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REAL Adventure Riding in Mexico

Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
527
Location
Odessa
I got the Mexican maps out trying to follow, But we all know how the maps are in Mexico!!! Keep it coming PLEASE..:clap:
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
76
Location
Austin
touring on my R1 doesn't sound like a good time to me.. I have a heavy.. uh.. right hand :rofl:
the off-road/camping portion of the ride reports i see are what make me want dual sport bike :-D

Plus they'll throw me in the pokey.. or make me go broke from bribes on my bike
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
1,164
Location
Denton, TX
GOOOOOOOOOD MORNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Campsite number two in Mexico. Between the Coyote yelping in the distance, good food for dinner, and a good days ride... I say it was a great campsite.




We figured it would be a half day's navigation back to Galeana. Our campsite though, was in the "town" of La Rucia. La Rucia, is however, one seldom used ranchito and then a couple ruined buildings a few hundred yards from the ranchito. The track after the second set of buildings looked like this.


This track went on for about 15 miles getting narrower and less distinct, several washes, lots of cactus, plenty of thorns.

And then suddenly, right smack in the middle of nowhere, was this little rancho.

I stopped to take this picture, and looked around to find the owners... I did not get a picture, but I made sure to wave whenever I saw them, in the little corral out side of their compound. Definately indians, dark skinned and wearing more traditional clothing. But hey, they had a solar panel and a 4x4.


I tell you what. This track was awesome. Stand up, crank your wrist back to 50mph. Dodge the cactus balls. Stop, take a picture, repeat.


Holy cactus balls batman! These things would pop up in the middle of the road....

Did I mention how much I liked this track? At one point it was so fun I was yelping like the coyote last night.
Banked curves with slightly loose surface sand, 4th gear madness!

 
Joined
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Not far from this location, we got a good glimpse of Cerro Potosi. Getting closer to Galeana.
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Lots of this.

Boys will be boys, right?
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IMG_0465.jpg

Ehhh, yep. While turning around to jump, again, I decided to go down into the ditch.... Let it be known that only 99% of the large stones that line ditches in Mexico are cemented in with dirt.... I found one of those in the 1%... and fell over.

And just for the record, this was the second time I picked the bike up for this fall, the first time, I was too fast and they didnt get a picture.
P1020209.jpg


I was amazed with the technology found in rural Mexico.
P1020549.jpg

This is a Mexican CD player.


 
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
1,285
Location
Houston Heights
touring on my R1 doesn't sound like a good time to me.. I have a heavy.. uh.. right hand :rofl:
the off-road/camping portion of the ride reports i see are what make me want dual sport bike :-D

Plus they'll throw me in the pokey.. or make me go broke from bribes on my bike
From my experience riding around 50+ kph above the limit in Mexico and passing multiple cars at a time while going over topas (speed bumps) the cops don't harass bikes nearly as much as they do here.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
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From my experience riding around 50+ kph above the limit in Mexico and passing multiple cars at a time while going over topas (speed bumps) the cops don't harass bikes nearly as much as they do here.

If you are speeding reasonably, i dont think they mind as much. In Cedral, SLP, Mexico we followed a cop as he sped around cars over the topas.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
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Denton, TX
I guess I could finish this off here.... Its only been 7 months now.:lol2:

The road and ride was too fun to take pictures of, but from what I understand, it looks a lot like Utah. See, you follow this nice little canyon from the top to the bottom. Canyons are twisty. Canyons are fun.


Now, I'd like to introduce you to my two new friends. Well, one friend.
Meet Carlos (right) and his brother.
P1020550.jpg

They spoke to me in English, I spoke back in Spanish. Their uncle owned the little shop across the way. Check out the arcade games.
P1020552.jpg

Back on a familiar road.
P1020554.jpg

P1020555.jpg

Back to Galeana. Hamburgers and pepsi.
This is definately the better route to Real de Catorce.


North to Santiago.

 
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
1,164
Location
Denton, TX
Where was I? Oh yes, back at Galeana. We circled the square in Galeana to find a decent place for lunch. Namely, one where we could keep an eye on our bikes, not that our bikes were unsafe in Galeana.

