There and Back Again => Ride Reports => Topic started by: Montek on April 16, 2012, 07:42:24 PM

Title: Copper Canyon - Mexico 2001 tiger
Post by: Montek on April 16, 2012, 07:42:24 PM
don't post much, but thought you all might like this.  Took a dang good offroad trip with the tiger.  3 1/2 days of bad - corection - kickass goattrails and dirt roads.  pictures coming as soon as i get time to download.  If you haven't done this, put it on thre bucket list of rides.  the tarmac to get there is sensational.  but you will need a couple handfuls of dirt skills or you'll find you and the bike at the bottom of a very steep-n-deep canyon.   I'll most likely start pics tuesday night.  need to unpack and sleep.

Post by: Spud on April 16, 2012, 08:49:06 PM
You know you can really go off some people  :wink:  cheers Spud  :wink:
Title: so
Post by: Montek on April 16, 2012, 09:30:20 PM
how do i post a picture
Title: Re: so
Post by: Mustang on April 16, 2012, 09:50:32 PM
Quote from: "Montek"
how do i post a picture

get a photobucket acct and then after you upload your pics to photobucket copy the IMG code link under the pic you want to post here and simply paste it into the body of your message here .
don't alter anything as you copy it from photobucket .

easy peasey
Title: Thanks mustang here are a couple teasers
Post by: Montek on April 16, 2012, 10:03:28 PM
Title: one more
Post by: Montek on April 16, 2012, 10:09:08 PM
another photo
Title: dates
Post by: Montek on April 16, 2012, 10:20:31 PM
Pay no attention to the date stamp, Seems every time i put new batteries in it goes back to original dates.  left last wednesday, just got back

Title: get started
Post by: Montek on April 16, 2012, 11:22:26 PM
Well, I can't seem to unwind and settle down so I just as well get this started.  

I hooked up with a couple guys to ride Barranca de Cobre - thats in Mexico and we would call it Copper Canyon.  First off, do not listen to others about how unsafe it is in mexico.  I live in Arizona, and have felt a lot less safe in parts of Phoenix than I ever did in Mexico.  If you really want scary, visit Nogalas on the american side after dark :shock: .  Enough of that.  

It was a bit hard to know what to pack, so I packed it all, and glad i did!  I needed warm clothes and hotter than fresh crap clothes.  35 degrees far. to 112 degrees far.  Also included the usual repair equipment - tools, tire tubes, duct tape, tie wire, tire pump.  Also had to take all camping gear incase we were caught in the dark before reaching a destination with accomodations.  Never ever ride past dark in mexico, you will hit one of these


and one of those will win the battle of rapid deceleration

This is the cat getting packed up


Title: Dans arrival
Post by: Montek on April 16, 2012, 11:43:52 PM
So packed up, I leave my home at 8,000 feet elevation up in the white mountains of arizona and head down to the mecca they call the valley - commonly referred to as the Phoenix area.  I keep a camper in the valley during the winter to escape the cold and snow we get up top.  The camper would be the meet up place.

As I had never ridden with Dan, I suggested a good shake down ride the day before John would arrive.  I had a short 50 mile dirt route that looped back around to black top for an easy ride back to the camper in the afternoon heat.  Dan was due to arrive around 9:00 a.m. for a meet-n-greet.



Dans mount is a very well set up BMW f800 gs - very capable bikes, but still likey my tiger.
Title: Re: Copper Canyon - Mexico 2001 tiger
Post by: GatorTiger on April 17, 2012, 08:19:42 AM
Quote from: "Montek"
don't post much, but thought you all might like this.

Indeed we do!!!! Just keep on posting!!!!  :headbang

Post by: John Stenhouse on April 17, 2012, 11:19:46 AM
Yep, more please!
Title: life sucks and sleep
Post by: Montek on April 17, 2012, 04:08:44 PM
Sorry, i did get a little sleepy last night!  AND, reality sucks-had a hard time dealing with employment this morning.  Why can't we just ride our bikes, complete ride reports, eat like kings and drink like fish.  More coming, but have to pay for next trip!  start again this afternoon/evening

Post by: KuzzinKenny on April 18, 2012, 12:24:54 AM

ride report and pics are lookin grrreat so far  :thumbsup

Post by: Rocinante on April 18, 2012, 09:53:57 AM
Keep it coming.

It´s been ten plus years since we dove into Barranca de Cobre with Rocinante, and started a series of flats that we blamed on a bad spell in Creel...

If you have the patience, it´s on the second paragraph:
http://rocinantestravels.com/pan-am/part11/part11.htm (http://rocinantestravels.com/pan-am/part11/part11.htm)

I´d love to go back.
Title: shakedown
Post by: Montek on April 19, 2012, 05:20:44 PM
With Moodyblues(dan) showing up, I suggested a shakedown run to get to know each other, and the riding skill level we have.  

I had a route that left out of northwest Phoenix area around lake pleasant and runs up to wickenburg.  Bout 50 miles of dirt, gravel(riverbottom), and very hard dirt with little pebbles that feel like ball bearings.  We ran well together!!!!   Stoped in wick. for burritos and beers, the headed down the asphalt to the camper for more beers.

Dan and I we aquainting ourselves with our past ancestral clan

Clan Inebiated


The above sticker was a free pass to most everything mexico - i did have the other sticker, more important sticker, for the real prestigeous events and areas - it will be revealled at the point of the rr when we needed it.

Dan and I are doing our best to eliminate cold beverages that may end up in a minors possesion - civic minded we are - and guess who shows up, yep, the third member, jonnydarock.

Title: looking things over, planning
Post by: Montek on April 19, 2012, 05:35:44 PM
John(with beer) and I are looking over the maps, gps tracks, milages for the trip.  Possible towns to stay in, fuel stops in the canyon, etc...


Dan being dilligent looking over the bikes

Title: ready to go
Post by: Montek on April 19, 2012, 05:44:05 PM
We drink, we eat, we drink, we sleep(pass out), wake early in the a.m and get ready for the trip to Mexico.  

Minutes before lift off


Title: off we go
Post by: Montek on April 19, 2012, 05:50:53 PM
We head outta town at a rapid rate, just to beat traffic and get this trip moving foward.


