Tricepilot's...Into the Blue at Quintana Roo

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by tricepilot, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    The Time of Our Lives


    Music and Lyrics by Paul Van Dyk


    Into the Blue (2005)

    Jessica Alba
    Paul Walker
    Scott Caan
    Ashley Scott

    There's a time for us to let go
    There's a time for holding on
    A time to speak, a time to listen
    There's a time for us to grow

    There's a time for layin' low-down
    There's a time for getting high
    A time for peace, a time for fire
    A time to live, a time to die

    A time to scream, a time for silence
    A time for truth against the lies
    A time for fate, a time for science
    There's a time for us to shine

    There is a time for mis-believing
    There's a time to understand
    A time for hurt, a time for healing
    A time to run, to make a stand

    Oh this is the time of our lives......

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    Tricepilot presents

    4,000 miles in Mexico

    14 Days

    3 amigos

    2 BMW R1200s

    1 Honda Gold Wing

    :eek2

    3 days of scuba diving

    15 Mexican states:

    Campeche
    Chiapas
    Coahuila
    Guanajuato
    Hidalgo
    México
    Nuevo Leon
    Puebla
    Querétaro
    San Luis Potosi
    Tabasco
    Tamaulipas
    Tlaxcala
    Veracruz
    and of course,

    Quintana Roo

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    Bienvenidos!
    #1
  2. Sideout

    Sideout Noob Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Los Angeles
    Nice pictures. Where did you get to dive? Have you ever tried diving the cenotes? They are spectacular:

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    Cheers
    #2
  3. Fredfredburger

    Fredfredburger CTRL ALT DEL

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    :clap :clap :clap

    :lurk
    #3
  4. bajarider

    bajarider Mexican with internet

    Joined:
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    Mexicali, Baja Cfa., Mexico, Calexico,CA. US
    Hechale Tricepilot :wink: , estoy esperando tu historia sobre estas grandes fotos.:clap
    #4
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    You sure love to take us with you to Mexico.. thank you :clap

    :lurk
    #5
  6. LaOutbackTrail

    LaOutbackTrail Certified Smartass

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    :lurk
    #6
  7. Lance Hardwud

    Lance Hardwud Long timer

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    :lurk :lurk :lurk patiently waiting for more....
    #7
  8. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer no cualquier gringo

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    Austin, Texas, USA
    :clap :lurk :lurk :ear Me too.

    Bring it on dude.
    #8
  9. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer no cualquier gringo

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    Classic, Bob.
    Just classic.
    #9
  10. Ensey

    Ensey KLR Combat Touring

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    Duncan, Ok
    :lurk:lurk
    #10
  11. LaOutbackTrail

    LaOutbackTrail Certified Smartass

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    Denton, TX
    [​IMG]
    Thats just about as beautiful as they come!
    #11
  12. Loud Al

    Loud Al .

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    Forest Grove, OR
    Nice intro

    :lurk
    #12
  13. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    I've been waiting for this Bob! Thanks for the link on your SPOT tracks. It was cool monitoring your progress.

    Bring it on!

    :lurk
    #13
  14. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

    Joined:
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    I am an addict. I am addicted to Mexico. But I didn&#8217;t need to tell you that. More precisely, I love the people of Mexico, and their culture. I don&#8217;t believe in reincarnation, but if I did, I&#8217;d bribe whatever God owned the process to make me Hispanic after this life is over. While its still ongoing, I&#8217;ll settle for returning to Mexico &#8211; different parts of it &#8211; as much as I can. I guess I&#8217;m what is called a Mexophile.

    Ray is our UPS delivery guy. We&#8217;re on a solid first name basis. Amazon.com lets Ray deliver me endless books on Mexico and the Spanish language. Ray also likes motorcycles, and he finds me more often than not tinkering in the garage on one of my bikes. Ray just recently bought a KLR, so he is interested in my latest project, taking my own KLR with 31 miles on it, and taking it down to the frame and doing a series of mods, to get it ready for really rought off-road use, such as well, around the Galeana area south of Monterrey. All the parts for that mod, Ray has brought in addition to the books.

