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Old 04-06-2010, 09:23 PM   #811
Lobby
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizzMan
If you are suggesting that those of us who have
decided to continue traveling into Mexico have somehow done so without
serving due diligence in the matter then I must respectfully disagree.
I think many who've posted HAVE thoughtfully considered the risks.

What nags at me, though, is those saying "well, I've never been bothered, so there's no risk."

There IS risk. Each of us must determine our tolerance for that risk, and figure out the best way to mitigate it.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:33 PM   #812
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobby
I think many who've posted HAVE thoughtfully considered the risks.

What nags at me, though, is those saying "well, I've never been bothered, so there's no risk."

There IS risk. Each of us must determine our tolerance for that risk, and figure out the best way to mitigate it.
May I suggest that you're wasting your time and energy with that?
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:40 PM   #813
tricepilot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobby
What nags at me, though, is those saying "well, I've never been bothered, so there's no risk."
What?

56 pages of posts and are there any posts that actually fit this category

I think the vast majority of folks are saying that Mexico's risk factors are manageable, so they go, or not, so they stay home.

I, for one, think I'm in the greater category: Never been bothered, but I recognize the risks, and I manage them.

When, for me, I feel they become unmanageable, I'll change my vector. That won't change the fact that I'll still recognize that others are making the right decision, for them.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:59 PM   #814
tricepilot
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Ask Daveg about Risk

Here's Daveg, our man held at gunpoint in Guatemala by 3 thugs. They took everything he had of value on his bike. He's an advrider emeritus. Some people read Dave's story and decide to manage the risks and still ride through Guatemala. I don't think people say to themselves "Well, Dave may have had a tough go, but I've never experienced anything in Guatemala, so there's no risk".

Some people here have never had a wreck on a motorcycle, but they still wear their gear - because even with no history of going down, they still recognize the risk.

Sure there's risk in Mexico, the U.S. and everwhere else. Question is, is riding to Mexico, or riding a motorcycle in general, or having sex in the back seat of a Mustang in or outside your risk management window.

If it is, go for it. If not, there's always next time

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Old 04-07-2010, 04:14 AM   #815
George 99
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As to the wreck on Carefree Highway north of Phoenix, the truck driver has been arrested on 4 counts of manslaughter and other offenses, tox. report showed meth in his system.

This trip is gonna be a hi-lite for me, with many miles under my belt I've never been on this type of adventure. We've never done it before, Danny, 'cause 'til recently we worked for a living!

I spent a year in the Phillipines when I was young 'n foolish (and under the thumb of Uncle Sam), had to rent a bike to get on 2 wheels. Much the same heritage there (we stole the PI from Spain during that famous war.) My experience then, bad guys hang around the money (i.e. where the GIs are) and regular folks are everywhere else. Same here.

I got maps (on the way to Steve's house), don't rely on no stinkin' GPS.

Hmmm, new rear tire, oil change to do. Did laundry last night. Bike is still packed from getting here last week (I'm at my son's in Aurora, IL. Got to practice my little bit 'o Spanish at Mickey D's yesterday morning, lots of Mexican heritage folks around here.)

Sure do hope we get to meet up with a couple of you experienced travelers on the way, stories to swap!
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:50 AM   #816
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot
...having sex in the back seat of a Mustang in or outside your risk management window...
Yes! It is definitely outside my risk management envelope. My '08 Mustang Bullitt has leather seats. There is just no way I am going to risk some screamer's high-heeled shoes puncturing those seats as she humps and moans
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:29 AM   #817
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digiamo
So where is the Savoy in Reynosa? John was refering us to a Savoy in McAllen.

Sorry for the misunderstanding. It's in the Centro of Reynosa. I don't think that you'll find anything as inexpensive, clean, and secure on the US side. Lemme see ... do I have any photos ... yeah, here we go. My #1 favorite watering hole, the Mission Bar, is right up there on the corner:




Quote:
Originally Posted by Digiamo
Remember, none of us are going to know what your suggestions mean without either GPS coords or good idiot proof directions.
I didn't think you could cross, get a room, then do your paperwork in that order?
26° 5'32.29"N 98°16'39.60"W is the roof of the Mission Bar.

The Savoy is just down the corner at 26° 5'30.28"N 98°16'40.19"W. If you look at Google Earth you can actually see that the Savoy has a large courtyard inside the hotel property - that's their parking garage. It backs up to a municipal garage and a two story wall separates the two parking lots.

Depending on when you get there you can do anything that you want in any order. The permit place stays open 24/7. The Mission Bar is supposed to stay open until Midnight, but considering the troubles right now the latest that I have been there lately has been 10PM and there isn't anyone else in the Centro, so I wouldn't guarantee that they will stay open.

The Penguino restaurants close when they feel like it, which is usually around 9PM or so.

