Yamaha Super Ténéré Forum

Super Ténéré => Tall Trails => Topic started by: dcstrom on September 02, 2012, 12:52:46 pm

Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on September 02, 2012, 12:52:46 pm
This has been a few years in the planning, but finally, I'm out.

Not really much of a plan, most of the work has been prepping the bike (and in this i include buying, and rejecting, a KLR and Weestrom before settling on the S10), working out finances and whatever i might need for Sth America, and getting out of the job and the house.

Yesterday - departure day - was very stressful. After selling or giving away everthing (and shipping a few things to Perth), all I'm left with is the bike and whatever I can carry on it.

Which, it turns out, is too much! I did a trial load a while ago, wasn't too bad, but still more than I'd like - 170lbs including the weight of luggage. Since then I've added a number of "must have" items that I probably won't need. I also had to add a few items at the last minute, that should have been in the Perth shipment. At least I can get rid of those at the next post office.

Not to worried, I'm looking at this as "revision 1.0" of my setup, I'll fine tune as I go.

Left late yesterday and only got to Cumberland MD - I was shattered from the work over the last few days (I'd sold my AC's so the house was like a sauna...)

Heading to Michigan now then west via Sth Dakota, Montana, Idaho. Not breaking any speed records, so hoping to have time to get the blog up and running.

Heading off into the remnants of Isaac now - the Badlands will show its worth (I hope!)(http://img.tapatalk.com/c6e4c89d-8ee6-5035.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: japako on September 02, 2012, 01:32:12 pm
Congrats on finally making it. ::012::
I hope you will have a great adventure and have many great stories to tell.
Ride Safe..
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: NittanyXT on September 02, 2012, 01:41:44 pm
Have a GREAT trip! Look forward to the blog.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: spklbuk on September 02, 2012, 01:45:49 pm
Safe and joyful journeys sir.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Don in Lodi on September 02, 2012, 03:00:10 pm
There is a reason you see spare tires tied on the back of you're truly long haulers. You'll become one as well soon.
Looking forward to watching your travels. Drop me a line if California is in the cards.
Safe Journey.

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on September 02, 2012, 03:26:58 pm
Safe travels to you, Trevor.  Been a pleasure riding with you and I do hope you enjoy the adventure wherever it may lead.  I'm sure it will take you places you never expected.  Enjoy.
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on September 02, 2012, 03:30:17 pm
There is a reason you see spare tires tied on the back of you're truly long haulers.



Thanks guys.

Don, I'm hoping a set of k60s will save me that grief. I'm thinking a fresh set just before leaving the US will get me to Chile, where our friend Roberto tells me I can get more.
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on September 02, 2012, 04:50:50 pm
Safe travels to you, Trevor.  Been a pleasure riding with you and I do hope you enjoy the adventure wherever it may lead.  I'm sure it will take you places you never expected.  Enjoy.

Thanks Jon - it's not an adventure if you know what to expect, eh?

That's why I think over-planning is not necessarily a good thing - especially when there are few time constraints. I have to be in Yellowstone mid-September, southern California mid-October. Other than that, I'm just going to see where the road leads me.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tpak on September 03, 2012, 07:41:17 pm
 ::026:: 

Holler if you end up in Colorado! And make sure we know where the blog will be.

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on September 04, 2012, 02:15:52 pm
Trevor -
It's been a really busy summer and I wish I could've said "Good Travels" in person, so this will be it.
It's been a pleasure to meet you & I've fallen in love with "Big Agnes." 
 
 
So are you now going to change your forum name to ThaiTenere or something?
 ;)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: 20valves on September 04, 2012, 02:47:01 pm
 ::017::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: limey on September 04, 2012, 04:08:36 pm
Good luck  ::008::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: merchant on September 04, 2012, 08:49:41 pm
You're my hero!  Can't wait to read up on your adventures. 
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on September 05, 2012, 11:50:31 pm
Thanks all for your support and good wishes.

Going well so far, but only in Iowa. Hard to believe I'm only making 250 miles a day on the Super Tenere, yet the last time I was out this way on the KLR I was (litterally) busting my arse doing 500-700 miles a day. Something to do with having a lot of miles to cover but not much time before I had to be back at work.

Part of my current job description is setting up and breaking down the camp. I'll have to improve at that. Last night was warm, still and with clear skies, and only a small chance of rain in the forecast - I thought it would be OK to leave the fly off the tent and watch the stars through the mesh. Sure enough around 2am the wind started whipping through the treetops. I couldn't see the stars any more. I frantically starting putting the fly on the tent and trying to get stuff under cover, thunder and lightning start crashing and flashing away...  It still hadn't started raining though so I thought I would be ok. That's when I start hearing branches falling from the trees... Oh crap. I wasn't fond of any of the sites when I set up - they were all the same, under more or less tree cover. I'd set the tent up as much as possible in the open, but the bike was under a tree. I hadn't been too worried, it was such a calm night.

The wind's still howling and the next thing I hear is something pinging off the bike's gas tank. Crap. I'm thinking about moving the bike but have no shoes on and it's partially loaded and heavy. I decide I'm just going to put the cover on it and as I'm doing that something goes clunk on my head. Double crap, this is getting dodgy. I rub my scalp and feel blood.

The tent is close enough to the trees that a branch could go through it so I say smurf it and leave the bike and the tent and retreat to the shower block till the worst of the storm passes. I went back to the tent in the rain but at least the wind had died down.

In the morning I find a mememto of the storm - a quarter-sized ding in the gas tank. Nice. Thank you mr murphy and your stupid law.

Heading for Sth Dakota where on Friday I should become that great state's newest resident. Shit - who knows the name of their football team, in case somebody asks?

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on September 06, 2012, 05:08:59 pm
Sounds like the adventure has officially begun.  Maybe this is why I don't like camping. Be careful out there.

According to Mr. Google your favorite football team is the University of South Dakota Coyotes.  Goyotes!!!

By the way, you once mentioned you were planning to establish a different site for official tracking of your journey.  Is that still the case?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on September 06, 2012, 06:18:08 pm
Bummer about the storm and ding.
And the problem with Iowa is....?

You're now semi-retied so enjoy the great folks out there.

At least the weather has cooled off. When Tim and came through in June it was 115f.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on September 07, 2012, 06:17:04 pm
Ok I've only been on the road less than a week, but I've learned a few things;

1) CAMPING - I'm not as good a camper as I thought I was. Since stretching my budget is dependent on camping most nights (at least while in the US), I need to improve this facet of my performance  :D  I camped near Lake Erie and had some bitey things nipping at my ankles. They were only mildly annoying so didn't bother pulling out the bug spray. The next two days I suffered with hundreds of red itchy bites around my ankles and up my legs, and I used up my full supply of anti-itch cream.

The incident with the storm (see above) was a good reminder not to trust weather forecasts, and not to camp (or park the bike under) trees, even if the weather seems good at the time.

2) FOOD AND HEALTH - I'm trying to work out how to maintain a healthy diet with food that's cheap(ish) and readily available on the road. I'll be a whale in no time if I eat 3 meals a day at diners. I'm thinking one main meal a day, snacks for the others and try to get some fruit or something for dinner. Good theory, haven't been able to do it yet.

I'm missing my regular exercise routine. Normally I'd be exercising 5 days a week, split between gym and running. I've run once in the past week. For me being able to exercise is about doing it as part of a routine - I haven't been able to figure one out yet. I'm going to try the YMCA gym in Sioux Falls this afternoon. I can get a monthly membership for $37 that will let me use Y's around the country. Seems like that might be the way to go. If I can do that at least a couple of times a week I'll be happy.

I haven't had to worry about these things in the past - so what if you don't exercise much on a two-week vacation? You can get back into it when you get home. But for a long-term trip you have to figure out how to integrate it into the lifestyle if you want to maintain a level of fitness.

3) TECHNOLOGY - I'm relying on 5 main pieces of tech (excluding camera gear). GPS (Garmin Montana), phone (iPhone 4 with AT&T), laptop (HP Elitebook 8470p), 3G USB dongle (Virgin Mobile) and SPOT 2. I've never used them all together before, so wasn't entirely sure how it would work out. So far, so good.

The Montana is a very cool unit, and I've barely scratched the surface of what it can do. Learning as I go along. Main attraction for me was the large, bright screen. Easily readable in full sun. I'm using the free Open Street Maps (OSM) which are fine for the most part except the POI's seem to be lacking. For instance, sometimes I can be right by a gas station but it will tell me the nearest one is 40 miles away. There may come a time when I'm desperate for the correct information on this! So considering buying the Garmin maps. Hope they are better?

Not much to say about the iPhone that hasn't already been said, except that it's still being paid for by (my former) work (I'm "on call"). If not for that I would jailbreak the phone so that I could turn it into a hotspot for the laptop. Or I could just pay ATT an extra $20/month, but that starts to get complicated with work paying for calls and email but not tethering. Anyway the Virgin USB is only $15 more and improves my coverage options. See below. When I get to Mexico, then I'll have to jailbreak the phone to be able to use local SIM's in it.

The USB broadband connection has worked surprisingly well, sometimes getting a connection where the phone couldn't (because they are on different networks). So that broadens my spread of coverage. For example, I was able to watch Netflix on the laptop in the tent the other night, just using the USB connection. The night before, I didn't have such a good connection but the phone did so I watched Netflix on that! (before you say I'm a loser for watching TV while camping - I agree  :) Will be interesting to see how that works as I get further west. EDIT: I forgot to mention, I was video chatting with friends and family in Vietnam and Australia  - from inside my tent! How cool is that? Not like the old days, when a lone adventurer was, well, alone....

The laptop is a 14"/5lb 2.5Ghz Ivy Bridge CPU (so, the newest one). It fits well in the topbox and has a few layers of padding so I think it will travel pretty well. Also it's in a bag that doesn't look like your typical computer case, so hopefully that will make it less of a target for theft. I need the laptop for processing photos and running Basecamp for the GPS - if it wasn't for those things I'd have a tablet instead.

The SPOT has been good so far, I have paid for tracking so I'm using it! But not sure if it would be just as effective with my pressing the "OK" button a few times a day. I set up an account at Spotwalla.com but doesn't seem to be working, have to look into that a bit more. Meanwhile the findmespot map IS working, at

http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=008gMyVZq6G7yV09vg49OG9FOGgLSZvcf (http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=008gMyVZq6G7yV09vg49OG9FOGgLSZvcf)

Charging hasn't been much of an issue so far, laptop goes 4 hours on a charge and can usually find somewhere to plug it in for an hour or two a day. I have a small inverter which will charge off the bike, but haven't tried it yet. I'm not sure how much the laptop/inverter setup will draw on the bike battery, so reluctant to use it while the bike isn't running. I can charge on the move though. Anyone know anything about how much draw a 150w inverter/65w power supply would pull from the bike battery?

4) THE BIKE - going well, as you'd expect, especially at this early stage of the trip.

I've been watching fuel economy pretty closely. I reset the AVG meter when I left DC, and for a while it was optimistic, as I'd expected. It always seemed that way in the past. I was getting an actual 42-43mpg early on, with the AVG on the computer being 44-45. Gradually though the two got closer together, until at 1500 miles they were exactly in sync at 41.2 MPG. What's interesting is I've been able to use the AVE reading to see which way consumption is headed - it's much easier to watch it go up or down by a tenth or two, than to look at the live readout, which goes all over the place. Economy is not what I've been used to getting - I guess the big load and the bigger screen (V-Stream medium) is taking a toll. Mileage is better on the backroads, and takes a dive on the interstate at anything over 70mph (actual GPS) speeds. Worst so far is 39mpg. Nothing we didn't already know and another reason to stick to backroads whenever possible.

Oil consumption is minimal, maybe 100cc's, not enough to bother topping up. Should make it through to an oil change in another 1500-2000 miles without a topup.


NEXT - heading the Badlands tomorrow - weather has cooled off so hopefully the Badlands won't be so bad! Then to Yellowstone by next weekend. What do you think about this road to get there ;-)

http://goo.gl/maps/FV5cD (http://goo.gl/maps/FV5cD)

PS why can't I get maps to embed? I've done it in the past...

Dirt_Dad - too many things to do before leaving, hoping I'll be able to work on the blog soon!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on September 07, 2012, 06:44:16 pm
Oh and one more thing! I'm now a South Dakotan! It took half a day, and $42, to get my drivers license and bike registration switched over. And that included riding 100 miles! Rego was done in Madison, DL in Sioux FaLLS - so went to Madison and back to get titled this morning, and was out of the Sioux Falls DMV by 12:30. SUCH a different experience to the DC DMV, not to mention cheaper. Of the $22.87 to title the bike, $5 was the transfer fee. DC would have been 6% of the value of the bike...

Now I have my re-mailing service in Madison taking care of my mail (and scanning/emailing anything important - mydakotaaddress.com), I'm all set!

Plus the license plates here are prettier!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GncdvnMZKXQ/UEpopc_qbqI/AAAAAAAAFug/UlZzKtITBe8/s681/2FE2E3B8-0C2C-4848-B230-C913DCE94867.JPG)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: GrahamD on September 07, 2012, 06:53:57 pm
Hey DC!!

I knew you were going at some point but it crept up pretty quickly.

Congrats on getting away.  ::012::

Will be watching with interest.. ::017::

Lucky you took a big capable bike with you, it might do better than the other famous Auzzie.. http://travellingstrom.com/ (http://travellingstrom.com/)

Vstrom Crash (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfC5a9J_FFY#ws)

If you ever need any pointers I am sure he will be happy to tell you where to go and what to do.  :D

Good luck and stay safe... ::021::

 ::003::
Graham



Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Don in Lodi on September 07, 2012, 08:48:02 pm
West of Spearfish, north of 90, is the Devil's Tower. Might be worth a look-see. Don't have to go into the park really.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on September 07, 2012, 09:27:38 pm
That road to the Badlands looks fantastic.  Enjoy...

The updates are great.  Interesting to know what you are learning as you plan for a long term trip.
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on September 07, 2012, 10:45:44 pm

Lucky you took a big capable bike with you, it might do better than the other famous Auzzie.. [url]http://travellingstrom.com/[/url] ([url]http://travellingstrom.com/[/url])




Thanks Graham - yeah I've been following Richard's trips, mainly interested in his reviews of beers of the world. ;-)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on September 08, 2012, 08:33:21 am
Sounds great Trevor. If you go west, you can follow the rim of the Badlands on a cool gravel road, then northwest on 44(?) into Rapid City. South out of Mt Rushmore, don't miss Iron Mtn Rd, then back north through Needles. Beautiful roads with lots of buffalo on Needles.


With my iPad getting stolen on our trip I can't strongly enough suggest the cloud as at least a backup location, if not storage where possible. Shite happens & it would have really sucked to lose the 1900 photos we took.
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on September 08, 2012, 09:11:32 am
Thanks for the tips Bob.

That sucks about the iPad - did somebody rummage through your gear or was it a crime of opportunity (snatched when you were looking the other way?).

I have an external drive for backup, but of course that can get lost/stolen/broken, so have some cloud options as well. Tried a few, looks like Microsoft Skydrive is the winner - 27gb for $20/yr. I'll have to be selective about what goes to the cloud because I doubt I'll have the time/bandwidth to upload everything.

Good point though - will add these details to the tech write-up.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on September 08, 2012, 10:27:38 am

Lucky you took a big capable bike with you, it might do better than the other famous Auzzie.. [url]http://travellingstrom.com/[/url] ([url]http://travellingstrom.com/[/url])

Vstrom Crash ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfC5a9J_FFY#ws[/url])

If you ever need any pointers I am sure he will be happy to tell you where to go and what to do.  :D



Yeah, advice like "look out for that big roooooockkk aaaaagggghhhhh farrrrrrrkkkkkkkennnhellllll!"

I'm not actually looking forward to manhandling the S10 on roads like that - it is a beast when loaded with 200lbs of gear. But it will definitely handle better than the Wee, and I have Wasp raising links so have a bit of extra ground clearance to work with. As I go along I'm going to figure out what I can jettison and hopefully get the weight down a bit  by the time I get to rougher roads.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on September 08, 2012, 05:36:57 pm
...about the iPad - did somebody rummage through your gear or was it a crime of opportunity (snatched when you were looking the other way?).
...


Crime of stupidity - mine.


We were in Ely, NV, for gas and lunch at the McDonalds and the wind was about 30 knots, which kept the top box from staying open. I was doing something else and sat the ipad in it's armor case on my right side bag, heard a clunk as we left the McD parking lot, then remembered it when we got a few miles down the road.  It was gone by the time we got back.


Unfortunately, I'd not set up the tracking locator. 
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on September 10, 2012, 10:47:17 am
West of Spearfish, north of 90, is the Devil's Tower. Might be worth a look-see. Don't have to go into the park really.

Thanks Don - was there last time I was out this way on the KLR. This time looping south through the Black Hills, heading for Buffalo WY tonight.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: thfraser on September 10, 2012, 11:06:42 am
Congratulations on getting out of DC!  ::008:: I commute in on my bike everyday, so I'm a touch jealous. 

I'll be watching the thread and following your adventure!
 ::017::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on September 10, 2012, 11:12:14 am

Crime of stupidity - mine.


Yes - it happens... I'm expecting a few episodes like that, in fact I already had one. I lost my favorite glasses in the crosswinds going across SD. They were attached to the bike, and had been like that most of the trip with no problem, but one of the gusts whipped them away... this was I-90, I knew roughly where I lost them. I went back to try to find them, knowing that if they were on the road they would probably be either crushed or scratched up, and if they were in the shrubbery I would never find them. I just did one pass, with no success. Knowing myself, I'd planned for this and have spare glasses - but I thought I might go for more than a week before losing my best set!

Those winds across SD play havoc with gas consumption - 32mpg was my worst. I found the bike pretty stable though. Last time I was this way on the KLR, it was downright scary - I was getting blown into oncoming traffic at one point and had to slow right down and ride the shoulder. On the Super Tenere, you just lean into the wind and it doesn't really move around that much.

The helmet is a different story - the visor on th Shoei Hornet dual-sport helment really catches the wind rips the head sideways. I found if I hung to the left or the right of the bike, depending on which direction the wind was coming from, I could find a pocket of clean air behind the V-Stream screen. Not a comfortable long-term riding position though.

More camping lessons - when dismantling the tent in 20-30mph winds, a different technique is required if you are to avoid turning the tent into a parasail! Wish somebody had got that on video  :D

The bike is good - but I put about 200cc of oil in it. I guess it burns a little when working hard. I'm seeing some misting of oil on the bottom of the final drive, not worried but will keep an eye on it.

Trevor
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: joneil on September 10, 2012, 03:14:24 pm
Didn't see where anyone had taken a stab at your electrical question.  How much current does the voltage inverter draw?  Sorry, don't know how to cut and paste on an iPhone.

From my younger days of working at Radio Shack, I remember that watts=voltsXamps.  If I have that correct, at 65W you would be pulling about 5.4 amps on 12 volts?  Plus or minus.  Big thing is it could spike more current than that.

If I have that all wrong I qualify my info on this by saying the extent of my electrical knowledge was learned from working at radio shack to pay for beer money while in college.
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on September 13, 2012, 05:55:36 pm
Gorgeous day in Yellowstone today, heading... somewhere, not sure yet. Beartooth Pass tomorrow.

Just had a few days in Buffalo WY, got to offload most of the gear - wow, it's like riding a WR450 after being used to the fully loaded weight.

Speaking of which, it took a bit of getting used to. It was a bit intimidating at first. The first time I went on a dirt road was in Iowa, and it was pretty loosey-goosey - felt like it wouldn't take much to get away from me. Mind you, this was on stock bridgestones at 42 psi, I've always had more dirty tires on it previously. Next dirt road was in the Black Hills, felt much  better so I think I'm getting used to the weight/tires.

I was out this way a few years ago and visited Devils Tower. It was a bit boring, the midday sun and clear blue skies don't make for great photos. I was going to skip it this time but after doing a loop through the Black Hills I was heading north and could see storm clouds over the tower - so thought it might be worth another try...
 
So here's my Ansell Adams impression... and of course the mandatory "I woz here" pic ;-)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-T264yg1Bg_w/UFH5-b9jnNI/AAAAAAAAFvM/UZFo3i3oN6E/s603/_DSC6193.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vbh8wHlXoMg/UFH5_en4PaI/AAAAAAAAFvU/KXsMDYwl2hY/s309/_DSC6206.jpg)

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: sail2xxs on September 14, 2012, 09:27:08 am
Awesome! Are you going to try any of the Back Country Discovery routes while you're out that way?

Chris
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: 1reddawg on September 14, 2012, 09:41:44 am
 ::012:: ::012::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on September 14, 2012, 12:18:41 pm
Dropping the load for a ride when on a trip is always enlightening. It's like going from a pack-mule back to a race horse. S
 
Sounds like you're enjoying yourself and taht's what counts!
 
Bob
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on September 14, 2012, 12:57:15 pm
Awesome! Are you going to try any of the Back Country Discovery routes while you're out that way?

Chris
Chris, don't know about them, will have to look them up...
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: sail2xxs on September 14, 2012, 03:01:28 pm
There are 3 that I know of; more are in development:

Oregon:  http://www.oohva.org/Back%20Country/BCDRmain.html (http://www.oohva.org/Back%20Country/BCDRmain.html)

Utah: http://www.utbdr.com/ (http://www.utbdr.com/)

Washington: http://www.wabdr.com/ (http://www.wabdr.com/)

There is also the Continental Divide Route - lots of info on advrider: http://www.bigdogadventures.com/CD.htm (http://www.bigdogadventures.com/CD.htm)

Chris
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on September 15, 2012, 04:07:11 pm
Thanks Chris, some of the Oregon ones look doable... should be there in a week or two.

Trevor

There are 3 that I know of; more are in development:

Oregon:  [url]http://www.oohva.org/Back%20Country/BCDRmain.html[/url] ([url]http://www.oohva.org/Back%20Country/BCDRmain.html[/url])

Utah: [url]http://www.utbdr.com/[/url] ([url]http://www.utbdr.com/[/url])

Washington: [url]http://www.wabdr.com/[/url] ([url]http://www.wabdr.com/[/url])

There is also the Continental Divide Route - lots of info on advrider: [url]http://www.bigdogadventures.com/CD.htm[/url] ([url]http://www.bigdogadventures.com/CD.htm[/url])

Chris
Title: Owww Canada!
Post by: dcstrom on September 30, 2012, 01:30:44 pm
Hi all, been a while, been suffering from "riders block" - that's like writer's block because of too much riding  :D

In Canada now after having spent some time in Yellowstone and north through Montana. I spent time with an ecologist friend of mine in Yellowstone, went on some field trips with her and a park ranger who'd been there 30 years. It was great hearing about the changes he's seen in the park over that time, particularly since the wolves were reintroduced in 1995. I was hoping to get some good pictures and had rented a 500mm lens for the occasion... but it was so smokey from the fires just south of the park that it was hard to get anything good. Also the wolves and grizzleys didn't come out to play for me. Here's a couple...


(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nHMKocHTlaw/UFz6RTuDpkI/AAAAAAAAFwc/n7m-dcRAeCM/s703/_DSC6443.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-KxLKq-0csdo/UFz6XDAmCcI/AAAAAAAAFwk/7yiRrI2ZaqA/s703/_DSC6468.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-e7gvSW2w8s0/UGT9T3SjNqI/AAAAAAAAFzI/qssnRzsu31o/s703/_DSC7416.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-eW4yaWdGyfw/UFztNAPd2XI/AAAAAAAAFv0/jx6O-5Ye0Gs/s988/_DSC7273_stitch.jpg)
(I thought the crowd was more interesting than Old Faithful!)

After Yellowstone I headed up to Bigfork Montana to stay with friends for a few days. Here I was introduced to the "Saketome" sushi restaurant, where the chef was delicious and the food was attractive (or should that be the other way round? anyway, both were tasty...). Highly recommended if you ever get up that way.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-xkKEMQ4VNjM/UF-i0u-jAFI/AAAAAAAAFxY/-UpP1vm4klI/s466/49F55880-0797-43AD-BBB1-17EC7FD1DC59.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-7e-tzH4aDrM/UF-i-AHEL1I/AAAAAAAAFxg/7EKyzQMGc2k/s466/586090C5-0317-4637-96AC-E02DD142CBEE.JPG)

From there it was on to Calgary - which is where my problems started. I rolled into my host's driveway - having never met in person, just on the internet - barely able to stop myself throwing up inside my helmet. That would have been a nice how-do-you-do! I kept it contained but was not a very good guest... went to bed with some ibuprofen and vomited a few times during the night.

Next day I felt somewhat better so continued to Banff, where I had another night with bad kidney pain - no puking this time though. The next day I  went to the ER pain. Turns out I have kidney stones, bloody painful. In the 2 days since then I've only been able to make 200 miles before the ibuprofen stops working... taking more doesn't help. I have stronger drugs but can't ride when on them. My insurance won't cover treatment here (only ER) so have to get back to the US for that. Should be there tomorrow. I'll head to Seattle where I have somewhere to stay, and find a hospital to fix me up.

If you want to track me you can go here - I'm set up on Spotwalla, which seems better than the findmespot version...

http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=547f50400b7b587fe (http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=547f50400b7b587fe)

I couldn't get to Banff and then NOT ride the Icefields Parkway, so continued north to Jasper...

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EyFizIX4IN8/UGh2gdsb_pI/AAAAAAAAFz4/WV9X5ycZ1qE/s835/_DSC7478_stitch.jpg)

How could I NOT go to Jasper - that's where the end of the rainbow is!

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-wlVpjsKczBw/UGiBiIMy83I/AAAAAAAAF0I/vMveBIiRSck/s621/P9290026.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-dYMrbw8nxqE/UHGu-olo25I/AAAAAAAAF0s/yNdb3I9t_Oc/s989/P9290031_stitch.jpg)

The bike has been perfect, 5000 miles on the trip so far, will replace the rear tire in Seattle and head south - once my kidney is fixed!

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: CapsLock on September 30, 2012, 01:59:32 pm
Wishing you the best. Find good care, then take it easy for just a bit. 
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: NittanyXT on September 30, 2012, 02:40:00 pm
Having had two stones, both left and right, I can't fathom being able to ride! Morphine and codeine were the only things that worked until I passed the stones. Amazing how something so small can hurt so bad. Take a few days off as this will sap any energy you have. Good luck!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: japako on September 30, 2012, 03:43:29 pm
Best wishes on getting well fast. Been there and it is not a pleasant experience.
Nice pics, especially  the hot Chica.. ::012:: 
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on September 30, 2012, 04:29:26 pm
Best wishes on getting well fast. Been there and it is not a pleasant experience.
Nice pics, especially  the hot Chica.. ::012::

Typical... The "art" pictures taken with multi-thousand-dollar equipment, are not as good as a hot chick taken with an iPhone ;-)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: True Grip on September 30, 2012, 04:37:55 pm
Hope your feeling better :exclaim:
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on September 30, 2012, 05:10:20 pm
Best wishes on getting well fast. Been there and it is not a pleasant experience.
Nice pics, especially  the hot Chica.. ::012::

Pretty sure I know "your type" now.  Obviously the hot blond, food service worker.  I won't tell Kasey you're having someone else serve you.

