ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-17-2011, 07:58 PM   #106
miguelito OP
Studly Adventurer
 
miguelito's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
Oddometer: 505
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jick Magger View Post
Nice ride report. I enjoyed following you along on your journey. Interesting that you chose San Miguel after all the travelling you did. Was there any particular reason you chose this town or did it just happen that way? Having read a little bit about SMA I am interested in your perspective on the city. Great Job on the report!!
Thanks JM. I arrived in SMdA prepared not to like it because I thought it would be pretty touristy and packed with gringos. In the end, it turns out that the people living here area big part of what makes San Miguel work for me. One thing I realized on this trip is that I actually like having some gringos around to talk to. By the time I arrived in San Miguel on this trip, it had been about a month since I had had a conversation in English, and I had had my first dream in Espanol. As cool as that was, I realized that while I pride myself in my ability to converse in Spanish, I need to have the odd conversation with, (hopefully), interesting people in my native tongue. I've seen a lot of towns and rubbed shoulders with a bunch of the ex-pat communities around Mexico in my 20+k miles of riding here. San Miguel has a large enough community of expats to make it a bit more interesting for me. There are plenty of English speaking people here that I've yet to meet. I think a lot of the smaller towns with smaller communities of extranjeros would begin seem like a pretty small pond to me after a relatively short time. On top of that, I made a few Mexican friends here right off the bat, as well as nortenos, and then on top of that, I met the girl. ;)

Having lived here now for about a year and a half, I can add that the climate here is one which I would consider to be one of the best year round climates in the world, (at 6k feet elevation in the tropics), so that adds the the allure for me. Most of the lower elevations seem awfully hot and humid to me when I visit them even in the winter, so maybe I'm just a high desert kinda guy in the end.

Now, on top of all that, some of the drug violence that plagues some of the other Mexican states, seems relatively absent in our area. I've heard various theories on why that is, including claims that many of the drug lords wives and children live in the area, and that it's a kinda hands-off area for them. There's also the reality that the tourist trade is a big part of this area's economy, and so there is a lot of economic pressure for the area to remain a kind of safe zone. I'm not sure of any of this, and while there have been incidents of violence, I think the area remains relatively safe, (at least for a low profile gringo without enough money in his bank account to make him a target). And now that I've said that, I know plenty of gringos living here worth quite a bit of $ who live quite openly without fear of becoming a target of violence or kidnapping. I may be proved wrong about this eventually, but my characterization seems accurate to me.

Another factor is the terrain around here for motorcyclng. We've got lots of rolling hills punctuated by mountainous twisties. The stunning Sierra Gordas are a short trip to our east. I can descend off the Mexican altiplano in either direction, and be on either east or west coast within a day's ride. It's a great centrally located region to call home.

Last but not least, the town, a well as the surrounding Mexican communities are beautiful, as are their inhabitants. There is a lot of exploring I can do within an hour or two's ride from here.

If you or any other ADV rider gets into the neighborhood, PM me, and I'll be glad to show you around the town and general area. Cheers!
miguelito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2011, 08:01 PM   #107
miguelito OP
Studly Adventurer
 
miguelito's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
Oddometer: 505
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizzMan View Post
It's funny to recognize an alley in such a small and remote place as Bernal. My cousin's house is a block from the top of the alley.

Better roads uphill through the mountains.

Not only funny Schizzman, but cool. I like the world being a small place even if as Stephen Wright said: "I wouldn't want to paint it".
miguelito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2011, 08:59 PM   #108
SchizzMan
pronounced `skiz-man
 
SchizzMan's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Austin, Tx.
Oddometer: 7,611
Quote:
Originally Posted by miguelito View Post
Not only funny Schizzman, but cool. I like the world being a small place even if as Stephen Wright said: "I wouldn't want to paint it".
Heh heh, love that guy.

Planning on riding the GS to SMdA sometime after Christmas to see my cousins. Will PM you to see if you want to do a little riding.

JD
__________________
'14 R1200GSA "Der WasserNoggin", '14 KTM 350 XCF-W (plated)

"As long as there's a horizon and I can see it, then I want to know what's there, mentally, physically and visually" - rtwpaul
SchizzMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 07:16 AM   #109
miguelito OP
Studly Adventurer
 
miguelito's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
Oddometer: 505
Lo siento amigo. :( Unfortunately, I'm heading back to the US in about 3 weeks for an extended stay with my ailing Dad. Not sure when I'll be returning, but definitely PM me when you return next time.
miguelito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 12:35 PM   #110
SchizzMan
pronounced `skiz-man
 
SchizzMan's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Austin, Tx.
Oddometer: 7,611
No problem. I pass your way several times a year.

