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Old 02-01-2013, 06:08 AM   #211
jrzyguy OP
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Police Stops and Searches



I have been waved through most road blocks, but from time to time I'm asked to stop. They have wanted to see either my license, my passport, or to look in my top duffel. The police have always been respectful and never looked for a bribe. Our conversations are limited, they don't speak English and I don't speak Spanish...perfect!



Today, I wasn't in a hurry (actually I'm never in a hurry) so I asked to take a picture of my new friend and me.

.

We were getting along so well, I asked him to sit on my bike for a picture!



Taking a little time to interact with people I meet brightens everyone's day :) Good thing he didn't take off with my bike...I'd have had a tough time catching him in that taxi in the background!
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:44 AM   #212
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Topes Along The Highway of Life

Topes, or speed bumps, are an everyday obstacle we must deal with. I've found it best to try to be positive toward them...they're a real pain in the ass! So in an effort to be positive, I'll explain how I cross them when there is traffic ahead. Since most motorcycle travelers are on dual sports with longer travel in the suspension, we can take the topes at higher speeds. On approach, trucks and cars must nearly come to a stop...so I swing into the oncoming lane, get up on the pegs and there you have it, a passing opportunity! Everybody's happy!

Now is a good time to tell you about my most colorful tope crossing. One afternoon, this tope was hiding in the shadow of a tree...actually, I was daydreaming! When I finally saw it, I was coming in way to hot. I was on the brakes in a flash, but in my exuberance I locked up the rear and began fishtailing, barely under control. It was then that it got funny...there was a man standing at the pavement's edge about 20' beyond the tope. When he heard and saw me in my state of wildness, he quickly started backpeddling away from the road. I knew he was thinking that being taken out by a gringo on a moto was the last thing he was worrying about seconds before. I was off the brakes and up on the peg just in time...and I will admit that I caught a bit of air before landing. If I were to give myself a gymnastic score, it would be a "9"!







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Old 02-01-2013, 07:53 AM   #213
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Haha..

Awesome.

Those long sweeping topes were jumps for me, the real bumpy ones I took pitty on my suspension compared to quite a few KLR riders I met (AND THEY have suspension issues...), but most of them I also used as passing opportunities.

Everybody thinks Mexicans are crazy drivers, but that's because (as you mentioned earlier) they haven't been in traffic with them. What they do works, and works very well. I could go through cities faster then I could ever imagine in a N.A city. Pass cars on highways with ease, and let cars faster than me (which most were) with ease.

I cruised at 90-95 KM/hr on the highway because of my gearing and I barely slowed anybody down. I'd pull over and they would go by on the highways, sometiems as you mentioned, 4 vehicles across.

Come speed bumps I'd bomb right by again, but once on the highway I just pulled over again and they'd go right on by without having to get off speed control. Loved it!

I'll fully admit coming back into the states I felt very restricted... =(
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:24 PM   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shibby! View Post
Haha..

Awesome.

Those long sweeping topes were jumps for me, the real bumpy ones I took pitty on my suspension compared to quite a few KLR riders I met (AND THEY have suspension issues...), but most of them I also used as passing opportunities.

Everybody thinks Mexicans are crazy drivers, but that's because (as you mentioned earlier) they haven't been in traffic with them. What they do works, and works very well. I could go through cities faster then I could ever imagine in a N.A city. Pass cars on highways with ease, and let cars faster than me (which most were) with ease.

I cruised at 90-95 KM/hr on the highway because of my gearing and I barely slowed anybody down. I'd pull over and they would go by on the highways, sometiems as you mentioned, 4 vehicles across.

Come speed bumps I'd bomb right by again, but once on the highway I just pulled over again and they'd go right on by without having to get off speed control. Loved it!

I'll fully admit coming back into the states I felt very restricted... =(
When Matt W and I were evaluating the differences between Mexican and U.S. traffic habits, he had the best description...he said that Mexican traffic rules are purely optional! And I think that's fitting! If you feel like proceeding through a red light after stopping, you go ahead. If you feel like passing on the left or the right or up the center, you go ahead. The curious lane usage still gets me chuckling when I see a vehicle riding half on the shoulder and half in the lane...I realize that it's to give a passing vehicle more room, but it's still curious to me. I must say that because there are more moto's on Mexican roads, car and truck drivers are generally more aware and more respectful of us. I feel safer knowing that. And as you pointed out, although traffic patterns at times appear very confusing, it works and works well!
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:52 PM   #215
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Compeche



Compeche is approximately half way up the Yucatan on the west coast. The malecón is picturesque, just skip it during the midday heat.



The malecon and waterfront, looking south.



The lighting is well planned, showing off the architecture better in the evening.



Closing the street to cars and creating pedestrian walkways makes it friendlier to explore the neighborhood.



The evening temperature was just right, after a humid day in the low 90's. The outside tables are the perfect setting for drinks or dinner.



I enjoyed sitting in the plaza to do some people watching.

