Mexico - A Few Days Into Mexico

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Pedro Navaja, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    Day 1 Sunday, 26 October 2008

    And so my short journey from Houston to Cuatrocienegas MEX begins. The total distance for this trip was 1,357 miles, solo. Here is a picture of my bike. It is a 2007 Honda Nighthawk. This is a 250cc bike and is made with old technology. This means it has a carburetor, is air-cooled, has a cable choke, drum brakes, and inner-tube type tires. It is the type of bike I remember as a teen in the 70's, but is much larger than anything I rode back then. Today some folks call this a beginner’s bike. However, I recall as a young teen this was considered a big bike back when a Honda 150cc was considered a regular commuter. To me this type of bike represents proven and reliable technology.

    I have named this bike Lady in Red. Below are some pictures of the lovely lady on the morning of the ride. The bike is packed and ready to go. I think I have a nice system for packing. Not too much stuff, but enough.

    Here she is from a side view. Sunrise has just occurred after a nice morning twilight. In the background is my house in Houston.




    Here is a rear shot. The orange bag under the plastic is a medical emergency kit for motorcycling and the small orange device is SPOT, a personal satellite tracker. Much thanks to my amigo tricepilot for the info on SPOT.
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  2. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    Departure Day from Houston

    I chose Del Rio / Ciudad Acuña as my crossing point for this trip. I decided to cross at Del Rio because the entire process can be done at Cd. Acuña instead of forwarding the traveler to the inland checkpoint as might be done if one crosses at Piedras Negras, where I have crossed before. I also like the Ramada Inn at Del Rio. It is a full service hotel, so after the 400-mile ride from Houston to Del Rio I can clean up and dine there without having to venture out for dining. The hotel is also motorcyclist friendly. They will assign a first floor room with easy access to the bike upon request.

    The ride from Houston to Del Rio has become much more efficient for me after studying some routes. The first time I made a Del Rio trip it took me eleven hours. This time it only took me nine hours. Next time I think I can shave another 30 minutes off. Keep in mind I do not use interstates. For this route I am pretty much using US90 and US90A, with alternative bypass routes to get around Houston and San Antonio.

    The weather on this day was just wonderful for riding. After arrival and check-in, I topped of the oil, and lubed the chain. I got cleaned up and went to dine at the White Horse Lounge located in the Ramada Inn. Some call this the White Ho lounge. However, since the dance floor was removed, it is no longer so ho-ee :D I engaged in the standard BS’ing with a couple of the guys in there around my age. There were also some off-duty waitresses in there that the other guys were teasing. Anyhow, standard bar room nonsense, and the food was decent enough. After dinner the tires had cooled off so I topped them off with my foot pump so that all would be ready for my crossing at daybreak.

    Here is a pic of the bike outside my room. Room 166 is a great room to have if you want to park your bike up on the sidewalk. I don’t like the standard parking spaces because someone could pull into one of the spaces before seeing the bike, and thus damage it. The brick wall you see there is my room’s exterior wall. I have the bike up on it’s center stand for the night and secured with cable locks. I have of course taken all my luggage inside. However, I should say that others have reported they have never had trouble with bike security in Del Rio.



    Okay, so lots of ride reports here about Mexico. Shall I continue?
    #2
  3. TomN

    TomN Long timer

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    Good stuff! :clap
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  4. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Bring it to advrider Miguel! :rayof

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  5. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    Day 2 Monday 27 October 2008

    At wake-up it’s overcast. Hmmm. Seems a little cold. Is that rain I feel in my bones? Yesterday’s weather was perfect. The forecast for the week is clear skies for Texas and northern Mexico. I put on my medium-weight long underwear. That should suffice for today's ride into Mexico.

