Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine flu and other bugga's

No, haven't had an encounter with the swine flu here. Thanks for so many emails for worrying! I believe it's a big media sensation again, however we are all following up the progress in the news. I'm in a remote surfing village with less than 20 souls. Hard for a virus to spread. I have other little issues: Eaten alive by an army of sandflies, I stopped counting at 150 bites just on my right hand and right underarm. I have a little allergic reaction to it. Also my underarm got hit by a jellyfish today. Oh wait, I forgot the bruised rib. And my skin doesn't stop peeling in the intense sun, despite of lots of factor 60 sun block.

Beautiful road to the coast, I tried a video sample. I know it's shaky and hard to watch, before you bitch try to ride with one hand in twisty roads with all your luggage on your bike ;) However, I wanted to share an impression of some of the awesome roads I'm riding. Inland in April is already pretty hot, towards the coast it's nice! I'm south of the tropic of cancer line now, nature is getting a lot more green.

All kinds of animals on the roadside, wild horses, donkeys, pigs, goats, everything. Beautiful isolated beaches down the coast.

Barra de Navidad: Odometer: 2400 miles , riding time: 46 hours
Barra de Ticla: Odometer: 2500 miles, riding time: 48 hours
Barra de Nexpa: Odometer: 2650 miles, riding time: 51 hours

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What a blast! The Cuellar bike racer family

Got stuck in the 2nd biggest city in Mexico looking for bike parts. Ran into the nicest man, Antonio, who put in a huge effort helping me to find them. I stayed at his home 2 nights and his wife made me dinner and breakfast. Unreal!!! He is also the dad of a 17 year old superfast Mexican pro racer Richard. Check his site! He won everything in minibike and did well at rookie races. He recently stepped up into 600s national pro racing. This kid deserves sponsors!!!

Guadalajara: Odometer: 2200 miles, riding time 41 hours

Massive biker meeting in Mexico "Semana de Moto"

Huge event at the weekend, a few 1000 bikers gather. Safety last! Kids in flip flops, no helmet, pulling stand up wheelies during a bike parade between thousands of people. Nobody wears helmets in town in that week, I adjusted! ;) Cruising along the beach promenade. Perfect temperature. Cops don't bother you. Awesome!

At night there was a huge stage with a live rock show. The oddest thing was a seeing a band playing the Scorpions with a Spanish accent.

Also had a Acapulco cliff diving sneak preview. Going to see the real thing in Acapulco soon.

Mazatlan: Odometer: 1840 miles, riding time: 33 hours

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gone surfing

Gone surfing...

Tried to drown myself in some superstrong monster Pacific waves for the past 3 days. Waves are so powerful, the leash ripped and my board took off. I'm getting better, rode a few waves, still a long way to go. Soooo much fun!!!

On the way down here I ran into a local biker with his nephew (Bahas current no.1 junior swimmer) and we rode and hung out 2 days. They were very patient with me since conversation was only in spanish. Got my second flat tire yesterday, this time much easier, because a mechanic next door is fixing it with his machine while I'm typing this here... :)

Odometer: 1756, Riding time: 32h

Friday, April 10, 2009

Who has put that spell on me?

I think I've been through everything bad by now: Yesterday coming into a blind corner in twisty mountain roads, somebody spilled BUCKETS (!!!) of greasy, slimy fluids on the ENTIRE road! Ice has strong grip compared to that stuff! I was leaned over, almost made it through the entire 20 meters of slime, both tires entirely greased up, bike going left and right, but no... ...met the ground. Pretty much on top of a mountain and no rail guards! I couldn't even walk on this stuff without sliding. Good news: Only a few levers bend (have all the spares and tools), a minor bruise, that's it.

Good news: I had an entire nice remote beach by a lighthouse for myself, one Mexican family (far away) and a really nice couple to hang out with. She is from Australia and the guy from England happens to be one of the worlds most famous shark photographers.

Last stop was a sweet campground with pool, WiFi and an outlet next to the tent for the cost of a beer in a bar in SF. Breaks a little the adventure concept, but hey..'s the 21st century!!!

Odometer: 1470 miles, Riding: 27h

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This is paradise!

