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

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

  1. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    I'm not sure "feel" is the issue here. Contact patch area seems to be the main issue if we are to believe people like Lee Parks. Personally, I keep an eye on the pressure more for tread wear purposes. Anyways, it was just a questioned proposed to Bob. Not meant to get us off topic.

    Bob, great pictures of Pachuca :thumb
    #41
  2. WrenchRider

    WrenchRider Adventurer

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    :thumb Thanks for the tips, nice touch.

    :lurk
    #42
  3. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    I once spent two hours getting out of Guatemala City, asked for directions about 10 times, finally a guy just said, follow me, I'll show you the way. I'd probably still be there wandering around if it weren't for him. Taxis...yes...good.
    #43
  4. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer no cualquier gringo

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    Pulled into big Monterrey once, from the south. Needed the Harley dealership. Asked, asked, and asked, telephone books, car dealerships. Nada. Finally in despiration hit upon following a taxi. No problema. (In case you don't know, it was a small miracle finding the Harley dealership in Mty.) 'Course nowdays there are cell phones that work in Mexico, and internet. Still............

    I head south to Mexico :clap in two weeks :eek1 .
    #44
  5. bosco

    bosco Raybanned

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    + this

    [​IMG]



    = funny as shit! :lol3
    #45
  6. Trail Boss

    Trail Boss World's fastest slowrider

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    Bob,

    I've got topo maps of all this area and the maps are just incredibly full of dirt roads and trails, running all over the mountains. As awesome as the paved roads are, I'm willing to bet the dual sport riding there is even better.

    One of these days....one of these days...



    Great report. Keep up the good work.
    #46
  7. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer no cualquier gringo

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    Hey Gil, Rowdy here
    and Roger that. I plotted a route from Maroles (north of Zimapan) bypassing Ixmilquilpan to Cardonal and Topapango (or something). Looked good on Google Earth only to come to the conclusion they are tereceria (dirt). We could trailer to Zimapan and do a loop or two.
    Sorry, Bob for the hijack. We are patiently waiting. Good report.
    #47
  8. Trail Boss

    Trail Boss World's fastest slowrider

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    Rowdy,

    PM sent.
    #48
  9. shadman

    shadman Been here awhile

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    Tricepilot,

    Great tip for following a Taxi to your hotel and out of town! I spent 1/2 hour in a rental car in the maze of tunnels just under the Jardin in Guamajuato before realizing I'd made the same loop more than once. Finally got lucky and found my way. A taxi would have saved more in gas money than it cost. Great tip!!!!

    Peter
    #49
  10. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

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    Hey TP I'm in!:D

    You bringing the Mad Max KLR to Junction?:lol3
    #50
  11. Jammin

    Jammin Living on a DR

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    Hey Bob,
    Nice ride report and pictures. Nice idea to tie in some diving with some riding. :beer
    #51
  12. Flyingavanti

    Flyingavanti With the Redhead on Back!

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    Great report!!

    Thanks so very much for taking the time to post the fantastic pictures! Great job!


    Sincerely,
    Dale and Sandy


    :1drink
    #52
  13. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    THREADJACK:
    Speaking of Gil, Rowdy, Pete, Wishbone, etc., I've recently started researching The Sedalia Trail. I have a copy of the original diary that was used as the basis of the show. That diary took the real drovers up to the Chicago stockyards. I am interested in riding a trace as close to the original route as possible from San Antonio, TX but only up to Sedalia, MO. Still picking coordinates on this. The town of Sedalia has some history of the trail, but I am researching further south to see if there are places of interest where key events might have occurred. In the meantime, keep them doggies rolling! :D

    By the way, I opine Eastwood was nothing compared to Fleming at the time. Too bad Fleming died so early.

    BACK ON TOPIC:
    Bob, I think the follow-the-taxi technique is brilliant! I will remember it for the larger towns where dead-reckoning or strip maps won't work.

    Mike
    #53
  14. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    [​IMG]

    A couple of events conspired to make this a great day of riding and exploring. Principally, the fact that this was our shortest movement day of the trip. How that unfolded was due to stopping at Pachuca the night before, and not pushing on to Puebla the night before. Let me explain. After coming out of the mountains on Mex 85 we technically could have made Puebla but we were’nt sure of the route to get there. We knew we really, really wanted to skirt Mexico City, and not get sucked into the vortex, so to speak. We had two copies of Bicimapas, or Bad-Boy Mapas, running, one on my Zumo and one on Sterett’s. It was good for situational awareness – only – as we would come to find out it would ask you to take dirt roads and trails to get to your destination. So we weren’t positive we could make Puebla without at least a few miss-steps, and it was getting on towards dark.