    The morning crossing at dawn was flawless. No lines. I paid the toll to cross the river and once across I pulled off to the left into the guards’ inspection lane. I lifted my visor, immediately greeted the guard and asked him where I could get my tourist card. He was very friendly and polite and directed me to the office to get the tourist card. I also asked him if he needed to check the bike. He said no, so I asked him if I could park in one of their spaces. He said of course. It was very early morning and his two other buddies were watching an outdoor TV that they use to kill time when the traffic isn’t busy. I asked them what was on TV, he joked just some regular political nonsense on the news. I went inside and a very gracious young lady did the tourist card thing for me. She was kinda flirty which started the day out on a positive note. I paid for the tourist card at the window next door where I found another friendly guy, and then returned to the young lady who put the final touches on the tourist card. When I came out to the bike, I again greeted the guards and asked them where I could exchange money (the Del Rio places are closed on Sundays for exchanging money and I didn't want to wait until 9:00a Monday morning in Del Rio). The guards pointed out an exchange across the street and said it would not be open for another fifteen minutes. So I crossed the street and hung out with some locals who also happened to be waiting there. These locals were just waiting for a ride to get to work. Very friendly guys as we just exchanged some light conversation. Everybody knows each other in these towns and you can pick up a lot just by seeing how people are greeted by others passing by. The exchange opened and I exchanged the money. I went back to the bike, thanked the guards again, and then the head guard asked me if I had obtained a vehicle permit yet. I told him that I did and that I had gotten it over the internet (thanks to tricepilot). He said that was good, and best not to put it on my windshield but just keep it on me. He did not ask to see it. I thanked him again and he gave me directions on how to get out of Cd. Acuña to find MEX29. His directions were excellent. MEX29 is a good road and it is improving. Lots of road improvement projects I passed along the way. As I moved down MEX29 I passed through several small towns. All these small towns have a central plaza and a church. Here’s an example of a central plaza encountered right after I cleared Cd. Acuña - the town of Zaragoza.



    It's getting colder. I feel some drops. Okay, time to stop. I zip my wind/rain liner into my Tourmaster and put a dickey on. Okay, feeling good now.

    It's getting colder again. Yikes! It's really cold. Only drizzling. I had better stop. I stop and put on yet another layer of clothing. My good old and trusted Bundeswehr (German Army) commando sweater. I used to have a British SAS commando sweater, but the real Lady in Red shrunk it by accident (this is the only time I threatened divorce). Anyways, the Bundeswehr sweater is better since it has a front pocket. You know, German engineering and all that :D Heavy gloves on now too! I ride on.

    My favorite riding sweater.


    MEX29 joins MEX57 near the town of Allende, and shortly after that I hit the checkpoint. I pull into the Declaration lane and tell the guard I am carrying prescription medicine. He kinda says, "so what?" I told him the Aduana website said to declare prescription medicines. He laughs and says move along.

    I move along. It's getting colder, but that Bundeswehr sweater engineering is really paying off. The rain is coming down now fairly steady. I am not having any trouble with cars or traffic. My new found secret is my lime-yellow safety vest. I picked up one of these after reading about them in Hough's second book, MORE Proficient Motorcycling. I swear that vest is instant car and truck repellent.

    I chose to take MEX57 Libre as opposed to MEX57 Couta. Taking the Libre (non-toll road) will allow me to see more of the towns as I wind my way down to Cuatrocienegas.

    The rain stops as soon as I get to Monclova. As I clear Monclova and enter Ciudad Frontera, I take a wrong turn. Now for some fun...
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  6. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    ¡Hola Roberto! Pues aquí estoy probando este sitio. ¡A ver si se averiguan las advertencias que me han dicho! :D

    Miguel
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  7. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    Okay, before we get started on more pictures and story telling, let’s go over the route and some technical riding points, and technical planning points, as well as attitudes.

    I think the roads are in excellent condition. I also witnessed many road improvement projects in progress while on this ride. The Mexican government obviously cares about its road infrastructure. However, do not get the impression that these are US type roads. Quite frankly I think the best highways in the world are found in the former West Germany. I do find the Mexican roads however to be on the upper spectrum from what I have seen around the world. You will not find me complaining about road conditions on this journey.

    For riding in this area you will notice that your tires pick up a white powder. This is desert dust. You will notice a decrease in traction. It’s like talcum powder. No need to panic, but be careful when you are cornering. You will clearly see this dust in the wake of cars that are coming at you in the opposite lane. I suggest that you wax your painted surfaces (like your fuel tank) before you ride.

