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Old 10-26-2012, 10:35 PM   #16
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Awoke very tired from the long day, activities and an apparent gang war in my stomach from two food items that had differences.

Sorry for the lack of better pics and better wit, but we've been pressed hard each day with so much to do and riding so hard.

The plan was to be in front of the main hotel at 8:30 am for the "adventure" route ride, and we were told to strip off all cases and be ready to ride. I wasn't sure if I'd make it since the gangland gut war was still occurring but I pressed on.

Two groups had assembled, one group for a road trip and the other for the dirt ride. I must admit I was feeling a bit like a little poor boy, as my 1100 was solo amongst an ocean of 1200's and GSA's. In fact aside from Hank's 1100 I've only seen 2 others out of hundreds. But I digress.



While waiting in the line of bikes, I was approached by a big guy - Mark from Colorado - who said he recognized my bike from ADV ride reports. He'd ridden from near Aspen and over ice on Independence Pass on his way south to get to the rally.



Attending a Mexican rider's meeting with no Spanish language skills was an interesting affair. I understood absolutely nothing in the 15-20 minute information discourse, EXCEPT when the leader pantomimed a front wheel stoppie. I was glad to understand something, however would stoppies be required or banned? Que sera sera.

As with all group events, it turned into a mass exodus MotoGP through the tiny streets at high speed, until we finally met at a Pemex. Once again I regretted not having the GoPro going to capture this event. One thing about this type of group stuff is you never really know when things will happen and typically have no time to even get gloves on before the race takes off. Add in no understanding of spanish and you can imagine.



We roadraced up into beautiful twisty blacktop roads going into pine forests and cold air in the mountains, until we reached a village and roared through, the citizens somewhat stunned. Twisting through the little streets we exited the village and began climbing a narrow winding road passing old lumber trucks, riders on horseback and workers in fields. In short order the road became dirt, twisting though pines and mountain vistas. Of course with 90 bikes on the ride it became somewhat of a dusty trail ride, as you can imagine. I held back my temptation to blow past slower folks and be content to ride in a group. Other than the dust it was a great forest road, nothing difficult but definitely fun.

Eventually we came down into a valley where we were stopped the leaders and they pointed out the Parcutin volcano. We chatted, took pics, looked at GS's that had tumbled and had parts hanging off, etc. After a bit we were given the signal to go, and I was about 5th in line. Where we had stopped was the beginning of about 50 yards of black volcanic sand, and almost immediately the lead bike went down, followed by a second and third. I got past and in my rear view mirror I saw GS's dropping like flies. I chuckled and then hit a random patch of sand and almost lost it myself




Mark



Shortly thereafter, we entered a huge lava field, the tiny dirt and rock road undulating up, down and around the flows. It was really a great place to ride and it was quite a sensation riding solo up and down amidst huge black lava. Here and there you'd pass memorials to the dead. It was somewhat surreal. In the distance an old stone church tower stood. After a while in the fields we reached a sharp turn with an arrow, and followed it into a 50 yard stretch of black sand that led to a tiny village. There were some bikes and reps there with water, beer and energy drinks.



















Local Indian residents were prepared for us and had fires burning, hand made blue corn tortillas and wares to sell. The group continued to grow and filled the parking area. Just behind the shelters you could see the old colonial church tower rising from the black lava. I scrambled up and into the field to an amazing site. The remains of an old colonial church buried in lava. The volcano had erupted in 1948 and buried the area including the town and church.





















After an hour or so, we left and headed in a stream into Zacan, where we grouped and then rode to Anguahan. Riding through the old town was a lot of fun. The residents watched from windows and doors - a parade they'd probably never seen before. A huge stream of bikes and riders in their dusty town. When we arrived there were already a couple hundred bikes, and huge tents set up. We were to spend the afternoon there, and it was quite an event. Rob, Cullen and myself were finally invited to sit with a group of riders from Guadalajara, the "Elite" club, after finding all the tables reserved.


























We were fed a constant stream of local food, prepared by the local Indians in the traditional method. I eventually realized that we were to sit and they brought course after course after course of different foods. While we lounged and ate, we were shown local customs, dance and songs. Around 5 the prizes had been given away and we all fired up and headed back for Uruapan. The blacktop roads were tight, twisty and I swear one curve had to have been almost 360Ί as we wound down at high speed. And I mean high speed.

One thing I can say is that the riders who come here can really ride. It was surprising to see 1200 GSA's tossed around and driven so fast on both dirt and pavement. I've been really impressed with the rider skill and seriousness overall.

Some sample pics of the passing game:







All you GoPro users recognize this shot LOL - I must have an hour of these 2 second clips checking the camera


I've coined a new term for riding this way - I call it MexiCross

Got back to the hotel, shook out some dust and after a shower we wandered and ate some local food



















This area is beautiful, the blacktop roads are in excellent condition and are very twisty, and the people have been very friendly. Loving it.

