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Old 09-08-2014, 06:09 PM   #1
Vic5491 OP
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Mexico in October - Want to go too?

Sept 12 Update:

It looks like Option 3 is the plan! I'll likely enter MX from Laredo, TX on about 10/17 and take Hwy 57 down to San Miguel de Allende where I plan to spend 2-3 days. Then I plan to spend a day and a night in Guanajuato and probably a day in Leon looking for some new cowboy boots. From there I'll go to Zacatecas for a night or two and then on to Durango and Mazatlan where I'll catch the ferry to La Paz and spend about 10 days exploring Baja. I'll exit Baja at Tecate a few days before the Baja 1000 starts.

If anyone is interested in doing this, give me a shout. I'll be staying in hotels/motels and just trying to soak up as much of MX as I can given the time I have. This is my first trip into MX. I'm really looking forward to seeing the country!

Vic

PS. There is more about me in the post below.


------------------
Original Post:

I’m going to Baja and maybe the mainland of Mexico in October. Anyone want to go too?

I live in the Atlanta area. I plan to spend Oct 10 through 12 at the Vintage Festival at Barber MotorSport Park over in Birmingham, AL (actually Leeds, AL) and I will head west from there.

I am going to spend a couple of weeks exploring Baja and possibly some time on the mainland of MX as well. Right now my plans are not firm but here are the options I am considering. If I could find someone to travel with who is looking for the same kind of trip, it would be good to have someone to travel with. I don’t camp anymore so I’ll be staying in motels. Having good company, someone to have your back and someone to split motel expenses with would be good. Oh and this trip is going to be a pavement only trip for me. I have never been to MX before and just want to go soak it up and become familiar with it this time. I may go back some other time on a more dirt oriented bike but this time, I plan to stay on paved roads.

Option 1:
Ride to the border crossing at Tecate in northern Baja 25 miles east of Tijuana, take 3 down to Hwy 1 and follow 1 to the bottom of the peninsula and back up. I plan to spend 2 weeks on the peninsula. Since it is 1000 miles each way, that means we would need to cover slightly less than 150 miles a day but it won’t play out that way. Some days will be long and others short or not moving at all. I want to get to know the land, the people, the food and the beer! (If this is the option chosen, I will likely be there and ready to enter at Tecate on or about 10/18 or 10/19.)

Option 2:
Ride to McAllen, TX, (or Laredo) cross there and work our way over to Mazatlan in 2 or 3 days, catch the ferry from there to LaPaz and spend two weeks working our way back up the peninsula to the northern border. By doing it this way, we would cut about 1500 miles out of the trip and would allow a much more relaxed approach to exploring Baja. The one way overnight ferry crossing for a bike and the rider, including a private room with toilet and two meals is approximately $200. (If this option is chosen, I’d likely be ready to enter at McAllen on 10/16 am.)

Option 3:
Ride to McAllen or Laredo, cross, head down to San Luis Potosi and San Miguel de Allende, then up to Zacatecas, on to Durango and down to Mazatlan. Catch ferry over to Baja as in Option 2. This option has us riding about 1200 miles in MX before the crossing. If this is the option chosen, I’d like to allocate at least 10 days to being on the mainland to enjoy being there. (If this option is chosen, I’d likely be ready to enter at McAllen on 10/16 am.)

If anyone is interested in joining in, send me a short note in this forum and then send me a private message and tell me a bit about yourself, what you ride, how you like to travel, etc. I’m going one way or the other but would like to have 1 or 2 others to travel with as long as what we are looking for is the same.

Cheers,
Vic

Vic5491 screwed with this post 09-12-2014 at 05:59 PM
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:14 AM   #2
tricepilot
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A but surprised you haven't got any posts back on this, all these options are great options

And October is the best month to ride Mexico. Of course any month is a good month to be in Mexico, and some months are more climate friendly depending upon where you ride, but October is GREAT.

If you do the San Miguel option, don't miss Guanajuato. And if you get to Durango, look up my man SR. If you run through Zacatecas, look up RW66. There are other Mexico aficionados down there depending upon what route you take.

I was in Baja in January, made the trek from Tecate to Cabo. Most of that was dirt, however. If you're going to do Baja and the ferry, check out Becktastic's video on the ferry.