After a couple hours of blasting, 80mph(130 kph approx) its a little chilly and we should get fuel for the beemers, 4.3 gallons is all they hold.  We pull into the fuel stop.  I have earplugs in, can't hear a damm thing, fill up, turn around to return the filler and hose and see this!!!!   Didn't hear it, but i did get a picture :D


Either the bike was tired and needed a rest, or john was trying to put low octane in and beemer said NO and tried falling over in a puking manner.
Post by: kraftykarper on April 19, 2012, 06:01:35 PM
Really nice pictures lads, makes me want to get on my tiger and ride !

Why cant we have weather like this in England?
Title: on the road
Post by: Montek on April 19, 2012, 06:27:10 PM
Coffe for us, fuel for the bikes, and we continue on.  Bisbee Arizona would be the next stop!  Just a little break.  Bisbee is an old mining town and is built on the side of a mountain.(no pics, didn't think about it). At one time it was the largest city west of the missippii river and was in full swing before san francisco was established.  It is believed bisbee was the model used for San Fran.  

We stop at one of the mines for a leg stretch and pics of the toxicity!

Title: entering mex
Post by: Montek on April 19, 2012, 06:40:01 PM
After Bisbee, its off to douglas arizona, a border town.  And just across the Mexican border is Agua Pria our access point. The tiger getting its eyes,ears and throat looked at



Good thing these border chica's are easy on the eyes!  The 2 beemers got in without a checkup.  The girls were familiar with BMW.  None of them had seen a tiger and one who spoke good english looked at it as I was pulling through the check point and gave a thumbs up with a "thats bad ass" comment.  They just wanted to make sure the vin number was on the bike and that it matched everything else.

Just some good info for those wanting to travel mexico.  They Now require an importation permit and visa.  They Importation permit is a bit costly on the front end.  Here is how it works, and you need a credit card for ease of the transaction.  It cost $400.00, the bill your visa/mastercard or you can pay cash at the border.  You can, and we did, do all this online ahead of time and saves a lot of headaches.  Now, you must check out of the country with that same permit and bike, then you get $350.00 refunded back to you account.  DO THIS ONLINE AHEAD OF TIME.  The place where you do this at the border may be closed, or computers down, or a line(long line) you have to wait in.  We were checked in, viza's stamped and on our way in less than 10 minutes.  We also bought vehicle insurance on line.  This is not required!!!  However, if you have an accident and do not have ins., you get to be guest of the local policia jail house until fault is declared and fines are paid - could be weeks or months.  With inssurance, you may not get to leave right away, but you do get to hang out in a hotel and walk around town, or ride a buss some where else as long as they know where you are.
Title: buenas Stardes
Post by: Montek on April 19, 2012, 07:51:33 PM
The afternoon ride in mex was wonderful.  Heading for our nights destination


The first road side rest stop we come to as we start to enter the mountains of mexico



The cool thing about mex rest stops is they come complete with seating and grill


Title: back on the road
Post by: Montek on April 19, 2012, 07:59:47 PM
Back on the road after a butt break


Anther 100 miles down the road and we find a nice little place for coca-cola refreshments



Back on the road to the next little town


Its getting along in the day and we need to start thinking about shelter for the night


I pull up to John take a pic and start communicating by way of goofy hand jestures and --- he gets it --- wtf.

Title: Gomez Ferias
Post by: Montek on April 19, 2012, 08:20:10 PM
Rode into a village called Gomez Ferias.  Not far into town we found this nice place with secure parking and a resturant all in one





Not bad digs for the night.  500 pesos for the 3 of us.  Thats only $13.88 us dollars - we'd be losing money if we didn't stay here
Title: Meal Time
Post by: Montek on April 19, 2012, 08:31:13 PM
We strip                          I know what your thinking, and no, its not that kind of trip.

We strip off our gear and head to the resturante for beer


and food


OOOHHH YAAAA!! thats fresh shrimp in a kick ass hot sauce.  First meal in mexico and it was delicious.  more beers helped the sore ass and cool the mouth down a bit.  

My grandpa told me many years ago, never-ever eat hot, spicey food with out following up with ice cream.   That way, the next day whilest sitting on the procelain throne, you are thinking "come on ice cream, come on ice cream" :D

Today's ride  - Phoenix to Gomez Ferias little over 500 miles
Post by: zadok_oz on April 19, 2012, 09:12:43 PM
Well done, chaps. :hello2
Title: DAY 2
Post by: Montek on April 19, 2012, 09:28:44 PM
Day 2 starts out with a brisk temp of 29 degree F.  a bit chilly and heated grips are on full blast


We ride about 60 miles to a town called Guerroerro.  John had been down this way previously and stayed several days in Guerroerro.  Met some really nice folks here.  In particular was a young man and his family.  They own a resurant and hotel.  It was Easter Sunday and the young man had taken the family to his wifes home town.  BUT, his ma and pa were holding down the resturant.  Now, Mom is trained in the culinary arts and is toprated chef in mex.  

A pic outside the resturant


And breakfast.  Pops came over just as we were to order and gave us the inside info for breakfast.  He informed us that the chile releno's had just come out of the oven, and that they are best fresh - he was right - never had them fresh out of the fire, spectacular taste!  Both Ma and Pa are well educated and spoke english very well.  They visited with us for a time and wondered if maybe more gringo's were coming.  Since the financial fall in the U.S. and the drug cartels doing there thing, gringos have stopped travelling there and has really put a hurt on tourism.  They were so happy to see us and so hope for more travellers.

Breakfast - and the coffee was awesome

Title: day 2 cont
Post by: Montek on April 19, 2012, 09:50:21 PM
The riding continued.


Guerroerro is known for its apple growing.  Kinda like washington state here in the U.S. .  Here are a bunch of new little growers



on with the riding.  By the way, I live in an area covered with mountain twisties to ride. Both tarmac and dirt.  I have to say the area we rode was by far some of the best twisties on tarmac I have ever been.  