    Pachuca, the lightly-touristed city, would have been even more lightly touristed if we had decided not to stop there. But for an overnight stay, it was perfect. This day, we knew we wanted to stop at Puebla, and we knew that would make this the shortest distance day of the trip. Good. Two long days, days of pushing and days of leaning, and this a sort of inhale day and a day at a place all three of us looked forward to. Mix it up a little. Get in at noon. Chill. The weather continued to cooperate, cool in the early morning and late evenings, but perfect during the day. Excellent light. Now, always looking for the light.

    But here is the point. We got into Puebla on a Sunday. Any other day would have been different. We got there Sunday, early. That made all the difference. Monday would have been a work day, the Zócolo would have been swept down, or in the process of. Saturday would have been good probably, with people in and about, but not the fiesta, market, artesanias atmosphere. The street shows, the vendors, the art, the pottery. Life. It was…perfect.

    The shortest day. But not without adventure getting there. Mexico City is a huge, powerful electro-magnate. It wants to pull the metal on motorcycles into the vortex and dump your frame onto the Temple of the Sun at Teotihuacán. Scooters are pulled and thrown onto the Temple of the Moon. The main tool of the Evil Electro Magnate is his evil prince Zumo. Zumo, the pagan God of Vortex, a colony of evil created by the dark King Bicimapas. He got us near Calpulapan. Got us good. We were on our vector from Pachuca to Puebla, on a main road. When Sterett’s Zumo, Prince of Vortex, casts the spell. We stop and look down the city lane, a narrow, busy city street into Calpulapan. Are we supposed to leave a major highway? Take a short cut perhaps? Yes, that must be it. An autopista entrance lies just past the veil, this appearance of city congestion and one-way streets. We are powerless to reason under the spell, and are drawn into the web. For like about forever, or so the ½ hour of being lost seemed. We are saved by our hero, Santa Guia-Roji, patron saint of paper maps. Santa Guia-Roji taught us a valuable lesson. We know now to be wary of the trickster Prince Zumo, who lets itself be swayed by the dark-side evil electo-map godless one, King Bicimapas. We escaped the Mexico City vortex, but just by one turn of a banjo bolt.

    I imagine that there are more churches in Puebla than in any other city in Mexico. It seems that way. They are everywhere, and so is the colonial touch. Puebla has a feel to it. A vibrancy. Hip. A cross-roads. Restaurants – busy. Hotels – pleasantly filled, but not full. Weather – perfect. People – happy. We followed signs for the Zócolo off the autopista, and then were drawn by the spires of tall church. Surely that would signal the center of town. Not in Puebla, those spires we saw initially were one of the dozens of such churches that dot the downtown area. Then as we did arrive at the Centro, work on the streets was in progress. They are laying down fresh, decorative pavers on the streets, installing new lighting, blocking some streets off for pedestrian-only access. You might call it “gentrifying” the streets near the centro. With fair ease, we found our way to a place to park right on the Zócolo, using a section usually reserved for tour buses. We were so informed by la policía, one lady officer on foot and two via bicicleta. Time for a charm offensive. “You can’t park here”….”yes, of course, we can move”…..”you need to move right away”….”do you like motorcycles? We are here on a two-week trip through beautiful Mexico”…..”you are here for two we..you have to move your motorcycles, sir”…..”can I take a photo with you and my bike?”…..”yes, how big is the motor?” We parked there all afternoon.

    In a ritual that would be repeated daily, for every 1 person who asked about the BMWs, 10 people gathered around Sterett’s Wing. It became a running joke. For what Sterett lacked in topes clearance, he gained in popularity. Has no one seen a Gold Wing in Mexico before? Sterett was a rock star with that bike. Mark and I? Next to Sterett and his Wing, we were two guys on Huffys with paper grocery sacks over our heads.
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    <o:p>In addition to a BMW R1200, Subcomandante Marcos & I both have Fatboys. Which I thought was an interesting coincidence. Wherever I go, they catch my eye. Especially when parked on the zócolo in Puebla. I can assure you the owner of this Fatboy doesn't fly over topes. And I don't even have to ask him that question.</o:p>
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    <o:p>Sterett's morning pose in Pachuca, the city he left anonymous only to became a rock star here in Puebla..</o:p>
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    <o:p>We chatted with Lourdes (L) and Rose (R) for quite a while. They were on a bus trip through Mexico. Lourdes, from Venezuela, and Rose, from Morelia, gave Subcomandante a chance to practice his spanish, while Sterett and I took advantage of the late afternoon light. I did the usual, which is to grab the camera, and run for the photos!</o:p>
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    <o:p>They want you to come to Puebla and experience the magic for yourself. But try to come on a Sunday, when the weather is perfect, and when you've only come as far as from Pachuca, so you can have most of the day to explore.</o:p>
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    <o:p>By the way, lunch today was McDonalds. I usually never eat McDonalds at home. In fact, I think their hamburgers taste like cardboard. But when were looking for a hotel, I saw a McDonald's below street level and tucked there to snag 3 cheezeburgers for the 3 Amigos, and 3 cokes. We were individually surprised how good they tasted. Maybe we just needed to reset our taste buds :dunno </o:p>
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    <o:p>Overnight Parking Madness 101 and a closing thought on Puebla, next.</o:p>
    #54
  15. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    [​IMG]

