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Old 11-20-2009, 12:38 PM   #1
Ratfink2000 OP
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Is the Sierra Madre area hazardous?

Just finished the new travel book The Middle Finger Of God, and according to the author the area is filled with Narco-trafficantes, and it is a dangerous place for Norte Americanos.
I know good fiction, but according to him bandits actually shot up a Swiss tourist and killed him on the Copper canyon train during a hold up.
I really want to go there, and speak spanish, but do not want to go where one is asking for trouble.
I have seen great shots of the back roads and it is obviously some of the most amazing areas of Mexico.

Comments?

Gracias por la audar!
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:07 PM   #2
tricepilot
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You Posted The Same Question Here

And never followed up in your own thread

You Asked Another Question Here Too

And didn't follow up or participate in the discussion

You started 3 threads with 3 posts

Are you going to participate this time? ... what are you really after?
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:52 PM   #3
Nata Harli
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And, the book is "God's Middle Finger" not "The Middle Finger of God".
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:44 PM   #4
Ratfink2000 OP
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Participation

Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot


You Posted The Same Question Here

And never followed up in your own thread

You Asked Another Question Here Too

And didn't follow up or participate in the discussion

You started 3 threads with 3 posts

Are you going to participate this time? ... what are you really after?
WOW. Didn't realize this could offend anyone. I logged on and read each and every post. I appreciate all information and just want the experienced opinions of the members. Is that enough?
I have looked at many of your posts and photos and it is some of the most relevant info I've found on what we are about to undertake on our stay in Mexico.
I have received personal notes and information from members that was very helpful.
I live on the road and do not have a constant connection, and go days without email or internet access.
Curious. What do you think I want?
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:17 PM   #5
tricepilot
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Glad you're alive! I'll take the knot out of my panties!

Also glad you are using the information folks are posting for you in response to your questions.

With 100% enthusiasm - in response to your two threads related to Mexico safety - I will tell you that you're going to hear pretty much a similar theme, that it's no different than travel anywhere in the world or back home in the U.S. Most folks who haven't been to Mexico believe the media. All folks who've been to Mexico join in on threads like this and say "GO!". Richard Grant (another topic bashed about) went in to find the narcos and write about it. It's also a book he's trying to sell (it worked, I have a copy). You can find the same dangers in Canada or the U.S., but Mexico if "different" to people because of the language and cultural barrier. Once you cross that barrier, it all melts away and you fall in love with (IMHO) the most beautiful people in all the world. Just don't hang out in East St. Louis or Juarez or some of the more interesting places in Chicago or New York or Tijuana or Los Angeles at 2 am.

Plan a great trip to Mexico, and go have fun!
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:35 AM   #6
Ratfink2000 OP
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Cry On the Warmth of the common man (and woman)

When I was young, and traveled Ruta Pacifica back in the late 1970's, I was on my way to Panama from the US. When I left the US, I was warned that the banditos would get me. I lost a pair of binoculars that I left on my dashboard to gum selling children whilst I went to the loo, and I had to pay a mordida of 20 bucks to a sole guard at a tiny remote checkpoint in internal Guatemala. That was all of the negatives.
As far as positives, I got to see a lot of great scenery and ancient architecture.
I was befriended at many points, and in one village that I stopped at in rural Costa Rica some paisanos insisted that I stop and spend the night there. They threw a huge party that evening, perhaps even on my behalf, and soon there were a hundred people dancing and having a ball. I was like an outer space explorer who had just returned from the moon. People kept coming at me all night telling me how much they liked Americans, rather than our government, and at the end of the night they insisted that I pull my Volks bus up on the paved dance floor under the roof of the thatched roof Bohio and that's where I spent the night. I was invited in peoples homes and did not feel threatened anywhere I went during that trip.
In Grant's book, there is the scene in the prologue, and repeated in the final chapter where he is hunted like a dog in the night by armed thugs. I wonder if he stole the scene, or at least the concept, from the way scary scene in the Cohen brother's movie No Country For Old Men. The protagonist is killed in the end because he took the money that was not his. He had the chance of calling "the Law" but chose to be an opportunist.
It does not matter, the man hunted in the movie was in the wrong place and so was Grant. Both were "looking for trouble", though Grant's motivation may have been thrill seeking.
I am intrigued by the prospect of visiting some of the out of the way places in Mexico, like Batopilas or the Lost Cathedral at Satevo. I am not sure my ride, a 1987 Yamaha Venture, is really the best vehicle for the task. Even though apparently few of you guys are running knobbies on your bikes the roads do look grueling. Both my bike and my pal's, a 2005 Suzuki boulevard, are street bikes. So we may not even get off the tarmac!
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:29 AM   #7
tricepilot
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My first ever trip into Mexico, my familiy is sitting at home convinced that soon they'll be putting money together to pay a ransom. First time ever across the border, kids gather around my bike as I go into a restaurant for lunch. I nervously watch them through the window, to make sure they don't take anything. I come out and get ready to leave, looking over the bike and checking my pockets, when a kid taps me on the arm. He handed me a 200 peso note that I had dropped.

I sat in Glen Heggstads's (Striking Viking) apartment in Mazatlan, watching him flip slides of his trips around the world. I asked him what he thought of the various dangers different cultures offered the international motorcycle traveler. His response was intriguing..."governments doen't always get along, but people do", a mantra he has repeated in his books and on his blog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratfink2000
People kept coming at me all night telling me how much they liked Americans, rather than our government
A few years ago, Patrick Zeller, a journalist from San Antonio, went to Turkey to prepare for a motorcycle trip through Iran. When he came back, he said if there was any danger to the trip, it was the physical motorcycle ride itself (like anywhere else), that he was never threatened or felt put in danger by the people of Iran itself, and quite the opposite. He said the Average Joe Iranian loves Americans, that while the governmenta of Iran and the U.S. may be at odds, they love American culture and people.

