Harleys 2 Mexico 2009 Tour
Breaking all the rules.
The Dynamic duo rides again. Clayton and yours truly. Off on another Add-ven-TOUR.
This is the 6th annual Mexican March Moto Madness Tour, and a massive cold front hits Austin Texas on the very day we plan on leaving. Temps in the low 40īs. Accompanied by inches of rain. So....
In typical Harley fashion we trailer our bikes. The first 300 miles at least. Hey, its freakinī cold and we got no heated grips, no electric vests. Jay will drive the truck and trailer back to Austin.
The Green Hornet (my 1985 Harley Low Rider) and Clayton's 2007 Ultra Glide, off loaded and ready to roll south, midnight in McAllen, Texas. Jay & Clayton.
This is Jay, ready to drive 5 hours back to Austin. Thank you, Jay
Now, lots of people on this site give tips on how to do Mexico. I know you've heard īem before, but allow me review. Always pack lightly. Always get plenty of rest before you plunge into Mexico. Youīll need all your wits about you. Best to do your motorcycle papers early in the morning. Youīll need your title or vehicle registration receipt. NO COPIES. Everyone got that? And yada-yada-yada. So, how well did we do?
We leave Austin, 42 degrees and raining, at 7pm and drive to McAllen. Laredo or McAllen? We pick McAllen in mid-flight. Plenty of rest? I sleep in the truck most of the way down. Arrive McAllen (49 degrees) after midnight. Pull into the Supermarke and unload the bikes in the parking lot. Claytonīs 2007 Ultra Glide and my 1985 Low Rider. We are like Mutt and Jeff. I continue to amaze myself. I have a pile of stuff stacked on my bike. I am overloaded to the max. Clayton christens me El Vagabundo. Change money, cross bridge.
Vagabundo - green light
Clayton - red light. (Hold it right there, pal. Lets talk about this bike.)
Next in Customs (Aduana) to temporarily import your vehicle. Like I said. Early in the morning. Itīs like, 2am and here we go. No lines.
Vagabundo - Green light
Clayton - Do not pass Go.
Hummmmmm, seems Clayton has brought photocopies of his title. And no vehicle registration for good measure. They do not like this. Much head shaking. Hummm, title or vehicle registration, one or the other and NO COPIES. Clayton! How many times have you done this? 5? Oh, heck, and whatīs this? Clayton ALSO failed to cancel his previous vehicle importation!!! Now a little history is in order here. In 2007 Clayton crashed his 2003 Ultra Glide attacking a speed bump at speed. He broke his wrist in several places, flew back to the states, and 5 weeks later we returned with a truck and trailer and picked up the crippled Ultra. We hauled it back across the border, canceled the car and trailer papers and totally forgot to cancel the wrecked Harley on the trailer. The bike was sold and a new one purchased.
Gotcha! Now this is a huge NO NO. In fact this is the worse thing that can happen to you when crossing the border. Everyone knows you cannot bring a new vehicle into Mexico if you didn't cancel the last one. There was nothing for us to do but stand our ground and look pitiful. Heck we canīt go back. Itīs too cold and nasty up north. Clayton becomes an ambassador. For Obama, that is. Yes, Obama would be proud. Clayton proceeds to spread the wealth. Now let me be clear, this never would have happened in the daylight. And as it were it was a most delicate matter. And that is all I have to say about that.
OK. Iīm old school. I pride myself in navigating by dead reckoning. Without GPS. Fumbling around Reynosa at 3 am? I take TricePilotīs advice and hire a taxi. He leads us out of town. Clayton & I talk about riding on. (Never ride in Mexico at night, by the way.) Gran Hotel, 800 pesos, for us 700. Fairly dumpy for a $50 room in Mexico. Canīt sleep. Too jazzed about Mexico.
More to come.
looking forward to pics.
Bring it on Meeeeltooooone! :wings
Yeah, a Harley tale
Hey Trailblazer, looking forward to your tales and pics.
Friday 13th of March, 2009
Reynosa to Ciudad Valles, 377 miles
The Tail of 2 bikes. The Green Hornet (El Vagabundo) on the left.
Fairly miserable day. Cold and wet. I didnīt sleep much. Couldnīt. Too jazzed about being in Mexico. When did we finally settle in our room? 4am? Finally daylight. It looks wet outside. Not raining, just wet. Piece of cake. Itīs misting rain as we leave Reynosa. Just wet enough to form a thin layer of slick mud on the streets. Itīs not rain. Not enough to wash the streets. Itīs mist, just enough to turn all the dust to mud. Slicker than snot. It seems as though the cold front has caught up with us as we slept.