Glad you checked in.  I've been wondering where you were.  I too am amazed you can ride with the stones.  The people I've known with stones got carted away by ambulance.  You're one tough Aussie.   

I've been riding your old stompin' grounds lately.  Squirrel Gap two weeks ago, Dolly Sods today.  Just not the same without you here to tell me you saw my tracks in the gravel. 

Hope you get the stones taken care of with no further stories to tell.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: GrahamD on September 30, 2012, 05:43:33 pm
Thanks for the update DC.  ::012::

Personally I think the photo's taken with the 10000's of dollars worth of equipment were great, considering what you had to work with.

Next time take the good gear into the restaurant.  ::024::

Hope the pain Passes soon, I have only had that once and I would be tossing up about the next phase myself.  ::025::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Don in Lodi on September 30, 2012, 05:58:44 pm
That's the way to soldier on. Gotta keep on keepin' on after all.
Stay hydrated!

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: mobyfubar on September 30, 2012, 09:26:40 pm
Good luck, I hope the stones pass quickly!

Great photos, indoor and outdoor...
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on September 30, 2012, 09:35:37 pm
I had kidney stones twice and the first time dropped me to my knees when they hit. I can't imagine riding on.


Very glad that you got to the Ice Fields Parkway and time with friends.

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on September 30, 2012, 10:29:32 pm
Just found this.....

Like many others, I was wonder what was going on.  Looks like you've done a great job on your escape so far.  Hope your health issue turns around soon and permits you to continue at least with no pain. 

Ride Safe  ::001::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: thfraser on October 01, 2012, 07:56:42 am
Truly impressed with your ability to ride in pain.  Excellent photo's and I'm truly enjoying following your adventures.  Get yourself checked out, get the proper time off to rest and recover.  I had double hernia surgery and decided to ride the bike about a week later.  It was ok, but it was something I shouldn't have done.  All because I wanted parking at the front of Jiffy Lube Live (a large outdoor concert venue here in your former DC area).  ;D 

Get healthy so you can truly enjoy your ride!

Love the pictures.  Nature ones are really nice, the haze around Yellowstone is interesting.  However, how about some brunettes?  LOL

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: japako on October 01, 2012, 04:17:24 pm
Pretty sure I know "your type" now.  Obviously the hot blond, food service worker.  I won't tell Kasey you're having someone else serve you.

Glad you checked in.  I've been wondering where you were.  I too am amazed you can ride with the stones.  The people I've known with stones got carted away by ambulance.  You're one tough Aussie.   

I've been riding your old stompin' grounds lately.  Squirrel Gap two weeks ago, Dolly Sods today.  Just not the same without you here to tell me you saw my tracks in the gravel. 

Hope you get the stones taken care of with no further stories to tell.

Who's Kasey???
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: NittanyXT on October 01, 2012, 04:57:51 pm
Kasey was a waitress in a little hole in the wall diner in Romney WV. She had to be one of the most naturally gorgeous women I've ever come across. She took a shine to Trevor :D
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on October 01, 2012, 09:36:25 pm
Thanks guys for the words of encouragement - and for reminding me about Kasey. Maybe the drugs will stimulate my already over-active imagination and I'll have some interesting dreams tonight.

I'm really not as stoic as I might seem. My mate Guy Young actually called me a wuss! But he's the guy who rode his KLR back from the TAT to Richmond with a broken collarbone, so he's allowed!

Yesterday I did 250 miles and wasn't feeling too bad - loaded up on ibuprofen. I actually did a 180-mile stint non-stop; which is really stupid as a I should have been stopping for water more frequently. Anywat, that put me within 100 miles of Seattle, so decided to push on. I have a friend here staying with her niece, so there is somewhere to stay. That last 100 was pretty painful, I just took a double dose of ibuprofen and was here by 8:30.

I got booked into the hospital at 10 this morning, CT scanned by 11, results by 12.... a 6mm stone (or STone, according to HoebSTer), lodged halfway down the tube from kidney to bladder. Docs say chances of passing that on my own are less than 50/50, but if I want I could wait 3 weeks and see if it clears. And do WHAT meanwhile? be an uncomfortable miserable bastard who can't ride far and who doesn't have budget for staying in one place for that amount of time. On the other hand, they can do surgery tomorrow. Recovery should only be a day or so, so in theory I can leave here by the weekend. Seems like the way to go, so wish me luck with getting all those things pushed up into my kidney, via the penis, tomorrow. I'm sure that's something you want to think about right?  :D
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: maddog5150 on October 01, 2012, 09:51:18 pm
I wish you and your penis well.  Hope both of you are feeling better soon and back on the road!   ::025::

Seriously, I hope all goes well and you are able to recover quickly.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on October 01, 2012, 10:04:32 pm
I'm sure that's something you want to think about right?  :D

I'm cringing just thinking about what you said.  Can't imagine how excited you must be about it.  Have a good surgery.  Hopefully you'll get to sleep through it.
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on October 03, 2012, 08:25:11 pm
Surgery was yesterday morning. They yanked a 6mm stone from halfway down the tube connecting kidney to bladder, then out through the penis.

It's not as much fun as it sounds ;-)

I did however get this souvenir from the hospital, which should be a useful reminder for the rest of the trip.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: GrahamD on October 03, 2012, 09:07:52 pm
They yanked a 6mm stone from halfway down the tube connecting kidney to bladder, then out through the penis.


Well, Lucky you are an Aussie, It wouldn't have touched the sides a little stone like that. Plenty of room  ::008:: ;D
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on October 07, 2012, 01:15:10 pm
With help from some forum members - a used tire from Mark and help fitting it from Jeff - I'm on the road again, heading for a loop around the Cascades.  Wound up in Packwood, heading out today for more of this glorious piece of the country.

Arrival in Seattle with a grimace and a kidney stone on board...

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EBpy0vU-Tu4/UHGu7pn7F-I/AAAAAAAAF0c/W9JQ_CzU3ys/s679/P9300039.JPG)

Leaving 6 days later with a smile, a fresh tire, a bag of Jeff's special cookies, and no more kidney stone...

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-hrJYyjNDbvo/UHGu9aQdaKI/AAAAAAAAF0k/FFSfvXVrBm0/s579/PA060040.JPG)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: True Grip on October 07, 2012, 01:45:42 pm
Hope your peeing freely and back to enjoying yourself. Thats a big cookie smile ;D What kind of cookies did Jeff give you? special cookies ::025:: I think I can tell from Jeffs eyes. Just kidding glad your feeling better ::008::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: spklbuk on October 07, 2012, 03:35:24 pm
Soldier on trooper :exclaim:


I now have a new definition of determination.  Best of luck to ya.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on October 07, 2012, 04:29:52 pm
Good to see you back on the road... ::001::

Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on October 07, 2012, 08:39:34 pm
Hope your peeing freely and back to enjoying yourself. Thats a big cookie smile ;D What kind of cookies did Jeff give you? special cookies ::025:: I think I can tell from Jeffs eyes. Just kidding glad your feeling better ::008::

Unfortunately they weren't "special" cookies, but were very tasty anyway.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: HoebSTer on October 07, 2012, 11:53:15 pm
Hope your peeing freely and back to enjoying yourself. Thats a big cookie smile ;D What kind of cookies did Jeff give you? special cookies ::025:: I think I can tell from Jeffs eyes. Just kidding glad your feeling better ::008::
They are special because I make them from scratch once a year. Make 9 dozen plus a few we eat while making. I call them my monster cookies, a little bit of everything in them. Truely yummy!
Pleasure meeting and helping Trevor on his journey and life change. Be safe and enjoy your ride. It was fun to help.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: True Grip on October 08, 2012, 08:17:40 am
Just teasing you Jeff. The best part for these forums are meeting and helping fellow riders on their adventures. Glad you could help Trevor.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: thfraser on October 08, 2012, 08:56:05 am
I'm truly enjoying following you on this thread.  It is truly reassuring to see you back on the road, so soon after surgery.  Take your time recovering and though it sounds contradictory, I wish you speed on your journey(s).  BTW, it isn't really a journey, unless something happens that allows you to tell some tall tales later in life.  You could probably really play up the "I was riding so hard that I needed surgery" story line!

I wish I could have met you before you left the DC area.

I wish you continued safe, fun and adventurous travels!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: HoebSTer on October 08, 2012, 10:42:12 am
Just teasing you Jeff. The best part for these forums are meeting and helping fellow riders on their adventures. Glad you could help Trevor.

TrueGrip, I know it was all joiking on your part. I like to explain things at times, like me baking cookies!!!!  I was glad to help and give some of them to Trevor.  His journies are something many of us can only dream of when it comes to the reality of it.   ::008::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: JonnyCinco on October 08, 2012, 11:55:47 am
awesome so far!

Quick question...why did you change your address/residency?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Don in Lodi on October 08, 2012, 03:04:44 pm
If I remember right, it was a mail service he signed up for. Your normal P.O will not forward mail to random address' around the world.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: CapsLock on October 08, 2012, 04:28:44 pm
My wife and I did change our residence. There a few states (Florida is one) that will let you remain a resident even if you're off sailing around the world .. bike, or boat. We vote. pay taxes and keep our insurances and registrations in a county in FL that we've never visited. It works well for a lifestyle that sees us moving a lot, not owning permanent home protery (well, we do, but they're rentals) and wanting to kee up with our mail without endless forwards. Go online, change the delivery address and the next day's mail is on its way to the new spot.  We had to jump through a few paperwork hoops, but it wasn't all that hard.
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on October 09, 2012, 12:51:05 pm
I spent a pleasant couple of days around the Cascades - beautiful country and the weather has been perfect.

Sunday evening saw me back in Seattle, at a hostel downtown. Two reasons - I still needed to see the Boeing factory, and... Monday was stent-removal day, and I'm a pussy and wanted to be close to my doctor in case there were any issues, rather than doing it out in the sticks somewhere.

A stent in this case is the tube they put between the kidney and bladder to keep the ureter open after the trauma of surgery. When things have settled down , the patient can remove it by simply pulling a piece of thread...

I was freaking a bit though - I was going to do it last night but had one beer, my first in nearly 3 weeks. Next time I peed there was blood in the urine, I hadn't had that for a few days. Kidneys really don't like beer eh?

Anyway I called the doc this morning, and he reassured me, so I pulled the string. If you are squeamish, look away now ;-)

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: CapsLock on October 09, 2012, 05:18:10 pm
Not squeamish, but that still must've been weird.  Time for one more beer now . . . for me, that is.  ::003::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Brntrt on October 09, 2012, 07:38:25 pm
I spent a pleasant couple of days around the Cascades - beautiful country and the weather has been perfect.

Sunday evening saw me back in Seattle, at a hostel downtown. Two reasons - I still needed to see the Boeing factory, and... Monday was stent-removal day, and I'm a pussy and wanted to be close to my doctor in case there were any issues, rather than doing it out in the sticks somewhere.

A stent in this case is the tube they put between the kidney and bladder to keep the ureter open after the trauma of surgery. When things have settled down , the patient can remove it by simply pulling a piece of thread...

I was freaking a bit though - I was going to do it last night but had one beer, my first in nearly 3 weeks. Next time I peed there was blood in the urine, I hadn't had that for a few days. Kidneys really don't like beer eh?

Anyway I called the doc this morning, and he reassured me, so I pulled the string. If you are squeamish, look away now ;-)


God Trevor, I was going to comment om how envious I am of you, but after the string story I don't think so much!  ::025:: Anyhow have a safe journey. I look forward to your installments.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on November 21, 2012, 12:58:41 pm
NOW it's getting interesting...

Not that the 10,000 miles between DC and San Diego wasn't interesting... awesome scenery, fun roads, near-perfect motorcycle, fabulous weather, great people along the way. Almost everything went to plan (travel tip - don't plan very much, and there's less chance of things not going according to plan  :D). I had the kidney stone issues to deal with in Canada and Seattle, and a final drive seal replaced (on the bike!) in San Diego.

Back in DC I'd guesstimated that I'd do about 10,000 miles in the US, and by the time I rolled into San Diego the tripmeter said 10,250 (actually it said 249, since it resets at 9,999). Gas cost about $900 (true average of 42mpg, worst 36 and best 52), and I'd used up a pair of Bridgestone Battlewings, plus 2/3 of a rear that I'd bought used (thanks Mark and Jeff). I fitted a pair of K60's in Sacramento (thanks Phil) and changed oil twice. The bike had its 24,000 mile service in at Roseville Yamaha (thanks Zac) even though mileage was a bit less than that. No valve adjustment required, but be warned, it's still a pretty expensive exercise - over $700. (If I'd had time and facilities, I would have done it myself). Fitted Jaxon's fender raising kit and did some other odds and ends on the bike in San Diego (thanks Carl).

Detailed map here

http://www.everytrail.com/iframe2.php?trip_id=1948542 (http://www.everytrail.com/iframe2.php?trip_id=1948542)

and a  bunch of pics here;

USA
https://plus.google.com/photos/107632123776958177476/albums/5787681813839234481 (https://plus.google.com/photos/107632123776958177476/albums/5787681813839234481)


Mexico
https://plus.google.com/photos/107632123776958177476/albums/5812746786663474225?authkey=CLzo8IGBwJjllQE (https://plus.google.com/photos/107632123776958177476/albums/5812746786663474225?authkey=CLzo8IGBwJjllQE)



So up to now it's been a very very nice trip. But it's not really an "adventure" until the unexpected happens and you have to figure out how to deal with it. I'm now in Mexico, so I'm expecting the unexpected!

First up - I was told by Al Jesse that the east coast of Baja was nicer than the west, so when I was leaving Ensenda I pointed the GPS to San Felipe. I stayed a night there, then continued south. For some reason I didn't know that some of the road south of San Felipe was unpaved... I think I searched for info about it some time ago, didn't find it, and just forgot about it. A more thorough search would have been in order eh?

So needless to say I was a bit surprised when the road ran out just after the first bridge construction site. Considering it was used for the Baja 1000 2 days prior, it wasn't in such bad shape. I think if I'd known it was dirt for 70 miles I would have still taken it, but would have given myself more time. I was planning to stay at the legendary Coco's Corner, and I arrived at Coco's at dusk.

Here's the end of the road

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-OeoXiGQ-y9c/UKxkKV_k_oI/AAAAAAAAGSo/51naZT3Lt2s/s679/PB181339.JPG)

This is what it's like for the most part

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-MIX_K4Jopl4/UKwMZDwRy3I/AAAAAAAAGQ4/WcJgxOt5DXQ/s989/_DSC9224_stitch.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dZ0PMxTnWsE/UKsHBEV7beI/AAAAAAAAGJ8/iBU1LN791Dk/s679/PB181345.JPG)


But then there is a sandy section. I was doing alright, staying in the mainly-straight wheel ruts left by cars, but then there was this one wiggly one left by an earlier bike. I gave it half a chance, and my front wheel decided to take the wiggly one. Pretty soon I was into the berm, and over the top of it. It's funny how the tiny wheel track left by the other bike will take the front wheel, but it went straight through the foot-high berm  ::)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-e8_u5sDJ1dI/UKsHnliSM2I/AAAAAAAAGKM/6j5cq3Xgmdw/s679/PB181349.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ScRZuOf2-hU/UKsH3ZgrjcI/AAAAAAAAGKU/c9PovQVxyYk/s679/PB181350.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-5smA6yDji-A/UKsHYbcJ9iI/AAAAAAAAGKE/ZDGVaezhzI8/s679/PB181346.JPG)

Fortunately there is plenty of traffic on that road, so it wasn't long before Baja racers returning home came along and helped me drag the Tenere out. Unfortunately, I didn't get photos or video of the funniest part. We decided it would be easier to surf the bike down the face of the berm to some solid ground off the side of the road, then ride about 50 metres where I'd be able to get back on the road. Well I haven't practiced my berm-surfing skills for a while. We righted the bike with me in the saddle, with the idea to ride diagonally across the face and get down the 3ft or so to solid ground. That didn't go so well... I started to move forward and almost immediately stuck out my right foot, of course there's no ground there, and the bike toppled over while I did a superman dive down the bank.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-jajK9r46Ky4/UK0V4j2e2cI/AAAAAAAAGTA/Hv5NjdIqMag/s707/PB181348.JPG)

Now the bike was laying on its right side almost upside down on the bank. I wasn't too worried - I just thought "hmmm, I think I'm going to have to get used to the sight of the Tenere in unusual positions". From there we just dragged it on its side down the bank till we go to level ground. No damage apart from a few scratches.

I headed off to Coco's again, dropping the bike on the way after losing my footing on an off-camber bit of road when I stopped to take a photo. I was happy to be getting close to Coco's but in the last 5 miles the rear suspension started feeling very weird. It was bouncing off every bump and dip, a couple of times getting the rear of the bike airborne. Zero damping, apparently. I got to Coco's and the body of the shock was too hot to touch. The stock Yamaha shock couldn't take that load on that road, for 70 miles. It's not like I was going fast or anything, average speed was probably 30-40mph.

The rear shock was one thing I'd thought about a bit during the prep for this trip. When I was at Phil's place discussing my stock rear suspension and whether it's adequate for this trip, my comment was that I don't care so much about ultimate performance as long as it's reliable. I hadn't heard of any stock shocks failing, so that was good enough for me. Didn't take long for me to break it! Hope the Ohlin's is better.

So now on my way back to San Diego to take delivery of an Ohlins (and Sonic Springs while I'm at it - thanks Chris), and make a claim with Yamaha for a new shock. I thought going back to SD would be less messy and cheaper than having the shock shipped to La Paz or somewhere in Baja. I wound up the rebound damping to the max and it's rideable on smooth roads now.

It's actually lucky that the shock failed this early in the trip. Now I know it's crap, and fixing it now is a lot easier than if it had failed in Bolivia...

Will have the shock fitted by the weekend, then I'll be turning around and back to Mexico. May change my route though, now that I have seen at least part of Baja. Mexicali and south-east from there?

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on November 21, 2012, 07:23:18 pm
Trevor, thanks for the update.  Been wondering what was happening.  Glad you posted the map.  It really helps get a picture of what you're doing.

Great photos.  The Mexico ones with a bike laying in the sand look very familiar to me.  Happy you did no damage to you or bike.  My first sand/silt fall in Mexico resulted in putting a hole in the case and a loss of oil.  I didn't hit a rock or anything hard, instead the silt was so bound up and compressed by the spinning front sprocket that it damaged the case.  I hope the shaft drive makes that type of damage impossible for you.

I do envy you for making the trip, but I'll admit looking at that sand again makes me glad to be sitting in Virginia.  Stay safe and thanks again for keeping us updated.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: GrahamD on November 21, 2012, 08:05:25 pm
Thanks for the update DC.

Good to know that you are still kicking along.

Anyway what Dirt_Dad said.. Ditto. ^^^ Except the busted Strom? bit.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on November 21, 2012, 08:29:13 pm
Except the busted Strom?.

No, Honda CRF450X.  I wouldn't have made it 10 feet on a Strom down there.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on November 21, 2012, 08:42:36 pm
Awesome.. Glad we got your shock all worked out...  Let me know what you think of it and any other comments on it.. Like you said, good thing it was where you where at and not way out in the boon-docks.......  Let me know if you need anything else...  ::008::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on November 22, 2012, 01:17:11 pm
Great to hear from you and that you are doing well.
Bob

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on November 22, 2012, 01:58:29 pm


Great photos.  The Mexico ones with a bike laying in the sand look very familiar to me.  Happy you did no damage to you or bike.  My first sand/silt fall in Mexico resulted in putting a hole in the case and a loss of oil.  I didn't hit a rock or anything hard, instead the silt was so bound up and compressed by the spinning front sprocket that it damaged the case.  I hope the shaft drive makes that type of damage impossible for you.


I don't think you should take the blame for that one! Sounds like a design flaw on the part of Honda... but yes, bad enough seeing the bike on its side in the sand, would hate to see a pool of oil forming at the same time!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: True Grip on November 22, 2012, 02:17:00 pm
Thanks for the update I've been wondering where you might be at. Looking forward to hearing about Mexico. Seems like you do well at handling adversity. The true spirit of adventure. Best wishes  Mark
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: NittanyXT on November 22, 2012, 04:10:36 pm
Good to hear from you, Trevor! You'll have to let us know if you come across any Mexican "Kasey's". :P
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on November 23, 2012, 08:57:47 am
Glad to hear your still moving along.  I like many of the others were wondering how it was going.  Been watching you on spot..... Stay Safe

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on November 26, 2012, 12:35:10 pm
Ok so I had an exciting weekend, fitting a new Ohlins rear shock and Sonic springs. Chris (Jagermeister) was very efficient, getting the parts out to me so that they arrived in San Diego on Friday. Then Carl (tubebender) and I spent most of the day Saturday installing everything. Carl was brilliant, as was his wife Virginia, who ran the turkey sandwich side of the operation.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-0Iewufk06XI/ULbi3qSI8zI/AAAAAAAAGbg/y_IVRaYgo40/s768/_DSC9295.JPG)

I'm not fond of the setup on the gas cannister - the hose is supposed to go under the passenger peg bracket, but with the Jesse rack also mouted to that bracket I can't get the angle right. I think I have to modify the bracket that holds the cannister... another time...

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ExDEMyCkCWs/ULbi0tdr8nI/AAAAAAAAGbQ/cT7iODpw2B0/s768/_DSC9301.JPG)

One disappointment was that I now have too much sag on the rear. Not that surprising given the load I have on and that the shock wasn't set up for me. I spoke to the Ohlins guy that did the initial setup, he had all the specs. It already has a heavier spring than standard (130 vs 150 nm) so should be ok with just some more preload wound on. Unfortunately this means the shock has to come out again, and some special tools required to do the adjustment.

I found a guy in Tucson who can do it, so heading there now. If I make good time I may be able to get it done today.

Anyone in the vicinity that might want to have a beer tonight?

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: thfraser on November 26, 2012, 01:31:15 pm
Keep the reports coming!  I'm glad to hear that you are getting the repairs you needed, made in very short time.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on November 26, 2012, 02:15:17 pm
Tucson is awesome. One of my favorite towns. If you have time to explore take a ride up Mt Lemon and have lunch at the Iron Door across from the ski resort.  Definitely ride through the  saguaro forests on the east or wast side of town. And head out Speedway to the parking lot on top of the mountain to watch the sunset. I do love Tucson.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Don in Lodi on November 26, 2012, 10:28:31 pm
If you're fond of old westerns there's the 'New' Old Tucson Studios to the west of town.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on November 28, 2012, 11:26:05 pm
Good to hear from you, Trevor! You'll have to let us know if you come across any Mexican "Kasey's". :P

That's a pretty high bar mate, but I am examining all the candidates closely. I will certainly let you know!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on November 29, 2012, 12:27:41 am
Did you get your shock set up ?  How is the font doing after the new springs ?  How bad was the fork oil ?  Be safe !  ::008::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on November 29, 2012, 01:21:49 am
Did you get your shock set up ?  How is the font doing after the new springs ?  How bad was the fork oil ?  Be safe !  ::008::


Hi Mate,

yeah I went to see Carlos at http://serranomotorsports.com/ (http://serranomotorsports.com/) and he got me setup up pretty quickly. Very helpful guy and knowledgeable about a lot of things m/c related.

I'd talked to Gary at Ohlins the day before, and he suggested putting another 6mm preload on the spring, via the ring nuts on the body. I'd already used up all the available hydraulic preload. Carlos pulled the spring and made the adjustment, but we only improved the sag situation by 10mm - meaning I ended up with 90mm sag when I was aiming for 60. This is with my full load on a 150nm spring. Yes I need to lose some weight! but still, what I'm carrying is no heavier than a large pillion, or an average one and a long weekends worth of camping gear. So I would think Ohilns SHOULD be able to make the shock work with that kind of weight.

I spoke to Gary again and he said that adding more preload to this spring is not a good idea - I really need a heavier spring. Problem is, the next heaviest from Ohlins is too heavy, they don't have one the right rate for me. He's discussing with Sweden.

Meawhile no choice but to use it as it. I did a run fully-loaded up Mt Lemmon today (thanks for that tip dirt-dad), and it handled great, very smooth ride at the moderately fast speeds I was doing. The Sonic springs make a difference too, I like the action much better compared to stock. If you're prepared to put the time into installing them, for $80 they are a great improvemnet. If you're already changing the fork oil, it's almost a no-brainer.

Now I have to find out how it handles rough roads. My guess is, very well, but I'll have to  be careful not to hit too many large whoops that might bottom the suspension.

Fork oil was good as I'd had it changed before I left DC - so it had about 12000 miles on it.

One other suspension-related problem though - there was a little bit of oil around the seal of the left leg after we changed the springs. Been keeping an eye on it, wiping it off once in a while but it kept coming back. Yesterday there was the tiniest drop collecting around the bottom of the leg, so I knew it was time... Weird that it just started after we changed the spring. Maybe it was about to start leaking on its own, and us pumping it when filling with fresh oil just exacerbated the problem? Dunno. I have a Sealsaver tool for cleaning seals, and would have tried that but was near a dealer and went to see what they would say. They just said "change it" and they got it done the same afternoon under warranty. Now I have Honda 5w in the left leg, and Motul 5w in the right (dealer didn't have Motul). I can't tell the difference so I guess it doesn't matter!


Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on November 29, 2012, 01:30:48 am
Great report...  If there is anything I can help with just let me know.....  Post pictures of your travels !  ::008::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: eemsreno on November 29, 2012, 07:03:23 am
Hi Mate,
. Now I have Honda 5w in the left leg, and Motul 5w in the right (dealer didn't have Motul). I can't tell the difference so I guess it doesn't matter!

Trevor

This could be a very serious offence using anything Honda in your Yamaha,  at least it wasn’t Kawasaki oil , the outcome could have been fatal.
Steve
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on November 29, 2012, 03:34:10 pm
Easy peasy! Now having lunch on the beautiful town square at Magdalena de Kino, a couple of hours from the border. Paperwork for the bike took less than an hour, and I already had the tourist visa from Baja.

I guy in a truck just stopped and yelled something about a bike club in town, and he's going to send a couple of guys around. Could be interesting!

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/11/30/a6ede5u3.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tubebender on November 29, 2012, 05:04:00 pm
Way to go, Trevor! The journey continues  ::26::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on November 30, 2012, 12:21:23 pm
Had a nice first night back in Mexico, got to Banamichi, about 4 hours easy ride from the border. I stayed at http://www.losarcossonora.com/ (http://www.losarcossonora.com/) - a hotel run by an american couple. Tom gave me a great welcome, first coffee then later some local liquor that's like tequila but not, called bacanora. Nice stuff! Tom's on advrider.com as Turkeycreek - look him up if you're thinking about coming down here. Not only does he do great accommodation (and liquor...) but has a lot of good advice about travelling mexico.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-X1IbC6O-9us/ULjnUUC5JEI/AAAAAAAAGcI/_6MYOYoLnlU/s856/_DSC9393_4_5.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-B2fvhAzZkU0/ULjmr6-f-RI/AAAAAAAAGb8/vHOJEaUwOFA/s769/_DSC9396_7_8.jpg)

The road from Magdelena to Banamichi was fun and scenic, but surface was pretty broken up in places. This is where the new suspension made itself felt - or not felt, as the case may be! The bike just glided over rough sections that would have felt very harsh previously. Great!