Post by: Mustang on April 19, 2012, 09:57:24 PM
ummmm...........Mexican coca cola's , still made with huge qty's of good ol sugar, woot
Title: ya baby
Post by: Montek on April 19, 2012, 10:01:12 PM
Quote from: "Mustang"
ummmm...........Mexican coca cola's , still made with huge qty's of good ol sugar, woot

Its so stinken good!!!  Fanta orange and strwberry are the shit now.  pure raw, unrefined sugar makes these drinks super tasty
Title: twisties day 2
Post by: Montek on April 19, 2012, 10:54:33 PM
I'll try to post as many twisty pics as turned out





It was fantastic riding.  Best part, we experienced an unrestricted speed limit.  We were ovewr the limit by 50 kph most of the time.  Saw 30 police and not one blinked at us.  In fact, we got blown off the 60 KPH road by the police.   We were clocking in the range of 120 to 140kph and the police blow by at 190 minimum on this big straight away.  Thought we would see him waving us over up the road for a proper shakedown, but never saw him.
Title: black top to this
Post by: Montek on April 19, 2012, 11:07:54 PM
So all these cool twisties through the mountains eventually lead us to this


And this


And then to this


This would be the last of any hard surface for the next 3 1/2 days.  the above pic is where we were airing down the tires for rapid travel on dirt.  We all air down to 20 psi up front and 18 psi rear.  We were running continental tkc tires and they held up well.  

Airing down for the roads like this


Post by: Mustang on April 20, 2012, 12:15:27 AM
:thumbsup  :new_popcornsmiley
Post by: Rocinante on April 20, 2012, 10:28:33 AM
Title: wher was I
Post by: Montek on April 20, 2012, 05:07:42 PM
o.k.  starting the dirt.  Good news for batopilas, bad news for us adv riders.  Within 2 years I would bet the good dirt mountain roads will be widened and blacktopped from creel to batopilas.  Its already half way and they are working at both ends building a new road system.  It'll be great tarmac twisties at first, then the traffic will build up and it will be loaded with cars and harleys and cops and 15 miles per hour tops. Batopilas will boom and the people will be in shock!!!

Get there soon, Batopilas will no longer be the quaint village that makes it a relaxing place to visit.

So, here is a series of dirt pics looking down, across and up the canyon on the way to Batopilas






Title: awesome
Post by: Montek on April 20, 2012, 05:16:46 PM
This road was an absolute blast.  Dirt, twisty, scenery out the wazoo.  Only met on vehicle coming up in 3 hour ride.

More pics heading to Batopilas









Notice the cars on the other side of the bridge?  they were all down below, having a picnic, playing, drinking and having a general good time

Title: rest of the way
Post by: Montek on April 20, 2012, 05:31:44 PM
After the bridge, not a whole lot of elevation change as compared to what we just rode.  more long stretches with gradual turns.  You still couldn't see far in front of you as the road followed the contuor of the mountain, but it wasn't 400 yards - hair pin corner, 400 yards - hair pin corner, repeat 200 times.  It was fast and dusty and hot, bout 100 deg F.



Finally, having consumed our fair share of dust, I see the town in sight
and good thing because we were running out of daylight and desperately needed a cold beer to offset all of todays heat and dust.

Arriving at out hotel

Title: the place to stay
Post by: Montek on April 20, 2012, 06:07:10 PM
This is the place to stay in Batopilas.  Right on the square(zocola).


One block up is the resurante' for super.(no pic to dark)

two blocks over and one up is the Breakfast place


And best of all, right across the square from the hotel is   - DA BEER




You may have caught there was a new face at the beer table.  Randy from Canada was also passing through and had arrived earlier that afternoon.  He is on a giant 1200 GS.  Great guy, would have fit in well with the group but was heading noth to home not south like we were.


After consuming enough beer to replenish our attitudes, it was off to the evening dining experience and more beer



After more beer, feeling pretty darn good(on the way to INEBRIATED), o.k., past that cause i forgot to get a picture of the meal, we head back to the hotel for more beer and wisky and to enjoy the town square on Easter Sunday Evening.



The 2 boys getting whiskied up in the zocola(square)


John and myself working on beer


This is a good part.  The owner of the hotel, Juanita, has been gone most of the evening.  We're getting crap faced, and we still need to get our bikes inside for safety.  What she does is open the double doors to the lobby and you ride the bike in to the courtyard area.  YA RIGHT.

Here is Dan, he is through the front door and going to the courtyard through the iron gates


I got through without taking the luggage off, however, John and dan had to drop the luggage, skill levels were a little low and judgement a little off at this point and no need to piss of the owner.  No more pics of the evening but we did a good job the next morning documenting as we were a little tipsy that night.

More from the evening


Eliminating bodily waste from the walk bridge


Oh ya, the bikes in the courtyard after 3 drunken fools finally put them to rest.


At this point, we consumed a little more and went to sleep(passed out).  This is beginning to be a theme - passing out that is.

DAY 2 is completed.  DAY 3, hangovers, high heat, no water, no gas - fun.
Post by: 2004Tiger on April 21, 2012, 05:14:35 AM

I did that trip 15 years ago, but in a Toyota pickup with female friend, a four week big circle of west Mex. Your pictures look like my pictures, no changes I can see--- even the paint on the hotel and cantina is the same color. Things change slowly in Mexico. I would do it again on my Tiger.

Back then the peso was 10 for a dollar. Is it really 36 per dollar now? That hurts.
Title: NOOOO
Post by: Montek on April 23, 2012, 06:44:47 PM
Quote from: "2004Tiger"

I did that trip 15 years ago, but in a Toyota pickup with female friend, a four week big circle of west Mex. Your pictures look like my pictures, no changes I can see--- even the paint on the hotel and cantina is the same color. Things change slowly in Mexico. I would do it again on my Tiger.

Back then the peso was 10 for a dollar. Is it really 36 per dollar now? That hurts.

The exchange rate for U.S. dollars is 12 or 13.  When we went to the bank it was a little over 12 to 1.  $400.00 = $5,000.00 peso's.  The cool thing is, we all took out 5,000 and put it in a pool - one person in charge of money.  He paid for food, beverage, hotels, did i say beverage?? :lol:   Any way, I came back with 90 peso's,  10 days for $400.00, ate like kings and drank like fish,  I'll take that deal any day!!!!

As far as change, it is a bit slower down there, but with all the paving and black top roads being completed on the mainland and baja, change is going to come fast once the projects reach completion.  I give it 2 years and we will see a completely different Mexico.

