Pan American Trails part 7

Side trips out of Mexico City bring new adventures on a long solo tour Being more of a trip from St. Louis to Managuz in Nicaragua

By Jose Porta, Photography by Jose Porta

Half way along an his solo tour of Mexico, the author takes advantage of the modem facilities of Mexico City to repair his motor, to relax and to take a few side trips. But for the experiences on his side trips he might have run into serious mechanical difficulties

I had a week to myself yet before I could leave Mexico City and I decided to take a ride to Acapulco, on the Pacific Coast. The highway to Acapulco had recently been opened and it was well constructed and comfortable in every respect. It was probably at the time the longest highway in Mexico. I took my time and drove to Cuernavaca on a paved road, then I left the pavement and met a hard surfaced highway which took me thru several quaint and typical Mexican villages, the most important of which being Tuxco with its famous cathedral.

I stopped at every village and at the end of the third day I reached Acapulco, the land of the cocoanuts. I had a swim in the ocean and slept on the beach for a couple of nights and then, weary of the scenery, I drove back over the same road.

I was speeding along the highway, happy and carefree, thankful at the thought that there at least I had no mud to fight and no sand to cross and no creeks to jump. Nothing could have happened to me there.

But one should never be too sure of himself. I heard a crash and I flew over the highway. I was alone on a smooth road still the motor had suddenly crumbled under me and the next minute I was thrown up in the air, and I landed on the ground, in a stupor, unable to understand what had happened. I picked myself up and I rushed to the still motor, which was laying in a heap like a pile of junk.

A quick survey gave me the key to the solution. The double tube frame had been cut clear through in the front and the heavy motor had fallen to the ground and the top frame was bent, sending the saddle to meet the handlebars. It was a mess and everything looked so hopeless to me then. Besides the front spring was also broken into pieces and Mexico City was about seventy-five miles away.

Instead of kicking I was glad that it happened. It couldn’t have happened at a better time, because if the frame had lasted a few days more or if I had gone straight south instead of going to Acapulco I would certainly have got stuck in some wild country where I had to give up everything and leave the motorcycle behind. That frame had probably been broken for days or maybe weeks and it just happened that it gave up while riding on a smooth road.

I started to get busy fixing up that damage. I had about thirty feet of good strong rope. I tried to tie the bottom and top frame together but I couldn’t do it alone. As luck planned it two motorcycle officers came along and they began to work with me. Then a truck passed by and the driver offered to carry my motor to the capital. Of course I refused and then the four of us together managed to tie the frame and the motor so that the pile of junk began again to look like a motorcycle and finally I was able to ride, but very slowly, because the motor was dragging on the ground. I reached a small village where I went to a blacksmith shop and had a strong clamp put around the broken frame and the next day I was back in Mexico City without any further inconvenience.

I lost a few more days to have the motorcycle fixed. I put on a new double strength front spring; I had the broken frame welded, then I put a clamp over it and had it welded also and on top of that I fastened a strong bracket to relieve the weight of the motor from the bottom frame.

By Jose Porta
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