No-Moto-Boundaries-Latin America n' back n' da' TAT, un-planned, un-hinged, and solo

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by SeanPNW, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. SeanPNW

    SeanPNW Water Bear

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    Jose put a video together from the footage that we shot throughout the ride into the state of Hidalgo. Thanks Jose for a fun visual memory of the weekend.

    <iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/78720888" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="607" width="1080"></iframe>
    #81
  2. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

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    great video! really cool to see video of the places you've written about and posted stills. looks like you guys were having a blast, awesome! :freaky
    #82
  3. J-Dub

    J-Dub Combat Commuter

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    Awesome!
    #83
  4. AteamNM

    AteamNM Wonna Be ADVrider

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    Wow, just wow.



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    #84
  5. KiLO

    KiLO Adventure Cafe

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    Dude, enjoyin' the hell outta this ride report!

    It's funny... At the beginning, all I could think was "wow he's stoked on a $3.29 beer... I can't wait until he gets to Mexico/Central America!"

    Cheers!!
    #85
  6. SeanPNW

    SeanPNW Water Bear

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    Thanks Vintagespeed, I think it's a fun video, tip of the hat to Jose (jocejas) for putting it together.

    If I had only known that the land of cheep beer, good food, fun riding, and beautiful women was so close, I wouldn't have taken this long to get here. Looking at a map I'm under the impression that there's much more of all these things as well.

    All I have to do is just keep riding south, correct? Sweet, that sounds easy enough. :webers
    #86
  7. SeanPNW

    SeanPNW Water Bear

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    Back in the endless city of DF, Jose has been kind enough to put me in touch with one of his friends, Dante. Dante just so happens to have a spare room in his apartment and said I could flip him a few bucks and crash as long as I want. This would be cheaper than a hostel and I would get my own room? Deal. Dante lives in an area of DF called Tlalpan.

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    The apartment complex that he lives in is in all senses of the word, massive. There are 32 separate towers, each tower has two main columns of apartments. As you enter and progress through the area there are two separate security checkpoints and countless foot security patrolling the area, clicking in and out on their walkie-talkies. There are a lot of students and working class families that live in the towers. The place seems like a nicer place for people to live. Although it may be a little bougie for my tastes personally, the location is good, and I don&#8217;t have to worry about my bike being out on the streets at night, getting caught up in peoples tomfoolery. As a bonus, Dante is also a climber, and being in Tlalpan we are situated just about 20 minutes from some pretty damn good outdoor climbing. More on that later though.

    Here&#8217;s the joint.

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    Insurgentes is one of the main streets that splits DF in two, from the north to the south. Tlalpan is located south of the centro area and is nestled right in at the southern tail of Insurgentes. It&#8217;s a relaxed area with a lived in feel to it. Sort of like the burbs, but with a bit more laid back cool and less highbrow. The area is a place for people to live that don&#8217;t want the mayhem and hecticness of the center of DF. It&#8217;s a place that university students and working class families live in and commute elsewhere for school and work. This demographic leads to a lot of people fluxing in and out throughout the day, and a busy bus system.

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    Here is the tail end of the vehicular river that is Insurgentes. Jump on this and soon it becomes several lanes wide in both directions and in 20 minutes you can be in the center of DF. IF you are on a motorcycle of course. Try to commute it in a car expecting 20 minutes and you&#8217;re gonna have a bad time. With so many people in DF there is alllllways traffic, having a bike allows you to split lanes, maneuver around the plethora of smog belching buses, and ride the occasional sidewalk to get through it all. Although I don&#8217;t do anything the locals aren&#8217;t doing, having a big bike and a foreign license plate is similar to painting a bullseye on your back in terms of police attention. A couple hundred pesos slipped into the passport usually gets you out of any infraction. Nobody wants to do paperwork, and everyone gets to get on with their day.

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    The community of Tlalpan revolves around the &#8220;Centro Historico&#8221; area. This is the perk of living here, as it&#8217;s laid back and full of cafe&#8217;s, small restaurants, and little bars.

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    In the center of the neighborhood, as with many places in Mexico, there is a main square and usually some sort of garden.

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    No town hall is complete without some entrenched protesters either.

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    There&#8217;s some cool street art to be found if you take the time to look.

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    This time of year (end of Oct. early Nov.) is important in Mexico because of Dia De Muertos (Day Of The Dead). It&#8217;s similar to Halloween but it&#8217;s history is rooted in indigenous culture and Aztec festivals. It does encapsulate Halloween though and is typically celebrated from Oct. 31 - Nov. 2nd. Explosions from fireworks lit from rooftops and sidewalks can be heard starting in the early morning and trickle on throughout the three days.