LoneStar screwed with this post 11-01-2012 at 04:27 PM
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:20 AM   #17
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Thanks Eakins!

I'm definitely going through the entire brake system when I get back and will try your suggestion. The brakes have been good except the rear which fades in no time. The heavy dose of injector cleaner and the Pemex gas seem to have cleared the mileage. Yesterday we rode about 185 miles and my fuel gauge had only just dropped below half when I refueled. If I'm adding correctly that comes out to about 49 mpg in the high altitude but I had no side cases on the bike.

Today is tour bus day and the final motorcycle giveaway - no riding planned but I think we're all ready for a day off the bikes.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:07 AM   #18
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Ditto.........

Hey Joseph,

Like my pal Eakins, I'm just loving this ride report. Thank You!

Great photos and wonderful story telling on your part. I almost felt like I was there: riding through the hectic conditions, in am unfamiliar setting, at a frantic pace! Remember, it's all fun and games until someone gets an eye put out.

Really enjoyed the pictures around the volcanic area, and of the old church, and at the day ride stopover.

Well, I've just put one of these bike rallys in MX on my bucket list ............. Thanks.

Hope you get all your 'bugs" worked out ...... braking, fuel delivery, and gastrointestinal!

Buenos Suerte Amigo!

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Old 10-27-2012, 04:51 PM   #19
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Joseph,

Like others have said, this is an excellent and very interesting report! It is great to follow along with a report like this, by someone I actually know. You are sharing photos of some very interesting places, and now I wish that I had gone with you! Your GS is great looking and distinctive, so I can see how Mark-from-Colorado recognized it. I'm glad that your GS is running better, and I hope that you stomach is running better now.
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:52 PM   #20
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Hey Road and Roberto!

Eakins, I'm behind on getting the reports up but I've got to say they do things here absolutely first class. We just got back from the final dinner and going to head for Taxco tomorrow. I've got a group of riders coming from Guadalajara this next weekend to ride the area near my place. Can't say enough good things about the rides, events, foods and professionalism here. Friendly folks who'd give you the shirt off their back... until they put their helmet on

Got some fun footage yesterday but haven't had time to edit it enough to post

Thanks for the feedback

Heading out for last dinner as a group - Cullen and Mark From Colorado are heading towards Douglas, AZ. Jimmy, Rob myself and Hank and Sherry are going to Taxco then we're splitting again after that. Our plans are fudgy

After riding like we have, it is sooooooo going to be frustrating to ride in the US again
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:13 PM   #21
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:41 PM   #22
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Excellent report !
I was showing this to my wife and she reminded me of a couple of briefings we sat through in Mexico and France where our language skills were lacking. Always fun to see how these things turn out.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:30 PM   #23
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Route for the day was into the "Lagos" region on blacktop only. En masse, several hundred riders left downtown Uruapan at 9 sharp, escorted initially by the police through downtown. I ended up separated from our crew and somehow managed to be in the front 10 riders or so, until I had to pull in for fuel, watching the stream of riders racing past. While in the station, Cullen pulled in on his KTM, both of us low from yesterday's ride. We exited together and stayed in sight for a while.




Observing the controlled chaos



Quickly we headed up high into the mountains, the air quite cold. We were shrouded in low clouds, sunglasses and shield covered thickly with moisture. The rides here are extremely fast, and on the narrow roads with fog and multiple bikes, it was somewhat intense for a bit. The moisture stayed heavy and shielded the sun for much of the early portion of the ride, also obscuring the scenery high in the mountains.

Eventually it burned away, revealing great views and beautiful countryside. We rode fast and passed through small towns, jumping the ever present topes on the GS's, the street bikes having to slow almost to a stop. It was very interesting seeing the native Indian population watch as we passed through town, the smell of wood smoke in the air. Scenes of fields of corn, an old man with a machete, men riding burros along the road.

One thing I need to say about the BMW clubs here is that the riders take their ownership of the bikes very seriously. They are first class riders, riding very fast and aggressive, solo or two-up. The bikes are new, in great condition and the riding gear is very high quality. I have been so impressed with the level of quality, skill, professionalism and friendliness of the riders and club organizers here. Absolutely first rate.

Having said that, it's hard to explain to someone, myself included, how fast and aggressively they ride. Not hooliganism, just skilled and fast.
As Jimmy said, in the U. S. we'd be put under the jail for riding this way. Here it's just normal. I don't know how well I'll be able to adjust to riding back home again LOL. My only frustration is that the riding and time schedule is so aggressive I have no time for photos, instead just roadracing and concentrating intensely.

As we rode higher and higher, the roads became tight and twisty, with one section several miles long that is one of the best roads I've ridden. The sharp turns were banked as if built for bikes and it was like a dream riding through forests with views of volcanos and mountains.

