Whatever the reason, I didn’t think much about preparing. I had a sexy red BMW street bike that I thought was the ultimate riding machine. It had a rear topcase to fit a few clothes. I had a map of Mexico. I had skimmed a tour book. What could go wrong?
It was the spring of 2001. I bought Toni a ticket to meet me in Puerto Vallarta and fly back from Monterrey 6 days later. I’d do the hard miles down and back without her. We could ride 2-up to Mexico City, Acapulco…maybe to the border with Guatemala. How far can you travel in a day in Mexico? Guess we’d find out.
Thank God I bought a good waterproof electric jacket and pants. I didn’t know anything about leathers or Aerostich and I can’t even remember exactly what I bought. All I remember is I plugged them into my Beemer and I was warm and totally dry. At least, I was until they were stolen in Mexico.
As I left my house near San Francisco, the heavens opened and it poured all the way to Mexico. I don’t remember ever seeing rain like that. Interstate 5 had standing water and when trucks passed, I couldn’t see the road. Do motorcycles hydroplane? I didn’t know. I was hoping not.
When I would stop for gas, motorists felt sorry for me. I explained that I was warm and didn’t have a drop of water seepage anywhere. Electric clothing, what will they think of next?
Arizona was terrifying. There were dark vertical clouds dumping water with lightning that came to the desert floor. There was no place to hide and wait out the storms. Did lightning sometimes take out motorcyclists? I didn’t know that either.