    The KLR is coming along nicely, but so has the BMW R1200 since the crash. And come to think of it, so have I. You might have read in Vaquero (my previous ride report, see the link below), that I dumped the beemer in a curve near Mascota, in the mountains near Puerto Vallarta, this last October while riding in the Mexico national BMW rally. They say everyone is going to crash someday, and that day was my day. I had carved two weeks out for that trip too, and the crash occurred near the end of the first week. I wasn&#8217;t sure I would keep going for the second week, and I wasn&#8217;t sure I would keep the bike. At the time I thought I would get the bike and myself back to Texas, heal up, sell the bike, and start fresh. Hank, my BMW mechanic, happened to be on the rally, and he fixed the bike in the parking lot at the hotel in Puerto Vallarta and we did the second week in Mexico. When I got home, I took her to Alamo BMW on I-10 (they used to be on Broadway in downtown San Antonio), where she received excellent care (at a very fair price) and was put back together. I healed too, from a (technically) broken ankle and a very, very sore back. Marriage counselors convinced me not to break up with my 1200, which at the time of this writing I still have yet to name.

    I have a huge map of Mexico in my house. Really huge. And I&#8217;m drawn to the Yucatán. Its just &#8211; out there. I&#8217;ve been there before, but like many of us, it was a flight into Cancun to stay at a resort, perhaps try Cozumel. Playa del Carmen. But to ride a motorcycle there, even from Texas, isn&#8217;t your usual quick trip to San Miguel. I shared the idea with Sterett, who like me, is an adrenaline junkie. I&#8217;ve know Sterett since our diving days on Roatan, in the Bay Islands of Honduras. I was living in Champaign, Illinois then, close to Indy, and rode the backroads of Indiana in the summer, at the time on my Fatboy and Sterett on the bike he had before the GoldWing. Lots of serendipity, like the time we happened into Story, Indiana, and found the most delicious maple syrup on earth, no kidding, 10 times better than anything I ever tasted. And I am a Connecticut boy and know New England maple syrup.

    Sterett, now quasi-retired but still consulting for DOW Chemical, was all over the idea or riding our bikes to the Yucatán. As divers, the idea to throw in diving was natural, you know, just to make sure we got our dose of adrenaline that topes, cops and backwoods speeding wouldn&#8217;t provide. Sterett isn&#8217;t the Mexico addict that I am, but he loves his adrenaline. I was a member of a soaring club back in Illinois, my choice for thrills in flying after my Air Force days ended. Sterett once rode over from Indiana to go for a ride in my glider. One of my few passengers I couldn&#8217;t spook. Or at least he made a brave show of the experience.

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    When to go to Mexico was only slightly influenced by the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning. They were supposed to make the Super Bowl again, according to Colt-o-phile Sterett, and that meant not leaving for Mexico until the Big Game was over. OK, Mr. Season Ticket Holder. Besides, the weather in Mexico peaks, IMHO, in two months, February and October. You can enjoy yourself other months, but to avoid the heat and rainy season as much as possible, those are the two months I&#8217;ve found most favorable. It seems to work, in all my time in Mexico I&#8217;ve been in the rain exactly two days, and both of those were the days leaving Mexico when I was in sight of the border.

    Sights were fixed on crossing the border February 6<SUP>th</SUP>, a Friday. That would mean Sterett and his Land Yacht, a.k.a. GoldWing would have to trailer down the 1,500 miles one-way to get to my house the Wednesday before. No problem. The man can ride, and drive, like there is no tomorrow. But on the way down, he&#8217;d be thinking about how Peyton and his Colts got bounced from the Playoffs. Sorry, I was rooting for the Cards. I was also rooting for the Wing, since privately I had my doubts about a bike like that in Mexico. The topes. They&#8217;re killers. I gently tried to prod Sterett into seriously having the underside of that bike welded with some type of bank vault plating. &#8220;No problems with the Wing&#8221;, he told me. We&#8217;ll see.