I went through a couple of police checkpoints - or at least they are some branch of the Police, known as PEI. At the first checkpoint I didn't recognise what was on the side of the vehicle - PEI didn't mean anything to me, except maybe Prince Edward Island, but I thought that was probably not what they were referring to. I was more focussed however on the guy waving me down with the AK slung over his shoulder. I must have been casual friday for these guys, this one was wearing a track suit top, jeans and sneakers... He asked me where I was going and then waved me through. No drama but a bit disconcerting not knowinq who you are talking to. There was another stop a bit further down the road, this time the guys were in uniform and it showed - the attitude was less casual as well! Again, no problem and got to Tom's place around 4pm.

Today making my way to Copper Canyon, probably get there tomorrow.

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on November 30, 2012, 04:46:40 pm
...this time the guys were in uniform and it showed - the attitude was less casual as well! Again, no problem and got to Tom's place around 4pm.

Do be aware those roadblock guys sometimes like to steal things from you.  At least that was the case when I was there a few years ago.  Thankfully they were not persistent if you challenged them on what they were trying to take.  Not that I challenged the AK holding teenager, but one of the guys in our group did and it worked for him.  He was driving the support van with more stuff to steal, so hopefully you'll never give you a second look on your tightly packed bike.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on November 30, 2012, 07:04:31 pm
Nice pictures DC !   ::008::   We cant all be there but we live though your pictures and words.....  Now let me sit back and read about Mexico..  :P
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Boosthund on December 06, 2012, 04:51:16 pm
Hey Trev,

Just now catching up with your big adventure!

Glad to hear you're all healed up and flexible, physically and mechanically.

Interesting suspension upgrades ... what caused the failures?

Stay and ride safe.

Best,
Paul V.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 06, 2012, 05:22:30 pm


Interesting suspension upgrades ... what caused the failures?

Stay and ride safe.

Best,
Paul V.

Hey Paul,

I think the suspension failure was a combination of my fat arse, too much gear, a rough road and an undersprung stock shock. I have to admit though I was a bit "shocked" at the failure... I'm not THAT fat, or THAT overloaded, and the road wasn't THAT rough. Weird thing was, the shock didn't leak or anything, just lost all damping.  I suspect if I'd had an upgraded spring, the shock wouldn't have been working so hard, and whatever it was that let go internally might not have.

Happy with the Ohlins so far, but it would be sad if I wasn't, at the price (although I have to thank Chris again - his misfortune meant I got a shock at a better price than otherwise). More impressive (for the price) are the improvements at the front - for $80 the Sonic Springs give a much smoother action than the stock springs. Don't ask me why! Side by side the look the same to me, except for the progressive wind on the bottom of the stock part. Downside is they are quite a bit of work to install.

Hope all's well in your neck of the woods?

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 06, 2012, 06:27:00 pm
After leaving Tom's http://www.losarcossonora.com/ (http://www.losarcossonora.com/) I took some quiet backroads to get me over to Mex 16. The roads were so quiet in fact that more than once I thought to myself "why am I the only person on this road? Do the locals know something I don't?" I was able to keep my paranoia in check, mainly by focusing on the riding and the road and dodging the potholes. The road south on this map is one of these... Once I got onto Mex 16 east, the road was just fabulous, and not quite as deserted. There was still very little traffic though, and a million and one curves, it was just a blast. I was stopped at a military checkpoint not long after getting onto 16, but the guys were friendly and interested in the bike more than anything else.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-L-mtDtFoO9c/UMEfXO3TFZI/AAAAAAAAGfs/6ixtCXRDLDo/s962/Fullscreen+capture+1262012+34108+PM.jpg)


These are some of the backroads that took me to Mex 16

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-HZ7etgJUU9k/UL2PfINFz9I/AAAAAAAAGck/F5xr0RUm0sA/s707/PB301694.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-EdZAgSswgVs/UL2PkqTUHNI/AAAAAAAAGcs/6KDdwL01V7U/s707/PB301695.JPG)

Dodging holes, rocks and sand!

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-wDhNzND0glQ/UL2Py34fZ1I/AAAAAAAAGc8/SRk8ukJIZW0/s530/PB301701.JPG)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-j6vz4E99iFo/UMEi2xgq6II/AAAAAAAAGgY/9rzhr3h5JX0/s707/PC011703.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ML7pWD5K6-c/UMEirRFjbgI/AAAAAAAAGgA/ZG_z_gLze3o/s707/PC011706.JPG)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-67cp_AnEVEw/UMEiwNtF25I/AAAAAAAAGgI/kMRHl0zk8Aw/s707/PC011708.JPG)

But soon I was on MUCH better pavement, winding my way between these imposing rock formations. It went on like this for hundreds of miles... I've never ridden better roads, and with such little traffic. The banditos/donkey/cows/trucks that I'd been warned about either weren't present or didn't present much of a problem. Cows and donkeys tend to be slow moving, so on the odd occasion they are standing in the middle of the road, they are easy to avoid. My worst animal experience so far was trying to avoid a vicious-looking dog that was chasing me in the streets of Creel; my usual tactic is to accelerate away, but with slow-moving traffic ahead of me this wasn't an option. Instead I resorted to weaving, and almost wove myself into the back bumper of a parked car! I have to figure out another strategy - a blade that pops out from the boot, a la Maxwell Smart?

These roads and this scenery are nothing short of spectacular. Or did I already say that??

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2nsTcmNwikk/UMEiyb7DKfI/AAAAAAAAGgQ/8KvO8LI352M/s799/_DSC9412.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Y067PRsghg0/UMEMpE9vbAI/AAAAAAAAGfI/QPkP4Ituh4k/s989/PC051967_stitch+copy.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-l8zTI_V4DtQ/UMEMqD2HEmI/AAAAAAAAGfQ/a1Wnxxm7GW0/s989/_DSC9774_stitch+copy.jpg)

And of course Copper Canyon. The view from Diversidero, about 30 miles from Creel.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-iU8eqZZWgVE/UMEMrj8hrcI/AAAAAAAAGfY/CW81LYABw54/s987/_DSC9643_stitch.jpg)

More soon...!


Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on December 06, 2012, 07:56:45 pm
Fantastic photos, Trevor.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: GrahamD on December 06, 2012, 09:27:48 pm
Fantastic photos, Trevor.

+1

 ::012::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 07, 2012, 12:29:24 am
Smoked Tenere...

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-CcJmpPyoAws/UL2PPSKJGFI/AAAAAAAAGcc/IPayh3scyeY/s509/PB211554.JPG)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: thfraser on December 07, 2012, 07:12:12 am
Looks like a top notch adventure. Please continue to share your travels and all that they bring your way!    ::012::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on December 07, 2012, 08:30:00 am
Well Trevor, it's offical....

You have hooked my wife, she now ask "Where is Trevor at now?"

Keep us posted.

Alan
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 07, 2012, 11:39:52 am
Thanks Alan, glad your wife is enjoying the trip. Next thing you know she'll be wanting to visit Mexico!

Today is B-day - Batopilas day. Seems like is it kind of a challenging road, rough dirt winding down the side of the canyon to Batopilis at the bottom. I'm trying to tip the odds in my favor by leaving most of the gear in the hotel at Guanchochi. Cheating I know, but not in the mood for picking up a fully laden Tenere...

Back tomorrow, will let you know how I fared!

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 07, 2012, 12:07:02 pm
Video here for any one who wants to get the flavor of these roads...

East of Creel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdoM4rQoawg#ws)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 09, 2012, 01:27:50 am
We made it! What a great exciting road... Tenere handled it well, here's a brief tour of Batapilas

Leaving Batapilas (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e18n7_Ugi44#ws)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: True Grip on December 09, 2012, 08:21:31 am
Nice videos DC you make us all jealous. Livin through you dreaming of future adventures.
 
Be safe Mark
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on December 09, 2012, 05:52:45 pm
We made it! What a great exciting road... Tenere handled it well, here's a brief tour of Batapilas

[url]http://youtu.be/e18n7_Ugi44[/url] ([url]http://youtu.be/e18n7_Ugi44[/url])


Interesting.  Is it customary to ride through the house down there?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 09, 2012, 07:59:39 pm
Interesting.  Is it customary to ride through the house down there?

Juanita insisted on it! And then gave me some mandarins from her tree, for the road.

She has lots of motorcyclists as guests, and all ride through the house to park in the courtyard.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Combo on December 09, 2012, 09:29:32 pm
Video here for any one who wants to get the flavor of these roads...

[url]http://youtu.be/PdoM4rQoawg[/url] ([url]http://youtu.be/PdoM4rQoawg[/url])


Cool road & Nice riding style, I can tell you have spent some time in the saddle and with your down shifting rev to keep the rear from getting you out of shape coming into the turns. Nice!   ::008::

I love the sound of this bike when running roads like that.

Thanks for posting the Vid.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 10, 2012, 12:05:27 am
I didn't really have a plan to go to Batopilas. I'd heard the road was really bad at the best of times, and I knew the conditions could change from one week to the next, or one day to the next if it rained. Anyway, I came to Creel to check out the Copper Canyon, and was able to see it from the top at Diversadero, 30 miles of good tarmac from Creel.

If I was going to do the Batopilas road I needed to know what it was like currently. I'm travelling alone for the most part, and don't want to be taking too many unnecessary risks. Fortunately I ran into Carol and Ken, an Aussie couple on an R80/GS, the day I arrived in Creel. They had a plan to go to Batopilas the next day, along with Rick, a Californian on an R100/GS. We swapped email addresses so that they could report back on road conditions.

After spending a few days in Creel I travelled 120 miles or so to Guanchochi, the nearest town to the road that goes down to Batopilas. Here's the accommodation for the bike...

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-X2oK-FK2fyU/UMDqG-u1AoI/AAAAAAAAGd8/e1nUtPkHQC4/s679/PC051974.JPG)

and for me...

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-U6fpRhuetvw/UMDqH7e6VUI/AAAAAAAAGeE/vSXwUpq5kwo/s679/PC051975.JPG)

all for the equivalent of $11/night. Even has hot water (but literally only for about 1 minute before it gets cold.) Still, not going to complain for that price.

The next day Ken reported that the road was tough but doable. They had fallen twice but no injury or damage, and Rick had suffered NINE front tire punctures (8 from thorns, one from a rock). Fortunately they happened near Batopilas and he was able to get them plugged there. Ken had zero punctures, and we thought that the difference was that Rick had lowered his tire pressures, Ken hadn't.

From this I concluded that I should be OK solo on the Tenere, but would be better without a load. I CAN pick the bike up fully loaded, under perfect conditions, but on a slope with a loose surface underfoot, fuggedaboudit. I didn't want to have to be unloading the bike every time I went down (and I was assuming I would, at least once or twice) so I arranged to leave most of the gear at the hotel.

I got talking to a couple of guys from the electricity company that were staying in the hotel. They travel around towns and villages in the region, and spoke pretty good english. They told me there are some problems in the area, with narcos mainly but also drunks on the road... Their advice was, it's OK in town, just don't travel at night. Thanks, I wasn't planning on it! With this in mind, I took off on my side trip to Batopilas.

First I gassed up... a full tank wasn't necessary since there were a couple of places on the way to get fuel, and in fact I would been better off with less fuel as a way to lighten the load. BUT I wanted to measure my fuel economy, know that I'd be in first or second gear all the way. What kind of economy could I expect under those conditions? At some point in the future if I have to ride like that and fuel is harder to come by, I'll want to have a pretty good idea of my range. Anyone want to hazard a guess?

Here's the road down. It's pretty rocky with a layer of bulldust/fesh-fesh over most of it, with some gullys and a few easy water crossings. The bulldust wasn't as big a problem as you might think - because it's such a fine silt, it doesn't take the front wheel in the way that sand does... it would if deep enough, but there aren't many places it was that deep. The K60's could dig through it to the hard rock underneath and get good traction most of the time. The biggest problem with it is that it does a good job of hiding whatever's underneath, so you really have to focus and look out for signs of big rocks or gullys hidden by the silt.

The road drops from 8000ft to a little over 1000ft in the last 10 miles of so. Temps are crisp and fall-like at the top, vegetation is mostly pines, and by the bottom it's almost sub-tropical, with cactus scattered over the hillsides.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ethv9MimJbo/UMTQJWtS5FI/AAAAAAAAGis/Ee5jTAS8vu0/s922/batopilas-googleearth.jpg)


To Batopilas on a Super Tenere (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch9FIVmFLNQ#ws)


I was pretty tentative at first but once I got a feel for the road I fell into a bit of a rhythm and started to enjoy it. Awesome views on the way down and stopped several time for photos, as well as a brief lunch stop in one of the small communities on the way. No real incidents, but there's always something going on and I really had to keep focused. All in all not as difficult as I'd anticipated, and I suspect for many of those who've crashed on this road, it's because they can't stop themselves looking at the scenery!

And about the fuel economy - it was a 160 mile return trip, with about 50 of that being good pavement. I got 35mpg. Allowing for the fact that the pavement section would have boosted the average a bit, I'm going to say that 32mpg would be a good figure to work from if I ever have to do this kind of 1st/2nd gear riding again.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on December 10, 2012, 08:07:06 am
Great report & video Trevor. When you showed the $11 room, I thought you were staying at somebody's home!
Thanks!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on December 10, 2012, 08:30:23 am
Interesting.  Is it customary to ride through the house down there?

Very normal to get bikes off of the road, even in developed countries. I've been asked to bring the bike to an inner garden walk in Mexico and to park inside the beautifully marbled lobby in an Italian guest house.
This is a pretty nice home on the west coast of Africa that takes guests and bike owners are told to park inside the door. We were just passing through & stopped for our driver to ask directions (Chevy Suburban), so Im not even sure why I took the photo.
 ::)
(http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa87/Checkswrecks/Rides/file_zps1e3a1f03.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on December 10, 2012, 07:41:28 pm
I suspect for many of those who've crashed on this road, it's because they can't stop themselves looking at the scenery!

Makes total sense to me.  That scenery was fantastic.  I watched every minute and think I'd have a hard time keeping my eyes on the trail. That looked like a best case scenario for silt.  What a great ride, thanks for putting that out there for us.  Now I need to go change my bib.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 10, 2012, 11:26:31 pm
Makes total sense to me.  That scenery was fantastic.  I watched every minute and think I'd have a hard time keeping my eyes on the trail. That looked like a best case scenario for silt.  What a great ride, thanks for putting that out there for us.  Now I need to go change my bib.

Glad you enjoyed it. I know it's long and surprised you watched the whole thing! Part of the reason it's 26 minutes is to give a good overview of all parts of the road, for anyone thinking about doing it. I needed the Ken's report to give me the confidence to tackle it, maybe others watching the vid will get a boost too.

Here's some views from the bottom...

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8LSfgI8qITw/UMTHJ75l0ZI/AAAAAAAAGiQ/Hjw0UruSpx0/s989/_DSC9921_stitch.jpg)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-0k0KQpoJ20M/UMTQH1YMwnI/AAAAAAAAGik/nqjX5YihA5I/s989/_DSC0057_stitch.jpg)

San Ignacio Mission

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-8WcVbE8FHkw/UMUevzKKHFI/AAAAAAAAGjI/E1SXkWw5sKw/s509/_DSC0090_0_1_1_2_2.jpg)
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 13, 2012, 08:42:21 pm
Kicked butt on the Batopilas road, tamed the Devil's Backbone... crashed in front of a Mazatlan hotel! What a dick ;-)

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/12/14/rygu5eza.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Don in Lodi on December 13, 2012, 08:48:32 pm
A curb! That had to leave a mark. :'(
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on December 13, 2012, 09:33:20 pm
Them that has . . .


. . .


 . . . & them that will.


 ;)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 14, 2012, 09:57:55 am
A curb! That had to leave a mark. :'(

Don, you're right as usual!

I might have to find a sticker to go over that crack....

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-lS26qOOpwm8/UMs6eJO69nI/AAAAAAAAGk0/Sfmm8pIUWqw/s707/PC132206.JPG)


And take a hammer to the Jesse!

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-fhjY2y7I_ps/UMs6j9m7VDI/AAAAAAAAGlE/aZxZC3EmfQM/s707/PC132208.JPG)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Don in Lodi on December 14, 2012, 10:02:29 am
Did your right foot do the 'swoosh' through empty air where you thought there should be pavement?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 14, 2012, 10:11:18 am
Did your right foot do the 'swoosh' through empty air where you thought there should be pavement?

Exactly! Was thinking "I wonder if this hotel will be OK?", put my foot down without noticing that the gutter is really deep right there... I did a barrel-roll onto the sidewalk. At least that's one thing I'm getting good at!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Don in Lodi on December 14, 2012, 10:40:34 am
Good thing too. A leg between a curb and a bike would have... left a mark. ::010::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 14, 2012, 10:47:37 am
Back to Batopilas... I didn't quite finish that part of  the story.

The trip back up was a bit different to coming down - what were downhill sections before were now steep climbs. Mostly they were ok, but a few were steep enough and rough enough that you have to pick your route at the bottom, cos it's going to be difficult to change course on the way up. If you have to stop, it may be too steep to get going again, and the idea of reversing a Tenere backwards down the hill was unappealing to me. Fortunately my lines worked out and got up them without incident.

Another problem on this road is vehicles, especially trucks, coming the other way. You might have noticed in the video, I'm on the horn heading into most of the blind corners. This is an attempt to warn other vehicles of my presence. On the trip back up, the one time I didn't use the horn, I was heading into a blind hairpin and suddenly, I get a faceful of blue. A seemingly huge truck was trying to get around the corner at the same time as me. After momentarily crapping myself, I figured I was going to have to be the one to be chicken  :D I went straight on, into the scree beside the road. Luckily it wasn't THAT close to the edge. The truck got by OK, but then I couldn't get moving again, facing uphill in loose dirt and rocks... As you look at this pic, just imagine a big blue truck coming round that bend...

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PtsVE3PfV0k/UMa-6ZMdWLI/AAAAAAAAGjk/ydvBo-Cq6Zc/s707/PC082169.JPG)

I couldn't go forward, so had to dig a trench behind the rear tire and go backwards. Once onto some firmer ground all was well.

No further incidents on this road except... the last ten miles I was feeling pretty confident, and thought it might be time to have a bit of fun. After all, I had 100 miles of this road behind me, no crashes, not even close, and I'd covered this section of road the day before... why shouldn't I up the pace a bit with only a few miles to go? Well, here's why... Going through a washout I hit a rock that I didn't even see, and bottomed the forks. I stopped to check but couldn't see any rim damage though the dust, so thought I'd gotten away with it. The next day though, after I'd had a chance to clean the bike up a bit, I see I have a ding in the front rim. Only a small one thankfully, and the tire is not losing air. Next tire change I'll take to it with a hammer and a lump of wood!

I went back to Guanchochi for a couple of nights, cleaned the bike up a little and checked things over, nothing rattled loose as far as I can tell. These effen Teneres are SOLID eh!?

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rwId3NDsAG8/UMbAuTh3n2I/AAAAAAAAGj8/imgA3Rn6ut8/s679/PC082174.JPG)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 14, 2012, 11:39:12 am
I headed east from Guanchochi, hoping to make Durango the next day. I had decided to take 24 south, just before Parral, for two reasons - it looked shorter but also twistier than the other option, Mex 45 from Parral.

There's a Pemex and an OXXO at that intersection. In front of the OXXO there's an old guy selling knick-knacks. I pull up for some lunch and we start talking, he's asking me where I'm going. I tell him Durango, he says which way? I point across the road to 24 south and he starts getting fairly animated "Solo, no, solo, no" and wagging his finger at me. He says going the Parral route is better.

While I'm having lunch I'm wondering if an old boy sitting on the pavement qualifies as "local knowledge" in this case, and should I take his advice? I'm thinking about asking the Pemex guys what they think, but I'm leaning toward just going via Parral since I'm not particularly wedded to taking 24. The next minute a truck with a manned machine gun mounted in the bed takes off down 24 - I guess that seals it eh? I took the old guys advice and went via Parral.

That night I stayed in a pretty nice hotel on Mex-45, for about $23. Big flat screen TV, only 10 channels, but 6 of those were in english! Only problem, the dialogue on 5 of them wasn't much to write home about - they were porn channels. Pretty funny...

The next day as I was getting ready to leave an old goucho with no front teeth and covered in dust (but with great boots and a nice white cowboy hat) comes to say hello. I'm packing the bike and he starts talking about it as being my "cabello". For a guy who's spent most of his life on a horse, it's kinda nice that he's talking about the bike being my horse. So we decide it should be "el Cabello Azul" - the blue horse. You like?

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on December 14, 2012, 11:57:29 am
El Cabello Azul,.........  I love it...   Keep it up DC...    ::008::  ::008::  ::008::
Title: Durango and the Devil's Backbone
Post by: dcstrom on December 14, 2012, 11:58:40 am
Made it to Durango the next day where I met up with 2 Aussies, Ken and Carol, who I'd first met in Creel. They'd found a great old hotel right in the center of town, off a pedestrian mall next to the main plaza. The plaza is all lit up with christmas lights and with food vendors and others around, it's quite a party atmosphere.

The hotel lets us park the bikes in the lobby...

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-4ISU8FR2Ueo/UMtXphLJIII/AAAAAAAAGmU/wN3OiTRlCNE/s593/_DSC0156_stitch.jpg)

It's all Christmassy out on the Plaza, 2 minutes from the hotel

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JM5D5Z1YYAE/UOGn__XzAGI/AAAAAAAAGxo/gaA0O74sUEE/s768/_DSC0209.JPG)

and we went out for dinner with SR (from ADVrider) who lives in Durango.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Nz1G9Y2M3NE/UMtXoPZJHEI/AAAAAAAAGmM/U-z8Hi6RqCY/s679/PC112191.JPG)

I was overdue for an oil change so the next day Stephen took us to the Autozone (no bike-specific oils) and then the Honda shop. I ended up with Honda 20w-50 synthetic blend. Should do the job! It had been 5200 miles since my last change, but I'm thinking since it was Mobil-1 racing blah blah, it should be OK to stretch the interval a bit, especially since it had seen very little stop/go traffic. PLUS, I'd topped it up with about 200cc of fresh oil in that period  ;)

Yesterday I took on "The Devil's Backbone" from Durango to Mazatlan. Great road, but a bit more traffic than Mex 16. You have to allow for trucks coming the other way and cutting corners. It might not look like it in the vid (my view is a bit different to the camera's) but I'm taking pretty conservative lines when I can't see what's coming the other way i.e. peel in a bit early, and don't run it wide coming out until you can see there's nobody in your lane...

"The Devil's Backbone" - Durango to Mazatlan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCrw4qWlaM0#ws)
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 14, 2012, 01:29:07 pm
This morning I surveyed the damage from yesterday's off, and found to my horror... I'd broken the water bottle mount! (An idea I stole from Checkswrecks - thanks mate!)

Pulled the sidecover, no damage underneath so it's just the crack and one plastic locating pin. No biggie, glued up the crack, mainly to stop water getting in. Now just need a hammer for the jesses!

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/12/15/e2uqy6u7.jpg)


Title: Escape from DC
Post by: Firefight911 on December 14, 2012, 02:00:28 pm
Things are sounding good Trevor!!  Keep it up!!!

Amelia waves hello!!!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 14, 2012, 02:03:52 pm
Things are sounding good Trevor!!  Keep it up!!!

Amelia waves hello!!!

Hey Amelia! Reminds me... I have some pics to send you... Hope you and J and A are all well.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on December 14, 2012, 02:14:40 pm
Thanks for sharing your adventure!
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 15, 2012, 06:31:53 pm
In Tequila - and tonight, tequila will be in me!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Twisties on December 16, 2012, 01:21:42 am
Hey Trevor,

I've been a little busy with a move and such, hadn't checked into Tall Trails since summer.  Just got caught up on your adventure.  Too bad I wasn't following more closely or I think we could have met up as you went from Seattle to Cal. 

Sounds like a pretty amazing adventure so far! 

Take care, and keep on keeping on!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 26, 2012, 10:52:34 pm
Overdue for an update here!

I didn't have long enough in Tequila - just one night. First stop was the Jose Cuervo tasting rooms. I thought I should have a finer appreciation of the tequila genre, and sipping a few different styles seemed like a good way to do it. Well the lovely ladies behind the bar soon put a stop to that! I selected a tequila I'd never tried before, they poured me a double - ok fine... and then another double. So there I was "tasting" half a glass of tequila, which just about knocked me on my arse, and precluded further tastings (at least for a while). I thought if I had another one I might not find my way back to the hotel...

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Eko9ocSiAWI/UNFJYlRV7sI/AAAAAAAAGq0/DfgOCFCmQmk/s768/_DSC0284.JPG)

I recovered somewhat after eating dinner, so decided to give the tequila another shot (so to speak). This one was pretty special. Take down this recipeQ

Large mug
plenty of ice
top with a teaspoon of salt (yes...)
a double shot of tequila
squeeze the just of a whole lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, squeezed directly into the mug
top off with lemon soda

delicious, could have drunk them all night.

Staring down a big mug of tequila

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7d_3d1kzv-s/UNFJmbnhC0I/AAAAAAAAGr8/oizHI1MItZU/s768/_DSC0274.JPG)

Tequila architecture

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-js9Fm_CNmL8/UNFJe-glMQI/AAAAAAAAGrU/pBDX6CzKGKA/s769/_DSC0297_8_9.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-RlZhFsJID-o/UNFJdLD4I5I/AAAAAAAAGrM/Xzh6svnfMiU/s768/_DSC0295.jpg)


"welcome to the Hotel Tequila, it's a lovely place..."

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-37iUEwguW_4/UNFJnkjbT5I/AAAAAAAAGsE/Oc0UeEkfV_c/s768/_DSC0278.JPG)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 26, 2012, 11:47:19 pm
I'd agreed to meet one of the guys from ADVrider.com in Palenque for "the end of the world" on December 21. It was early December when we concocted this plan - plenty of time to get down there I thought. But spent more time than expected around Copper Canyon, then a couple of days in Durango, so that by the time I left there I had 6 days to get to Palenque, close to the border with Guatemala. As far as I could tell, it was about 1200 miles from Durango. I say "as far as I could tell" because I was having to adjust my route all the way down - it wasn't simply a matter of following the one the GPS picked. 1200 miles in 6 days sounds pretty easy, but not in Mexico...

For a start, I wanted to avoid the Cuotas - the toll roads. They are fast but expensive. I did one section between Mazatlan and San Blas, it cost me the equivalent of $13 for 60 miles. That's a tank full of gas, or a nights accommodation. Can't afford to do that too often! So I'm working my way south using only the "libre" roads. These are mostly scenic and twisty and lovely, interrupted by the occasional small village, which as always comes with a collection of topes (speedbumps). More on them later.