    Others here have already written about topes (speed bumps). Sometimes these are painted, sometimes these are not painted. Some of these bumps are steel semi-spheres embedded into the asphalt; others are the traditional concrete bumps we have here in the US. You will have to add these speed bumps to your search criteria as you ride through the towns and cities of Mexico. If you hit one of these at high velocity you will quickly learn a lesson. You have been warned.

    There was absolutely no pressure put on me to speed up by cars, trucks, and buses that wanted to pass. I found the drivers to be extraordinarily courteous and many waved. I sensed no road rage from anyone until I got back to the US. Some cars in the towns and cities may pass you uncomfortably close. Do not panic. This is done at low velocity and is common in many countries. If you are new at this just keep an eye on what’s going on in your rear view mirrors. You will have to add this to your search criteria as well. Much easier here than in places like Bangkok and Jakarta.

    Motorcyclists in Mexico rarely wave. Both hands are to be kept on the handlebars, but I do not know if this is by law or simply by education. Motorcyclists do not ride with their high beams on during the day. If you have your high beams on, you will be flickered by oncoming trucks, cars, buses, and other riders. I did ask a policeman and he suggested the riding be done with the low beams.

    I highly suggest that one get the vehicle import permit in advance via the internet as suggested by tricepilot. Just the other day at Wild West Honda a BMW rider who was at the BMW rally in Guadalajara boasted that the process only takes five minutes at the border. That may be true in his case, but others have told me it has taken hours due to a combination of lines, not knowing the language, paperwork not in order, and rudeness of the US citizen trying to get the process done as if he/she were in the US. Save yourself the potential hassle, and pay the extra to get the permit delivered to your home. However, keep in mind that once you get that permit, you have to make the trip in order to cancel the permit at the border. Don’t forget to cancel the permit on your way out. Either at the checkpoint or at the border. I will gladly discuss this further in the background with any of you that have questions prior to your intended trip.

    The tourist card. Pay for it! Don’t hassle the border people about getting it for free because you intend to stay less than seven days in Mexico. If you have to quibble about this amount of money, then you probably shouldn’t be riding in Mexico anyways. If you break down and are stuck beyond your free seven days, then you are in trouble. And by the way even though your bike import permit is good for 180 days, it is trumped by the length of your tourist card (read the fine print). So if you get the seven day freebie tourist card and you break down in Mexico past the seven days, you not only have an illegal visa, but now have an illegal bike. You are in trouble.

    Mexican Insurance. A special thanks to AUSFletch and his write-up about Adventure Mexican Insurance. I went ahead and bought a 1-year policy. This of course means I am going back. Can't wait! :thumb

    On the highways, what we usually consider a shoulder not to be used for riding, is actually a lane for riding. You will see cars and buses using this lane. It is the right lane and is there for your use. Let others pass you on the left.

    Animals are out in abundance on the unpaved shoulders of the roads. Most of these are tied with ropes so they can’t wander out on the road, but you should be careful. No need to worry about dogs along highways and boulevards. They are self-trained not to chase bikes. On residential streets, however, that's another story that I will talk about later.

    For gasoline you want to have Pemex Magna sin plomo (unleaded). The premium gasoline has lead in it. The attendants were extremely courteous. After greeting them I requested that they please be careful not to spill gas. They all complied, and I tipped them appropriately. It never hurts to ask these guys how their day is going when you first pull in. They are all smiles.

    I suggest cleaning and lubing the chain at the end of each day’s ride, especially due to the desert dust.

    Anymore technical discussions, please just ask away. Now for some pictures and more information about Cuatrocienegas…also written as Cuatro Cienegas instead of the compound word.

    By the way, in addition to getting chased by a dog, I also dropped the bike.

