Webster describes the word “dispatch”, as in to send off or away with speed, as one would a messenger or an email; or an official report, usually sent in haste. That’s it. I’ll title each day’s ride report as dispatches from each final days destination. Each day’s ride story can reflect some of what we just lived.
Our January 2023 ride starts off in Tucson. I rode east for 500 miles to get there. And on day one of our ride we are now 500 miles into Mexico.
Once I arrived in Tucson, Joey being the stand up sort of guy that he is invited us all to his country club for prime rib dinners. Naturally Joey always knows how best to kick off a ride.
Where to start a story is usually the hardest part of writing. I could start this dispatch by saying that Alaska shouldn’t try (again) wheeling his KTM 1290 motorcycle in front of a Mexican Federal police.
Earlier today we stopped for fuel out in the middle of no man’s land I asked the fuel attendant; where’s a good place to eat around here? He pointed to a shack across the way that no one would’ve guessed served food. Before giving it my seaI of approval I stepped inside and checked it out. My bar was really low then, in a blood sugar hunger sort of way. The place didn’t have a menu but, the English speaking guy, that looked recently deported, with waiter prospects recommended the chicken stew. I said yes a number of times and eventually ended up with a beef stew looking dish, a beautiful avocado and lettuce, cabbage, tomato salad that I soon smothered in lime juice. Just in case there was any bacteria that my system was not yet accustomed to.
Bottom line is; Joey felt so good after that powerhouse meal that he was soon wheeling down the freeway.
And now back to how Todd got pulled over. A KTM 1290 motorcycle doesn’t wheelie anywhere near as easy as a KTM 890, like the kind Joey is now riding. It seemed to me that midway through traffic Todd suddenly remembered that wheelie. When I saw him do so; I quickly recalled saying to myself; something like wouldn’t it be funny if …….
That’s when a blue/white truck lit up its lights with blue/red/white lights. The truck suddenly made every effort to catch up to us with no success at first due to the amount of Sunday traffic now on the roads.
Now if you know me, I believe in the Mexican spirits. They have a certain way to either help or to hinder you. I’m thinking that this time the Mexican spirits chose to hinder Alaska Todd by throwing that last red light at the wrong time. Finally the federally saw his opportunity and so he squeezed right through traffic and then proceeded to block the entire intersection.
One policeman got out of the truck and immediately pointed to Todd to pull over. The rest of us saw our opportunity and kept right on rolling. We each kept our distance and within ten minutes Alaskan Todd was back on the road heading our way and we were once again laying down tracks towards Obregon, Sonora.
Or my story could take you to the time when Bob arrives. Once I got Dale through the Mexican paperwork cha cha, Bob and company arrived (Joey, Todd, Tracy and Brian) In no time at all I was ready to go through the process again; that’s when Bob suddenly realized he couldn’t find his passport.
I am sure that everyone agrees that doing everything electronically is a good thing however, there’s always glitches that occur, like for example in Dale getting his Mexican motorcycle paperwork done online. No matter what anyone did to assist him the system would not yield. So, that’s why we were forced to stop for one more toad in the road so as to manually clear Dale into the Mexican paperwork cha cha.
Whenever we embark on a lengthy motorcycle journey I always assume that everyone goes through the same number of stages as me; like the first stage being, everything about the bike. Is the bike ready to go. And then the next stage is everything about the rider beginning with packing my passport!
We all connected at K21 which is where you get your paperwork processed once you cross in from Nogales. Bob is still with us and hopefully all will turn out right; provided the Mexican spirits want it to.
We proceeded on Highway 15 that passes through Nogales, Hermosillo, Guaymas, Ciudad Obregon, Navojoa, Los Mochis, Culiacan, Mazatlan, Tepic, Guadalajara, Toluca, and finally Mexico City.
As we threaded our way south on Highway 15 Mexican roads I said to Dale on one occasion; It’s been way too long since my last ride; I’ve honestly been suffering withdrawal symptoms from lack of riding. He replied; we all have. And now two days in the saddle and 1,000 miles later my riding withdrawal is now quenched. My last real adventure was a gpskevin international ride to Costa Rica sometime before Christmas.”
During and after Christmas and as recently as yesterday I wasn’t sure if the universe still wanted me alive. Everything including blood curdling wheezing cough sounds came out of me. My cough was so severe that at one time I shattered my eyeballs. Every blood vessel popped giving me the appearance of an old decrepit senior dying before his time.
Sometime today Dale’s fears began to quickly drop away with the more miles that we added. This is Dale’s second time into mainland Mexico. He’s a Baja veteran but, this ain’t Baja. It takes a certain amount of time to get comfortable riding in a new country. It’s usually best to do so with experienced riders. No better way than a ride like what we are on.
For making miles South I’m riding a 2020 BMW GSA 2250.
Dale is riding a 2022 Triumph Tiger 900
Joey is riding a 2021 KTM 890
Todd is riding a 2022 KTM 1290.
Tracy is riding a KTM 890 and so is Brian.
There’s now “finally “ shelter from our storm, as in the form of this Chiapas Txotzil ride that you can find on the gpskevin motorcycle adventure ride website.
“Shelter from our storms.” Shelter from our storm, I now repeated the sentence once again. It appears to me that the story behind Bob Dylan’s “Shelter from the Storm,” song is a perplexing. My motorcycle withdrawal symptoms are now officially over.
At the end of my version of the song “Shelter from the Storm,” our riders finds themselves in a foreign country, and once again navigating Gpskevin tracks in uncharted Mexican territory. Would we really go back, turn back the clock and do things differently? And today on this wintry day in January 2023; we now have our shelter from the storm while back home it’s cold and pouring rain we are now in 75 degree weather. (Bob Dylan, Shelter from the storm)
Our final plan is to ride towards Chiapas: the land of chocolates and coffee, high mountain areas, deep jungle, Mayan communities and possibly even masked revolutionaries.
I am now one of seven motorcycle adventurer riders on the ride to Mexico City. We ride in two separate groups. If it were only my story you’d probably just be reading about a few bad behavior moments , the food I ate and me never straying too far from the ride towards Chiapas.
Last year we rode towards Mexico City and then we rode to explore Oaxaca city. Last year we encountered the locals frustrated with toll roads. The protesters figured enough time had gone by so, they no longer felt it necessary to keep paying the expensive tolls roads. We saw their point but, easily out maneuvered our way around them. What recently transpired and that we recently saw signs of is that the youngest of the Chapos cartel son was arrested in a predawn raid in a small village called Jesus Maria, Sinaloa. Apparently this happens every time a US president is due for a visit; a major drug cartel is suddenly found and apprehended by the Mexican government.
But, in this case the cartel response was to torch about 250 vehicles along Federal Highway 15 that runs all the way from Guadalajara to the U.S. border and passes, south to north, through Tepic, Nayarit; Mazatlán, Culiacán and Los Mochis, Sinaloa; and Ciudad Obregón, Sonora.
Yeah, basically to where we’re headed tomorrow. Our current temperature is 75 degrees on a Sunday evening. The margaritas are delicious and the guacamole is the best. End.