I had to decide whether to cut across south of Mexico City, or north of it. Whatever happened, I wanted to stay well clear of the city itself. I chose south, but not south enough! Ss I got closer to Mexico City the villages got bigger and closer together, and towns larger and more chaotic. This presented a plethora of opportunities for getting lost or stuck in traffic - and I took most of them!

But first, the Love Hotel experience. At the end of a long day's ride from Tequila I miscalculated my evening stop, and ended up riding after sunset for the first time in Mexico (see SECURITY ISSUES later...). I stopped at the next hotel I came to, which was a "love hotel". These places rent rooms on a 4-hourly basis, generally people bring their sweetheats/mistresses here for  a bonking session. They are set up so that you can drive in, park the car and pull the curtain, and access the room from within the garage. Nobody need ever know you (or your car) were there. They will rent by the night as well and this is handy for travellers - they are usually on the outskirts of town so no fighting traffic or looking around for a hotel in the middle of town. Downside is there is not much in the way of facilities or restaurants around, but I didn't care at that point, just wanted a bed (even if a well-used one!).

Good parking for the bike.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-GPXmCDBEkbQ/UNFDmU7m4BI/AAAAAAAAGpk/3Pi4IZkFa3c/s679/PC182228.JPG)

I DID get a little pussy there at least!

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-LqG2dIrgsq0/UNFDoGkXGZI/AAAAAAAAGps/JcdVrGauGHI/s679/PC182220.JPG)

The next day I skirted around Guadalajara - I lost a good two hours there, it was market day in the villages on the outskirts of town - and headed to Cuitzeo, a pretty town by a lake. There seems to be some town ordinance that requires all the homes and business to have the same paint scheme and lettering - white paint with brown trim, business names in black but with the first letter in brown. Kinda nice change from most places where businesses do whatever they can to get your attention, and it just ends up being really ugly.

Here's the supermarket. Like the Tardis, unassuming on the outside but huge the inside!

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-b2YFWq7P5Lc/UNFJkiSH-NI/AAAAAAAAGrs/LD2GV6wdVLc/s509/_DSC0441.JPG)

The hotel was hard to find (damn this lack of signage ;-) but was excellent, and excellent value at $14. Just a short walk from the plaza with lots of good food and stuff happening.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8g9_WBebTxs/UNFJWjJkgzI/AAAAAAAAGqs/luZ28vu4Htc/s768/_DSC0444.JPG)at

I noticed a "Ron Paul for President" sign on the front gate, and thought to myself "don't those wackos know we're in Mexico?" Turns out the owner was an american and a Ron Paul supporter. He bought me a BIG bottle of beer (included in the price of the room, I assume) and lively discussion ensued.

Checking out downtown, lots of fireworks in the street - boys will be boys...

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-tc3yUW5Xt2k/UNFJlluQ7gI/AAAAAAAAGr0/xld3KcI-lIQ/s709/_DSC0429.JPG)

I think there are more churches here than in Spain or Italy...

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-OOicxDpgBRM/UNFJgdmtVjI/AAAAAAAAGrc/bd4tD3sFUwA/s509/_DSC0414_5_6.jpg)

Next... more long days on the road!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Matteo on December 27, 2012, 05:59:06 pm
Great stuff, hopefully you can take more secondary roads and make it to Playa del Carmen after Jan 7th.  That should slow you down enough.  See you there!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dlgarrett75 on December 28, 2012, 07:40:27 pm
Hey Trevor, great to hear from you. Hope you recover quickly from the bug. Things sound good, and scenery great! I'll look forward to seeing the pics. I'm glad the bike has done so well, for the most part anyway. Christmas was fine, I worked 24th and 25th.  I'm looking forward to the new year, it's always a chance for new beginnings. Morgan unexpectedly came up here for Christmas, so it was good to see him. He stayed a few days with me, and a couple with Patrick, caught up with friends. My work is the same, busy. More later, take care of yourself, love from Di
Title: the one-percenter
Post by: dcstrom on December 28, 2012, 09:01:37 pm
I met a "one-percenter" at a fuel stop one day... Nicest guy you've ever met! He's a member of the "Renegados" and within 5 mins of meeting him he'd given me the low-down on the bike clubs in Mexico "all are friendly except maybe Santa Morte". Easy to identify them, they have a skull and skeleton on their colors.

Next thing, he gave me a list of names and phone numbers of club members in just about every state. "Just call if you have a problem, they will help you or find someone that can." A nice safety net for the solo moto traveller in Mexico eh?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 29, 2012, 06:18:47 pm
Great stuff, hopefully you can take more secondary roads and make it to Playa del Carmen after Jan 7th.  That should slow you down enough.  See you there!

Hey Matteo, looking forward to meeting. Yes planning on taking lots of secondary roads! Will be in touch after the new year.

Trevor
Title: Mexico traffic
Post by: dcstrom on December 29, 2012, 07:14:47 pm
After a couple of days working my way toward Palenque, it dawned on me that I should probably not have tried to make this run - would have been better to take my time. 200-300 miles a day on Mexican backroads is hard work! Well not all of it, the roads through the mountains are glorious! But there's no avoiding the villages, towns and cities when you get to the valleys.

Up to this point I'd had very little problem with Mexican drivers. Of course you need to be careful and alert, but that's a pre-requisite for riding a motorcycle in traffic anywhere. It wasn't until I got to Toluca de Lerdo, about 40 miles west of Mexico City, that I realized the shit was about to hit the proverbial fan, traffic-wise. Toluca was the biggest city I'd seen in Mexico so far, and being so close to Mexico City I can only assume that the City's  mental driving had spilled over...

Part of my problem on this particular day was that my GPS had stopped displaying anything except the route. This meant I couldn't see where I was in relation to other roads, so all I could do was follow the route the GPS had calculated for me. Had I been able to see the detail I would have found the ring road - instead I got stuck on a route that took me through the center of town.

Wow, talk about chaos! It was every man for himself all of a sudden. Lane marking meant nothing and I constantly had people moving over on me. Indicators of course were never used, and every gap was filled the instant it opened up.

I was shitting myself for a while, but then I thought back to the last time I'd ridden in traffic like this. In the 80's I worked in Saudi Arabia, and had an R80/GS there. I'd ridden in places like Jeddah and Cairo, and when I thought about those times it was like I flipped a switch in my brain. Once you stop thinking that traffic rules might help you and realize it's all about survival now, it gets easier. The rules no longer apply, and you just have to do whatever it takes to keep clear of cars who don't seem to know or care that you exist.

So I went back to the riding style that worked for me way back then - bold, aggressive, assertive, but not reckless (yes it's a fine line!). Make space for yourself when you can, and when you can't, find another space asap! Watch all four corners constantly. That was an interesting afternoon, I hope I don't have to repeat it too often on this trip. One good reason for avoiding big cities.

BTW, I fixed the GPS (Montana 650T) the next day - there was a map conflict screwing things up.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: True Grip on December 29, 2012, 07:40:11 pm
Wow sounds like survival mode. Hope you don't have to do that again. I'm enjoying following along DC thanks for bringing us along.  Mark
Title: this is Aust-ray-lee-ya
Post by: dcstrom on December 29, 2012, 11:52:22 pm
By now I had just completed my first 300 mile day, between fighting though traffic in the cities, and slowing down for what seemed like hundreds of topes in the villages, it was exhausting. Now I had 600 miles left to go to Palenque, and 3 days to get there.

The next day I continued west, around Puebla, then followed the GPS on what appeared to be a nice route across yet another range of mountains. Unfortunately about 20 miles into the mountain route, the road ran out... it was right there on the GPS, but none of the locals knew anything about it. There was a dirt road that might have gotten me where I was headed, but it looked a bit iffy, so I turned back. By now I'd lost a lot of time and without another good alternative route, decided to take the Cuota.(Tolls seem to vary around the country, it was about 40% cheaper here than the last time I took one.) I made good time across the range, and over another 9000ft pass.

The iffy dirt road...
(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-xcCVZmOvbzw/UOGpMrr4KVI/AAAAAAAAGxw/B4b-Fw2HW9o/s679/PC182234.JPG)

This area is also where I saw the first snow-capped volcano/mountain of the trip.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-HLgLFAFki80/UNFDskd3npI/AAAAAAAAGx0/tHRy5oVyV4k/s758/PC182235.JPG)

It seemed that just about everyday I was up over nine or ten thousand feet. To put that in perspective, that's about the same as Bear Tooth Pass in Wyoming. The difference is that where Beartooth is cold and devoid of vegetation, down here it's lush forest at 10,000 feet, and 70F.

Around 4:30 I got off the Cuota to find a hotel. Over the course of another 300-mile day I'd come from the fresh coolness of the mountains, but now I was in the tropics, warm and damp. I passed through several small villages where the sugar-cane harvest was on. Traditionally the cane is burned to make it easier to harvest, and when the sweet-acrid smell of burning sugar cane hit me I was instantly transported back to Queensland in the early 80's. Sugar and bananas were two big crops there (they don't burn the cane there any more though). Now once again I was surrounded by cane and bananas and humidity and cane smoke.

"I laugh and  think, this is Aust-ray-lee-ya" (the Aussies will get it anyway!)

Ganggajang - Sound Of Then (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pK1cjxytG0#)


Smokey canefields

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-92g6--3RNnU/UNFJTliBrkI/AAAAAAAAGqk/QxoaSksD9Co/s768/_DSC0448-Edit.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-1DNrCUWoVsk/UN_KW0q3hmI/AAAAAAAAGu4/x-U1kyY6F6s/s768/_DSC0469.JPG)


I headed to Tuxtapec to find a hotel, but on the way I passed through village with a strange name - "San Antonio Texas" - which I guess is different to "San Antonio, Texas". This name will come up again in the SECURITY post...
Title: Cemeteries and funerals
Post by: dcstrom on December 30, 2012, 12:30:52 am
Cemeteries are pretty this time of year...

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-onEF64JjMP8/UNFJjTDTGGI/AAAAAAAAGrk/dcESCHQiv3g/s988/_DSC0392_stitch.jpg)

And here's a Mayan Cemetery from near San Cristobal

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-BMt7dN_81gU/UOEnjeaBapI/AAAAAAAAGwc/xLJfRqLCWs8/s707/PC272280.JPG)

One day I spotted this gorgeous church so turned off the main road into the village to check it out - and rode head-on into a funeral procession. They weren't going fast so managed to avoid them! They were headed by a police car, then a girl carrying a large silk banner bearing the dead woman's name, then the pall-bearers and the mourners. The procession had started from the church, presumably headed for the cemetary. A trail of pine leaves showed their path.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-qLu6MNyLhU0/UNFDk3q8CsI/AAAAAAAAGpc/4PrcjhWCr40/s679/PC182230.JPG)

Today I visited a cemetery in the town I've been in the last few days (Chiapa de Corzo). There was a small wizened old woman sitting there, I said "Buenos dias" to her... she started talking to me and I had to say "no espanole". Sometimes it seems that's the only spanish I have! She kept talking and I was struggling to piece together what it was she was talking about. Again I had to tell her I didn't understand, but she kept going - and then she started crying. Oh shit... I felt pretty helpless, she seemed to want to keep talking, so I did the only thing I could think of - I took her tiny leathery hand and held it for a few minutes. She seemed to appreciate the gesture, it was a nice connection. I really have to get up to speed with the spanish...
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on December 30, 2012, 07:03:22 pm
What an adventure.... Keep yourself safe and keep the updates coming..... ::001::

Alan
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on December 30, 2012, 07:16:40 pm
I dig these updates !!!  How is that rear shock working for you ?  You love it ?   Be safe down there !  Happy New Year  !
Title: Re: this is Aust-ray-lee-ya
Post by: GrahamD on December 30, 2012, 08:49:53 pm

"I laugh and  think, this is Aust-ray-lee-ya" (the Aussies will get it anyway!)

Ganggajang - Sound Of Then ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pK1cjxytG0#[/url])



Thanks Trev.

Got me going through the music collection now.

Great to read your stuff.  ::008::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 30, 2012, 10:47:09 pm
I dig these updates !!!  How is that rear shock working for you ?  You love it ?   Be safe down there !  Happy New Year  !

Hey Jaxon - shock is working great! A bit undersprung still, but Ohlins doesn't have a heavier spring so just have to live with it. Or lose some weight! I have a bunch of camping gear I haven't used for a month, but hate to get rid of it cos I might need it later.
Title: The End of the World (or not...)
Post by: dcstrom on December 31, 2012, 01:43:20 am
Then next two days getting to Palenque went ok - 200 miles to Villahermosa (another traffic nightmare) and then an easy 100 miles into Palenque on the 20th. I got there by lunchtime, had a relaxing meal at a restaurant just off the main plaza. This was the day before the Mayan "End of the World" was predicted* to occur, so town was full of different groups of people with their own take on the meaning of the whole thing. I'll call them "hippies" for want of a better term...

There was a guy sitting at the next table, saying that the world wasn't actually going to end tomorrow (phew) but in fact it would just be 3 days of darkness. That's not so bad eh?

I found my way out to the hotel that had been booked by my ADVrider contact, which was only a few km from the ruins. It was still early in the day and I didn't expect to see him yet - last I'd heard about a week before he was in northern Mexico, but planning to use the Cuotas so should have been able to get there in time.

When he didn't show up that night I emailed him - turned out he got tired of riding and decided to stay somewhere for a few days - and neglected to tell me.  ::010::

So I had the hotel room (and the bill) to myself...

On the big day I woke to a big, fat, tropical downpour. It was good in one way - I was on Day 119 of the trip and in that time I'd only seen 2 days of rain. So it was good to get some real rain for a change. It put a bit of a damper on proceedings at the ruins, but I think it added to the atmosphere.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-9lRIKMv5o74/UNT-djEQX8I/AAAAAAAAGs0/8tH5YD03hjY/s768/_DSC0539.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-6FIssFdlZjA/UNT-AUkOYpI/AAAAAAAAGsc/560XkUVcjD0/s987/_DSC0550_stitch.jpg)

Rain didn't bother these guys!

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-uoPheLMDklE/UNUBZTjYV9I/AAAAAAAAGtM/2-3txJ8nLYI/s768/_DSC0534.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-0Dqj8GU55XI/UNUR2jo8KxI/AAAAAAAAGtk/i8QoE2VjMvs/s509/_DSC0630.JPG)

I felt sorry for the vendors, it should have been a good day for them...

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-c4O4dOlq1DI/UNT-K5x3X3I/AAAAAAAAGss/vKxZTWjY-N4/s768/_DSC0619.JPG)

Altogether an amazing place, am planning on visiting some other sites as I go.

Trevor
Title: to Pichucalca
Post by: dcstrom on December 31, 2012, 01:46:14 am
Interesting ride today from Chiapa de Corzo to Pichucalca. Nice twisty road with plenty of elevation then down to follow  a big wild river for a while. I was riding in thick fog for a time, and this is when I came upon a body laying face up and legs akimbo on the side of the road. Actually partly on the road. I thought maybe he'd been hit by a car in the fog, and the driver had done a runner... He really looked dead - I thought I'd better stop to check, but wasn't sure what I'd do if he actually was dead. I figured I'd wave down a local and let them figure it out.

For a few seconds when I got to him, I could see no signs of life and was thinking oh shit... then his throat moved a little and I started slapping him around... there was vomit on his shirt, so I came to the conclusion that he was dead drunk. Meanwhile I tried to wave down some cars, 3 passed but nobody stopped. I got him sitting up and he was talking, so figured he would be ok so said adios.

It wasn't till a bit later that I thought maybe playing dead was a tactic used by the bad guys to get people to stop? And maybe that's why the locals didn't stop when I tried to wave them down?

Here's the bookends to my day

In the morning, leaving the hotel where I'd been for three days, this little sweetheart (whose mum runs the place) was sad to see me go...

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-tFyp4NTW9to/UOEH2-AEaYI/AAAAAAAAGvQ/I-NPK0EClWA/s681/PC302331.jpg)

I was stopped at this checkpoint just before Pichucalca. Most of the time I don't get stopped, and I think the times I do it's just because the guys are bored and want to check out the bike. That was the case this time, we ended up joking around and the commander at the post suggested I have a photo with one of the soldiers. This guy was a bit of a comedian. Mexico is safe in his hands!

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-xrnQsb52Y4c/UOEH_XjedgI/AAAAAAAAGvo/q83v81Aj0OY/s805/PC302336.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: eemsreno on December 31, 2012, 07:16:04 am
Really enjoy following you around the world Trevor,   Be safe out there.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on December 31, 2012, 08:26:40 am
Great updates, Trevor.   

Does it still feel like an adventure to you?  I was wondering if riding nearly every day for month after month if it just becomes routine to you?  I hope not, because it still looks like a hell of an adventure to me.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 31, 2012, 10:31:57 am
Great updates, Trevor.   

Does it still feel like an adventure to you?  I was wondering if riding nearly every day for month after month if it just becomes routine to you?  I hope not, because it still looks like a hell of an adventure to me.

Thanks Jon - yes it's still an adventure! Every riding day, once the work of reloading the bike is done and I'm getting into my riding gear, I get a little shiver of anticipation. I'm excited about what every new day might bring. I'm not riding every day though. I rode 6 days straight getting down to Palenque and it became a bit like "work", and heaven knows I want to avoid that!  :D

Today's an example - I haven't really figured out where to go from here yet, I only arrived in this town last night so still need to check it out, it's cloudy, foggy and might rain, and I have a cheap comfortable room with good internet - no need to ride today...
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on December 31, 2012, 11:16:15 am
Glad to hear it.  I remain jealous.

You mentioned your riding gear...has it worked as well as you had hoped?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 31, 2012, 12:00:04 pm
Glad to hear it.  I remain jealous.

You mentioned your riding gear...has it worked as well as you had hoped?

No real test of waterproofing yet! As I mentioned, only 2 days of rain the whole trip, and even then not very much. Ventilation is good, but of course you have to be moving for that to work. Getting stuck in traffic in the heat/humidity of the coast is murder. I'm getting better at lane-splitting! No crash test as of yet  ;)
Title: San Cristobal
Post by: dcstrom on December 31, 2012, 04:37:53 pm
I left Palenque after 2 nights instead of the planned 3 - the hotel was more expensive than I was accustomed to and with no roommate to split costs, it was time to move on.

The road from Palenque to San Cristobal was another beauty with  quite a few small villages along the way. This was the first section that I'd noticed the topes being used for strictly commercial purposes. The idea is that if you can get the traffic moving slowly enough it is more likely to stop at your fruit/taco/drinks stand. "Official" topes tend to attract these facilities, as well as the vendors that stand in the middle of the road passing out drinks and food as cars are crossing the topes.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-YHcoP75XIFM/UOH59LVI1JI/AAAAAAAAG0g/S2R6eFxGf2w/s646/PC192238.JPG)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-OY4Z-DOItA4/UOH56CNfIDI/AAAAAAAAG0c/da7xM6Kz_Ew/s679/PC192239.JPG)

However... good spots by the official topes are at a premium, so if you can't move to the tope, why not just build your own tope wherever it suits you? I started seeing topes made out of mud, or mud and rocks, with conveniently-located food stalls right beside them. Better still, why build a tope at all when you can stretch a rope across the road and force vehicles to stop?

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-qMS48dKgLS0/UOH7y1WNilI/AAAAAAAAG0k/cDH8gJAYLZY/s710/PC222244.JPG)


I met a German guy on a KTM on the last stretch into San Cristobal, we rode into town together and decided to save some money by sharing a room.
No worries about finding a hotel here – there were maybe ten on the first street as Joachim and I rode toward the central plaza. I was in the lead so picked one at random. There’s always two questions for the moto traveler on a budget – what is the price? Is there parking for the moto? If these two check out then it’s “is there hot water?” and check out the room. If all those things are up to par then it’s time to park the bike – in this case a large secure parking area just behind the hotel.

Sharing turned out to be a bad idea! Remember the rain at Palenque? Joachim had been camping in it, and all his gear was soaked through. Do you know what clothes/tents/sleeping bags smell like after they've been wet and stuffed in a pannier for a few days??  :-X

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-hutFa9EMvs8/UOH72K8j9rI/AAAAAAAAGzU/aJZztaOnhtA/s679/PC222247.JPG)

The more I hear about KTM's the more convinced I am that they are a poor choice for a RTW bike (I suspect KTM knows this, and is the real reason they didn't put up the bikes for Ewan and Charley in The Long Way Round). Joachim's 990 Adventure had seen a couple of episodes of almost total power loss, but then it had seemingly fixed itself. We did a bit of research an it seems that along with the well known water pump problems (there's another example http://tinyurl.com/crappyKTM (http://tinyurl.com/crappyKTM) on a 2000-mile-old bike) there are also frequent issues with the fuel pump and fuel filters ($120 for the set of 3!). This seems to be the problem with Joachim's bike. For someone with minimal mechanical skills, a tight budget, and an unwillingness to carry half a pannier full of spares, a Weestrom would have been a much better choice. He's going to continue and hope for the best, all I could do was wish him luck.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on December 31, 2012, 05:51:31 pm
The problem with his KTM is ridiculous...   In my very humble opinion the new gold standard for RTW is the TENERE..
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Firefight911 on December 31, 2012, 06:07:14 pm
The problem with his KTM is ridiculous...   In my very humble opinion the new gold standard for RTW is the TENERE..

I humbly agree.
Title: 15,000 Miles
Post by: dcstrom on December 31, 2012, 09:19:20 pm
This is what 15,000 miles looks like! We reached that milestone on the run into San Cristobal, on the 112th day of the trip.

Some stats;

Started the trip with 11500 miles on it
134 miles per day average
41.5 mpg average (US)
Carrying about 200lb (including the weight of the panniers themselves)
3 problems with the bike - all warranty
    - a final drive seal
    - left fork seal
    - and the most serious, the rear shock lost all damping
24000 mile service done at 21000 - all valves in spec
1 set of Bridgestone tires, one used rear Bridgestone that was about 1/3 worn, and at the moment I'm 6000 miles into a set of K60's.
Damage - a tiny ding in tank from a nut falling from a tree, a crack in the left side panel from me dropping the bike on a curb

And that is IT! The bike is running better than ever... (which I humbly submit just reinforces what Phil and Jaxon are saying - the S10 is shaping up to be the most AWESOME RTW bike in existence. I say that with the utmost humility  ;D )
http://www.everytrail.com/iframe2.php?trip_id=1948542 (http://www.everytrail.com/iframe2.php?trip_id=1948542)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-No6g5q3zWAM/UNu6CCMM1AI/AAAAAAAAGuc/9tD4FUrsULM/s743/Fullscreen+capture+12262012+90033+PM.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Firefight911 on December 31, 2012, 09:37:07 pm
Hey, lookie there, lots of squiggly lines around my house!!!

Way to go Trevor!!  Keep it up.

See ya next year!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on December 31, 2012, 09:40:14 pm

Are going to run over to Belize?  If so I would highly recomend the 5 sisters resort out in the jungle on the west side.  If you want to go there I can get you some names and numbers.  It's out in the wilderness reserve and well worth it. 
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 31, 2012, 09:59:32 pm

Are going to run over to Belize?  If so I would highly recomend the 5 sisters resort out in the jungle on the west side.  If you want to go there I can get you some names and numbers.  It's out in the wilderness reserve and well worth it.

Wow man - 5 hot sisters eh? (Ok, just my imagination... give me their numbers anyway, I'll go check them out.)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on December 31, 2012, 10:13:25 pm
Ok.  I'll get you all the info. Its really beutiful and worth it :-)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on December 31, 2012, 11:49:32 pm
Its looks like it might have been sold and renamed... Its the same place just a different name.. Here it is   www.gaiariverlodge.com (http://www.gaiariverlodge.com)    The phone number is  011-501-834-4024    Ive been to this place and this place is awesome.. The adventure roads around Belize are great too.   
Title: New Years Eve
Post by: dcstrom on January 02, 2013, 09:57:24 am

New Years Eve I headed out around 10pm to see what was happening on the Plaza. It was really weird – everything was closed and it was almost deserted. I’d never seen a plaza in a Mexican town so deserted. I found a food cart with hamburguesas, so that was dinner. What did they all do for New Years Eve?

I was back at the hotel well before midnight, but then all hell broke loose at midnight with people letting off fireworks. Actually not fireworks - more like bombs. It sounded like a war zone. Just when I thought the explosions could not get any bigger, the next BOOM! would be louder again. The "bombs" are triangular packages wrapped up like samosas, and the big ones look like they weigh about a pound...

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-e6QblwJRjA4/UORHbJ_h7iI/AAAAAAAAG0w/7_GibxZg4cU/s740/_DSC0864.jpg)


Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: fredz43 on January 09, 2013, 12:32:19 am
No word from dcstrom since Jan 2? Hope everything is ok.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on January 09, 2013, 01:37:08 am
Last time I heard from him I thought he was heading over to Belize ?  Not sure what he decided to do ?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: eemsreno on January 09, 2013, 07:16:37 am
He’s got a lot more guts than me traveling south of the boarder ,  No way el tipo.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: limey on January 09, 2013, 09:53:02 am
I've been following him from day one I just wish he had a SPOT tracker .
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: terrysig on January 09, 2013, 12:31:50 pm
Yeah...have been following and also wondering about the silence and wishing he had a spot tracker.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tubebender on January 09, 2013, 03:01:04 pm
He is still in Mexico and he does have a SPOT. I check up on him  2 or 3 times a week.

http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=008gMyVZq6G7yV09vg49OG9FOGgLSZvcf (http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=008gMyVZq6G7yV09vg49OG9FOGgLSZvcf)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: limey on January 09, 2013, 04:05:28 pm
Thanks Carl , ::008:: ::008::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on January 09, 2013, 05:27:49 pm
Looks like he's close to some pretty awesome looking squiggly lines.  Hope they are as fun as they appear on the map.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tubebender on January 09, 2013, 08:07:01 pm
Because the SPOT map is powered by Google maps you can really get some detail.
In fact, if you click on the Google glyph in the lower left hand corner it will open the area in Google Maps, then you can use the street view in some cases. A couple of weeks ago I could "walk" up and down the street and see the facade of the hotel he was staying in!
Pretty cool  ::008::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Don in Lodi on January 09, 2013, 09:10:44 pm
He is still in Mexico and he does have a SPOT. I check up on him  2 or 3 times a week.

[url]http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=008gMyVZq6G7yV09vg49OG9FOGgLSZvcf[/url] ([url]http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=008gMyVZq6G7yV09vg49OG9FOGgLSZvcf[/url])


Our boy is doing some sight seeing. Five days on that map and he hasn't hardly covered any distance.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: terrysig on January 10, 2013, 02:27:09 pm
He is still in Mexico and he does have a SPOT. I check up on him  2 or 3 times a week.

[url]http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=008gMyVZq6G7yV09vg49OG9FOGgLSZvcf[/url] ([url]http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=008gMyVZq6G7yV09vg49OG9FOGgLSZvcf[/url])


Good stuff, thanks Carl!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Matteo on January 10, 2013, 05:22:57 pm
That area of Mexico is absolutely stunning (Oaxaca), one could get lost there for months and never get bored. 

