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Thread: Road tours in Mexico

  1. #16
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    Well, punching in Phoenix or Houston on the site below and using pinch-zoom to see the entire metro area doesn't leave me reassured that either is markedly safer than MX or any number of other countries. And that's just two metropolitan areas here in the US:
    https://www.thetrace.org/2015/12/gun...tive-map-2015/

    There isn't much room for those of us in the US to point fingers at other countries on a number of subjects; this is likely one of them. Like Mexico, ours is a country of multiple states and metropolitan areas and one needs to be cautious about travel in certain areas. I'd expect few people from this venue would really be naive about travel in MX but would be more likely to base their travel decisions upon a combination of first-hand experience, in-country contacts and references, and relevant State Department data. Although, given the current state of affairs in that agency I'd be cross-checking their advice against in-country resources.

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  2. #17

    If you don't like it there, don't go.

    https://www.gob.mx/cofepris/prensa/c...teger-la-salud

    This is the official Mexican report -- not printed in the USA. Basically a female tourist overindulged and died of alcohol. Her family pressed charges and government officials with financial interests in rival alcohol distributors jump in and escalated the issue. Yes, corruption in Mexico is common. The US news media followed suit and published without conducting their own investigation -- a very common practice for news anywhere.

    Most experts on the problems in Mexico haven't been there in years and haven't experienced any problems of their own. These experts are addicted to the negative news and use that as their only source.

    A rough translation follows.

    COFEPRIS and SECTUR carry out joint actions in Quintana Roo to protect the health of tourists

    Joint communiqué COFEPRIS-SECTUR - The health authority carried out a special operation that included 31 verification visits in shops in Playa del Carmen and Cancún. Activity was suspended in two establishments and 344 liters of alcohol was secured in inadequate sanitary conditions. The objective of the joint work: to ensure the health and integrity of the population and tourists in this important destination. Sectur and Cofepris signed a specific permanent health check in Quintana Roo, in a first stage, in order to replicate it in all tourist destinations in the country.

  3. #18
    "I'll take Phoenix.

    Passing off Mexico (right now) as safe is going to get a naïve person killed - sooner than later."


    I have been going to Mexico for 36 years. Never less than twice a year and often 6 times a year. With the dangers you are apparently aware of I would expect to see at least 2 million bodies piled along the side of the road. (10% of the 20 million Americans that go there every year). I don't know how I missed them. I guess I must be naive.

    I do admit that drug cartels kill rival cartel members. Drug cartel members do kill Federales that give them grief also. I am neither. I don't look or act like I am. Actually riding a BMW comes across with much less impact than a leathered up highly tattooed member of a large group.

    Mexico was named the best international destination for family Travvy Awards earlier this year, while Puerto Vallarta was named the second-best international destination. Per Fox News http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2017/0...in-2016.htmlat the 2017

    Per USAToday Quintana Roo state, where Cancun is located, recorded 133 murders

    Per AZCentral News in Phoenix To date, 262 deaths in Maricopa County in 2016 have been classified as homicides.

    Believe what you hear and just don't go.

  4. #19
    So I need to decide whether I believe the State Department warnings or the postings of some guys on some forum on the internet. For decades the biggest problems with Mexico have revolved around the fact that local law enforcement is corrupt. That, and the fact that we in the US have an insatiable appetite for Mexican and Columbian drugs. Thus, now their primary crime fighters are the Mexican version of our Navy Seals. We have similar problems among certain bubba Sheriffs in Louisiana too I suppose, but we haven't sent in the Navy as primary law enforcement yet.

    And yes indeed we have dangerous cities (actually some dangerous places in most cities) too. But I won't go there either. I agree the Mexican countryside is beautiful and most Mexican people are wonderful. And those US citizens who live there and those who travel there often and know the language and their way around can avoid most really dangerous situations. If they don't get caught in the crossfire.

    But I don't know my way around, don't speak the language, wouldn't know the difference between a simple farmer and a cartel grower, and couldn't tell the rare honest cop from the dude in the pockets of the cartels. Not to mention the 18 year old children with fully automatic weapons in a Jeep, under a tree, 25 miles south of the border.