Title: Tonight
Post by: Montek on April 23, 2012, 06:45:57 PM
Was out riding this weekend, more copper canyon tonight.

Post by: rf9rider on April 23, 2012, 10:53:22 PM
Excellent report, enjoyed the write up so far
Title: where was I
Post by: Montek on April 24, 2012, 03:08:14 AM
Lets see,  oh ya, beer in Batopilas.  I have to back up a bit, back up the mountain to Creel before we got to bato.  Going through creel usually isn't bad, according to john.  but it was easter sunday, and people where every where.  the town was packed. one big traffic jam.  like any and every other town/city in mexico, the zoning and planning is a little lax as in non existent.  they never thought about a main street through town.  instead, you come in on the only highway to town, go to the other end, then over a block, then back to the other end, over a block, and wind through a series of lefts and rights and then you find the main highway out of town.  john being the savy traveler he is, says, I know a shortcut---well that short cut is short, and it involves railroad tracks.  rail road tracks that are a little higher than the tigers ground clerance.  well, one rail was higher anyway!!!!!  in crossing, wheel base and ground clearence was just so that it caught my exhaust and pulled it lose and bent one head bolt.


working away, tightenjng bolts, turn one, turn the next, the next etc..  got em all tight and just like new


that was the one and only problem the entire trip for the cat.  bouncing up and down mountains on crappy ass roads and only one problem at the railroad tracks.  I'll take that any day.
Title: moving on
Post by: Montek on April 24, 2012, 03:25:43 AM
ok, back to batopilas, the evening with friends and beer. Wake up and have a bit of a hangover, not bad, just a touch.  went to dona mica's for breakfast.  You know you are deep in the back country with not a lot of visitors passing through when you have to knock on somebodies door the night before to line up breakfast.  we did and it was on breakfast, fricken delicsh.


been a while since i've had a meal cooked up on a wood fired stove


they may not have much, but they do know how to cook

after a bit to eat and a couple coffees to clear the head, we gotta get the bikes out of the courtyard area and through the lobby to the street.

bikes in the courtyard


coming through the lobby


and out the front door to the street


loaded up, mounted up, and headed out of batopilas to urique via the new road.

BEWARE, this days trip includes getting lost, bikes on the side, run out of water, 108 degrees f., a "new" road thats more of a goat trail, talc on the road, crossing a river.  fun fun fun.

headed out of town in search of the new road
Post by: fishnbiker on April 24, 2012, 05:48:58 AM
Ahh, the switchbacks in the canyon ... Batopilas is one of those rare gems. I'm glad I got you see it as you described. It's saddening to imagine them paving paradise & putting up a parking lot.

Dunno if it's anything you picked up on, but, when I was there in 2006 I remember everyone being kicked out of all the bars at 9 pm. By the police!! Every bar in town!! 3 Guardias told us all to finish the beer in the next 30 seconds, then leave. Every night for months. Fortunately we we're sitting with an Ex-pat American lady who told us she had prepared with a case in her purse, we could carry on back at the hotel.  Seems the mayor of the day had a hate on for late drinking & the bars in general. I wonder if it leads to those fine Mexican citizens like I found outside my hotel door, asleep on the sidewalk across from the church Sunday morning at 8 am, sound asleep with 2 Tecate left out of a six pack, dead butt in his hand, hat on his tummy

The Batopilas road, along with the Devil's Backbone (Durango /Mazatlan) & the Hermosillo / Creel road are among the most energizing I have seen anywhere in North America.

My photos of Mexico are at   http://fishnbiker.smugmug.com/motorcycles.
Post by: GatorTiger on April 24, 2012, 06:28:14 AM
Quote from: "fishnbiker"
My photos of Mexico are at   http://fishnbiker.smugmug.com/motorcycles.

Fixed...  8)
Title: nothing marked
Post by: Montek on April 26, 2012, 11:05:04 PM
So, we head out in search of a little place, like 3 or 4 homes little place called rio colorado.  We find it, but had 2 choices of roads.  I ask a local and he points in a direction.  We go that direction.  Further up the road we are in full blown road construction.  I mean the beginning of dirt work, pretty rough stuff


Nasty stuff.

Further up the road is a truck stuck.  It was sliding into a very large and extremely deep crevis.  Barely enough room for us to negotiate around it, its off camber, has a couple big rocks to dodge, truck on one side, mountain side rock on the other.  We all manage to get by without a drop.  We travel 50 yards, ask a construction guy directions and he points in the same direction we a re going.  That makes two guys sending us in the same direction, thats good.  Keep in mind about an hour has passed.  We round a corner on this nasty crap someone has declared a road and BAAMM.  The road ends, guys come running at us like we're not suposed to be there!!! wtf.  Heffe' gets to us and describes in detail with pretty good english - we are drilling to enable blasting for the road and it would be real good if we were to leave elpronto.  We do just that.  I get ahead, past the stuck truck and photo John


An hour back to rio colorado and we begin recon.  after 60 seconds, dan is back and has found the way.  The guys we asked either didn't understand or they was "jus fucken wich us".  We cross the river and are then again confronted with a choice - left or right.  I chose left and it is a Critical left.  Ya I made this choice by my gps - sometimes right, sometimes wrong, hey its mejico!!!

This was tyo be the "new road" to urique.  And it was a bit of a tuff burger.

steep, loose rocks, hairpin corners, switchbacks up the wazoo.  Ya, it was new, as in build the road and make it as steep as possible, don't pack it, and don't even run a grader on the steep part cause ya might rool it off the cliff.  It was a stinkin blast to ride.  Had to kep momentum going cause it would have been a bee awtch to get moving again on the steep grade so no pics.  Luckily no one went down.  Game face was on and serious for this section.  We get to the top, and theres this nice wide, smooth graded section across this dry waste land



Notice the barren landscape.  it was hot and dry on this side of the mountain.  Absolutely barren

I stop at the one, ya the only 1, THEE 1 shade tree around.  We are into this days ride about 3 hours now and its hot, we are sucking down water.

Here come John and Dan


Taking a break after sweating our asses of.


