Ride Extreme from Texas to Nicaragua

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by camperdad, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. camperdad

    camperdad Been here awhile

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    It's Friday... but Sunday's coming. After 2 years of praying, planning and wrenching the day has finally come. We arrived at Midway Church for the send off of all send offs. 200 people and two news crews came. We even had a missionary from Nicaragua fly home and drove 3 hours to see us and will be back in Nicaragua when we arrive. Thanks Max. There were lots of breakfast tacos, laughter and tears. My mother in law Pat said through tears and a quivering smile "You'd better come back!" I thought to myself "I'm just like Jesus... I AM coming back and you can count on it!"

    We took off and spilt into three groups all the way Hico. The weather is perfect, the bluebonnets are blooming and we are riding through the crown jewel of Texas, the hill country. We are blessed.

    We stopped in Llano at Cooper's BBQ. We ate so much we had to skip dinner. It was delicious and many people (like 10) approached us and asked about the journey. Everyone is slack jawed when we tell them we are riding all the way to Nicaragua and giving our bikes away.
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    We hit Fredericksburg about 4:30 and walked around there for a bit. It is beautiful and tons of people there for Easter weekend. I have never knew a person could almost fall asleep while riding a motorcycle but several of us tried.
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    A few when to Lucanbach while the rest of us headed to Kerrville for the night. We did 332 miles which should be the most miles we do in a single day for this trip.

    It was a good Good Friday.
    #41
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  2. walkerj1216

    walkerj1216 n00b

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    Sunday is coming! So grateful for the hope we have in Jesus, our risen Lord who gave it all for each of us! Also grateful for these men who are serving our Lord and raising awareness for Ride Extreme, for Youth Extreme and the teens in Nicaragua! Love this mission and this amazing adventure that this amazing group of men get to take!
    #42
  3. camperdad

    camperdad Been here awhile

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    We had awesome weather today. It misted some and was cool and cloudy. We were headed to ride some of the best and scenic roads in Texas, and that is saying something. Texas is a big old place.

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    First stop was in Vanderpool, TX. We drooled over this collection. Lots of British bikes like BSA and Norton. Had some Indians, Harleys, a Douglas, and a old Ducati. The owner rode from Mexico to Canada in 48 hours when he was in his late 60's. dang! That is what you call an Iron Butt. They had to average 67 mph.

    Did I mention the scenery was awesome?
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    The roads we took are called the 3 twisted sisters and man were they ever. Lots of elevation change, vista views, and curves galore. We even picked up a 12th rider at this cool cafe called The Bent Rim grill. He rode with us for a while. I will post a video later of the ride.

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    This day was not without shenanigans. Deano seems to be very gifted in this area. I failed to mention on day one his bike lost all power and died as we were running down the road. He first checked to see if the gas was coming out of the tank. Then he checked for spark with the spark plug wire. Then someone said "check the kill switch". Vroommm!
    #43
  4. jgalaw

    jgalaw n00b

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    IMG_3074.JPG Day 2 another success. All bikes running fine, most riders too. A few aches and pains is to be ecpected at our ages, right?

    Past 2 days have been wonderful. Texas Hill Country riding is simply the best in Texas. Crazy thing happened about 60 miles south of Leakey. We all stop for gas and Dean announces he has lost his brand new Samsung cell phone. We check his gear and jacket and no phone. I call back to Bent Rim grill where we ate lunch - nobody has turned in phone. Dean is discussing buying cheap replacement phone when we arrive in Laredo and then it happens. Gary Wilson, one of riders from MO, yells at Dean "hey you looking for this?" while holding the phone. While inspecting Dean's bike Gary noticed the phone was lodged between the brake pedal and the foot peg! Dean is certain he has not seen the phone since Leakey. The phone had been lodged while Dean rode 60 miles over the course of more than an hour! I told Dean, who is an Elder at Midway, clean living pays off!

    In many ways the real journey starts tomorrow at 8:00 am when we cross into Mexico for our ride to Saltillo. The route we have planned is only about 190 miles, but crossing the border on a motorcycle will be a 1st for all 11 of us. It will be an Easter Sunday we will never forget.

    "Get busy living or get busy dying". Red, The Shawshank Refemption
    #44
  5. AKpilot

    AKpilot Adventurer

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    This is awesome. My brother is a pastor in the Des Moines area. I have always told him that if he ever needs to recharge his batteries my wife and I would love to sponsor him on an adventure like this. I have a couple of extra bikes and would love to do this if you guys make it an annual thing.

    My wife and I have been fortunate enough to enjoy many long distance motorcycle trips. We never set out in search of a higher power but with every trip we find it harder and harder to deny there is a God.

    Like the time we met a group of guys in the mountains of Mexico when they surrounded us with automatic weapons. Or the time when we ran out of gas in the Atacama Desert with no local $ and without knowing Spanish, only to have a 13yr kid take us around his entire mud hut village to find us 3 liters of fuel, we offered him $100us and he refused saying consider it a gift from God. Or all the times when something happens out of the blue that if it didn't happen things would be very different.

