Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Cycling Mexico

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Cycling Mexico

Old 11-25-14, 04:00 PM
  #1  
gdlerner
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ludwigshafen
Posts: 478

Bikes: Pocket Llama

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Cycling Mexico

Hi folks
I am planning to cycle from Cancun to Mexico city.Is there anyone cycling at the moment in Mexico and can tell me about the security situation ?
Thanks
gdlerner is offline  
Old 11-25-14, 04:16 PM
  #2  
axolotl
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,880
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 37 Posts
Mexico is a big country made up of 31 states plus the federal district, and the security situation varies enormously from state to state. I've biked in the Yucatan peninsula and Chiapas, and they are generally quite safe. So are the states of Oaxaca and Puebla insofar as cartel problems are concerned. I traveled in both of those states 2 years ago, but not by bike. Among states near Mexico City, Guerrero and Morelos have significant security problems.
axolotl is offline  
Old 11-25-14, 04:31 PM
  #3  
gdlerner
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ludwigshafen
Posts: 478

Bikes: Pocket Llama

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I also travelled by bike in Yucatan 9 years ago,but now the situation is different,I am thinking to get maybe to Puebla and from there.a.bus to Mexico city,but I know some.Mexicans in Germany and they told me.that is very dangerous at the moment so really.dont know.what to do maybe cancell everything
gdlerner is offline  
Old 11-25-14, 04:47 PM
  #4  
Davet
Licensed Bike Geek
 
Davet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Los Barriles, Baja Sur, Mexico
Posts: 1,329

Bikes: Look 585, Kirk Terraplane, Serotta Ottrott, Spectrum Super Custom, Hampsten Carbon Leger Tournesol

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 32 Posts
At the moment there's a bit of internal political unrest in Mexico but not directed at Gringos, but still it's unrest. Mexico City is the centre of this and it's also manifested in other areas at the moment. What little violence that has occurred has been towards the national political figures and some local (city/state) too. I can't speak to the cartel problem as that's extremely rare where I am.

While I don't feel uneasy living here, I'm not sure how I would feel if I were alone on a bicycle. Mexico is very large, the people very friendly and accommodating.
Davet is offline  
Old 11-25-14, 06:23 PM
  #5  
mobile_simon
Senior Member
 
mobile_simon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
There is a steady stream of touring cyclists going down through Mexico. They mostly go down the Baja, take the ferry, and head to Cancun. Stealth camping is a horrible idea in Mexico, people are everywhere and they will notice you.

I personally wouldn't attempt it, but many do it without a problem.
mobile_simon is offline  
Old 11-25-14, 08:34 PM
  #6  
pataspen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 105
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by gdlerner View Post
Hi folks
I am planning to cycle from Cancun to Mexico city.Is there anyone cycling at the moment in Mexico and can tell me about the security situation ?
Thanks
Admittedly a small sample size, but last year I spent 6 days in Mexico pedaling from Tijuana to Colorado. Tijuana, Tecate and Mexicali along the border, then south to Puerto Penasco and north to Sonoyta before heading home.

I stayed in hotels along the border, but did stealth camp on the way to the Sea of Cortez. I had zero problems. As my wise Dad told me "the cartels aren't concerned with guys on bikes".

I played guitar with a Mariachi band in Tecate, got a tour of Mexicali by a local and was introduced to the cycling club in Mexicali. All in all an incredible experience. Maybe I was lucky, but I won't hesitate to ride in Mexico again.
pataspen is offline  
Old 11-25-14, 09:22 PM
  #7  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 25,350

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r

Mentioned: 105 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3877 Post(s)
Liked 1,068 Times in 747 Posts
sounds like a great adventure, be careful

Last edited by rumrunn6; 12-21-14 at 09:28 AM.
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 11-26-14, 07:48 AM
  #8  
gdlerner
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ludwigshafen
Posts: 478

Bikes: Pocket Llama

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I will ride and I will avoid Oaxaca and Chiapas and probably will ride only until Puebla and from there a bus to DF
gdlerner is offline  
Old 11-26-14, 09:50 AM
  #9  
Cyclesafe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,435

Bikes: IF steel deluxe 29er tourer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I live in San Diego. Nobody I know who lives here would EVER consider crossing the border to ride their bike.

Nevertheless, there is a constant stream of (usually European) cycle tourists southbound on Pacific Coast Highway who know better.

