Dispatch from Chiapas Day 6

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, if he wins, knows the thrills of high achievement, and, if he fails, at least fails daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.” Now who said that?

Theodore Roosevelt

Our morning quest was to beat the traffic getting out of Mexico City and deal with the cold weather and no coffee along the way. First the traffic. Even on a Saturday morning you can count on the enterprising Mexicans to also be out in force and early. We planned our departure time for 0600 kickstands up.

That means that if you aren’t ready we can tap you out! Not really but, it sounds a little menacing doesn’t it?

The A and B teams are already well seasoned in travel by now having ridden all the way from Tucson to Mexico City and almost accident free. A little hiccup caused by an errant Triumph Tiger that dislodged all its rear spokes caused Dale to lose his road bike for the duration of this trip. Dale is now on a new rental BMW 1250.

The C team arrived yesterday and are still bonding with their rental bikes. More on the C team in the next day or so.

Tracy took responsibility for getting both teams out of the Mexican city maze. He opted not to follow our planned gpskevin tracks but, tracks that he personally put together. Our exit from Mexico City was accomplished in way better fashion than what Cortez encountered getting out of Mexico, while Montezuma still owned it.

Tracy took us to a toll booth entryway but, somehow couldn’t tell that no one was home. Zero. Nada. The place was barricaded up; which we could see from a considerable distance away but, our B team leader made the added effort of pulling right up to see for himself. He then did a slow U turn and came back to where Joey, Todd, Dale, Bob and Bryan were waiting.

This slight detour didn’t deter or phase him as he soon found another on ramp for us minus the toll. And then Tracy took us on what resembled a city tour; we visited the airport once, then stopped at a flea market and got ourselves literally wedged in as there’s no maneuver room with our side luggage. Then we toured through parts of the city that tourists or locals never get to see.

Finally freedom. The biggest attraction was the volcano. Holy shit! The volcano just blew. Yes, true. There’s a plume of smoke that just kept getting larger and larger.

Once we left the first toll booth the A and B team parted ways. Up ahead both groups stopped for fuel and the B team decided that Starbucks was good enough. The B team then added Dale to their ride group.

At this point while we were nearly an hour into our quest out of Mexico the C team might’ve been having breakfast in bed or who knows, No one knew. All we knew was that the hornets nest of Mexico City traffic was probably in a near grid lock pattern by now.

Suddenly our outside temperature drops even more. A low of 32 degrees. Joey’s KTM was now signaling ice warning. Todds KTM doesn’t have hand warmers so he quickly pulls over to thaw out his hands and add snowmobile mittens to his ride ensemble.

This is when I saw the most loveliest of third world country morning outdoor kitchens, one right after the others for about a block. Several of the places had fireplace burning wood fires.

I told Joey that I was checking one of the breakfast places out. The first woman told me she served about ten different items. Quesadillas is the only item I knew. The second place looked allot cleaner and in the back area had a wood fire already warming up the place. Todd was on total food lockdown from his stomach since yesterday.

From the moment that we wake up in the morning I suddenly realize that all I have to accomplish today is to pack my gear up and ride off with my friends down the road into the deliciously unknown future.

This morning I had no clue what the day will bring today or that I would be enjoying some of the best fried eggs and rice ever.

And then all I have to do is ride and watch the scenery go by. Fields and fields of pineapples, sugar cane, vendors selling everything and anything. Tires burning. Sugar cane burning. A car on fire by the side of the highway. Man do they love burning shit in Mexico.

Today I really couldn’t wait to stop. Because the temp was now 87 degrees. I was still in the same gear as when it was 32 degrees. Finally some relief. Now where’s that hotel so that I can eat and grab that first margarita of the day.

The margaritas: there’s three reasons that margaritas are good for you… in moderation of course. Lots of vitamin C in the way of limes. The tequila in Mexico is made from 100 percent agave. Under Mexican law, tequila may only be made from the blue Weber agave plant from the Tequila region of Jalisco.

Travel with an open heart and an observant mind. Stop from time to time to listen to the world, chat with strangers, breathe in some different air. I honestly couldn’t wait for the countryside air. The city is way too polluted. Those poor people dying a slow death.

Too many people race from one place to another, barely seeing the world through which they pass. We are guilty of that sometimes.