Pedro Norte: Day 0. Monday
First, let me say thanks to Richard and all involved in planning this event. I had the time of my life. We all did. Incredible. Awesome. Amazing. WOW.
Back up a year…..I’ve been looking forward to this trip for a year. Driving back from my brother’s wedding in Guanajuato I spied the mountains east and south of our return route from Saltillo to Monterrey and wondered how nice it must be to ride up there. When I got back I read up on Mex Trek, which I had totally missed until after it went down. I told my wife that I was going in 2009. Period end.
Incredibly everything lined up in the months and weeks leading up to the ride. In spite a nagging piston knock that got progressively worse leading up to the departure date, I managed to get most of my work commitments knocked out and the bike more or less ready to go. Preparations included tax title and license for my race only DRZ 400 SM. I bought an XR400 within 2 hours of reading the 2008 ride report. Procrastination and title issues forced me to leave the perfectly set up and over farkled XR in the garage. There’s always next year. I took my DRZ400SM instead. It proved a worthy steed.
For those unfamiliar, the DRZ SM is a street bike. 5 speeds, 15/41 gearing, 100 MPH top end, with 17 inch excel wheels front and rear. Here is a stock photo.
So I hoped to get some meatier tires mounted up and have something more like this:
But time pressures led me to Monday morning, street tires still in place, 24 hours before departure. Ya see, my wife was the lucky winner of a contest to represent Gallery Furniture as a Customer Buyer at the largest national furniture show. Wednesday to Tuesday….just while I was to be in Mexico. She found out just before the weekend when Mack called her up, so my time was spent rearranging kid’s schedules, arguing, pleading, arranging childcare, listening, interjecting, negotiating, pleading, hugging….all the necessary support tasks so Nancy would be able to take her all expense paid trip while I took mine. So come Monday morning 9am…and the bike was still rolling on the same 17’s I used at Texas World Speedway at the last trackday, resigned to riding class 1’s and concrete. I figured I’d spend the week exploring class 1’s and doing some canyon carving. Luckily Wayland was kind enough to offer a ride to Galeana from McAllen so my gun case turned top case would suffice for the ride and I could just pack a suitcase, or two.
9 AM Monday my friend Miranda came to the rescue, following up on my PM with a set of tires she had just removed from her daily commuter WR250SM. Used only once for a day of mudding, the tires would mount up on the 17’s and give me some serious grip offroad. Pirelli MT 21’s, both rear tires, 120 / 17 in front and a 140 / 17 in the rear gave the bike a look of a TW200 on steroids. It also made the front end handle really goofy, but somehow you compensate. I picked the tires up late Monday and gave the bike and tires to a friend who is a mechanic at Katy Yamaha. I slept very little, worrying about all the untied details, and packing until 2 in the morning.