Moto Rally II - Mexican moto rally along the border

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by PirateJohn, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Living down here on the Texas/Mexican border I guess that it always amazes me as to how naive some people are about our neighbor to the south. One only has to look at pronouncements in CS&M from characters who sternly claim that Mexico suffers from chronic rampant crime, an unstable government, bribery, poverty, hunger, and scores of other imaginary ailments to see that the perception of much of Mexico from the unenlightened is still that the #1 form of commercial transportation is the donkey, rather than the Kenworth.

    But that's OK. I find that an astonishing number of people living right on the border never cross either, so I guess that we shouldn't expect someone in Colorado or Alabama to know any better.

    On with the tale ...

    On Saturday, November 14th Ms. Deborah and Yours Truly were out riding around a little bit. We crossed the border at Nuevo Progreso, bought a few necessities (read: "$3 bottle of mezcal, Indio beer taken internally for medicinal purposes, and Cuban cigars" ... obviously the Cohibas are for Mexican consumption only since you can't bring Cuban cigars back across the border).

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    The sun was going down, so we fired up the K1200LT and rode the autopista (Interstate-quality toll road) from the outskirts of Nuevo Progreso into Reynosa.

    I took Deb over to a seafood restaurant that I had found when I was on the border last Spring. Called el Pulpo (the octopus), it's not hard to figure out what their specialty is:


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    Deb had shrimp wrapped in something (bacon?) and we both had seafood cocktels (cocktails):

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    From there, we rode down in the Centro and hung out at the Mission Bar, one of our favorite eatin' and drinkin' places. It's a great place, and you can drink tons of Indio beer (great stuff!), have a few shots of tequila, and the tab will be about $12US.

    Service is great, people are very friendly, and there is always sports on the TV. What more could a person want?

    Photo from a different day, when the sun was still up:

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    Anyway, this is really our typical Saturday trip ... food and drinks in Mexico. No big deal.

    This particular evening however was a bit different. We were seeing scads upon scads of touring motorcycles. So I asked around and someone told me that there would be a ride tomorrow (Sunday) meeting at the park near the local border crossing at 9AM.

    Yours Truly decided that would be fun ... :evil
    #1
  2. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    The next morning rolls around and I ride one of the the GS's back across the border. I had been told that the ride was leaving from the park next to the border crossing. There weren't a lot of folks there, but I did run across some Mexican KLR riders, one of whom sported the ADV logo and who turned out to be friends with Arty and Andres, who both post here.

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    Nice guys, and they tell me to follow them and they'll look out for me. Cool!

    About this time two soldiers walk up, one with a really obviously loaded H&K G3 rifle, and ask me about the photos that I am taking. There is a conversation in Spanish, and I am asked to assure the soldiers that I didn't take any photos of them or the Panhard armored car at the border crossing. So I show them some of the photos in my camera, everyone is happy, and they wish me well and walk away.

    Do as I say, not as I do: Don't take photos of the military in Mexico. :wink:

    Anyway ... the KLR guys tell me to follow them, I think (my Spanish is poor, and their English isn't perfect). The next thing that I know is that I see the back of one of the guys and I'm following him.

    And he's passing cars left and right running along the road that parallels the border. Somewhere near Boys Town (don't ask) I lose him. :huh

    This isn't starting well.

    So I ride back to the Centro (center of the old part of town) and across the square from the Mission Bar I run into these folks:

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    Anyhow, I ran into some folks from the Manosas Riders, which is a big Mexican club with branches in several cities. I had met some guys years before from one of their chapters in Nuevo Laredo, and they said "Cool! Follow us and we'll get you to the start of the ride!"

