Pictures: Day 14 - 18

Day 14 / Friday, October 5, 2007
Start: Guanajuato City, Guanajuato, 8:30 am
End: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, 8:30 pm
Mileage: 480

The city of Guanajuato with tunnels all through those mountains.

Going through an unexpected National Park on my way to the northern city of Monterrey.

The cliffs were very jagged and views were quite dramatic. The road was running in the valley of some narrow canyons.

The road was also very twisty and would be the last fun road to ride in Mexico for me.

Looking up at the jagged peaks.


Day 15 / Saturday, October 6, 2007
Start: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
End: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
Mileage: 0

Shopping for a new rear tire in Monterrey as my Kenda K270 was flat in some places after around 4500 miles.

The other side of the tire. I'm sure if I had been nice to the tire initially and not gone 80 mph on the highway it would've lasted the whole way back home. Look how much tread is left on those knobbies.

Checking to see if the Suzuki dealer has a tire in my size. One of the main streets in downtown Monterrey, Pino Suarez had about 3 motorcycle dealers. The Kawasaki dealer had the best selection of tires and I got a nice street-oriented tire for $70, similar to US prices.

Surprisingly we couldn't find a tire shop who wanted to change the tire for me. I could've done it, but it would've taken about 3 hours and am saving that for emergency situations. Moto Tecnica agreed to change the tire for $15.

The mechanics using proven techniques to break the bead of the old tire (using the kick stand of another bike to press down on the tire to remove it from the rim). I did the same thing when I was changing my tires at home.

I bet there's a Harley hidden in there somewhere… Note the Che sticker on the gray cabinet. These guys mentioned that they changed tires for another adventure rider who was heading for Argentina. Must be the same guy as before…

Putting the final bit of air inside after puncturing and patching my tube during the install. I hoped it would last all the way back home.

Check out this old Ural (a Russian military motorcycle based on a 1941 BMW R71 motorcycle design).

The tires were Made in the USSR. Wow, these tires are over 16 years old! I've never seen anything with a 'Made in USSR' stamp before... How cool.

The ranch house of my friend Cesar, where we relaxed and met with all of his extended family.

Reminded me of scenes from movies of old world Italian family gatherings, were the men sat at one table (drinking tequila), the women at another table and the kids on the side table. The food was fabulous; stewed lamb, pork and beef. And the Don Julio flowed like water...


Day 16 / Sunday, October 7, 2007
Start: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, 9:00 am
End: San Antonio, TX, 6:00 pm
Mileage: 346

Arriving at tricepilot (Bob's) house in San Antonio from The border crossing back into the US was a breeze. Bob was following my trip report from the road and offered his place for me to crash at on my way back home. I always enjoy meeting other motorcyclists, cause we all have the same mindset no matter which walk of like we come from.

Bob and I. Bob's an ex-Air Force Colonel and has ridden to Mexico twice before and was going again in two weeks. He's in love with the country and asked how I managed to do the trip solo.

This was my response. All I needed for my Mexico trip was the Lonely Planet guide book (which had all the hotel and town info), the Guia Roji Mexico road atlas (used in planning the next day's route), my Spanish phrase book and my GPS with the Bicimapas Mexico maps.

The phrase book was invaluable to me. I listened to Spanish language audio CDs on the way down to the border, which taught me basic pronunciation and sentence structure and when used with the details of the phrase book, I did all right. Once I even managed to tell a hotel receptionist that the shower had no hot water. I was quite impressed that I could communicate that.

My trusty Garmin GPS 60Cx, which had the new Bicimapas Mexico maps with auto routing. The maps weren't 100% accurate but it was still a good tool to have especially in the big cities.

My new rear tire that I mounted in Monterrey, it's a more street-oriented tire for the highway riding.

The remains on my number plate, which I think broke off after Batopilas, early in the trip. I rode all over Mexico with no one bothering me about it and even rode from Mexico back to Chicago with no cops hassling me about it. Number plates must be overrated...

The road rash and bruises from my low-side near Zihuatanejo on my elbow. There's no holes in my jacket, so I think this was caused by the friction as the road surface was quite rough. My jacket has foam armor in the forearm but this was the one place with no armor.

Enjoying a brew with Bob's brother, Joe.

And I arrived just in time for pizza!


Day 17 / Monday, October 8, 2007
Start: San Antonio, TX, 8:00 am
End: Little Rock, AR, 8:00 pm
Mileage: 560

Yeah, so that puncture and patch job those guys did on my tube while mounting the new tire in Monterrey… I don’t think it held up, cause the tire went flat south of Dallas. I'm pointing the opposite way because I had to find lower ground for my kick stand because it's too long if there's no air in the tire and the bike will fall over. I put Slime and pumped it back up, hoping it would hold.

Alas, the Slime was not going to help. This is the remains of the tube. It exploded in the tire and the Slime was just filling up inside the tire. I think the heat from running on the highway when the patch let go was the culprit.

Luckily I found a Suzuki dealer right by the highway who got working on replacing my tube. I was prepared to do it myself, but was on a time crunch to make it back to Chicago.


Day 18 / Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Start: Little Rock, AR, 7:30 am
End: Grayslake, IL, 9:30 pm
Mileage: 730


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