There are tons of other restaurants nearby but I suspect that they are closing early too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Digiamo

Thanks for all the help. Hope we meet at least one of you FF's down there.

I'm sure that someone will be up for a few beers en Mexico.


Here's my room at the Savoy last summer. Nothing fancy but the bugs won't get ya, either:




Miguel and Santos (left to right), the regular bartenders. Nice guys - tip 'em well!



Just your basic businessman's / sports bar. You get your food at one of the Penguino restaurants (the same family owns the bar and the restaurants) and they deliver to the bar:



Another shot of the Savoy. There's really not much to see from the outside:



Big, secure parking area. There are two big garage doors on the street and the night clerk has electrical controls for them. I think that he also has a TV camera. When the doors are closed there ain't no one climbing those walls.




Other GPS reference points:

Where you want to get your permits:

26° 5'22.36"N 98°16'4.19"W

The French restaurant where JD bought breakfast (other corner of the Centro, basically): 26° 5'34.11"N 98°16'42.65"W

There is another hotel basically next to the French restaurant, incidentally. I am sure they have their own bar. That place seemed to be pretty popular with the riders when they had Moto Rally a few months ago, and they also have secure parking.

Finally, there is a neat walking/shopping area here:

26° 5'32.10"N 98°16'42.88"W

It stretches for several city blocks, and there are a ton of food vendors.

I don't know if anyone is staying open very late these days, however. It's not really upscale like Monterrey's walking mall (in Reynosa the Rolex dealers are closer to Arte's place ) but it's not as industrial as the one they have in downtown Tampico

(NOTE TO JD - Tampico has two downtown walking/shopping areas, one more upscale and one more industrial. You'd probably enjoy hitting both of 'em)
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:31 AM   #818
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro Navaja
Yes! It is definitely outside my risk management envelope. My '08 Mustang Bullitt has leather seats. There is just no way I am going to risk some screamer's high-heeled shoes puncturing those seats as she humps and moans

Ah, the good ol' days. When I was about 19 or so I got caught doing the nasty ... in my 914 Porsche ... with the 17 year old girlfriend ... in the parking lot of the church that I'm still a member of.

Her words to the cop that commented on how nimble you have to be to do "it" in a small sports car: "There is plenty of leg room on the passenger side."
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:36 AM   #819
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot
What?

56 pages of posts and are there any posts that actually fit this category

I think the vast majority of folks are saying that Mexico's risk factors are manageable, so they go, or not, so they stay home.

I, for one, think I'm in the greater category: Never been bothered, but I recognize the risks, and I manage them.

When, for me, I feel they become unmanageable, I'll change my vector. That won't change the fact that I'll still recognize that others are making the right decision, for them.
I think that's very, very well said.

In today's climate we are all being realistic about the border issues. But at the same time they are "manageable" even if we need to be alert and maybe even change our habits.

Honestly, during "normal" times (whatever those are) the biggest threat to motorcycling gringos are the road conditions. You get complacent and something sneaks up on you. Ask Bob Higdon, of Iron Butt Association fame. Lesson #1, which he learned over in Victoria, the hard way: "Buses always have the right of way."
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:40 AM   #820
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For what it is worth category, I drove up on the cuota from Guad to San Antonio Sunday. I saw one Military guard at the new caseta between Saltillo and Monterrey and then when I crossed at Colombia, the Military searched my truck at the bridge before I crossed over to the US. No military convoys or paramilitary types anywhere else. No roadblocks, etc. Everything seemed normal.

As far as Mexican families moving to San Antonio to escape the violence, I doubt if they are middle class families, more likely upper class. Also keep in mind that they are about 500,000 Americans living in Mexico and one of the main reasons they moved there is to escape the violence in the states. A poll was taken in PV of some retired expats in regards to the recent violence in Mexico and their future plans. The vast majority, I forget the actual percentage, but something like 85% to 95% had few worries and no plans to move back.

Of all of the Mexicans I've known when living and working in Texas, the vast majority would have moved back to Mexico if they had similar job opportunities. That was more than 10 years ago though, I don't doubt that some would sit tight in the states now for a while until things cool down.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:26 AM   #821
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobby
This is starting to sound like an oil thread: "I've never had a problem with brand X, therefore it's the best oil made."

Just substitute "Mexico" and "safe" and there it is.

The fact that overrides pretty much everything for me is the large numbers of upper middle class Mexicans who are moving their families to the U.S. right now. San Antonio is seeing quite a bit of this.

They're leaving because of their fear of kidnapping.

Couple that with a compromised law enforcement agencies, and I don't think Mexico's safe.

I predict that there will be tourists kidnapped in the not too distant future. I hope it's no one from Adventure Rider.

Lobby, that's a multiple beer discussion ... one that I hope to have with you at THC in a week or two.

