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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

I may have the opportunity of a lifetime - an entire month off to ride the roads. I was considering something akin to the 4 corners, but skipping into Mexico on the Southwestern run, and tripping across Canada for a portion of the North to East traverse.

Leaving Chicago roughly mid-May, South to New Orleans via old 45 and 51 with some necessary interstate exchanges along the way. From NoLa would begin the odyssey.

Has anyone else tried traversing across the Southern US from New Orleans to San Diego via Reynosa, Monterrey, Chihuaha, Nogales? Just curious. The weather should be about right for that time of year.

Cheers, and happy holidays!
 

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Can't believe I'm going to say this.... But, I've driven and ridden hundreds of miles in Mexico and I would not recommend riding through Reynosa, Monterrey, Chihuahua and up to Nogales solo on a MC. Wife and I have driven into MX at Eagle Pass just so we could avoid Reynosa and Monterrey. You will need MX insurance, motor vehicle permit, bond posted with a credit card, Passport and temporary visa and lots of luck to avoid the danger. I'm very optimistic about safety and have never experienced any fear of any type and never have had any bad experience while traveling through MX for decades but that route your suggesting is problematic. It's the solo aspect that bothers me. It's the specific cities you've mentioned that are rife with cartel areas. They patrol the highways and create illegal check points that stop all traffic and hijack innocent drivers. Do not take any weapons of any kind. Not even a knife. No ammo, not even a stray bullet cartridge hanging on a key chain. Illegal and they will throw you under the jail. Without proper coverage of MX insurance, any incident or accident is at fault, vehicle is confiscated and fault is then determined. If found at fault, vehicle is sold for damages and you are personably responsible for the difference. Buy more coverage then necessary. I spent $200 on a policy for my truck and motorcycle for 14 days in 2011. MV permit must be returned, removed from the vehicle at the international bridge complex. They have ur credit card, so they can charge you for not returning it. The program ensures you don't take a vehicle into MX with intention of selling it. They know when you cross out of MX. The sticker is a hologram decal. Sorry to be so blunt, but I've researched driving and riding for years. I'm sure you'll be fine, but I find it necessary to give you the good, bad and ugly. In some areas, it's not a secure state. I've driven down into colonial MX hundreds of miles south of the TX border and I fill with gas on the US side, then, drive without stopping to the next gas stop which in a truck would be 300-400 miles in. On the Blvd, your hampered by having to stop every 100 miles. I know the bike will cover more than that but the areas your suggesting are desert, desert and more desert so do not try to stretch it for any reason. PEMEX is the only fuel stations as a state monopoly and are plentiful and gas is clean and priced within reason. The attendants will want to pump the gas nozzle which is part of the stations full service. Tip generously. It's a culture. Everyone will be friendly, accommodating, and point you in the right direction. The state has Green Angels. They are a roadside assistance program that travels the highways and offers assistance to everyone that needs it. On a phone that works in MX, dial 078 from anywhere and they will find you. Or just wait and they'll come along at some point. Watch out for "topes". Speed bumps in Spanish. Will pop up just about anywhere and everywhere. They will be positioned at the entrance and exit of every community. They can be large, wide and abrut. It's how they control speed. Very little use of traffic signals in small cities. They love roundabouts and speed bumps. Policia is limited and don't necessarily stop you for traffic violations, but it does happen at times. Be polite and do what they say. Don't offer a bribe of any kind. They may ask you pay the fine on the highway, try not to. Follow them to the court station and ask to pay there.... Dont let them take your drivers license in lieu of paying. I can go on and on. It should be a great trip. From Reynosa to Monterrey will be a toll road. Use it... Take it. You can opt out but the federales patrol the toll road and its safer. Expensive and they take credit cards or pesos (no US currency) and safer. I'm not aware of a toll to Chihuahua but they may have built one since I last went through. I can't stress this next one more than I can... Under no circumstances ride at night!!! Truck traffic is high, zero lighting in the deserts, and the number one danger is loose livestock. The cool nights bring out cattle, horses, etc to the heat of the asphalt road. With your route of almost 1100 miles through MX, it would take 2-3 days to include check point delays and acquiring proper paperwork. If your bike is financed, the loan company should be notified that you intend to take the bike out of country. They may or may not agree. There is a standard letter of request that should be shown to MX authorities if asked.
 
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Wow.... Having read the above, I'd just stay within the US and Canada. There are plenty of roads to fill a month of riding. I'd leave Mexico to the Mexicans and all others braver than I.
 

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Wow.... Having read the above, I'd just stay within the US and Canada. There are plenty of roads to fill a month of riding. I'd leave Mexico to the Mexicans and all others braver than I.
As you know Schmiddy, I would suggest taking old highway 90 out of NO which will get you most of the way to El Paso. Portions of it will connect with IH 10 in Louisiana and west TX. Experience the old road at a pace that allows you to enjoy the small towns and historical stops. Cruise through San Antonio and take in the downtown RiverWalk. Just like Mexico with the historic Alamo. Then continue out 90 to the Big Bend region. Big Bend National Park is excellent to ride. Desolate, stark, beautiful and great MC riding. You can cross the Rio Grande into MX at the recently reopened Bouquillas bridge located inside the park. It is an old rope ferry crossing. Experience the village of Bouquillas to say you did Mexico. Then off to the west again to Terlingua, Lajitas. The river road FM170 along the Rio Grande from Lajitas to Presidio is on the list of Best MC roads in America. Visit Alpine, Marfa, McDonald Observatory, Fort Davis, etc. Old 90 out to El Paso runs along IH10 out beyond BB at Van Horn, TX.
 