We at lunch at a roadside hamburger joint. Ever put avacado on your hamburgesa?

Leaving out of Galeana we headed towards Mimbres again. Passing Cerro Potosi and hitting the Dualsport Double Dragon. If only the cliff wasn't as much of a drop off and there werent so many blind curves..... it'd be a hoot to go really fast on!

But here we are again. Outside of Galeana, funny, Jim and I both took the same picture... here is mine.
P1020556.jpg



And here is Jim on the DSDD
P1020557.jpg


Back in Mimbres, we buy three cokes and two bags of 'tater chips. 23pesos. 13 pesos on the dollar.
P1020565.jpg


Here is Kevin. You really can learn a lot of Spanish from youngsters.
P1020566-1.jpg


Like this. These are patos.
P1020567.jpg


This is Kevin's sister, she's eleven.... boy does she look rough already...
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Jim entertaining Kevin and his friends.
P1020569.jpg



Mimbres to Cienga del Toro is a great run. Great run indeed. Here's a peak.
P1020572.jpg

P1020571.jpg




 
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
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Location
Denton, TX

Our flag being put to good use in Mexico......:mad:..... but atleast its an important job....
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P1020575.jpg


P1020588.jpg

Richard decides to stop (guess why) and this is where the one 18wheeler we see in the middle of nowhere passes us.... covering us in even MORE dust.

P1020593.jpg

The camera didnt do this valley any justice.

What??? What the **** is this???????
P1020603.jpg


Again, no justice.
P1020610.jpg



 
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
1,164
Location
Denton, TX
This fellow was in the middle of nowhere. He approached us during a break and asked us where we were from, going, and have been. He recommended a restaurant in a town that was about 15 miles away!!! The town he was walking towards was at least 5 miles...
IMG_0493.jpg



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IMG_0503.jpg

Hi. Me again!

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Getting gas Coahuila style.
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Manzana orchards.

This is the point where my camera battery dies. Did you notice how many photos were taken for this one day???

Well, I did get some video of the curvy roads heading towards Santiago.

 
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
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Denton, TX
More from Richard
PigTrail said:
The idea was that we'd push towards Santiago after lunch in Galeana, so that on the next day(Saturday) we could sleep in a bit, make our way to the border, and head back to Houston Saturday night. With Sunday being my birthday I was looking forward to having some time to re-orient myself before returning to the rat race on Monday.

So back in the valley north of Mimbres we were looking for some gas. In one of the little towns Scott stops and asks a gentlemen where we can find some gasolina. Here of course. And out he comes to fill our bikes.



The remainder of the evening was spent traversing the mountains towards Santiago. For 30-40 miles we wound along a paved road with several locations where the mountainside had nearly reclaimed the pavement. Aside from the land-slides, dramatic elevation changes in the curves, and little towns, there was little to distract us.

About 30 km from Santiago we connected with a larger 2 lane paved road and the atv traffic began to pick up. Apparently this area is a popular vacation destination with the Monterrey crowd. Atv and cabin rentals dotted the road-side. We pushed on in hopes of finding a hotel and hot meal near Santiago.

The topography and road cuts just west of Santiago are breath-taking. It's 500 ft cliff, river, road, and 500 ft cliff back up the other side. Scott and Jim likely have some better shots.



Coming down out of the mountains towards Santiago we got stuck in a bit of tourist traffic. The rear brakes of the f150 in front of us were letting off a fair bit of smoke as we descended. I don't suppose he realized that his automatic tranny can let him run in a lower gear. Scott also had a scare as a mountain cow standing next to the road made a lunge for him. As we neared the more populated western outskirts of Santiago it was beginning to get dark and I saw a sign that said hotel. Sweet, let's check it out. Turns out that it was a pretty posh place with rooms that were 1500 pesos per person for the night. After asking for some cheaper recommendations and then getting confused about the directions the desk clerk offerred us a room for a significantly reduced rate and we settled in for the night. Sweet. In the morning the hotel's bird population came to check us out.

I think this guy took one look at Jim's bike and fell in love. But can he afford her?



