Solo Riding in Mexico...Safe???

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Merf88, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    That's like the US military's official assessment that Mexico and Pakistan are potentially prone to sudden collapse. Maybe in Juarez, but anyone that thinks that the elected guv'ment isn't in control here in Northern Mexico is smokin' some powerful stuff. :lol3

    Or this "failed nation" nonsense. If you actually read the criteria that some political scientist drew up then you realize that the USA is right behind as a semi-failed nation, yet certainly seems to function pretty well.

    Yeah ... there is some silly stuff out there.

    Sure there are shootings. But there were about as many in Jacksonville, FL when I was there.

    If you stay away from drugs then your chances of getting caught up in anything are very, very remote. 99% of the shootings are drug dealers settling scores and unpaid debts.

    I might add that I have friends in the military that rank anywhere from the bottom to one Admiral and one General, with a bunch of Majors and Captains in there. And I wouldn't take their travel advice for anything (one of them, now that I think about it, was my former bro-in-law and he warned me to stay out of Juarez because it's been off limits to US servicemen for years). :norton

    Many of us from South Florida remember Dean, who worked at BMW of Daytona for a spell. Dean was a buddy of mine, but he could get pretty gung ho and right wing politically, especially when we were sitting at the tir a Nog drinking good Irish beer. :lol3

    Anyway, Dean was a retired Major and he had to ride back from the Yucatan when the Tampa-to-Merida ferry went out of business without warning. I never heard him complain a bit about that ride.
    #41
  2. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    This country's descent into chaos is more likely than Mexico's, so we'll all be riding south sooner rather than later. Better dust off that Rosetta Stone...
    #42
  3. Arte

    Arte Pata de Perro

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    :clap :lol3 nuff said
    #43
  4. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Unless those folks are women :deal in which case they can keep the lace :thumb
    #44
  5. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    dicho y hecho
    #45
  6. pilot815

    pilot815 Long timer

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    My first major trip anywhere on motorcycle was into mexico by myself. I was a bit nervous, but got there and back with no problem. I did make sure to take the toll roads- except the free road from monterrey-saltillo, thats just too much fun to pass up! Ill admit riding through reynosa behind a military convoy was a little tense but nothing happened. I just make sure to use common sense.
    #46
  7. randyisanomad

    randyisanomad Adventurer

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    Why is riding behind a military convey tense experience ... unless you're backfiring?
    #47
  8. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I tend to agree. Mexico has seen some tough times as recently as my life time and they did well.

    Around here we have the keyboard Rambos who would stroke out if they couldn't get high test gasoline for their H2 and whose wife won't let them ride unless she gets her lattes on schedule; they aren't gonna make it. :lol3
    #48
  9. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Funny!

    I was at a toll booth in the desert of Sonora state years ago and with one of those silly Pancho Villa (now Moto Ripoff, or some such) tours. Me (at 40 back then) and a platoon of 80 year old Gold Wing riders.

    Anyway ... we pulled up to the toll booth, there was military everywhere, and the gringos looked pretty tense.

    On the other hand I looked at this young kid holding a rifle and said "Heckler and Koch!" (manufacturer of the rifle that he was holding).

    I had my helmet closed and he didn't immediately realize who was talking to him so he looked around.

    So I said "G3!" (model of rifle) and gave him a thumb's up.

    And he got a big smile on his face and held his rifle up.

    The old folks on that trip just about passed out. :eek1

    (Arte knows how bad my Spanish is and is probably a bit skeptical of this tale; in hindsight all that I can figure out is that the guy must have known a little English. :rofl )

    Anyway, today the Army is a bit tenser than they were back then, and I don't recommend expecting to get too chummy with them, but my experience with the military and cops has always been generally very positive.

    They gentleman and I were talking about his Uzi and I asked him if I could take a photo. He misunderstood me, thought that I wanted to look at his gun, and initially handed a loaded Uzi subgun to me:

    [​IMG]

    Now he's not military; more like a rent-a-cop at a Pemex. But you get the idea.

    Here are some of those mean old transit cops:

    [​IMG]

    I will say this: The soldiers don't like to be photographed, and almost always decline my requests for photos. I don't think that I'd point anything - like a camera - at them to be honest. I get waves every so often from the guys in the trucks but even the soldiers at Nuevo Progreso, which is very, very touristy, seem pretty tense. And I have been warned recently about taking photos around the border crossings (the military didn't want to be photographed, once again).

