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Old 07-05-2006, 02:39 PM   #151
wsuduc
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I have been lurking around this site for some time now, waiting to read the adventures of Snowrider.

What an awesome adventure and an inspiration.

The big question is, do we have to wait a whole year to read about another Snowrider adventure!

Thank you for sharing.
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Old 07-05-2006, 04:51 PM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wsuduc
The big question is, do we have to wait a whole year to read about another Snowrider adventure!

I don't know if I'll even be able to afford to go anywhere next year. You may just get "Snowrider goes to the Stop-N-Rob on the corner for some ramen noodles".
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Old 07-05-2006, 04:57 PM   #153
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Here's a video I shot in my motel in Paracho after buying the new guitar.
http://media.putfile.com/Live-in-Paracho
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:00 PM   #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowrider
Here's a video I shot in my motel in Paracho after buying the new guitar.
http://media.putfile.com/Live-in-Paracho
Dude, thats awesome!!!
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Old 07-05-2006, 06:44 PM   #155
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You remind me of the fella in ZZtop.
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Old 07-05-2006, 06:51 PM   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokklym
Dude, thats awesome!!!
Dude, that's awesome!!!

I've been thinking hard about getting a guitar and taking some lessons - I hope I'll be able to play that well some day.

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Old 07-05-2006, 07:37 PM   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowrider
I don't know if I'll even be able to afford to go anywhere next year. You may just get "Snowrider goes to the Stop-N-Rob on the corner for some ramen noodles".

Yeah, but can you top this convenience store ride report?

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...58&postcount=9



Another awesome ride report though.

(You should come visit the UP. Lots of good riding, cheap beer, and the occasional good band to be found.)

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Old 07-05-2006, 10:04 PM   #158
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snowrider, just finished reading the thread. Great report!

I'm studying in Guadalajara at the moment so it was cool to read. It's funny you were in Paracho, last weekend I was in Michoacan aswell and went through there to get to Morelia. It's an amazing place isn't it? Every day I wish I had ridden down here though.
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Old 07-05-2006, 10:20 PM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speaker
snowrider, just finished reading the thread. Great report!

I'm studying in Guadalajara at the moment so it was cool to read. It's funny you were in Paracho, last weekend I was in Michoacan aswell and went through there to get to Morelia. It's an amazing place isn't it? Every day I wish I had ridden down here though.

I love Paracho. I'll probably fly there for the guitar festival in August, but maybe next summer.
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:02 AM   #160
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Taken at a gas stop on the way to Vera Cruz.

I got a bit anxious to get to Vera Cruz. I decided to get a real hotel that would have laundry. I ended up on the toll road to Vera Cruz, and like any toll road there's nothing to do but open the throttle more and more. Also, one of the toll booths charged me ochenta pesos! That's almost 8 dollars. The speed limit signs said 80 km/h, but for 80 pesos I was going to go as fast as I wanted to.
It was very hot here, and there was a very big headwind. At about 95 mph I'd realize that my throttle was opened to the stop, and I'd close it just a hair and go down to maybe 92 mph. A little ways later I'd realize it was on the stop again. I rode this way for quite a while unti I got about 10 or 15 miles from Vera Cruz and hit a toll booth.
I turned off the bike and got the money out. When I restarted it, it ran for a couple seconds then died. When I tried to restart it, nothing. I tried a few times, but I was getting no pops or signs of ignition. I pulled the bike forward and over into the little triangle between the toll lanes.
At this point it was full on blazing Juarez/El Paso levels of heat. I started messing with it, then stopped and put on sun block. I could only do anything on the bike between cars, and when they'd pass by on the side I was on I would have to stand up straight against the bike to make room for them. Now my first thought was that it was the heat and the extended full throttle running, but after I pulled it into the triangle I noticed that when I threw my gloves up on the "dash", I'd accidently turned on the switch for the GPS cable, which was hanging there unused.
Suddenly I got idea that it'd shorted on something and blown a fuse for the bike's ignition, even though this shouldn't happen since it has a voltage converter in line. Every attempt to start it produced no pops or hints of ignition, like the kill switch was off, even though it wasn't off. I checked the fuses under the right sidecover and they were good, but I thought the bike must have more fuses I needed to remove the seat to get to. It doesn't, by the way. A DR650 has two fuses and that's it.
My crescent wrench was in my fender bag, which was stolen in Juarez. The only thing stolen on the trip--a non-essential item that provided me a quick lesson on what they will steal in a border town--anything. But now, the crescent wrench was a necessity. I got one of the seat bolts out with the tools from the stock tool kit, but the other bolt rounded off in the open ended wrench. I asked some workmen nearby, (installing some kind of underground wire), for a 12 mm wrench, they didn't have one. I learned the proper spanish word for vice-grips, which I don't remember right now. They asked one of the cops, who found the handyman, who loaned me some locking pliers.
I got the seat bolt off as the handyman came out to watch me. I told him the rounded seat bolt was history and I threw it away, but it landed in my helmet on the ground, which he thought was hilarious. There weren't any more fuses under there. It was seriously blazing hot.
I tried to start it again and there was one little pop that almost sounded like some gas ignited later in the exhaust. The handyman was smart, he said that it must not be getting fuel, because that pop had to come from ignition. My brain was fried, I wasn't sure. That pop was small--did I really hear it? It wasn't doing it anymore. Now I'm thinking fried engine computer, all kinds of stupid things.
I go inside the building and ask the cop to call a tow for me. After a bit I go out to grab my jacket and guitar, sitting behind the bike in a pile, and try the bike again. I hear something. I turn off the choke and give it more gas, and there's a little popping. I try again and it suddenly fires up.
I ran inside, told him to cancel the tow, ran outside and split.
When it refused to start, my first thought had been of a vapor lock condition in the fuel line because of all the engine heat right below it--that was probably the correct answer.
I rode into Vera Cruz and passed a bus full of kids who'd laughed at me when they went through the toll booth.
I was feeling good now. When I'd left Paracho I'd felt like crap. In Uruapan a cab had cut me off when we were both stuck in the same line of traffic. He'd gotten room on the left so he went around and shoved his cab in front of me. When the car in front of him slowed down to get around a stalled vehicle on the left, I pulled out and gassed it hard, then skidded sideways up to the stalled vehicle. I shoved my front tire against and past the back bumper of a VW beetle to put it between the VW and the cab that'd cut me off. When the beetle moved I hit the gas and the cabbie apparently didn't want to run anyone over at that particular moment. It was satisfying. For my careless agression I was rewarded with 3 nice holes in a row that allowed me to get way ahead. I think I was safer at that moment than I was riding through Vera Cruz just taking it easy and deliriously happy to just be moving.
I saw the Holiday Inn. They didn't have laundry, but I didn't care. This was the only time I ever stayed at a place with a bellhop.