    If you guys are looking for any places to check out along the way let me know and I will recommend some places.
    #45
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  6. camperdad

    camperdad Been here awhile

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    Day 3. We made it through the boarder in 5 minutes but we blew right past where we needed to stop to do our paperwork. We meandered through town an had a little cultural exchange as we snaked our way back to the immigration center. Only a few wrong ways down one way streets.

    Even with no lines It took about 2 hours to get everything processed but several Missouri riders vehicle registration paperwork didn't say "registration" which evidently was a big problemo.

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    After sorting that we needed to get insurance and they looked at us like a cow looking at a new gate when we asked for motorcycle insurance. Why bother insuring a motorcycle? We tried to get it online with our phones and struggled with that for another hour. A few were able get it to work but most couldn't. After 3 hours we headed out like a herd of turtles.

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    What is a ride without lunch at a gas station? I barely missed getting a pic of Deano dropping his bike. You can see the gas puddle.

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    We filled up and the gas station attendant tried to pull a fast one and overcharge us. Mike caught it and the attendant pulled out 200 pesos out of his pocket and gave it back to "Super Mike"
    #46
  7. camperdad

    camperdad Been here awhile

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    When we left Monterey we had to make a sketchy merge across a highway and do an immediate returno (u-turn) and we flat lost Warren. He was headed the wrong way down the highway. We all waited nervously on the side of the highway for 15 minutes and I headed back to see if I could find him. About the time I got turned around he showed up. Warren is a truck driver by trade and is large man who is very soft spoken. He fractured his leg about a month before we left. He said "It sure was good that I found y'all, for a minute I thought y'all got lost."
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    We stayed in Artega at Mike Starling's Rancho la Paloma. It's a Christian retreat center that his family has owned and operated for 4 decades. The ranch is at 7000 feet and it had a beautiful view of the valley. It was in the 50's and we were nice and cool. They were wonderful hosts and fed us dinner and breakfast and even let us wash a load of laundry. It was good to get caught up with them and see the facility first hand. Mike's parents built it about 40 years ago and Mike and Christy are now caretakers and are in the middle of a capital campaign to replace some roofs, dig a better water well, and update the kitchen. Sounds like a good Ride Extreme fund raiser.
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    Day 4 After a hearty breakfast and watching a news story about our ride we reflected about all that God was doing through the likes of us. We are ordinary, run of the mill men who have hearts for the lost. We got all choked up and shed a few tears. We're a bunch of softies.

    We got a cool group shot and prayed for a couple of men who Mile had been working with. We are headed to San Luis Potosí and Mike found an excursion that some of us wanted to check out. Real de Catorce was a few miles off our route and 6 of us headed there while the rest headed on down to San Luis Potosí.
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    #47
  8. camperdad

    camperdad Been here awhile

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    To get there you travel down 14 miles of cobblestone road and then though a 2 mile long tunnel. The town is on the side of a mountain so think San Francisco streets made of cobblestone. Very steep but very few cars.

    We found a Cocina and had tortas and tacos for lunch. I got a cool video of a hill climb we did on our bikes and the policeman showed us the way back to the tunnel. We went up and down riding the rear brake hard. Keeping it upright with all the off camber angles was a fun challenge.
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    This is where "The Mexican" was filmed with Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts.
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    This church was stunning! It had these wooden floors that looked like trap doors.
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    Best day of the trip so far. We slabbed it back to San Luis Potosí and got to the hotel at 8pm. Lots of wind through the mountains. 330 miles and 11 hours of riding.
    #48
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  9. Rider Extreme DE

    Rider Extreme DE n00b

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    Here is where we are after five days of riding. Bruce had a flat today. We fixed it along side the road in 35 mins. Not too bad. This is one epic ride.

    Attached Files:

    #49
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  10. Rider Extreme DE

    Rider Extreme DE n00b

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    20170418_131022.jpg Here we are at lunch today along the highway. Think Quick Trip without the hot dogs. A real treat.
    #50
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  11. camperdad

    camperdad Been here awhile

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    Day five would be a shorter day. 130 miles. We started off the day giving an interview via phone to the Christian Post. Jeff Atkins was responsible for this and it should be posted online 4/19/2017.
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    We hit the Harley Dealer in San Luis Potosí. Not a Harley guy but enjoyed checking it out.
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    We headed south through more traffic than usual. We were just about to Queretaro and construction had the highway shut down to a crawl. We hit the shoulder and rode thorough miles of traffic in minutes. When we finally got through my back end got loose and I had my first ever flat on a long trip.
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    Luckily I had my ace tire changing crew Deano and Jeff. We knocked it out in 45 minutes like a boss while the rest went to the hotel.

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    As soon as we finished Jeff had a flat of his own.
    #51
  12. camperdad

    camperdad Been here awhile

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    We finished the day with a meal at Jim and Becky Lee's home. They treated us to homemade tamales, guacamole, and margaritas. (Just making sure you ARE reading this pastor). :) They are a charming couple who are very much in love after 50 + years of marriage and 4 decades of mission work. May your tribe increase!
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    They even had a Harley motorcycle as a centerpiece.