    Sounds so simple when you say it that way. Anyone here ever tried to navigate throughout downtown Reynosa? :evil

    So we start riding, and we get a bit out of downtown, and basically three big groups start merging into one group:

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    Here I am, expecting to be with a small group riding over to the nearby town of Rio Bravo, and suddenly I'm in the middle of what I later hear are over 3,000 motorcycles. And seemingly every cop in the State is out here, directing traffic! :lol3

    This thing was just unreal. Notice the crowds on the street, cheering the riders on:

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    Notice the spectators on the overpass, cheering folks on:

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    I am so far behind, from stopping to take photos, that I am getting passed by the official vehicles. Those 4-door Jeeps that you see are the state "Special Police" (SWAT teams) and the blue Chryslers belong to the Federales.
    #2
  3. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    We are heading out Rt. 2 towards Monterrey, and I'm thinking that's sorta the wrong way to get to Rio Bravo. Finally we link up to the Rt. 2 bypass on the southern end of Reynosa, and that gets us pointed in the right direction.

    Then the group stops for maybe 20 minutes and I have a chance to take some photos. There are bikes in front of me, literally, further down the road than I can see:

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    And once again, I'm fairly close to the back:

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    Plenty of clubs represented:

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    Anyway ... more photos to come later. I've got some connectivity issues and chores to do today and will post more later.
    #3
  4. zadok

    zadok Long timer

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    What a great gathering!:clap
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  5. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Waiting on more photos :deal

    :thumb

    :lurk
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  6. teachnsurf

    teachnsurf Bonnie Adventurer

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    Muy bien, Señor.
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  7. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    This photo is rather bittersweet, because a few miles after we got rolling a Goldwing rider about two riders in front of me accidentally rolled off the road (around here the transitions to what laughingly passes for a shoulder can be VERY abrupt), slid when he tried to correct, and fell in front of me. Looking over my photos I have to wonder if it was the guy on the left, with the older 'wing.

    Didn't look like he got hurt too badly - he was up and moving almost immediately - but I'll bet that he got some healthy road rash. :cry


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    This guy is holding my bike up while I walk around and take photos: :wink:


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  8. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Back on the road again. Y'know ... you just never can find a Federale when you really need one ... :lol3 :


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    We ran down the free (libre) side of Rt. 2 eastbound and stopped in downtown Rio Bravo for maybe 20 minutes. Notice that folks are stopped on the opposite side of a divided highway. It was amazing to see the number of folks that had cameras out and who were taking photos.


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    SWAT Team guy. Very friendly (yes, I did ask permission before I took this photo :wink: ) :


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    The riders were mostly on cruisers, but the scene looked like Daytona Bike Week and there was a little bit of everything represented.

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    I noticed that several of the ladies were riding in those high heeled boots (not a good shot, I realize). Don't know if that's a trend in the States as well, but they don't look very practical.

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    Good lookin' BMW. This was actually one of the few US-licensed bikes that I saw. The guy that was riding this was part of a club from the US town of Laredo. I found out later that this event (Moto Tour II) started in Nuevo Laredo the day before and rode into Reynosa the day that we started to see everyone at the hotels.


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  9. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    We left Rio Bravo and got onto the autopista (toll road) and rode down to the exit for Nuevo Progreso, one of my favorite little border towns and the place where Deb and I were hangin' at the night before.

    There was not one, but two freakin' helicopters providing support for this event. :clap

    This is a Tamaulipas (the state that we are in) Bell Jetranger that landed nearby while I was taking photos. There was a similarly-painted Huey that was also flying overhead but I didn't get any photos of it.


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    Here is the ride going through the toll booth at Progreso (Nuevo Progreso to be technical; Progreso is actually the US side). Notice that after you go through the toll booth there is a loop and that everyone is actually riding over the overpass. That's a huge line of bikes!

    (For those trying to get their bearings, the helicopter is in the grass a bit to the left of the photo, and Progreso's Boy's Town would be just past and to the right of where I was taking photos. :evil )

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    Here we are in Progreso. That banner is advertising another motorcycle event that Progreso puts on in the Fall each year.

