Gringo in Cancun

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Ceri JC, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    Hi All,

    I'm going to Cancun in late January on a family holiday. At most, I'll be able to get one full day away from the family to go riding/exploring on my own.

    • I wonder if people could offer any tips on:
    • Where I should hire a bike (large capacity dirt bikes/big trailies would probably be my preference)
    • I would want to be able to hire at least helmet and gloves from the hire place too, enduro boots too would be even better;
    • Things specific to the area that might catch a foreigner out (I've ridden a lot in Europe and North America, but have never ridden mid/south america. I'm talking how to avoid heat from the police, any unusual conventions at gas stations, etc.
    • Specific things to check out and routes to ride.
    • Anything else that you think I should know.

    Ideally, I'd like do a bit of gentle offroading; I'm reasonably competent in the dirt, but as I'll be riding alone and likely not ATGATT, in a foreign country, with no cell/Spot would prefer not to be pushing the limits of what I am comfortable. Also, the political ramifications of ruining the in-laws' holiday by spending it in hospital would be frowned upon.
    :lol3

    Cheers,

    Ceri

    PS I speak next to no Spanish, although I can grasp some of the basics, if that makes any difference to the above.
    #1
  2. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Rent a bike in Cancun via google,(they'll have helmets)buy gas anywhere @ Pemex ,Spanish is good but not required,dirt roads are usually walking trails in the jungle or actual roads. I suggest you ride out to some of the Mayan ruins, or up the coast a bit as you are taking only a day aside from family. You could also ferry over to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen & rent a scoot for the day & circle the island just to catch some air & scenery. I think I've seen some dirt bike tour people below Cancun but will be a very "canned affair" vs. just getting out by yourself. If you've never been there before, rent the bike & ride over to Valadolid, a small colonial city, tourist friendly,nice zocolo,(visit Chichen Itza while over there) but a nice "real Mexico" sort of place compared to where you'll start out in lala land.
    #2
  3. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    If you don't get the bike situated the day before and turn in it the day after, you're screwed.

    You will need a full day in every sense of the word or your frustration level will be through the roof. By the time shops open/close/you do the paperwork - you've eaten most of the day right there.

    Ergo, in addition to developing a plan in advance, which is good, be thinking about how to make the day work for you, and that will mean not doing any rental admin the day of the ride.

    Suerte
    #3
  4. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    With a one-day timeframe, I suggest doing something different.
    There's really not any so-called offroading trails there.
    It's bush jungle with some dirt roads and paved roads.
    Take a spanglish lesson, hire a hooker, do parasailing, go diving, or just catch a buzz.
    Sounds like you are in a rush to maximize your time. Bad idea for a real vacation.
    Don't wear a watch...
    #4
  5. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    LR nailed it for the area. For a tourist trap thats actually fun. buy an online tics to save money, for the whole crew for Xelha, go splash in the water all day(fun place to snorkel,esp. for kids and timid swimmers) while saving time for unlimited drinks-Mexican beer & margaritas no limit- then save some room for the HUGE buffet included. You can ride the bus down from most hotels. better to have some fun than waste "that day".
    Hire a hooker? I'm too old, but always looked like a great place to score some freebies to me. I suggest going fishing if you have the $$$ & want to get away from your traveling group.
    #5
  6. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Who in their right mind would rent enduro boots, let alone in Cancun? For the amount of actual ridi g you would do, rent a scooter and cruise around. It is not an off- roading Mecca in Mexico.
    You are in the wrong place for that, convince them to go to Baja instead!
    #6
  7. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    I spent New Year in Cancun once.:eek1Just watching the antics of the drunken tourists/teenagers was good for a couple days of entertainement.:lol3 Then I GTF out of there and found some of the better destinations.:wink:

    Go fishing!:clap
    #7
  8. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Go to Isla Mujeres and rent a golf cart.
    But not for golfing. :D
    #8
  9. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    As is typical in threads like this, the OP apparently has evaporated, while the erudite cognoscenti flip ideas to him like pancakes at a fair.
    #9
  10. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    as I've been called a "cognoscenti", what the hell am I?
    #10
  11. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    :rofl
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  12. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    You are something that smells like a "cogno"!:deal

    What do I win??????
    And don't be cheap, Christmas is coming!
    #12
  13. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Now I'm getting pissed but I'm too old to do anything about it...:D
    #13
  14. Dr. Benny

    Dr. Benny Enjoying the Journey

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    Topes are speed bumps. You'll see them at the start and finish of every town and often at other random times. Just when you realize that you can hit them at speed, you'll come across one of the size of a mountain and you won't notice until it's too late :lol3

