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Thread: Convenci??n Internacional BMW de M?®xico

  1. #16
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    After lunch, it was the moment that everyone had been waiting for. Door prizes! And the Grand Prizes were two new BMWs, a nice cruiser and an R1150R Rockster. They had a very interesting method for drawing tickets for the prizes. They would draw 5 tickets, and only the fifth ticket would win. The first four were excluded. With 600 attendees, this served to heighten the excitement as the Grand Prize drawing neared, because the chances for winning were significantly improved.

    The Master of Ceremonies was a real card, too he would read the number with a flourish and if it was one of the tickets that was to be excluded, he would exclaim Fuera! (Out!). The crowd really got into this and began chanting Fuera! with every exclusion. And even better, the door prizes winners received their prizes from some seriously gorgeous trophy girls. Each time a winner approached the stage, the crowd chanted Besso! Besso! Besso! (Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!) You could tell that the Coronas were kicking in!


    The Grand Prizes

    The Grand Prize winners were ecstatic, shouting the Spanish version of YEEEEE-HAAAAA! Afterwards, the group stayed and partied, but a few of us gringos headed back to the hotel, as we had to get up very early the next morning to begin the long ride home.

  2. #17
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Heading north

    The plan called for riding through downtown Mexico City early on Sunday morning, about the only time any sane motorcyclist would consider doing this. You see, much as in Europe, Mexican drivers give motorcyclists only the room they need on the road, so it is not unusual for cars to drive very close to you in city traffic. The flip side of this is that lane splitting is considered completely acceptable. In fact, there are quite a few things you can get away with on a motorcycle in Mexico that would land your butt in jail in the US. I see this as a ÔÇ£good thingÔÇØ but if you are a timid rider, or if cars driving within your lane make you uncomfortable, you should avoid the cities in Mexico.

    The autopista (toll freeway) north from Cuernevaca to Mexico City was the best road in the entire country. We rode it at sunrise, enjoying the view as the road we climbed the mountain, through a 10,000-foot pass and then down into the city. It was cold and I was really glad I brought my electric jacket.

    As we paid our toll and exited the freeway, we girded our loins and headed downtown. Mexico City is one of the worldÔÇÖs largest and even on Sunday morning there was a good deal of traffic. The GPS guided us quite well, but when we got through downtown and began looking for the expressway that would take us the 800 miles north to the border, we simply couldnÔÇÖt find it.


    My riding partner for the trip home is looking at the map for downtown Mexico City. ItÔÇÖs a huge place and quite a maze.

  3. #18
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    We finally gave up and stopped to ask a local policeman. He was clueless even though we were within a mile of where we wanted to be. But then our luck changed. A young man driving an SUV parked next to us and flashed us his Federal Police ID badge. The local authority immediately got friendly. Even better, the Federale was a sport-bike rider and spoke english quite well.

    Jose told the local cop that he would handle it from here, and he also told us that the local cop was looking for a little payment before he would give us directions. Hmmm. He also said that most local police look at motorcycle tourists as a likely source of additional income. He kindly guided us to the freeway and we immediately beat a path for home.

    For about two minutes. No sooner than we snicked it into 6th, we caught the attention of another local motorcycle cop, who was hot on our trail with the red light on. This deeply ticked us off, and we decided not to stop. Seeing this, the cop tried to take my buddy into the guardrail, so we thought we better stop and have a little discussion.



    The problem was, according to the cop, motorcycles were not allowed to drive on this expressway. This was total BS, as bikes were going by the whole time. Fortunately, my friend spoke enough Spanish to defend us, and informed the guy that a Federal Police officer has just guided us to this road. I sat there and took pictures, and demanded to speak to his superior, with the intent of making the cop nervous. When it became clear that we werenÔÇÖt going to pay him any money, the situation turned our way, we were told that he wouldnÔÇÖt arrest us if we stayed on the frontage road. Which we did until we reached the next on-ramp. Jerk.

    It was really good to get back into the countryside and we began running 80 up the road that would take us out of the country. Only stopping for gas, and for frequent military drug checkpoints, we were nearing our goal of Monterrey at nightfall. However, we still had one more adventure to go.

    The road was dark, it was beginning to get cold, and we started heading up a fairly major incline. All of a sudden, we were enveloped in an extraordinarily dense fog. I was in the lead, and could barely see anything. My riding partner was in even worse shape. We pulled into a small turnout and discussed things he told me he was practically blind.

    We were on a divided highway, and all day long there had been multiple ÔÇ£RetornosÔÇØ or turnaround. Of course, now there wasnÔÇÖt one to be found. The road was twisting up a very steep hill and there was no shortage of trucks that were driving too fast for conditions. While I am known to enjoy challenging riding conditions, this was clearly a dangerous situation, and I was riding with someone who I was not familiar with on a road IÔÇÖd never been on before. Our GPS told us that there was an exit about 5 miles ahead that led to a small town called Saltillo, so that was our objective.