    Shall I continue with the story?
    #7
  8. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Please do.. I took care of your request already :thumb

    :lurk
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  9. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    Chased by a Dog

    In Latin America, generally, the highways drop you onto a city’s main boulevard(s) and then it is for you to find your way thru the city to a proper highway that takes you out. My task upon entering Monclova was to essentially turn to the west and find MEX30 which would take me to Cuatrocienegas. I found the signage in Monclova to be quite good on directing me out of the city. Monclova has a sister city that is right next to it. This is Ciudad Frontera. There is a qualitative difference between Monclova and Cd. Frontera like many sister cities here in the US. Following the signs to take me west, the one with the arrow to Cuatrocienegas is covered with a tree branch. I could see the arrow but was not sure whether the right turn would be at that very street or the next one. I made the immediate turn, which put me down a residential street. I immediately realized my mistake. No big deal, I will simply dead-reckon my way over to the next street.

    While riding down this street I notice a dog, and he is not happy that I am in his territory. He growls and barks. I slow down and he slows down his approach. He is just feet away, begins his lunge with a characteristic growl before biting, I roll on the throttle and speed away. ¡Adiós chuco! He only chased a few feet and then gave up. I have to give credit to the BRC training and Hough’s writings on dog avoidance for this successful maneuver. Indeed, training trumps natural survival reactions when you have had the training. This was the first time I have ever been chased by a dog. Unfortunately, we don’t get to practice this often with real dogs. Wanting to take advantage of the training opportunity, I circle the block so I can practice some more with Fido…:D
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  10. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    The Entrance to the Cuatrocienegas Basin

    I did stop to talk to some policemen after I had fun with the dog. The police were very friendly and assured me that I had picked up the correct road. I cleared the Monclova / Cd. Frontera area and am now on MEX30. The rain was only an occasional pepper but it was still cold, and the wind had picked up. I am getting closer to Cuatrocienegas and have made good time. The road up ahead will carve and twist its way through this canyon. Cuatrocienegas will be located in the bowl up ahead.
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  11. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    A Visit with a Mexican General

    I am through the gorge now and getting closer to the town. What’s that up ahead? Looks like a man on a horse. This is a monument to General Venustiano Carranza. I encourage you to read the short history of Carranza at the Wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venustiano_Carranza



    I have a particular love of history and in particular US & Latin America history and their military histories. I also attended the military academy in Guatemala (Escuela Politecnica), and the one in the Unites States (West Point) and served in the US Army for five years. Mexico has a very rich military history and has a very professional army. I have never experienced any unpleasantries from the Mexican army in my visits to Mexico and believe that many exagerrations and falsehoods reach across the border into the US. Historically, I have always found Carranza to be a true Mexican patriot and was very happy to be visiting Cuatrocienegas, the town where he was born.

    You can see that the statue is up on a hill and as I got closer I noticed there is an access road up to the statue. A man on his horse, a caballero, a term used interchangeably to describe a gentleman and a knight. Coming through the canyon I noticed that the wind was much stronger once I dropped into the bowl surrounded by mountains on all sides. I mean very strong. The rain of earlier is moving on, and the wind starts drying and picking up the desert dust and sand.
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  12. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    Lady is Down!

    I am now up to the monument. There is a steep road and a small parking lot where one can park a vehicle and then walk up some steps to see the monument up close. It is really very windy now, and even more wind up here at the monument's hill. The wind has picked up the dust and sand. I think to myself there should not be a be a problem with the wind as I park the bike. I park the bike. I still have my helmet on and my ear plugs in. As I walk away from the bike I hear a faint thud...

    I look behind me. Oh no!!!! Lady is down! The first time I have ever dropped a bike :(: My fault, should have oriented the bike so as not to pick up sail.






    The things that are going thru my head as I approach the bike. I walk over to the bike and pick her up. Some fuel has spilled out from under the gas cap. I get her back on her feet and do a quick walk-around. Wow! No damage. The crash bars did their job. I see a slight nick on the right side of the crash bar. Will she start? Starts on the first try! Hooray! :clap

    Time to position the bike differently. I should have done this at first but was impatient in my haste to see the monument of General Carranza.
    #12
  13. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    Arrival to Cuatrocienegas

    I am now riding into Cuatrocienegas. I am excited about getting to my intended destination. I wonder what the hotel will be like. When I was in the military academy in Guatemala, on weekends when I would leave the school I would rent a room at a pensión. These are small hotels that usually only have a bed and a nightstand, and a shared bathroom. I would use these pensiones as my weekend base while I explored different parts of Guatemala. I was a young 15-yr old back then, now I am a young 51-yr old prepared to do the same thing. Funny how the numbers are reversed now. Any numerologists here? :D

    As I approached the hotel I saw the corner of the hotel building. Here is the corner picture of the hotel. I was a bit disappointed as I approached the hotel. I said to myself, “okay I am getting a simple pensión this time. Been there, done that, no problem".