Pretty much dead all around us.  Look over the seat of the tiger and you'll see dead animal remains.  I was thinking at that time we may be in trouble if it gets hot and the roads don't get better


Guess we better get going and see whats in store for us around the corner


So we ride about 10 minutes on o.k. dirt and get to a pull off area.  I just kinda vear over a bit to see whats what and I see this, stop, take a picture


According to my gps, maps and conferring with the other two, thats URIQUE.  We must have some bad info cause its supposed to take like 8 or 9 hours to get there.  Its right there, we get a little hyped up thinking easy day, should be there in an hour or less, drinking carte blanca beer.

Feeling good about everything, I tear off knowing we don't have far to go and I can dick around a little.  Who cares if I dump the bike, we don't have far to go.  Dan and I rip ass for 20 or 30 minutes.  stop, wait for john.  o.k., no john, wait, no john, can't hear a bike either, and we should atleast hear a bike.  Ya, it was a little challenging, but if you kept the speed up, the bikes could handle most anything this section could throw in front of it.  I one did happen to slow, I could see a slow tipover.



As you can see, we were playing leap frog.  I was in the lead, i get ahead, stop, wait for Dan.  Dan shows up, he stops and waits for John to come into sight, when he sees john he takes off.  That way we keep track of eachother. For some reason, I felt I needed to wait with Dan to make a visual, its just one of those feelings you get sometimes.  As I mentioned, no John.  So, we both head down the mountain.  We do spread out as its pretty steep and didn't want to risk sliding into dan and knocking him the mountain.  Ya, it was that steep, one doesn't just stop.  You apply brakes, slide 50 feet, slow down a little and start appling the front brake gently to assist in the stop!! the rear tire just wants to slide.  A bit technical!!.  Come around a corner and see this :shock:


John had a little hiccup.  He had started unpacking, riding the bike of extra wieght and got the bike back upright and began packing back up


It was damn hot, bout 95 degrees F. hot.  We got john back going and put him in the lead and told him to stop when he needed a break.

taking a break


At this time, my water bladder goes dry, no prob., I got more.  take out the 2 liters, fill up bladder, all good, not far to go!

From the rest stop we could see where we came from

Post by: Rocinante on April 27, 2012, 06:42:59 AM
You make me want to go back.... :new_popcornsmiley
Post by: fishnbiker on April 27, 2012, 07:09:35 AM
Quote from: "Rocinante"
You make me want to go back.... :new_popcornsmiley

 Dag, you are close enough to get to a similar ride in the ATLAS Mountains in Morocco. Similar roads, lovely people. I loved it!

It would be lovely to see some Tiger photos on those twisties & pistes between Marrakech & M'Hamid

My photos at http://fishnbiker.smugmug.com/travel
Post by: Rocinante on April 27, 2012, 11:01:28 AM
Quote from: "fishnbiker"
Dag, you are close enough to get to a similar ride in the ATLAS Mountains in Morocco. Similar roads, lovely people. I loved it!

It has been and is being considered. :)
Title: get there
Post by: Montek on April 27, 2012, 02:55:54 PM
Get there in the next couple years, things are changing fast.  Baja is getting blacktop every where also.  

Morocco, thats on the list of places for Dan, John and myself also.

Think a 10 or 14 day trip through baja is next winter and then we start crossing the pond to ride.  India/tibet.  Vietnam, Morocco, Africa, Australia, there is so much to see and ride, so little time and money to get it done.  I need a sugar momma to fund these rides :lol:  and allow me to not work, just ride :wink:
Title: back at it
Post by: Montek on May 04, 2012, 10:16:08 PM
sorry, had to actually get some work completed to pay for the next trip.  

Here we go, heading to Urique, a break, and thinking we aren't far from beer


Yep, those are the zig zags going down to the river crossing into Urique


Little did we know(cause this is a new road and no map available) the road diverts the opposite direction to go around a very steep and deep canyon that is basically not travelable by vehicle. so we ride, ride ride and ride.  It is now 108 degrees f., about 2:00 in the afternoon, I have sucked dry all my water bladder, all my water bottles, and one hot coke thats been bouncing most of the day.  I am hot and thirsty.  Come around a corner and see this welcome sight


That sign was a welcome relief knowing we were atleast on the correct road to urique.

From the sign area we could see the lower part of the road cut along the side of that mountain.  At the sign area, we are now officially out of any consumable liquid.  No water, no gaterade, no pop, no beer, no milk, no nothing :shock: .  We can not see the zig zags from this vantage point.  We begin to worry about our judgement of time and miles to urique.  We all are feeling the effects of the sun beating on us in 108 degree F., with no water - how far is it????? can we make it????

The road cut in the mountain


The road looks like a great road.  But, there was a lot of nice little rounded pebbles and the road was like concrete and it created a ball-bearing type effect. we knew we were close, cause the road improved.


We made it to the zig zags, and started the rode that was cut into the mountainside.  this took a little longer than expected. about an hour or longer.  we be getting way dehydrated at this point.


John says, come look over the edge


Its serious dehydration time for all of us.  we are running low on energy, we all have a slight headache, just feeling a little out of sorts knowing it is dehydration.  We have been riding since early a.m. its about 4:30 p.m. its been a tough ride, and did I mention we were getting seriously dehydrated.  

I am back in the lead just pushing as hard as I dare.  Come sliding down this fairly steep incline and see this


We all waste no time taking clothes off and in we go.  We soaked in the river for sometime just getting body core temps down.  I swear I heard a sizzle sound when my feet hit the water.  

It was hot for the locals also.  these two were in the river the entire time we were there.


The river was damn refreshing, but we were still in need of hydration.  John and Dan were starting the foot and leg cramp thing, we were toast and still had to get the bikes across the river and 10 miles yet to Urique
We were so in trouble with dehydration at this point, it was a chore to get going again.  none of us wanted to suit back up, but, beer was on john tonite, and i WAS thirsty.

Dan getting accross


Me battling the mighty river


John entering the currunt

(http://montek.smugmug.com/Other/Copper-Canyon-2012/i-psk44cR/0/M/DSCN0199-M.jpg)(http://John fully commited[img]http://montek.smugmug.com/Other/Copper-Canyon-2012/i-kD772VL/0/M/DSCN0200-M.jpg)

Dan and I are on the other side and the conversation went down something like this

me go right, go right
Dan - oh shit, oh shit
me- he's going off the mark
Dan - go right go right
me - shit, he's gonna get stuck
Dan- don't drop it, don't drop it
me FUCK, he's stuck
Dan - I'll rock paper sizzors you to see who goes to fetch him.

