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Old 11-12-09, 09:17 PM   #1
insomniac
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Looks like I'll be going through Mexico and Columbia...tips?

Hey all,
I searched on the forums for people who had traveled through Mexico and Columbia on bike but couldn't find anything, though I could be missing some threads. Anyway, I'm a little nervous going through these countries because of the crime recently. I'm not talking so much about pickpockets, but more about the drug gangs that are supposed to be 'at war' with the police. I'm sure a large part of this is just the news hyping up the situation, but I'm a little apprehensive to go through these countries by myself on bike. Anyone have any experience going through that would discuss the current situation with them? Like I said, I'm sure a lot of it is just exaggerated, but I can't make a good assessment of them with my information coming from sources that only like to report when a police helicopter is shot down with an RPG, or the soaring kidnapping rates.

So yea, what was the route you took, and what was your experience with it?
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Old 11-13-09, 10:06 AM   #2
imi
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Have you checked out crazyguyonabike.com?
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Old 11-15-09, 11:52 PM   #3
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Tim Harvey - What an incredible adventure: http://www.vancouvertovancouver.com/...06-05-20&show=

Karl Busby also crossed the Darien, but wasn't cycling - you can't actually cycle through there anyway: http://www.odysseyxxi.com/blog/
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Old 11-15-09, 11:53 PM   #4
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By the way, best advice is to NOT cross the Darien Gap!!
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Old 11-16-09, 08:42 AM   #5
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I have not ridden in Mexico or Columbia so can't help you directly but have some links that you might find useful.

This page has 9 links to information about bike touring in Mexico.

This blog is about bike touring in Columbia.

Good luck,

Ray
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Old 11-16-09, 12:22 PM   #6
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http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?..._id=1419&v=96C
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Old 11-16-09, 01:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insomniac View Post
Hey all,
.... Anyone have any experience going through that would discuss the current situation with them? Like I said, I'm sure a lot of it is just exaggerated,....So yea, what was the route you took, and what was your experience with it?

I gave Mexico/Mexicans my 'happiest people in the world' award when I finished my world cycling tour. I entered Mexico near big bend national park, went due south through the mountains, hit the coast briefly past Mazatlan, returned to the spine of the country by Peubla, and stayed in the mountains the rest of the time.

I always find the locals to be the best source of information, and in many cases, your best 'protection' as well. Certainly you are tourist dollars and $$ to them, but it goes beyond that. I think people appreciate your seeing their country on a bicycle instead of a tour bus, your own car or truck, or a train in the city. Give this goodwill a chance and I think you won't have any problems no matter where you ride (I don't go into the cities..I am talking about rural riding). The most serious problem you might have is running into the ATM Scammers. Who knows, travelers cheques might make a comeback.

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Old 11-23-09, 09:17 PM   #8
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Don't believe all those media horror stories!
Colombia is the best country to cycle in, in the WORLD! Friendliest people, cycle culture, which means you won't be knocked off the road by a car, great accommodation and nice scenery. And did I mention the friendly people and their hospitality?
Mexico is a bit more dangerous, narrow roads, drunken drivers, buses in a hurry. I think these are the things to worry about, not if a drug gang is killing a few cops in Acapulco!
Enjoy, and take the sail boat from Portobello to Cartagena, nice 5-day trip via the San Blas Islands for US$375.
Ciao from Puno, Peru,
Ali
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Old 11-24-09, 12:16 AM   #9
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Phew, sorry I'm taking so long to respond, my internet is EXTREMELY spotty. Just letting you know that I didn't disregard all your advice (but I am replying while I can).

Now on to actually reading them...
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Old 11-24-09, 12:55 AM   #10
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Listen to the advice about the Darien. From Yavisa, Panama to Colombia there is nothing but the worst of mud trails through the jungle.
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Old 11-24-09, 05:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tourdottk View Post
Don't believe all those media horror stories!
Colombia is the best country to cycle in, in the WORLD! Friendliest people, cycle culture, which means you won't be knocked off the road by a car, great accommodation and nice scenery. And did I mention the friendly people and their hospitality?
Mexico is a bit more dangerous, narrow roads, drunken drivers, buses in a hurry. I think these are the things to worry about, not if a drug gang is killing a few cops in Acapulco!
Enjoy, and take the sail boat from Portobello to Cartagena, nice 5-day trip via the San Blas Islands for US$375.
Ciao from Puno, Peru,
Ali
I couldn't agree more. We LOVED both Mexico and Colombia - and we are biking WITH OUR KIDS!!! Unlike Ali, we didn't have any trouble in Mexico at all. We cycled the east coast this time (did Baja and then north from Mazatlan a couple years ago). Every one was super nice and we had no trouble with cars at all. As for Colombia - FABULOUS! Absolutely no reason to fear at all.
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