SF to Panama... eventually

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by stickfigure, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. bmh

    bmh Been here awhile

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    Thanks, I have been living the dream via you great report your pro.
  2. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

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    Marc Fleury invited Gavin and I to fly down to Miami on a Gulfstream he and Chris Klaus chartered for the weekend. "Party like rockstars" doesn't even begin to describe what they're doing right now.

    Instead we're getting up at 5am tomorrow to run 13 miles in the rain.

    What the HELL was I thinking?? :baldy
  3. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

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    This journal entry is brought to you by PowerThirst!

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    The good news: It didn't rain!
    The bad news: It was still THIRTEEN MILES.

    I ran the race today on less than a week's worth of training. I guess that means I'm in pretty good shape... or incredibly stupid. I guess I'll find out tomorrow. From what my muscles are currently telling me, the later is more likely.

    I came in at 2 hours and 17 minutes, enough to place me at 5073 out of some 15,000 runners. Not having run this far before, my only goal was to run the entire race without walking. My legs turned to rubber at mile ten but somehow willpower was enough to keep going. I'm sure I will regret it all tomorrow but it was actually a lot of fun.

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    Gavin and I got up at 5am (EST, you late-sleeping westcoast bitches) to meet up with our friends and hop on MARTA. The train was full of runners:

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    It was freezing cold. And dark. At this point I'm seriously questioning my sanity. If we had gone to Miami with the gazilionaires, we would still be awake partying from last night.

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    First people to start are the wheelchairs. Some of these chairs looked faster than my motorcycle:

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    The start was pretty crazy, but somehow 15,000 runners got moving without trampling anyone:

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    You can tell how seriously I'm taking this - I brought my camera. Unfortunately I don't really have any good pictures of the race since there wasn't much light on an overcast day at 7am, and a running jogger doesn't make for a very stable camera platform.

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    The course followed a roundabout path through the most beautiful parts of Atlanta. We even ran by Martin Luther King's house. People were cheering at most street corners, and in quite a few places there were live bands playing good rock music.

    Some favorite moments (I noticed too late to get a picture, and I wasn't exactly going to turn around):

    * The girl with a tshirt that had "Race Official. Do Not Pass." printed on the back.
    * The guy on the side of the road with a keg of beer encouraging everyone to "drink more fluids, keep hydrated!"

    Cheesiest aspect:

    * Everyone shouting "Think positive!" "Kill! That! Hill!" "You look fabulous!" "Great job!" "Way to go!" "Looking good!" over and over and over. I half-expected to hear Stuart Smalley shouting "Gosh darn it, people like you!" I would have been more amused by a couple guys with a keg and a bullhorn shouting abuse at the runners, burningman-style: "Move it, slackers!" "My grandmother passed by here fifteen minutes ago!" "That ass isn't going to shrink by itself!"

    * Of course, everyone gets a medal, because everyone is special:

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    I spent most of the race thinking about getting warm, and getting beer:

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    My race buddies (mostly JBoss/RedHat folks):

    [​IMG]
  4. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

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    A couple days ago Gavin and I visited a motorcycle museum at the Blue Moon BMW dealership. The owner has a large private collection of vintage motorcycles, several dating back to the 1920s. Here's a quick tour of the highlights.

    An old BMW single in excellent condition:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/motorcyclemuseum/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2009/2375790762_03737b771a.jpg"/></a>

    A German motorcycle with a boxer engine, not BMW:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/motorcyclemuseum/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2402/2375795328_efc3e06a4f.jpg"/></a>

    A Hercules motorcycle with a Wankel rotary engine!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/motorcyclemuseum/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2099/2374961213_edb459d9e9.jpg"/></a>

    An old single-cylinder Moto Guzzi. Gorgeous:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/motorcyclemuseum/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2014/2374956521_4d0e238a63.jpg"/></a>

    Notice the exposed flywheel:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/motorcyclemuseum/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2416/2375793780_7ff9ac8d19.jpg"/></a>

    A 1950 Imme R100. This 100cc two-stroke single has single-sided fork and swingarm and incredible lines. The exhaust exits through the swingarm, connected to the engine with some sort of gimbal. It's worth zooming in on the engine. This bike was way ahead of its time:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/motorcyclemuseum/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2096/2374953615_5a1d717c8d.jpg"/></a>

    Look at the engine on this Burgmeister. I love the art-deco streamlined look:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/motorcyclemuseum/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2387/2374952281_60a2df9e1a.jpg"/></a>

    The oldest bike in the stable is this 1921 Triumph Knirps. It was built by a German division of the British Triumph Company. It still runs!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/motorcyclemuseum/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3091/2374943767_f9b78fa613.jpg"/></a>

    Features include a 276cc, 3-hp two-stroke engine and two-speed transmission:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/motorcyclemuseum/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3275/2374945173_e5de309fa0.jpg"/></a>

    "Belt drive":

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/motorcyclemuseum/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2044/2374940189_dae977c4e2.jpg"/></a>