The food is great, the mescal is great and the riding even better.
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 10, 2013, 09:48:42 pm
Hey guys, nice you're keeping tabs on me! Yes had a few days at a great hostel in Oaxaca, then 3 days in a cabana way up in the mountains - and no Internet. Near tuxtapec now after a great days riding on mex 175.

Internet is pretty poor here, so a full update might have to wait another day or two.

Matteo, I'll probably be over your way in a week or so - will that work for you? If not I can. Find other diversions till you're ready!

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: terrysig on January 11, 2013, 11:35:50 am
Hey there you are. Can't blame us as we wait for your update. Very interesting and entertaining! Take care.
Title: More from San Cristobal
Post by: dcstrom on January 12, 2013, 12:18:16 am
San Cristobal is a pretty town with a large indigenous indian population. There's a huge market where all kinds of locally made goods are sold, along with numerous churches and colonial buildings. There's also this one, a traditional "Burger King".

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jbLqARyBnz4/UOH783r7TWI/AAAAAAAAGzs/hEqFQrZcZQE/s522/_DSC0685.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ziVWJN7tPQ8/UPDvtJcnqOI/AAAAAAAAG54/nJmGJnAzKXo/s800/_DSC0758.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-YeAYqjMNDHY/UPDv5xYmrPI/AAAAAAAAG6Y/KEhd3W3zxOs/s707/PC232252.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Q4OwAxP-PJw/UPDvrLv_lZI/AAAAAAAAG5w/6_aKEAC59Gg/s800/_DSC0755.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-aFKdtrrdyO4/UPDv10la0xI/AAAAAAAAG6Q/oPB4p_gVx5c/s707/PC232265.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Gc3eqo5DtU8/UPDvuxCA57I/AAAAAAAAG6A/LkLorinaq1g/s530/_DSC0726.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-oWfwpxgHFOE/UPDvwwv-e7I/AAAAAAAAG6I/yOLEbUci8SQ/s800/_DSC0745.JPG)

San Cristobal is also the centre of the EZLN movement - the "Zappatistas". They were involved in armed conflict with the Mexican government in the 90's over indigenous rights. Since then they have achieved some of their goals (without arms) and are still working to relieve poverty in local communities.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zapatista_Army_of_National_Liberation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zapatista_Army_of_National_Liberation)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ycLTgV5Ob7Q/UOH7_PAzc9I/AAAAAAAAGz0/EEVigSvfBF4/s522/_DSC0704.JPG)

Tequila is cheaper than water here... These 750ml bottles are about 50c. Cheap as they were, I didn't risk it!

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-sgMtQHK_ABc/UOH8CJM-DMI/AAAAAAAAG0E/Aw7wMtHNn0k/s800/_DSC0686.JPG)

I have to admit, San Cristobal wore on me a bit after a few days... It was the first town I'd seen in Mexico that I would call "touristy", and the constant hassle from street vendors made me want to be somewhere else. However a stomach bug kept me there a couple of days longer than planned. My first real problem of the trip (in that department!), I was vomiting and spent most of Christmas Day in bed. The next day I gave the bike a wash, and the day after that (well, it was a big effort to wash the bike!) I was on the road out of town.
Title: Folk Dancing
Post by: dcstrom on January 12, 2013, 12:37:40 am
Yes you read that right! Just outside San Cristobal are some Mayan villages. I'd read that they are not very welcoming to tourists, but don't mind taking their money. They ask for money to take their photo, for example. Plus they were full of the vendors that I wanted to get away from. So I checked which ones the tourist buses went to - and then went to one of the others. Good move! No such issues there, and was lucky enough to arrive when they were putting on a show of traditional folk dancing - for the village, not for tourists. They also didn't mind photos. I shot this video of one of the dances. Not something I'm normally into, but they were having fun and made it fun to watch.

Mayan folk dancing in Tenejapa, Mexico (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksBHvM-ciLg#ws)

Great costumes

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-4cLC1Q8eA5I/UOEnbF34xVI/AAAAAAAAGwM/C3NSsVjUuus/s707/PC272289.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-gHXAxEuEbZY/UOEneDfHUsI/AAAAAAAAGwU/9hgiy8M7AWY/s707/PC272282.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-9OabZhsf8ig/UOEnqcL0j9I/AAAAAAAAGw0/iDwSjqZRkkY/s599/_DSC0769.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-j5Yv0AS_f9U/UOEnnXd2RxI/AAAAAAAAGws/D-wl5usWpPg/s689/_DSC0784.JPG)

Dances were performed for the village elders, not tourists, which for me gave it more authenticity.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-pM3aTC1h5JI/UOEnmBR41KI/AAAAAAAAGwk/Uaw998kKFrI/s800/_DSC0791.JPG)

A bike that stands out in the crowd  :)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-yTcCkZ-cxBY/UOEnZPiC9QI/AAAAAAAAGwE/17a0jD2KS9k/s707/PC272292.JPG)

A Mayan cemetary on the road to the village

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-rAstS_caIw4/UPD2CsTzv6I/AAAAAAAAG64/MNe9CrWtHb0/s800/_DSC0759.JPG)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-4lr2s-ZGZ14/UPD2Id_TMwI/AAAAAAAAG7I/4CwwXC0lMUg/s800/_DSC0765.JPG)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on January 12, 2013, 06:57:26 am
Pretty cool Trev-
Looking forward to seeing how it progresses as you leave Mexico & head further south.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: terrysig on January 12, 2013, 07:50:20 am
I'll bet the dance was easy to watch. That was some good looking senioritas!

And tequila being my sipping drink of choice...I envy you!

Good stuff thanks for keeping us along for the ride!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: True Grip on January 12, 2013, 08:14:47 am
Looks beautiful Thanks for letting us travel with you!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on January 12, 2013, 10:00:03 am
Thanks Trevor.  Really enjoying the updates.   Check your PM.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tpak on January 12, 2013, 01:12:33 pm
No real test of waterproofing yet! As I mentioned, only 2 days of rain the whole trip, and even then not very much. Ventilation is good, but of course you have to be moving for that to work. Getting stuck in traffic in the heat/humidity of the coast is murder. I'm getting better at lane-splitting! No crash test as of yet  ;)

Well, I can't speak to the Klim Badlands (I think that is what you are wearing?) waterproofness after thousands of miles of traveling in the dirt and heat like you but I have had mine in a few torrential downpours here in Colorado during summer and late fall and it handled it just fine. Any leakage I experienced was due to zippers not being properly closed. Do make sure to get them tucked into those little zipper garages - it helps. Of course I tested mine at 75+ MPH in huge dumping rain - might not be as critical at slower speeds and less torrential rain.

Thanks for sharing - looks like an amazing trip!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: NittanyXT on January 12, 2013, 03:29:03 pm
Mexican cuties! Do you have the tattoo yet? :D
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on January 12, 2013, 07:42:18 pm
Have been enjoying the updates Trevor.....  Ride On!   ::001::

Title: Chiapa de Corzo
Post by: dcstrom on January 16, 2013, 10:18:09 am
http://goo.gl/maps/Fp30Q (http://goo.gl/maps/Fp30Q)

Great little town – intended to spend only one night but nice cheap hotel, friendly owners with the cutest daughter, and nice vibe on the plaza and the waterfront, convinced me to stay for three.

The kid and I had a few exchanges in my attempted Spanish - she gave a big smile when I told her she had "bueno botas". All women like to be complemented on their style... She wanted to sit on the bike.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-FxQ-JqDm3kU/UPa6qH7-DAI/AAAAAAAAG8Q/0NfgyFd9qOc/s575/_DSC0796.jpg)


and when it was time for me to leave she just came up to me looking sad and took my hand. Very touching, I wanted to take her with me…

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-tFyp4NTW9to/UOEH2-AEaYI/AAAAAAAAGvQ/I-NPK0EClWA/s681/PC302331.jpg)

More pretty architecture. The "La Pila Fountain" in the plaza is interesting. Chiapa de Corzo was the first Spanish settlement in Chiapas, and this building is a combination of indigenous and Moorish architecture.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Xqkj8Dop_Jg/UPa98UkTilI/AAAAAAAAG84/Rv9cEp7TdJ8/s575/_DSC0798.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-V6YsFKfdfMk/UOH51RxMKQI/AAAAAAAAGyY/QAejm1u7KN8/s575/_DSC0814.JPG)

The area has been occupied since about 1200BC - these ruins are only about 1.5 miles from the town center.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-KJaq37YLlUM/UPbCCPs9IUI/AAAAAAAAG-s/7T-QipckwHM/s575/_DSC0851.JPG)


I managed to get caught up in the parade of Baby Jesus's. The group marched all round town, accompanied by 3 guys on tin whistles, and a lot of sparklers. Wish I knew what it all meant!

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-2iEHOzLjC70/UOH5ziGBdnI/AAAAAAAAGyQ/IcwcyYXYbBY/s575/_DSC0832.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-fowUwXLgwFU/UPa90bbzTFI/AAAAAAAAG8w/A0gIIe3VTH0/s575/_DSC0835.JPG)
Title: Official Graffiti
Post by: dcstrom on January 16, 2013, 10:22:50 am
This is what it looks like when Police and graffiti artists join forces...

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-HY_fAmhnqco/UPa-BHH7RCI/AAAAAAAAG9A/GGOE7NehsbA/s508/PC302334.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-9AGcJ0GTzmQ/UPa-Gg4YPbI/AAAAAAAAG9I/4FL3gWWptfI/s508/PC302335.JPG)
Title: Tehuantepec
Post by: dcstrom on January 16, 2013, 10:40:30 am
I was headed to the Pacific coast now, Salina Cruz seemed like a good destination but reading a little bit, it’s a port city with petroleum as a major import/export. Might not be that nice so headed for Tehuantepec which sounded interesting. From Wikipedia...


"The city’s markets are dominated by women, who make up nearly all of the buyers and sellers. Until the 1970s, there was a complete ban on men in this area, but this was relaxed at that time. Today still it is estimated that less than five percent of the people seen in the market are men. The historical reason for this is that traditionally women worked in the markets as men worked in the fields. Today still, men in the market can be subjected to taunts by the women who question their masculinity."

Hmmm.... there's no possible way that could happen to a big Aussie right?

This one taunted me with her eyes...

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-lXlUGDDbGpw/UOoKoYc-caI/AAAAAAAAG1Y/n-oIRQeGD2g/s381/P1022357.JPG)

and this one just laughed at me.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-0kqi28kTUzo/UOoKrAcpRaI/AAAAAAAAG1g/IKYsW4dDm-s/s381/P1022358.JPG)

It's lucky I don't know enough spanish to understand their commentary on my masulinity or lack thereof.

Market is on to of a (presumably) disused railway track.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-G6-7yhojhI0/UOoKiE2AraI/AAAAAAAAG1I/1X5-iO7Wmy8/s508/P1022355.JPG)

Sign at the entrance to a bar. I was not drugged or armed or in uniform or underage, so I went for  a beer. This place was run by a woman as well, she looked like she ran a tight ship and dominated all the men drinking there.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-uIj1vodLhA0/UOoKlPhr2jI/AAAAAAAAG1Q/efJs8_KD9AE/s508/P1022356.JPG)


This is such a great name for a clothing store. An enterprising entrepreneur could really spread his or her wings – for example, F*ckers is for normal people, Little F*ckers is the kids store, Fat F*ckers is the plus-size store. Mother F*ckers could be the range of really bad-ass clothing.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Coc9jEPE2WA/UOoKeaAmNxI/AAAAAAAAG1A/pyNvebShIHQ/s508/P1022347.JPG)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: thfraser on January 16, 2013, 10:45:51 am
Totally cool!  Keep the photo's and the notes coming! 
Title: Heading east again
Post by: dcstrom on January 16, 2013, 11:16:41 am
I need to get back to the east coast, but thought I should take in some of the west coast while I’m here, then head east via Oaxaca. I’m not the kind of person to hang out on the beach for days, but enjoy a swim in the ocean so I figured I would have time for a quick swim and lunch at one of the beaches on the coast road before turning east into the mountains. Beach was great, was a nice break on a warm day.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-z3opxBJPfnE/UPBBrrmp7oI/AAAAAAAAG4g/sMAh7tDroFo/s508/P1030002.JPG)

The road to Oaxaca (Mex 175) was another sinuous snake of a road, fun to be in the mountains again. I’d miscalculated my fuel situation a little however – I should have filled up before leaving the coast, but figured I had enough to get to Oaxaca, assuming there were no gas station between here and there. There weren’t any… and my GPS had given conflicting numbers as to the distance to Oaxaca. It was now telling me it was quite a bit further that it’s earlier calculation. And no apologies, nothing!

With no Pemex stations on this road, I had to buy gas from one of the roadside stalls. Check out this really clever way of getting the siphon started. (stupid Aussies normally would get a mouthful of gas sucking on the tube). Also you get a taste of how marvelously well my spanish is coming on...

getting roadside fuel in Mexico (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN9fvx2fZuE#ws)

I’m at 8000 ft again, and it’s 4pm and I have maybe 2 hours to go to Oaxaca. Now the fog and rain settles over the road… I could see that if I tried to keep going, not only was it not particularly safe (a million curves on this road) but I would also be getting into Oaxaca after dark. Just then I came upon a little roadside restaurant with a couple of cabanas attached. That’ll do me!

However, the cabins were very basic and toilets and cold showers were 30m away down a muddy path. And he wanted 250 pesos. I’ve had very nice hotels for that, I said too much – 200 peso. He said no, and I was about to get back on the bike when the heavens opened. Rain went from a drizzle to a downpour right then, so I paid the 250 pesos and was happy to be somewhere dry before it got dark.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-emKh2ijngmc/UPBBm1PDq_I/AAAAAAAAG4Q/enr2h3zKXbY/s575/_DSC0877.JPG)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: terrysig on January 16, 2013, 12:57:31 pm
Speaking of petrol how has the avaiability been for premium? Or are you running whatever you can find?

Keep the report coming...enjoying very much.
Title: Re: Heading east again
Post by: elwood on January 16, 2013, 01:19:52 pm
I need to get back to the east coast, but thought I should take in some of the west coast while I’m here, then head east via Oaxaca. I’m not the kind of person to hang out on the beach for days, but enjoy a swim in the ocean so I figured I would have time for a quick swim and lunch at one of the beaches on the coast road before turning east into the mountains. Beach was great, was a nice break on a warm day.

([url]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-z3opxBJPfnE/UPBBrrmp7oI/AAAAAAAAG4g/sMAh7tDroFo/s508/P1030002.JPG[/url])

The road to Oaxaca (Mex 175) was another sinuous snake of a road, fun to be in the mountains again. I’d miscalculated my fuel situation a little however – I should have filled up before leaving the coast, but figured I had enough to get to Oaxaca, assuming there were no gas station between here and there. There weren’t any… and my GPS had given conflicting numbers as to the distance to Oaxaca. It was now telling me it was quite a bit further that it’s earlier calculation. And no apologies, nothing!

With no Pemex stations on this road, I had to buy gas from one of the roadside stalls. Check out this really clever way of getting the siphon started. (stupid Aussies normally would get a mouthful of gas sucking on the tube). Also you get a taste of how marvelously well my spanish is coming on...

getting roadside fuel in Mexico ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN9fvx2fZuE#ws[/url])

I’m at 8000 ft again, and it’s 4pm and I have maybe 2 hours to go to Oaxaca. Now the fog and rain settles over the road… I could see that if I tried to keep going, not only was it not particularly safe (a million curves on this road) but I would also be getting into Oaxaca after dark. Just then I came upon a little roadside restaurant with a couple of cabanas attached. That’ll do me!

However, the cabins were very basic and toilets and cold showers were 30m away down a muddy path. And he wanted 250 pesos. I’ve had very nice hotels for that, I said too much – 200 peso. He said no, and I was about to get back on the bike when the heavens opened. Rain went from a drizzle to a downpour right then, so I paid the 250 pesos and was happy to be somewhere dry before it got dark.

([url]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-emKh2ijngmc/UPBBm1PDq_I/AAAAAAAAG4Q/enr2h3zKXbY/s575/_DSC0877.JPG[/url])


MX 175 , one of my favourite roads. 250 pesos, muy caro but some of those guys are smarter than they look, hmm dark, hmm motorcycle , long way to Oaxaca , hmmm but I am impressed with the way he sumoned up the heavy rain.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 18, 2013, 10:26:07 pm
Speaking of petrol how has the avaiability been for premium? Or are you running whatever you can find?

Keep the report coming...enjoying very much.

Most Pemex stations will have Premium... but sometimes they have run out, so I use magna (standard). I've been afraid to ask what I'm getting at the roadside stops! But the Tenere hasn't complained about any of it so far.
Title: Re: Heading east again
Post by: dcstrom on January 18, 2013, 11:05:46 pm
MX 175 , one of my favourite roads. 250 pesos, muy caro but some of those guys are smarter than they look, hmm dark, hmm motorcycle , long way to Oaxaca , hmmm but I am impressed with the way he sumoned up the heavy rain.

Yeah, I figured he knew he had me at a disadvantage. It was unlucky it rained right at that moment, when I left the next day I found a little town a few miles down the road with 2 hotels, I probably could have gotten a better deal there.

One thing I forgot to mention about the 250 peso cabanas. It came with a TV - I thought cool, with all the fog and rain outside maybe I'll just settle in and watch a movie. When I turned the TV on I found there was only one channel. Weird... then the channel changed by itself. Then changed again. It was 5pm, and it was flicking between the kids channels. I soon figured out that YES I had cable TV in the room, but it was sharing a set-top box that was controlled by the family. That meant I had to watch what they were watching... Needless to say that didn't work for me! Especially when they were changing channels every ten seconds.
Title: Oaxaca
Post by: dcstrom on January 18, 2013, 11:44:52 pm
I arrived in Oaxaca around midday and made my way straight to the central plaza. I needed some lunch, and the plaza is always a good place to get the vibe of a new city. I figured a couple of hours just hanging out there would be good, then start looking for accommodation. It seemed a bit more up-market than most places, with sidewalk restaurants having tablecloths! and waiter. Also wifi, which was handy cos I needed some. Had a nice lunch and cappuccino, a bit more expensive than usual but not too bad. Lots of musicians and almost as many shoe-shine guys working the plaza.

I passed this motel on the way into town. I'm sure Marilyn's estate would like to hear about it hmmm...

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-mA02YvrFb6k/UPa-JA4ES-I/AAAAAAAAG9Q/1TJLMA7ciRw/s508/P1040013-Edit.jpg)

Sometimes it takes me a while to find suitable accommodation. Price is a big thing, but then there's bike security to think about and finally my own needs. I went to about 4 places in Oaxaca without finding one with the right combination of features. Then I stumbled across the Hostel Don Nino. I don't usually seek out hostels, not because I don't like them but mainly because they often cater to the backpacking crowd and are less likely to have parking for the bike. Well Don Nino was very swish with a nice restaurant and bar at the front, 2 TV lounges, a bunch of computers and a roof deck. For 160 pesos ($13) for a bed in a 6 bed dorm, breakfast was included AND a free shot of Mescal every night. It was spotlessly clean too. Just across the street was a plaza which was full of various vendors - clothes, toys, but mainly food! I didn't go anywhere else to eat in my stay there - just wander across the road and choose from about 50 different food options.

Around Oaxaca

The organ in the cathedral by the main square.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-p8RW--exflA/UPA8oLW-UTI/AAAAAAAAG3w/XAfghBz83SA/s572/_DSC0892_3_4+copy.jpg)

Mexico's bhe place to come if you like Bugs - the last one rolled off the production line in Puebla in 2003. So here's a used one for sale, produced the year before.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-lA9GzG8e5kg/UPA8dt4FSwI/AAAAAAAAG3A/GJD5_q3gguA/s626/_DSC0880.JPG)

Bug truck?

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-zimXTZ2G76c/UPA8mTWN8AI/AAAAAAAAG3o/fvOpjktOO4E/s575/_DSC1007.JPG)

In the markets - THIS is how you grind chilli...

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-5czLtMjdhgk/UPA8kg2kdeI/AAAAAAAAG3g/avKOEKMcA1g/s575/_DSC1004.JPG)

Is this where Lady Gaga got her meat dress? And is that why they call it "skirt steak"?  ;D

(http://sketch42blog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Lady-Gaga-Meat-Dress-Outfit-at-VMA-20101.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HCAgLtsgbPg/UPA8hHNlT4I/AAAAAAAAG3Q/N_1E_nNjWj8/s575/_DSC0995.JPG)

I enjoyed my time at the hostel, met a nice bunch of people there. I got talking to a Dutch couple who told me about an eco-tourism enterprise run by a group of villages in the mountains 30 miles outside of Oaxaca. There are 7 villages  in the mountains, some as high as 10,500 ft (3200m), which all have cabanas for rent and hiking trails connecting the villages. Sounds great, let's go!

http://www.sunofmexico.com/ecotourism_oaxaca_mexico.php (http://www.sunofmexico.com/ecotourism_oaxaca_mexico.php)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: coastie on January 19, 2013, 08:06:18 am
The dog and the lady both spoke pretty good English. Looks like your having a blast. Be safe out there.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 19, 2013, 09:53:13 pm
Waiting in Tulum today for (a very late) Matteo, I was forced to eat this big lump of cheesecake and drink nice coffee. This is pretty much a tourist town, so at least they have good coffee - getting a bit tired of Nescafe!

Apparently Matteo partied hard last night, and completely missed our lunch date. Never mind, it sounds like there is a good story attached and will be worth hearing when we eventually get together.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-aN_dk3-WZuE/UPtZjaUt6wI/AAAAAAAAG_Q/byjhkrA2-AY/s613/photo+%284%29.JPG)
Title: torture-testing my Jesse luggage
Post by: dcstrom on January 19, 2013, 10:56:28 pm
If you've been following along you will have seen this picture from Mazatlan, where I dropped the bike on a curb. The bag took almost the full weight of bike and gear.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/12/12/14/rygu5eza.jpg)

There didn't seem to be too much damage apart from a crease in the front of the bag, so I didn't remove it until I went riding some dirt roads outside Oaxaca, 2000 miles later. I didn't notice anything untoward, but when I put the bag back on, I notice the alloy plate that grips the two rails on the rack, was only grabbing the top one. The lower one was off by a few mm. Some fiddling around with the crank handle and removing and refitting the bag a couple of times didn't correct the situation. I came to the conclusion that "something" had bent in the fall, but I couldn't determine what. Oh well - it had been that way for 2000 miles (or so I thought), it could stay that way until I got a chance to pull things apart and see what the problem was.

I continued the ride across the mountains, and a couple of hundred miles later, this happened...

Lost a Jesse bag! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmaVzz69Pgo#ws)

When I refitted the bag after retrieving it from the ditch, it went back on perfectly! I don't know what the problem was with the clamp mechanism earlier, but must have been "operator error", and was the cause of the bag falling off.

Apart from some scratches, the bag is hardly any worse for wear. The ding at the front is from "the Mazatlan Incident".

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-2lIQi5Q7mEI/UPbB0VjrB6I/AAAAAAAAG-c/n1T7aQUy6SY/s461/P1110030.JPG)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-FOZWm1lZEJs/UPbBxxhOgKI/AAAAAAAAG-U/NM4U96AB1f8/s461/P1110029.JPG)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on January 20, 2013, 09:27:28 am
Pretty good stuff.  Bag damaged during the first impact.  Fixed by the second impact.  Can't get better than that. 

Looked like a great road.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: True Grip on January 20, 2013, 12:54:11 pm
Your giving those boxes proper testing. I went with the zega pros and i'm not real confident they would be in as good as shape as yours having the same testing. I'm sure i will find out one of these days.The Jesses are getting a good review from you but you don't need to do anymore testing ::025:: Have fun stay safe
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: limey on January 20, 2013, 06:09:27 pm
 ::008:: ::008:: for the Jesses
(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8465/8399299247_8625d0338b_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/66138462@N07/8399299247/)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on January 20, 2013, 06:45:18 pm
Trevor, thanks for talking me into the Jesse's.  It's really not necessary to do any more tests.

Ride On!  ::001::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 20, 2013, 09:00:13 pm
::008:: ::008:: for the Jesses
([url]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8465/8399299247_8625d0338b_b.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://www.flickr.com/photos/66138462@N07/8399299247/[/url])


Alaska? Looks like the bike is hovering over the ditch, only supported by the Jesse bag and the front wheel...
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 20, 2013, 09:02:12 pm
Trevor, thanks for talking me into the Jesse's.  It's really not necessary to do any more tests.

Ride On!  ::001::

You're welcome! And I will seriously try not to do any more testing. On the other hand, they are already getting beaten up, so a few more knocks are hardly going to matter :D
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: erenet on January 20, 2013, 09:53:59 pm
One more for the ride. :)
Title: the Cabanas in the stratosphere
Post by: dcstrom on January 20, 2013, 09:58:53 pm
OK, the Cabanas are not quite in the stratosphere but you would have thought so if you'd seen me gasping for breath, climbing the hill up to the Cabanas after dinner the first night. They are at 10,500 ft (3200 m) and it's been some time (actually, probably never) that I've done any physical activity at that altitude. It was tough!

The Cabana's are new-ish, clean and well maintained, and for 150 pesos per night ($11.50) I got one for myself. It was supposed to be a dorm situation but there were no other occupants.

It was very cool at night but the big fireplace fixed that, along with a comfy bed with 3 heavy wool blankets!

The dutch couple from Oaxaca were in the cabin next door, and we met a Scottish woman who'd been travelling alone in Mexico for 3 months, after having done a 5 week training in shamanism in the desert. Her name was "Two Birds", given to her by a native american when she'd done some training in the US. She had some interesting stories... I don't buy into much of what she was saying, but that's the nice thing about travel - you get to meet people with very different perspectives on life. Every day is an education.

Their was the option to hike between villages, but I'm not really set up for hiking long distances, and anyway once set up in the Cabana I was reluctant to leave. The other option was to hike locally and come back to the cabin, so the four of us hired a guide for a day (about $4.50 each) and hiked about 10 miles through the forest. Luckily it was relatively flat, I was still having trouble getting enough oxygen when exerting myself at that altitude. I was feeling better every day though, I guess my body was acclimatizing.

Here's the cabin - with a few mods (like, a small kitchen under that south-facing window) I could happily live in a cabin like this.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5fCTx_UuIIg/UPBByU7OxII/AAAAAAAAG5A/9MrW83tqXRE/s800/_DSC1061_stitch.jpg)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Y-fT6zMP3WA/UPBBzp5tMmI/AAAAAAAAG5I/dYlmYimaZqk/s800/_DSC1070_stitch.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-76nr4I0zxns/UPa-OETPGfI/AAAAAAAAG9Y/gT6A9QPkl5U/s800/_DSC1071.JPG)


Walking from the cabin down to the village

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AKPxFIXQlhc/UPyq7e29ZfI/AAAAAAAAHAE/GFoZSbkrM_U/s800/_DSC1085.JPG)

Hello, how are ewe?