This was the view out of our hotel room. Not too bad for walking in off the street eh?



The hotel apparently catered to the atv crowd.


But it seems that these vehicles were for the exlusive use of those in the presidential suites. In case you're wondering that would not be us.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
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Location
Denton, TX
P1030628.jpg

Richard was a bit out of order. The smoking brake truck was on the downside from the hotel. The mean moo cow was infact on the upside of the road... which by the way, reminds me that I still havent cleaned the crap stain out of the riding pants.

Our plan was to head due north out of Santiago, but we missed the turn. Our reroute brough us on the outskirts of Monterrey. No me gusto.
But the scenary was kind of nice
P1030631.jpg

(all chicas, by the way... except the two with the red white and blue jersey)

I hate big cities. I dont like big Mexican cities. I hate traffic. This sign put a knot in my stomache.
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P1030635.jpg

And then I saw this... eh.


And then I saw this.... yum.
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After we turned here, we went through the suburbs of Houston... well, it looked like it anyways.... then we got on another hwy and while Richard was playing with his GPS (in traffic) he didnt realize just how close he came to being rearended by a speeding veedub (VW) Golf. Then we almost missed a turn, Jim had to improvise. I should be a bloody fighter pilot with my reaction skills after following Richard around. Then there is the traffic. And then a toll. I was freaking out, thinkink the toll was the one on to get on Mex 40 back to Reynosa, which was 183 pesos. Nope, this one was 10pesos. We get going some more and we do find the entrance to the cuota... we take the libre.

If you are still reading this, cool. At one point, I got up to about 90mph, then I slow down.


We all pass an 18wheeler at about 70mph and top a hill. Two federales with radar.....
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
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Denton, TX
Where was I? Federales? Scary stuff.


Like I said in my last segment, we were cruising down a straight road. Imagine crossing a bit of a valley, a nice 'U' shaped valley. This is where I bump it up to about 90. I'm following this Ford pickup that just happens to be doing the same speed. Jim and Richard are on the bottom of the valley when I get stuck behind an 18wheeler. Jim and Rich catch back up to me and we pass the truck. We top the hill at about 70mph... in a 80kph zone. Thats kilometers, about 50mph. Atop the hill was a federale car and two federales. CHOP the throttle brake hard.....

















They were facing the other way. By the time they turned around, we were doing about 60. First cops we saw on the whole trip (in this situation anyways)


Something else we noticed. No military checkpoints, only the checkpoint about 20 miles in, they only asked for our vehicle permits. I was first and they only checked mine (again on the way into Mexico), i showed him my permit, he asked if we all had it. "Bye bye" he said.

Oh we are on our way back, why am I talking about day one???


Its odd, 940 miles total trip. Mile 870, my butt starts hurting. Mile 923 is where the federals sat on the hill. Amazingly enough, the butt clenching that was involved seriously relieved monkey butt. I highly recommend it.

______________________________________________________________
Now, a concern we had for the entire trip was upon us. What do we do to get back across the border? Well, this may only apply to the Reynosa Crossing, but here it goes.

Of course you must return your vehicle permit. Be careful. You DO NOT go into the lanes going towards the "puente internacional" No, go one block north of this and follow these signs.
P1030648.jpg


Unfortunately, you'll be faced with this....
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And you have to participate in this....
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When we got to the window, I scared the tendant.... she turned around and saw this...
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My best 'Gaspipe' impression... I was only missing the altoids...

No problems. You give them your permit, they check your VIN and give you a receipt.
P1030652.jpg



P1030644.jpg


And then the fun part... (left part of picture)


 
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
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Denton, TX
So yeh. The line at the border is exactly how you see it. Atleast this day and the day that I crossed the border in July.

This day was warm... but July was hot. In July, I managed to cross at a time when I had literally half the traffic of this trip...

So yes, we lane split.
Most importantly because of my bike being aircooled.
P1030653.jpg


Jim was too wide and being the third bike, everyone we passed decided to cut him off.... At times we double teamed. I would pull out infront of one vehicle, Richard would go. Vice Versa. Left side, right side. Out the curb, over the curb.