    A PM, private message, is on my advrider mailbox, from someone I don&#8217;t know. The guy says he&#8217;s heard about the planning for this trip from a mutual friend, and how about the idea he might tag along? I sit back and think. This could be good, this could be bad. Unknowns are always a roll of the dice. It would be a good thing to have another rider, the strength in numbers thing. Perhaps we could outgun the narcos. A cop looking for a mordida would be less likely to stop a group of three versus two. I don&#8217;t know, but the thought crossed my mind. Plus the mutual friend was is a good guy, and vouched for this guy. Still, an unknown adds a level of exposure. An unknown personality is one thing, but so is an unknown bike. Battery? Tires? Mechanical condition? Every additional bike brings with it a multiplier of a breakdown . It can stop eveyone&#8217;s trip. OK Mark, you&#8217;re in. Please make sure your moto is in great shape. Be at my house by Wednesday, please. And one more thing, we&#8217;re all going to have our permisos, bike import permits, done ahead of time. The plan is to hit the border and be gone, stopping only for tourist visas, which can&#8217;t be done online, yet. Mark gets his permiso done, at the consulate in Dallas. Sterett and I do it via the online Banjercito website, as I have been doing for some time.

    We sort out scuba gear, but decide to rent most of it at Mahahual. Mark goes for a refresher, as it's been 10 years since he's been on a major dive. We have no plan for this trip, other than to be in Mahahual the middle weekend. We have only the Guia Roji and an idea. Each day's path will be selected the night before. We really don't know how we're going to get there. The next Mexico BMW rally is this October in Tampico, so a little more inland route though the mountains might be nice, since the upcoming rally will take me to the coast anyway.

    We're ready, for moto-scuba Mexico.

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    Paperwork is ready, all the insurance, fake drivers licenses, money stashing, map folding, bike stocking. Mark shows up in San Antonio and we size him up. Nellie, my yellow lab, seems to approve. Both Mark&#8217;s R1200 and Sterett&#8217;s Wing appear to be in great shap. We&#8217;re ready. The night before we head to McAllen, we turn on the news. The State Department has issued a travel warning for travel to Mexico. This is great news, for adrenaline junkies.

    We&#8217;re off to the border.
    #14
  15. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    1,540
    Wow!...I think you got my attention...:ear
    #15
  16. kennyanc

    kennyanc Long timer

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    Asheville, NC
    Lookin' GOOD Bob!!! :clap:clap

    I've been waiting on this.:wings


    Kenny
    #16
  17. kennyanc

    kennyanc Long timer

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    Knock, Knock, anybody home???



    :lurk:lurk:lurk
    #17
  18. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    I get sick and tired of hearing about the state department warnings all the time:puke1 , I commend you for going.

    Unless its an all out war and America is invading Mexico I will continue to travel there. Looking forward to the rest of this RR:clap
    #18
  19. Hank

    Hank Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    South Texas
    Hola Tricepilot,

    Great photos!, I'm glad you kept the bike and made the ride to Mexico, that's a great country, looking back at all that I've seen on my trip Mexico is still one of my favorite places, lucky for you and I that we live so close!!!

    Hank
    #19
  20. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    San Antonio
    Border crossings are an exciting time. No matter how many times you’ve been to Mexico, they’re always good for raising your blood pressure a notch or two. Turn the emerald every which way into the sun, and you have a different facet on why a crossing into Mexico is always interesting. Lots of paperwork, lots of lines. Strange language, to some. Signs with words you studied in high school but forgot. You’ve laid out your passport and checked it and your license, plus your registration. Unless you went to the web to get your permiso, which is so easy it is the smart thing to do.

