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Old 01-10-2014, 03:09 PM   #1
mark883 OP
Holding up Michoagán
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Buckeyeland
Oddometer: 1,590
We're going to Mexico- bring your longjohns.

Or, "Mexico: They told me it would be warm and sunny."


Well, I didn't do a ride report for my second incursion into Mexico, so I might as well do one for my third.

Follow the exploits of mark883, Jimmex and Schizzman as they voyage across the border to meet of with SR, and travel around the west central part of the country, making their way to a couple of seaside towns.

It just so happened that my year-end schedule cleared up, and I could invite myself along on Schizzman's and Jimmex's vacation adventure.

I successfully convinced the family to have the Christmas early, so I could leave the day before Christmas, and spend that and Christmas day driving my van with the GS stuffed inside, down to Austin. Hey, the early Christmas worked out great for my brother's family- whata deal!

Now, before you go all "That's not an adventure, hauling your bike down to Texas, you should be riding it from Ohio!" on me- too bad. I went, my trip, my rationalization. Anyone that rides a bike down from NW Ohio in December / January is just plain nuts, looking for trouble, or wanting an extended vacation (maybe until March and things thaw out). I've done the riding through Little Rock, wondering if I really saw a funnel cloud in the rain storm thing.

We shall see how the winter weather in Ohio plays out later (Que the scary music- yes, that's foreboding).

So, this is what my Christmas Eve and Christmas day looked like:



Texas has some pretty fancy rest stops, that look like barns. They are much better than the ones on Indiana's Toll Road, which kinda look (and smell) like 80's Pemex Stations.



Texas also has cheap(er) diesel fuel. The Sprinter is happy.

So, join us for the next installment, when you find out why we brought the longjohns. I just hoped we didn't need to bring the ones with the barn door in back.
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:52 PM   #2
slowoldguy
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:56 PM   #3
muddyrabbit
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There really ought to be a churro munching smiley for Mexico RR's.
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:58 PM   #4
SR
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In! Listo!

SR screwed with this post 01-10-2014 at 10:17 PM
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:52 PM   #5
FrikkieFerreria
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:)
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:57 PM   #6
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:47 AM   #7
mark883 OP
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Christmas evening is spent unloading the van, and getting the last minute packing done. While not warm, Austin is certainly nicer than up north in Ohio. Some debate is made whether to take sweater, jacket, heated gear, etc. I decide, yes, better warm than cold. Best thing about Jesse Bags is that you can probably cram just one more thing in. Everytime I ride Mexico, I take less crap. As a point of paranoia, I do pack a spare rear big bearing and seal. Heck, you never know... it is a BMW.

Having traveled with Schizzman and other GSAs before, I become tiresome of their whining about my wanting to stop for fuel approx. every 175-200 miles. (A guy's gotta pee sometime!) Now, those little MSA quart fuel cans are handy, but that might only get you 10 miles on a big bike. You may need to go much more than 10 miles in parts of Mexico to find a Pemex that exists, isn't closed or abandoned. I decided to invest (literally, these #$*& things are expensive) in a rotopax 1g can and fancy locking mount. Note the keys in this picture I took in my shop. Those keys were not in the lock, nor in my pockets, or anywhere to be found when I got to Austin. So, this well thought out plan quickly went pear shaped.
Luckily, the plate it is mounted to replaces the rear seat, so I could unlock it and pour the fuel, still attached to the plate. Yay! Plan B succeeds!



I double check, just to make sure I have my passport and registration paperwork. Remember, when you go to Mexico, you need your passport, driver's license and either title or registration. Title / registration owner must match the passport name. You will need a credit card (or 200-500 cash) for the import deposit & fee. Learn more about this process on the first page of the Is Mexico Safe thread.

We decide we are hungry, but soon remember that it is Christmas day, and next to nothing is open. We find a fair to middlin' Mexican restaurant, wait a long time for the food, then head back and turn in early with visions of tamales dancing in our heads.


The bikes are ready to go. I've stolen this photo from JD below. Mine is the red 1100GS, his is the black GSA.


(c) Schizzman
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:54 AM   #8
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:57 AM   #9
matt-c6v9
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Mexico.



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Old 01-12-2014, 07:51 PM   #10
mark883 OP
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Day 1 Day after Christmas - Austin to Monclova

We get up somewhat early, grab a good breakfast at a local cafe, and tear into the cold weather and out of northern Austin via 1431. This is largely a terrifying road for a midwesterner, since it involves turning and curves. So I get a basic refresher course on how to turn a motorcycle. We largely avoid the interstate, because, lets face it, I-35 is boring as heck. We take some back roads that are basically as fast as the interstate anyways.

