...for any grammatical errors, and for stuff I am writing that sometimes makes little sense.
Please understand, I often write after days of long hours on the road. Exhausted, tired and late in to the night. My amigos, Tecate, Corona and Modelo, which I have enlisted as my proofreaders, are not the most reliable resources. But I'm enjoying it. Thank you for reading!
Date trip started : September 01, 2014
Days on the road: 23
Miles traveled since left home: 4200/6720 km
Military/Police check points: 11 ( no issues)
Speeding ticket: 1 (paid in cash)
Oil and filter change: 1
Weather: hot and humid most times with occasional thunderstorms in the late afternoons. Cold at higher elevations. Good time of year to travel Mexico.
Speed bumps: countless
Accommodations: From camping (free) to Love Motel (220 Pesos) to private, clean and cozy (500 Pesos)
Exchange rate: 1 US$ = 13 Pesos
Highlights: Off-road experience in Baja, hospitality in San Blas by Pepe, riding the twisties in the Mexican highlands, meeting people, I would not have otherwise met.
Lowlights: Too many Topes in even the smallest towns that make me wake up in the morning with a sore back. I prefer potholes.
Equipment: Great choice in bike! It performs vey well and is low in maintenance. My kind of ride. Love my Heidenau Scout K60 tires. Versatile for on and off-road riding, but NOT sand. My 20 pound security chain around my torso, on the other hand, is starting to wear heavy on my.
Gear: I love my BILT modular helmet with Bluetooth. This thing really rocks, when carving the turns listing to Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, RHCP etc. Great for eating/drinking or just catching a cool breeze.
Electronics: The InReach Explorer SE is doing what it suppose to do, track. Haven't used it's navigation function, yet. My Android is satisfactory. In the cradle, it turns itself sometimes off or lowers it volume, because of the way the buttons are positioned. The BMW Garmin IV, well let's just say, the screen is too small for me and the navigation sometimes inaccurate, i.e. "gets me lost". But it get's the job done. The GoPro camera is light, small and easy to operate when at a standstill.
However, the short battery life of cam and remote make it's usage very limiting for motorcycle adventures. Not easy to operate without the remote while bike is in motion.
Terrain: The coastal regions are tropical, with coconut palm trees, sugar cane and pineapple fields. Some of the mid-country reminds me of Germany, with farmland, mountains, forest and rolling hills. Very scenic and fun to ride.
My observations: Truck drivers are courteous. Blink left to signal you that it is safe to pass. The first time, I stayed behind a truck for a while, because I thought, he was turning left. In Germany, they blink right. In Mexico City, police cars always have their blue/red lights on. It gives the appearance that their is always something "going on". Lots of military/police patrols in either late model Dodge Chargers or pick-up trucks with 2 or more uniformed and armed personnel standing on the back in all parts of the country. I once observed a pregnant woman standing behind a car facing traffic while the driver was changing a flat tire, on a busy street.
To sum it all up: Mexico is a large country with lots of diverse riding opportunities. I enjoyed riding the Baja Peninsula, even though I would have loved doing more riding in the dirt.
However, the speed bumps all over Mexico really put a damper on the fun factor for me. Road conditions range from dirt/gravel with potholes to well maintained black top and anything in between. Drivers sometimes have a disregard for bikers or simply don't know, we are there. So, high visibily lighting on your bike is essential, even in the daytime. So are the right choice in tires, in my opinion.
Is it safe to ride through Mexico? I rode through the northern portion of Michoacan and many remote areas and am still alive. Use common sense and common courtesy.
One last word : A special challenge, I find, is often to capture a unique photo opp while on the bike. Often, that opportunity is long gone, by the time I turn around, park my bike and aim to shoot. But here and there, I get lucky...