    Nevermind HID. This bike includes head and tail <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbide_lamp">carbide</a> lights:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/motorcyclemuseum/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2062/2375784422_6fbc1dce45.jpg"/></a>

    The metal canister at the center of the handlebars is the generator chamber; calcium carbide is dropped in water, producing acetylene gas that is carried to the lamp reflectors by rubber tubes.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/motorcyclemuseum/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2222/2374946823_fdd862464b.jpg"/></a>

    We heard some sirens as we were leaving the shop. When we got to the road, we found this:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/motorcyclemuseum/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2282/2374964349_8e40e2ea28.jpg"/></a>

    Unfortunately, the passenger compartment of the SUV was crushed and there was a lot of blood on the ground. This was one of four major accidents I saw while in Atlanta. Ride/drive carefully!
  5. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

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    I went to Georgia and got more than a lousy t-shirt! Actually, the half-marathon t-shirt isn't too bad. But nevertheless...

    Marc rented out the VIP lounge at an Underworld concert and invited us along. Great music, although I'm still a little puzzled by electronic music concerts. I can listen to computers playing music on my iPod! They had some neat inflatable blinky stage props though:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/atlanta/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3112/2375813260_c8f27a2b91.jpg"/></a>

    We got a ride home from a friend in his new 500hp convertible BMW M6. I'm pretty sure it's faster than my motorcycle, even off the line. I think I see why JBoss development has slowed to a crawl since being purchased by Red Hat: Everyone's off playing with their shiny new toys.

    Gavin and I spent a day driving through the Appalachian mountains. We did a short loop through Tennessee and North Carolina. It was sad to be in a rental car and not a motorcycle (or an M6...) but the roads were gorgeous. Some random pics:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/atlanta/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2130/2374989885_6a53ce24e9.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/atlanta/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3235/2375826812_d48b889da1.jpg"/></a>

    "Bikers welcome":

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/atlanta/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3212/2375010601_6331fb4f32.jpg"/></a>

    A giant graveyard of cars, oddly placed in a beautiful forest:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/atlanta/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2348/2375828266_00acebed53.jpg"/></a>

    By the time we got to Tennessee, there was no question we were in the Bible Belt. Churches outnumbered gas stations by a wide margin.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/atlanta/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2243/2375022597_ae70391762.jpg"/></a>

    There were signs with the ten commandments here and there. As we passed one, Gavin said "hey, we should take a picture of one of those". I responded "there will be more". A few minutes later we passed this:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/atlanta/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3025/2375019599_3b831fefaf.jpg"/></a>

    Driving back through northern Georgia, we hit a thick patch of fog. It was cool.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/atlanta/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3053/2375023837_7e5806cae7.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/atlanta/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2387/2375025345_d2582ac5b3.jpg"/></a>

    Speaking of weather, Atlanta had a tornado a couple weeks ago. It even damaged the skyscrapers:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/atlanta/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3156/2375891090_947fbe59f8.jpg"/></a>
  6. bavarian

    bavarian bavarian

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    Just a great, great report!!
  7. SS in Vzla.

    SS in Vzla. Totally Normal? I'm not!

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    +1 :clap
  8. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    Great pictures and I loved the old bikes too. I remember potholing with carbide helmet lamps in my youth. I suppose they use elctricity these days. On motorcycles too probably. Harumph.
  9. bmh

    bmh Been here awhile

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    go Man Go!
  10. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

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    Thanks for the comments! I'm glad you're all enjoying it. This is the first time I've tried blogging a trip, and now I'm wishing I had done this for my other adventures so my remaining brain cells will have some help recollecting what they've done after the trip is over :dutch :lol3

    I'm back in Mexico and more importantly, back on the bike!! Oh, how I miss my red-headed girlfriend when I'm away...

    More stories when the pictures finish uploading.

    Jeff
  11. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

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    Once again I flew back to Mexico and once again I picked up my bike from Motoaltavista (My Personal Garage In The DF). It never gets old!

    Gavin flew back to Phoenix to continue his ride in my direction. He crossed the border today and should meet me in Zacatecas in another two days.

    I rode out to Yolitia for a couple days, this time to explore the adjacent town of Malinalco with my Hungarian friend. Malinalco is only an hour or two outside of the DF and has one of the few Aztec ruins that the Spaniards did not completely reduce to rubble. The temple is carved into the side of a cliff far above the town.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/malinalco/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2170/2388432659_67196fb203.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/malinalco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3191/2388445411_804454a2d9.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/malinalco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3074/2389279018_2578d8c47f.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/malinalco/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2267/2388460737_9a939a99d2.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/malinalco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3207/2388451003_4b16000361.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/malinalco/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2072/2388463937_41491e6746.jpg"/></a>

    The temple overlooks the town:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/malinalco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3130/2388441483_29ecb7d6e8.jpg"/></a>

    The walk into town followed part of the (extensive) irrigation canal network:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/malinalco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3193/2389231770_51a5f35cc1.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/malinalco/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2016/2389221238_f454dc3f76.jpg"/></a>

    Some more <i>trucha</i> (yes, it came right out of the tank):

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/malinalco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3083/2388409497_33fe69cdda.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/malinalco/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2291/2389252584_f50c8a6b90.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/malinalco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3018/2389249796_e4eabbc0bc.jpg"/></a>
  12. drifter dave

    drifter dave Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the report Jeff!