Down to Alamo BMW to pickup a spare set of brake pads at bmw dealer (my rear pads were looking a bit thin- so I grabbed a set just in case), oogle the new Triumphs and BMW, and then off to the border crossing at Allende, where we are to meet up with Jimmex at migracion. Rain is forecast and eventually shows its head. We put on our rain gear, on top of everything else- which already includes long johns and heated jacket. The bikes are soon covered with road mud, as are our rain suits. I thought Texas was supposed to be warm this time of year. We were doing our part to help end the drought.

The actual migraction station in Mexico is located about 20 miles from the border, and isn't terribly busy. Most holiday traffic has already passed though, just us crazy gringos and a few late comers. Walk up to the windows, present this, copy this and that and pay up the fees at the bajercito. The young lady at Bajercito explains things in her broken english, and I talk in my broken spanish. The deal is soon done, I've got my FMM and my TVIP (which I just keep with my passport)

We head off to the checkpoint ahead, present our papers, and quickly head out. terrain is largely flat and straight, but we can see some mountains in the distance as we approach Monclova. Electric heated gear pays off well, and I'm glad I have longjohns under the riding pants. Wool socks in goretex boots? I sure am glad I have all that stuff.

Not long before dark, we arrive at The Hotel Olimpia / La Parroquia in Monclova. It isn't the fanciest, newest, most sparkling place in the world, but it has that essential Mexican character, and is motorcyclist friendly (sheltered secured parking, close, but not next to the room). Water is moderately warm- and the heat works. I love Mexican hotels with the courtyard all flowered up. So much more character than your typical interstate Super8 in Boredom, Illinois. But, I never really thought that when I'd go to Mexico, I'd really want to know how to turn the heat on using a mini-split heat pump.

Tequila? Yes, please. And lets get supper too.

Where's all the photos? It was a rain and mud fest. I was cold. I didn't feel like taking any.

Here's a pic- actually from tomorrows pics- to hold you over. Take a look at our grungecicles. They are actually worse than they look- and we didn't even ride any dirt. Tune it to tomorrow's report to see some photos of Monclova, and our hotel. I promise the photos will get better.

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Old 01-13-2014, 07:41 PM   #11
mark883 OP
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Day 2- Monclova to Durango.

How bout some pics? Morning of day 2, Schizzman and I roam around the square, and I hit the ATM for some pesos. ATMs are very convenient, offer good rates, and are much easier to find than a Casa de cambio. Most town squares, even small ones, will have at least one bank branch with a Cajero Automatico. Mexico is still a very cash oriented economy, so its best to carry cash. Here's some pics from Monclova. I wouldn't call it a very scenic town, they're known for a large steel mill. The town square reflects that. Monclova is much more scenic than another steel town, Gary Indiana. But the weather sure seems similar. (Hey a tourist has to whine about something- might as well be the weather. Because the food is good, and the beer is cheap)





Of course its Christmas, but Christmas without snow is just plain... weird. Oh well, maybe it will warm up eventually. That's what I was promised.



Every Mexican town has a big church on the square. I think its the law.




We find this heavy-duty truck to be... interesting. Wonder if you need a CDL?


Most old style hotels have the typical beautiful courtyard.




I found this refugee from the Midwest occupying the restaurant at our hotel. Made me think of home and all the cold weather I was missing.

Now, I know there hasn't been anything too amazingly adventurous about our trip so far. But after breakfast, we'll hit the road. The good parts are coming, and there will be photos. Even some video! Unfortunately, things will get just a bit too exciting for one of the adventurers today. Find out how, in my next post.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:48 PM   #12
mark883 OP
Holding up Michoagán
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Buckeyeland
Oddometer: 1,590
And yes, Jimmex joined us with his Angry Bird, a Ducati Multistrada. Seems that his BMW dealer had shipped him a dud battery for his GS. Heck of a backup plan, I'd say.

I feel fortunate, because I'm pretty sure he will need to stop for fuel before I will. But, he will get there faster.

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Old 01-13-2014, 07:52 PM   #13
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The angry bird sits in that exact spot as we speak (or type). It was an excellent trip and I enjoyed your company.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:07 PM   #14
matt-c6v9
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Looks as if you scared everyone away? No people in them pics.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:50 PM   #15
Vato Jinete
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