    Some trips it's Bellagio, some trips it's a simple pensión...


    Was I ever surprised when I turned the corner and entered the hotel property! :clap

    (to be continued)
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  14. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    Hotel La Quinta Santa Cecilia <!-- / icon and title --><!-- message -->

    It&#8217;s late afternoon when I check in. Here are pictures of this wonderful little hotel after check-in.

    The main entrance.



    The secondary entrance.



    My room on the second floor, number 15.



    Where I parked the bike.


    Wonderful staff, great room, very romantic for couples. I'll be bringing the real Lady in Red on the next visit :evil There are many other rooms and there are also suites. There is also an annex for secured parking during the height of tourist season.
    #14
  15. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    A Walk Through the Town

    It&#8217;s getting late, so I decide to take a walking tour about town. This a very charming town in the classic Latino style.

    A typical street. These are adobe buildings. After the adobe bricks are stacked and mortared, the buildings are plastered and painted.


    City Hall. Functions more as a tourist center now. I went there looking for the mayor. They were closed.


    Murals at City Hall. Mexicans are very proud of their European, Spanish, Catholic, and Native American cultures. In fact they are all mixed in to what is referred to as La Raza. There are no political connotations to the use of this term like there are here in the US.

    Here sits General Carranza pictured with other historical figures from Mexico's rich history.




    Nice architecture.


    Next to City Hall is the local Catholic Church, and of course across the street is the central plaza. In these types of towns the principal businesses surround the square and the homes of the leading citizens are on the side streets just beyond the central plaza. Usually the square will have a gazebo where free music is often played for the enjoyment of the residents.

    Here is the central plaza with a typical gazebo.


    This is the church across from the central plaza. I do like religious art and architecture.








    Priests work very hard in Latin America. There is a lot of ministry done to the poor and the sick. I stopped by to visit the priest here in Cuatrocienegas before I left town to get a blessing for a safe journey. He is considered a leading citizen in this town and is highly respected by the locals. It's not a theological thing, it's about community leadership.

    Off to the side street of the plaza is General Carranza&#8217;s home. As I said, the homes closer to the plaza are or were the homes of the leading citizens. Carranza&#8217;s home is now a museum. Across from the museum I found a fascinating art gallery. The painter&#8217;s name is Alma Cantú. The lady attending the shop said none of the pictures were for sale. I asked her how I could get in contact with the painter. She said the painter is not available to the public. So I think to myself, that&#8217;s very odd and that I have ways of finding these things out.

    Here are pictures of General Carranza&#8217;s home.



    The entrance.


    The plaque.

    Clouds are moving about. The skies vary from clear to cloudy. It is still windy and cold. It is getting darker now. I am still on foot wandering about the town. As it gets near dinner time I stop into an elections office. The door is open so I simply walk in. Some of the local politicos are sitting in there having a discussion and invite me in. I simply ask them where a good place is to have dinner. They all recommend El Doc. They also mention a place next door to it named La Casona, but do not seem as enthusiastic. I ask them at what time people generally come out to dine. They mention usually 7-9 pm.

    You can see from the photos below how rainy and cold it has been. Hopefully the weather will be better the next morning as I intend to explore the natural settings outside of Cuatrocienegas.




    The Sun is going down now and I head over to El Doc for dinner. I have a delicious arrachera (beef cutlet). I walk past La Casona restaurant, but the place is empty. La Casona is a restaurant that is part of the La Plaza hotel. I spot one American couple in there. El Doc is full of locals. While eating dinner at El Doc I call a friend of mine from my school days in Guatemala. He lives in Los Angeles now. I tell him I am in Mexico where we have been intending to ride together. We have a good laugh. We have been friends since I was fifteen. He and his wife also have a home in Mexico where we plan to ride together, eventually. There&#8217;s a tall elderly man at one of the tables talking to a bunch of other local gentlemen. I suspect he is the owner. As I leave he thanks me for stopping by.

