Thirty Miles of Rough Stone Road
The day started off amazing – long smooth highways, the best roads yet. We passed miles and miles of gnarled palm trees so twisted they looked like some Dr Seuss illustration and a virtual zoo – goats, more dogs, horses, sheep and even bulls. We rode onto an incredible stretch of two lane road through the sunny Mexican desert, heading to an old-world Mexican town called Real de Catorce.
Our lead, a dealer in Mexico I now call El Jefe Loco, took the group left onto a stone road that snaked off through the brush into the distant mountains. I thought it may be a half-mile of these vibrations and concerning shimmies in the front forks. Then I saw a road sign, the last we'd see – Real de Catorce, 25 kilometers. To call this road cobblestone gives it too much credit – I was sure the Muscle, and me, were going down.
Traversing these roads was sort of a thrill and sort of concerning, especially up hill. Fifteen miles in, we arrived at a one-way tunnel, the only entry to Real de Catorce. We stopped, had a drink with the locals (Coke, yes – did you think I was riding stone roads with cerveza?) and waited our turn to go through. We hung on through the oil-slick tile roads in the tunnel carved right out of the rock without much clearance on either side.
When we emerged 2 kilometers later into the sun, it was a different world. Old Mexico before us, time travel. The 200+ year old buildings, the people – this was worth the trip. The modern looking Muscle was quite the contrast to our surroundings, eventhough by this point I was carrying much of Mexico on the bike.
We headed back, another trip through the tunnel and back down the stone roads, a little faster this time with our building confidence. Back on the blacktop, it felt like a vacation. But this ride will long last in my memory. And El Jefe Loco won’t forget it either! The gringo made it on a V-Rod!
Tomorrow we head for the border past the Sierra Madres...