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    I&#8217;m not sure how much I&#8217;ve mentioned this, but I like to eat. In fact, I like to eat quite a bit. I would maybe even go so far as to say that I pick places to travel to partly based on the food that is available. Luckily, good food is easy to come by in Mexico. For example, my homeboy Ruben here slangs tacos at this stand all day long. 5 tacos of any kind for 25 pesos (less than $2) is the deal. Sometimes I come twice a day for snacks.

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    There&#8217;s also a nice sized indoor market if you are wanting a bit more variety. Pretty much anything can be found in these central food-hubs, every now and then mangos that are the size of your face.

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    On a good day I can identify 10% of the stuff sold, I&#8217;ll give most anything a try once though.

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    Sometimes I do want something more familiar. Something a little closer to home. I&#8217;m a fan of fruits, luckily baking with apples is a culturally universal thing in the Americas. Familiar treats such as this can be found at certain locations (~$1.50).

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    Eventually I do get bored though and blast into Mexico City centro to shoot the shit with Jose and Dano. Here we can go out and grab a bite somewhere else, for example maybe some rotten fruit that&#8217;s repurposed and baked into a delicious dessert.

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    This little morsel with sugar?/milk?/cream? drizzled on it, is similar to your grandmas baked bananas. Yes it looks worse than g-ma&#8217;s, but I believe it tastes even better.

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    After all the mud in Hidalgo, we needed to get the bikes cleaned and give mother earth her dirt back.

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    After cleaning the bikes, Jose showed me a neighborhood spot for some authentic Yucatan cuisine. It&#8217;s a good sign when you see lots of people outside patiently waiting to fill their face with whatever happens to be on the menu.

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    For us the menu included beer with a bunch of salt, spices, and salsa. Feeling hung over? Drink this and then go run a marathon.

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    We had some sort of sandwiches as well. This one had octopus in it I believe.

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    I sampled a number of things here to try and get a variety of flaves. Now let&#8217;s be clear. I have never had Yucatan cuisine, and this place is on the fancier end of the continuum and thus possibly not completely indicative of what people eat on the regular. But lean a bit closer and let me tell you something. IT&#8217;S FUCKING DELICIOUS. Whatever they have going on over in that peninsula, I want more of it. If this is an indication of the food I&#8217;m going to find when I head that way, ohhhh buddy help me now. If my belly wasn&#8217;t so full after eating this, I would have jumped on the bike right then and blasted out to the Yucatan, smothering my body in all of the food I could find along the way.

    Soon enough though, soon enough. Right now, it&#8217;s time to work off all that grub and get out to do some climbing.



    #87
  8. KiLO

    KiLO Adventure Cafe

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    Hahah you got it! Panama is amazing!!!
    #88
  9. IDWPUNK

    IDWPUNK ¬°IDAbogado!

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    I normally don't join in the group back slapping that goes on around here, but I just wanted to say that you are traveling through Mexico on your stomach, and that is the right way to do it! Well done, sir!

    I have eaten in a lot of countries, and in my opinion the food and food culture in Mexico is as rooted in history, nuanced, complex and delicious as anywhere, and frankly more so than most.

    I spent a few years living in Central Mexico (Mexico, Hidalgo, Queretaro, Guanajuato and Oaxaca). Most tourists totally miss out on the best parts of Mexico by skipping straight to the beaches and resorts. I especially like that you are taking the time to make friends, which is another thing that your casual vacationer misses out on: people who are genuinely friendly and hospitable and are not paid to be that way. Keep up the great work on this report! Que le via muy bien! Andale!
    #89
  10. HH

    HH Hurricane Harry

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    thanks for the refreshing ride report :clap

    I needed this as the life-sucking weather has returned to the PNW
    #90
  11. SeanPNW

    SeanPNW Water Bear

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    Thanks IDWPUNK, pretty hard to beet following your stomach. Food is a window into an areas culture, and as you said, it's history. If I miss out on the food I miss out on an important part of the experience. Seems like staying well fed and well imbibed here won't be an issue though. :1drink
    #91
  12. Ruckusment

    Ruckusment Wanderlust & Fernweh

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    Sean you have definitely added fuel to the fire for me to leave the PNW. Helping you get dubiously inebriated the day before was the icing on the cake.