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    I must have been about 15 blocks from the border crossing and the street is 4 lanes wide (normally there would be cars parked on both sides of the street and it would be tough finding a place to park). And the place is clogged full of bikes. Amazing.

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    #9
  10. TripleTee

    TripleTee Over the river

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    Holy bandito, Batman - that looks like a blast.
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  11. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    We stopped briefly in Progreso, then did a loop and headed back out of town.

    Then the ride went due east down the toll portion of Rt. 2 to Matamoros.

    Matamoros is, like Reynosa, a city of about 400,000 population. The toll road ends several miles out of town and becomes a Texas-style two lane with wide shoulders that everyone uses as a driving lane.

    I was shocked to see that ALL traffic was stopped on Rt. 2 for us, including oncoming traffic.

    There were tour buses stopped, everyone was outside, and taking photos! :huh

    It was like the riders were conquering heros. :lol3

    Some of the crowd as we came into Matamoros:

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    This is one of at least two high school marching bands that I saw:

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    And here are a couple of those mean ol' Transit cops, in this case from Tampico, hangin' out with some old gringo who shall remain nameless.

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    #11
  12. Ramage

    Ramage needs improvement

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    :thumb Thanks, PJ!
    Looks like a cool rally and it's nice to see the friendly escort.:D
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  13. hensons

    hensons Been here awhile

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    Crazy pics. I like the beer pic -- looks like you had a great trip. <object classid="clsid: D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,0,0" width="15" height="15" id="movie" align=""><param name="movie" value="http://smileyhost.net/61/1.swf"><param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed allowScriptAccess="always" src="http://smileyhost.net/61/1.swf" quality="high" bgcolor="#ffffff" width="15" height="15" name="movie" align="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"></embed></object>
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  14. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    PJ,

    I just got back myself from Parras on Saturday. I crossed into Mexico on Tue 17 Nov and heard about the rally while I was in Laredo.

    I should be down in your neck of the woods after the holidays for a short border romp. I wanna see some historical sites on both sides of the river and have become interested in the Mier Expedition.

    Mike
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  15. rdwalker

    rdwalker Long timer Supporter

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    So true. This pertains to our outlook on most of the world outside of US borders, but indeed Mexico gets a really bad rap.

    Great RR. I'd love to take a quick ride down there; too bad that it's so far away. When I get the wanderlust with only a few days' free time, I must head north for my dose of exotica.

    BTW: what's CS&M?
    #15
  16. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Mike, PM me or call me at 210-393-0478. Let's do some riding! :clap
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  17. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    CS&M is the forum here where we discuss politics, religion, and all those offensive things. It's a bad area with a lot of people (like me :wink: ) with shitty attitudes.

    If you get down here m'Friend look me up.
    #17
  18. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    I will definitely let you know when I am coming down there. I am thinking of doing a border loop starting from Rio Grande City, crossing at Los Ebanos and then riding up to Cd. Mier, then crossing back at Miguel Aleman. It'll be a short ride, shorter than the Parras ride I just finished. I wanna see Ft. Ringgold and the Robert E. Lee house on the U.S. side and then the museum about the Mier battle on the Mexican side. BTW, Cd. Mier is now a designated Pueblo Magico which you probably already knew. I wanna stay in the La Borde House hotel so I can make believe I am in an old whore house :D

    Your write-ups on Los Ebanos and Guerrero Viejo were great! :thumb These got me interested in the area.
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  19. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Ah yes. The infamous Black Bean episode. C'mon down here and we will explore. I ran into the head of the Roma Chamber of Commerce who was documenting the ruins at Guerrero Viejo. He would probably be happy to have us drop in and discuss the amazing history of this area. :clap
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  20. Scribe

    Scribe £Bob£

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    Hola PJ:
    Nice report and shots. Screw the naysayers, I love Mexico, especially the way they don't hate you for riding a motorcycle. Have you abandoned the Sunshine State permanently? I'm going to be in the Big Bend area in February, so if you are still around let's do some dirt!
    #20