I volunteered :lol: hell, it was cool out there, and Dans boots are waterproof so would take days to dry out.


Wading out to give a push


After getting John out of the mud and back up on the rocks


Back on solid ground and dealing with water issues


felt good to be accross the river.  Its a little harder than it looks.  the crossing area is constructed more for trucks and pickups than for motorcycles.  it is constructed of grapefruit sized and basketball sized rocks.  there were just a couple big rocks, but if you hit one, it would through you off coarse.  Dan and I did not hit one, John, on the other hand, blasted one and put him in the mud.  He might have been o.k. but when tightened up from the hit, he immediately cramped up and was incabable of recovery.  THAT IS HOW DEHYDRATED WE ALL WERE AT THIS POINT.  We were in real trouble, and we all knew it. we got the hell going fast.


But still had a state of mind to share the pretty stuff


So, the last 10 miles and then finding our way through urique to the hotel took about 35 minutes, 35 minutes of dirty, hot grinding ride on seat that i was tired of and my arms are like spagettii, and oh so thirsty

This was a blissful sight, high fives all around, fist pumps, middle fingers extended and pointing in the direstion we came


This is no lie! before getting a room or even talking bout a room, we raided the cooler of 6 liters of water, 3 fresca's(lemmon-lime pop), 3 fanta orange pops, and 2 cokes.  The water went down first and was like a small glass.  then we moved on to the hard stuff just to cut the crud in the mouth.

We get the room arranged, bikes parked in secure area, cold ass showers all around, and a walk to get food and refreshments


The beer was cold cold cold and the food was yum yum yum


Next up our stay in Urique and visiting with the locals about employment, jobs, and just what the heck a guy does to make money in urique.  this was an unbelievable conversation

John and Dan were dealing with cramps and charlie horses all night.  I was lucky and didn't have any major cramps, just a few foot cramps from being on the pegs all day.
But, we did down about 8 liters of water each before we turned in for the night, and no one got up to pee that night.  we were real close to serious dehydration problems.

Post by: fishnbiker on May 05, 2012, 04:41:40 AM
Any more pix of Urique? Batopilas was my destination last time there. Been into Creel by train from El Fuerte the first time. Got to see Temoris & some of the other villages along the track, but only one visit on 2 wheels.

I hope you guys learned to carry more water in those climates. We went for a walk into the big sand dunes in Erg Chebbi. 2 of us went though 4 litres in a couple of hours. The river would have been made safe with a few disinfectant tablets.

Been too busy exploring my own back yard in British Columbia, Spain,  & Morocco to get back down there soon.
Title: urique
Post by: Montek on May 05, 2012, 03:14:34 PM
fishnbiker, I do have more pics of urique.  they are coming up.

the crazy thing about the water, we each had 8 liters with us - about all we could carry.  maybe another liter stuck somewhere.  bad thing about a trip like this,one is limited to space.  we were on bike bikes and wanted to keep loads down to manageable sizes.  water purifiers and tablets were not brought because there is no water other than the rivers which are close to towns.

had we not known where urique was when we arrived at the river, we most likely would have stopped at one of only a few locals adobe homes and asked for aqua - ran the water trough several layers of clothes and then consumed.  but, once we did hit the zig zags, and the river, we new we could make it, it was almost to the unsafe mark.  Looking at weather before we left, itlooked like low 90's were going to be the norm, not 108.

When you ride the train, you miss 90% of the canyon.  its fricken huge.

The road from creel to batopilas will be new and all blacktop soon.  like as in maybe the next 6 months if they bust ass, or if typical mexico fashion, 2 years.

Urique coming up
Post by: fishnbiker on May 05, 2012, 05:31:30 PM
Were you carrying the water, or using Camelbacks? I found a combination works well. I use the old liners from "bag in a box" wine for on bike storage. It can be moulded to fit almost anywhere. My Camelback also carries a few necessities that always stay with me if I need to abandon the bike ... multitool knife, lighter, compass, Mini Maglite, GPS batteries, Cel (if signal is likely), TP, documents, etc.

In British Columbia, where I live, water is never an issue, so we could drink from almost any source fairly safely. I learned from a trip into the Sahara east of Marrakech in 1971 how precious it can be. Still, even suspect water may be safer than none.

The train has its own charm, including locals, Indians, & lovely, if somewhat crowded scenery as well. We also went horse riding around the canyon near Divisidero, which was a terrific diversion on its own.
Title: Yep
Post by: Montek on May 07, 2012, 04:11:54 PM
Yep, camelbacks and bottles stashed everywhere.  I agree, the train has a real charm to it, and highly reccomend it.  One gets treated to a variety of experiences without the interoir canyon travel which takes days and most travelers (unlike most of us here) do not want the task of "FINDING" thier way in Mexico.  

That being said, the train is a really cool experience!!!

Water, it was simple, we just didn't have enough for that particular day.  We had plenty every other day we travelled.  It was just a brutal day.  Hot, dry, dusty, Bright sun beating down on us, and absolutely no shade.  It was a real rough portion of the canyon - nothing but low growing shrubby stuff -mesquite, scrub oaks, dwarf junipers, and no wind so the dust just sayed looming in the air.  

I would do it again in a heartbeat, it was that much fun :D

Try to get more pics up tonite

Post by: fishnbiker on May 08, 2012, 04:34:14 AM
Glad to hear the water issue didn't create real difficulties. Sometimes, where I live, too much is an issue.

