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Old 01-11-2009, 06:08 PM   #1
GSABest OP
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Manzanillo, Mexico
Oddometer: 320
30 Days In Mexico! Better Late than Never!

OK, 31 Days!
10,200 kms
1 Province - Alberta
5 US states - Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada
16 Mexican states - Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, Michoacan, Colima, Guerreo, Estado de Mexico, Morelos, Puebla, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, Veracruz
Ride Theme Song: El Chofer, Vicente Fernandez

...So Far!



October 19 & 20, 2008 I ride my bike from Calgary to Las Vegas, then fly back to Calgary...


Fast Forward 3 1/2 weeks!

Day 1 - Calgary to Santa Ana, Sonora, MEXICO! 15 1/2 hours

Cardinal rule of riding in Mexico - BROKEN!


I awoke early on Thursday, Nov. 13th, filled with anticipation for the day's coming events. I can barely contain myself, the excitement that my long-dreamed-of trip is beginning, or should I say continuing! I will be riding my 2008 R1200GS Adventure inside of Mexico before this day ends!! Packing Lists are checked off, insurance is purchased, copies of documentation made, all my gear is packed. The latest Bicimapas Mexico map is loaded in my Garmin 2820 Streetpilot. along with my Guia Roji atlas. I have some specific planned and unplanned routes for my trip through Mexico. All I’m carrying is a backpack, and a fabric grocery bag... onto the plane. Yes, the plane. 8:30 am flight to Las Vegas. 10:30 arrival. With no checked luggage to retrieve, I should be in a cab & off to Storage West within 10 minutes of getting off the plane. My bike has been patiently awaiting my return since I rode her down back on October 21st. A 15 minute cab ride, 1/2 an hour to repack the gear on my bike, 20 minute ride to BMW of Las Vegas for a new front tire and candy cane striping. Then it’s 8 long hours of riding to get to Nogales, Arizona, Sonora. The cab ride seemed long, despite my conversation with the cabbie about the new president-elect Obama. It did little to quell the anticipation I was feeling.

I jumped out of the cab and almost ran into the Storage West facility. “Please take me to my storage unit!” We jumped onto the golf cart and away we went.... I think I tried the keys in 3 different units before I found my bike... Oh! and my key opened someone elses lock. It kinda scared me cause at first - I opened the door to a bunch of boxes - where’s my bike!!! No, this can’t be, it must be the wrong unit, right? It was. A little more fiddling with locks and behold, there she was! Just as I had left here 3 weeks ago! But, will she start? I have to admit I was a little worried... but no problem, away she went!

Pics are coming...




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Current Ride: 2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure (Mi Gran Esperanza Roja)

Past Rides: 1990 VFR 750 (2007 - sold to my son), 2000 RC51 (2000 - 2003), 1990 VFR 750 (1996 - 1999), 1989 Yamaha TDR250 (1998 - 1999), 1989 NT650 Hawk GT x 2 (1998 - 1999), 1982 Honda Interstate (1982 - 1983), 1981 Honda CB900F (1981 - 1982), 1980 Honda CB900 Custom (1980 - 1981), 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 Custom (1978), 1974 Kawasaki 400 Triple, 1976 Honda XL 250

GSABest screwed with this post 01-18-2009 at 11:54 AM
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:31 PM   #2
GSdiablo
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aboat time, Marc

Looking forward to the "deerless" Adventure!!!
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:34 PM   #3
GB
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Bring it on! I love those Mexico reports

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Old 01-11-2009, 07:08 PM   #4
tricepilot
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Marc,

You did your homework - can't wait to see how the actual trip unfolds.

Bring it

Bob
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:25 PM   #5
GSABest OP
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OK. let’s get this show on the road!! The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. I forgot to leave behind my North Face jacket at the airport before I left Calgary, so the only things I can’t fit on the bike as planned, are the jacket, the fabric grocery bag and the old nasty running shoes I was wearing - which I intended on just throwing away.