    Squared ourselves into the La Quinta in preparation for a dawn bridge crossing. Time for dinner. I’ve made two contacts to meet at the border, one on each side. In McAllen, my buddy Pancho – Frank – is coming to meet us at Republic of the Rio Grande, Restaurant & Cantina. Excellent place, not far from 23<SUP>rd</SUP> street, the straight shot into Mexico. Pancho was on the trip to Creel and Batopilas for the off-road training taught by Ramey Stroud. I’ve seen him in action, roadside, taking apart a KLR and fixing the electronic thing-a-ma-ging to make it purr again. The man knows Mexico, even works part time for Motodiscovery as a tour meister. I’ve been behind him in the sand, the fun part of the road from the turnoff from Creel to the rim of the Copper Canyon. We both had to pull over to catch our breath. And laugh. He thought about making this run with us. Then thought better of it.

    The other link up is in the morning, on the other side of the bridge. Arte, as he is also known here, will be waiting for us on the bridge at sunrise, on his KLR. Arte recently completed a fantastic ride report including a stop in Guanajuato, where he went to school. He is going to take us to the aduana and then to his house for breakfast. You can forget getting your paperwork and being past the border as fast as you can. We’re stopping for chilaquiles, gracias.

    Over at the Republic, we find dinner and we find Pancho. Over small talk, I break out the map and pull Frank to the side, looking for route ideas. He thinks we can make it as far as Ciudad Victoria for sure, possibly Ciudad Monte. Some people like to stop at the Hacienda Santa Engracia not too far out of Victoria, but that’s not appealing to me. I’d like to make it as far inland as possible the first day. Some people start to look for accommodations when the sun is three fingers above the horizon. That isn’t a bad idea, as long as you don’t have a flat or break down late in the day. Then you deal with the dark and do what you have to do.

    We all like seasoned motorcycle people, and genuine nice guys. That defines Pancho. He charms my two riding buddies with a story that gets them to stop eating mid-forkfull – there has been two daylight bank robberies in Reynosa very recently, one at the big mall in town. Sterett and Mark look over at me. I raise an eyebrow and shrug, almost as an aside and a signal for ‘can happen anywhere’. Then Pancho opines about the kidnapping of a church friend’s husband, who has not been seen since. He isn’t trying to scare anyone, just bringing the news on the emerging climate at the border and elsewhere. Maybe I’m lucky, but I’ve heard of car accidents too, but in all my years of driving I’ve never seen a major crash or even two cars bumping into each other, except for the occasions where I’ve come upon the aftermath. Same as the turmoil that the news covers in Mexico. I’m not interested in the business of the narcos, so I’ll stay out of their way. If I find myself in the mix, it boils down to fate.

    Back at the hotel, I can’t sleep. I’m like the little kid I was in 1969, getting ready to get in the family station wagon in West Redding, Connecticut and drive out west to Yellowstone to see places I’ve only read about in old copies of National Geographic. Its Mexico, and I’ve been here before, but like I told you, I’m an addict.

    Frank, center, with Subcomandante Marcos (L) and Sterett (R), outside the Republic of the Rio Grande, the night before the crossing