    As we neared the exit, I noticed some of the traffic moving to the left. Thinking that these drivers were continuing onward to Monterrey, I stayed right on what I thought was the exit. Wouldnt you know it this was the only left-lane exit in the entire freakin country and I had just missed it. Now we were faced with about 12 more miles of mountain road, in the dark, cold, dense fog.

    Fortunately we made it, and as we crossed through the tollbooth there was a little rest stop that had some hot water and Nescafe instant coffee for sale. That was the best worst coffee Ive ever had. Unfortunately, I was quite worried that my friend, who was as thin as a rail, was beginning to suffer from hypothermia. I begged him to take my electric jacket, but he refused. Thank goodness the road started heading downhill, and we soon reached the exit that backtracked to Saltillo, where we found the most beautiful thing Ive seen in a long time a Holiday Inn. Salvation!

    It rained hard all night and dawned overcast and cold. I was really glad that I had brought cold weather gear on this trip! We followed some good advice received from our San Antonio friends and managed to find the poorly-marked bypass around Monterrey, which saved many hours as we headed to Texas. It was worth every penny of the $17 toll.

    Before crossing back into Texas, we stopped in Mexican customs and surrendered our vehicle importation documents so that we had proof that we didnÔÇÖt sell out bikes in Mexico and the border guards couldnÔÇÖt go to town on our credit card numbers.

    Crossing a small bridge into Laredo, Texas, the US Customs agent asked me if I was a citizen of the US and whether I had purchased any alcohol or tobacco products (read: Cuban cigars). I said ÔÇ£no, sirÔÇØ and was waved through without a search. Dang! I should have bought some Cuban cigars!

    We rode a few miles north of Laredo, stopped at a McDonaldÔÇÖs for a cheeseburger, and I welcomed myself back into our beautiful country by kissing the asphalt in the parking lot. Friends, let me tell you, Mexico was quite nice, but there is nothing as wonderful as the United States of America.

    We rode around the San Antonio beltway, through Houston, and hotelled it for the night. I bid adieu to my friend as he continued on I-10 and I took the road to Atlanta. I was home later that day and kissed my wife, petted my dogs, and downloaded my digital camera.

    Traveling in Mexico is not for everyone, but it sure is for me and I canÔÇÖt wait to return. I want to see the Copper Canyon, do some camping in the desert and on the beach in Baja, and definitely attend the Mexican International Rally again someday.
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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  4. #19
    Blocking the slow lane
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    Wow Ian, awesome report. Thanks for taking us along.
    Jon Diaz
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  5. #20
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    That's AWESOME!
    Dave Swider
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    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  6. #21
    ian408
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    Nicely done report.

    Ian

  7. #22
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    Enjoyed reading about your trip and the pics were great. Thanks for taking the time to share all that.
    Don't winterize; Rounderize!
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  8. #23
    Registered User 2Tonic's Avatar
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    Great story and pictures. What camera did you use? The detail and clarity are impressive.

  9. #24
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Originally posted by 2Tonic
    Great story and pictures. What camera did you use? The detail and clarity are impressive.
    Hey... thanks very much!

    The camera is the Nikon Coolpix 5700.

    It really does make fantastic pics, and these were just with the automatic setting. Plus, they're scaled and compressed so that they download fast. You should see them in their original glory!

    This is a very powerful camera, but there is a significant learning curve for everything except the automatic function. I have mastered things like exposure compensation (but didn't apply it often enough in these pics...) and shutter speed (ditto...) but there is much more to learn.

    I have been using digital cameras for about 6-7 years now... and this one is going to the the last one I need for a really long time.

    Ian
    Last edited by Visian; 11-29-2003 at 01:59 PM.

  10. #25
    Riding all year in FL HELLIOTT's Avatar
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    Thank you for that report, Ian. My wife and I have traveled, extensively, in Mexico, but never by bike. Your report may be the inspiration we need. While traveling the Copper Canyon country a few years ago, by Nissan Pathfinder, we met a couple of Australian guys in Batopilas who were traveling through the canyons on dirt bikes and having a ball.
    Hall Elliott

  11. #26
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Hall -- a bunch of my friends in the Georgia club went to Copper Canyon with the Pancho Villa Moto Tour people.

    While guided tours aren't my cup of tea, all reports about this toruing company are excellent.

    Copper Canyon is where I am going next. And Baja. I need to do some camping in Mexico, and from everything I've learned, these are the best areas to do it.

    Ian

  12. #27
    Riding all year in FL HELLIOTT's Avatar
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    Lots of camping spots in Baja, Ian. We did a lot of it when we lived in San Diego.

    Hall
    Hall Elliott

  13. #28
    WILHELMGGW
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    Next Year's Event

    Ian, do you know how one can get on a mailing list, or where there's a message board to learn in advance about plans for next year's event? Even in Spanish would be fine with me. This event sounds like a superb centerpiece of a great trip to Mexico that we've been thinking about for years.

  14. #29
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Copper Canyon? Here's an awesome trip report.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  15. #30
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Ian,

    great stuff! A spanish speaking friend was supposed to lead me through some journeys south of the border, but it never happened. You've sparked my interest again.

    It might make a nice side trip on the way the national in Spokane.

    thanks for sharing.

    -scott
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