    Puebla’s motorcycle parking situation presented us one of those rare times when our motorcycles were not parked with us right at the hotel. We stayed at the Hotel Royalty, in part because that’s how Sterett was received on his Gold Plated Wing. Parking situations often dictate choice of hotel, especially when you have the option of keeping the bike at the door to your room, or some other, less than optimum situation. In our instance, the option for parking was the public garage, 3 blocks away.

    This is a discussion of motorcycle security, not necessarily motorcycle security in Mexico. You may disagree, but I think I can make a case that your motorcycle is more secure in Mexico than in the United States. It isn’t that hard of a case to make. Unless you ride a very small bike, like those used in the pizza delivery trade and every other trade, your exposure to theft is rather small. There isn’t a big chop shop trade for motorcycles in Mexico. Selling whole, stolen bikes isn’t common, either. On my other favorite motorcycle website/blog, Two Wheeled Texans, I’m used to reading about stolen bikes, or attempted theft of bikes. Most often, from an apartment complex.

    I’ve seen people bring, or propose to bring, all sorts of anti-theft devices to Mexico. In no particular order: disk locks, “New York Style” chains (those massive, heavy deals), cable locks (had a guy cable lock his Harley to my 1200 in Alamos, without asking me), cable locks to a post, cable locks through a wheel. If bringing those things on a motorcycle trip is/are important to you, whether or not they actually end up being effective, then by all means employ them. I think you are wasting your time and money.

    The one item that I know is effective above all others, is a simple, lightweight motorcycle cover. You don’t even need a lock for it.

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    What the eye can’t fixate upon, it can’t covet. Motorcycle covers create a psychological barrier. What the eye can’t connect with, the mind can’t engage. Let me give you a separate, but related, example. If you’re in traffic in the U.S. and you accidentally cut off a jerk, that jerk may pull alongside and honk and threaten. Your biggest mistake is to make eye contact. You then allow the mind – and emotions – to engage. You will be shocked at just how fast the situation will de-escalate if you don’t lock eyes.

    Cover your bike, and a stranger, knowing there is some type of motorcycle under there, can’t begin to establish a curiosity. Even at the simplest level, compartments, buttons, switches won’t be messed with. Nobody is going to gather around basically a sheet thrown over a metal frame. If you live in the Flamingo Apartments in Dallas, and you ride your motorcycle home from work everyday and cover it at night, someone may know you have a BMW R1200 under there and make plans to steal it. But if you’re on a trip in Arizona and staying at the La Quinta, a pick-up truck prowling the parking lot at 2 AM will see your covered bike, but do they throw their effort into stealing that or the uncovered Harley over there at the Hampton Suites?

    In Puebla, the garage attendant ran a valet parking operation. They took the cars from the customers and disappeared to the dark recesses of the garage. For our motorcycles, we talked them into letting us park them right near the 24 hour office, right there inside the garage under the lights. We locked the forks, took all the valuables off the bikes, and placed the covers on them. In a funny moment, the garage guy wanted the keys to the bikes.

    “Sir, we keep the keys to all the vehicles in the garage because we often have to move them to fit other vehicles in”

    ”Well, you don’t need the keys to our bikes since you aren’t going to ride our motorcycles, right?”

    “That’s true Sir, but it’s what we do”

    Our bikes were parked together, well out of the way, and obviously wouldn’t need to be moved.

    Me: “That’s not going to happen, we keep our keys. If you had my key I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I hope you understand”

    With that, we walked back to the hotel and found a restaurant for dinner.

    Final Note on Security:

    Like all the advice I give on precautions when traveling, not just to Mexico, but we’ll keep it on Mexico for the sake of the discussion, here is the key. Take your risk management steps, buy your insurance, do what you gotta do. Then leave the rest up to God, fate, karma, tea leaves, dice, or whatever floats your boat. If you are the type that is going to worry your way across Mexico, stay at home. You take reasonable precautions, but concentrate on having a great time.