We get to the halfway point and I manage to get a pic of Richard with "the sign."
P1030654.jpg


From here.... I lead off, and make it three cars before I become the biggest a-hole on a motorcycle... ever.


 
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
570
Location
Longview, TX
So you can split lanes going back across the border? I always wondered about this...
If you don't get cut off you physically can, but as to whether it's legal or not..that's another question. We saw 2 pickup trucks bump pretty good and people were screaming at each other and throwing empty plastic bottles. A few lane-splitting moto's are the least of the worries for the authorities.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
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Houston Heights
We accidentally took the Sentri lane that goes straight to the toll booth but the guy told us we were in the wrong spot so we just road over the curb and it was really hard to squeeze in. Some guy in a Tundra came 1/2" from running over my foot and we basically had to play chicken with a camry.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
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Denton, TX
We accidentally took the Sentri lane that goes straight to the toll booth but the guy told us we were in the wrong spot so we just road over the curb and it was really hard to squeeze in. Some guy in a Tundra came 1/2" from running over my foot and we basically had to play chicken with a camry.
Oh thats nothing. When I "became the biggest a-hole ever", now thats a story. Just after I took the last pic of Richard and the Mex/USA plaque in the background we motored off again. Maybe I did one too many wheelies that day... well, I did... but my top bag shifted way over. Unfortunately at this point a big truck with towing mirrors sort of blocked my way, so i was leaning over for that and crack snapple and pop, a mirror exploded shattering in pieces in front of me. I stopped, evaluated the situation... tucked my tail pulled in my elbows and took off.... only to be stopped at the final line crossing the border. The next thing I know, a guy is tapping me on my shoulder. "blah blah blah, yu broka mi espejo! mi espejo! You broka mi espejo!" "Lo siento, que quieras? Tengo seguros, quiera mis papeles?" "No no no, moneda, ahora. Aqui! " "Ehhh, no tengo mucho, cuantas quieras?" "Cien dollares!" "No tengo, solo siesento en pesos." bien.

At this point I wipe my forehead... thanking Dios that the guy didnt beat me down for hit nd run! Although that might have proved interesting for him... trying to beat up someone in full moto gear.

Thats all folks.
 
Joined
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At this point I wipe my forehead... thanking Dios that the guy didnt beat me down for hit nd run! Although that might have proved interesting for him... trying to beat up someone in full moto gear.

Thats all folks.
I've gotten into debates about whether you'd be at a disadvantage or an advantage when fighting with moto gear on. I think the boots might be an advantage if you can land a kick but the jacket is restrictive and I think the helmet would be the achilles heel because someone could grab under the chin and have full control of your balance and position.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
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720
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Austin
So you can split lanes going back across the border? I always wondered about this...
Generally I find lane-splitting at the border bad form (my 2 cents). The only time I ever did it was when my bike decided to crap out after an extended trip to Mexico, right at the border-line. I physically pushed the bike across the bridge, lane-splitting as I did and didn't have one soul try to cut me off. Picture a sweaty Gringo in hot riding gear pushing his bike, everyone thought that poor *** and gave me a pass.
 
Joined
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Generally I find lane-splitting at the border bad form (my 2 cents). The only time I ever did it was when my bike decided to crap out after an extended trip to Mexico, right at the border-line. I physically pushed the bike across the bridge, lane-splitting as I did and didn't have one soul try to cut me off. Picture a sweaty Gringo in hot riding gear pushing his bike, everyone thought that poor *** and gave me a pass.

Yeah Sr. Otto... after thinking about it, I probably wont lane split again. It sure is fun as haites but it was expensive. (I dont know if you recall, but I am LaOutbackTrail on ADV.)

I'll just try to catch the border at a better time I suppose.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
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We lane-split at the border crossing in Progresso yesterday and the line wasn't that long...but our thermometer was reading 112 degrees.
 