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Zm0bPN6B08I/UPA8X5VUAKI/AAAAAAAAG2o/MrTlC3X99LA/s800/P1080014.JPG)

I noticed these potato chips - packaged at sea level, the low pressure at 10,500 ft makes them blow up like a balloon. I guess this happens everywhere at altitude, but this is the first time I've noticed it.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-DMClM50tkis/UPyq8hIDPZI/AAAAAAAAHAM/Ksl0HAdbzZw/s800/_DSC1088.JPG)

My dutch friends

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-EXw_8_zyMTE/UPyrFJpvMGI/AAAAAAAAHAs/KJAZ8znXiZ0/s800/_DSC1089.JPG)

But a tighter composition makes a better photo...

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-udJ5_c5liPg/UPyq-ngi8JI/AAAAAAAAHAU/NIj68yB4JCo/s700/_DSC10900-2.jpg)


On the hike, these massive agave plants line the route.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4rU89t_aNAI/UPyrEN3D-VI/AAAAAAAAHAk/tH1rTbBL4m4/s800/_DSC1166.JPG)


I could have stayed longer, but after 3 days without internet, it was time to move on! (I'm hoping to break that addiction some time during this trip...)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: terrysig on January 21, 2013, 11:41:09 am
You keep good company!

 ::017::
Title: Riding down to the clouds
Post by: dcstrom on January 21, 2013, 11:28:33 pm
After leaving the village I headed east again on Mex 175. That road is great both from the west into Oaxaca and to the east, heading for Tuxtapec. I planned my fuel situation a bit better this time.

From Oaxaca you head up into the the mountains again, road surface is ok for a while but then it starts getting pretty patchy. There's a point where you reach the crest of the range, at about 7200 ft, and look down to the other side. This is what I saw.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-kXPBPw5oklQ/UP4Rz-n0wgI/AAAAAAAAHBY/k2UcKPPxQao/s800/P1100016.JPG)

From this it was pretty obvious I'd be inside the cloud layer pretty soon, so tried to have a bit of fun on the road going down...

This video demonstrates one more reason why we love adventure bikes, and the Tenere in particular... The road is pretty badly broken up in a lot of places, but el Caballo Azul just soaks it all up and lets me maintain a nice pace through it all. This road would not be much fun on a sport bike or even a sport tourer...

Down into the clouds (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=096hPhVNM6o#ws)

Somebody must have known I was coming

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-XT5aho9CCjw/UPa-VdqXykI/AAAAAAAAG9g/HLVWgdqjRfo/s800/P1100020.JPG)

I got down to the plain and found a cheap hotel for the night. Mexican wiring standards are often, shall we say, below par. This switch controls the power going to the electric instant water heater on the shower head.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-woeyidGns9g/UPa-Z-sn1fI/AAAAAAAAG9w/dE3HQGlsYbU/s800/P1100027.JPG)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on January 22, 2013, 12:17:13 am
AWESOME  ::012:: 

 I remember going down roads like that in Belize....  I really like Central and South America !!!!  ::012::

 Be safe, keep up the good times......     How are the K60's holding up ?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 22, 2013, 12:22:08 am
    How are the K60's holding up ?

Funny you should ask... that was going to be my next post!
Title: Tire issues
Post by: dcstrom on January 22, 2013, 07:46:50 pm
No issues with the tires, per se, but problems with my planning. It was a no brainer for me to fit Heidenau K60's for the journey south. Long-wearing, good in most conditions I'm likely to come across, and TOUGH. Yes, tough. Maybe I've just been lucky, but they seem more puncture-resistant than any other tire I've ever used. No punctures in 20,000 miles of using 2 rears - that's a record for me!

The planning problem is this... when first thinking about the trip to Sth America, my thinking was to install a new pair of K60's just before leaving the US, and they would get me the 10,000 miles or so to Chile. Our man in Santiago, Roberto, tells me that K60's are available there, but expensive at $300 for a rear (about the same as a PAIR from Jaxon).The front would last 2 rears, so I'd be able to get all the way to Buenos Aires on 2 rears and 1 front. Sounds like a plan! It would mean that I don't have to carry a spare tire. I hate that... they are heavy and their bulk means they have to go at the top of the load, which affects handling. (unless you are Nick Sanders, in which case you strap tires all over the bike - he carried FIVE on his record-breaking Prudehoe-Ushuaia trip.)

My plan started to go awry when the rear shock failed in Baja. That meant a trip back to San Diego and then to Tucson before continuing south through Mexico. That added a couple of thousand miles to the tires that I didn't count on. Then I've been enjoying Mexico so much that I've done more miles here than strictly necessary  ::) End result, I now have 9000 miles on this set of K60's and I haven't even left Mexico yet!

The rear has about 2mm left on it - no surprise, and it should get me another 1000 miles or so. Big surprise it the amount of wear on the front. The off-center knobs are down to about 2mm as well. I could leave it on for a bit but there's no way it's going to last 2 rears. I don't know if it's my riding style - I do a lot of trail-braking and there have been a LOT of corners to contend with - or the fact that it loses a bit of pressure every day (other people have reported this for the K60 front as well), meaning that some days I'm running a lower pressure than I should be.

Plan B for tires was to get a set in Medellin, Colombia, but it soon became obvious I wouldn't make it there either. Plan C is Mario in El Salvador - he owns a bike shop there and has K60's. AND they are only $214 for a rear. I checked with  BMW in Guatamala and they have them - for you sir, only $395!

So I think I'm set - as long as I don't do too many more miles in Mexico. Planning to cross to Belize on Friday.

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: BaldKnob on January 22, 2013, 08:42:36 pm
Thx for letting us tag along, Trevor and good luck keeping tires on that beast! As for the small air loss I experienced, 8oz Slime has worked well these last 2K miles. Not sure it is helping the DynaBeads I installed but front wheel balance appears sorted at speed so I'll leave it as is for now.

Title: Re: Tire issues
Post by: elwood on January 22, 2013, 10:54:35 pm
No issues with the tires, per se, but problems with my planning. It was a no brainer for me to fit Heidenau K60's for the journey south. Long-wearing, good in most conditions I'm likely to come across, and TOUGH. Yes, tough. Maybe I've just been lucky, but they seem more puncture-resistant than any other tire I've ever used. No punctures in 20,000 miles of using 2 rears - that's a record for me!

The planning problem is this... when first thinking about the trip to Sth America, my thinking was to install a new pair of K60's just before leaving the US, and they would get me the 10,000 miles or so to Chile. Our man in Santiago, Roberto, tells me that K60's are available there, but expensive at $300 for a rear (about the same as a PAIR from Jaxon).The front would last 2 rears, so I'd be able to get all the way to Buenos Aires on 2 rears and 1 front. Sounds like a plan! It would mean that I don't have to carry a spare tire. I hate that... they are heavy and their bulk means they have to go at the top of the load, which affects handling. (unless you are Nick Sanders, in which case you strap tires all over the bike - he carried FIVE on his record-breaking Prudehoe-Ushuaia trip.)

My plan started to go awry when the rear shock failed in Baja. That meant a trip back to San Diego and then to Tucson before continuing south through Mexico. That added a couple of thousand miles to the tires that I didn't count on. Then I've been enjoying Mexico so much that I've done more miles here than strictly necessary  ::) End result, I now have 9000 miles on this set of K60's and I haven't even left Mexico yet!

The rear has about 2mm left on it - no surprise, and it should get me another 1000 miles or so. Big surprise it the amount of wear on the front. The off-center knobs are down to about 2mm as well. I could leave it on for a bit but there's no way it's going to last 2 rears. I don't know if it's my riding style - I do a lot of trail-braking and there have been a LOT of corners to contend with - or the fact that it loses a bit of pressure every day (other people have reported this for the K60 front as well), meaning that some days I'm running a lower pressure than I should be.

Plan B for tires was to get a set in Medellin, Colombia, but it soon became obvious I wouldn't make it there either. Plan C is Mario in El Salvador - he owns a bike shop there and has K60's. AND they are only $214 for a rear. I checked with  BMW in Guatamala and they have them - for you sir, only $395!

So I think I'm set - as long as I don't do too many more miles in Mexico. Planning to cross to Belize on Friday.

Trevor

perhaps you needed to clarify they were for a Yamaha not a BMW :))
Title: Sad day today
Post by: dcstrom on January 26, 2013, 01:38:16 am
Got a bit of catching up to do... but this post is in "real time" for a change!

My last full day in Mexico, crossing into Belize tomorrow. My rear K60 is shot and I have a new one waiting for me in Guatamala. Antigua calls.

The people and the gorgeous scenery have made this trip. The countless Mexicans who've laughed with me (and probably, at me - my fault for not knowing enough spanish) and who were consistently kind, helpful and honest really made an impression on me. For me, Mexico has been perfectly safe... anyone thinking about coming down, don't think twice (but do your homework first).

Here's my 8000 miles or so around Mexico. More detailed map here;
http://www.everytrail.com/iframe2.php?trip_id=1948542 (http://www.everytrail.com/iframe2.php?trip_id=1948542)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Im3nVPfVXPE/UQNfKrGboaI/AAAAAAAAHCQ/eNTbb5Gfyj4/s800/mexicomap.jpg)


I had a great few days with Matteo in Playa del Carmen, and yesterday we went for a ride to Parque Natural Ria Lagartos, at the tip of Yucatan.  Gorgeous, but in a different way to other parts of Mexico.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-eS6NLY0bc_c/UQNmn5g0x2I/AAAAAAAAHC0/2zcuDRUJukU/s800/_DSC1894_tonemapped.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-cLSl4f1s7V8/UQNntrbQMuI/AAAAAAAAHDA/f9OGW5HyMgg/s1100/_DSC1959_stitch.jpg)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-DIqV1ezl9i4/UQNwHohjjLI/AAAAAAAAHD8/NlIj0jsYTSM/s800/_DSC2097.jpg)

What's next? ;D
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on January 26, 2013, 01:47:02 am
WOW !!   Very Nice !!!     Are you going to head into Belize ?   Did you go to any of the ruins yet ?   I love that history !
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 26, 2013, 09:20:00 am
WOW !!   Very Nice !!!     Are you going to head into Belize ?   Did you go to any of the ruins yet ?   I love that history !

Belize today, think I'm just breezing through tho, one night only!

Ruins, YES! Report coming soon. Meanwhile, if you like Mayan ruins, you can BUY this one - passed on the road south from Playa del Carmen yesterday. Hopefully the sign is not for the ruins, but the land behind it!

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-gYvWPY3J64o/UQPg6nzhfII/AAAAAAAAHEg/cNMRV9fHCJE/s800/P1250113.JPG)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: DaFoole on January 29, 2013, 06:54:32 pm
Just found and got through all this. 

AWESOME report!   ::012::

Thanks for sharing!!

I'm now in for the long haul.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 29, 2013, 08:49:13 pm
Just found and got through all this. 

AWESOME report!   ::012::

Thanks for sharing!!

I'm now in for the long haul.

Good to have DaFoole on board. In fact, good to have ALL the fools  :D
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tubebender on January 29, 2013, 10:42:20 pm
Looks like you'll be in Guatemala tomorrow. Google doesn't have street views like they do in Mexico, only the occasional picture.

Cheers Trevor!
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on February 01, 2013, 07:03:19 pm
Met my first, and probably last, Guatemalan Super Tenere rider today. Jorge was filling up at a Shell station as I was escaping from an unplanned visit to Guatemala City.

We chatted for a while, and swapped nuggets of wisdom, both gained from bitter experience. Me; "if it's hard to start, give it full throttle". Jorge; "don't buy BMW".

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/02/02/ydysy8aj.jpg)
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on February 01, 2013, 07:40:20 pm
Found a nice hotel just outside Guatemala City, for the princely sum of $6.60. Cable TV, Internet, hot water, what more could one want? Oh that's right, beer and food. There's no restaurant close by, but the nice people at the hotel will whip up something in the kitchen and bring it to the room. And they will deliver beer too...

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/02/02/vy7usyqa.jpg)

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/02/02/esyvypus.jpg)

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/02/02/vejyda3y.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Don in Lodi on February 01, 2013, 09:18:07 pm
I told you you were going to become one of 'those guys' that carry a spare tire. You were right, that K60 is pretty well smoothed out.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: nwryder12 on February 01, 2013, 09:33:37 pm
 ::017:: Your living my dream ride. Enjoy it.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on February 01, 2013, 10:00:41 pm
I told you you were going to become one of 'those guys' that carry a spare tire. You were right, that K60 is pretty well smoothed out.

Yeah the spare is pretty smooth too... it's an "insurance" take-off given to me by MikeMike (from Advrider) while I was with him in Veracruz. At the time my nearest K60 was El Salvador, and I didn't think I'd make it on the current one. Hence the backup tire. But the K60 has hung in there, and Mario bought my K60's from El Salvador to Guatamala... So I'll have new tires very soon, and no need to carry for a while!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: jorge1 on February 02, 2013, 02:15:28 pm
finally , i found the pics, nice!!, i´ll get your advice, full trhottle, and no problem!! got it. By the way, what you think to install a YOSHIMURA? gets better? let me know what you think about it.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: jorge1 on February 05, 2013, 02:57:11 pm
enjoy your ride!! stay safe.
Title: the road to Veracruz
Post by: dcstrom on February 12, 2013, 09:50:36 pm
Wayyy past time for an update... Can't believe this is a month ago already! For anyone anal enough to need to follow this chronologically... this continues from this post
http://www.yamahasupertenere.com/index.php?topic=5583.msg117630#msg117630 (http://www.yamahasupertenere.com/index.php?topic=5583.msg117630#msg117630) "down into the clouds"

After a great ride through the mountains and fog, it was back to the flatlands for a while. Decending from 8000ft to around 300ft in a fairly short space of time, you really feel the heat and humidity as you approach the bottom. I was back in  sugarcane country, in fact passed through Tuxtapec where I stayed a night three weeks before. I'd managed to close a big loop that went as far south as Palenque, touched both coasts and returned to Tuxtapec via Oxaca. Really great ride, especially crossing the mountains, twice.

Once past Tuxtapec, heading to Veracruz, there was a lot of heavy traffic to contend with. Also quite a military presence. The day after I'd left Tuxtapec last time around (December 19) there had been an incident where an entire family was found murdered in their car. I guess there are some things going on around there...

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-E-IsSkdIvz8/URr9inl80HI/AAAAAAAAHNA/aZcPZn992zY/s942/vlcsnap-2013-01-30-09h18m45s29.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-xJDbRkfo1vc/URr8Bv2LRdI/AAAAAAAAHMs/cE-BYV943qM/s942/vlcsnap-2013-01-30-09h22m52s114.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6lwleNCWjNk/URr89l0VmlI/AAAAAAAAHM4/du9muw9OYj0/s942/vlcsnap-2013-01-30-09h20m44s99.jpg)

Arriving in Veracruz was an eye-opener. Riding along the beachfront reminded me of South Beach, Florida - but nicer. After passing an array of high-end department stores surrounded by high-rise apartments and nice restaurants, I was doubting my chances of finding a cheap hotel. I saw some signs for hotels along the beach for 600 and 700 pesos ($50 +/-). Too rich for me. Luckily I found a nice place with parking for the bike, one block back from the beach, for 300 pesos. I celebrated by spending my "savings" at a local Mescaleria! Special deal, a shot of mescal and a beer for $4. A couple of those and I slept well that night...

The Big Loop!

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-yPhRJruvq2g/URu-Ac97-BI/AAAAAAAAHNg/7teUWWlIKPw/s978/Fullscreen+capture+2132013+102239+AM.jpg)

Title: A ride with MikeMike
Post by: dcstrom on February 12, 2013, 10:13:34 pm
MikeMike from ADVrider lives in Veracruz, actually a 20-year resident so knows the area well. He invited me for a day ride with Bato and Andy, who were down from Texas.

We got very early start (unusual for me!), and Mike's instructions before starting out was "We'll be riding Mexico-style, is that OK with everybody?" But it came out as more of a statement than a question... Fortunately I'd switched to Mexican-style way back in Toluca, so no problemo! Nice to get out early for a change, it was beautiful riding up the coast in the dawn light. We hit the village where Cortez made landfall for the first time in Mexico, and Mike gave us the historical talk, followed by a good breakfast.

Bato, me, Andy and Mike

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-JU-9WpAKMBY/UPI1Xw0JDUI/AAAAAAAAG7o/yy1rczDQYEs/s874/P1120033.JPG)

After breakfast Bato and Andy took off on a sprint back to Texas, while Mike and I went looking for roads that Mike didn't know yet. Yeah, he's and ADVrider... riding known roads is not as fun as the unknown. We found this one, newly paved with concrete.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-dZAZh7rQ-6s/UPI1deGutoI/AAAAAAAAG7w/Uc-fLebLjRw/s925/_DSC1172.JPG)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-t0WlW4Q_iuE/URrxDm30wDI/AAAAAAAAHKY/hZFLL48W_Vo/s1090/_DSC1186_stitch.jpg)

Some pics from Mike
(http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r519/MikeMikeVeracruz/January%202012/01_zpsb507c11c.jpg)

(http://i1169.photobucket.com/albums/r519/MikeMikeVeracruz/January%202012/06_zpsd5a26499.jpg)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-TMGIjCa9MFM/URrxCMfGMKI/AAAAAAAAHKQ/Yk9nFKnYgnM/s517/02_zps23001b59.jpg)

And the video...

A ride outside of Veracruz (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUkspSuTEH8#ws)

We returned late Saturday afternoon, and traffic is Veracruz is chaotic at that time of day. Mike and I were in full-Mexican mode riding through town, Mike on his skinny F650GS with no bags getting through very tight gaps, and me following... the Tenere squeaked through gaps I would not have thought possible before this ride!

I'm only sad that I was too dimwitted to turn on the video camera when a white Suburban tried to cut Mike off in traffic when we got back to Veracruz. The rant was something to behold, especially when he realized that the car carried the wife of a local politician. He gave her direct access to his feelings about her husband. (politicians like to know what the people REALLY think, right?). Mostly in spanish I didn't understand, but I was told later there were some bad words involved!

Brilliant day, thanks Mike!

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-WcQdYUaBdQU/URvDEUWuCFI/AAAAAAAAHOI/9o4T_YncPro/s607/Fullscreen+capture+2132013+104409+AM.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Combo on February 12, 2013, 10:53:41 pm
What a fine trip. Great looking country side.  ::008::

What is it with the curbs on mountain roads  ???

Keep it safe DC.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on February 13, 2013, 09:06:16 pm
Looks like a great trip.....

Go Trevor Go   ::003::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: andyc740 on February 14, 2013, 10:54:42 pm
Quote
MikeMike from ADVrider lives in Veracruz, actually a 20-year resident so knows the area well. He invited me for a day ride with Bato and Andy, who were down from Texas.

Bato and I sure enjoyed meeting you!  We're glad your ride is going well.  (Though I ride a Guzzi, I joined so I can kibitz on your travels.)  ::001::


Quote
What is it with the curbs on mountain roads 

The curbs are there to channel water run-off and erosion control.

Andy
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: andyc740 on February 14, 2013, 10:57:35 pm
My picture of Trevor and Mike (and a former English student of Mike's who just happened by as we were getting ready to leave)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YojFeQv6k3k/UPgXGVZZKBI/AAAAAAAALp0/aDuUM93EBsI/s1024/DSCN2815.JPG)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: thfraser on February 15, 2013, 08:13:00 am
Bato and I sure enjoyed meeting you!  We're glad your ride is going well.  (Though I ride a Guzzi, I joined so I can kibitz on your travels.)  ::001::

Andy

Andy,

Which Guzzi?  I once owned the first version of the Norge that cam to the states, is that a breva?  I always liked the Guzzi's, just didn't like the lack of a good dealer network. 
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: andyc740 on February 16, 2013, 07:15:35 am
Andy,

Which Guzzi?  I once owned the first version of the Norge that cam to the states, is that a breva?  I always liked the Guzzi's, just didn't like the lack of a good dealer network.

Right! It's an 06 Breva 1100. No dealer in Corpus, but my mechanic used to race Guzzi's. I bought the bike a year and a half ago, lightly used. I enjoy it a lot.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on February 16, 2013, 09:29:54 pm
Bato and I sure enjoyed meeting you!  We're glad your ride is going well.  (Though I ride a Guzzi, I joined so I can kibitz on your travels.)  ::001::


The curbs are there to channel water run-off and erosion control.

Andy

Great to meet you guys too - my timing was a bit off, I should have arrived in Veracruz a few days earlier, rather than the day before you guys had to scoot back to Texas. Kibitz away!
Title: South from Veracruz
Post by: dcstrom on February 17, 2013, 09:14:19 pm
Leaving Veracruz by about 11am (seems to be about my usual time unless there's a good reason for an early start) I headed south on Mex 180. It was a bit boring so after a while I starting looking for some more interesting routes. Mike had mentioned a road that follows the coast so found a likely turnoff. The roads deteriorated fairly quickly and soon I was passing through a series of small ragged villages, most with some form of roadworks going on. I was thinking about finding a hotel but nothing I'd seen in these villages looked very appealing. Eventually it was getting late (I like to be done by 5:30 at the latest), but still no decent hotel so it was starting to look like I'd have to take what I could get. I stopped in the tiny the village of Arroya de Oro and found a hotel. Not nice, and expensive for what it was. I asked a local about alternatives and was directed to a cabana not far off the beach.

I was greeted by Juan, friendly guy who spoke decent english from years of working in the US. He'd retired to this quiet little village by the beach, and was loving it. He and his wife share a small house, and rent out a comfy cabana for about $11 a night.

I hadn't eaten lunch so was getting a bit hungry, so Juan dished up some afternoon tea. Just what I needed!

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-HQbh4XyrzIY/URmwOIbqCLI/AAAAAAAAHIQ/gsqD5jmAbLQ/s463/photo+1.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-5MFSQ6sLCkQ/USBDkNAPB9I/AAAAAAAAHRc/MIAb6c9wsCs/s800/P1140042.JPG)

Did I mention there wasn't much in this village? No restaurant, so Juan took me to his friend's a few miles away. In his '92 bug. Huge fun, I hadn't been in one since school days when a couple of my mates had them. We used to go terrorizing the neighborhood, with 5 or 6 of us squeezed into the VeeDub. I don't remember much, but I do remember a lot of body roll and squealing tires. Fortunately Juan didn't drive likr we did!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-OheYH0UEv5c/URmwPvC4ksI/AAAAAAAAHIY/rK1eKRy3dNw/s800/photo+2.JPG)

Juan's friend had two of the cutest daughters - we had a good time, gave them the iPhone to play with, they were soon taking photos like pros. The littlest was a scream, she introduced herself as "el pollito" - "the chick".

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-tL8Q_CdQDUc/URmwKd4o-DI/AAAAAAAAHII/_qITP58sDwU/s800/photo+4.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nqdc5QFbT4E/URmwQqzAlQI/AAAAAAAAHIg/ob06JfIJrKg/s800/photo+3.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JZmtYPRKy_g/URmwS9bBCOI/AAAAAAAAHIw/35vHjj3d7q4/s800/photo+2%281%29.JPG)


Next day I had to check out the beach, about 3 minutes walk from the cabana. The beach has a river on one side and a creek a few hundred meters south. Should be idyllic - swim in the fresh water of the river, walk across 20 meters of sand and swim in the ocean. Unfortunately the beach is covered in crap that (I suspect) has floated down the river and into the sea, only to be thrown up on the beach a bit later. Mainly plastic bags and bottles. Plastic in the ocean is a looming environmental disaster, if it's not one already...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21236477 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21236477)

I didn't stay on the beach long, too depressing to think about not just the bottles on this beach, but the millions or billions of bottles in oceans and on beaches around the world. Time to head further south.
Title: More Ruins - Calakmul
Post by: dcstrom on February 17, 2013, 10:36:44 pm
My next objective was Calakmul, a large Mayan city that 1500 years ago had a population of around 50,000 people. It was only re-discovered in 1931, and is hidden in the jungle 30 miles off the main road to Chetamul, and not far from the Guatemalen border. I was really looking forward to this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calakmul (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calakmul)

But first I overnighted in a little village close to a much nicer beach...

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-CEHaBy8Jjzw/URmwUnR-9aI/AAAAAAAAHI4/FPa3ICk085E/s800/photo+3%281%29.JPG)

Note I'm now carrying a spare, used tire that Mike had given me in Veracruz in case the K60 didn't get me to El Salvador where my new ones were waiting. Did I mention I hate carrying tires?

I actually wrote this up at the time. A rare event! Just cos I happened to be holed up inside for a day... but then I didn't post it cos the pics weren't ready... sigh... anyway, here it is now, I'll leave it as written on the day.

------------------------------------

Well yesterday was a bit of a balls-up. I’d been looking forward to seeing Calakmul, one of the largest Mayan cities and only re-discovered in 1931. What should have been an easy 4 hour ride from the coast turned into an all-day ordeal… A few  factors contributed to my navigation being off (I won’t  go into details, you’ll wonder how I made it this far!), and I overshot Calakmul by 70 miles. When I eventually realized I was way past my turnoff, I wrestled for a while with the idea of missing Calakmul altogether and just continuing on to the Yucatan beaches. It was 70 miles back, which equals 140 miles to get back to where I am now, equals almost a tankful of gas, plus extra miles on the rear tire that I can’t really afford. And I really hate backtracking. On the other hand, I may never be here again and Calakmul is supposed to be amazing. So I turned back.

With 90 miles on the tripmeter I passed the gas station where I last filled up. That’s ninety miles for nothing. With 110 miles on the trip, my fuel gauge dropped to the halfway point, causing me to consider again the gas situation. I knew there was not much gas on this stretch because I’d been seriously looking on the pass south. I knew there was no gas between here and the Calakmul turnoff, and a quick calculation told me that half a tank would not be enough to get me to the turnoff today, then the 120km/72 mile  round trip out to the ruins, and 40 miles back to the gas station I’d passed… which by now was 20 miles back. I didn’t know how far NORTH of the turnoff I’d have to go to get gas, but I thought probably more than 20 miles. So with quite a bit of cursing I turned back south to do the 20 miles for gas. So now add 40 miles to my tally of navigational screw-ups today, and I’m up to 180 miles that I wouldn’t have had to do if I’d been paying attention. One of those days I guess.

My plan was to find accommodation somewhere close to the turnoff, and do the 36 miles to Calakmul very early the next day. I was hoping to get some nice early morning photos, especially since my last visit to a major Mayan city, Palenque, was a washout. It rained all day and it was all I could do to keep the camera dry(ish), and the photos weren’t great.

Well I think the Mayan gods hate me, because it started raining last night and has not stopped all day. This is only the second time this has happened in the 4 ½ months since leaving DC – both times when I’m visiting (or planning to visit) Mayan ruins. I didn’t go today, not just because of the rain. The cloud cover was so low that visibility at the site would have been poor. The pyramids here are some of the highest in any Mayan city, would not be much of a view from the top today.