    PS When I’m motorcycle camping in the U.S., there is one more little anti-theft item I shall not mention, that I carry, which I would never bring to Mexico. But it’s a topic for a different thread ;)

    #55
  16. cyborg

    cyborg Potius Sero Quam Numquam

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    I totally agree with tricepilot on the bike security. When I was on a road trip in Europe last summer, on a borrowed factory loaned KTM990S with full Touratech luggage - most places were totally safe in small towns. Parked next to the hotel/motel was usually enough. In the Czech Republic, in the center of big-town Prague, the fairly nice hotel advised us not to park the bike on the street next to the hotel because even with locks and covers, bikes were often vandalized and disappeared here. Must have a better breaker-market :huh We were advised to use the central city underground parking a kilometer away where the parking attendant in his little office gave me a small corner near the underground office. I was a bit worried because it was a loaned bike and was a high traffic tourist and town worker garage; but even with no cover, nothing was touched for 3 days sitting there. I took all the desirables like GPS and luggage and such off the bike of course, and they didn't ask for a key. You just have to go with fate at times, well actually most times :beer

    Great RR so far! :lurk
    #56
  17. Sideout

    Sideout Noob Adventurer

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    +1 on bike safety
    Go with fate but don't forget your motorcycle insurance too.
    #57
  18. kennyanc

    kennyanc Long timer

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    Here's my secret. I always try to park my KLR in amongst a bunch of BMW's, KTM's, etc., etc., whatever.... I've never had my bike touched while in Mexico :deal Don't even need a cover.....
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    #58
  19. WrenchRider

    WrenchRider Adventurer

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    "Take your risk management steps, buy your insurance, do what you gotta do. Then leave the rest up to God, fate, karma, tea leaves, dice, or whatever floats your boat. If you are the type that is going to worry your way across Mexico, stay at home. You take reasonable precautions, but concentrate on having a great time. "




    NICE, Like it,like it alot..
    #59
  20. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    The driving force on this trip was to visit the Yucatán. I consulted my usual Board of Regents, Gustavo, Dan, Bob (H. - L.R.), Glen, and reviewed some ride reports using the search function. In the end, there was no way to put together a two week trip and see everything there is to see between Texas and the Riviera Maya. So we made this a targeted diving trip in Mahahual, with a stop in Coatzacoalcos to visit the child I sponsor through Compassion International.

    But yes, Mexico, motorcycles, and scuba diving is a wonderful mix. Interestingly, nobody has asked me the "obvious question", and to the person who asks me the "obvious question", I am going to send them a copy of the DVD Into the Blue. Hint: it has to do with the logistics of motorcycling to Mexico and going diving.

    Consider staying in the nearby town of Xilitla. Check out the Lonely Planet guide. Nearby Aquismon is a treasure trove. You could spend a month like a '70s hippy, staying in a cheap hotel and backpacking/exploring the Huasteca region. Rain falls in the region almost all-year 'round, therefore, the rivers and the falls in the area are fantastic, and the site of several movies, including Romancing the Stone.

    Las Pozas is back on the radar of many organizations and is undergoing a renovation, but don't let that fact dissuade you from making the effort to get there - it's still in pretty "rough" form.

    Taxis appear like magic when you want one. I always look forward to talking to those guys. They're not just a handy guide, you can pick their brains for places off te beaten path. At one stop, I asked a taxista where the best pizza place was. His suggestion turned out to be one of the best pizza places I've ever enjoyed, and it wasn't in the Lonely Planet. In fact, the only customers in the place were locals. It was.....perfect.

    Milton is another motociclista who lives close enough to the border that he can almost pick and choose his departure to the Promised Land.

    "God does not subtract from Man's allotted time the hours spent in Mexico"

    - Tricepilot proverb

    Get your posse together and let's make the run to the Huasteca region to fix the routes for the dual-sport crowd. May I suggest HQ out of Aquismon, with an occasional run into C. Valles for supplies.

    The KLR is finished with paint (Dupli-Color bedliner); Pro-Tapers, Acerbis, steel brake lines, crash bars, and sub-frame bolts. I have left to install the Caribou and do the Doo-Icky. But it will be at Junction!


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    Claro que si, hermano Jay. Underwater photography and movie making was something I had not tried before.

    Here is a teaser, since the RR is getting closer to the coast and to Mahahual:


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    Dale - your epic ride reports are part of the inspiration to get out there and explore. It is I who thank you.

    "Trust, but verify" - Ronald Reagan

    IMHO, a KLR in Mexico, parked among some BMWs and some KTMs, would actually BE the tempting target. It has the better market.
    #60