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Old 04-02-2009, 02:23 AM   #433
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 523
Coming Home

This part of the trip, I'm sorry to say, sucked.

The first task was getting the bike to the KTM dealer in Monterrey for a preliminary diagnosis. I managed to arrange for a truck.

By the next morning the KTM shop had news for me: It's serious.

This meant Plan B. I have an extended service contract on the bike, but it's only good at an authorized KTM dealer in the US. I had to get the bike to San Antonio, Texas.

The KTM shop was wonderful to me - they loaded my bike on a truck and took it across the border for only the (surprisingly substantial in the north) cost of gas and cuota tolls. I expected the border crossing to be complicated, but we were through in 5 minutes with no inspection. It was shocking compared to the multi-hour ordeals I was accustomed to.

Laredo, Texas was a rather drab place to spend Thanksgiving. This was the *only* open restaurant in town:

If I was less emotionally exhausted I would have walked across the border; I'm pretty sure you can count on Mexico to provide amazing food any day of the year except Xmas. Instead I called up a few friends (reveling in my new, no-longer-roaming cellphone status) and then crawled into bed with a book and a six-pack of crappy beer - the next day was going to be very, very long.

My day, 28th of November, 2008:

* Woke up at dawn, cabbed to U-Haul in Laredo, rented cargo truck.

* Drove back to hotel, loaded bike in truck.

* Drove truck two hours to Kent Powersports in San Antonio and unloaded bike for diagnosis and repair.

* Dropped off truck at U-Haul center in San Antonio.

* Took a bus to a nearby Starbucks for internet access, checked schedules and bought a plane ticket.

* Cabbed to airport, got on a plane.

* Flew back to SF, got a ride home from a friend.

* Crawled into my own barely-recognizable bed sometime after midnight... two time zones earlier.

The funny thing is how easy it was to do all that. The rule for Mexico is you can accomplish one important thing per day, no more. There is no way I could pull off this complicated sequence south of the border. It's not just availability of the internet, cellphones, and my native tongue. This was a rather harsh way to re-enter civilization, but for once I was glad for the "Get It Done Now, In A Hurry" attitude in the US.
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja
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