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May 13, 2004
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Leander, Tx
Generally I find lane-splitting at the border bad form (my 2 cents). The only time I ever did it was when my bike decided to crap out after an extended trip to Mexico, right at the border-line. I physically pushed the bike across the bridge, lane-splitting as I did and didn't have one soul try to cut me off. Picture a sweaty Gringo in hot riding gear pushing his bike, everyone thought that poor *** and gave me a pass.
Perhaps Baja is different, but on our return the traffic was horrible; the line was so long we couldn't even see the border... So, being the good Americans we were, we sat in line, until some yelled at us in Spanish and motioned for us to split... we paused and questioned it, then when others around us chimed in and agreed (seems everyone in Mexicali drives with their windows down), we began our long split... many actually moved over for us, but no one gave us a problem... once we reached the front of the line, the border official stopped the next car in line and waived us to the front... I'm sooo glad, man that line was long!
 
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Perhaps Baja is different, but on our return the traffic was horrible; the line was so long we couldn't even see the border... So, being the good Americans we were, we sat in line, until some yelled at us in Spanish and motioned for us to split... we paused and questioned it, then when others around us chimed in and agreed (seems everyone in Mexicali drives with their windows down), we began our long split... many actually moved over for us, but no one gave us a problem... once we reached the front of the line, the border official stopped the next car in line and waived us to the front... I'm sooo glad, man that line was long!
That's exactly what we did my first lane-splitting-at-the-border crossing over from Tijuana.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
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373
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Jalisco, Mexico
http://www.tequiladezert.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=3145

Central Higlands Area, Michoacan, Mexico Week of July 13, 2009 - July 18, 2009.

Sorry bout the bad Spanish.

Michoacan is Hot in this moment, 5500 addl troops and police came into Michoacan when I was there. PGF, PJF, and Military. PJF are the guys with the black ski masks, they are no different than Zetas. Not a recommended route at this time until things settle down.

Nonetheless, it is the best of all of Mexico, it is Mystical. If you are new rider South of the Border, stay on the North autopista or major primary roads, stay away from any area South of Uruapan or Zitacuarco, or Mil Cumbres, Morelia. Just my two cents, guess it depends on your adrenaline level.

During this trip, I experienced two incidents that I felt were dangerous. I managed okay, but the outcome each time could have been very different.

Que te vaya bien, kiko
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2008
Messages
33
Location
Hidalgo, Texas
Lane splitting in the Reynosa International Bridge.
Yes, you can do it... at your own risk.
I asked 3 different "migra" officers if it is allowed and two said yes, and one said maybe.
What you CAN'T do is ride the SENTRI lane. I used to ride a part of it, get ahead of all cars, and then go back again to the regular lane. Until I was caught, chastised, and told that the next time would be a $250 or so fine. :eek2:
The SENTRI lane is on the extreme right of the bridge.
You have to take the extreme left lane, lane split, go to the lane that the buses use, and then go ahead of all cars in your immedate right lane.
The officers are used to it, and that lane is what people in bycicles use. They go ahead of the line, wait in front of the first car, and go to the Immigration officer's booth.
That's what I been doing since I bought my scooter and my motorcycle.
Oh, and don't expect to find a short line of cars waiting to cross the Reynosa Bridge from Mexico to the USA. It is extremely rare. Most of the time cars wait from 45 minutes to an hour and a half just to cross. Waiting 20 minutes is considered a fast crossing.
And with temperatures of 39~40ºC in the shade ( 102~104ºF), the cagers in their air-conditioned vehicles won't bother you if you get ahead of them.
Saludos desde Reynosa.
macnifico
.
..
...
 
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What you CAN'T do is ride the SENTRI lane. I used to ride a part of it, get ahead of all cars, and then go back again to the regular lane. Until I was caught, chastised, and told that the next time would be a $250 or so fine
We accidentally did this in October and the cars we squeezed in front of weren't too happy about it.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Messages
373
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Jalisco, Mexico
OK, I'll bite... What happened?
Saludos desde Reynosa.
macnifico
.
..
...
I took some small roads that were not on my map into the mountains south of mil cumbres into some small villages. These places are fairly remote. In one village, I sort of got a bad feeling because I noticed a few expensive 4wd trucks like hummers, which are not too common in a small poor village. Anyway, I was coming around a curve and some kind of expensive SUV made a sharp cut into my lane in front of me for no reason that I could see. Later in town when I was asking directions, the same vehicle drove up along side of me and the driver, a cholo from Georgia, started talking to the Mexicans who were giving me directions. He had a shaved head and was tatooed up pretty good. It was about 9 AM in the morning and the guys in the SUV were all drunk already. I didn't feel too comfortable about this.