Enjoy the time with your dad.
__________________
'14 R1200GSA "Der WasserNoggin", '14 KTM 350 XCF-W (plated)

"As long as there's a horizon and I can see it, then I want to know what's there, mentally, physically and visually" - rtwpaul
SchizzMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2012, 09:58 PM   #111
Rockin Rollin
Rockin Adventurer
 
Rockin Rollin's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2006
Location: Earth
Oddometer: 689
Thumb Si San Miguel

Great report Mike! Well now I see how you came to live in San Miguel
__________________
Rock on,
Roland
Ride Reports >
Click on:
-Now: Fly/ride - Panama to Alaska & pts between.
-2009 Colorado & West Fest
-Baja 2009 from Canada
"Take time, because time will eventually take you"! (and you never know just how much yer gonna get )
Let's ride!
07 Suzuki V-Strom 650 with ABS for long distance adventure & Dualsport
08 Husaberg FE450 (Street Plated)
Rockin Rollin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 10:37 AM   #112
miguelito OP
Studly Adventurer
 
miguelito's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
Oddometer: 505
Yep, you could pick a lot worse places to alight Roland.
miguelito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 01:37 PM   #113
Jick Magger
Exile on Main Street
 
Jick Magger's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Okanagan Valley BC, Canada/Scottsdale, Arizona
Oddometer: 812
Miguelito

sent you a PM
__________________
"Blessed are the Cheesemakers"


RIde Report http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...t=Rolling+jick
Jick Magger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 04:34 AM   #114
miguelito OP
Studly Adventurer
 
miguelito's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
Oddometer: 505
Durango-Santiago papasquiro-Parral

I'm gonna tack this on here. This was a nice alternative ride north to Parral. With getting lost in San Bernardo and breaks the ride took about 8 hours. Sorry, no pics, as my camera lens is broken, but I will ride this route again someday, and bring a functioning camera with me.

Yesterday: Durango to Parral

Leaving the colonial city of Durango, I took MX 23 north through Santiago Papasquiaro, where I had a late breakfast. After Santiago the riding improves as the road ascends into the high mountains of the Sierra Madre and its cool pines. There were views that reminded me of the Sierra Nevadas as well as the coastal range in California. Still other views reminded me of how the foothills of the Colorado Rockies meet the Great Plains.

I found this road a bit dangerous, as I was torn between gawking at the views and focusing on riding the more or less continuous curves for about 100 miles. When you take the turn off to Santa Maria del Oro, you're in a special place. The road is concrete, and virtually brand new. There is some uneven-ness to the surface, but it is minor. The road is in excellent condition, and the views are sublime. As I crest the first range, the future is mapped out for me by the bright white line snaking it's way through the pines, and over the next ridge. That scenario would repeat itself many times, before the road begins to wend its way down out of the high mountains, along mountainous spurs, before corkscrewing down to the plane below.

I reach Santa Maria del Oro, and gas up, then follow the road I was riding through town and beyond as my map tells me to do. I reach a small town, which must be the one just before I exit this little detour and head north on MX 45 to Parral. But the road turns to dirt. I ask directions from three different people and they all tell me that I must return to Santa Maria del Oro, then take the carretera east. I'm looking at the map, and none of what they tell me makes sense. Could these people be messing with me? I've never had anyone ever give me intentionally bad directions, but I'm beginning to feel like there must be a town-wide conspiracy to f@#k with any Gringo's who become lost around here.

So I begin riding around looking for other outlets, because I'm convinced there must be one as the map says there is. I ride down one paved road for about 5 miles, then it turns to dirt, but I check the map, and there should be a road further on that connects to the highway. I should note that what we call a highway here in Mexico is often just a 2 lane road, just as I have been riding all day. Eventually the dirt road gets to a homemade cattle grate made out of wood, logs, and likely a member of the cedar branch of the family. The logs are pretty widely spaced, and two on each side are broken. I decide that this is as far as I'm going to ride down this road.