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    Dessert was a homemade apple pie with ice cream and homemade strawberry shortcake with strawberries and ice cream. Wow!
    #52
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  13. jacklegg

    jacklegg n00b

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    Went on a simular mission trip with CMA in 2014. One of the most memorable experiences of my life. Go. You won't regret it

    Sent from my VS990 using Tapatalk
    #53
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  14. dano619

    dano619 Been here awhile

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    Nice update........IN
    #54
  15. Johnhlinn

    Johnhlinn n00b

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    #55
  16. camperdad

    camperdad Been here awhile

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    Day 6 292 miles today so KSU was at 8am. Jeff found some boots that were only 1/2 size too small. Reminded me of Deryl Dodd's "New Tony Lamas".
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    We stopped by the Lee's for a picture and then hit the road. Querataro is a bustling city of 2 million so when we got on the road there was stop and go traffic. That may seem ordinary but when you are on a dual sport motorcycle in Mexico there is nothing ordinary about it.

    We rode in steady traffic all day. Lots of lane changes for 11 riders. Again that seems ordinary but to keep everyone together took lots of concentration. We ride about 65 mph on our thumpers.

    Lots of toll booths today. Weed pays for everyone to pass and then each of us goes through individually then we wait on him. 25-37 pesos per rider. 18 pesos to a dollar.

    Out elevation was about 7500 feet. Cool 50's and perfect riding temp. When we hit Orizaba it was like riding through a rain forest. We descended 4000' in elevation in 10 miles. We could see the city from the top and we rode through several tunnels. It's like Switzerland. Most scenic riding of the trip so far. I will post a video later.

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    There are several missionaries here we know so we visited them. They have a thriving church of 350 and converted this nightclub into a cool church. Lots of work went into making this Roman style architecture into a worship center and they pulled it off nicely. They even let us park our bikes inside the building.
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    Deano broke his glasses this morning and one of the elders of the church Jolle offered to see if he could fix them. Somehow he got them fixed and was waiting at the hotel when we got there with them. Less than 45 minutes. That's the kind of leaders we need, godly men who know people and can get things done.

    They took us to a Brazilian steak house and treated us to a wonderful meal. I got acquainted with Michael who knows our children's minster Chris Todd. I sent Chris a pic and he said, "no way!!! This is incredible!! I can't believe he still in Mexico! I thought he already got fired!" Gotta love it.
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    #56
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  17. Johnhlinn

    Johnhlinn n00b

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    Great updates, praying for all of you. What about making this an annual event as I'm wanting to do it too. Godspeed.
    #57
  18. TGjr

    TGjr n00b

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    Praying for you guys. Hope the lords light shines on you for the rest of your journey!
    #58
  19. camperdad

    camperdad Been here awhile

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    IMG_8979.JPG IMG_9004.JPG Day 7
    We had breakfast at the hotel with our missionary friends. They have been gracious hosts and I look forward to visiting them again. I'd love to bring a group sometime and show them all the work they've done.


    We headed to the church grabbed our bikes and packed up and shot a few videos. By he time we stopped to fill up, lube chains, and top off the oil it was near 11am. When traveling with 11 it takes more time to do everything. The XR650l is a fine beast but at the speeds we are traveling it tends to burn some oil. 65mph feels good with the stock 15/45 gearing but anything faster feels like we are beating on it with too big a hammer. This pleases the KLR riders and we have some good ribbing back and forth. The KLRs have done great, burn no oil, and hold more fuel. There, I said it. I hope they continue to do well as I know zero about them.

    The day was hot with unremarkable scenery. We just chewed up the miles. We stopped to get gas and found a coffee shop that served sandwiches. We were the only people there and enjoyed a nice respite from the heat. We called ahead to make a reservation at a hotel and as we rode into town I was having second thoughts about staying there. We drove through the seedy side of town with lots of no-tell motels. The streets were dirty, people walking everywhere, and it wasn't looking too good.


    Then we turned onto Oceanside blvd. The cool ocean breeze lifted our spirits and you could taste the salt in the air. As we pulled up to the Hotel the realization hit us...We'd just ridden our dirt bikes to the Caribbean side of Mexico from the great state of Texas and tomorrow we're gonna head to the Pacific side. There was lots of high fives and exuberant celebration in the parking lot. To top it off the hotel overlooked the ocean, was brand new, and only had a handful of cars there. Best $59 hotel.

    Attached Files:

    #59
  20. camperdad

    camperdad Been here awhile

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    Day 8
    We left for Comitan de Dominguez. I honesty can't remember a whole lot about this day. Every day is a hard push to get the miles in. When we arrive at the hotel it is all we can do to get unloaded, secure the bikes, shower, find FOOD, update family, check on work (maybe) recharge all devices, collapse.
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    Brian ordered us all this crockpot beef dish at the Pollo Felix. We stayed at a older hotel, drank a frappe and had pizza for dinner.
    #60
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