    So if you like it, go have fun. If not you can always get your thrills in Baltimore, St. Louis, or south Chicago I suppose.

    p.s. I live 30 miles from the border and do go to selected places in northern Mexico a few times a year.
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  5. #20
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    Some of the stories in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel might show how some opinions are formed. Stories like these were also on the television news. https://www.google.com/search?q=json...utf-8&oe=utf-8
    Last edited by franko; 09-25-2017 at 12:42 AM.

  6. #21
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    Any bike would be OK

    Quote Originally Posted by skibumwi View Post
    Definitely find a guide, my experience with Mexican roads tells me a road bike like my RT would NOT be a good fit. Besides the poor quality of the roads they seem to place speed bumps in the middle of the highways far to often.

    YMMV,
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    Unless you are going off road. I've ridden RS's and /5's all over Mexico. Roads are no worse than in the U.S. except for the occasional speed bump and speeding buses.
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  7. #22
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Unless you've had one's head in the sand for the past several weeks, the horrific behavior of TripAdvisor as it relates to withholding criminal incident reporting from Mexican resorts, should be a massive red flag to spending time riding around in that country at the present time.

    What gets me 'shaking my head' in disgust is when advice is dispensed to ignore all the warning signs and official alerts, and ".....travel Mexico, because I've been doing it for years and nothing bad ever happened to me...............yet."

    Plenty to see here in North America, north of the Rio Grande.
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  8. #23
    Registered User crucian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    You're keeping up with the news, right?
    Where, in Wisconsin? Scary....

  9. #24
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by franko View Post
    Some of the stories in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel might show how some opinions are formed. Stories like these were also on the television news. https://www.google.com/search?q=json...utf-8&oe=utf-8
    Interestingly, the homicide rate in the city neighboring the Mar-a-lago club is as high or higher than that of Chicago or, worse yet, Milwaukee. But, how often do we hear of that crime capital?
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    Interestingly, the homicide rate in the city neighboring the Mar-a-lago club is as high or higher than that of Chicago or, worse yet, Milwaukee. But, how often do we hear of that crime capital?
    The problem with always trying to "level the playing field" by using only homicide rates is to ignore the many other crimes that are rampant in Mexico right now. Comparing the number of autos on the road doesn't even warrant a rebuttal.

    US citizens are subjected to rape, sexual assaults, theft, criminal assaults, suspicious deaths (usually drownings), kidnapping ...... to mention some, and not just in the boonies, but at high-level resorts as well. Homicides are also occurring, but that alone isn't an accurate barometer of "Should I ride around in Mexico right now?"

    Telling someone who has concerns to "Come on down. This expatriate has been here for years and nothing bad has happened to me yet" is akin to George Carlin's famous line of "I'm planning on living forever........so far so good."
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  11. #26
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    It is unfortunate and I always hope I'm wrong but it seems that at the core of paranoia regarding places like Mexico is a deep seeded attitude toward people with brown skin. My skin is white like the vast majority of members here but I live in a place that is 90% non-white. Skin color is NOT the determining factor for good or bad behavior. There are good people and there are rotten people among all ethnicities. Lucky for all of us, the good outnumber the rotten by a vast majority.

    It is just plain wrong to sit somewhere far removed from a neighboring country with little or no personal experience and condemn an entire society as unsafe, at best. Here, just like in Mexico, one makes personal choices that affect their safety and welfare. Based on my decades of experience, I might suggest that not associating with the drug trade is a good idea and not wandering around intoxicated dragging your Rolex watch at 2:00AM in the vicinity of brothels and bars is another real good idea.

    It is possible to be hit by lightening but to never go outdoors to avoid the possibility is a dubious strategy.

  12. #27
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crucian View Post
    It is unfortunate and I always hope I'm wrong but it seems that at the core of paranoia regarding places like Mexico is a deep seeded attitude toward people with brown skin. My skin is white like the vast majority of members here but I live in a place that is 90% non-white. Skin color is NOT the determining factor for good or bad behavior. There are good people and there are rotten people among all ethnicities. Lucky for all of us, the good outnumber the rotten by a vast majority.