Old phartes vacationing and riding motorcycles through this part of Mexico (remember, Mexico is a BIG country; you wouldn't want to send tourists through the tough parts of Detroit, either) is quite different from folks that are Mexican nationals, particularly nationals in other parts of Mexico. There are a million people ... and a million stories.

We have plenty of Hispanic friends here in McAllen and we do business with a family that once had a large ranch near Saltillo. Some of the sons that we work with were born in Mexico. Most of the sons are adamant - they won't cross back into Mexico.

Why the differences? Some has to do with old scores that they are afraid might get settled, I suspect some legal issues that keep folks from crossing the border that they don't like to talk about, the Reynosa traffic cops have a bad reputation for shaking down the local Hispanics (but not white folks, believe it or not, at least for the last few years), and a host of other issues that don't really apply to the vacationing gringo motorcyclist.

On the other hand there are folks (several of the local riders in fact) who cross the border on a daily basis.

Yeah, I can see the possibility of kidnapping tourists some day.

I can also see a shooting war in the USA with the crazies like the Michigan Militia.

Neither case, however, is something that I see as imminent nor does my present opinion of the possibilities keep me from traveling in Michigan or Mexico.

The guys using the term "risk management" are absolutely right.

Case in point. I was wanting to explore the town of Rio Bravo, which is pretty much a little industrial town not too far from the border. But until they get the present shooting under control it ain't gonna happen.

Several of us have discussed, and it's been discussed here at my office, that Ciudad Mier is a good place NOT to bar hop even before the shooting started, because they have too many folks there that are smuggling dope and they are mondo suspicious. (When you get that advice from not one but several of your savvy friends then you listen )

But normally, a ride through Tamaulipas? Not a problem!

And it's only our area that is having the big troubles lately. Normally it's very peaceful here. And frankly, other than Juarez, there really hasn't been much going on that would target or potentially endanger a tourist as long as you stay the hell away from weapons and drugs.

Anyway, it's a little more complicated than all that, but the number of ADVRiders that journey into Mexico and who return talking about how nice the people area and how wonderful the scenery is should tell us something.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:16 AM   #822
SchizzMan
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Hey PJ

(NOTE TO JD - Tampico has two downtown walking/shopping areas, one
more upscale and one more industrial. You'd probably enjoy hitting both of 'em)

Tampico will have to wait. Won't get closer than Cd. Vic.

Maybe a coast run later?

I've re-encountered the siren call of Mexico as in the past but this time it's
cruelly amplified by the love of motorcycling. Almost toxic in that,
more and more, my mind journeys to that place in the Sierra Gorda - to
converting it into a hostel, waving goodbye to a society
that has never penetrated my heart as Mexico does. Returning to fitness
and Spanish language studies in earnest - with renewed purpose. From the
ashpile of a failed marriage rises a renewed life.

So, is Mexico safe? Hell, life ain't safe - not if you attempt to live it. And
that's all it'll ever be good for - living it. As the lady said,"Life is either a
daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the
children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in
the long run than exposure." -Helen Keller


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Old 04-07-2010, 09:20 AM   #823
tricepilot
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And Now a Word from our Sponsor



Kate del Castillo loves Mole Negro Oaxaqueño:

Ingredients

4 large onions, chopped, plus 1 medium onion, quartered
8 ribs celery, chopped
8 carrots, chopped
2 (3 pound) chickens, cut into 12 pieces, skinned
5 chilhuacles negros, seeded and deveined; seeds reserved
5 guajillos, seeded and deveined; seeds reserved
4 pasillas Mexicanos, seeded and deveined; seeds reserved
4 anchos negros, seeded and deveined; seeds reserved
2 chipotles mecos, seeded and deveined; seeds reserved
1/2 head garlic, cloves separated
2 tablespoons whole almonds
2 tablespoons shelled and skinned raw peanuts
1 (1-inch) piece Mexican cinnamon
3 black peppercorns
3 whole cloves
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 1/2 tablespoons raisins
1 slice egg-dough bread
1 small ripe plantain, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2-cup sesame seeds
2 pecan halves
1/2 pound chopped tomatoes
1/4 pound chopped tomatillos
1 sprig thyme, or 1/2 tsp. dried
1 sprig Oaxacan oregano, or 1/2 tsp. dried
2 tablespoons lard
4 1/2 ounces Mexican chocolate
1 avocado leaf
Salt, to taste

Directions

In a 2 gallon stockpot, heat 5 quarts water and onions, celery, and carrots to a boil. Add chicken pieces and poach, covered, over low heat for about 35 to 45 minutes, until cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Remove the meat from the stock. Strain and reserve the stock.

