Feb 7- Thurs
This was a rest day for some, a day to do some riding w/o luggage for others.
Andrew, Bryon, Katie and Mark hooked up w/ a local guide to do some hiking.
Everyone else gassed up there bike and headed out for a ride we call the "Satevo Loop". At the end of the day you end up at the old Mission Church in Satevo. It's to the south of Bato.
We headed out round 10-11 am ish. I gassed up 5 gallons, that put me at about 7 or 8. This ride we did last year and it's a very nice/ but challenging ride. You start riding back the way you came into Bato and a few miles out you take a right turn in a rough 2-track road. Lots of busted up rock chips. Must keep your momentum up on a big bike other wise you may end up spinning and get stuck. I got a late start after trying to get a waterlogged LC4 640 ADV going from another group in Bato doing a guided tour, so I was last, but having a blast trying to catch up w/ the group. I didn't stop very often until I met up w/ the group at the lookout spot. They move a good/fast, yet safe pace.
BTW it's sunny and 70F again, perfect day for a ride.
Coming out of Bato a mile or so up the road, I was getting a little to throttle happy and I nailed a huge pothole.
I thought I had a flat front tire from this for sure, as I still had only 20psi in it. After finding a large flat spot on the rim (they are starting to add up, Woody will be getting a call from me soon) I got out my dissected Camblehousefield electric air-pump and put it up to 35psi. I was amazed that the thick TKC saved the tube and it held air.
I was off again, rallying to the group.
Once you get toward the top you start riding through a Pine Tree forest, the soil was damp in spots from the shade and offered great traction, there was some dust in the sunny spots but it was not that bad.
Al in a section of road.
What is so neat about this ride is the widely varying terrain.
You start out with rocky cliff mountain climb, then you get to the top and start through the forests. Small villages start to show up now and then, w/ a few shallow stream crossings, then you pop out of the forest for a bit to see large prairies w/ green grass and small farms. Sorry no pics, too busy riding.
We then start to descend back down a very dry and dusty road to a little fork in the road that sells food and just about anything else you need. Car parts, horse/donkey shoes, truck batteries, and much more in a store not much larger than 10ft X 20ft. They a have small canopy to shield some of the sun and it looked like they were enlarging the "patio area".
They make the fresh tortillas right there, so it takes a while for everyone to get their food, but well worth the wait.
2 burritos- one chicken, one ham and cheese
1 large water (2lts I think)
2 packs of cookies, one for now, one for later.
Total came to $64 pesos.
I was full and ready for the trip back.
This stop was 47 miles from Bato, we arrived at around 1pm, took off around 2pm. The temp was 80F, sunny and we were heading down from there, so it would only get warmer.
After luck you have a steep decent to a shallow stream crossing and then a steep, loose, rocky climb back up the other side.
This loop has everything to keep you on your toes.
Much of the afternoon ride is terrain much like this.
When I am riding on the road everything looks dead and dry, b/c I was focused on the close up last at hand, but when you stop and look around there is so much life. This year seamed much more green that last year, w/ a lot of purple flowers on the side hills too.
I left the tienda last, I was the sweep rider, I'd done the route before and had a GPS. No worries, Craig O, had the same track and was in the lead. He'd done this loop before too. I believe a few other had GPS's also.
I came to a fork in the road and saw no more tire tracks.
I had passed no other riders so I figured I was still in the back and I had seen Jud just up a head a few switch backs ago.
I followed the GPS track to the right and came up to a very rocky stream crossing. Maybe 12" deep w/ large round slippery rocks.
There on the edge were tire tracks that looked like the stopped but didn't turn around.
I continued on through and a few mile up the road I come to Craig and Al sitting on the side. Waiting for everyone else.
I think my route across the stream must have been the short cut and the normal route was to the left at the fork. That would have dropped you down into a much easier crossing that the 4 wheeled vehicles take.
We wait for about a 1/2 hr and it's starting to get late. Soon we can hear bike and sure enough the other 3 meet up and we are off again. We get to Satevo as the sun is just starting to duck behind the mountains and find that John, Andrew, Chuck, and Bryon had ridden out too to see the church.
Last year they were doing a lot of brick work, as I'm sure they have been doing for many years. This year it had a new coat of paint, it looked nice, but I kind of liked it the old way.
It's like they covered up all of it's history w/ a tarp.
On a side note-
-Katie and I traveled to Spain over Christmas and New years. We saw a lot of very old castles and Roman ruins. Some of those they had restored, and it was hard to tell the difference between the old and new. I guess that would mean they did a great job, but I like to be able to see what the original product looked like and how well it had endured over hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. They sure don't build stuff like they use too. That's a good and bad thing.
We arrived back in Bato around 6:30 after 78 miles. I had used about 3 gallons of fuel. Katie got the 2 of us set up w/ a different hotel for the night. Hotel Juanita. It was not too bad a place, right off the town square. $350 pesos for 2 queen beds and very hot water in the shower.
The next day we would head to El Fuerte, so I decided that gassing up tonight would be good as you never know when the gas pump attendant gets up and opens in the morn. We wanted to head out by 8am. I filled up to 8 gallons, we had 132 miles ahead of us on Fri. We figured about an 8hr day on the road. Last year this first section to the river crossing was the toughest part for the me riding 2 up. Katie had to get off several times to allow me to stand up and get up the large boulder strewn mountain cliff they call a road. I think the toughest part about this trip riding off road 2-up is that you are stuck sitting 95% of the time. When you are solo you just stand up in the rough stuff, no problem. 2-up I sit and take it slow, let the bike find traction, absorb bumps and just tool along. Most days at 7-15 mph.
We got some info from the other motorcycle tour guide that there was road construction going on and what turns to take. That was a big help. Thanks.
Katie and I tend to travel slower than the rest of the group, so we normally take less beaks to keep up the pace. When you have around a 900lb setup you need to slow down, it does not stop on a dime.
Now we need to get some food and drinks.