Work and school have been killer lately and I was looking forward to doing a bike trip over Spring Break. I had wanted to go to Mexico, but plans just weren’t coming together. All my choice riding partners fell through and I didn’t really want to go alone, so I resolved to go ride near Phoenix instead.
I’m big on CouchSurfing so I went to see if I could find a host in the area (preferably one with a bike who might want to ride with me) and came across Perry.
Perry aka whiteknucklemc
Previous riding experience: Canada, Mexico and the US
For whatever reason (satellites I’m guessing), his profile declared he had recently logged in from somewhere in Switzerland and I was disappointed he probably couldn’t host me, but dropped him a message anyway.
He messaged back “I’m not in Switzerland, but I can’t host you this weekend anyway because I’m going to Mexico…however you can come with me if you want.”
I took it as a sign I was meant to go to Mexico after all and told him “Hell yes!”
I got up bright and early Thursday morning and slabbed it out on Ajo to meet Perry in Why. That’s such a weird name for a town and it’s like all the signs and shop names are rhetorical questions.
I need a bigger tank for the Zebra, I hit reserve just before Why and had to gas up at this casino.
I arrived at our meeting point extremely early and took pictures of motorcycles at the gas station. I thought this little Yamaha 400 was adorable.
Perry arrived, we said hello like we weren’t really complete strangers and headed off to the border together.
I had to get gas -again- at the border.
Crossing the border was a breeze. You just ride right through. There was heavy traffic but everyone was putting around so slowly it wasn’t scary at all. We just zipped around everything and hit the slab to Puerto Penasco.
There was a whole parade of these amusement park rides trucking along which made for exciting passing practice. I had one ‘holy crap’ moment where I cut it a little close, but otherwise it went pretty smoothly and before long we were there.
Perry had already arranged to Couch Surf down there and his hosts kindly let me stay there too.
Rita and Tommy (and I think the horse’s name was Nutmeg)
CouchSurfing Mexican style:
Perry made some crack that Sean would be watching the Spot all night to make sure it didn’t move over to the other couch!
After unpacking we set out to explore the town and found some sand dunes and Competition Hill.
That’s it in the background. Definitely the biggest and steepest pile of sand I’ve ever tried to climb up, but I thought why not and took off. I was going to wait for that jeep but they were so slow I just went…then they decided to run me down I guess.
I drop the bike at the end of that video, but I did manage to pick it up and ride back down. I let Perry borrow my bike to show my how it’s done (he wasn’t sure about doing it on the 1150GS)
Would you ride this up there?
I got back on and did the hill without incident…of course there’s no footage of that!
We were the only bikes out there and I asked the guy at the bike shop why it was just quads and he said there’s not much riding for bikes. I pointed out the dunes and Competition Hill and he said “Most folks can’t handle that” I was grinning my ass off after hearing that.
We found a restaurant with a nice view and had some shrimp at sunset.
The next morning our hosts made us burritos for breakfast.
I’m not sure it was the burritos Perry was really taking the picture of…
Rita was really excited about the new horse she bought “for her daughter” and we spent a lot of time chatting about horses. My parents have horses and I absolutely love them. I always think of my bikes as urban horses. She let me ride it!
They also had cute dogs. This is Negra.
And Taco, the little skin and bones puppy they rescued (she needs a home!)
There was a cute little parade as we were taking off.
I told Tommy I had dreams of riding my bike on the beach, so he led us on his DRZ away from the congested area to a more secluded beach where our bikes could frolic without penalty.
Riding on the beach wasn’t so easy. Parts were fairly solid, but other parts were like quicksand. Perry got a workout on the GS.
I started to head back to where we came in, but Tommy said we were going to ride out down on the other side and zoomed off. As soon as he was out of sight, I buried my bike trying to turn around.
It took them a while to come back for me…because they were busy digging the GS out around the corner!
Perry made me ride the GS a little (not on the beach) and it was surprisingly easy to handle. I really thought I was going to drop it just because it was so heavy and I could barely touch the ground, but it wasn’t any worse than my KLR.
I don’t know what it is with guys and wanting me to ride their bikes, you would think the last thing they’d want to do is hand over their keys to some newbie rider chick?
There were some massive pelicans.
and lots of gulls
We hung out quite a while and then headed back home. We wanted to check out a mine, but my range was a limiting factor and we called it a day. Everyone was pretty exhausted though so it was probably for the best.
We gave the bikes a bath and I took a nap before heading out into town.
The guy at the shop was super nice and lubed my chain even though he was technically closed.
I like this statue.
The sun is going down again! Vacations are always too short…
We had some more shrimp and a couple cervesas on the water.
As we left the restaurant a massive pack of dogs chased Perry down the hill and I just laughed because they ignored my bike completely.
The next morning our hosts made pancakes (did I mention they were really awesome hosts?) and Perry and I packed up the bikes to slab it back home.
One of the most fun parts of the trip for me was when we got up to the border and saw the mile of cars waiting to get back in. Perry says he just blazes up to the front, so I followed him, but it was like running the gauntlet. We were riding across rutted dirt drainage areas, paved streets, sidewalks…at one point some people pushed a truck off the road down the hill right where I was riding! I felt like I was playing Frogger. Eventually we made it to the front and the guy running our lane went to lunch or something so we still had to wait a while.
We got through without issue and gave each other a big hug in Why as we split off to go home. Some way to make a new friend eh?