Perhaps I could now come clean and say that I’m still trying to capture into words the feeling of riding on Mexican roads with friends. To give you a little perspective today, I rode with Larry from Alberta, Todd from Alaska and David from Redondo Beach California. You know that old motorcycle rider guy, the one that repeats sayings like “there are old riders and bold riders but, no old, boId riders.” Well, let tell you my friend that it’s because of riding like we’ve been doing that we will all likely grow up to be old riders.
These Mexican roads have thus far thrown everything at us from livestock such as baby cows to a baby horse to goats and larger animals too. This now brings me to a story about Jens from Colorado and Frank from Austin Texas. Both decided to check out some dirt backroads on our rest day in Batopilas. They never returned. Well, not exactly. Jens recounted the story to me saying that while he was on a backroads steep incline, and Frank was ahead; he came across a full sized male buffalo.
Jens said the animal refused to move and when he tried forcing it too, it took off straight up the hill dislodging boulders and road debris that caused him to over correct his BMW GSA1200 and drop it down a steep embankment. Too heavy for him to lift it back onto the road. Soon Frank returns and long story short, Frank saved the day by allowing 6’4” tall Jens to double up on his KTM690 motorcycle and ride the 10 or so kilometers back out to a small town. They both got a room for the night and the next morning found a mechanic with a truck willing to take them to retrieve the downed motorcycle. The Mechanic was so grateful for this little extra work that he soon picked up three additional Mexicans to do the heavy lifting. And just to make it more attractive to them he bought three six packs of iced Tecate. Before the truck made it out of town the driver started lighting a pipe that was filled with a white substance and offered it to my friend who graciously declined.
Maybe we just need to ration that fun a bit, and pick our moments with a bit more care. Thankfully everything went off without a problem, the large bike was retrieved and both Frank and Jens rode in as heroes for having their own adventure.
So what exactly does Mexico want out of us motorcycle riders? Well? American money for one, Jens paid around $250US for the towing retrieval services of an under the influence mechanic. I’m sure he would’ve paid twice that. And for other necessities like gas we pay ($20 per tankful) some road tolls, food three times a day, refreshments and daily hotel room lodging, and even some souvenirs. That’s all. Laundry once a week will set you back maybe $6.
And today being a scheduled down day for all but, Frank and Jens in Barranca Del Cobre, about 25 km from Creel five of us went on seven of the longest and fastest zip lining lines in the world; all at a cost of $50 US.
You can’t do what we just did anywhere else in the world. Just getting to here would take you five days from Southern California.
After the zip lining eight margaritas, two large bowls of guacamole, quesadillas, and something else I now forget, just set us back about 500 pesos a piece. $25 US however, we overtipped like we usually do.
Everyone here works incredibly hard for their money and they are extremely appreciative. We always leave everyplace so that we will always be welcome with wide open arms when we return on our next Gpskevin’s ride adventure.
Most take pictures and some write stories to share. Some riders don’t even do pictures and they feel that they can remember it all.
Mexicans that we generally encounter are not as interested in the pursuit of perfection and control of their environment as we are. They accept the imperfect roads as they are and do not ask it to change. Hopefully, they will keep it that way to keep challenging us in the pursuit of riding perfection.
In front of our Barrancas Del Cobre hotel Mansion Tarahumara is a half baked road all strewn with potholes and road debris. It’s a bone jarring experience walking, riding or driving on it. One would think that the area hotels or homes in the area would be interested in doing something about it. But no, they accept it for what it is. And, if by chance, a road crew consisting of five guys with shovels and a pickup truck were to show up, then they would welcome it as divine intervention.
Last night we had dinner and drinks at the world famous Hotel Mirador. Countless Mexican movie stars, politicians and dignitaries have paid a visit as well, and so do the 160 people that tomorrow will dislodge themselves from the El Chefe train.
We are still one rider short. Ray whose rear shock exploded several days into the ride headed back across the border to fix it. We still have a pitcher of margaritas betting if he catches up to the group before we reach the Topolobambo ferry in threes days. The reality for us is that shit happens and all you can do is go with it. Shit like crappy weather, careless drivers, sore asses, blown shocks to flat tires, and yes, even death. Another rider I recently met told me that a cow took out his friend last year. Well, maybe that old rider was half right about the old and bold riders. And maybe his friend was both, old and bold.