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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Grumpy and fellow bikers left Corpus Christi for a bike rally in Ciudad Victoria , Tamaulipas, Mexico, Friday morning, March 6th. Besides myself, Lefty, Dale and Sapo came along. In case you wonder, pictures in this post are of different sizes because they were taken by different people with different cameras. This was a stag trip. Mary made a dentist's visit to Mexico the same weekend and Sandi wasn't keen on going without Mary. Imagine that, someone would prefer getting a root canal to going to a Mexican bike rally!

This post has a lot of pictures so I hope you have a good Internet connection.


We picked up Rick on our way through Pharr. Crossing the border at Rio Bravo was slow, mostly because 6 or 8 people were in line ahead of us doing paperwork. Everybody eventually got papers and we headed on, stopping for lunch before we left Reynosa.

The ride to Ciudad Victoria is typical northern Mexico, flat, dry, long, straight roads, reasonable traffic. It's about 160 miles from Corpus to the border, then another 200 to Ciudad Victoria. Being spring, bug counts were low, at least until we pulled away from our last gas stop before arriving in Victoria. I usually ride with the visor up on my helmet because it's cooler and quieter and the windshield blocks most of the wind and bugs. However, a bee managed to find the opening in my helmet and clobbered me right on the bridge of my nose, splattering all over my face and forehead and managing to sting me thoroughly in the process. It felt like someone whacked me in the head with a stick. Needless to say, I was rather grumpy.

We arrived in Cd. Victoria about 5:00 and found our way across town to the rally. It was held in a big lot behind a defunct nightclub, the Disco Pachá, on the north side of town. We pulled in, registered ($P300, about $20), dug the stinger out of my nose, then went across the street to see how much the rooms were at the Hampton Inn. Two rooms, two nights split five ways worked out to $P700 ($50) apiece. Not bad. I know, no local color in staying there.



We went looking for supper and wound up at a taco place half a block up the street from the rally. We should've walked Afterwards, it was visiting with people at the rally till we decided to go to bed.



The mayor of Reynosa showed up on his motorcycle with a police escort and entourage and the governor of the state of Tamaulipas also came to the rally. You may be interested to know the guv rides a Triumph, a new Rocket III, and also travels with a police escort. Lefty saw him at the hotel and commented later on how good his cologne smelled. Lefty took a lot of grief over the weekend for that remark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Part II - Friday at the rally

One of the clubs on hand was Los Cuerudos (cuerudos are leather tassels), a club of 4-wheelers. They had their 4-wheelers parked at all kinds of crazy angles, up on big logs they had brought for the occasion. We visited with them and some of their booth girls and later Lefty was interviewed for a podcast they streamed from their website.





Gassing up Saturday morning, Lefty was talking to someone at the station while I was filling my tank and I looked up to see Manolo, the Mexican CMA president, standing right in front of me. He had said he would try to come to the rally, but we hadn't seen him Friday night. It was great to see him again. He had Sarai, his daughter, along with him. We went across the street to the rally, hung up our new Spanish Bike Blessing banner, got out our new air compressor, dug out our materials and got ready for business. That's Dale on the left, Lefty, Manolo, Sapo and Rick in the back.



Soon after that, it was time to line up for the ride. The ride was scheduled for 10:00, but actually didn't start until almost 11:00. The day was getting hot, so we were hunting for shade while we waited. Manolo's daughter, Saraí, came along for the ride. She rode with Dale and took pictures along the way.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Part III - Heading out on the Mountain Ride

I made a pit stop before we left and Dale caught me coming out for the now-obligatory Mexico roadtrip outhouse picture.



We were lined up near the back of the pack of 100 to 200 motorcycles. Maybe more. Who knows?





The ride took the loop around the east side of town with police stopping traffic at every intersection along the way. Saraí was taking pictures with Dale's camera as we rode. Apparently, she's also a snake handler. I'm pretty leery of getting my camera out while riding, which is why all my pictures are taken while stopped. I'll invest in a camera mount one of these days.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Part IV - Doing the Loop around Ciudad Victoria



I love this shot of Rick and Lefty's Ultra Classics.





Once around the south side of town, we headed for the mountains. The ride took us out the new road between Ciudad Victoria and San Luis Potosí, nice sweepers winding up to the summit, through a short tunnel and down the other side.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Part V - In the Mountains

Then we headed back into town on the old road. What a great road, climbing up the hairpins, then heading back down into town.



Hwy 126 is the new road. You can see the road cuts in the map view, the old road is to the north of it. Heading out of town I stayed in line, goofing along with the slower bikes while more impatient riders were passing us and moving up in the pack. Instructions were to ride two abreast and stay in line, but nobody listened.



Once we hit the old road, I thought, "Nuts to this!" and decided to move up with the quicker riders. The whole show was led by a police patrol car so things weren't going to get too far out of hand. The road was in great shape, freshly surfaced, and oncoming traffic was pulled over giving us the whole road to work with. I gave Rocinante the spurs (Rocinante is my '01 Trophy for those who haven't read the earlier trip reports) and we took off. When I checked my mirrors, Dale was hanging right with me on his Wing and Saraí firing away with the camera. Dale said he was concerned about making Saraí nervous with our pace, but she was fine. I told him she rides a 125 Aprilia 2-stroke and is probably used to taking the corners faster than we were going.