Heat 2 quarts of water in a kettle. On a 10-inch dry comal, griddle, or in a cast-iron frying pan, toast the chiles over medium heat until blackened, but not burnt, about 10 minutes. Place the chiles in a large bowl, cover with hot water, and soak for 1/2 hour. Remove the chiles from the soaking water with tongs, placing small batches in a blender with 1/4 cup of the chile soaking water to blend smooth. Put the chile puree through a strainer to remove the skins.

In the same dry comal, griddle, or frying pan, grill the onion and garlic over medium heat for 10 minutes. Set aside. Toast the almonds, peanuts, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and cloves in a dry comal, griddle or cast-iron frying pan for about 5 minutes. Remove them from the pan.

Over the same heat, toast the chile seeds, taking care to blacken but not burn them, about 20 minutes. Try to do this outside or in a well-ventilated place because the seeds will give off very strong fumes. When the seeds are completely black, light them with a match and let them burn themselves out. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl. Soak the blackened seeds in 1 cup of cold water for 10 minutes. Drain the seeds and grind them in a blender for about 2 minutes. Add the blended chile seeds to the blended chile mixture.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in an 8-inch cast-iron frying pan over medium heat until smoking. Add the raisins and fry them until they are plump, approximately 1 minute. Remove from the pan. Fry the bread slice in the same oil until browned, about 5 minutes, over medium heat. Remove from pan. Fry the plantain in the same oil until it is well browned, approximately 10 minutes, over medium heat. Set aside. Fry the sesame seeds, stirring constantly over low heat, adding more oil if needed. When the sesame seeds start to brown, about 5 minutes, add the pecans and brown for 2 minutes more. Remove all from the pan, let cool, and grind finely in a spice grinder. It takes a bit of time, but this is the only way to grind the seeds and nuts finely enough.

Wipe out the frying pan and fry the tomatoes, tomatillos, thyme, and oregano over medium to high heat, allowing the juices to almost evaporate, about 15 minutes. Blend well, using 1/2 cup of reserved stock if needed to blend and set aside. Place the nuts, bread, plantains, raisins, onion, garlic and spices in the blender in small batches, and blend well, adding about 1 cup of stock to make it smooth.

In a heavy 4-quart stockpot, heat 2 tablespoons of lard or oil until smoking and fry the chile paste over medium to low heat, stirring constantly so it will not burn, approximately 20 minutes. When it is ?dry?, add the tomato puree and fry until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the ground ingredients, including the sesame seed paste, to the pot. Stir constantly with a wooden soon until well-incorporated, about 10 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken stock to the mole, stir well, and allow to cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Break up the chocolate and add to the pot, stirring until it is melted and incorporated into the mixture.

Toast the avocado leaf briefly over the flame if you have a gas range or in a dry frying pan and then add it to the pot. Slowly add more stock to the mole, as it will keep thickening as it cooks. Add enough salt to bring out the flavor. Let simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so it does not stick, adding stock as needed. The mole should not be thick; just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Place the cooked chicken pieces in the leftover stock in a saucepan and heat through.

To serve, place a piece of chicken in a shallow bowl and ladle 3/4 of a cup of mole sauce over to cover it completely. Serve immediately with lots of hot corn tortillas.

Hint: Be sure to put the blended chiles through a sieve or food mill, or you will have pieces of chile skin in your mole, which needs to be silky smooth.

You can use oil instead of lard to fry the mole, but the flavor will change dramatically. In our pueblo, people traditionally use turkey instead of chicken, and sometimes add pieces of pork and beef to enhance the flavor. You can use leftover mole and chicken meat to make Enmoladas or Tamales Oazaquenos made with banana leaves.

Inspired by Maria Taboada and Paula Martinez
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:21 AM   #824
Digiamo
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Renosa waypoints

Hey Thanks so much John, That was a very useful post with all the coords and highlights. Already loaded into the GPS.

You da man!

Now it's a simple matter of listening for the "noise" reports to determine if we are going to cross and sleep or sleep and cross.
With these waypoints though, our confidence is enhanced and chances are increased we cross first late on the 14th.

Thanks again buddy, I owe YOU a beer.
Question is, will you be there to collect?
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:27 AM   #825
PirateJohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizzMan
(NOTE TO JD - Tampico has two downtown walking/shopping areas, one
more upscale and one more industrial. You'd probably enjoy hitting both of 'em)

Tampico will have to wait. Won't get closer than Cd. Vic.

Maybe a coast run later?

I'm dying to get out and do some riding. It just seems like every week has thrown a new challenge at me that has to be overcome.

But there will be some trips later this year, come hell or high water, unless we have a full-scale war going on around Tampico. And I don't expect that.

In fact, I was looking at today's Mission paper and things were relatively peaceful, although someone took a shot at a soldier's barracks near Tampico with a rifle-fired grenade. No serious injuries, they say.
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