    The phantom lane is the unwritten lane that appears to allow 3 (or more) vehicles to ride abreast on a two lane road. Trucks will often ride on the shoulder and let you pass - just be aware of the car passing the bus passing the truck coming the other way. :deal

    When you see a vehicle with a left blinker it can mean a variety of things... I'm turning left. It's safe for you to pass. it's not safe for you to pass but you can still go for it if you want to. I'm turning right. I turned left a while ago but forgot to turn my blinker off. I'm turning left sometime in the next 10 kilometers. My brake lights don't work so I'll leave my hazard lights on but the right light is broken. I'm about to pull over to the right lane to make a left turn. Watch out for the huge pothole/rock/tree/cow in the road ahead. :eek1

    An sign with an "E" in the middle with a line through it means no parking. :ricky

    Don't ride at night. Not because of banditos but because the cows/potholes/rocks/donkeys/cars-without-headlights/oil-slicks are hard enough to see in the day light. :wink:

    Lastly, ENJOY! It's a wonderful place to ride and if you go there with a big smile you will surely meet some amazing people. :clap
    #14
  15. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Got a question for you....or anyone??? :ear Do they still use old railroad tracks buried in asphalt to build them topes? Holy cripes them were hard to hit when the asphalt ramp had disintegrated. Long time ago but by the time you'd see the steel .....too late!:yikes
    #15
  16. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Damn near anything, up to and including, a dead midget can be used as a tope.
    I have ridden over ship ropes, steel tubes, concrete sewer pipes, you name it.

    Never forget the reverse tope. This is where they hollow out the road, think concave and not convex.

    Look at this video and you will see real Mexican topes and what happens when a guy who thinks he is Don Chingon goes for a ride. I think he showed up on the ground radar at Benito Juarez Airport.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si8vgzxX0dE
    #16
  17. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Those things can be really abrupt...like jarring your bike and bones abrupt. :D

    My favorites are the ones with a real, live, sunbathing dog sleeping on the tope. Way cool!
    #17
  18. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    That would be a "clunk and yelp" as opposed to a "wham and a curse"!:eek1
    #18
  19. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    Most topes are good fun if you get off the seat a bit and your suspension is set correctly: each wheel rises and falls independently, the bike bucks twice without lurching, and you get to pass all the soot-belching buses and trucks which slow to near standstill at each tope.

    Miss one in the shadows or neglect to come high enough off the seat and bad things are possible. Non-typical topes can also do you in--around here they're sometimes installed in a series which is specifically aimed at motorbike wheelbases, so that back wheels drop precipitously while front wheels are launched skyward, but cheaper variations (like the ones with a broad, flat top combined with steep entry and exit) are just as dangerous. Plus every so often I've found one which is actually taller than my bike's clearance, and the third bounce when the whole bike rebounds off my skid plate really messes with my timing.

    But 99% of the time they're a boon to motorcyclists--fun, and a competitive advantage over other traffic. What's to complain?

    Mark
    #19
  20. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    "Most topes are good fun if you get off the seat a bit and your suspension is set correctly: each wheel rises and falls independently, the bike bucks twice without lurching, and you get to pass all the soot-belching buses and trucks which slow to near standstill at each tope.

    Miss one in the shadows or neglect to come high enough off the seat and bad things are possible. Non-typical topes can also do you in--around here they're sometimes installed in a series which is specifically aimed at motorbike wheelbases, so that back wheels drop precipitously while front wheels are launched skyward, but cheaper variations (like the ones with a broad, flat top combined with steep entry and exit) are just as dangerous. Plus every so often I've found one which is actually taller than my bike's clearance, and the third bounce when the whole bike rebounds off my skid plate really messes with my timing.

    But 99% of the time they're a boon to motorcyclists--fun, and a competitive advantage over other traffic. What's to complain?"

    Mark

    Mark, if you ride in Mexico everyday, they are nothing but a massive and dangerous pain the ass and the wallet.
    First, you do have to slow down for them no matter how good your suspension is.
    If you ride in Mexico, you go through more clutches, more brakes, do much more shifting, more steering head bearings if you don't keep them adjusted, etc...

    A huge amount of them are not marked, can be of any size shape or material, can be any number, and most are made to simply control butthole drivers that insist upon speeding through towns and villages, past schools and hospitals, etc...

    They are by no means fun. In fact, I have never heard of anyone describe them as fun. At least not anyone that has to confront them day in and day out and pay to maintain their own bike. Even a rental bike wouldn't be fun because it is not like whoop de doo riding on an MX track. It is pavement, slippery, and riders consider them to be a problem rather than any kind of solution.

    Yes, my suspension is set up correctly. And no, there is no "typical tope". It is ridiculous to even think that.
    #20