Hwy 97 straight south. We deal with the cold. We pretty much have on all our cold weather layers. 77 miles to El Rancho Viejo motel and accompanying restaurant where we have breakfast. At Nuevo Padillo near Ciudad Victoria we stop again. Itīs a Monster stop. I am so sleepy. Fighting to stay awake. Monster energia drink. The cloud level has dropped so that we are in the clouds. Not really raining, but a heavy mist. It is very cold. Iīm in no mood for the natural orange juice sold along here. Too cold.
Turn south on Hwy 81, signed Tampico. Just past the Cd. Victoria airport I loose my right foot peg. The brake foot peg. Stop. Walk back along the hwy and find it! My Harley has forward controls and the bolt that attaches the foot peg to the brake fluid reservoir didnīt just loosen and come off. It sheared in two. (Flash back to when I dropped this bike in a low water crossing 4 years ago. We just bent the foot peg back to place.) I fetch my bag of bolts in the saddle bags and try various configurations, none of merit. Damn! Iīm wasting time with the damn footpeg! Screaming inside. Decide to just push on. Resting my right foot on the crankcase. Uncomfortable. Unsafe. Damn, damn, damn.
Wasting time with the damn footpeg again!
Just outside of Mante in the late afternoon we stop at a roadside mechanic shop. Iīm pleasantly surprised at how quickly the mechanic evaluates the situation and fixes the foot peg just as good as new. When I ask how much is the charge, he insists nothing. (?!) We both give him 60 pesos.
The mechanic (white shirt) who fixed the foot peg. What's that? A used shoe store behind him?
Counting the miles to Ciudad Valles (57 from Mante) as the day comes to a close. We are deep into Mexico now. I notice round houses with thatched roofs, an old tire at the conical point of the thatch. This brings on a certain nostalgia thatīs hard to explain. This is the Mexico I remember from high school, in 1965. Itīs still here. My heart is aching in a good, sad way. TricePilot calls it an addiction. I call it a curse. Reach Valles just after dark. Welcome home, I'm hearing in my head. Itīs good to be back, thank you.
Check into the Hotel Valles. A veritable oasis.
Great meal at the Bonanza restaurant. Red Queen on TV. Sleep like a baby that night.
There were street taco stands at every corner in our neighborhood in Ciudad Valles
The Bonanza Restaurant, just good eats, open 24/7 in Ciudad Valles
Yeah, a Harley tale
Nice narration Milton, and no pictures needed to capture the vision.
Tough day, today. Will try to post in the morning. Ciao, you'all.
Saturday, Mar 14 2009
Ciudad Valles to Huejutla, low miles day, 120 miles
The Hornet and the Ultra, Saturday morning, Hotel Valles
Up at 8:30. Shower & shave.
Hornet repairs: the brake light housing is loose and rattling, and the bezel of the ignition switch is off, the threads boogered.
Breakfast at the Hotel Valles.
Hotel Valles recepcion
Great so far. Looking forward to the rest.
Highway 85, the old Pan-American Hwy
It's 1:30 (?!!) before we get off.
Another wet day. Mist & slippery mud in Cd. Valles. Slow going on Hwy 85 south of Valles. Saturday traffic, the hwy is full of Mexican day trippers headed for Aquismon and Xilitla. Twisty road treacherously wet with thin covering of muddy slime. It's not really raining, the moisture and mist are suspended in the air. Everything gets wet. The clouds are low, maybe 100 feet ceiling, cover the tops of the forest covered hills, giving a rainforest feel.
Hwy 85 south of Cd. Valles. Slick with slimy mud. Old tire at point of conical thatched roof, typical of the area.
Another wet day. Hwy 85 at the Aquismon cut-off
The clouds are low, covering the tops of the forest covered hills, giving a rain forest feel
We were curious about Aquismon, as we had spent a couple of days here 5 years ago on our very first Mexico road trip. Nobody was there back then. Its only a few miles off the Hwy so we made the short trip. Seems Aquismon has been discovered. Lots of traffic, congestion, and Mexican tourists.
Aquismon. Much more crowded than when we stayed here 5 years ago. Such is life. Stay ahead of the curve.
A stop in Aquismon. Clayton has been to Sturgis a few times, evidenced by his sleeve patches
We parked our bikes right in the middle of the "taxi only" parking, good Gringos that we are. The taxistas were extremely tolerant and polite about the fax paux.
Aquismon juice stand
Plaza scene, Aquismon
Tamazunchale. Another muddy place. Bumper to bumper stop-n-go traffic thru town. Very unattractive town. Beautiful setting among the hills but an ugly concrete town.
The Hornet gets down and dirty. Tamazunchale. Here you can see the infamous foot peg.
That's my 'Hornet. Slight seep at the solenoid.
I've been waiting to find a RR where someone does Mexico on a HOG.
I'm subscribed to this one, I gotsa '07 Ultra too, and I ain't skeered to get it dirty.
Great write up, keep it comming!:clap
Great start......thanks for posting:lurk :lurk
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