22 February 2011

¿Adonde Va, Guero? a Spanish lesson...

20 minutos: common unit of measure used by residents of the Sierra to mean anything from 3 hours to 3 days by bicycle, foot, or car.

derecha/o:  ''to the right'' or ''to the left'' or ''straight.''  watch the gesturing closely.

¿adonde va guero?: where are you going, ye of pale complexion?

There are many roadside shrines, built out of many materials, or carved into the rock.

Learn Spanish: The yellow says ''attention please men that make the pee, raise the lid.'' The orange says ''please flush it thanks``

Tire shop.  Frequently they change oil too.  Sign is always painted on a tire.

One day to Sgo. Papa, 2 to Canatlan, 3 to Durango.

topes.  they look fake on the sign, but feel more real the faster you go.

no applying engine brake next 2 km.  i always make the ''BRAA-AAAA-AAAAh...'' noise when i read the sign.

epic shrine?  or epic desponchandora?

epic shrine.

simply awesome.

i lit the butterfly one.

expect to find direction signs nowhere near junctions.  and without any distances.


F350 meets econoline?  I`ve seen a few of these down here.

show me the candy...  Yonke = junkyard

taller = repair shop  sierra = saw.  sierra nevada = snowy saw

You can get your hair cut and bike fixed in the same place but not at the same time.

Mohawk and beard trim, with Dandi the attack dog in the background.

Noe will fix your bike.  His shop is well appointed with top quality parts.

And you can trade him your pocket knife for Avid BB7 brake pads

Comparing mohawks with Dandi.

trick: crush candy with pliers and mix with superglue.

instant, awesome shoe repair!

Tecate can stove demo for the coconos salvajes (wild turkeys) cycle club.

Noe`s shop, with some Santiago riders and the popular beer can stove.

My guide leaving town while herding cows, an up and coming local racer named Gerardo.

A successful climb out of the valley, with Sgo. Papasquiaro in the background.

mexican road kill.

Move over Axelrod, a platform of LGBT rights and scratch-made biscuits is unstoppable.

Fidel and Juanita took me into their home for some food and comfort in Canatlan.  Fidel is a electric lineman and met my friends Kurt and Kelly in the nearby mountains last year.  They got fed too :)

Keeping your lights on in Canatlan with their Ram 2500

Bridge over the river of sauce.

Scorched earth is your choice if you get tired of dodging bigrigs and buses on the highway.

I hadn't seen a lake in a while, or a tree in the middle of a lake.

Durango capital.

20 February 2011

MTB and the Santiago Papasquiaros

One day I´m riding down the highway north of Tepehuanes, and Cesar stops his van in front of me and wants to take a picture.  He gives me some cookies and tells me to check out MTB sin Limites, a bicycle shop in Santiago Papasquiaro, Durango, Mexico.  There Noe tells me he is going riding with Cesar´s brother tomorrow and has a spare bike in my size.  Conveniently, he has brake pads for my Avid BB7s (among other brand name parts!!!), which I trade my new Gerber knife for.  Also, I trade him a mini-leatherman for a sweet Smith and Wesson straight razor.  Conveniently, he´s also a barber and gives me a fresh cut (note signage in the beginning of the video).  Today we went on a sweet ride up into the mountains.  I was able to throw together a brief video of the ride from video from Noe´s camera.  Unfortunately, the computer does not like AVCHDLite, the style of my camera.  The music is what I could find on the computer. Enjoy!

Aventura Santiago: Piedras Sin Limites from trog dor on Vimeo.

17 February 2011

Dr. Poblano y el Guero del Sendero

Location:  Tepehuanes, Durango, Mexico
Nights above freezing so far: 3
Price of Farokh´s bike in Ann Arbor: 80 dollars, or 960 pesos
Price of tune-up: 100 dollars, or 1200 pesos
Cost, each way from the airline: 100 dollars, or 1200 pesos
Price of Farokh´s bike sold to la policia in Guanacevi: 750 pesos without the ergon grips (63 dollars)
All out cost if he kept the bike: 380 dollars plus another tune up
All out cost after selling bike: 217 dollars
Difference: 163 dollars and a tune-up, plus not lugging a worn out, bent up MTB back to Michigan.
Times Farokh dropped his helmet in 11 days: 10
Avg. weight of a 6-month-old pig raised in Guanacevi on alfalfa and grazing: 100 kg
Gold mining companies operating there: 3 (American, Canadian, and Japanese)
grams of silver per metric ton: 280
grams of gold: 2
tons per truckload of dirt: 20-30

Farokh met up with me in Chihuahua Ciudad and we headed for Creel.  A little bit of propina (tips, baksheesh, etc) to the hostel workers in the form of knives from Smoky Mountain Knife Works, and we were on our way.  The next 11 days took us in and out of canyons, sierra, and ranch country.  My middle 12 gears saw almost no use.  Farokh jumped head first into some rough country.  What a tough hombre! Break-neck, curving descents had our brakes cooking fajitas, and gruelling climbs had our hearts fighting out of our chests.  We found some dusty roads, hot springs, and delicious food.  Check the location page to see some roads that google maps doesnt know about. 

Getting started right away testing out the Raleigh SC-30.

Canyon country.  Climbing out of Copper Canyon was brutal.

Burros cost around 250 pesos.  Hell of a deal.  If you need a burro. (El burro es un animal muy importante en mexico)

Christmas pasta for lunch.  On sale for 1.50 pesos for 200g.  With Chile de arbol. Cooked up in Mary Jane and Lydia (my cookware)

On the road too long already.

Camping in a rock formation wonderland makes for cool shadows.

These Germans were rocking around the world.  New Zealand and Ushuaia off the list.  3.5l turbo diesel

Awesome baloney. 

Scrap prices in Guachochi  pesos per kg

why not?

little did we know, we were in for a 6000 foot descent.  mind blowing.

out of the sierra and into ranch country

sleep cab dump trucks and flatbeds are all over the place here.

Dr. Poblano and his noble steed.

Alamo Gordo = fat cottonwood

dirt road riding near la haciendita

hot springs soaking for some laundry and tan.

polvo = dust  along the rio balleza

common construction with adobe bricks and high corners.

kickin it old school.

Dr. Poblano = action superstar

Delicious!  The Dankest candy bar ever.  Bought the whole box.

big rig logger.

leaning cabin of rodents.  great view from the porch though.

soooooo beatifull.

angular cow, curvy horns

Loco por Zuko!  Still a few hundred more flavors left to try.

Yes.  I will have an entire chicken for lunch.  Pollo al carbon.

Tatanka at the end of another big day on the road.

Breathing polvo in the backcountry near la rosilla.

Cibollin, town of little onions, hot springs, and an awesome tiendita communitaria (government subsidized grocery)

straight out of the mountain.  albeit a donkey-poo covered mountain.

school´s out for winter.

government subsidized pricing on necessities.  in pesos.  where else can you be 3 days ride from town on horseback and get 2 cokes and 4 packs of cookies for 2 bucks?

morning haze as we drop out of the sierra madre again.

awesome dirt road riding beat Farokh´s bike to death.  But he still punted it for 60 bucks to a cop!

Snack break in San Pedro

awesome stickers!

ya gotta watch for these cattle guards (guarde ganados) on the downhills.

yee haw.  Dr. Poblano survives the Sierra Madre.

Guanacevi, Durango, Mexico

Full moon on the way!

Yuxtaponer = to juxtapose. Catholic church, spanish colonialism, gold fever, native languages.

Still coming down out of the mountains.  Looking towards Tepehuanes.

And a video.  I have more, but slow connections dictate careful selection :(

Next Stop Durango!!!!!!!!