I think that if you have the "homeless on a bike" look, you'll fit in better with the locals down there who do not ride bikes just because they want too. Speaking Spanish would kinda help too. The typical bright colored spandex wearing middle aged cycle tourist might as well have a sign on their back saying (in espanol of course) "ROB ME".
Cyclesafe is offline  
Old 11-26-14, 12:28 PM
  #10  
axolotl
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,880
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 37 Posts
Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
The typical bright colored spandex wearing middle aged cycle tourist might as well have a sign on their back saying (in espanol of course) "ROB ME".
I presume that you've never toured in Mexico, and that would explain your utterly erroneous image of the country, its people, and what touring in Mexico is actually like.

Anytime somebody posts a query here about touring in Mexico, people who haven't actually toured in Mexico come out of the woodwork to express their own irrational fears. There is plenty of information available about which parts of Mexico are best avoided. Most of Mexico between the Yucatan and Mexico City is fairly safe or very safe.
axolotl is offline  
Old 11-26-14, 12:41 PM
  #11  
jkruys
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
Anytime somebody posts a query here about touring in Mexico, people who haven't actually toured in Mexico come out of the woodwork to express their own irrational fears.
Amen to that. To the original poster, and anyone else, just go to crazyguyonabike.com and check out how many cyclists are touring there at any given time without issues. Obviously though, keep your ear to the ground about local potential dangers while you're there.

However this irrational fear is not limited to United Statesians about Mexico... just mention to any Mexican that you are riding to Guatemala, and you will hear similar advice not to go there. Or tell a Guatemalan that you're heading to El Salvador... and so on.
jkruys is offline  
Old 11-26-14, 09:20 PM
  #12  
Chris Pringle
Senior Member
 
Chris Pringle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: The Pearl of the Pacific, Mexico
Posts: 1,304

Bikes: '12 Rodriguez UTB Custom, '83 Miyata 610, '83 Nishiki Century Mixte (Work of Art), '06 Specialized Epic Marathon MTB

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
I live in San Diego. Nobody I know who lives here would EVER consider crossing the border to ride their bike.

Nevertheless, there is a constant stream of (usually European) cycle tourists southbound on Pacific Coast Highway who know better.

I think that if you have the "homeless on a bike" look, you'll fit in better with the locals down there who do not ride bikes just because they want too. Speaking Spanish would kinda help too. The typical bright colored spandex wearing middle aged cycle tourist might as well have a sign on their back saying (in espanol of course) "ROB ME".
Take the advice above with a grain of salt. Actually, hundreds of Americans cross the border twice a year from the U.S. to Tijuana for the Rosarito-Ensenada bike ride. But there are always xenophobic people everywhere who will tell you a bunch of crap to scare you away.

No one is going to rob you in Mexico whether you wear spandex or not. People here are used to seeing cyclists even in the smallest of towns. I wear spandex every single time I bike. I have NEVER had a problem.

gdlerner: I am not familiar with biking from the Yucatan Peninsula to Mexico City. Your plan of stopping short of entering Mexico City is a good one, mainly due to the heavy traffic. I would reconsider not biking in Chiapas or Oaxaca. Everyone here tells me those are some the most interesting states in Mexico.

Last edited by Chris Pringle; 11-26-14 at 09:27 PM.
Chris Pringle is offline  
Old 11-27-14, 08:33 AM
  #13  
axolotl
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,880
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 37 Posts
Originally Posted by gdlerner View Post
I will ride and I will avoid Oaxaca and Chiapas and probably will ride only until Puebla and from there a bus to DF
I agree with Chris Pringle about reconsidering Oaxaca & Chiapas. I have biked in Chiapas. The highlands are indeed challenging and the roads there aren't always great, but it's an interesting region and is quite safe. As for Oaxaca, it's my favorite state in Mexico. Culturally, it's fascinating. It's also quite safe.