We came into a larger town, don't know the name, which led us up very high on a very narrow road. I looked to my right to see a sheer drop off and a fantastic lake below, with volcanic mountains surrounding. The view took my breath away, but I had to stay focused on riding.

We finally ended up in the town of Santa Clara, bikes parking all around the central plaza. There was a little market, loaded with sugar skulls and candies in preparation for the upcoming holiday, where Rob and I got an excellent cappucino. We made friends with an Italian rider named Tommas, whom in later conversation I found out was a nephrologist in Mexico. Cullen came in a bit later and we all mixed with the other several hundred riders. The town was busy preparing for the upcoming "Day of the Dead", and there were beautiful candies made of sugar and other ritual offerings.













Making the skull



You can imagine seeing this stream of bikes passing through small towns created quite a stir - it probably took 45 minutes to an hour for all to pass through, as we were spread out very far



A government official from the town gave a welcoming speech, standing on the pegs of Rob's 650, after which we moved into the huge plaza for a giant group photo. There was a native music and dance demonstration while we cooled off, and then the announcement was made that we would be leaving in a few minutes. I began readying my gear and GoPro's at the bike, my long hair loose from having lost the rubber band for my ponytail in the wind, when I felt a tap and turned around to see a cute little girl and her brother dressed in their school clothes. She asked in very good English if I was the rider from Texas. I said "Yes ma'am I am" and smiled. She beamed and said excitedly "I was born in Texas!" I laughed and asked her where, to which she responded "Dallas!". When I told her I had lived there many years she just giggled. I leaned over and shook her hand and told her my name, and her brother excitedly told me his. I asked their mother if it was OK if they sat on my bike, and they got very excited, but she said they needed to run home and get their camera. They were afraid we would be gone by the time they got back, so I took a pic of them. It was very sweet, and sure enough I had to leave before they got back.



As an aside, I guess seeing a big Texan with a ponytail in this neck of the woods is rare. People stare at me like I'm an alien and I've been asked several times to take a picture with them. Really funny.

The group picture



One of the best things aside from the riding is the groups of kids and children screaming and yelling and waving as we passed through. ISeeing a stream of 600 motorcycles passing through the little villages is a once in a lifetime event. A vivid memory from today was seeing a very old Indian woman dressed in traditional garb literally jumping up and down with joy like a little kid and laughing out loud, her arms in the air as we passed.

From Santa Clara we rode to Zirahuen, on the lake, where another event was set up and waiting. The area is famous for copper mining and copper crafts. They had a furnace set up and were smelting copper, heating the disc in a furnace, pullling it out and 4 guys hammering with sledges in perfect rythm. We were served several varied courses of local food and were serenaded by musicians and dance. This lasted through the afternoon until the raffles for prizes and a 1200 GSA was given away. From there Rob and I headed for Uruapan and arrived late in the day.




Deep fried minnows - delicioso


Rob holding one for the camera lol



Possibly the best tasting chicken I've ever had



The lake and a wonderful breeze which kept us cool all afternoon while we ate and watched the dancing and listened to music.



Hammering the copper


Liar, liar pants on fire



The pattern of the event here is to ride very hard for a long time, then have a leisurely time relaxing and enjoying friendship, food and music. Today I was able to get some GoPro footage squeezed out, but not of some of the best riding or tight streets.

The roads today were absolutely superb, as was the food and friendship


A little GoPro - unfortunately I didn't get footage of the fast and beautiful roads, but here's a bit from the start and the entrance into the event just to show something LOL. The riders are bunched up in these, but in fact we were spread far apart in the long and fast 3 hour ride to Zirahuen
VIDEO COMING SOON


Rob and I in easy traffic after getting back to Uruapan
VIDEO COMING SOON

LoneStar screwed with this post 10-27-2012 at 10:39 PM
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:36 PM   #24
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Great Photos

You have a good eye. Many thanks.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:27 AM   #25
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Currently in Bernal west of Queretaro - haven't had internet for last couple days but lots of pictures to post soon

Had a stomach bug hit yesterday afternoon so went to bed about 7 pm and still weak today but shall press on


Posting from here

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Old 10-30-2012, 11:28 AM   #26
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Thanks for checking in! I'm sorry about your stomach trouble. Uh, maybe it was the fried minnows

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Old 10-30-2012, 05:00 PM   #27
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Great RR
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:28 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roberts View Post
Thanks for checking in! I'm sorry about your stomach trouble. Uh, maybe it was the fried minnows

Might have been better sauteed in a little olive oil with a few capers, some bruschetta, and a nice glass of wine.

Oops, wrong country ! Sorry.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:35 PM   #29
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Excelente! Looks like you're having a blast. You'll enjoy Taxco.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:55 AM   #30
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Good writeup

You guys are having a good time in my favorate place to tour.

Just don't let Peek out front.
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