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June 11th, 2012 | Mexico

More Media in Mazatlan…!!

I had originally planned to make a big ride from Mazatlan to Hermosillo, but when I explained my plan to Paulo and Ismael, they first looked at each other and then peered closely at me to see if I was kidding or not…!!

“It is possible….”Paulo said at last, “but only for the very crazy…!! It is almost 900 km, and will take maybe twelve hours…”

“The “very crazy”, huh…!!” I said laughing, and then explained that I had made more than two dozen rides that covered 900 km and more, including one across the Western Desert In Libya…

Ismael’s Harley, his pride and joy, complete with “ape-hanger” handlebars… Try riding this for a few hundred kilometres in a single day…!!

They explained that up north I would be riding in temperatures hotter than any I had experienced in Mexico before this, and would be crossing into the Sonora Desert, a dry and seemingly inhospitable place…

I had long ago come to realise that for guys who rode Harley’s, any distance over 400 km was seen to be “huge” and with good reason, I guess…!! I don’t think I would be able to make the long rides I often do, on one of their machines… Darn things tend to make mincemeat of your kidneys for one thing…!!

Breakfast with the media… The local newspaper was keen to hear why I was in Mazatlan, and welcomed me to their city….

“It would be better for you to cut your ride in half and ride to Los Mochis, where the Baja Bikers will be waiting for you…!!” said Ismael… “And besides, to make a long ride like you were planning, you would have to leave at 6.00 am, and we have arranged for you to meet the local newspaper guys tomorrow morning…!! They want an interview…!!”

Strike the pose…!! Last photo-shoot before leaving Mazatlan….

After the kindness with which the Mazatlan Bikers had treated me, I could hardly refuse, so I changed my plans and resigned myself to having to ride seven days on the trot to get to Phoenix…

The following morning, Ismael and I took another ride around town before heading back to the hotel where the press contingent awaited me…

Paulo joined us for a late breakfast and while we ate, the reporters asked their questions and the photographer snapped away like there was no tomorrow…!!

The Mazatlan Combebe or rally attracts a huge number of bikers each year, and last year topped 17 000 bikes and many more thousands of enthusiasts from all over the Americas…

It is organised by Paulo and his committee, and brings millions of dollars to the local economy, so it was easy to see why the tourist offices here are eager to promote any event that has anything to do with bikes, bikers and biking…!!

The State Governor is usually an honoured guest, and rides at the head of a massive parade of bikers, which wind their ear-splitting way along the beachfront and through the city, taking the better part of a full day to be complete…!!

Ismael, the club Secretary, and Paulo it’s President, pose for a photo with me outside my hotel…

After the interview, I followed Ismael to their offices in town, where I was presented with the clubs official t-shirt and badges to go with it…!! Over the past few days I had added six t-shirts to my already bulging bag of clothes and began to wonder where I put any more I might receive…!!

We rode out to the edge of the city together, Ismael leading the way… At the intersection of the toll-road and the “Libre” we stopped to say our final goodbyes… Once again I thanked the guys from Moto Club Mazatlan for hosting me, and wished them well in all their future endeavours…

As I rode off towards my next destination and yet another gang of bikers, I smiled at the good fortune that had overtaken me in the past week… And it was all down to a chance encounter with my Mexican Amigo, Roberto, in Punta Arenas, now almost 20 000 km away…!!

The enthusiastic and exuberant Ismael Lopez, leads me out to the edge of Mazatlan…

I looked in my mirrors and saw Ismael still sitting his Harley, staring after me… Had he been able, I knew he would be riding north with me all the way to Alaska… I had seen the faraway look in his eyes when I described my route, and advised him to ride Mexico flat first, before crossing any borders…

There was so much to see in his own country, and he still had age on his side… The long rides would always be there waiting for him…

©GBWT 2012

1 comment to More Media in Mazatlan…!!

  • Mark Behr

    I continue to be astounded and humbled by the incredible hospitality you have been shown in Mexico. Enjoy the rest of your time there.

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