So I’ve been “confined to quarters” today. Comfortable enough, and the first time I’m\ve spent the night under a thatched roof in a rainstorm. It’s amazing that water doesn’t get through the thatch, I didn’t get drop. Also quite cozy sleeping under the mosquito netting.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3bc7qsjvqzY/USGfFepiBtI/AAAAAAAAHSY/319l9YCc-wg/s800/_DSC1360_stitch.jpg)

Days like these I get a bit morose, thinking about people I should be with, rather than places I should be. It’s not so bad when I’m on the move, but you can’t have it both ways. It’s part of the emotional rollercoaster that you’re liable to get on a trip like this. I’m sure the weather will be better tomorrow, Calakmul will be fantastic, and my mood will improve!

-------------------------------

Well the next day dawned overcast but at least not wet, so headed out to Calakmul down a narrow winding road through the jungle. It's pretty slow going, not just because of the narrow road but also because Calakmul lies in the middle of a biosphere reserve, and there may be animals on the road. I only saw turkeys, but there are supposed to be jaguar in the area. I guess they are smart enough to stay well away from the road.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calakmul_Biosphere_Reserve (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calakmul_Biosphere_Reserve)

Calakmul is not as developed for tourism as some of the other Mayan sites, and when you get there it's so heavily forested that it's hard to appreciate the scale of the place. To do that you have to get up high. This is the view from the tallest pyramid and you can see the tops of two others just poking above the trees.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-2C0OuFhKeow/UR_GXDkDTvI/AAAAAAAAHP8/_5Q45PfiV00/s800/_DSC1680_stitch.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-5plWGdOYM2I/USGdokjgxqI/AAAAAAAAHSM/0H2hoyHpK-U/s800/_DSC1493.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AA5mlfmcHCc/USGdjzcUKJI/AAAAAAAAHSE/JFLeEbj7RnA/s974/_DSC1568_stitch1.jpg)

After the hassle I went through to see Calakmul (the extra 180 miles from my navigation screwup, the rainy day holed up in a cabin with only the laptop for company - and no internet) I was a bit disappointed. Not that it's not fantastic, but it's not so developed and it's hard to see more than just the thing in front of you. Plus it was a dull day and the pics turned out grey - grey stones, grey skies... and I have to admit, a bit of a grey mood. Still, I'm glad I went. Palenque was fabulous but soaking wet the day I went, and too many tourists (or would have been, had it been dry). Calakmul is fantastic but harder to appreciate because it's pretty overgrown with jungle. That's part of its charm though, you can imagine what it was like to be the archaeologist that discovered in the 1930's.

Maybe Tikal would be "just right"?

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dlgarrett75 on February 19, 2013, 05:31:10 pm
Hey Trevor, great to catch up with your travel. The pics and video are great. Looks like a good old time you are having..some moments though make me think, on the inside, OMG!!!But then you are such a hardy fellow..stay safe and careful.  Here in & around Baltimore we are having bloody freezing cold weather, quite a few little snow falls, and a few good riding days. I started up bike to check it and hope to get out and about soon. Am working a lot and have night shift coming up. Morgan is good..which makes me happy. Bob's has a bikewear/gear evening coming up, I noticed they will have some Klim brand gear. How is your KLIM suit working out? Weatherproof  I hope. You sure have a load to carry. Once again, the pics are great, the kids are cute, keep having an adventure and I'll keep up. Good to hear you are well..till later, Di xxx
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on February 19, 2013, 08:45:43 pm
Hey Trevor, great to catch up with your travel. The pics and video are great. Looks like a good old time you are having..some moments though make me think, on the inside, OMG!!!But then you are such a hardy fellow..stay safe and careful.  Here in & around Baltimore we are having bloody freezing cold weather, quite a few little snow falls, and a few good riding days. I started up bike to check it and hope to get out and about soon. Am working a lot and have night shift coming up. Morgan is good..which makes me happy. Bob's has a bikewear/gear evening coming up, I noticed they will have some Klim brand gear. How is your KLIM suit working out? Weatherproof  I hope. You sure have a load to carry. Once again, the pics are great, the kids are cute, keep having an adventure and I'll keep up. Good to hear you are well..till later, Di xxx

Great to hear from you Di... glad all's well, I'm doing fine. The Klim gear is holding up fine, but to be honest I haven't really given it a good test yet. Only a few rainy days in the entire trip... a couple of crashes but only small ones so I wouldn't call them crash tests. I know Bob's is a dangerous place for you so I'd plan something else for his "gear evening" if I were you! ;-)
Title: Yucatan and "the Mayan Riviera"
Post by: dcstrom on February 19, 2013, 11:45:38 pm
From Calakmul it was a fairly short ride to Chetamul, my first stop in Quintana Roo (state) and first glimpse of the Caribbean. I never imagined water could be such pure turquoise! I stayed in a nice hostel that night and the owner was asking me how her hostel compared to others I'd stayed in. I told her I'd been impressed by the hostel in Oaxaca, which included not only breakfast but a shot of mescal in the evening. So, not to be outdone, she broke out the Haitian rum. Turns out her husband is Haitian and is working there while she runs the hostel, and brings rum every time he comes back. Smooth but fiery... I'm happy to help  :D

You know how sometimes when you think you're something pretty special, or at least are doing something pretty special, something usually happens to bring you back down to earth? Well that was me at this hostel. Thinking I'd done pretty good to get all the way from DC to the bottom of Mexico, virtually incident free, I met Joanne from Scotland. She's a redheaded 20-something bonny lass, who started her SOLO BICYCLE RIDE to South America from British Colombia. Holy shit, I could not even start to think about doing something like that. Especially if I was a woman... but she's doing about 60 miles a day, camping out when she has to (something I didn't do in Mexico cos it's supposed to be dicey). Amazing. Coincidentally I bumped into her again at a hostel near Tikal in Guatamala... reminds me, I should check where she is now...

I had a couple of things to do on the "Mayan Riveria" - one, catch up with Matteo, a long term Super Tenere owner in Playa del Carmen (he had his bike long before any of us in the US), and two, find a nice spot by the beach to hole up for a while and take a breather after being on the move for so long. Unfortunately one of my criteria for number two was that it would have to be cheap, and I soon discovered that this was the most expensive part of Mexico so far. So that idea got scrapped pretty quickly.

So I really only had one destination, Playa del Carmen, but between Playa and Chetamul lies Tulum, famous for its Mayan ruins on a cliff overlooking the beach. A stop in Tulum was called for... It was kind of a shock to the system to find so many tourists, and inflated prices, after having seen very few in the previous 2 months around Mexico. I had ideas of visiting the ruins, but I REALLY have an aversion to competing with hordes of tourists (I'm sure most of you appreciate the difference between "travellers" and "tourists" - most of us have been both, but at different times). So the hordes heading to the ruins ruined it for me, so I spent some time on the beach instead. At least you could see the ruins from here.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-6Ish9dVF9xc/URr4caEkALI/AAAAAAAAHLA/zey3qqNAZ2U/s817/P1200053.JPG)

What's this you may ask? It's one of the first underwater shots with my Olympus TG-1. That's the colour of the water.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-j6ys2lvHhfw/URr4cyJQhRI/AAAAAAAAHLI/IXlPzpX7GwI/s817/P1220072.JPG)

Sunset on Tulum main street.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-5xoWbd250xo/URr4doS9duI/AAAAAAAAHLQ/ocPSu1k9cOI/s817/P1200060.JPG)

After a couple of days at Tulum I headed to Playa del Carmen, where Matteo met me on the highway a few minutes outside of town. He then guided me to his luxo pad just off the beach and a few minutes walk from the main shopping/drinking/restaurant part of town. Now I have to say, this was a cut above the hostels I'd been staying in recently! Playa turned out to be a very nice place, but one that wouldn't have been in my budget at all if it had not been for Matteo's hospitality. We visited some favourite restaurants and bars, and just hung out in the apartment (did I mention great views over the Caribbean?). Well actually the main reason for hanging out in the apartment... it was raining a LOT for a couple of days. At least we had good views of the ocean, and good tequila  :D

I also discovered a fact about concrete roads that I hadn't realised before. I went out one day to find somewhere to change oil (a clutch repair shop let me use their space). As I was changing it started to rain. No problem, it wasn't far back to Matteo's place. On the way back I felt the rear end moving around... WTF, do I have a flat? Stopped to check, no flat. Continued and at one point, travelling in a straight line, I closed the throttle and the rear wheel locked up. WTFFF? Next I gave it a whiff of throttle and the rear wheel spun up... I thought "did I tighten both drain plugs, have I got oil all over the rear tire?" But I was sure I tightened the plugs. It was pissing rain by now, but I stopped to inspect the rear wheel. The K60 is pretty smooth at this point, but no sign of oil. I was about to blame the tire, but then I noticed the road surface - concrete with drainage grooves across it, but mostly worn smooth. Turns out this surface has almost no traction in the wet, as Matteo confirmed when I got back. Scary...

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: MikeMike on February 20, 2013, 01:03:51 pm
Hi Trevor,
Like AndyC did, I joined up to say "hi" and thanks for the updates.  Looks like the trip is moving along quite well for you!
Nice to see the spare tire on your bike and not beside the barbecue in my storage room, ha,ha!
I am not a Yamaha Super Tenere owner but I can say that bike of yours is really great for Latin American travel.  A good bike for here.
Also, I would like to extend an invitation to any members of this forum to contact me if you are coming through Veracruz and you need
advice, help, etc...  I have prepared a PDF format illustrated ride guide for first timers coming through Veracruz and how to avoid the
boring areas and focus on the really good riding we have here.  Just send me a PM and your email and I will be happy to send anyone
the ride guide, and all feedback on it is most appreciated as I am always looking to improve the content.
Just a quick note for the history buffs, the beach we went to is in "La Villa Rica de la Veracruz" which is not the first beach where Cortez landed in Mexico,
but the site where he dismantled and then burned some of the ships so the crews couldn't mutiny and return.  He motivated them to push forward with the
conquest of Mexico by offering them no possibility of return until the outcome of the conquest.  Talk about having a tough boss to work for!
Also, the toll stop was at La Antigua which is the oldest municipality in North America.  That is the toll stop at the start of the Veracruz video Trevor posted.
And yes, Trevor, too bad you weren't rolling the video when the "international incident" happened, CNN would have loved that one ha,ha!
Just a note, this forum has a great format, easy to navigate and a nice place on the web!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ANDY-WV on February 20, 2013, 06:51:58 pm
Howdy Trevor
  Been tracking you on spot but its been blank for a while. Is it me or are you turned off?
                                                                                             Andy-WV
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on February 20, 2013, 07:25:02 pm
I noticed the same thing on the Spot Tracking....???

Glad to hear all is well.... stay safe.

Alan
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on February 20, 2013, 09:56:18 pm
Howdy Trevor
  Been tracking you on spot but its been blank for a while. Is it me or are you turned off?
                                                                                             Andy-WV


Blank or stopped? It should show me as being in San Pedro, where I've been for two weeks... I'm getting to that! But on the move again tomorrow...

BTW, good to hear from you  ::008:: Hope all is well in West Virginny!

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on February 20, 2013, 10:18:20 pm
I am not a Yamaha Super Tenere owner but I can say that bike of yours is really great for Latin American travel.  A good bike for here.


Agreed - just wish it weighed something more like your F650!

Quote
Also, I would like to extend an invitation to any members of this forum to contact me if you are coming through Veracruz and you need
advice, help, etc...  I have prepared a PDF format illustrated ride guide for first timers coming through Veracruz and how to avoid the
boring areas and focus on the really good riding we have here.  Just send me a PM and your email and I will be happy to send anyone
the ride guide, and all feedback on it is most appreciated as I am always looking to improve the content.


Right! I can vouch for Mike's hospitality and local knowledge. I wish I could have spent more time around Veracruz. If you have any inkling to go to Mexico, you should. Fantastic place, not scary at all (most of the time for most people!) and beautiful country, friendly people - and a bunch of enthusiastic expats, many of whom can be found hanging out in the "Is Mexico Safe?" thread on ADVrider.com http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=546927 (http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=546927)

Mexico - just do it! (Hope Nike doesn't sue...)

Quote
Just a quick note for the history buffs, the beach we went to is in "La Villa Rica de la Veracruz" which is not the first beach where Cortez landed in Mexico,


Yeah right Mike, thanks for pointing out that I'm a slow learner at history as well as languages...  ;-) I have been reading a bit about Cortes since leaving Mexico. Some strange stories for sure... Typical, I should have read them BEFORE going to Mexico.

Quote
Also, the toll stop was at La Antigua which is the oldest municipality in North America.  That is the toll stop at the start of the Veracruz video Trevor posted.

Who cares? The most important thing is that Mike paid the toll  :D

Trevor
Title: Day ride to the end of the Yucatan
Post by: dcstrom on February 20, 2013, 11:27:54 pm
After sitting in the apartment for a couple of days watching the weather blow in off the Caribbean, and drinking waaayy too much tequila, we finally got a bit of a break in the weather. Matteo had a day ride figured out - let's try to see some flamingoes!

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-YcPIUQG8Y3g/USRKgc5mDII/AAAAAAAAHTk/HuOpKgluR-Q/s800/Fullscreen+capture+2192013+100008+PM.jpg)

There's a narrow strip of land at the top of the map, part of the Parque Natural Ría Lagartos. The park is famous for its 350 species of birds, and formerly crocdiles. Unfortunately, they are like the Monty Python parrot, no more.

Roads in the Yucatan tend to be fairly straight, unlike the other roads I've been used to in Mexico. However, it makes up for it with the spectacular coastline. Matteo and I road for a few hours to get to a small fishing village on the southern end of the park. We found a nice restaurant for lunch, where Matteo ordered up the freshest of fresh seafood - and raw at that! Ceviche mmmmmm....

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-gPU1TL2cnxY/USWMC8VLNEI/AAAAAAAAHUQ/07TsQskeqV8/s800/_DSC1889.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-4ID8s-FCeMI/USWMO-WvVpI/AAAAAAAAHU4/_fU_0LL9s78/s800/_DSC1884.JPG)

Just out of town was a sandy (but firm) dirt road that took us through the park - ocean on one side, marshlands full of birdlife on the other, separated by less than 100m of dunes in places.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-cLSl4f1s7V8/UQNntrbQMuI/AAAAAAAAHDA/f9OGW5HyMgg/s1200/_DSC1959_stitch.jpg)

The road was a blast, with lots of puddles from recent rain. We just ripped through them, Matteo just about having an oopsy coming out of one of them but managed to hang onto it.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-zh1ZZcfmcuY/USWMIVbdzqI/AAAAAAAAHUo/t02Mbf97TkM/s600/_DSC2096.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-eS6NLY0bc_c/UQNmn5g0x2I/AAAAAAAAHU8/m30GIUwZTBA/s800/_DSC1894_tonemapped.jpg)

Most spectacular though was the wildlife. Yet another place I would like to have spent more time!

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-DIqV1ezl9i4/UQNwHohjjLI/AAAAAAAAHD8/NlIj0jsYTSM/s800/_DSC2097.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-w2dEcL1poOc/USWMF3OkyKI/AAAAAAAAHUg/IPBDBVOq0Dk/s965/_DSC2087+copy.jpg)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/--wVEoYmfdxg/USWMEnNTSUI/AAAAAAAAHUY/YBFwrfz3IXQ/s766/_DSC2023.JPG)

The ride back was pretty uneventful, until... the rain came again, this time heavier than it had been most of the 2 days we'd been holed up in Matteo's apartment. Not bad on the open road but by the time we got closer to Playa del Carmen it was getting dark, and wet wet wet. And guess what kind of road we were on? (this is a reading and comprehension test...). You may remember I mentioned about slippery concrete roads in Playa in my last post. That was around town, and speeds below 30mph. Now, were were on concrete again, but this time on the main highway, in the dark, streaming wet, and doing 60-70 mph to avoid being run down by surrounding traffic. Visibility was poor and on a wet night you can't tell what kind of surface you're riding on - asphalt, or concrete? The way I knew was to open the throttle at 50mph in 4th gear. If the rear spun up, then it was concrete. At one point out of nowhere the front wheel just about washed out from under me, took me completely by surprise. Matteo said later that yeah, there is some drainage across the road at that spot, a sheet of water is running across the road there but you can't see it at night.

I needed a couple of stiff tequilas by the time we got back  :D
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: andyc740 on February 24, 2013, 09:39:44 am
Love that last flamingo picture. If you're interested in Mayan ruins, don't miss Copan on the north side of Honduras.
Title: Six months out, 20,000 miles down...
Post by: dcstrom on March 02, 2013, 05:14:22 pm
Well the 20,000 mile mark of this trip fell only a couple of days short of the 6 month mark. Makes it easy to work out what the annual mileage might be!

I'm now in Antigua, Guatemala and heading for El Salvador tomorrow, looking forward to getting the "Stahlratte" to Colombia at the end of the month.

Updated map here;
http://www.everytrail.com/iframe2.php?trip_id=1948542 (http://www.everytrail.com/iframe2.php?trip_id=1948542)

I posted the 15,000 mile summary here;
http://www.yamahasupertenere.com/index.php?topic=5583.msg114424#msg114424 (http://www.yamahasupertenere.com/index.php?topic=5583.msg114424#msg114424)

Not much new on the Tenere side of things to report since then.

- An oil change.
- A leaky fork seal (fixed with a Sealmate).
- A new rear K60 yesterday @11,130 miles, and a front one to come next week in San Salvador.

That's it. A chassis lube, oil/filter change, air filter clean, new pads f/r (I think 33,000 miles on the stock front pads is outstanding) and general going over coming  up next week.

As for me, I'm just about getting used to this lifestyle. Always something new to see, new food to try, people to meet, roads to ride. There are some downsides - it can get lonely sometimes. But every day I'm aware of how fortunate I am to be able to do a trip like this. Especially with such an able steed, "El Caballo Azul"!

Budget it working out ok - was a bit expensive in the States but since crossing into Mexico 3 months and 10,000 miles ago, I've averaged $48/day - including the $356 for a set of K60s. I was aiming for $50/day, so I'm on track there...

more soon.
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: Firefight911 on March 02, 2013, 05:51:25 pm
Nice job and great update Trevor!!

Keep going, the world awaits!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk which means there are more than likely spelling errors!
Title: Screwed over at the border
Post by: dcstrom on March 03, 2013, 08:10:31 pm
Well, it finally happened... I got royally screwed at the border.  I wasn't going to cross today, f*ckers at the hostel were partying till 4am, I didn't sleep much so, wanting to have my wits about me for the crossing, thought I'd get close to the border today then hit it fresh in the morning. Got to a town close by, couldn't find a hotel so asked a cop. She asked me if I was going to the frontera, she said, "follow me". She obviously didn't get the bit about the hotel, but I thought at least if she's taking me to the border (it's not as if it was hard to find from where I was) then maybe she has friends there or something and she'll smooth the way. No such luck, she just dropped me at the border. Nice of her, but, big deal, really. Plus I saw a hotel a mile after I started following her, should have just stayed there.

Got to the border, guy's offering me a decent exchange rate for my quetzals, show's me the calculation on the calculator, looks fine but I didn't do the math in my head. Turns out he screwed me for $30. They must have "fixed" calculators?

At the same time this other guys wanting to help. I said no at first but then it wasn't obvious where I needed to go first (as usual). He spoke good english, so I said OK but I'm not giving you any of my docs, just show me where to go.

Part way through the process we need more photocopies, and while we are getting them he's asking for $44.85 to pay for one of the docs. I say I only have a $100 note - no problem, I can change. So he pulls a wad of $20's and I give him the hundred, but instead of giving me the change he gives the lot to his runner who supposedly goes off to pay the $44.85. Meanwhile the copy guy has all my documents so I can't go anywhere, I don't want to lose track of them.

I'm getting pissed now, and my lack of sleep the night before is starting to show. It's getting late and I'm concerned about getting a hotel on the other side before it gets dark. I should have gone with plan A, obviously.

The guy comes back with some docs, supposedly the $44.85 was due when leaving Guatemala. I said where's the receipt to show it's been paid. He said, it's Sunday, secretaries day off, if you want a reciept you'll have to come back tomorrow. Farrrk - that's when I knew I was being had. If it hadn't been so late I would have made a whole lot more of it.

Off to the El Salvador side, half expecting my docs to be wrong, shunted around a bit but eventually got away from there just before 5pm. No fees at the Aduana? Weird. Hope they don't hit me on the other side.

Now to get a good night's sleep!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: merchant on March 03, 2013, 09:55:31 pm
That sucks!  I hate that feeling when you realize you've just been had.  It really jades me and I have a hard time trusting any stranger for a while.  Just crushes my faith in people.  I guess the bright spot is that it was only money (easy for me to say).  I can think of lots worse things that could happen to a yank in that neck of the woods. 

I hope your docs are cool and the rest of the trip goes smoothly.  Love the posts/pics!  You're living my dream.  Keep 'em comin'!! ::008::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on March 04, 2013, 08:23:11 pm
Sorry to hear it Trevor.  I believe you're getting close to the area where your other photocopies are supposed to come in handy. Good luck. Hope this is the worst bad person episode you encounter during the entire trip.
Title: Idiot tax
Post by: dcstrom on March 04, 2013, 08:28:45 pm
I'm over being pissed off about letting myself get screwed over at the border yesterday. I should have known better, I should have stuck to my plan and hit the border fresh in the morning rather than tired in the late afternoon. There were some extenuating circumstances (like the cop taking me to the border instead of a hotel, and me going through with the crossing partly because I didn't want to be rude). But basically, it was my screwup, and I just have to look at it as an "idiot tax" and let it go - but try not to let it happen again. People have been so great and helpful on this trip that I've just gotten used to trusting them, and part of the reason I was pissed about yesterday was not so much about the money but because I now have to come back to earth and be WARY of people who may or may not be trying to help.

Still, at least it's only an "idiot tax" and not a "completely and totally moronic tax". I met a young guy in Antigua who was all down in the mouth. He'd met some Guatemalans in a bar the night before, they had some cocaine to sell him. He says, I just have to go back to my hostel to get some money. Does that, returns for the drugs but next morning he finds that all his cash, and his iPhone, is missing. About $400. Looks like one of his friendly drug dealers followed him back to the hostel and watched him when he retrieved the cash, then stole it after he went back to the bar. Stupid on so many levels...

On the up side, the owner of the cafe I'm in now gave me free cake and coffee, because he likes my bike  ;D
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: spklbuk on March 05, 2013, 05:21:21 am
Go get 'em Trevor!  Don't let the bastards get you down.

I look forward to each and every post.
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 06, 2013, 08:00:57 pm
Service day yesterday - plan was to grease steering head/swingarm, oil/filter change, new front K60 (and fix a dinged rim at the same time), change final drive   oil and inspect the leak, repair a cracking/bending altrider rack, check the K&N air filter.

All went well, with me doing some of the work and Mario's guys doing some. Have to give Moto Rider credit. Local Touratech/Heidenau/Husaberg distributors, best place in Central America for K60's, only about $40 more for a set than the US.

Here's my front wheel being taken "somewhere" to have the ding removed. Came back perfect, cost $25.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/07/7e5eneda.jpg)

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/07/qeqenyda.jpg)

We decided to leave the rear end alone until I get seals to fix the leak, then do everything at once.

Steering head feels much lighter now - maybe too light? Of course they didn't have the special torque wrench to tighten locknuts.  I remember when I got the properly torqued before I left DC, thinking that it felt a good bit stiffer than if I'd done it by feel.

Front K60 is shot at 11,400 miles.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/07/bypeme5a.jpg)

Rear K60 at 11,200 miilles. Would do at least another 1000 miles in a pinch. Or more. Amazing, considering it's had a pretty hard life carrying 200lb of luggage. I have no idea what Dirt_Dad does to his that he only gets 8000 miles out of them!

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-91fYnUe4g2w/UTuxzU1bWKI/AAAAAAAAHiY/iNo0sA3dc4Y/s1000/P2280042.JPG)



Waiting for the rack to come back from the welder, should be tomorrow.

Trevor
Title: Some repairs
Post by: dcstrom on March 08, 2013, 05:46:38 pm
I had a couple of things to sort out when we did some work on the bike at Moto Rider, San Salvador
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Motorider/214646951951393 (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Motorider/214646951951393)

One was the dinged front rim which was fixed same-day for $25.

I have a final drive oil leak, which we've been discussing in a separate thread. It's not serious but seems that I may need to replace some pinion seals. These are not available here but with some great assistance from Erenet I have a set winging their way to me as we speak. I should have them Monday but if the leak is still only a few drops I may hold off on the replacement. I hear there are some good bike shops in Medellin, Colombia, so if it's still leaking by then, I'll have the seals replaced there. We were going to lube the swing arm here but I'm going to put that off until I decide what to do about the seals. No sense dismantling the rear end twice if I don't have to.

I changed the drive oil and seems to be leaking much less. I wonder if there is something about seal conditioning properties of new oil? Fingers crossed!

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-EPxJGsIhgiE/UTQHV3WXaUI/AAAAAAAAHcA/q5h-Ye9mPyY/s460/13+-+1)

 The other was my Altrider rear rack, which after 20,000 miles carrying a 25lb top box, was looking worse for wear. Notice the cracks from three of the four bolt holes. Base was also warped.

NOTE Altrider have a 2nd generation luggage rack now and it seems that they will replace parts for anyone with a 1st gen rack that has problems. Good guys.
http://www.altrider.com/altrider-luggage-rack-for-yamaha-super-tenere-xt1200z/pcid/625-14 (http://www.altrider.com/altrider-luggage-rack-for-yamaha-super-tenere-xt1200z/pcid/625-14)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-2Kqwo5iPPfo/UTpRc3Ji3TI/AAAAAAAAHgs/undq1OUjW1Q/s460/13+-+1)

Sent of "somewhere" to be welded, it's gone from pretty to "pretty ugly". But it looks like it's going to be strong (it weighs twice what it did before). Hopefully no more problems.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-F5YOBTcJyJI/UTpRl6q3WCI/AAAAAAAAHg0/jTWRwWqk40M/s800/13+-+1)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ah13QjvW8gU/UTpRrrfwtGI/AAAAAAAAHhE/_Qf0n0-9OiQ/s800/13+-+1)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on March 08, 2013, 07:21:31 pm
Hey Trevor,

How is the stone guard screen holding up on the front?  I put one on and was just wondering if it will make the trip up the Dempster and Haul Rd this summer.

Alan

Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 08, 2013, 08:51:25 pm
Hey Alan, you mean my $2.50 Home Depot paintbrush cleaner? Yep, it's perfect!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on March 09, 2013, 07:44:20 am
 ::026:: on the paint brush cleaner.  Sorry, I did have to buy mine from Lowes, we'll see how well it holds up.
Title: Five weeks in Guatemala
Post by: dcstrom on March 10, 2013, 07:02:01 pm
Five weeks! My, that went fast  :D

Leaving Mexico I travelled from Chetamul in southern Yucatan, into Belize. Border crossing was OK - except I missed (or dismissed, not sure) a money changer to take my Pesos and change to Belize currency. I would "pay the price" for this oversight later...

It's funny how people/media in the US say how dangerous Mexico is, then you go and find it's nothing of the sort. Then when you tell a Mexican you're going to Belize, they make sure they tell you how dangerous it is... I guess that's the way it's going to be all the way through Central America - the next country is always more dangerous than the one you're in now. I don't necessarily believe or disbelieve them, but rather just take it as it come while taking the warnings into account.