There was a huge disparity in bikes and riding abilities on the ride. Little 250cc Korean models, laboring 2-up on the uphills, people on sport bikes with absolutely no idea of what they were doing and grizzled bikers dragging their floorboards with abandon on their cruisers. I don't regard myself as a very good sportrider, but I was faster than most. All the torque of the Trophy made it a lot of fun, I could leave the bike in fourth gear and not worry about it, unless someone slowed me down in a corner.



 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Part VI - Back to the Rally



Just over the summit on the way back, a sport biker had run off the pavement on the right side, bounced over the gutter and hit the wall. When we came by, his bike was still smashed against the wall, but the biker was upright and about a dozen people had stopped. I decided to keep on going. The wreck had opened up a gap between us and the people who had been ahead of him when he went down, so we turned up the pace more. I was running behind a big cruiser, VTX I think, and a GS-model Beemer, who were both hustling down the highway. The big 180 bend near the bottom had a church tucked into the corner, making another great picture I didn't take.

We still hadn't caught the leaders when we got back into town and took the loop up the west side, however, cops were there to stop traffic as we came through so we were blowing through town at 70 miles an hour. We pulled into the rally site just behind the lead pack. I am definitely going to have to do that loop again and take some pictures along the way. That's a good candidate for videotaping the run.

Back at the rally, we ate lunch and admired the bikes, doing some bike blessings in the process. I don't think we blessed lunch enough. Both Lefty and Rick's stomachs were bothering them that night and I blame the barbacoa they were ladling out. Maybe next time, we'll pass on rally food and go buy lunch somewhere else.





 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Part VII - Saturday Afternoon at the Rally



When the fellow above rolled up for a bike blessing, I initially thought he was there to put some air in the tires. They were obviously low, so I grabbed the tire gauge, but he said, no, he wanted his bike blessed. So we did. Then we put air in his tires. Both of them had less than 15 psi, when they needed 33. That's why we keep bringing the air compressor.

We even blessed a hot dog cart, but we couldn't do much for his tire. The tube had too many holes in it.





We gave away all the bibles we brought. Lefty gave a couple to the booth girls, Carolina and Gracie.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Part VIII - Downtown Parade

Then it was time for the parade downtown, led by the governor of Tamaulipas, Eugenio Hernández Flores. According to Wikipedia, he used to be the mayor of Ciudad Victoria, which is also the state capital of Tamaulipas, so he didn't have to move very far when he got elected. He also didn't have to ride very far to get to the rally. Lefty took the opportunity to do a bike blessing for him before the parade started.

Manolo and Saraí headed out for Huatusco in the afternoon. They had been on the road several days already before coming by the rally and needed to get on home. It was sure good to see them again.



The bike parade downtown was completely different than the ride in the mountains. It was led by several police cruisers, 3 or 4 times as many motorcycles participated and there was no traffic control along the way. We were dealing with cars, cross traffic, pedestrians, etc. Downtown, the dignitaries were parking their bikes to watch the parade go by and we were stopped quite a while. Rocinante was starting to overheat (reminder to self, check the coolant level, dummy) but when we finally got moving again, the motor cooled down. There were some pretty views we saw around downtown Ciudad Victoria, but most of my attention was on the traffic around me.





 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Part IX - Saturday Evening and Packing Out

While most of us did the parade, Dale packed up our equipment at the rally. There were too many bikes there to have space for our operation and by Saturday night, everybody's there to party, not to check the air in their tires. Getting back from the parade, we pulled straight in to the hotel. Lefty went looking for a co-workers brother he had seen earlier and wound up doing bike blessings for quite a few bikes.

The two gentlemen in the picture between Lefty and Rick are the state guv and the mayor of Reynosa. Lefty was politicking to beat the band.



Later, after cleaning up and cooling down, we went looking for cabrito. When we found the restaurant, they were out, so we wound up eating parrillada instead.



In the morning it was pack up and head out. Weather coming back was wonderful, cool day, lots of cloud cover and a tail wind to boot. I'm still trying to find a gas station along that highway without pay toilets.



 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Part X - Back Home Again



At the border, crossing took an hour or so, we had lunch at Subway's, dropped off Rick, his bike and the compressor in McAllen, then rode home to Corpus Christi. All in all, it was a good trip, no, a great trip!



Several clubs at the rally were from Tampico, a large city a bit further down the coast, and they invited us to their 2nd annual bike rally, Moto Hermandad to be held the end of May. That appeals to the group so we're making plans. It looks like the rally is held right on the sea wall. If you're interested, let me know.

Until then, I'm still ... Grumpy.
 

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Hope you are no longer Grumpy as you look to have had a wonderful ride. Bee sting aside. Great pics and wonderful report...again! I appreciate your consideration for other bikers. Great stuff. Bibles, blessing, and compressed air. Too cool!
 
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