Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Cycling in Mexico

I hope the downhill isn't that steep (photo courtesy of Ginger Ninjas)

Continuing the theme of warm weather touring, our southern neighbor of Mexico fits the bill. According to the Ginger Ninjas, all their friends wanted to know if it was safe to bike in Mexico. They reported that they didn't really have any problems, although they were stopped by cops a few times and police cars sometimes followed them for a while (Turned out they were just protecting them from other vehicles). One thing they caution against is riding at night. Enforcement of drunk driving laws are apparently pretty lax, and 90 percent of Mexico's highway accidents occur at night. The folks over at World Biking reported that their bags were searched three times by police officers, but they were always "friendly and professional." There is a drug war going on in Mexico.

The Ginger Ninjas said they generally took the secondary highways when they were available, where they encountered less traffic. They have a map of their route, which ran from Oakland, California to Mexico's border with Guatemala. Their recommendation is to not count on the locals for good directions or information about the steepness of hills. They went south through the Baja Peninsula and then took a ferry over to the mainland. At World Biking they said their expenses averaged only $7.50 per day in Mexico (This info dates to 2010), and that included 5 days in hotels. The rest of the time they camped, stayed at churches, or spent the night in private homes.

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