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biking in Ajijic and SMA

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MountainMan323
9/9/2018 16:41 EST

I am 68, retired, and seriously considering moving to Ajijic/Lake Chapala or San Miguel de Allende. Planning on taking my first exploratory trip to both places in about a month. I've watched a lot of YouTube videos and I have found it rather curious that I never see anyone on bikes in either city. Is biking just not popular there, or is there something about biking in those towns -- the roads, streets, traffic, whatever -- that is not amenable to bicycles? I love to bike as a means of enjoyment, exercise, and transportation and I would be very disappointed if I biking is discouraged, or worse, not allowed for some reason.

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Bankdraft
9/9/2018 18:00 EST

Biking is illegal in both cities. If caught on any form of two-wheeled transportation, you will be shot on sight!

Get real old man, you can bike anywhere on the planet.

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Whatsinaname
9/9/2018 18:43 EST

The sidewalks are very narrow and uneven, so biking on the sidewalks would not be something you could do. The streets are mostly make of cobble stone, so I think that would make for a bumpy (if not difficult) ride.

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lindarose
9/9/2018 18:46 EST

When I lived on the west end of Ajijic, I used to bike all the time on the sidewalk running along the north side of the carretera. Here, in SM, there is a group that goes out of town to bike.

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lindarose
9/9/2018 18:48 EST

Nasty response! was that necessary? it was a valid question....I live in SM and it´s odd to see anyone but a local on some of the side streets...

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Bankdraft
9/9/2018 19:21 EST

Oh yeah, perfectly valid question. Maybe he should have rephrased it... "Can you ride a bicycle in a country where most people can't afford a car?"

And your contribution: "... it´s odd to see anyone but a local on some of the side streets." What, exactly, is that supposed to mean? Gringos aren't allowed on the side streets? Gringos are adept enough to ride on the side streets? What?

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lindarose
9/9/2018 19:24 EST

I guess you´re the expert....nuff said...you have no tolerance...and are too ignorant for any further explanation.

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giershift43
9/9/2018 19:59 EST

I have been to Ajijic twice. I enjoy the place. One of the challenges in Ajijic is that streets are cobblestone and not smooth. Sidewalks are narrow and uneven. It makes walking somewhat challenging . It would seem biking even more difficult. In Chapala itself, the sidewalks are better. I hope that is some help .

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Cozumeldeb
9/9/2018 22:53 EST

We've been to both several times, very bike friendly, lanes provided in many areas.

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Dharmagranny
9/10/2018 05:53 EST

One word for Ajijic bikers: Cobblestones. OK, another word: Hills. Fat tired bikes are recommended. There is a new electric assist bike shop in town....for around 22,000 pesos, you can get a nice bike appropriate for the terrain. There are some bike paths on the carretera (main highway through town) but people tend to use them as illegal passing lanes and buses use them to pull off the road, so one must use caution on those. There are a lot of steep trails in the hills around Lake Chapala that would be fun for mountain biking, which you should do in a group for safety reasons.

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MountainMan323
9/10/2018 12:20 EST

To all of you who were so kind and so quick to respond to my question -- thank you! You have been very helpful. A few of you mentioned cobblestone streets as being a hindrance or an inconvenience (for biking) and I can certainly see how it would be.

To Bankdraft -- not sure why you took such a haughty and sarcastic tone towards me. I am well aware of the fact that I am an "old man" and I don't even mind being addressed as an old man if done so in a friendly way, but friendliness or kindness is not exactly what I detected in your tone, So be it. Thank you for the honesty of your attitude at least.

In considering whether or not to move there I am encouraged by the positive feedback I am getting from nice people like you (well, most of you anyway) who take the time to reach out to an "old" gringo/future expat (?) like me. Rick

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RVGRINGO

From: Mexico
9/10/2018 12:40 EST

The short answer is that bikers don't seem to last very long, for all the reasons given.
Some years ago, an old guy took out several riders in a club, all at once.
Streets are impossible, sidewalks are more impossible, ciclopista is limited and not entirely safe or enjolyable, and the highways are a death wish for cyclists and motor scooter riders.

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Shellyclark2002
9/10/2018 14:57 EST

Loving to cycle myself I would entirely agree that Mexico and Ajijic and SMA are NOT ?? bike friendly towns. Cobblestone and very rough cobblestone abounds as RV Gringo states making even walking difficult at times. I have spent considerable time in both towns. My dream to is to move to and area where cyclists are plenty. Mexico is a bis choice if you are wishing to eleminate avehicle and ride instead. A visit will show you that. Europe is much better suited to that but of course more expensive. Good luck to you.

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longtimelurker
9/10/2018 16:29 EST

If you like to bike you won't like lakeside.

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Chiquitoo
9/10/2018 18:58 EST

Bicycling here in Tijuana is somewhat suicidal for the traffic. I don't know about the other towns.

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TWalker
9/10/2018 19:20 EST

It is allowed abd people do ride bikes. All side streets are rough cobblestone and steep hills. There are bike lanes but they are limited. A mountain bike with good suspension, a fat tire bike, a hardtail w. suspension seat post would all be helpful. I now have a dual suspension electric mountain bike and that in my opinion would be sufficient for this terrain and I hope to bring it to the lake this winter.

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RGBIII
9/10/2018 19:40 EST

My wife and I are bikers. We have been living a little west of Ajijic for almost three years. There have been times when we have biked every day for weeks at a time. We will bike from west of Ajijic into Chapala, about an hour. There are definitely some hills that will make you work. Just depends on your conditioning. There is a ciclopista that runs on the north side of the highway that is great for biking. But, you certainly have to pay attention as there is a lot of traffic, and the locals are crazy, to be honest. Early morning riding is best. But, there are a lot of bikers here. And it is year round biking. Riding thru Ajijic is not fun because of the cobblestone, but we do it all the time. Just do more homework. No need to panic because of one nut.