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enjoy the trip however you do it...30 days of free riding is still 30 days of free riding. have fun planning.
 

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Sounds likesa ggreat opportunity . Where ever you go I'm sure you will make the best of it. I'm so jealous cause I would have to take all my vacations at once to have a chance like you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hmmmm - I wasn't aware of the added insurance required to ride in and out of Mexico. . .I haven't done that in almost 40 years. Also didn't realize the hazards. . .Perhaps I'll forgoe that leg of the Southern traverse. Thanks for the travelogue, uncertain yet if I'm going to be able to do this or not but I'm going to try before I get too old and brittle, heheheh.
 

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Hmmmm - I wasn't aware of the added insurance required to ride in and out of Mexico. . .I haven't done that in almost 40 years. Also didn't realize the hazards. . .Perhaps I'll forgoe that leg of the Southern traverse. Thanks for the travelogue, uncertain yet if I'm going to be able to do this or not but I'm going to try before I get too old and brittle, heheheh.
It's exciting to plan an journey like this whenever you get to take off. Wife and rode Pacific Coast Highway a year ago for 9 days. LA to SF and back to LA. If you get out that way, don't miss it. One of worlds best MC roads. Weve ridden Sedona AZ, Santa Fe NM, across the Continental Divide several times in CO, A1A Miami to Key West, FL. These areas should be on everyone's list for best rides. Good luck and hope you get to ride.

PCH- west coast
FM170- TX
89A- AZ
US550- CO
State 17- CA
33- CA (Ojai)
A1A- FL
 

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RV has provide you some very accurate advice, it would be wise to follow it.
 
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I suggest you also try to plan a route through Oregon, Wyoming and South Dakota on your way back
 
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First,

Ride the slab to Nashville (the last slab you'll see on my ride.) and then ride the Natchez Trace parkway to SOuthern Louisiana, Ride over pncatrain to NO. Then take side roads to Amarillo Texas. From there (after steak at the Big Texan) ride from amarillo to San Bernadino; all the old route of route 66 is marked from there, don't spend a minute on the slab. Old 66 through the painted desert is a religous experience. From San Bernadino, hop on Highway 1 and ride it to the terminus... or Beyond. Take a diagonal route through montana and hop on the Lincoln Highway in Denver and ride it, all the way, back to Chicago. 5 historic, ride of a lifetime roads, rustic lodgings and tent camping. THE ride. Don't plan. Just get on the bike and go.

Ride America
 

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First,

Ride the slab to Nashville (the last slab you'll see on my ride.) and then ride the Natchez Trace parkway to SOuthern Louisiana, Ride over pncatrain to NO. Then take side roads to Amarillo Texas. From there (after steak at the Big Texan) ride from amarillo to San Bernadino; all the old route of route 66 is marked from there, don't spend a minute on the slab. Old 66 through the painted desert is a religous experience. From San Bernadino, hop on Highway 1 and ride it to the terminus... or Beyond. Take a diagonal route through montana and hop on the Lincoln Highway in Denver and ride it, all the way, back to Chicago. 5 historic, ride of a lifetime roads, rustic lodgings and tent camping. THE ride. Don't plan. Just get on the bike and go.

Ride America
After a steak at Big Texan, you'll have to nap first before heading west again. Lol. Agree about rte 66. Get a copy of the song "Get your kicks on 66" and follow it from Amarilio, ALBQ, Gallup, Flagstaff, Kingman, Barstow and San Berdo....
 

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As you know Schmiddy, I would suggest taking old highway 90 out of NO which will get you most of the way to El Paso. Portions of it will connect with IH 10 in Louisiana and west TX. Experience the old road at a pace that allows you to enjoy the small towns and historical stops.
I agree that Hwy 90 is a great ride. I live right off of 90 and enjoy riding from the N.O. area West to Lafayette and back frequently.
 

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You should swing east a bit after leaving Chicago and hit some of the great roads along the Apalachian ridge in WV, TN and NC. Some of the best bike roads in the country including the "Snake" (Hwy 421), the "Dragon" (Hwy 129) and the Cherahola Skyway. OH, can you can hit a good portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway on your way back towards Louisiana.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've done portions of old Route 66 in a car, twice. One time from Champaign, IL to San Diego, CA. The other from Springfield, IL to Tulsa, OK. Both when I was much younger. I appreciate your suggestions and believe I'll forgo Old Mexico. I had planned to follow CA's coastal highway up towards Seattle, I have family along that route, but was going to deviate from the traditional "4 Corners Ride" by heading to Vancouver, and then Calgary and points east from there, ending up eventually in Montreal then back into the US. Or possibly Toronto. Either way hitting the eastern seaboard via Bangor or Boston. Then trundling south - I have old friends that now live in the Carolina's that I'd drop in on for a few days. The issue is even late May that far north can get inclement. Timing. It all comes down to timing, and pocketbook. ~S~
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Merry Christmas to all this holiday season. . . and it appears I may not be able to make the journey I had hoped for. But a different sort of journey could be in the offing. I may be moving. Life is full of surprises.

~ S ~
 

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I had planned on a Four Corners ride this summer but my back surgery and recovery is using up a lot of leave time. Still, when I do, there are some great suggestions on here that make me want to head out. Thanks to everyone for their route suggestions.
 
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