Having been at least to Creel & Temoris by train, I saw enough to force me back on the bike. I have always searched out scenic railways, making many long bike ride destinations at a rail town... Durango & Silverton, Ft Bragg Skunk Train, White Pass & Yukon, Spain, Morocco, France, Italy, Japan, etc. Even got a ride on the Royal Monaco Railway during a French rail strike. Not as much exercise as on a bike, but very mellow & memorable.
Title: oh ya
Post by: Montek on May 09, 2012, 05:37:24 PM
Gotta ride the trains, its just a guy thing - Trains are cool.  Bad thing about the u.s. is we can't just hop a train to some place.  As a young kid, 6-9 years old, I could catch a train ride from the middle of nebraska to western nebraska where the grandparents lived.  depot to depot was really cool and the automobile took over, and passenger trains gave way cargo trains.
Title: Urique
Post by: Montek on May 09, 2012, 05:40:28 PM
Here comes urique

After the hydration episode, we get the bikes parked in the secure area by the room


The above building is located behind the check in building and also behind the gate


Boots and gear drying outside the room from the river wading


After getting situated with the room, hydration, bikes secure, a shower was in order.  This is kinda funny - after the shower, we were all talking about how good the shower felt - no hot water was used, we did the same thing, stand under the cold water and cool off.  

Cooled off, cleaned up, man oder reduced to managable, we head out to see the town - after a couple charlie horses for Dan and John.  We Slowly make our way towards the check-in area at the hotel to purchase more aqua the walk to town.  The owner comments "sorry for the inconvenience of no hot water, the generator shut off, must have gotten to hot."  We laugh, we wouldn't have know had they not told us!!!!!

Wandering the streets like the street trash we are







We wonder around and find this resturante.  Doesn't look like much on the outside, but you walk in and past a room in the front, past the kitchen, and enter the outdoor seating area.  It was nice in the shade


This is what we were waiting for


Well, this wasn't so bad either, very tasty


This next picture may make your eyes water, thats how hot the HOT sause was.  Dan lives in Texas, I have spent a lot of time in Texas, I live in Arizona, travel New Mexico often, Dan and I agreed, this stuff was easily in the top 3 of all time hot shit.


After 4/6 beers to cool mouth off, we head back out to see more town

This is where all the tough MF's come to test thier running endurance


Complete with a list of the toughest MF's



The next set of events of the nite were really interesting.

First, when we leave the resturante, we see the guy and gale that run the hotel, we say hi, they ask how the food was bla bla bla, we say delicious bla bla bla, we ask "you eating here" his response, every meal, mom and dad  me and wife own the place.  Funny and gets better.  So we walked around and found the ultra marathon deal, took pictures and decided we needed a couple more beers before bedtime.  The local mercado(store) was right across the street from the motel, we walk in, go to the coolers, NO BEER!!!!  we walk to the check out counter, and guess who is there getting ready to close up, counting the cash register money, yep, the hotel owner/resturante owner ---- and now mercado owner.  Pretty sure this guy could find anything you needed for a comfortable evening in Urique, complete with companionship :lol:   So, we ask, we do get beer, well, d'oh the resturante.   So, we head back down the hill.  Walk in, and realize we left camera's at the hotel(so no pics of this next event).

Walk in go to the outdoor area, and it is packed with all local guys, no girls.
Just guys drinking beers at the local establishment - felt alot like home, except everyone was speaking spanish and drinking carte' blanca beer.

We joined right in.

Sitting next to us was an interesting guy.  He was a school teacher in Chiuaua!  Grew up in Urique, was on Easter break, spoke really good english.  

He heard us talking and asked where we were from, what we were doing, where we were going, friendly guy.  Visited for atleast 3 beers with him before we asked this question "whats everyone do around here to make money"  this got real interesting.  I suspected a response like farmers, rancher type work, agricutural work.  Oh, it was agricultural work allright.
Went down like this

Him, ---- well, i think you know it as maryjane-most everyone grows maryjane or has at one time.  But maryjane no bueno any more.  Used to get $2,000 peso's for a kilo of maryjane.  But now, the cartels come and say when ready, i give you $xxxx peso's for a kilo. When grower arrives with product, they say $500 peso's.  They are the only buyers right now cause they killed all the compitition, so guess what it sells for -- yep $500.00 peso's, that like $45.00 U.S. dollars for a kilo of maryjane.  The local Mexican people absolutely hate the cartels and what they have done to thier economy.  The cartels have cut thier prices for goods, ran off all the travelers, kill anyone who opposes them, not real popular.

He then goes on to tell us most maryjane growers have switched to the "little flower" ya, poppy's - or, the source for opium.  They can make more money with opoium.  Fricken unbelievable conversation.  By the time we left that night, we knew how this whole thing worked.  The locals were just a riot telling us about thier exploits in agriculture.  Anyway, it was just an awesome evening of entertainment and getting to know the locals of Urique.  Pretty sure none of this would have happened with out the friendly school teacher.  

And here is some more info for the copper canyon traveler.  everyone in town knows when the cartels are around, the bad guys, i mean everyone.  they will tell any visitors to the area to stay in thier motel after dark if any cartel is around, and in case you didn't get the hint, most towns are filled at night with locals.  Its hot during the day, they stay inside out of the sun if possible.  The houses are small and most have no t.v., so at nite, they head to the town central for visiting, playing, and it is cooler than the inside of the house till late in the evening-its a culture thing- SO, if nobody is out, you better get your ass back inside, bad things are happening that night.  All this info was shared by the school teacher.  

DO NOT let this keep you from the canyon, its a fact and always has been a drug-growing area.  the locals will take care of you!!!  Its what makes it an adventure for an adventurer - there has to be some risk or its not an adventure- and I would go back today if work and money wasn't required.

AND, do not turn this into a "is mexico safe" thread.  This info was shared because it was something never shared by a local before and is some good info for your travels.  

After all that, we head back to the hotel for a nights rest so we can head to elfurte in the a.m.

Breakfast at the same resturante the next morning


breakfast was also tasty,    but the coffee suked, not an instant coffe fan


We need fuel for the bikes so we get direction to the local Pemex.  We get there and it is locked up.  We ask the neighbors when it opens, they say 20 minutes, or thats what we thought they said.  Time goes by, no one shows up.  we head back to the mercado to visit with george.  he tells us the pemex has been closed all week cause the gas truck didn't show up.  Now we are in trouble.  We need fuel "Bad".  George gets on the phone and starts calling anyone he knows to see if they can spare a gallon or liter or whatever to get us to mesa aturo for fuel.  NO luck-we decide to see if we can make it the 30 miles to arturo.  