11:45am, BMW of Las Vegas - “I have an appointment to have a new tire installed today - while I wait!”, “OK sir. What kind?”, “Michelin Anakee!” I exclaim. “I’m sorry, but we don’t have Anakees, been out of stock for quite a while now.” Crap! My heart sank momentarily when he said it, because I had prearranged the tire install 3 weeks earlier, including availability of the Anakee front tire. At the time I even offered to prepay to ensure the tire would be there on my return. “No need to leave a deposit on the tire, consider the appointment made!”, they said at the time... knowing that rear tires were scarce i said “It’s a front tire I need!” “Oh, well I think we can help you with that!” Whew! Scared me there for a sec. (I know, it’s not the end of the world to have a different brand front & rear, but I wanted a matched set & besides, I HAD, prearranged it!) “Great, so, I’ve been chasing a front end shake from the day I bought the bike new. It’s even worse now & there is unusual wear on the front tire. Please balance the tire well & give it a good road test to see if the shake is gone!”. “OK. Can you ride out the shake?” “Nope! ...just gets worse as speed increases”! (It shook bad at 140+ kmph!) “OK! We should be able to fix that!” he said reassuringly. ...I was skeptical. There’s a good restaurant across the street. Go have lunch & we’ll be done when you get back. OK, so, off I went, not to the restaurant, but into the showroom to eat the chicken salad I had bought at the airport in Calgary. After hanging out there for a while I walked back over to the service department to wait for/collect my bike. I asked about recommended tire pressures. After considering how much weight I had in the bags, they settled on F37/R40. This has proven to be a good setup for me. No scalloping/unusual wear in the front after 8200 kms. After the road test, they washed the bike, helped me put the safety tape on the bags, arranged to ship my jacket back to Calgary, threw away my old sneakers, made me pay the bill and waved goodbye to me! The shake was gone too! Overall, a positive experience at BMW of Las Vegas!



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Current Ride: 2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure (Mi Gran Esperanza Roja)

Past Rides: 1990 VFR 750 (2007 - sold to my son), 2000 RC51 (2000 - 2003), 1990 VFR 750 (1996 - 1999), 1989 Yamaha TDR250 (1998 - 1999), 1989 NT650 Hawk GT x 2 (1998 - 1999), 1982 Honda Interstate (1982 - 1983), 1981 Honda CB900F (1981 - 1982), 1980 Honda CB900 Custom (1980 - 1981), 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 Custom (1978), 1974 Kawasaki 400 Triple, 1976 Honda XL 250
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:37 PM   #6
GSABest OP
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Location: Manzanillo, Mexico
Oddometer: 320
Disclaimers:

OK Boys & Girls. A couple disclaimers...

1) I didn't notice the smudge on the lens of my Sony camera until I had taken many days worth of pictures. So, my apologies. It really pee'd me off when I finally noticed... The good news is that my Canon shot as good a picture as I currently know how to take...

2) I have just started writing this ride report so bear with me. Patience will be your friend! I'll try to appease with pics...

3) I am currently uploading all my pics to smugmug - and there are quite a few. So far 552 uploaded - about 1/4. So this is a work in progress

4) I would have liked to have put up a report while on the trip, but I was either busy riding, walking, picture taking, spending time with my wife, visiting friends, putting more kilometers on, working (yes, working), or just generally having fun...so here it is now...

Hope you enjoy!

Sunset in Arizona
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Current Ride: 2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure (Mi Gran Esperanza Roja)

Past Rides: 1990 VFR 750 (2007 - sold to my son), 2000 RC51 (2000 - 2003), 1990 VFR 750 (1996 - 1999), 1989 Yamaha TDR250 (1998 - 1999), 1989 NT650 Hawk GT x 2 (1998 - 1999), 1982 Honda Interstate (1982 - 1983), 1981 Honda CB900F (1981 - 1982), 1980 Honda CB900 Custom (1980 - 1981), 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 Custom (1978), 1974 Kawasaki 400 Triple, 1976 Honda XL 250
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:07 PM   #7
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Manzanillo, Mexico
Oddometer: 320
Mexico, Here I Come!!!....

2 hours after arriving at BMW of Las Vegas, the gas tank was full and I was on the road! I really wanted the next 8 or so hours to pass quickly, at times regretting my choice to enter Mexico at Nogales rather than somewhere closer, south of Las Vegas, wherever that might be. Oh well, ride on! Consequently, I wicked up the throttle as much as possible to make up as much time as possible. You gotta love that big Adventure gas tank. You can ride forever!! Well, at least until the low fuel warning light came on. No worries, Iíll just ignore that for a while. Besides, I have at least 70 kms of reserve, right? Wrong! The ďrangeĒ kilometers seem to be disappearing more quickly than they should be. Worried that I wasnít going to make it to Casa Grande, south of Phoenix, I pulled off the highway at the next available gas station. I even had GPS searching for the nearest gas station. I needed a break anyway. 5 hours of non-stop riding, thirsty, hungry and numb butted I pulled in to a Shell gas station & got to pay a premium for premium on an Indian reserve somewhere north of Casa Grande. This stop cost me any time I may have made up with the throttle. Visa had frozen my credit card after I used it in Vegas despite having called them to advise of my travel plans. The helpful young lady at the gas station made a few phone calls to Visa to attempt to get authorization - no go! **** Note to self: Ream out Visa when I get a chance to call!****

Thatís OK, Iíll just pay cash! A few minutes later, after downing a sub & a banana, I was back on the road, now with Tucson in my sights!

