That’s what my mother said to me when I mentioned I was planning to travel this summer. Gulp. Uhh yeah about those plans mom…
Somehow I managed to describe the plans for my awesome Mexico motorcycle adventure in such a way that seemed to put her at ease and only made me feel slightly guilty.
I explained that I would be going down past all the “bad parts” of Mexico with my bike on the back of my scuba buddy’s truck in the safety of a convoy of other divers. This ended up half true.
It was the morning of departure and my buddy is running late. We’re supposed to be meeting the convoy in 15 minutes and we still need to load my bike on his truck. Just as I’m considering riding to the convoy meeting spot without him his truck comes screaming around the corner, a teetering tower of camp supplies precariously piled in the back. He’s frantically apologizing as he stuffs the bike hauler onto the hitch.
“You can load the bike right?! I have to repack some of this…and I only have one contact lens in!” He rushes off securing items while simultaneously trying to stuff a contact lens in his other eye.
My friend Skip loaned me the hauler and gave me a nice demo just a few days earlier, but it’s not even 6am yet and with panic levels at an all time high I don’t think all pistons were firing for me mentally. I manage to talk my roommate out of bed to help me muscle my fully loaded bike over the hitch. I’m going through all the steps in my head and yet when I finish the bike is leaning off the back of the truck at a 45 degree angle.
We’re on the final countdown now, we’re going to miss the convoy.
I keep visualizing my bike falling off the hitch as we fly down the freeway. I can’t take that chance. There’s no time to figure out what’s wrong! I’ll just ride it!
I run back inside and do a quick change superman style into my riding gear, leap on the bike and haul ass to the dive shop. They’re leaving at 6:00am. I arrive to an empty parking lot. It’s 6:01. DAMMIT. They must have left early.
We’ll have to catch them at the Mariposa exit instead. We speed down I-19 as fast as my 400cc’s will take me and suddenly my bike is surging and popping. I reach down and flip the tank to reserve and continue riding. Just as we hit our exit the bike runs out of gas for good and I roll up to the fuel pump running on vapors. But it’s okay. The other divers are here filling up too and I’m just relieved we caught them.
I get a lot of “You’re riding your motorcycle?!” from the other convoy members and some kudos from the more adventurous among them before we take off again.
It’s a long haul to the dive location near San Carlos and even slower in a convoy. We have to make an emergency fuel stop for my bike, full throttle in top gear is burning through gas at an incredible rate. I pat my DRZ, he’s just not built for this.
I’m not sure I’m built to ride nine hours straight in 100 degree heat. In my rush I failed to put on sunscreen and the sun has burned me through my mesh jacket in a barbecue pattern. It seems appropriate.
Finally we reach the turn off for the final stretch. 16 miles of dirt roads to the dive site. I move to the front of the pack and take off. I need to be in the ocean STAT!
I’ve never ridden my bike fully loaded in the dirt like that and the heat and exhaustion weren’t helping. Suddenly I hit a long stretch of deep sand I start screaming at myself to get my weight back and get on the throttle, but my body just won’t obey. I death gripped on the handlebars and slowed down, which promptly sent me into a tank slapper before catapulting me off the bike and sending me rolling across the dirt.
The car behind me stops and a couple guys rush out “Holy crap are you okay?!” I’m much more used to crashing than they are. I assure them I’m fine and they help me lift the bike. My mirror has snapped off, but I find it in the sand and throw it in my duffel. I proceed more cautiously until the last turn when I spot ocean on the horizon. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. I blast through the last series of twists and washes and up onto the gravel beach until my bike gets bogged down and stalls. I kick down the stand, jump off and run toward the water shedding my gear on the way and finally leap in. The water is so cool and refreshing it feels heavenly. When I pop my head back out of the water a group of divers are staring at me looking confused. Later a guy tells me when he saw me ride up, he thought I was a hallucination.
Eventually the rest of the convoy arrives and I haul myself out of the ocean to set up camp.
It feels good to be back on the beach in Mexico.
A dirty DR-Zebra after a long day.
Mushroom rock at Himalaya Bay.
Some of the dirt road near the bay.
Classy camping Mexico style.
Sunset on day one of my second moto trip to Mexico.