From a topographic and distance standpoint, I can understand why you might want to stay closer to the Gulf of Mexico and avoid Chiapas and Oaxaca. However, it's usually very easy to put your bike on Mexican buses, so you might want to consider using the bus network to get to and from more interesting parts of the country.
axolotl is offline  
Old 12-14-14, 03:40 PM
  #14  
kpasa1
Ride Ride Ride
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: The World
Posts: 13

Bikes: Cannondale T1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
March - 2014 I rode from Cancun to Merida then around the Gulf to Veracruz. No problems to report. Good roads, good food, nice people.
kpasa1 is offline  
Old 12-14-14, 06:48 PM
  #15  
mexipat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Dunedin, FL
Posts: 145

Bikes: 2014 Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by kpasa1 View Post
March - 2014 I rode from Cancun to Merida then around the Gulf to Veracruz. No problems to report. Good roads, good food, nice people.
That sounds like a great trip. Mostly flat, too! I used to live in Merida and wonder if you had problems negotiating the traffic around the city.
mexipat is offline  
Old 12-14-14, 08:35 PM
  #16  
Sullalto
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Cascadia
Posts: 1,206

Bikes: Jamis Quest Comp

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 169 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
I hear ppl disappear in Mexico, a Photographer told me that in 1984. good luck
That was literally a lifetime ago for me, lol.

I don't know very many people in Texas who would ride across the border, or near it. I'd have no qualms about Monterey though. That's the only interior place I've been. Just do your research. Check the Consulate, they'd probably be a good resource.
Sullalto is offline  
Old 12-14-14, 09:46 PM
  #17  
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 6,141
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1031 Post(s)
Liked 434 Times in 258 Posts
Check crazyguyonabike:
crazyguyonabike.com: Bicycle Touring: The Philtrons Pedal South, by Jason Philtron and Daisy Philtron
This couple rode through Mexico N to S, and their journal is an interesting read.

Last edited by Doug64; 12-14-14 at 10:00 PM.
Doug64 is offline  
Old 12-15-14, 08:41 AM
  #18  
kpasa1
Ride Ride Ride
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: The World
Posts: 13

Bikes: Cannondale T1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Merida is a very small city. There are no traffic issues there.
kpasa1 is offline  
Old 12-15-14, 08:46 AM
  #19  
axolotl
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,880
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 37 Posts
Merida isn't that small. It has over 800,000 people. Having said that, I didn't have any problems at all when I was biking there.
axolotl is offline  
Old 12-15-14, 09:23 AM
  #20  
kpasa1
Ride Ride Ride
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: The World
Posts: 13

Bikes: Cannondale T1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
But 600,00 of them don't own a car. lol
kpasa1 is offline  
Old 12-16-14, 08:06 PM
  #21  
Louis Le Tour
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Currently living in Oakdale, CA about 20 mi. NE of Modesto in the hot central valley.
Posts: 388

Bikes: Surly LHTD with a YAK trailer. I may have to ditch the trailer and go to panniers but I'll give it a try and see what happens.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Check this out if you're planning to cycle in Mexico. Here's Where Tens Of Thousands Of People Are Disappearing In Mexico - Business Insider
Louis Le Tour is offline  
Old 12-17-14, 01:03 PM
  #22  
gdlerner
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ludwigshafen
Posts: 478

Bikes: Pocket Llama

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I am already mental prepare so I don´read anymore ,I am flying next week and hope to start riding on the 26th I will publish a journal
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/15318


gdlerner is offline  
Old 12-17-14, 04:08 PM
  #23  
axolotl
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,880
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 37 Posts
The OP is well aware of which states of Mexico have serious problems and which do not. He is not going to either Michoacan or Guerrero, the states cited in the links posted by the 2 previous fearmongers. The OP's route will be in areas which are probably a lot safer than Modesto, California (near where Louis Le Tour lives), which has an especially high crime rate.

Folks who are afraid are often unable to understand that large countries typically have some places that are best avoided, and other areas which are quite safe. I suppose there are some irrational folks who just cancelled their trip to Sydney, Australia, and are staying home with their curtains closed.
axolotl is offline  
Old 12-17-14, 10:43 PM
  #24  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,322 Times in 832 Posts
Cuba is opening up soon. even for direct US connections ..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 12-18-14, 05:49 PM
  #25  
axolotl
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,880
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 37 Posts
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
the map shows a proximity to Mexico City. also there's no comparison to a mugging or a car jacking. what goes on in Mexico is much much worse than any "bad neighborhood" in the US. if you go south of that border, you better go with both eyes wide open. also, riding solo? really? c'mon get a clue
The OP is riding from Cancun to Puebla, which is all south of Mexico City. None of the states he is riding through, NONE, have travel advisories from the US State Dept. FWIW, the OP also speaks fluent Spanish.

Irrational fears are.....irrational.
axolotl is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.