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Touring Mexico...questions

Old 12-15-05, 08:17 PM
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Touring Mexico...questions

Looking for a good bike touring company (sag supported) for a 10-14 day tour of Mexico. I am pretty open to geographic area, but would like to try Cancun/Yucatan or Puerto V. area, up or down coast. I would like to take my bike, a good mt. bike w/road tires, and would appreciate any suggestion or experiences. A sincere thanks to all who respond.
BTW, my email is jimmc100@yahoo.com if anyone needs/wants to communicate.
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Old 12-15-05, 08:45 PM
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My 2 tours in Mexico were done independently, each time with a friend. No camping. Aside from recent hurricane damage, the Caribbean coast is NOT that great for biking. It's quite built up and there's lots of traffic. However, the coast road (between Playa del Carmen & Tulum, the only part I was on) has a good wide shoulder. Cozumel was nice for a one-day ride around the island, but Cozumel was right in the eye of the storm and suffered serious damage, I've read. The ride to Coba from Tulum was pleasant. My favorite part of the Yucatan was the Pu'uc Hills region south of Merida, which is where the Uxmal Mayan site is located. It's rolling hills, some agriculture, and lots of Mayan ruins. The landscape in the Pu'uc Hills tends to be more interesting that the scrubby vegetation and flat areas found in the rest of the Mexican Yucatan. Friendly but traditional towns and villages, and widespread use of bikes by locals in that particular area. I would advise you to avoid the Yucatan in the summer due to extreme heat, humidity, & bugs. I was there in February (the dry season). It was warm but tolerably so, and virtually no bugs.

My other tour was in Michoacan & Jalisco states between Morelia and Guadalajara in January. I liked it more than the Yucatan, personally. Prettier landscape, some great colonial towns such as Morelia and Patzcuaro, plus Paricutin volcano and the lovely little national park in Uruapan.

General comments: the Mexican people are kind and warm. The culture is fascinating. The food is fantastic. The roads were pretty good in both regions, and drivers respected us. Bus service is excellent, and they readily takes bikes without any hassles. When you get away from beach resorts, there are shockingly few tourists in Mexico and prices are low. The weather is superb during the winter in most of the country.

I'm considering biking in Oaxaca & Chiapas states myself this winter, but am leaning more toward Asian destinations at this moment.
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Old 12-16-05, 10:32 AM
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Axolotl, thank you for your response. Like you, I too have had excellent experiences in Mexico. I have found a tour company that has a ride from P.V. to Colima next month. It looks good so far. Any suggestions with regards to which (if any) airlines has reasonable costs for transporting a bike? Also, what type/brand of bike carrier/box would you reccommend?
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Old 12-16-05, 11:39 AM
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I have a Bike Friday, a folder which packs into a regular suitcase, so I haven't had to deal with airlines/bike issues since my Yucatan trip many years ago. One thing I learned back then, however, was that airline bicycle rules & fees for flights between the US & Mexico, as well as US & Central America, were often different from other foreign destinations from the US. Also, some airlines have more stringent baggage rules for Latin American destinations during the Christmas period.
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Old 12-22-05, 12:59 AM
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hello,
i am leaving in january to bike down the pacific coast of mexico with some friends. we have never biked in mexico or been on the pacific coast of mexico, so i am wondering if either of you have any experience in that part of the country. also, i am somewhat confused about what kind of bike to bring. a road bike with thickly treaded tires? a mountain bike with street tires? mountain bike with mountain tires? how many spare tires? advice like that is something i have not been able to find from anyone with any experience. i hear that the roads in mexico are nice and paved, but i feel i should be prepared for gravelly dirt roads, even though i will be on paved road the majority of the time. in that case is it best to just have the thickest tires possible? is there any bad side to having thicker tires on a trip like this?
thanks a bunch if you respond. help is much appreciated.
blessings on this winter solstice! the days are getting longer, yay!
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Old 12-22-05, 08:01 AM
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I've never biked or even been to the Pacific Coast of Mexico. My biking and non-biking in Mexico has been in the interior and Yucatan. I rode a touring bike with high pressure touring tires each time, and they worked out well. My 2 bikes trips there were just 2 weeks each, so I didn't bring any spare tires. I always bring a spare tube, but I didn't have any flats either time. I was never biking in a desert area with possible thorns. I really don't know if that's a concern in some parts of northern Mexico. Perhaps someone with experience biking in Baja or the border areas of Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas would know.

I think you'd be fine with either a road or mountain bike, but if it's the latter, I wouldn't put knobby tires on it for the route you described. The roads are pretty good, and knobbies would cause too much drag.

Please post something on the forum when you're finished to let everyone know how it went.
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Old 12-26-05, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jimx200
Axolotl, thank you for your response. Like you, I too have had excellent experiences in Mexico. I have found a tour company that has a ride from P.V. to Colima next month. It looks good so far. Any suggestions with regards to which (if any) airlines has reasonable costs for transporting a bike? Also, what type/brand of bike carrier/box would you reccommend?
Any details available on this area for touring ?
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Old 01-10-06, 04:31 PM
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Hi, I'm going down that way starting in March. From what I've read, 700C tires are fine, you don't need really knobby mountain bike tires, in fact, they would probably slow you down a lot. Are you going to keep a journal? If so, let me know and I'll take a look before my trip. Good luck & have fun!
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Old 01-10-06, 04:34 PM
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oops sorry, that reply (above) was for feralcat!
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Old 01-10-06, 04:47 PM
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Chiapas and Oaxaca baby!

Be advised though that Parts of Chiapas are extremely humid as are parts of Oaxaca (Selva de la Candona Rain Forest).
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