Here is george, tell him hello for me if your in town

Title: in search of fuel
Post by: Montek on May 09, 2012, 09:29:32 PM
Off we go back up in elevation to get out of the Urique canyon area and in search of fuel.  Supposedly, fuel was only 40 kliometers away, but, when asking locals about mileage and time, its always within an hour or so - most do not know because they have never been to the "next town over" so they assume its close - thats the conclusion I came to anyway.

Pee break working our way up the mountain


The roads were much better.  We knew they would get much better after Urique.  And it proved out!  Wider, smoother, faster


At the top is quite a veiwing area built by the Mex gov't.  can see a long way from up here.  This took about 30 minutes to reach


What it looks like


A few tourist around and thier transportation to the top



Views!!  that urique down there


This shows the vastness of the area


We were standing in awe of the place and we hear the bus driver start rounding up people to get moving again.  Not want to get stuck behind a slow, dusty bus, we hustle around and get gone before they do!

A shack built into the side of the mountain.  Literally right on the road


Not to far up the road was mesa arturo.  Stop, ask the local where the gasilina is, and he points right across the road.  As luck would have it, I stopped at just the right place.  This is what you look for in remote areas

55 gallon drums

Those 55 gallon drums fill these containers whch then fill your bike, which you then start adding up the litres to pay the guy his high price cause he paid regular price and sells it for muey profit


But, in the end it was o.k. cause the beemers both hit reserve about 10 miles out.  "schew" that was close

The tiger getting a much needed drink.  Never hit the low fuel light, so had a ways to go yet.  Notice the cut out pop bottle for the funnel, and the used oil container for gasoline - high class fuel stop, lol.  It was well worth it.

Did you see the cute little shits by the tiger?  We were lucky, grandpa was babysitting the grandkids today. very cute kids


Look close above and you will see a black dog-I say "picture of dog" "photogragpho de perro and the little boy grabs the dog and


Tiger was very thirsty

This whole gas thing takes some time with three bikes.  So we visit with the kids, loved thier pictures being taken, and we gave them some gum.  This is no lie, they didn't know what it was.

Here the little girl is sucking on the gum


When we first gave it to them, they sniffed it, and then put it in their mouth, foil wrapper and all.  We then showed them HOW/WHAT to do with the gum.   They would chew it, take it out of thier mouth, look at it, sniff it, chew it some more it was hillarious.


cute little kids in the house


Take another look at the inside, see the little wood or coal fired stovetop thingy to heat up meals on


These people don't require much!!!  Well, after we were satisfied we had ruined the teeth of small children in a small mexican village, we hit the road for el furte via tubarus



This is what happens to beemers when you ride them hard-they take frequent naps


Just past mesa arturo you hit a veriety of roads and there are 3 crucial turns or you come to a dead end many miles away and have to head back. Lucky for us, there was always someone close by that we could ask.  Also, there is a huge mine or 3 in the area and huge mining trucks were everywhere further down the road about 20 miles.  This was good and bad.

The good was-roads were wide.  The bad, the roads were not wide enough, the trucks turned the road into this deep talcum powder stuff the locals call pulvo(as in pulverized to dust), the roads were twisty enough you couldn't really see on coming traffic.

No pics of this as 1) we were to busy keeping the bikes right side up in the deep talc(it was like riding through deep water, you could feel the talc splash up on your pant legs as if it were water)  2) trying to pass the slow trucks through all the talc and dust  3) trying to stay on the road cause we couldn't see past are own dust from the front wheel on the tight switchbacks.

Finally out of the crappy mine area and all the talc-found the only shade around and took a break


we were a bit dirty by this time



Back on the road to tubarus



Tubarus is down there somewhere


There it is, our lunch stop


There isn't much in Tubarus and we new this ahead of time so we packed accordingly.  There was a small store here that sells water, pop, chips kinda stuff.  about 108 degrees F again today, but did much better on water management.  Found a shade tree by this old church and grave yard and set up or food stand



We asked around if anyone was hungery, but no one replied



Lunch over, back on the road


Great rodes, fast roads


Dan and I are crusing along, side by side, handle bar to handle bar.  When we came to tight turns, one of us would hang back(alternating) catch back up and fly.  Just staying out of the dust, John really appreciated us for that :lol:  So, we come around a corner, Dan pins it slides it around, I pin it and slide the back end around and stay on so I can catchback up and ding his handlebars.  All of the sudden , Dan slams on the brakes, just then I catch a tecate beer store out of the corner of my eye and in a split second make the connection - stoppy for beer!!!  I almost slide right in to Dan and his bike, but somehow save it.  Now, we were flying, 50mph to 70mph(80kph to 110kph) Johns not riding that fast, we buy beer and have it down before we hear john, we wonder out to the road and moon him as he comes around the corner - catch him so off gaurd, he sticks the bike in the deep sand on the side of the road.  Dan and I are bukleing the snakes back up when a local drives up, gives john a push out, which john was so kind to roost the shit out him :P , gets out comes over laughing his ass off and we handed him a coke while we had another beer :lol:  8)    great set of events that was, one of the most memorable

We laugh, get over it, and get moving.  But before we do, we ask how far Choix(choice) is, its our fuel stop before el fuerte.  She didn't know :shock:  :? , never been there in her life.  We were thinking less than 20 miles-and she had never been there.  Turns out it was eight miles to the pavement and 3 more to Choix.

Getting fuel at the Pemex - hot chicks fueling vehicles

This one is explaining the difference between gasolina and desiel to Dan



We aired the tires back up as it was 20 miles of high speed asphalt to El Fuerte.  when I say high speed, we were doing our usual 120kph in an 80kph zone when a little white hyudia screams buy at something like 150 kph-didn't know those things could even go that fast.  Well, that just meant game on-fastest 20 miles I think I have ever done :wink:

We get to El fuerte, find a place to stay and it has a pool! :)   Well, it had a pool cause after we checked in, we went from bikes to underwaer to pool as fast as one can,  Now the pool is more like a pond :lol:

bikes parked securely


The pool/pond


Next up the night in El Fuerte(the fort) beer, food, great street vender food :)

Title: The call
Post by: Montek on May 10, 2012, 01:24:58 AM
just got a call for more work, may be next week before I get a chance to continue :(