Monday, Odometer: 980 Miles, 16h total riding time

Tuesday, Odometer: 1250 Miles, 22h total riding time

All I need warm air and sun and I instantly feel good. On top of that I got nice twisty roads, good pavement, almost no cars on the road and I was crossing a desert. Amazing landscapes. Highlight (besides the ride) of the past 3 days was sleeping right on the beach open air in an open cabana. Bonfire upfront, bike right next to me. I woke up before sunrise (how could that happen?) and watched the crack of dawn as I opened my eyes…. PERFECT!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

what a wonderful 1st day in Mexico!!!

From Sunday: Odometer (since SF): 800 miles

What an insane crazy 1st day in Mexico!!!

Everybody told me: "Don't ride at night in northern Mexico"

I did

1st day

I told myself "You better bring a tire repair kit just in case, because by destiny it usually will not break. Like bringing a rain suit helps that it usually will not rain. I surely didn't want deal with tire fixing on roadside.

I did.

1st day.

until it got dark.

1st time.

Let me tell you, it really sucks! Took me 4 hours (that's why I had to ride at night) with my limited tool kit to get tire of rim, the tube out in back in, tire back on and the bike together. Partially in the dark! In the middle of the Baja desert. (Thanks Deb for the hint at your place! My suitcase (which is a toolbox) got turned into a bike stand, it worked!!!) Now try that with a Givi box! ;)
I was still a little worried since it's not too far from the drug roads. I passed 3 military road block posts on the way down, heavy machine guns bolted on Hummers, I saw about 30 soldiers). At dusk a beat up car stopped 100 meters down the road and 2 guys where watching me. That was a little scary, since it was getting dark and almost no car was going by anymore.

Jason told me "I never got pulled over in Mexico"

I did.

1st day.

A corrupt cop. Locals with Baja plates pass me like crazy, everybody speeds! I'm pretty sure I did not (And even if, at least not nearly as fast as 99% of the others). However, I have a foreign plate. That's the reason. The cop was putting all that crap on me like "bringing you back to the police station, you pay at least $90, confiscated my (copied, thanks Jason) documents,..
I was not offering any bribe. But he was straight forward asking for it!!! After he was in his car taking off, he made in additional stop and asked out of his window "do you want to pay right here?" I gave him $40.

What really sucks is that I got the nail in my tire after I took off from the offroad spot where I got pulled over for that cop. aaaaaarrrrrrrrrghhhh!!!!

Oh, I almost forget how Mexico started! A jackass in the tourist office at the border sent me the wrong way. Which resulted after I got my tourist card (easy) and my bike permit (insane! Don't want to go into details here, ask me later), I had to cross the border by foot back to the US, immigrate, and back by foot to Mexico to get back to the area where my bike was!

But wait... ...happy end: I fixed the tire, drove back to the village I came from and met the nicest people!!! It's a motel only (no food) little place owned by a guy with tons of good stories. His wife cooked an awesome free dinner for me, I got served at the little checkin desk sitting on the owners chair. And I got a compressor from the owner to add some more pressure to the tire. Wow! They offered maximum security: My bike is away from the street and IN my hotel room next to me! :)

Beautiful roads with twisty stretches in the hills through the desert in middle of nowhere. Funky dirty little villages, with only the major road paved, everything else are sand roads. Very scenic!

Arrived in Mexico, Aaaaarrrrrrrrrriiibaaaaaaa!!!!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Take Off

Left SF after a night stopover at the house of Enrico in San Jose.

Took of next morning, (see picture) and had a sunny warm drive down I5, a good 400 mile ride.

Inital trip went well! I arrived in LA to visit Rose. Had a quick stop at Venice beach and went to visit Kelley. We went to the Rainbow on Sunset Blvd, my favorite rock bar/restaurant in Hollywood. It's like a live museum watching old school rockstars with haircuts from the 80ies. Truly rocks!!!

Note: Please slap me anytime if I mention to move to LA: As usual the worst traffic jams during rush hour.

Tomorrow morning I cross the Mexican border and try to get as fast as I can through northern Mexico and the border area. Currently more people die due to the drug war in Mexico than in Iraq.

A good 400 mile trip to do tomorrow....