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MonicaRixPaxson
9/10/2018 20:26 EST

I'd say a big no to biking in Ajijic or SMA. But for serious biking in Mexico, the best of the best go to Taxco where a few cobbles aren't about to deter anyone. Here's a taste. https://youtu.be/cIhJNw-07hQ Now if that was a little rich for your skill set, Mexico City has become bike central in Mexico with rentals all over the place and lots of riders, especially on Sundays. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPO0zVqWLqo However, if Mexico City is too intense for you, I just visited Aguascaliente and I haven't seen a place that flat since I left the Midwest USA. But for my money, I think Guadalajara looks like a good bet. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=guadalajara+bike+trail

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YellowTail
9/10/2018 21:12 EST

Actually on Sunday mornings Mexico City closes down Reforma for pedestrian/bike traffic.

We have been to Taxco - but I think you would have to be Lance Armstrong to ride a bike there.

Which reminds me of an interesting story, We lived 2 years in Austin TX in the most hilly section of town in the late 90's. Lance - who also lives in Austin - used to use our street as practice...

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Dano2004
10/24/2018 01:11 EST

The expat swarm has been the ruin of Ajicjic/ Chapala area, as their rush to get there they’ve brought their ignorances with them & inadvertently caused the tripling of realestate prices, food prices & market items by stupidly saying when buying, “Oh, that’s really cheap, we have to pay 2-3x that in the states”: then not being stupid back, the Mexican ppl ramp their prices to what the market will bare. If going for a exploration, go in the hight ofmthe tourist season, fall- spring, that way u get the full Brundt of the overflowing traffic, the crowds of looky- Loo tourist that invade & drive up rent, drive up restaurant costs & shopping, that way u can see if u can tolerate it. Good Luck!

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Dharmagranny
10/24/2018 06:53 EST

Wow, people on this thread are really ranters who apparently need to live on the cheap but want to live in the Lake Chapala area. It really makes me sick. Get a clue that yes, it is a gringoland like San Miguel Allende, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas. If you can't pay the price, there is a big country out there for you to retreat to.

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hrlee7804
10/24/2018 11:50 EST

I probably should not be telling this secret but........I am in San Carlos, Sonora and it is flat here, great streets and on the Sea of Cortez/Gulf of California. Yes it gets hot here in the summer. MANY folks on bikes and no need for a motor. Larger towns around for big shopping. Google whatsupsancarlos. RVGringo does not like it because it is close enough for some to bring rv's here from the states for their winter stay. But you can thank me later.

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Dano2004
10/24/2018 12:06 EST

Has anyone explored golf carts or 4 wheelers to make it easier on hills & cobblstone streets?

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Shellyclark2002
10/24/2018 14:39 EST

If you have ever been in Ajijic during high season you would see why a golf cart would be rather dangerous. The traffic is horrendous.

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RVGRINGO

From: Mexico
10/24/2018 15:09 EST

Golf carts cannot legally be driven on public roads and streets. They can be confiscated, and the driver ticketed.
Definitely not safe in traffic. Not insurable, either. BAD IDEA!

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longtimelurker
10/24/2018 16:22 EST

hrlee, San Carlos has been a expat enclave for decades. No secret at all, except maybe to you.

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NilesS
10/24/2018 19:08 EST

To the old man: don't even think about it. To the rest of the cranky old farts on here: I don't even want to live near a bunch of entitled arrogant cretins (Americans).

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hrlee7804
10/26/2018 18:10 EST

Longtimelurker most always a dick fu!#ing head.

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harddazeknight
10/26/2018 18:36 EST

Delete "most" from text of message.

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Cozumeldeb
10/27/2018 09:58 EST

Think Cozumel, Ironman their every year for a reason. End of November..However hotter than hades in summer.

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longtimelurker
11/5/2018 19:14 EST

Hrlee, profanity????

You should read your post asking questions about Kino.

https://www.expatexchange.com/expat/index.cfm?tpcid=3432720&dbname=ee&frmid=254&forumid=0&shared=N&skey=kino

and

https://www.expatexchange.com/expat/index.cfm?tpcid=3433016&dbname=ee&frmid=254&forumid=0&shared=N&skey=kino

How about a “THANKS” for the advice posted answering your questions.

I am happy you found San Carlos to your liking. You should buy a home quickly before the word gets out and prices rise.

`

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hrlee7804
11/7/2018 11:51 EST

It is hard to thank you for advice, even when I probably should, when you are such an assh#l3 most of the time.
Yes I made it to San Carlos and LOVE it here. Bought a house and not looking back. This place checks all of my boxes. Beats every other place I have looked on a two continents. Everything about it is great. I am sharing with 3 posters from this forum what I have learned so far. Obviously their choice but they were interested enough to contact me personally. I hope you would not like it here. You are still an ash fricking h#l3, but thanks again if you helped guide me to this area..

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longtimelurker
11/8/2018 11:43 EST

I will always call out people for giving terrible advice about important subjects (INM, vehicles, moving across the border), especially if resident idiots continue the same BS mantra year after year. If that makes me an a-hole, then so be it.

Hrlee, why don’t you share your experiences about San Carlos with others on this forum instead of PM’s. Start a new thread about your home purchase, setting up the fidecomiso, etc. I am sure others are interested in learning why you bought a house on your first visit.

Personally, I have been going to San Carlos since my spring break days and have friends there. Sorry to tell you but I like the same place you do too.

I am looking forward to reading about the train wreck you seem to be heading toward.

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