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Old 07-06-2006, 08:09 AM   #161
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The hotel room had cool stone balconies that made me think of old footage of politicians waving to crowds. Especially when there was a huge crowd below the balcony. I don't know why I didn't take a picture of it, but a crowd of people in red t-shirts filled the roundabout, and at one point a huge swarm of them started walking up the overpass ramp in the picture below. They filled it, lengthwise and widthwise, and cops were all over, but no traffic. The bike cops in Vera Cruz appeared to have those new Yamaha XT660s that they don't sell in the US.

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Old 07-06-2006, 08:32 AM   #162
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From Vera Cruz I rode to Tampico. In Tampico I saw a couple hotels. One was a big marble building, with marble sidewalks around it. Across the street someone was sleeping next to their cart of stuff. I almost left when I saw that, but then I looked at the big marble fancy building and decided it just had to be nice. I went in and asked if they had "estacionamiento seguro", which depending on how you interpret it could mean locked parking, or just safe parking. I meant locked parking, they didn't. I found their parking lot, which was just open with a wall to block some of the view, but there was a security guard. The security guard seemed straight, seemed like a nice old man. He told me he got off at 7 am. I woke up at 6:30 and was out packing my bike at 7:01.
The inside of the hotel was beautiful hardwood in an amber varnish. This place was designed to be a real fancy hotel. But now, it was a $20 a night hole. It didn't look like a hole, until I got in the room. There were several holes in the cieling with plastic bags sticking out of them, I'm guessing to cover bare wires for lights that aren't there anymore. There was no tp in the room. I went down and asked for "papeller para el banyo" because I don't know how they say tp. She gave me roll, but when I asked for uno mas, (stomach bug, remember), she said no. No, I only get one. I told her I needed one more and would pay for it, she said I'd get another one tomorrow. I said I wanted one now, she told me to wait for tomorrow. I got mad and said no, I need it now! She reluctantly gave me a roll, and I asked how many pesos, to which she said 3, probably mostly to feel like she got me on something.
I walked through the surrounding neighborhood to find food, which provided me the motivation to be out by my bike by 7 am. I ended up going with Domino's pizza, which wasn't very good, just like in the states, but that whole medium pizza, (finished it for breakfast in the morning), stayed in me a day and a half! This was the beginning of me getting over the stomach bug. I just needed some American food to clog everything up. Now that I'm feeling better I've switched back to tacos.
The next day I rode from Tampico to the border at Brownsville, Texas.




This is the last picture I took in Mexico--some lop eared cows while stopped for construction.
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:44 AM   #163
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In Brownsville I stopped at several banks who wouldn't change my money. I informed them they had no business putting a sign on their building that said "bank", if they wouldn't exchange money for a fee in a border town. They didn't care. I was hot. I sat in the air conditioning in a Wells Fargo lobby for a while just to cool off. I smelled really bad. I hoped they could smell me and would exchange my money just to get rid of me. They didn't.
I rode back to the border and found a money exchange place and got $170 US for my remaining pesos. I went further north then arranged a wire transfer the next day. I had to have a family member get money from my bank and western union it to me, because the Vigo transfer I'd used in Mexico wasn't available in many places in Texas. It was actually easier and quicker to get money wired to me in Mexico.
I got rained on all through Texas. I ate a little too much BBQ. Texas ate my back tire.
I wanted to get home, and I didn't want to get a new tire, so I superslabbed it the whole way and just kept my speed down and the tire pumped up. I took 35 north all the way to Iowa.





Somewhere in there was this guy. The big spenders will really love this picture or really hate it, I'm not sure which.
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:48 AM   #164
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Last day on the road.
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:53 AM   #165
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Back in Wisconsin.


I pulled up to my shop with an empty gas tank and a bald rear tire, around 10 pm on Monday.

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