Thirty Miles of Rough Stone Road

Posted  Tuesday, Aug 19, 2008 , by  Mark-Hans Richer


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...

Posted Tue, Aug 19, 7:24 PM by cliff kogelmann

Bruce put on a great show luckly I was able to see the screens, I think to many tickets were sold for this event. Sad thing was I could only buy as many tickets as I bought for the 105th event, to beable to buy tickets for the concert for 20.00 each and buy the Harley ticket box for 20.00 each set up in a tent out side each event was very disapointing, I will never buy advance tickets for these events again, I think all memebers were screwed on these ticket purchases. All evnts were over sold, in the future Harley should think about there members before the dollar. There was no reason to even be a HOG memeber during any 105th event because everyone could attend any event with a HOG card or not. Just Not Right. One disapointed HOG Member....

Posted Tue, Aug 19, 7:24 PM by Luis Perez

Hello, You found it! The long lost ghost town of Real de Catorce. It is a special place that I hope never gets discovered by the rest of the world because that would lead to the masses flocking there and its demise like a commercialized Acapulco or Cancun. For those of us who know its location we bask in all its glory of yesteryear. The quartermile tunnel is a time machine, back to the 1800s when it was a hustling mining town and mint. My family lives in Matehuala, S.L.P. the nearest major city to Real de Catorce and I rarely hear a mention to this region in the mainstream. My home is in Chicago, IL. and it was a real treat for me to stumble upon your blog depicting Real de Catorce as an adventure. I too hope to someday ride my 2007 1200 Custom Sportster to Real de Catorce and Matehuala. The fact that you did it gives me the confidence and inspiration for me to do it someday. By the way, this is the town where Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts filmed the movie The Mexican. Thanks for showing me my beloved small town in Mexico, my heart yearns to ride on those rough stone roads.

Posted Tue, Aug 19, 7:24 PM by Elias M Jimenez

I have been following the trip from Mexico City and wish I could have made the trip with all of you. If not for the experience perhaps as a translater. Where are the riders from Mexico staying? perhaps I could have the pleasure of meeting and talking to some of them. Ride safe and see you all in Milwaukee. Nos vemos pronto! 08 RoadKing

Adventure is there for those who seek it. Mark-Hans Richer (H-D CMO) is not afraid to push the envelope. As a man who has 23 years of riding under his belt, he finds the best way to make life slow down is to ride full speed ahead on his new 2009 V-Rod Muscle. The most noteworthy of his many experiences on the road took place while handling fierce hail and rain on his way through the Italian Alps.

Mike Morgan

H-D Staffer Mike Morgan is blogging the sights and sounds from the 105th.

Peter Reitzfeld

Read what Peter Reitzfeld has blogged since he left NYC.

Ken Ostermann

Rolling in from Salinas, California, check out what Ken Ostermann has blogged.

Mark-Hans Richer

Coming up from the roads of Mexico City, see what Mark-Hans Richer has blogged.