    I am loving your report, it is amazing to have the perspective of the solo traveler. The last trip I did solo and it added to the experience. Now you have me searching here for well farkled KLR's so I can come meet you at the Darian Gap.

    Also I'm assuming you brought with you a laptop or something of the like to do the photo uploads and reports right?

    Keep eating your way through the world man and good luck, I'm loving it.
    #92
  13. SeanPNW

    SeanPNW Water Bear

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    Hey man glad to hear it. As you know, no need for a specific bike, anything that'll spin you down the road will do just fine. A DR, Harley, BMW, scooter, pink tasseled tricycle, they'll all get'er done eventually. Looking forward to hearing about where you head on your next trip.
    #93
  14. SeanPNW

    SeanPNW Water Bear

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    Being the second largest city in the world, DF has a lot to offer. From the various latin and foreign cultures that congregate here, a wealth of activities are born and the excuse of &#8220;I&#8217;m bored&#8221;, just doesn&#8217;t fly. As with any big city, you can find something new to do on any given day, usually you don&#8217;t have to look very far either. One activity that I am always in pursuit of, is climbing. Turns out though, there&#8217;s some pretty darn good spots that happen to be right at the edge of the city.

    Much like adventure motorcycling, climbing is one of those activities that for the most part is completely selfish, and for all practical purposes, it doesn&#8217;t contribute anything to anyone else but those that are the ones doing it in that very moment. Yvon Chouinard - a famous climber, entrepreneur, and personal hero of mine, once called climbers &#8220;conquerors of the useless&#8221;.

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    It is an activity that is for you, and you alone. However, just like adventure motorcycling, climbing can be a good vector for teaching you important lessons about yourself, life, and the world around you. For me, the two addictions are about the same stuff. Challenging oneself both physically and mentally, putting yourself outside of your comfort zone and into new experiences, and through the process, hopefully attaining some sort of personal growth while having a bitchen good time.

    My new roommate, Dante, said he&#8217;d show me some of the local spots, so we set out to see what DF had to offer. After weaving in and out of traffic we reached the very outskirts of DF where the smaller communities start to fade away into the mountains. Here we found what is technically a city park, and is contained within the governance of DF. It&#8217;s a place that seems transplanted straight out of the pacific northwest, and at 8k ft above sea level, the geography is surprisingly similar as well. We parked the car and started the hike in.

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    The hike in is less than a kilometer, but we gain 1k ft in elevation in that distance. Currently we are at around 9k ft, I felt out of shape pretty quick.

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    The trail to the location where we&#8217;ll be slapping some rock cuts off the main trail and heads straight up to the main walls.

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    There are 4 different areas in this park, we are headed to one called Segunda, it&#8217;s not the biggest area, but still has ~70 separate routes. Plenty for us.

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    We found the base of the wall that we were looking for, and I promptly got excited like a kid in a candy shop. This was the first bit of real climbing I&#8217;ve seen since I was in california.

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    We spent the early afternoon warming up and shaking off the dust on some warm up routes.

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    This is Dani, one of Dante&#8217;s friends, he also came to have some fun outside the city.

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    The views at the top of the routes were good. You can see most of DF in the background. Everything that isn&#8217;t concrete and steel is part of the park.

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    Dante said there was a really good route on another wall, so we went to go check it out.

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    Here we found our prize. This chunk of thick, vertical, dense useless rock may not look like much to most people, but this looks pretty damn sweet to me.

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    There were several routes on this wall, but the one that we wanted climb was the one that went right up the middle. I don&#8217;t remember the name of the route, or if it even had one. The rating was a 5.12a (if that means anything to anyone) and was a technical and fairly sustained face climb with small feet, crimps, and several two-finger pockets. The moves were fluid, and super fun. Here&#8217;s a quick vid I made of the route (~3 min).

    <iframe width="640" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GjfumtzcWCU?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Dani had been projecting this route and made his first ascent of it today. Congrats Dani.

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    Dante also jumped on and got&#8217;er done. Shit yeah Dante.

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    Eventually the end of the day came and we scraped together the last of the routes that we could. I was burnt, my fingers were toast, and the day was done. We ended up hiking down in the dark which wasn&#8217;t ideal, but the long day of good climbing made up for it.

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    20 minutes of driving later and we were back in Mexico City, drinking beer and eating food. Haven&#8217;t been to a ton of places where I can spend a good full day climbing, not hike in very far, and be back in time for dinner no sweat. Cheers Mexico City.