    I take some night photos of the town as I stroll back to my hotel room.


    It has been a long day. I am tired but feeling good. I expect to go to sleep but turn on the TV just to catch some local news. I surf and stop to enjoy one of my favorite pastimes, cine clásico. I love the old black & white Mexican movies. These are classics that rival what Hollywood was putting out at the time. The movie I watched was a classic about an older vaquero (cowboy) who mentors a younger vaquero. The younger vaquero has an attitude problem and the older vaquero has to adjust his attitude by embarrassing him regularly by beating him in arm wrestling, sword fighting, etc. It's also a musical and is hilarious. I've got to get a collection of these old movies. The younger vaquero also thinks the older vaquero is trying to steal his girl. This is a great story about learning from and respecting your elders. They are tougher than what we think.

    My second day of my journey is complete, as is now my first day in Mexico for this ride. It's been a good day with good riding and some fun events...
    #15
  16. key2er_soze

    key2er_soze n00b

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    Please keep going! Mexico querido y lindo is magical and we don't often see Nighthawk rides. Do write a little more about how lady in red holds up through your ride. Nighties are much respected - used to own a 83 550 sc - oil cooled. Do you need to warm up for a while with this one on cooler mornings? Hows the suspension holding up? Any issues? How does it do keeping you up with traffic on pavement?
    #16
  17. GB007

    GB007 Been here awhile

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    This is a very nice report with great pictures! I'm learning more about my own history, and seeing new places I have not seen before...


    Your Honda is very nice! Simple, practical and good looking! It's interesting that I have never paid attention to that particular model, until I saw your report.

    Muchas gracias!
    #17
  18. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    <o:p> </o:p>
    This is an incredible bike! I have pegged the speedometer with it at 85 mph. However, I seldom get on an Interstate with it. I usually cruise between 67-75 mph. The standard US highway system I find sufficient for riding, with the added bonus that I get to see more of the countryside and get to ride through the small towns. I have no problems keeping up with traffic at my cruising speeds, but I do get passed. Many have said that this bike would not go much over 55 mph. This is simply not the case. I did do a careful engine break-in which I think is responsible for the nice cruising performance that I get. I usually do a 5- minute warm-up. On very cold mornings I will do a 10-minute warm-up. The suspension worked fine. I did venture off-road a little bit which I do not suggest, nor will I do again with this bike. For dual rides I am considering an XT250 or a Super Sherpa. We shall see.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The bike’s attraction for me was its simplicity, size and weight. The maintenance is incredibly easy. The bike is a twin, not a thumper, so the ride is bit smoother.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Unfortunately, It looks like the CB250 will not be offered in the US for 2009. It remains a popular bike overseas, and a few police departments use it in Asia.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Cheers,
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Mike
    #18
  19. AtomicGeo

    AtomicGeo a lo macho

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    :lurk
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  20. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    El Muerto - The Dead Man

    The alarm on my cell phone goes off. I had set it for just before morning twilight so that I can see the dawn and catch daybreak over the mountains. If you have done a lot of traveling in mountainous areas, you will know that weird patterns can be seen at dawn and dusk when there are mountains in the background. As I step outside my room I look towards the mountains and see a dead man! :eek1

    Do you notice the nose, chin, brow, and chest? This mountain view is right from my balcony. The mountain is referred to as El Muerto.


    My morning coffee has brewed. I am checking out the dead dude as twilight becomes dawn. Sunrise is about to happen. Here is El Muerto with a lighter background.


    Now in full daylight at Sunrise, zooming out with my camera.


    I head into town to find a bakery. All small towns in Latin America will have one somewhere near the plaza, and it opens early. I find one instantly and buy some typical pan dulce (sweet bread). The smell inside the bakery must be what it smells like up in Heaven. I eat these on a plaza park bench and then head back to my room to gear up for my morning ride.

    The skies are clear. Not a cloud to be seen! :clap
    #20