Costa Rica is nice....it's the ride through the country's between here and there that can cause the problems. We had a USCRA member that had his wife murdered on a ride through Mexico a few years back. Recently had a friend that was going to drive down to CR with his tools...he's a carpenter. We finally convinced him to fly down and have his tools shipped. I don't think he would have gotten there with all his belonging intact. Half the roads in Mexico are on the AAA list of roads to avoid due to the danger of being a victim of crime.
Short of riding through the southern half of Africa it's probably one of the most dangerous corridors of travel for lone travelers. At least that's what I've heard, never done it myself. Lots of beautiful places to go in the US and Canada....hard decision to undo when you are alone on a road in Nicaragua with your bike and wife dissappearing down the road in the back of a truck.
I know people that live in Costa Rica and have been back and forth to the US dozens of times....and have never driven...and never would.
never been there but met a gorgeous beautiful pretty hot sexy amazing woman from there once or twice...... hold, on, i need to catch my breath.....
yeah, costa rica, never been there. but the country is basically the most stable country in central america if not south and central. they've got no standing army and the budget they used to have for the army is spent on edumacation which means that they have been enjoying a growing middle class and a higher standard of living. tourism is definitly on the rize and in overall the country deserves it. rainforests, gulf of mexico, pacific ocean, beaches waves and mountains. oh, bikes, well, i dunno.
There is a book pete egan recommended a while back in one of his columns about a guy riding through sould america and mexico. The guy was kidnapped and held as a captive for months before escaping. When we was free he did the ride again and made it. I'm sure this will give you some more insight.
The only advice I can give is get a nice deep dark tan before you go, it won't pass anything more than a sniff test but the less you stand out the better (this assuming you are white, any other race disreguard). Also learn some local phrases and really work on your accent. If you are captured or cornered say you are european (german or something), as americans are none too popular right now outside the US.
have fun and try not to get savagly raped and/or beaten. Write a book about it, those kinds of travelogs sell like crazy right now.
Geeto is pretty savvy about blending in. When in Mexico I try to get a tan ASAP and always drive a dirty car (of course the NY plates were a dead giveaway this year) and non "tourista" clothing. But I, and you, will ALWAYS be a gringo. Its the way we walk, move and hold ourselves.
Sometimes when the organization I volunteer for needs another mexican worker, I become Raul Suave. Sometimes I can fool the gringos...., but never the mexicans.
I am probably stupid, but I actually feel safer when I cross over the border into Mexico from South Texas.