For your next trip I will talk you into heading to Oaxaca
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:29 AM   #3
tricepilot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic5491 View Post
I may go back some other time on a more dirt oriented bike but this time, I plan to stay on paved roads.
Might be helpful to state exactly how big of a bike you're going on
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:30 AM   #4
midmod
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Austin --> Mazatlan

I'm taking a temp job in Mazatlan that begins the 1st of November.
The employers have offered to pay for my RT airfare but I'm considering riding instead. I wouldn't be able to go on to Baja but the timing may be right for me to join you from one of the Texas Crossings to Mazatlan. At the moment we are waiting on all the paperwork (work visas etc..) to clear. I expect them to be confirmed this week. After which if would be able to nail down my departure schedule.
I would be riding either my Aprilia Caponord or my ATK605 DS.

(Unless anyone out there wants to do some horse trading with me for a DR350/650 or a plated XR400r/600r/650r)

Probably wouldn't be spending too much time getting there since I don't get paid until I arrive but was thinking between 4-6 days from ATX to Mazatlan.
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:03 PM   #5
Vic5491 OP
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Thanks Tricepilot! I know you are a veteran of Mexico and I appreciate the tips.

You will not have any trouble talking me into going to Oaxaca next time. I have a friend who rents a house on the beach in Oaxaca for the month of February. While I'm not going to be able to make it there in February, he has a home full of spectacular hand made rugs he has bought in Oaxaca and I need a few myself. I will almost certainly get there sometime next year.

What is it about Guanajuato that makes it special? If I get there, I might like to go to Leon on my way to Zacatecas to see if I can find myself a new pair of cowboy boots. I know Leon is the leather center of MX but can individuals get deals there or is it all wholesale to dealers?

Time is getting close and I am getting excited!

Cheers,
Vic

Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
A but surprised you haven't got any posts back on this, all these options are great options

And October is the best month to ride Mexico. Of course any month is a good month to be in Mexico, and some months are more climate friendly depending upon where you ride, but October is GREAT.

If you do the San Miguel option, don't miss Guanajuato. And if you get to Durango, look up my man SR. If you run through Zacatecas, look up RW66. There are other Mexico aficionados down there depending upon what route you take.

I was in Baja in January, made the trek from Tecate to Cabo. Most of that was dirt, however. If you're going to do Baja and the ferry, check out Becktastic's video on the ferry.

For your next trip I will talk you into heading to Oaxaca
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:19 PM   #6
Vic5491 OP
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Good point... Suzuki VStrom 650 set up as my pack mule and long distance bike. I love it but it is too heavy for me to enjoy riding off road. Right now I am kinda sorta keeping one eye open for a 98 or 99 DR350SE in good shape in case I get the itch to see places that require dirt.

The other thing I should say is I am 68 years old now and will be 69 when this trip starts. I have been riding for 60 years off and on and have logged about 100,000 miles in the last 7 or so years. I have ridden in all of the lower 48, some in British Columbia and in Nova Scotia and PEI. I also rode the Pyrenees in Spain and France earlier this year. Many years back I rode enduros competitively but quit in my late 30s when I was no longer competitive. I'll never be a real dirt guy again but riding out to Cocos and maybe from Cocos down to where 5 intersects Hwy 1 and stuff like that would all be good. I'm not in good enough shape to ride hard off road and I am acutely aware of how much easier old bones break now so if I do any dirt now, it is going to be relatively "light duty" stuff.

I hope this fills in the gaps somewhat about who I am.

Cheers,
Vic

Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
Might be helpful to state exactly how big of a bike you're going on
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:37 PM   #7
tricepilot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic5491 View Post
What is it about Guanajuato that makes it special?
Oh man, where do I start....

Subterranean roadways, mummy museum, fishbowl setting, art, churces, food, college town, festivals, friendly people, boutique hotels, walking town.....

There are a bunch of Guanajuato photos and commentary in some of my ride reports below...

The real answer is what I tell people all the time: Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, and Dolores Hidalgo make up the "Golden Triangle" of Mexico and are not to be missed. Take them as a trio, for they're relatively close together.
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:38 PM   #8
Vic5491 OP
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I hope to do Option 3 which would include entering around McAllen or Laredo, TX. I was thinking I would allocate 10 days for Option 3 and that I would enter somewhere around 10/16. That would have you in Mazatlan a few days early and stretch your 6 days a bit but keep this in mind and let me know if it looks like something that might work. In either case, enjoy Mazatlan. How long will you be there and what will you be doing?

Vic

Quote:
Originally Posted by midmod View Post
I'm taking a temp job in Mazatlan that begins the 1st of November.
The employers have offered to pay for my RT airfare but I'm considering riding instead. I wouldn't be able to go on to Baja but the timing may be right for me to join you from one of the Texas Crossings to Mazatlan. At the moment we are waiting on all the paperwork (work visas etc..) to clear. I expect them to be confirmed this week. After which if would be able to nail down my departure schedule.
I would be riding either my Aprilia Caponord or my ATK605 DS.

