I took a little ride today, to the Cristo Rey monument at the Cubilete mountains in Silao. Although a major tourist attraction in Guanajuato, after 11 years in the country this was my first visit there. And it was a mighty fine ride. I turned off the interstate by El Capulín, right newt to GM's huge assembly complex in Silao. A really twisty, cobblestoned climb that was not fast, but at least faster than all the poor automobile-borne suckers I passed on the way up. The mountaintop that holds the Cristo Rey statue measures 2,700 meters (8,900 ft) over sea level. But I've heard that it's actually not the highest top in the Cubilete mountains.
Well at the top I spent my time walking around, taking a couple of photos for you guys, and having photos taken of me by women pretending to be taking photos of the view. I listened to the ceremony with one ear as I had a cup of coffee and a couple of cigarettes by the parking lot / vantage point. A couple of fellow motorcyclists showed up. One couple on a Goldwing, another couple on a R1200GS. State of the art motorcycles: aluminum luggage, big comfy seats. The couple on the BMW even had intercoms in their helmets to communicate, I guess they didn't like raising their voices. As they accomodated not one, but two smartphones in their respective holder behind the windshield I thought about how blessed I am to have my little simple Suzuki thumper. I bet my ride was noisier, faster and funnier than the couples on Goldwings and R1200Gs's. And whoever came up with the idea that a chest pocket isn't good enough a place to carry a cellphone anyways?
I also made another reflection: all of the added flair to their motorcycles came in the form of purchased pre-designed accesories. They had an aftermarket skid-plate. I made mine. They had a nice headlight guard (the shape of the R1200Gs's headlight's a bit funny). I made mine. They had fancy, brand, aluminum luggage (top case and side cases) and rack. I made my rack out of a rusty piece of iron that I bent to shape and then hung a cool portfolio off of it. Big comfy seats? I made mine. My wiring harness doesn't have usb ports and porta-iPhones, but I made that myself too. Maybe it is silly, but I take pride in my own hand made solutions. And they do distinguish my bike from the rest. They are also custom designed and custom made, in accordance with my aesthetic preferences, engineering philosophy and abilities as a craftsman. My little lady is literally a one of a kind. I wouldn't have traded her for either of these bikes.
After my coffee and my cigarettes, I pointed the headlights back toward Guanajuato. But this time around north over the mountains. This way you enter Guanajuato by the Valenciana mine, and man, that is one brilliant motorcycle road. Still cobblestoned, but with some cement in between stones, so a lot less bumpy. Flat enough to let you open the throttle between the many sharp bends. Green mountainous landscape and a couple of minor villages to pass through on this, allegedly 27 km ride. The heel of my boot scraped the road in a couple of turns, when I got a bit emotional with the throttle.
Not for Pussies!