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Current Ride: 2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure (Mi Gran Esperanza Roja)

Past Rides: 1990 VFR 750 (2007 - sold to my son), 2000 RC51 (2000 - 2003), 1990 VFR 750 (1996 - 1999), 1989 Yamaha TDR250 (1998 - 1999), 1989 NT650 Hawk GT x 2 (1998 - 1999), 1982 Honda Interstate (1982 - 1983), 1981 Honda CB900F (1981 - 1982), 1980 Honda CB900 Custom (1980 - 1981), 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 Custom (1978), 1974 Kawasaki 400 Triple, 1976 Honda XL 250
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:21 PM   #8
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Manzanillo, Mexico
Oddometer: 320
it IS about time Greg!
Hope you & Elizabeth are well! Happy New Year!
When I got back in December, I was busy with a big software changeover at work... Jan 1 we flipped the switch and now working out the bugs...

Finally have time to sit down and write the trip journal...

...more to come!

Marc
__________________
Current Ride: 2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure (Mi Gran Esperanza Roja)

Past Rides: 1990 VFR 750 (2007 - sold to my son), 2000 RC51 (2000 - 2003), 1990 VFR 750 (1996 - 1999), 1989 Yamaha TDR250 (1998 - 1999), 1989 NT650 Hawk GT x 2 (1998 - 1999), 1982 Honda Interstate (1982 - 1983), 1981 Honda CB900F (1981 - 1982), 1980 Honda CB900 Custom (1980 - 1981), 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 Custom (1978), 1974 Kawasaki 400 Triple, 1976 Honda XL 250
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:58 PM   #9
K Schnell
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Looking forward to reading your report.

Good job so far
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:29 PM   #10
Kodanja
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Looking forward to this one. Don't hold back any of the details! NICE BIKE!
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:01 PM   #11
Dread
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:56 PM   #12
GSABest OP
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Location: Manzanillo, Mexico
Oddometer: 320
10:30 pm - Nogales, Arizona/Sonora - LA FRONTERA

Anticipation is peaking now! Road construction slow downs are behind me and my 50 watt HIDs are blazing a trail ahead of me through the Arizona desert. Iím closing in on Nogales. 10 minutes out, I call my wife on my Garmin-bluetoothed BB curve to let her know I am ok and will be out of contact imminently.

My original plan was to overnight on the US side of the border but, knowledgeable ADV FFers recommended I take the commercial truck international border crossing, get my papers processed, then grab a hotel in Nogales, Sonora. So Iím on the lookout for the access. Not being familiar with the area I ride right on by the exit. Oops! Oh well, Iíll just take the regular crossing. My papers are ready! I round a few corners in quiet downtown Nogales and ride slowly up to the border crossing. With a buzz on from just coming off the highway things are still moving fast...at least in my head! Where am I supposed to stop for someone to check my papers? Hmmm, ok, thereís some guard type dudes to my left. That must be where I stop! Nobody stops me, I just slowly ride on. OK, whatever! Now, Iíve been to Mexico before, and Peru so, this entry into Mexico should be no big deal. Ay Caramba! The full force of a new & very different country hits me right between the eyes. Maybe it was because it was late in the evening, Maybe it was some lingering subliminal thoughts I had about wanting to clear the frontera as quickly as possible due the cartel problems. Maybe it was the multitude of people on the sidewalks & streets, or the cars just everywhere, maybe it was the stark contrast between quiet Nogales, Arizona and boisterous Nogales, Sonora. Maybe it was the warnings about riding in Mexico at night! Maybe all of that, but I am immediately uncomfortable and my spidee sense is tingling! I canít see any signs indicating Aduana or Migracion. Iím 50 feet from the border crossing at an intersection, already lost and already being unwilling consumed by the dark, unfamiliar town. This is not how it was supposed to be!
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Current Ride: 2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure (Mi Gran Esperanza Roja)