    You would be amazed how many times I get warned not to travel by road in Mexico. I think the stories have become a bit over-hyped. Any tips for crossing the border into Mexico? Are you going to stop by Belize (my dream) or Guatemala? (been there twice). I highly recommend Tikal. Cheers,

    Dorian
  13. Nata Harli

    Nata Harli Accidental Tourista

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    Jeff,

    This is a great ride report. Well written and great photos. I'm really enjoying it. And I'll second Dorian's recommendation for Tikal. There's a really cool place to stay on the road to Tikal in El Remate called "La Casa De Don David" that's really reasonable and has a great restaurant.

    Do you know when you are going to get to Guatemala and what your route will be?

    I have a bike in Flores I'm flying down to pick up. I fly into Guatemala City on the 19th and fly out to Flores on the 20th or 21st. I'll pick up my bike and ride it back to GC to meet a friend who is flying in on the 23rd. We're going to rent him a bike and head to San Pedro for a few days and then probably head to Monterrico until May 5th. He'll head back to GC to fly home and I'll head to the Mexican border to ride home.

    If you're going to be in the area let me know and maybe we can hook up for a few cervezas :beer.
  14. BDKW1

    BDKW1 KL"X" not "R"

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    Outstanding! :freaky
  15. Superstar

    Superstar Been here awhile

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    I find it sad that honest, law abiding vistors (like your wife) have to the pay the price for the 20 million or so that "visited" and never left.

    The fact that the Mexican govenrnment openly encourages this behavior assuages any sadness I might have had when Mexican citizens are the target of such measures.
  16. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

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    Thanks everyone! I'm in Zacatecas right now, and will be for another week. Spanish school, playing tourist, nightlife, and a pokey net connection have kept me away from the keyboard but I'll have an update soon.

    I have only a vague notion of route and timing so far, but I would love to get a beer when our paths cross. I read your RR a couple months ago and I'm subscribed now!

    Tikal is definitely on the list. I suspect Gavin and I will ride through the Yucatan and down into Belize, then into Guatemala. It's a long ways away from now though.

    Thanks,
    Jeff
  17. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

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    I've been in Zacatecas for a week now but the road to get here was quite an adventure. Between two maps and the Zumo, I was able to plot a route that cut diagonally northwest, skipping all of the cuotas. In fact, the route ended up being half dirt (by time, not distance) and took two days - including an overnight in Morelia. It was awesome.

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    At times the "road" became little more than a goat trail with a thick canopy of foliage. I passed several fully-loaded burros. I was never too far from pavement, though. Early on I had a long run on dirt, so I stopped to drop the pressure in my front tire. Right around the next corner the pavement started again. After a fair amount of road I stopped at a Pemex to fill up and return the tire to street pressure... and less than a mile later I was back on dirt. Sigh.

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    The path to Morelia passed by a nice lake with a lot of Mexican tourists:

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    Some of the architecture reminds me of Lake Tahoe:

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    The dam spillway:

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    More flood-control fun:

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    I really like these dirt roads through farmland:

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    Once more I found myself on MEX 15 east of Morelia. It's a windy well-paved road with little traffic. This time I made the entire way without a flat tire!

    [​IMG]
  18. joenuclear

    joenuclear Ride to eat, eat to ride... all roads lead to pie!

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    Great report!
  19. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

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    The route from Morelia to Zacatecas was more of the same. Let me know if you're getting tired of these random flyby pictures, because I never will :D What I love most about traveling by motorcycle in Mexico is that I get to see all the little villages and farm towns and campesino houses that would be invisible to a bus or plane traveler. In rural areas I stop every now and then at little stores to get a drink and chat with the (almost always very friendly) locals.

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    This is one of the moments that I love the Zumo+Bicimapas combo. I'm riding along a minor highway and it tells me that I need to make a left turn down a steep hill that goes right through a little town. Where it is paved, it is paved with cobblestones. Then the road passes through lush green farmland. This kind of thing happens *all the time*.

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    Zacatecas state is much drier than Michoacán.

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    Unfortuately, about an hour before Zacatecas my luggage rack sheared YET ANOTHER FUCKING BOLT in the subframe. This is #3. Plus, the bolt on the other side *fell out*. I suddenly noticed my drybag pressed up against my back, something that should be physically impossible in the standard configuration of my motorcycle.

    Here I am:

    [​IMG]
  20. Mr Farkle

    Mr Farkle Been here awhile

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    What a terrific set of pictures from this most recent part of your trip. Those road conditions and the weather appear to be perfect. It's still snowing and gray in this part of the US and the warm temperatures and scenery that you have are enviable. Keep those pictures coming. :clap