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    <o:p>Subcomandante checks his R1200 for all manner of loose screws. The only loose screws he finds our in our own minds. Notice Mark has quickly become Subcomandante Marcos, a title I have given him because he has earned our friendship and respect. I will ride with him anywhere, any time.</o:p>
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    <o:p>Republic of the Rio Grande. Love it. Right across the street from the La Quinta, although crossing that street was more dangerous than anything (almost) I encountered in Mexico. Thank you Pancho for taking the time to have a beer with us. Motorcycling makes friends forever. You rock Frank.</o:p>
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    <o:p>Arte and his KLR. Here's another advrider guy who's ride reports I devour. Arte contacted me as I've mentioned and offered to host us at his house in Reynosa after getting the visas at the aduana. Arte is going to promise me to meet me in Reynosa on my own KLR soon and we're going with his buddies back up to Real de Catorce and check out the back roads. My buddy Scott (La Outback Trail) did a ride report as well on that area, and between Arte, Scott, and Richard, who does the MexTrek each fall in the Galeana area, I am pumped.</o:p>
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    <o:p>Arte, you have a place to stay in San Antonio if you ever want to come a few hours north and do some of Richard's Hill Country events, such as the Texas Adventure Ride, or even explore the Big Bend area. We love you, man.</o:p>
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    <o:p>Check out the huge lines at the aduana. Not. We were literally the ONLY people in the building that Friday morining. But I'm still happy we had permisos in tank bag, as we only needed the quick tourist visa.</o:p>
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    <o:p>If you have any doubt about how to go about getting your permiso online, I've posted quite a bit about it in Trip Planning, or you can PM me. You'll have your permiso at your door in 3 days. Love it.</o:p>
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    <o:p>On the way to Arte's house in Reynosa for breakfast. I always love the first hour in Mexico. I feel that I'm home. Maybe I'm hopelessly in love with the place. I really do feel at home there. Sorry, no narcos or problems to report this morning. I was so happy to be in Mexico and be on the way to a great day of riding and fellowship with Arte and his family. I can't say enough about Arte - can anyone be your brother so firmly and so fast? I never had a real brother, but motorcycling has brought me many brothers who I would do anything for.</o:p>
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    <o:p>Subcomandante Marcos out front next to Arte. I always wonder what the people I ride with are thinking about. These first few hours, if I haven't ridden with someone much, I watch their riding style, their spacing, how they signal. Then I adjust. No two people are the same. And on the first day, there is a lot going on. We rode to the border together from San Antonio, but this is Mexico, one wrong turn by one person and a different turn by another, and you have a fresh problem. I hope you have'nt lost your riding buddy in Mexico or anywhere else. I have a plan to deal with that I'll get to later if I remember it.</o:p>
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    <o:p>Sterett on the Wing and a Prayer, I mean Gold Wing. (Is it Goldwing, GoldWing, or what?) I don't want to sound too jealous, but did the beemers get any attention in Mexico? No, everyone wanted to crowd around the GoldWing and gawk. Sterett loved the whole thing, especially the BMWs not getting any attention. Unless of course he told them to go look at our bikes, out of compassion for us.</o:p>
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    <o:p>Breakfast at Arte & Paloma's wonderful home in Reynosa. I can't tell you how much I appreciate these wonderful people. Delicious chilaquiles, jugo de naranja, cafe (puro, por favor). I let loose on my spanish, much to the amusement of Paloma. We go over maps with Arte much like we did with Pancho. We are totally relaxed and making a solid connection with an amazing family. </o:p>
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    <o:p>Let me stress one thing here. From my observation, Reynosa was a study in normalcy. Like every city I've been in in Mexico. People going about their daily lives, making a living, shopping, busy with raising a family. From the news, we in America think its the OK corral, or people lined up on the river trying to cross over. Its NOT HAPPENING. The restaurants are full, the folks are in the centro, the parks and museums are full, and its business as usual. Are there elements of South Central LA? You know the answer to that. But that's everywhere.</o:p>
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    <o:p>Arte and Paloma don't need a new child, but I'm ready to move in.</o:p>
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    <o:p>After breakfast, Arte, who had taken a chunk of time off from work, led us out of Reynosa to the highway south towards Ciudad Victoria. He pulled over to wish us well, and we gave him a hug. Did I tell you I love that guy? He's my brother.</o:p>
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    <o:p>We gunned south starting at about 9:30 AM. Here is the route. We were hoping to make Victoria, with Ciudad Monte a hopeful choice. We were lucky, in a strong side wind we rode hard, making Ciudad Valles in late afternoon. As I mentioned, we didn't know exactly where we would lay our heads that night, we just had the Guia Roji and the Bicimapas and the Lonely Planet, and faith.</o:p>
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    <o:p>Somewhere around the bend in the Yucatán, was this</o:p>
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    #20