Compeche is my final stop. Tomorrow I'll begin my ride back to CA. I started this trip without structure, not knowing exactly where I was going or when I'd return. A first for me...and I enjoyed the freedom that came with this approach. I can't explain why, but it just feels like it's time to go home now...and so I will!

jrzyguy screwed with this post 02-03-2013 at 06:39 AM
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:24 AM   #216
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Great RR!

Now I have Mexico and points south on my bucket list!
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:00 PM   #217
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:44 PM   #218
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Originally Posted by Woods Rider View Post
Great RR!

Now I have Mexico and points south on my bucket list!
Thanks! And we can ride there from our driveways...a big plus!
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:46 PM   #219
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I appreciate the support!
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:59 AM   #220
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Connecting

Jim,

I will miss connecting with you later this month somewhere in Mexico. Have a safe trip riding back North. I will try to catch you as I head from SoCal to the Bay Area in early May. I want to ride the coast hwy. through Big Sur, spend a few days in Marin and then head to Colorado on Route 50. I want to see that MultiStrada! I have enjoyed your report and pix and am drooling to see some of those spots when I get back to Mexico.

Safe journey.

David
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:54 AM   #221
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Jim,

I will miss connecting with you later this month somewhere in Mexico. Have a safe trip riding back North. I will try to catch you as I head from SoCal to the Bay Area in early May. I want to ride the coast hwy. through Big Sur, spend a few days in Marin and then head to Colorado on Route 50. I want to see that MultiStrada! I have enjoyed your report and pix and am drooling to see some of those spots when I get back to Mexico.

Safe journey.

David
David, Stay in touch and let me know when you're in CA...let's try to connect. The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is an amazing road. I particularly like the ride from Cambria to Monterrey...IMO, on a clear, sunny day it has to be one of the most beautiful areas on the planet. It was my "go to" route when riding from CO to the MotoGP at Laguna Seca. And Route 50, The Loniest Road, another great choice! Hope to hear from you, Jim
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:38 AM   #222
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Pch

I have driven it many times in various cars from vans to a very hot Camaro Z28 (glad I didn't end up in the PO) to riding from Carmel Valley to SLO on my bicycle. It is indeed one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. I have wanted to do it on a moto for more than 45 years so am going to try to make that happens this spring.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:48 PM   #223
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I'm home in yuba city, ca

I arrived home yesterday at 5 pm. I had 6 consecutive long days on the road, to bring me from Compeche on the Yucatán back to Yuba City, about 1 hour north of Sacramento. That's 3,000 miles...and my little DR cruised at 70 mph with no complaints. It's good to be home and see my honey...but I'm already thinking about shipping my DR to South America next winter...there must be something wrong with me, but I kind of like my state of mind! Thank you all for traveling with me.

This was my first ride report. I found the discipline to be helpful in keeping me engaged with my surroundings and experiences...and I truly enjoyed reliving events and choosing pictures that would best tell my story. I'd like to encourage those, like me, that have never before done a ride report, to accept the challenge and write one on your next trip. I think you'll enjoy it!

Ride safely, ride a lot...and I hope to someday meet you out there on the road!
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:14 AM   #224
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Great ride report! Read it, then went back again and read some more, though I never did get why you decided to return when you did. With a no-plan kinda plan, those factors that influenced you while on the road would be good to know. If I just missed it and it's very clear, my apologies.

But what I'd also like to know is, and I don't mean this in a critical way at all - didn't you miss not being able to truly speak to the locals, meanwhile you don't speak Spanish? I spent two weeks in Mexico City two years ago and spent three of those days exploring the mountains north and east by car. I really missed not being able to ask much more than where the bathroom is (though that can be damn important!).

I ask you this because I'm planning to head south as early as next October, and one of the things holding me back is my lack of Spanish. I will probably take one or all of the Rosetta Stone courses, but I'm getting on in years (30-yr HS reunion coming up in Orinda next fall), was never very good at learning language, and don't know how much I'll be able to learn before heading out. So that's why your answer, as to how it was getting around and how much you think you might have missed out on is important to me.

In any event, great ride report and thanks for sharing!
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:53 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by sgoetz628 View Post
... didn't you miss not being able to truly speak to the locals, meanwhile you don't speak Spanish?
I've seen so many put off trips over the concern of not speaking the language. I know enough Spanish to find the bathroom, order a beer, and a few other basic phrases. I just returned from my first trip to Baja and there were only a few instances where I felt lost not being able to communicate. I carried a dictionary, a Lonely Planet phrase book, and an app on my phone called Jibbigo. Jibbigo translates both directions with either a spoken or typed input and it does it without a WiFi connection! It worked great . I was even able to go into a pharmacia, tell the druggist what I needed, and have him explain the proper dosage on the cold meds, all using Jibbigo. Check it out .

Yes, being fluent in a language would be ideal but if you have the desire to travel, don't let the lack of speaking the language hold you back. Know some basic phrases and don't worry about verb tenses or proper genders. Jump in with both feet, just as Jim did.

Dave
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