As I head back to the turnoff near the small town, I see a road sign indicating that the town is called San Bernardo. It is the first and only sign I've seen indicating the town's name. I check the map, and find San Bernardo, and I can see now, that I'm not where I thought I was. There is no town-wide conspiracy to play with the gringo's head. My assumption to ride straight through Santa Maria was apparently as flawed as these overpriced maps of Mexico are. I should have known that the map was unreliable. I've been here before. That's the true conspiracy, and it's a confederation of dunces at the mapmaking department. I should add that the other major mapmaker, (Guia Roji), is no better. I guess they figure most Mexicans don't drive, so the need for an accurate map is diminished by the lack of demand. Oh dear, there's that invisible hand of the free market at work, providing a useful, well designed product at a competitive price. Or not.

I ride back to Santa Maria, and stop at a cervezeria for a pop. I'm joined by a guy about my age, and we discuss our day so far. It's hot out now, and I have seconds before sayin' hasta lluego, and I'm off on another curvy stretch, but this one has potholes scattered fairly frequently. So I begin a game of hopscotch with the potholes which I'm convinced I'll lose badly if this keeps up. They never quit, but I squeak through without any damage to my tires or wheels, so I'm happy. I head north toward Parral through some straights that turn to sweeping turns punctuated by a few tighter ones.

I get to town, check into a hotel, and find they don't have the correct password for their own internet modem. Welcome to Mexico...

It was a great day's ride, slightly seasoned with my frustration with the state of the Mexican map industry.

Today: Parral to Guacochi to Creel to Madera

I had a great long ride from Parral to Madera, via Guacochi and Creel. I had thought that at least part of this ride was on dirt, and traveling 2-up most of my visits to the area had elected not to do it. After talking with inmate SR about the ride while visiting Durango, I got better beta. I highly recommend this ride to anyone coming through the area.

It was only 2 o'clock when I got to Creel, so I decided to ride on to Madera. This is a little town, with just about no restaurants that I could find, other than the one at my hotel, Hotel del Bosque. So that's where I'm sitting drinking beer and checking Emails. The ride was spectacular. Like riding in the high Sierra Nevadas with all that granite, then after the turnoff to Batopilas, dropping into and out of Copper Canyon, or possibly one of its side canyons. Spectacular. The turns were a little too tight and continuous going down into and up out of the canyon, and I was actually glad when the road straightened out a bit. Some of these turns put me down into first gear on my Tenere. Then after Creel you drop out onto a high plain, reminiscent of Wyoming, and wend your way north over a couple of ridge lines. Most of the riding between Ciudad Guerrero and Madera was scenic, agricultural, and pretty straight.

Tomorrow, I'll try and head north from here, and find the road that connects me back to head north thru Buenaventura, and Casas Grandes. We'll see how it goes. The maps are screwing me up. I even bought a 2013 Guia Roji atlas for about 180 pesos, and it still left me hanging getting through Ciudad Guererro. :(
miguelito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 11:33 AM   #115
tricepilot
El Gran Payaso
 
tricepilot's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2006
Location: San Antonio
Oddometer: 8,201
tricepilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 01:25 PM   #116
jimmex
Rider
 
jimmex's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2003
Location: West Texas
Oddometer: 2,215
__________________
Guero from Texas
COHVCO
AMA
jimmex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 07:52 PM   #117
Rockin Rollin
Rockin Adventurer
 
Rockin Rollin's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2006
Location: Earth
Oddometer: 689
Thumb

__________________
Rock on,
Roland
Ride Reports >
Click on:
-Now: Fly/ride - Panama to Alaska & pts between.
-2009 Colorado & West Fest
-Baja 2009 from Canada
"Take time, because time will eventually take you"! (and you never know just how much yer gonna get )
Let's ride!
07 Suzuki V-Strom 650 with ABS for long distance adventure & Dualsport
08 Husaberg FE450 (Street Plated)
Rockin Rollin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2013, 10:52 AM   #118
miguelito OP
Studly Adventurer
 
miguelito's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
Oddometer: 505
In the heart of the Michoacan cartel lands

I went for an impromptu 3 day ride last week. Left San Miguel de Allende, intending to ride the cuotas all the way to Zihuatanejo, but rain around Patzcuaro convinced me to overnight there on night one. The next day I decided to replicate some of the ride that Jimmex, Tricepilot, Schizzman and I made last January, from Apatzingan but going straight down towards the coast, rather than the detour we took toward Colima/Comala. Only problem was that the maps I had hurriedly stuffed into my topbox ended right around Uruapan, so I was using my memory to put me on the right road out of Apatzingan.