    It is just plain wrong to sit somewhere far removed from a neighboring country with little or no personal experience and condemn an entire society as unsafe, at best. Here, just like in Mexico, one makes personal choices that affect their safety and welfare. Based on my decades of experience, I might suggest that not associating with the drug trade is a good idea and not wandering around intoxicated dragging your Rolex watch at 2:00AM in the vicinity of brothels and bars is another real good idea.

    It is possible to be hit by lightening but to never go outdoors to avoid the possibility is a dubious strategy.
    As someone who counts Hispanics among some of my best friends and former co-workers (a nod to my old department buddy, Chad Ramos), work closely with an Hispanic boss at Road America (Enrique Ramirez), have visited Mexico myself, and speak Spanish, skin color has nothing to do with any red flags I raised.

    Mexico's reputation fermented in corrupt government, military and police forces, drug trade everywhere you go, poverty, pollution, a crime rate (NOT just homicides) off the charts, and note that most victims were neither incapacitated nor slumming it - often they were staying at high-end resorts when attacked or drugged.

    I swam/dove among Great Whites in Long Beach harbor for my Tactical Combat Diver certification in 1999. High-risk behavior - wouldn't do it again. But wait - because nothing bad happened to me, I should recommend it to one and all?!

    To pretend that riding around in Mexico is safe as a favor to their 'image' is a disservice to those seeking objective advice.
    Last edited by greenwald; 11-26-2017 at 01:36 PM.
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  13. #28
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    How many of the people commenting on this thread have substantial personal experience living or riding in Mexico?

    I have lived in Mexico for 10 years and in that time have traveled, walked, ridden, driven or hitchhiked in about half of the Mexican states, including spending lots of time on back roads in rural areas.

    Certainly, there are dangers in Mexico, but reading the newspaper and writing off the whole country, may be satisfying, but it is misleading. Mostly Mexico is just different than the US with different things to be careful about. As just one example, I gave up hitchhiking in the US about 40 years ago. No one will pick you up anymore and I would be suspicious of anyone who would. In rural Mexico, many people have no cars, and those that do are used to giving rides to strangers. Bumming rides is a functional way to get around on back roads. Generally, the first vehicle to come along will be a pickup that will stop and let you climb in the back.
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  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWaterCooled View Post
    How many of the people commenting on this thread have substantial personal experience living or riding in Mexico?

    I have lived in Mexico for 10 years and in that time have traveled, walked, ridden, driven or hitchhiked in about half of the Mexican states, including spending lots of time on back roads in rural areas.

    Certainly, there are dangers in Mexico, but reading the newspaper and writing off the whole country, may be satisfying, but it is misleading. Mostly Mexico is just different than the US with different things to be careful about. As just one example, I gave up hitchhiking in the US about 40 years ago. No one will pick you up anymore and I would be suspicious of anyone who would. In rural Mexico, many people have no cars, and those that do are used to giving rides to strangers. Bumming rides is a functional way to get around on back roads. Generally, the first vehicle to come along will be a pickup that will stop and let you climb in the back.

    .....and hope that the pick-up driver isn't on the 'outs' with the local drug cartel, and you're on-board when it get ambushed. Unlikely scenario? I'd give it 6 weeks (8 tops) before at least one such incident occurs somewhere in Mexico. Sad.

    You should work for TripAdvisor!

    Hey - we get it that you're passionate about living down there (my son was even shortly engaged to 'Norma,' whose family was from Guadalajara), but you can't disqualify others just because they haven't logged time in your neck of the woods (or mountains or high desert).

    I've spent zero time in a Turkish prison, but have confidence in my judgement I do not wish to ......... ever.

    There are many who have not endured Wisconsin winters, yet think us nuts for hanging out here year after year. Their opinion is just as valid.

    May you never have a sad tale to tell, and all your miles be smooth.
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  15. #30
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    Good Jesus, fix it buddy.

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