Whether Richard Grant borrowed a theme from Cormac McCarthy's book (No Country) I don't know. I do know that Average Joe tourist on a motorcycle isn't finding trouble in Mexico. People who go deep into the backcountry narco territory looking to poke a stick and stir up a story, well, they're going to get what they're after. Journalists in Mexico covering the narco wars are not in a safe occupation. Zeller had a safe time in Iran on his motorcycle, but in Instanbul he was befriended in a bar by strangers, let his guard down, and by the end of the night was being hauled around the city drawing money out of his bank account from a series of ATMs. I often tell people that if you're in Juarez at 3 am in the wrong part of town and get rolled, don't come back here and report how dangerous Mexico is. That couldn't have happened to you in any town in the U.S.

Regarding your bikes and where they'll take you in Mexico, be aware that if you care to, you can join that endless quest for the perfect adventure bike and many people succumb to Multiple Bike Disorder. I usually take a GS Adventure to Mexico, but that bike is a big fat pig in sand and serious off-road situations. Last month I took a KLR 650 and even with that I was wishing I had much more aggresstive knobbies. However, we weren't cruising Mexico looking at the colonial sites, we went to Galeana specifically to look for gnarly back country trails and rediculous water crossings. We found both in spades. I have a buddy who rides a 250 street bike all the time in Mexico and has a blast. Other people like Baja and perhaps the dirt back country trails from the Copper Canyon to the Pacific. Those guys like the lighter DRZ 400 type bikes. Trail Blazer took a Harley into the backcountry and survived. Your bike would be fine in Mexico . Just make sure you have good rubber and a fresh battery on both bikes. I would say get a trip into Mexico under your belt and test the waters with it, you'll have a much clearer idea of your bike's capabilities and how you might want to modify your plan of what to ride and how to modify it.


Does your 1987 Yamaha Venture look like this?:



While this wouldn't be my first choice for Canyon penetrations or Baja, it'll get you around Mexico just fine. This looks kinda like a Goldwing, the type of bike which a buddy of mine rode on our trip to Mahahual in the Yucatan in February. He almost ground a hole in the bash plate from his worst enemy - the topes.
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:47 AM   #8
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You Nailed It...Even the color!

I have the exact bike you have pictured.
Yeah, just as I thought. The topes are going to be the bitch.
Luckily, the frame is beefy. and no pipes or components are hanging below. I have already bumped it once here in the states, in an apartment complex with extreme bumps that were not marked.
I see skid plates you and others have affixed. I'm not sure what we will do about this issue.
I got new rubber and battery, I got to check with my pal.
Thanks
rfink
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot


You Posted The Same Question Here

And never followed up in your own thread

You Asked Another Question Here Too

And didn't follow up or participate in the discussion

You started 3 threads with 3 posts

Are you going to participate this time? ... what are you really after?
Could it be Big Johnson in disguise?
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:04 AM   #10
tricepilot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratfink2000
You Nailed It...Even the color!
I have spies
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:11 AM   #11
Ratfink2000 OP
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Legend of Big Johnson

Someone gonna clue me in on the inside joke?
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:40 PM   #12
Pedro Navaja
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot
...I have a buddy who rides a 250 street bike all the time in Mexico and has a blast...
tricepilot just what kind of people do you associate with? That buddy of yours is a known dumb-ass! Who in their right mind would ride a moped like that to Mexico? Last I heard that while in Mexico that dumb-ass buddy of yours had to turn in his 250, which looks like this...



for a bicycle. That's right, I said a bicycle. And this was simply because said dumb-ass couldn't manage his way around town on his motorcycle with all the 1-way streets. The bicycle looks like this...



Not only that, said dumb-ass told his plight to a bartender about the 1-way streets, so that bartender then offered him the use of that bike for free. But your dumb-ass buddy insisted on giving the bartender USD $20. An argument ensued. Your rude buddy then took off on the bike, wadded up the USD $20, and threw it at the bartender while riding away on the bike while the bartender's amigos laughed away.

Then your dumb-ass buddy rides the bicycle out of town and finds this winery, shown below, and proceeds to get drunk. The guide at the winery who had just finished with a group of unappreciative high school kids, and with nobody else waiting to tour since it's lunch time, proceeds to get your dumb-ass buddy drunk with unauthorized samples of wine and brandy from the winery's production line and casks, while they both try to outsmart each other on trivia about the Mexican Revolution.


Your dumb-ass amigo then proceeds to find his way back to town, but gets lost in the town because he has had too much to drink. While lost he stumbles across these arches.


He then goes to sleep on a nearby bench thinking he he has accomplished the impossible by riding from Houston directly to Italy.

When he wakes up the unlocked bicycle is still there and that fag-bag he's wearing around his waist still has his money in it. He only wakes up because some dog is barking at him.



So, were we talking about safety in Mexico?
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Pedro Navaja screwed with this post 11-21-2009 at 05:07 PM
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:17 PM   #13
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:26 AM   #14
westnash
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratfink2000
Someone gonna clue me in on the inside joke?
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=506397
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:53 PM   #15
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Yes

You should avoid at all cost.
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