The Inevitable Police Shakedown

I got a bit of a shock leaving the beach when I discovered sand was jamming the throttle open. Nice to know I can corner that fast in sand if I need to! WHOO-HOO!  It didn’t prevent me from riding, I just had to consciously push the throttle closed instead of letting it snap back itself.  The sand worked its way out by the time we got back to San Carlos. We stopped at a little bar to try some margaritas Roger had recommended. They were indeed very tasty and refreshing!


The sun was going down and we noticed the electrical system on the Boogie was flaking out and he only had one taillight.  Roger joked that if the police tried to pull us over it was every man for himself.  Well, we head out, the boogie leading, me in the middle and Alan behind.  I see blue and red lights flashing in my mirror.  CRAP.  Do I pull over?  Roger said every man for himself…maybe we just keep riding.  So we rode a while and eventually Alan consented and pulled over.  I kept riding.  That was the plan right?!  The boogie pulled off down a side street and I followed.  Roger said this was the best plan because if we had all pulled over, we would have all had to pay a bribe, this way it was just Alan.

We wait.  And wait.  We see the lights start back up and leave so we expect Alan to come along any time, but he doesn’t.  We head back to the scene, but he and his bike are gone.  I am racked with guilt for dragging Alan down here only to have him abducted by the policia, but we determine it is best to head back to the boat and try to find or contact him in the morning.  Cops are pulling people over left and right and we need to get off the road.  Besides, maybe he will be released and find his way home.

As we take one turn after another I doubt he could get back on his own.  Guaymas is a good sized city and easy to get lost in.  But just as we’re pulling into the boatyard I see a big round head light coming our way.  I try not to get too excited, every one head-lighted car (and there are many in Mexico) looked like a bike to me, but it was Alan! 

Apparently when the lights started back up they asked him to follow them to the police station.  Instead they led him to a secluded place to ask for a bribe of 300 pesos (bribes vary widely based on how well off you look, that’s the low end.) He told them he wouldn’t have enough to get home if they took that and offered them 100 instead.  They took it and he found his way back without issue. 

I decided then that Alan was a good choice riding buddy.  I wouldn’t worry about him disappearing so much anymore.  Self-sufficiency is arguably the most important trait a travel partner can have.  You have more freedom when each person is comfortable on their own and you don’t have to worry about their ability to handle situations. 

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