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  #1  
Old 17 Aug 2005
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pre-planning jitters

i'm a canadian currently living between mexico city and toluca. i parked my bike about a year ago as it is just too dangerous on this stretch of hiway. one of the worst in mexico if any of you are familiar. i have many years and courses under my belt, but have never done any long distance third world trips. i always feel too cautious when riding out of canada and the states. reading werner's recent post says it all. i still have the desire to head down the western coast of SA. i have driven by car as far down as nicaragua, but never by bike. before i start officially planning i must make an educated decision, if it is too much of a risk in regards to driving on a bike. there is just no respect in this area. what would i expect to find on route to southern chile. this has been a dream of mine for over 30 years and i have time and resources to potentially make it a reality. thanks for any help, suggestions and cautions. kevin


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  #2  
Old 17 Aug 2005
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Just do it! Many people have done that before you, had a very good experience and fulfilled their dream by doing such a trip! If you are careful and a bit of an optimist you will have a good time in SA.

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  #3  
Old 17 Aug 2005
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Hey - if it has been a dream to you for so many years: DO IT!!! Life is to short to wonder about the if's and why's and how's. If things don't work out once you are on the road you could always fly back home, can't you? But at least you will finally find out what's like to live your dream.

Reagarding safety we can only give you one tip: it's always useful to think for the others (even in your own country).

Cheers
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Quote:
Originally posted by bc_hombre:
i'm a canadian currently living between mexico city and toluca. i parked my bike about a year ago as it is just too dangerous on this stretch of hiway. one of the worst in mexico if any of you are familiar. i have many years and courses under my belt, but have never done any long distance third world trips. i always feel too cautious when riding out of canada and the states. reading werner's recent post says it all. i still have the desire to head down the western coast of SA. i have driven by car as far down as nicaragua, but never by bike. before i start officially planning i must make an educated decision, if it is too much of a risk in regards to driving on a bike. there is just no respect in this area. what would i expect to find on route to southern chile. this has been a dream of mine for over 30 years and i have time and resources to potentially make it a reality. thanks for any help, suggestions and cautions. kevin

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  #4  
Old 18 Aug 2005
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hello,
my advice; go, give it a try and if you still don't like it after a week, ride back. at least it's a nice two week trip.
I had my driving licence for 4 months when I rode los angeles-ushuaia and never been on a bike before.I had no prblems at all. It helps if you speak spanish, the roads are all paved, don't ride after dark and take your time.
have a good trip,
Mark
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  #5  
Old 19 Aug 2005
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just do it, doesn't cut it for me. i do not enjoy risking my life on 2 wheels as i do on highway 15 here, before i parked my bike. i appreciate the encouragement really. i miss riding to the point where i want to relocate in mexico. i realize this is a broad question, but still............are there many areas similar to d.f. where it gets pretty dangerous and should be avoided if possible? thanks
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Old 19 Aug 2005
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sorry, i can't tell you how it looks like north from chile.

But I guess there are not that many spots which are worse than mexico city anyway?!?

Marco
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  #7  
Old 19 Aug 2005
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You want to know if it too much of a risk in regards to driving a bike to South America. Relative to what?

Maybe you should ask Werner directly if he would have preferred to stay in Quebec rather than take this trip. Even though he has had some bad luck, he has travelled extensively by moto, and i am willing to bet that in one year, this trip will contain some of his best stories.

I don't know what "lack of respect" you ran into on your previous trip to Nic. Myself, and others I know personally, have had wonderful experiences along that whole stretch, including South America. "Give respect, receive respect" seems to work pretty well.

If you want to reduce your risk (other than sitting in your house all day) stay off the Panamerican, visit the small towns and small cities, travel slow, travel light. Big cities always have horrible traffic, so simply skip them.

