Miguel was also beautiful, reminded me of Santa Fe, NM with a Mexican flavor. Unfortunately our time there was cut short due to an injury and getting medical attention squared away (hours). While it's not everyone's gig, I personally enjoy walking these kind of towns and hitting the galleries, bars and restaurants. I can see San Miguel will deliver this in spades. I can see bringing my wife Sharon there for a long weekend (by air, not land). I have a video of riding into town but it's way too long and boring and needs editing (haven't learned that yet)

The ride between Guanajuato and San Miguel isn't very far and we took several off the beaten path diversions. One led to the injury which was just a freak fall.

Short ride up to a beautiful view: Ride to the Cross

BTW, Real de Catorce is also ranked way up there for me.

The agenda for your trip is amazing Peter.
 
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This ride looks great! I've just signed up! I've done Baja a few times on different sized bikes, but I'm yet to do mainland Mexico. I do a lot of solo adventuring, but getting my feet wet in Mainland MEX with a group of experienced riders sounds like good fun. I'm down to share hotel rooms along the way if anyone is looking for someone to split costs. I'll be on my 2014 KTM 1190R, which just rolled over 50k miles! -Ben Bodie

229139
 
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..I'll be watching this and my calendar to see if I can make it..
 
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