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Old 02-23-2008, 12:39 PM   #97
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 523
Ciudad de Mexico

Mexico City is just as crazy as you hear about. On the positive side, air pollution has been cleaned up pretty dramatically in recent years. On the down side, there are still plenty of open sewers - and they smell terrible.

If you wanted to distill Ciudad de Mexico into one word, that would would be traffic.

There are two problems with traffic in Mexico City:

* There are too many cars.
* The freeways were designed by the criminally insane.

xkcd has been to DF.

Let's say you see a highway ahead running perpendicular to your line of travel, and you want to make a left. There will be six different possible exits near the interchange, all labeled with obscure names of districts miles away. The correct path to the direction you want to go likely involves several right turns, a cloverleaf, a half-mile drive in the wrong direction, a u-turn, and traversing a bridge over the inevitable open sewer.

In Guadalajara there were motorcycles everywhere. In Mexico City they are conspicuously absent. I should have taken this as a hint. Motorcycles (of any kind) are not allowed on the high-speed viaducts or the innermost lanes of highways. Remember what I said about the criminally insane - they like their traffic here.

My first day in Mexico City was just long enough to find the Hostel Cathedral, get my motorcycle booted while checking in (less than two minutes parked in front), pay a 400 peso fine, wait three hours for them to unboot it, and find the KTM dealer. Sadly, I forgot to get a picture of my "jailed" KTM.

I had the address of the KTM shop from their website. Upon arrival, I was informed that this was merely the sales shop and that the repair shop was across town. After 15 minutes of fumbling with maps and the GPS, the guy behind the counter gave up and said "follow me".

This is the point at which real adventure begins:

* Following a 690SM across Mexico City
* Splitting traffic
* At night
* In the rain

My only consolation was that at least I could touch ground with both feet, unlike the guy I was following:

The shop was closed; this exercise was simply so that I could mark the location on my GPS. For an encore, I rode the 45 minutes back to the zócalo aided only by my GPS and a fleeting sense of my own mortality.
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