I bribed a cop...

I´m loving this trip, cause everday is a unique experience. I left Zihua at 6 this morning, hoping to make it to Teotihuacan around 3 or 4 pm to get some time to check out the pyramides.

I know you´re not supposed to ride in the dark in Mexico, especially twisties, but I lucked out this morning and had a local pickup driver as an escort through the dark. Hwy 134 from Z towards Mexico City is an absolute blast to ride. The tarmac was smooth, the curves very predictable and that time in the morning, no traffic. It was pitch black, but the pickup was keeping just the right pace for me to keep in tow with him. Had a good ride along with him up and over the mountains. hmmm, I liked that road as much as the Espinoza.

Anyways, I made good time to Tulca, city west of Mexico City and was hoping to take the freeways around the congestion and head straight to Teotihuacan. I got around to the northern part of the city and then got turned south right on a big freeway and bam, a motorcycle cop pulls me over.

It clearly wasn´t for speeding as I was sitting in the middle lane and oh yeah, forgot to mention, but I lost my bike´s number plate 3 days ago. Yeah, the rear tire was making contact with it, probably from the ride to Bato, so bent it up a bit and I think I must´ve been taking these topes (speed bumps) a little faster than suggested and all that bouncing must have whacked the plate and it broke off somewhere between Mazatlan and Sayulita. Time to get that personalized plate... Hope I dont get pulled over back in the States...

I didnt know want to do about riding around Mexico with no number plate and was just hoping that no cops would take notice. This morning at breakfast, a Federali (Federal Cop) pulls up right behind me and goes in for his breakfast, so obviously he didnt notice the missing plate. And I knew I should avoid Mexico City for the increased number of cops floating around, but what to do, there were pyramids to be seen.

So, this biker cop points to my number plate and I explain that it broke off and he nods his head. Then he says he´s pulled me over because no bikes are allowed on the auto pista into Mexico City. Huh? He pulls out his little hand book and shows me a traffic sign saying no bicycles, trucks or motorbikes allowed on the auto pista. We have to use the feeder lane. I swear I never saw a sign like that on the highway. But then again, there were no bikes on the freeway besides me. This guy first says the fine for this offence is 200 Pesos, I´m like, "not bad, I´ll pay", then he goes, No no, 200 Dollares! WTF! I try to explain that I´m a tourist, my first time here, I didnt see the sign, blah blah blah, can you just forget the offence. He keeps saying "Cash, money" I keep saying, "No Money left" I show him my 140 pesos from my jacket pocket and he smiles and tells me to put it away quickly. Ohhhhhh, looking for a little underhand kinda payment huh. I offer 100 Pesos and he says ok and points to the top case of his bike and opens it. I drop the 100 Peso note in and he waves and speeds off. My first thought was, phew, didnt want to spend $200 and then thought, what a cheap cop, he accepted a $10 bribe. Have some diginity man!

Well, thank goodness I now know how to deal with these situations. Haha, just like back home in India. Get pulled over, leave a few currency notes on the dash and bribe is accepted. A 100 Peso bribe, seriously? What would that even get him, two meals? Still shaking my head at that. So, that´s a lesson, always keep very little cash easily accessible for situations like this or while getting mugged.

I managed to ride through the madness of Mexico City and made it to Teo just at 6 pm when the site closes. Oh well, will go first thing in the morning, then off to Guanajuato.

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