That’s exactly 3,172 miles from Ace Adventure Resort as I write to you tonight from the state of Veracruz, Mexico, about 100 miles from the gulf coast. We’ve got scratchy eyes, sunburnt noses and windblown faces, but things have gone relatively as planned. Before I go into a page long assessment of the trip, we finally made a video! It’s of point and shoot from the back of a motorcycle quality, but it gives you an idea of what riding in Mexico is like. This was shot on 85 South past Tamazunchale, San Luis Potosi. I’ve gone through the trouble of marking all of our locations on an interactive Google Map if you’re curious to check out exactly where on the planet this might be.
Right? That’s wild. We spent the whole morning in and out of the clouds. This video is indicative of the riding conditions for the last week or so. Before that is was high desert highways.
For my part, the riding experience, challenge and conditions are of the utmost interest and concern. Those mountain passes are cold, wet, foggy, covered in gravel and full of oil slicks from corner to corner. In some cases, we didn’t cover 15 miles in an hour between breaks to warm up and breaks to just take a break. On Wednesday, when this video was taken, I don’t think we had 60 miles to show for the entire day. It was a heck of an experience though. While amazingly beautiful, this type of riding is highly stressful.
The video was taken on some of the better road when Keli wasn’t holding on for her life. Again, it’s the unpredictability. You come around a wet mountain curve and you’re already dodging bike eating potholes on oily gravel when you see that 3 feet of the right side of the road has washed out and the 800 foot drop off is now that much closer. Did I mention that there is no shoulder to begin with? We came around one curve the other day to find a semi in our lane with no real ambition to move. We screeched to a complete halt on the corner of the road just shy of a guardrail and let it pass. And the next one, too. Apparently, semis just do that here.
Today, we came upon an unmarked construction site on highway 150 with fog so thick they had the roads marked with lights. Check out this short video:
Yep, it was completely terrifying, but we prevailed.
She’s ready for a visit to the Honda shop. The rear brakes are about gone and the fronts aren’t far behind. Fortunately, we brought spare sets of both and as soon as we can get somewhere we’d like to hang out for a moment we’ll drop her off at the local mechanic. She’s also starting to run a little rough at speed. I’m thinking either valve adjustment or carb sync. Either way, it’s nothing dire to worry about.
The weight of the gear has taken a tool on the original rack to which the auxiliary rack is bolted. It’s now bent. Before we left I stuffed a piece of a foam noodle between the new rack and the rear fender for a little extra support. It may never come out, but it is now distributing the weight between the bent part of the rack and the fender. It’s been that way for about 600 miles. I suppose we’ll let it ride.
Overall, we couldn’t ask for a better performance. The Honda has done us well and we’ve put her through hell. Here’s to ya.
If we made it to the Gulf coast at Veracruz tomorrow and put our wandering feet in the sand it would be enough. It would still be monumental. We’re tired, but we’re going to keep pushing into the Yucatan until we can find a beautiful place on the beach to take an extended break, at least a week. We need to rest our bones for a minute before we can keep on with our keeping on. Despite the beating our bodies have taken we are both in good spirits, ready and willing to keep pushing south. And keep pushing South we shall. We’ve learned how to work well together as a team, to let each other have their moments of glory, and how to look after each other when in need. We’ve learned to depend on each other’s skills to solve problems and get through the challenges that each and every day presents. It’s worked out quite well.