Here we go, Spring 2003 on my way down to the bottom of Batopilas canyon. I camped on a ridge overlooking the canyon at about the 19K marker along the dirt section of the road. I was ready to go down deep and in more ways than one. When you cycle camp you need to carry water and of course I had to carry out my trash. I was over loaded, camping gear, tools and of course espresso pot, coffee and stove. At this point the road was steep but good and hard packed. A few ks later I pass a grader coming up from the bottom, O crap Ive read about the grader. The road turns steeper and steeper with large fist size rocks everywhere and deep loose sand. A permanent F formed on my face as I ride the Harley down the switch backs like a dirt bike, standing on the pegs and going as slow as possible.
I did make it to the bottom of Batopilas canyon but not beyond. After spilling three times looking over 1000 plus sheer drops and almost pissing my pants I looked at my odometer, calculated that with luck and my spare one liter gas bottle I could make it back to Creel right NOW. Sooooo
. big bad dirt biker on a Harley turns around and goes back up the canyon with his tail between his legs. I was just glad the bike was still OK and able to make it back across the border to the US.
All in all this was still a great trip. I vowed to come back with a real dirt machine some time in the future.
OK its a year and a half later, my wife and I are getting ready to do a two year thing starting out with the Baja, ferrying over to mainland Mexico, Central America and then who knows. My good friend Tom who has been my main XC-ski racing partner for almost two decades now, in the past doing up to four marathon races per season together also has a bike and a burning desire to ride. We talked about doing a fall trip somewhere but in reality I thought it would be tough to put together with my big trip starting December 15. About a month ago Tom sent me a link to this Horizons Unlimited web site thats devoted to adventure motorcyclists traveling all around the world. Anyway, Horizons Unlimited was having an annual motorcycle adventure travelers meeting in Creel, Copper canyon Mexico, having how to seminars on traveling abroad on motorcycle and lots of stories from around the world adventure travelers. OK I need to go to this meeting. Am I getting help from above? I see this as a sign and say to my buddy Tom Lets do it!. He looked at me for about a nanosecond then the plan was laid. Preparation for long distance motorcycle adventure travel is a lot like preparing for a XC-ski race. We talk about what conditions we may encounter analyzing our equipment and degree of fitness then discuss scenarios to see if were missing anything or could prepare better.