Patzcuaro




All I can say is that the road I exited Apatzingan looked kinda like the road we'd ridden in January, but after 25 miles or so I began to realize that I had probably made a mistake. I decided to just keep riding and see where it took me. After a lot of topes, the road eventually began winding its way up into the coastal range of Michoacan. Very beautiful. Eventually I got to the town of Aguililla. This town was occupied by more Federal police and federal troops than any place I've been in Mexico. There had to be 50 Federale cars, and armored trucks parked around the plaza. There were additional federal troops in camo patrolling the area.


Volcanic peak near Colima, (I didn't ride here onthis trip, but it is in the general area).

I stopped for lunch just at the edge of town, and asked some of the locals if there are this many policia around the town all the time, to which I was told yes, they are here every day. I got a nice grin from one of the soldiers as a troop transport drove by my lunch stop. Just after that I saw a local walk by with a "Libre Aguililla" T-shirt on. This town is obviously occupied territory.

I hadn't read much news lately, but after my return I saw this article aboutabout what had occurred just before my arrival in Michoacan. That violence was centered around the town of Los Reyes, which we had ridden right through last January. Once again, I had skated thru Mexico with only good experiences, but as with much of life, I think that timing is everything. Would I ride to Aguililla again? Probably not. That is not so much because I feel the area to be inherently unsafe, but rather because of the long ride thru tope central before you get to the fun part of the ride, and because there is no egress other than the road you came in on.


Mountains of Michoacan


the route on day2

My total detour off the cuota at Nueva Italia had amounted to about 260 km, and when I got back to Nueva Italia, it was only about 3 PM, so I decided to make a [long] day of it and ride the libre to the coast at Playa Azul. This is an extremely twisty section of road, and while I enjoyed it, I was thoroughly exhausted by the time I reached playa Azul 3 hours later. I would recommend leaving a little more time if you ride this stretch.

As I neared Playa Azul, the thunderstorm that had been in the far distance most of the way down the libre began to break. As I made it through the last twists and turns of the libre, the storm gusts started and began to spritz water on my face. As I rode into Playa Azul it was still just threatening to rain, when the heavens were split asunder. I quickly found a beach restaurant that happened to have a covered parking space for about 4 cars, and pulled in. I sat there with the owner drinking a beer, and smoking cigarettes as we watched the street flood to about 6 inches of water. The restaurant closed, but left me to enjoy the view of the flooded street until the rain stopped and the water began to recede a bit. I rode a few blocks and found what is probably the nicest hotel in town. Can't remember the name of it but it was located a few blocks to the south off the main drag coming into town on Av. Independencia, and it has AC and a bar/restaurant on the premises. My room was very nice for 450 pesos. This was the first time I stayed in Playa Azul, and I didn't particularly care for it. I think the next time, I would time my ride to overnight somewhere else.


Melaque
Day 3 was a hammer up the cuota which included too many stops to plug a nail hole in my rear tire and air up. For the record, it took about 6-1/2 to 7 hours riding at fairly high speed.

miguelito screwed with this post 08-11-2013 at 11:22 AM
miguelito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2013, 07:05 PM   #119
SchizzMan
pronounced `skiz-man
 
SchizzMan's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Austin, Tx.
Oddometer: 7,611
Quote:
Originally Posted by miguelito View Post

Melaque
That looks familiar.
__________________
'14 R1200GSA "Der WasserNoggin", '14 KTM 350 XCF-W (plated)

"As long as there's a horizon and I can see it, then I want to know what's there, mentally, physically and visually" - rtwpaul
SchizzMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2013, 02:20 PM   #120
Ratman
Lucky Rider
 
Ratman's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2005
Location: Baja is good
Oddometer: 1,110
Great report

A very insightful report, Miguelito, thanks for sharing.
__________________
Ratman.......Pete .... My Solo Continental Divide Ride
....and of course, Luck beats good...
OLDEN DAYS...mostly BAJA
p.ratfab@gmail.com
Ratman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 02:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014