    Just words to the wise. As I said, by and large they are very friendly. I got stopped at a military checkpoint 6 months ago between Victoria and Reynosa and they searched my bike, but the young man doing the search was very polite and helped me repack everything so I have no complaints.
    #49
  10. Arte

    Arte Pata de Perro

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    At this days on any border, you do not want to ride long behind a military convey because:

    1. You do not know if they are going on a mission to surround and penetrate into a private residency for some search and or arrest, and at certain point before get there, they might engage into combat (you know, bad guys get informed before the convey arrives)

    2. They suddenly spot an obvious vehicle, try to stop it, vehicle try to run away, fire starts.
    #50
  11. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Which is about what happened at the HEB Plaza last year. Wonder if they spotted someone coming out of the Sierra Madre Brewing Company? :eek1 :lol3

    Arte and I and one of the other gents here (sorry Amigo ... I'm bad with keeping track of who's who) rode by a broken down Army (or was it the Mexican Marines? wasn't it gray?) truck and there was some speculation as to whether it simply had a flat, or if someone shot out their tires.

    Just another day en Mexico. :clap
    #51
  12. TemeculaRider

    TemeculaRider Been here awhile

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    Hilarious and 100% true! Did anyone see that trip report whereby an LA couple on a $27,000 BMW HP2 rode across the border to San Felipe for the weekend and ate at Rice and Beans and the title of their thread was something dramatic like "Our epic journey into Baja." They even said something about "we had to just allay our fears about non-regulated gasoline and the constant threat of shootings." It was an absolute riot! :rofl
    #52
  13. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    OMG! Please give us the link! I have to promise to GadgetBoy that I won't go trolling over there :rofl
    #53
  14. TemeculaRider

    TemeculaRider Been here awhile

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    I was already banned for a week for my comments on it so I'd better not. :cry
    #54
  15. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Remember ... PM's are just that. Private. :lol3

    That brings up a couple of points.

    #1. I'm tempted to post some of our weekend border trips because they are exotic by other folk's standards. Yet they are pretty mundane for us. Maybe we can get Arte to post when he rides across the border and has beer at South Padre Island, just for the entertainment of his pals in Rio Bravo. :evil

    #2. There is another thread around here wherein a Harley rider was asking questions on a Harley forum about riding in Mexico and the Usual Suspects came out and told him not to, etc. So I went over there (on the Harley board) and argued with the anti-Mexican Harleynistas. :lol3

    I didn't get banned, but they locked the thread. :deal

    One thing that struck me as being hilarious is that my pal Tom Sayer was also there and had posted a few days before I did. The Know It Alls on the Harley board basically called Tom a liar, but he has ridden with me into Mexico, and he rode solo to Tierra del Fuego and then back up into Alaska one epic summer. So clearly Tom's been around and lived to tell about it.

    Anywho ... buncha wooses. I'm looking forward to the day when I can explore Baja, and then perhaps I'll head back towards South Florida if riding opportunities in Cuba present themselves.

    Y'all can join me if you wish. The weenies can stay home and polish their chrome. :wink:
    #55
  16. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    [​IMG]
    #56
  17. Arte

    Arte Pata de Perro

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    At least those weenies wont have a chance to taste something like our last weekend meal at Bagdad Beach of MATAMOROS :

    [​IMG]
    Photo courtesy of PirateJohn


    arte
    #57
  18. TemeculaRider

    TemeculaRider Been here awhile

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    Riding in Cuba would be freakin' amazing! I just got back from 16 glorious days in the Riviera Maya and was so tempted to do one of those 2 day jaunts over in a stump-jumper to Havana but was worried I'd have to explain that particular stamp in my passport so I weenied out. :lol3 MY parents actually got permission from the State Dept. (well, okay maybe not permission but acknowledgement anyway) to spend 6 weeks in Cuba about 5 yrs ago and they're still talking about it.
    #58
  19. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Here's a good read for you...

    [​IMG]
    #59
  20. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Y'know .... that guy's still around. He was speaking at a tourist industry convention in Key West several months ago. :clap

    You guys are too damned funny. Between the good beer at the Playa Bagdad, and Trice's bodyguard ... :lol3
    #60