(Unless anyone out there wants to do some horse trading with me for a DR350/650 or a plated XR400r/600r/650r)

Probably wouldn't be spending too much time getting there since I don't get paid until I arrive but was thinking between 4-6 days from ATX to Mazatlan.
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Old 09-09-2014, 03:00 PM   #9
Vic5491 OP
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I see that you are from San Antonio. If you were to go from your home to San Miguel, what route would you take and why? I assume that I won't clear the border before 10 am or possibly even later. How would you break the trip up if you wanted to take a kind of relaxed approach to getting there? How many days would you take to make the 600 miles and where would you spend nights? Since day one is really likely to be 1/2 of a day, I figured 2.5 days or about 250 miles a day but I don't have any experience in MX so that might be way off. What say you? I want to have time to take in the road, culture, food, etc. and I want to be off the road well before dark.

Vic

Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
A but surprised you haven't got any posts back on this, all these options are great options

And October is the best month to ride Mexico. Of course any month is a good month to be in Mexico, and some months are more climate friendly depending upon where you ride, but October is GREAT.

If you do the San Miguel option, don't miss Guanajuato. And if you get to Durango, look up my man SR. If you run through Zacatecas, look up RW66. There are other Mexico aficionados down there depending upon what route you take.

I was in Baja in January, made the trek from Tecate to Cabo. Most of that was dirt, however. If you're going to do Baja and the ferry, check out Becktastic's video on the ferry.

For your next trip I will talk you into heading to Oaxaca
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Old 09-09-2014, 03:12 PM   #10
tricepilot
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I personally would cross at Nuevo Laredo, using the Colombia Bridge west of town, and hot foot it to Saltillo overnight and then take the express train on what I call the Grand Funk Railroad - Mx 57 - straight to San Miguel de Allende, and check in with Jose Lopez, manager of Posada de las Monjas. 2 blocks away from city center.

When I say I personally would do this, it's more accurate to say I have done this, many times.

There are just too many diversionary paths to discuss here in brief, but if I had to pick one, it would include one of the main twisty highways of the Sierra Gorda as well as a stop at Las Pozas - which you should Google.
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:00 PM   #11
Vic5491 OP
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Thanks. Any recommendations of places to stay in Saltillo?
Is there nothing particularly worth seeing in San Luis Potosi? I thought I might spend the second night there and then get to San Miguel mid day on day 3. Would that be a mistake or ok.

Approximately how much is a room at Posada de las Monjas?

Vic

Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
I personally would cross at Nuevo Laredo, using the Colombia Bridge west of town, and hot foot it to Saltillo overnight and then take the express train on what I call the Grand Funk Railroad - Mx 57 - straight to San Miguel de Allende, and check in with Jose Lopez, manager of Posada de las Monjas. 2 blocks away from city center.

When I say I personally would do this, it's more accurate to say I have done this, many times.

There are just too many diversionary paths to discuss here in brief, but if I had to pick one, it would include one of the main twisty highways of the Sierra Gorda as well as a stop at Las Pozas - which you should Google.
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:21 PM   #12
Kiko
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...... I might like to go to Leon on my way to Zacatecas to see if I can find myself a new pair of cowboy boots. I know Leon is the leather center of MX but can individuals get deals there or is it all wholesale to dealers?

Yes of course individuals can buy anything and get good deals.






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Old 09-09-2014, 04:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midmod View Post
I would be riding either my Aprilia Caponord or my ATK605 DS.

(Unless anyone out there wants to do some horse trading with me for a DR350/650 or a plated XR400r/600r/650r)
I have a XR650R sitting under a tarp nearby Austin Texas if are interested. You need the kickstart gene. If you are wearing a motocross helmet, just take the visor off, and jack up the rear of a Leatt neck brace to help keep your head attached. Una aventura.
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:14 PM   #14
Vic5491 OP
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If I make it to Leon, any suggestion re places to look for good boots? I am not interested in exotic skins. Just well made classy boots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiko View Post
...... I might like to go to Leon on my way to Zacatecas to see if I can find myself a new pair of cowboy boots. I know Leon is the leather center of MX but can individuals get deals there or is it all wholesale to dealers?

Yes of course individuals can buy anything and get good deals.






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Old 09-09-2014, 05:56 PM   #15
tricepilot
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Trust what my hermano Kiko says
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