The other incident was in Uruapan, the day before 12 federal police were tortured and murdered, then their bodies dumped in the highway in a town about 70 miles south of Uruapan, The feds flew in 1000's of more federal police into Michoacan the next day. I went to the plaza area and it felt like the town was under seige. At one hotel I went to, everyone was a federal police officer. The moment I rode into the parking lot, I saw three fed snipers on the roof of the hotel and then 3 others from the lobby came to me and escorted me inside. They all appeared very nervous and so I thought it would be a better idea to move on. One of them hit my helmet with his rifle, probably just an accident,

Most of the police I saw were PGF, but some were PJR. PJR are the guys who always wear a black mask, they are the govt's answer to Zetas. I always try to stay as far away from them as possible.
 
Joined
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Austin
You have to take the extreme left lane, lane split, go to the lane that the buses use, and then go ahead of all cars in your immedate right lane.
The officers are used to it, and that lane is what people in bycicles use.
This is interesting.

So is this
http://www.tequiladezert.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=3145

During this trip, I experienced two incidents that I felt were dangerous. I managed okay, but the outcome each time could have been very different.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Messages
373
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Jalisco, Mexico
Here is a condensed version of the TequilaDezert.com July Michoacan ride report in English for a TDM website; You need to scroll down to post #9 to view the English version. I translated most of the Spanish text to English.

http://www.carpe-tdm.net/ipb/index.php?showtopic=13699

I went back last week for 3 days only on my KLX400 (DRZ400E) but the offroad part just did not work out well for various reasons so I aborted the trip and came back to Jalisco. The route I chose was too difficult for me as a solo rider. Also, I had too much weight on the rear of the bike. Also I did not have SPOT, and my cell phone, IUSA cell did not work anyway in the region I was trying to cross just South of Pantamban, Michoacan. Another day with another rider. :giveup:
 
Joined
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Denton, TX
Here is a condensed version of the TequilaDezert.com July Michoacan ride report in English for a TDM website; You need to scroll down to post #9 to view the English version. I translated most of the Spanish text to English.

http://www.carpe-tdm.net/ipb/index.php?showtopic=13699

I went back last week for 3 days only on my KLX400 (DRZ400E) but the offroad part just did not work out well for various reasons so I aborted the trip and came back to Jalisco. The route I chose was too difficult for me as a solo rider. Also, I had too much weight on the rear of the bike. Also I did not have SPOT, and my cell phone, IUSA cell did not work anyway in the region I was trying to cross just South of Pantamban, Michoacan. Another day with another rider. :giveup:
Nice report Kiko.
BanditosenElCentro.jpg


I'd very much like to do a ride from Reynosa, hit Santiago and then travel south by way of the mountains... as far south as Guatemala. Mostly on dirt mind you. One day.
 
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Mar 22, 2008
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Most of the police I saw were PGF, but some were PJR. PJR are the guys who always wear a black mask, they are the govt's answer to Zetas
I've seen these guys in the backs of police/military trucks cruising down the freeway and always wondered what was up with them. They usually have a very large gun mounted on the front or back of the truck.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
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Scott, any chance you still have the images for the posts that have all the dead image links?
 
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Longview, TX
I laughed when I saw this thread pop back up to the top. Man, that was a fun ride!

I think Scott B. likes riding with me because I always had a few $, a few extra bolts, an extra tube, that water filter...you know, prepared. All the photos I took are over on my smugmug acct at the link here. You have to wade through some other stuff, but here are a few of the goodies. :-)

229894


High-end gas station...
229895




Useful back-country gas station...

229896




Looking for a back-country camp site. It was just us and the coyotes.

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The tunnel to Real De Catorce...

229898


Cost a whole 20 pesos to enter!

:-) Fun stuff.

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