Past Rides: 1990 VFR 750 (2007 - sold to my son), 2000 RC51 (2000 - 2003), 1990 VFR 750 (1996 - 1999), 1989 Yamaha TDR250 (1998 - 1999), 1989 NT650 Hawk GT x 2 (1998 - 1999), 1982 Honda Interstate (1982 - 1983), 1981 Honda CB900F (1981 - 1982), 1980 Honda CB900 Custom (1980 - 1981), 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 Custom (1978), 1974 Kawasaki 400 Triple, 1976 Honda XL 250
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:05 PM   #13
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Location: Manzanillo, Mexico
Oddometer: 320
OK, the cobwebs are starting to clear quickly. Time to get into Mexico mode! I need to back track and find the Aduana. So, as soon as I can, I manouver the big GSA up the street, dodging cars & people until I can turn left with the hope of going round the block and figure out where I need to go. Coming back around the short block I stop at the first intersection to have a look around. Amidst all the commotion, not far from the actual border crossing I see the sign; MIGRACION. OK, good. Now to try to get to it, but I can’t unless I cross into the oncoming lane with guard-types standing right there. I opt to try to get to it from behind, so I hang a left , then a quick right, go down the short block and turn right again into a dark parking lot that is occupied by a few cars and more people. I’m still uncomfortable and not willing to stop the bike, take off my tank bag, backpack & helmet and go off in search of the elusive MIGRACION! Decision time. I’m crossing back into the US and finding that commercial truck crossing. It’s gotta be easier, or at least more comfortable, now that I (sorta) know what I’m looking for. I pull into the short line-up of vehicles waiting to cross into the good ol’ US of A! Soon, I pull up to the booth where the US Border Guard is standing. I tell him I’ve been in Mexico for 5 minutes and now I want to leave! HA! It’s funny now sitting here typing this... I explain that I want to go cross at the commercial truck crossing and will begin my 30 day ride through Mexico from there. He checks over my passport, hands it back, looks at me with concern written all over his face... “Be Careful!” he asserts. ....Great. Thanks for that. I really needed that right now. Mexico has caught me off guard as it is, and you stand there and make it sound like I’m loco for doing this and sure to meet an untimely death! Great.... “I will!” I assert back. I put my gloves on, fire up the bike and start retracing my route through Nogales to the alternate border crossing. I punch up the map on the GPS to see if I can find a short cut straight west through town. I turn left on a promising quiet street while wondering how these 2 towns with the same name can be so different. A short kilometer up the street I intersect an empty highway, hang a left, crest a rise to see the border crossing I’m looking for! Perfect. It looks much calmer than the main border crossing as I approach at nearly 11 o’clock. Wait now, perhaps it’s looking a little too quiet, like closed quiet. Crap! Foiled again. I guess I should have researched that. Who’da thunk! At least I know my way back to the main crossing... In just a few minutes I’m crossing back in Mexico. Immediately - don’t blink here or you’ll miss it! - I pull off to the right and park near the entrance to the MIGRACION office - a rather unassuming place I might add - nothing like I’d imagined. Off comes the helmet, gloves, tank bag, and backpack. I walk into what i think is the entrance - past some empty offices then turn right, walk down the hall a ways to a simple counter on the left. There is a chubby senor chatting with 2 women watching telenovas on a small television. Not really sure I’m at the right place I say in my best spanglish “migracion?”, si, migracion. OK, now we are rockin’ & rollin’! Once the paperwork is processed and wanting to complete my bike importation I ask, “Esta segura la carretera?” "Is the highway safe?", “Hay banditos o ladrones o narcos?” Si, la carretera esta segura. (Yes, the highway is safe!) La problema esta entre las bandas, no hay problemas por la carretera. (the problem is between the gangs, the highway is safe) Hmmm. OK. Time to find kilometer 21! Time to really break the cardinal rule of riding in Mexico! Time to clear out of LA FRONTERA!
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Current Ride: 2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure (Mi Gran Esperanza Roja)

Past Rides: 1990 VFR 750 (2007 - sold to my son), 2000 RC51 (2000 - 2003), 1990 VFR 750 (1996 - 1999), 1989 Yamaha TDR250 (1998 - 1999), 1989 NT650 Hawk GT x 2 (1998 - 1999), 1982 Honda Interstate (1982 - 1983), 1981 Honda CB900F (1981 - 1982), 1980 Honda CB900 Custom (1980 - 1981), 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 C2 Custom (1978), 1974 Kawasaki 400 Triple, 1976 Honda XL 250
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:29 PM   #14
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Nice Read

I'm ready for more now please!!!!!
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:31 PM   #15
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I'm in.
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