Good luck,
Rene
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  #8  
Old 19 Aug 2005
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Just don't do it, Kevin. For someone that's been dreaming for 30 years about a ride to Ushuaia you sound rather lukewarm about the idea. Riding is dangerous; if that outweighs the benefits & enjoyment you get from it then perhaps bikes aren't for you.

Good luck,
James
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  #9  
Old 19 Aug 2005
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thanks rene, that is more what i am after. why stay of the pan american? is that possible? riding secondaries and off the beaten track is what i am looking for. time is not relavant. i don't really think most are grasping my quiery. i have been riding for 30 plus years and drag raced for 4, so it is not a question of inexperience with bikes,but rather regions. example..........every time i head into df i have too many close calls with drivers cutting in front when there is 2' to spare and slamming on their brakes, splitting lanes and forcing me off the road in my lane, someone tagged my license plate following too close, some dude threw a empty case of at me............the list goes on. however, once i leave this area, things change rapidly and mexico, for the most part, is a great place to ride. i am unfamiliar with the planned journey and driving habits of these countries. respect is something that is found usually with canadian and US roadways. less in mexico. don't know about south of here. appreciate the responses. thanks
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  #10  
Old 19 Aug 2005
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... well, big city riding can be tough anywhere in the world. I have no experience of Mexico City but sounds like they've been to the same driving school as the car and lorry drivers I managed to avoid in Buenos Aires, Santiago and Rio de Janeiro --- and who I continue to dodge in London!

Yes, there are bad drivers everywhere. And without hiding the fact that they seem to be worse, for the most part, in Argentina (say) than in the UK, that didn't dampen my enthusiasm one little bit when I was there.

I'm no mad biker with a taste for blood, especially my own. I treated other vehicles and road conditions with due respect, took no undue risks, planned ahead where I could - and loved it.

With yr experience on bikes, I have no doubt you would do the same. And the people you'll meet, the sights you'll see, the places you'll uncover... priceless.
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  #11  
Old 20 Aug 2005
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A different perspective.......

Or not.

Last edited by mollydog; 21 Mar 2009 at 22:37.
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  #12  
Old 20 Aug 2005
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bc_hombre: The Panamerican is a highway that moves cargo quickly north to south. Avoiding it at all costs was my mantra while I was there. There were very few places where travelling by secondary roads was not possible. The seconday roads, some paved, some not, offer fantastic views and wonderful cultural experiences. The traffic is ususally less, and the further you get from the Panamerican the less busy it gets. Grab good maps from anybody, and spent time looking at options.

mollydog:
My border crossings have been 99% problem free. I get hassled more getting into the US than I did anywhere in Central America.

I did not meet anybody who was suicidal while driving in Central America. Do you mean to say that they drive differently that you are used to? How odd.

Rene

[This message has been edited by Rene Cormier (edited 19 August 2005).]
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  #13  
Old 20 Aug 2005
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so don't take my word for it, just read up in this forum.

Last edited by mollydog; 21 Mar 2009 at 22:38.
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  #14  
Old 21 Aug 2005
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Hello Hombre,
There is of course no correct answer to your question. At the age of 68. I think that I've seen almost everything. I've ridden in over 120 countries (after age 60) and written 4 books about it (see books section), and yet it takes a puny old lady in a car to give you road rash. The secret is, don't get totally killed, and don't totally wreck the bike, get up, dust off and keep on going. Believe me, the absolutely worst driving in the world is in India. There I tackled a Calcutta street car, but at a much slower speed than the lady (the streetcar won). Truth is, being alive is dangerous for your health. You decide!
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  #15  
Old 24 Aug 2005
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Well, Mollydog, I guess I should write a letter to the U.S. tourism bureau explaining that I won't be riding in the U.S. because one out of every 128 people is in prison and because I will be harrassed by the speed police and "drug recognition experts" for riding at 2/3rds speed on a straight limited access highway.

I am more comfortable riding in Guatemala where 14 year olds drive better than the average American... at least they know how to hold a steering wheel and don't hit the brakes eight times a kilometer for no reason.
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