    #94
  15. Eagletalon

    Eagletalon Been here awhile

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    Liking your approach on this trip. Have seen part if Mexico that many miss. The riding video was incredible. Your ride report along with others is giving me the itch to get and go.

    Later
    John
    #95
  16. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

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    very cool RR!

    i came to a wall like that blocking my path one time out in the dez......fortunately there was a road up on the backside. :D
    #96
  17. SeanPNW

    SeanPNW Water Bear

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    There's usually always an easier way, don't know why climbers like taking the stupid way up, as they say "conquerors of the useless". :lol3
    #97
  18. Montek

    Montek Eternal Noob

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    Sean, great report! enjoying the shit out of this
    #98
  19. SeanPNW

    SeanPNW Water Bear

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    Last week Jose and I hung out with our new friend Edgardo and did some maintenance on our bikes. We met him at a motorcycle shop a week or so earlier and after we got to talking for a bit he said if we had anything we needed to do, he had a shop we could work in. Meet Edgardo.

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    We all got some work done on the bikes, and it was really helpful having such a well equipped shop to do the work in. Beets working in a parking lot anyday.

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    Edgardo said we should go riding with him and his dad this weekend. They said there are some nice areas to explore if you like getting off road. Sounds great to me.

    Saturday morning I met up with Edgardo and his dad, Riccardo. We were headed roughly North for a city called Toluco. It&#8217;s a growing metropolitan area and is also the capital city for the state of Mexico. This metropolitan part wasn&#8217;t the part we were interested in though.

    Along the way we stopped for some tacos.

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    After getting through Toluca we turned into a pullout where we could start the dirt. The weather and scenery here is very similar to the pacific northwest, except we are at around 8500ft and technically in the tropics.

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    The riding was good and they showed me a bit of everything.

    We had smooth wooded areas.

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    Wet and muddy areas.

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    Log crossings.

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    Wrong turns.

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    and plenty of spills. Well...just me. 14 if I&#8217;m being honest.

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    After the above tumble Riccardo said I&#8217;ve earned a beer. Plenty more happened after this though&#8230;.so more beer for me right?

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    They showed me tight slick sections.

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    River/pond/things?

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    And fun undergrowth trails.

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    Every now and then they let me rest.

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    The terrain varied widely as we road through various areas. They both knew the region well and road here often. Everything was new to me and every turn brought something exciting. There were many different tracks and routes to turn onto, and sometimes no tracks at all. Then you could simply just go wherever you wanted to. Here we found a playground of rolling hills, mud, and water crossings.

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    Sometimes it got pretty deep, but none of the bikes got flooded. This pic was near the edge of a crossing so deep but not too deep to stop.

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    This crossing got a water level right up onto the tank, you can see the water grass stuck onto the pannier racks. Good fun.

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    I say &#8220;water crossing&#8221; like it was something that we needed to cross. We didn&#8217;t need to cross anything, it was just fun to.

    It was a beautiful place to play for the day, with endless amounts of land, forest, and trails to ride.

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    Here&#8217;s a video I put together for the day. Thanks for running me through the ringer guys, I had a blast.

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    After we left Toluca we headed to a small tourist town for some afternoon grub before heading back to DF. The town explodes on weekends and is a very popular place for people to come to when they want to get out of the city. Today it was slammed with bikers for some reason. Mostly harleys and cruisers. We fit right in with all of our mud.

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    We parked our bikes out of the main line-up to not embarrass all the chrome.

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    We walked around for a bit, grabbed some food and shot the shit about the good riding we had sampled throughout the day. I had a blast today, and it was great fun riding with Edgardo and Riccardo. They showed me a dualsport wonderland and gave me a taste for what the area has to offer. They said it only gets better though, as there&#8217;s lots more to ride around here. By the end of the day I was beat but all I wanted was more. They said the riding today was a 3-4 out of 10 in terms of difficulty and of what&#8217;s available. I got dumped and spun-off the bike all day long like a baby on a bicycle (I counted 14 times I had to pick the bike up), and there&#8217;s harder and better riding to be had...shit yeah! I could definitely learn a lot from riding with these guys, I didn&#8217;t see them go down once all day.

    I&#8217;ve caught myself several times now reclassifying the &#8220;best day of riding&#8221; that I&#8217;ve had so far. I&#8217;m going to hold my tongue on this one, as I think I&#8217;m going to have to just accept that there&#8217;s lots of good riding to be had down here.




    #99
  20. Shooby

    Shooby Anti-Cager

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    Great Video / Audio, very well done ! :clap

    And Great Pic!

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