That said, I didn't have a strong urge to go to Belize City, there actually IS a lot of crime there and no real reason to go. Belize is a small country so I just stayed one night there, in San Ignacio.

The view of my bike, and my hotel, from my bar... during a heavy afternoon storm.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/379657_138014873026773_609647292_n.jpg)

I crossed into Guatemala the next day, only two problems - I still had a bunch of Pesos to get rid of and had heard it was hard to find places that would change them. I asked the money changer if he could change them, and he said yes, "reluctantly" as if he was doing me a big favor. "Only because I'm going to Mexico myself next week and need some Pesos". Of course I had no idea what the Peso/Quetzal exchange rate was, and no way to find out. I set myself up for failure... Yep, later found out he gave me a really really bad rate.

Next problem was it was a Sunday, and the copy shop at the border was closed. I had to get a cab to the town on the Guatemala side to make copies, leaving the bike at the border. A bit time consuming but one of the border police said he'd keep an eye on the bike for me, so all was well in that respect.

On to the Mayan ruins at Tikal. Just across the Mexican border from Calakmul, 60 miles away, where I'd been a few weeks before. The two cities had a long rivalry.

"The history of the Maya Classic period is dominated by the rivalry between Tikal and Calakmul, likened to a struggle between two Maya "superpowers".[19] Earlier times tended to be dominated by a single larger city and by the Early Classic Tikal was moving into this position after the dominance of El Mirador in the Late Preclassic and Nakbe in the Middle Preclassic.[20] However Calakmul was a rival city with equivalent resources that challenged the supremacy of Tikal and engaged in a strategy of surrounding it with its own network of allies.[21] From the second half of the 6th century AD through to the late 7th century Calakmul gained the upper hand although it failed to extinguish Tikal's power completely and Tikal was able to turn the tables on its great rival in a decisive battle that took place in AD 695.[22] Half a century later Tikal was able to gain major victories over Calakmul's most important allies.[22] Eventually both cities succumbed to the spreading Classic Maya collapse.[23]"

I stayed at a hostel down the road from Tikal, and took an early morning bus there. Again, an awesome place. Makes me want to take a time machine and see what like was really like there...

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-5O1mh0VbbuI/UT0Mm-Y8D5I/AAAAAAAAHj8/3D0Fk70rfQk/s1000/_DSC2260_stitch.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QDU8ZDcPc74/UT0N6F7to9I/AAAAAAAAHkE/i0XsfySdIMQ/s1000/_DSC2605_stitch+copy.jpg)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-3jVc7-36f5E/UT0H9SvhXJI/AAAAAAAAHj0/gGw-hhSLsYE/s1000/_DSC2460_1_2_fused.jpg)


Many sites are unexcavated, meaning they are just mounds of dirt, or like this one, partially excavated. Once uncovered it must be a huge job to prevent the jungle taking over again...

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Z-qOgCzp7jk/UT0P3K-etmI/AAAAAAAAHkM/XeeN9UwHSH8/s1000/_DSC2720_1_2_tonemapped.jpg)

Watch out for flying monkey crap!

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-knsq44OG_bE/UT0H6TNeEhI/AAAAAAAAHjs/TRgw90aXjbU/s800/_DSC2107.JPG)

While at the hostel near Tikal I discovered I had a leaky fork seal. Luckily not too bad, and oil had not gotten onto the pads. I had a "Sealmate" in my kit, but had never used it. Fortunately it worked as advertised - cleaned the seal and fixed the leak. Phew!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0AVMSNFB6LQ/UQXx8sNZ05I/AAAAAAAAHFM/IZWvPpDeyn4/s530/P1270127.JPG)

From Tikal I headed to Puerto Barrios on the east coast...
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: simmons1 on March 10, 2013, 07:26:13 pm
Thanks for posting about your Alt Rider rear rack cracking.

I have the same rack. Mine has led an easy life and has cracks in more than place on the bottom piece.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 10, 2013, 09:16:40 pm
Thanks for posting about your Alt Rider rear rack cracking.

I have the same rack. Mine has led an easy life and has cracks in more than place on the bottom piece.

Interesting - I thought it was just because mine had had a tougher-than-normal life. I emailed Jeremy at Altrider to let him know about the problems, maybe you should too? Maybe they will rethink the design... (emailed Atrider, turns out they already have a new design).
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: coastie on March 10, 2013, 10:13:51 pm
Interesting - I thought it was just because mine had had a tougher-than-normal life. I emailed Jeremy at Altrider to let him know about the problems, maybe you should too? Maybe they will rethink the design...

I could have sworn that i had received an email stating that i could return the rack due to cracking issues shortly after I bought mine more than 6 months ago.  I actually forgot about it  I went back looking through emails today, but could not find anything.  Going to go through a huge pile of papers I have this week to see if they had sent me written correspondence.  If  find something I will let you all know.
Title: the beach
Post by: dcstrom on March 10, 2013, 11:23:19 pm
Jumping ahead... tonight's sunset at Play del Tunco, El Salvador. Four days "resting" here has been very nice.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-BLMyMMOQEPE/UT1NJv9w1II/AAAAAAAAHkg/61TXp6nzn1g/s1000/_DSC4495.jpg)
Title: Guatemala (continued)
Post by: dcstrom on March 11, 2013, 01:00:17 am
I don't really know what I was thinking when I decided to go to Puerto Barrios, except that I wanted to see the east coast. Turns out Puerto Barrios is a grimy port city, hot, humid and probably not too safe. Most of Guatemala's Dole bananas are shipped out of there.

It took me some time to find a hotel that was in a decent part of town and affordable... but still more expensive than I would have hoped, about $27. One thing it had that I hadn't seen before - a secure parking area AND a security guard. At least I didn't have to worry about the bike being messed with. The old guy with the pump-action shotgun was sitting 6 feet from it all night.

Next day I headed back west to check out the hills of central Guatemala. I'd had an invitation to join some local riders at a "cheese farm" in the hills near Nebaj, and had a couple of days before that event.

I spent some time in Salama and Coban, but the weather wasn't really cooperating so was glad to be heading east to meet the guys and girls for the weekend. I was only about 70 miles according to Google Maps, and the road looked like a major route. I was kinda surprised to find that it was actually a dirt road, with parts churned up by trucks after the rains of the previous 2 days. If there's one thing that worries me travelling solo on a overloaded Super Tenere, it's having to negotiate a muddy road. I mulled it over for a while, and not knowing how bad the road might get, and not having enough spanish to be able to ask, I decided I had to loop back south through Guatemala City, then north again. About 270 miles, versus the 70 I was planning on. It was already mid-afternoon, no way to get there that day, so I would have to be a day late to the party.

I was not looking forward to traversing Guatemala City, but it seemed there was no good way around it. I was pleasantly surprised that the traffic was not as bad as I'd imagined for a Friday afternoon, and I was through there in about 1.5 hours.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-I1am10kZIHw/UT1cUa4DHJI/AAAAAAAAHk0/cFspc7d111c/s766/Fullscreen+capture+3102013+102255+PM.jpg)

Nearing Nebaj on Saturday I passed through an indian market as they were packing up... it looks a mess here but when we came back the next day it was all cleaned up. I like the pregnant woman 30 seconds in... she thinks nothing of having a massive Tenere brushing against her butt...

Market day aftermath, Guatemala (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8H2a0p_4c0#ws)




Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: CapsLock on March 11, 2013, 06:34:04 am
Sweet!  Thanks for the update.  What a great adventure.
Title: Guatemala (continued)
Post by: dcstrom on March 11, 2013, 11:03:33 am
The last bit of road from Nebaj out to the cheese farm was interesting, more so when I came across this rabble swimming in a creek beside the road.

Frank, a German living in Guatemala, and Mario and Victor, who'd come from El Salvador for the weekend.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-hB8rfHqeKfc/UT1goruaWUI/AAAAAAAAHlQ/Jh-LUrb0Hbo/s800/P2020139.JPG)

The cheese farm/restuarant

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-CI2LEi4fZsE/UTJw8S2oUfI/AAAAAAAAHZ4/dVALFYMh5T0/s800/_DSC3521.JPG)

Frank on his S10

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-S-1Powd94PY/UTJw91IlwEI/AAAAAAAAHaA/U7UwGXrTTUY/w800-h600-o-k/_DSC3523.JPG)

More... Sara, Megan and Dan, all from Canada. Sara and Dan are travelling together to Sth America on 800/650 GS's,  Megan is solo traveling Panama on a (get this!) Kawasaki 400 LTD. I had the pleasure of riding it - that comes a bit later.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zRBc-74IntE/UT1gi1QwYBI/AAAAAAAAHlI/S-vgLc2OVGA/s800/P2020141.JPG)

We were walking distance from a village, so we went and had some beers with the locals

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-NfyLwrxe_Og/UT1gr6YnWsI/AAAAAAAAHlY/eA-3gWSy1Hc/s800/P2020155.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-WGLJG9dE-H0/UT1gfZtcBxI/AAAAAAAAHlw/49Js-Man4VY/s800/P2020146.JPG)

Sara and Megan entertained the kids

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-_-oa3rYlu6Y/UT1gvEJOpVI/AAAAAAAAHlg/V040xtSFWmE/s800/P2020161.JPG)

The evening turned rainy but no problem for us - a great dinner at the cheese place, and a cosy night under thick blankets in the cabins there. It was quite cold, altitude around 6500 ft.

Next day however it was still raining, and the road that was "interesting" in the dry turned very tricky indeed. Fortunately the muddy part was "only" about half a mile. I was sure I was going down...

Road turns to mud overnight in Guatemala (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc4J5LKUPwQ#ws)

Jaxon's fender raising kit did the job!

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-iBJyRThgDwg/URGPGU-PxzI/AAAAAAAAHGM/HonTrbM07m0/s800/P2030229.jpg)

And worn K60's didn't do so bad either.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-IK8Jpui3WUo/URGPWn9q9cI/AAAAAAAAHGc/vraSf0iBRBM/s800/P2030236.jpg)

She's a heavy beast to navigate through such slippery terrain, and it was mostly luck that I didn't go down. Which wouldn't have been such a big deal - but getting it back up, with no traction underfoot, would have been!

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-682_Az1xrgc/URGPfKscOmI/AAAAAAAAHGk/sATBI_nc61w/s800/P2030237.jpg)

Next - the road to San Pedro.
Title: San Pedro, Guatemala
Post by: dcstrom on March 11, 2013, 04:52:56 pm
Returning from our trip to the cheese farm, Megan and I stayed overnight in a Hostel in Antigua. Formerly the capital of Guatemala, Antigua is a beautiful old colonial city with many churchs - or more precisely, ruins of churches. Much of the town was destroyed in an earthquake in 1717, and after another severe quake in 1773 the decision was made to move the capital to its current location, Guatemala City.

There was another capital that preceded Antigua, not far away, but it was destroyed by the erupting Volcán de Agua in 1541. You can see the volcano in the background here. Pretty rough area, geologically speaking!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Q5HS58GNtFo/UTzoniLFCMI/AAAAAAAAHjY/H9cUoN8ZMQ8/s1200/antigua_tonemapped.jpg)

I had a plan to spend a couple of weeks in San Pedro, on the shores of Lake Atitilan. Mainly I wanted to learn some spainish, but it was also a pretty nice, cheap, place to hang out for a while. As it happened, Megan was planning to spend some time there too. We rode over together, on what should have been a 3 hour tour (Gilligan's Island anyone?).

We learned that there were 2 routes from Antigua - the long way with a little bit of dirt, or the short way with a little bit more dirt. We took the short way. For someone with so little experience and on a crappy bike, Megan had done well in the mud the day before so was fairly confident she'd be ok on some dirt. My GPS maps weren't great at times, but at least on this occasion they were in general agreement with Google Maps as to which route to take.

It didn't take long before we found some dirt, and I don't know what went wrong but it was more than a little bit. Megan learned a valuable lesson about not using the front brake on loose downhills, but it took 2 crashes to do it!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4-08GWnL5lw/URKBGsCU8RI/AAAAAAAAHHc/eNm9bs76GSk/s1000/P2040002.JPG)

In general this section wasn't to bad, until we got to a part that started going up the side of the Volcán San Pedro. It looked really rough, rocky, loose and steep. This didn't seem right to me and luckily some police came along just then. I waved them down to check that we were on the right road. Si Senor. To cap it off, there had been some robberies on this road recently, one of the reasons the cops were out there.

Megan had been doing well but was a bit rattled after her two crashes. The cops said the road was only bad for 2-3 km, then was asphalt all the way into San Pedro. OK, if it's only a few K's, I can ride both bikes - ride one to the asphalt, walk back, ride the other one. It would take a while though...

The gentlemen of the Guatemalan Police Service came to the rescue. One of them would follow me in their 4x4, with Megan in the car. The other stayed and watched over the Super Tenere. Then I'd get a ride with the first guy back to the bike. Problem solved!

Well, almost. Hold my beer, and watch this!

Kawasaki 440 LTD and dirt don't mix (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3uJxQ7bfOM#ws)

If you were counting, you'd notice it took me all of 15 seconds to ditch it. That thing was horrible. 30-year-old stock suspension, too small for me, no ability to stand on the pegs due to the cruiser riding position... Luckily no damage.

The same road on the Super Tenere - much easier! If you look to the left at the very beginning, you'll see the cop standing on a rock guarding the bike.

the road to San Pedro, Guatemala (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzCSpWjAp9Y#ws)

I know everyone always talks about corrupt cops from Mexico on down, but honestly I've had nothing but good experiences with them. These guys were great, shuttling us back and forth, the process took around an hour. Then we thought we'd lost Megan (she'd gone ahead into San Pedro), these guys followed me all the way into town. We still didn't find Megan... apparently when they warned her not to stop until she got to somewhere with people, she took it to mean, go all the way into town. I was hoping to get a photo of the 4 of us, but here we are, less Megan.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-g8hf0LusrSg/URKBO7qW4BI/AAAAAAAAHHs/xi8kUswgcBs/s1000/P2040010.JPG)

Just near the San Pedro turnoff, there's this sign. That's one hell of a steep road!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TrDnz3PW__A/URKBRkRUSDI/AAAAAAAAHH0/kg48UEBG4Q8/s707/P2040011.JPG)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on March 11, 2013, 05:59:08 pm
As always.... a GREAT REVIEW!  ::26::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: NittanyXT on March 11, 2013, 07:24:09 pm
Trevor, got a thing for the younger gals, eh? ::025:: It's not an adventure if nothing goes wrong!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on March 11, 2013, 08:57:48 pm
Good stuff Trevor.  Really enjoying your updates.  Watching that rough road video made me wonder if you are still happy with the different springs up front?  I've been wondering if I should make the switch.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 11, 2013, 09:04:39 pm
Good stuff Trevor.  Really enjoying your updates.  Watching that rough road video made me wonder if you are still happy with the different springs up front?  I've been wondering if I should make the switch.

The Sonic Springs in the front are the single best bang-for-the-buck performance enhancement I've made to the bike (CORRECTION, after the 15c clutch switch mod). $80 for the springs, and a few hours labor, is really cheap if you can do the labor yourself. Fork action is markedly improved. I have .90's, I might have been better going slightly stiffer with the load I'm carrying, but it's still much better than stock.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on March 11, 2013, 09:21:33 pm
The Sonic Springs in the front are the single best bang-for-the-buck performance enhancement I've made to the bike. $80 for the springs, and a few hours labor, is really cheap if you can do the labor yourself. Fork action is markedly improved. I have .90's, I might have been better going slightly stiffer with the load I'm carrying, but it's still much better than stock.

Good to know, I should probably follow your lead. 
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: erenet on March 11, 2013, 10:58:58 pm
Trevor, I checked the tracking and the seals are in San Salvador - El Salvador, They told me they'd be there today Monday, but you'll probably get them tomorrow. I don't like all the brokerage fees ++ I pay UPS, and now I'm a little upset for how much you had to pay DHL for two little and very light seals, oh well.

Nice ride you had there for a little wile, I'm sure you're are all upset for no taking a cruiser on your adventure  :) , great stories.  ::008::
 
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 12, 2013, 10:18:24 am
Trevor, I checked the tracking and the seals are in San Salvador - El Salvador, They told me they'd be there today Monday, but you'll probably get them tomorrow. I don't like all the brokerage fees ++ I pay UPS, and now I'm a little upset for how much you had to pay DHL for two little and very light seals, oh well.

Nice ride you had there for a little wile, I'm sure you're are all upset for no taking a cruiser on your adventure  :) , great stories.  ::008::

Yes thanks mate, I'm just heading up the hill to San Salvador in a while, hopefully the seals will be delivered this morning and I can get on the road. 5 days relaxing on the beach is about as much as I can take!  :D

I'm going to see if I can get to Colombia without fixing it. If it is still leaking then, I know there is a big Yamaha dealer in Medellin that should be able to take care of it.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on March 12, 2013, 01:28:51 pm
FANTASTIC !!!!!!!!!!!    Keep up the great  RR !!!!    Woooo   Hoooo   ::008::       ::008::     
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: RogerJ on March 12, 2013, 02:51:55 pm
Trevor......sorry to have found this thread late and to have missed you in Mexico.  Really enjoying your ride.   Batopilas, Espinazo del Diablo, Oaxaca, San Cristobol, Palenque, Rio Lagartos, Calakmul, the polished concrete highways of Quintana Roo (so slippery when wet), Tikal, Antigua, border fiascos.....all brings back beautiful memories.  You're really seeing the good stuff.  Will be staying tuned.  Thanks for doing this.  All the best! ::008::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: terrysig on March 13, 2013, 01:18:14 pm
Hey Tevor...hoping you counseled Meghan a little on safety gear!  Holy crap the fringed suede jacket took me back to the 60s!!!!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 13, 2013, 07:35:52 pm
Hey Tevor...hoping you counseled Meghan a little on safety gear!  Holy crap the fringed suede jacket took me back to the 60s!!!!

Not really - she's an interesting case! She got her license in Edmonton, bought a 1981 440LTD for $1000, and bought her riding gear from St Vincent de Paul. It could actually be riding gear from the 60's! She has matching tassles on the handlebars, I'm not sure if they came with the bike or are farkles she added. I suspect they came with the bike, not sure her budget would extend to extra tassles... Then she left Edmonton, bound for Panama, without ever having ridden on a highway before. For a little girl she's pretty ballsy...
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: terrysig on March 13, 2013, 10:04:42 pm
I agree!
Title: horrible borders
Post by: dcstrom on March 15, 2013, 12:27:31 am
Holy harrowing border crossings Batman! Two today... El Salvador/Honduras and Honduras/Nicaragua. Temps were 100F all day, but I remained cool... well actually I was sweating like a pig in the Klim while trying to figure out confusing border posts. Multiple offices, a stamp here, some copies there, back here, then a stamp on the copy, then go get a copy of the stamped copy, a tiny weeny ticket from this guy to give to another guy on the way out... on an on. I caved and got one of the "helpers" again. I should know better, last time they stung me for $45. I thought, having learned from that experience, it wouldn't happen again... I was wrong!

I think I figured out their MO though. At first I tell them to go away but they ignore me and just keep following. They wait until I'm standing there scratching my head at the confusing array of offices and shops and kids... then they point me in the right direction. What am I supposed to do, not go? So I do that step and he points me to the next one. In today's case he picked up a mistake by a girl at the vehicle import desk, so he did actually save me some time. But the game is to build trust in the early parts of the process, so that you're more likely to go along with the scam later.

This time the scam was a $35 "road tax" for Honduras - they took me to a nondescript office to pay where a guy "entered the number of my import document" into the computer so that "they would know at the other end that I'd paid". I told them it was BS but they insisted and in the end I just wanted to get out of there.

So I got screwed again. I did better on the Nicaragua side, except - I had to pay my first official bribe of the trip. The guy at the last gate before entering Nicaragua picked up that my registration was expired. Whatttt!!! But he was right, it expired in January. WHY would South Dakota only give me three months registration? And why hadn't I (or anyone else) noticed it before? So the guy pulls me aside to a quiet spot and in a low voice lays out what kind of trouble I could be in with no valid registration. I didn't get all of what he was saying but I DID get "20 dollars". I knocked him down to $15 but then I didn't have change so just gave him the $20. F*ck me, now I have to figure out how to get an "original" copy of new registration papers down here... I'm thinking a color scan and color printout will probably be passable, till I can get the real one mailed somewhere.
Title: Re: horrible borders
Post by: Checkswrecks on March 15, 2013, 07:08:47 am
While the mordida is expected in a lot of the world, it sure is a pain in the ass guessing game.
Of course, in the US with an expired tag you would be walking now. Period.


So is there somebody you know in South Dakota? Or a forum member? Somebody who could walk the paper thru DMV and FedEx to you?


Holy harrowing border crossings Batman! Two today... El Salvador/Honduras and Honduras/Nicaragua. Temps were 100F all day, but I remained cool... well actually I was sweating like a pig in the Klim while trying to figure out confusing border posts. Multiple offices, a stamp here, some copies there, back here, then a stamp on the copy, then go get a copy of the stamped copy, a tiny weeny ticket from this guy to give to another guy on the way out... on an on. I caved and got one of the "helpers" again. I should know better, last time they stung me for $45. I thought, having learned from that experience, it wouldn't happen again... I was wrong!

I think I figured out their MO though. At first I tell them to go away but they ignore me and just keep following. They wait until I'm standing there scratching my head at the confusing array of offices and shops and kids... then they point me in the right direction. What am I supposed to do, not go? So I do that step and he points me to the next one. In today's case he picked up a mistake by a girl at the vehicle import desk, so he did actually save me some time. But the game is to build trust in the early parts of the process, so that you're more likely to go along with the scam later.

This time the scam was a $35 "road tax" for Honduras - they took me to a nondescript office to pay where a guy "entered the number of my import document" into the computer so that "they would know at the other end that I'd paid". I told them it was BS but they insisted and in the end I just wanted to get out of there.

So I got screwed again. I did better on the Nicaragua side, except - I had to pay my first official bribe of the trip. The guy at the last gate before entering Nicaragua picked up that my registration was expired. Whatttt!!! But he was right, it expired in January. WHY would South Dakota only give me three months registration? And why hadn't I (or anyone else) noticed it before? So the guy pulls me aside to a quiet spot and in a low voice lays out what kind of trouble I could be in with no valid registration. I didn't get all of what he was saying but I DID get "20 dollars". I knocked him down to $15 but then I didn't have change so just gave him the $20. F*ck me, now I have to figure out how to get an "original" copy of new registration papers down here... I'm thinking a color scan and color printout will probably be passable, till I can get the real one mailed somewhere.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: simmons1 on March 15, 2013, 08:30:40 am
Interesting - I thought it was just because mine had had a tougher-than-normal life. I emailed Jeremy at Altrider to let him know about the problems, maybe you should too? Maybe they will rethink the design...

I have been in contact with Altrider and they are taking care of me.

Thanks again for the photo that lead me to inspect my rack.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 15, 2013, 02:21:18 pm
I have been in contact with Altrider and they are taking care of me.

Thanks again for the photo that lead me to inspect my rack.


Yes I emailed Jeremy too and he offered to send me a replacement for my cracked part. Not necessary, I'd already had 2lbs of extra alloy welded into mine! Besides, shipping it down here would cost silly money.

They have a 2nd generation luggage rack now and it seems that they will replace parts for anyone with a 1st gen rack that has problems. Good guys.
http://www.altrider.com/altrider-luggage-rack-for-yamaha-super-tenere-xt1200z/pcid/625-14 (http://www.altrider.com/altrider-luggage-rack-for-yamaha-super-tenere-xt1200z/pcid/625-14)

If I was doing it over again - looking for a rack which 99% of the time would be carrying a topbox - I think I would get a steel one. I considered the H&B steel rack, built like a tank and weighed a ton, but probably would survive the apocalypse. The big advantage of the Altrider, apart from less wieght, is that it has much more surface area - better for carrying soft luggage. Which I'm not doing...
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 15, 2013, 03:10:24 pm
Trevor, got a thing for the younger gals, eh? ::025:: It's not an adventure if nothing goes wrong!

Maybe... but they don't have a thing for me! It's interesting, I have kind of an awkward relationship with my fellow travelers. When staying in hostels, most of the travelers are young backpackers, and since I'm not really part of their peer group (being 30 years older and riding a motorcycle sets me apart), I feel almost invisible sometimes. Pity, I think it would be interesting to talk to some of the kids (if not drunk or stoned) and maybe they could even learn something from me? But it doesn't happen very often. I find the locals MUCH friendlier.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: NittanyXT on March 15, 2013, 04:46:20 pm
I know what you mean, Trevor, I have that problem with my son!
Title: Re: horrible borders
Post by: dcstrom on March 15, 2013, 07:28:12 pm
While the mordida is expected in a lot of the world, it sure is a pain in the ass guessing game.
Of course, in the US with an expired tag you would be walking now. Period.


Yes, here's how the bribe went down. I bet the guy didn't know I was going to make him famous! I was an idiot for not knowing my registration had expired, but he could have said "look, you are going to have a problem with this" and I would have tipped him for letting me know. Maybe not $20, but still... I'd already been though the process and I don't think it's actually his job to go back and check the original docs, just to make sure I haven't missed any part of the process. But if he checks docs, he occasionally comes up with an error like mine, and can extract a fee.

bribe going into Nicaragua (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy3ra_d_Cuk#ws)


Quote
So is there somebody you know in South Dakota? Or a forum member? Somebody who could walk the paper thru DMV and FedEx to you?


Yes! The lovely Terri at my mailing service is half a block from the court house, and she renewed the registration today, and sent via UPS to Managua. I'll collect on Monday or Tuesday. It's annoying - a) that I didn't  realise I only had 3 months registration, and b) that South Dakota (or Madison at least) only gives you 3 months by default. I guess it might have something to do with having a large population of people living hand-to-mouth? In DC you get a year by default, 6 months if you ask for it. But it's such a small amount of money, $31 for the year, that even quite poor people wouldn't bother with breaking it into quarterly payments - would they?

I tried to get two years sot that I wouldn't have to go through this song and dance again in the near future, but the maximum is one year at a time.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on March 16, 2013, 09:08:48 am
Some learning experiences you just don't want.  I'm getting the impression the primary purpose of the border crossing is to enrich the border employees.  I'm guessing you are not safe to skip them?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 16, 2013, 12:17:26 pm
Some learning experiences you just don't want.  I'm getting the impression the primary purpose of the border crossing is to enrich the border employees.  I'm guessing you are not safe to skip them?


Skip them? Good way to land in deep shit I would think. I'd considered using less busy crossings but that can be even worse... check out what happened to this guy.

I think I know how to handle them from now on. Well, until next time I'm confronted with confusing and conflicting information! These two borders were expensive, but on the other hand I got through both, and across Honduras (about 70 miles) in 5 hours. It would have taken probably another couple of hours without the "helpers" so it was worth the money (to a certain extent). I just wish the "road tax" I'd paid actually went into the roads. Many, many deep potholes in the highway as you cross Honduras. You are constantly weaving between them, while watching for swerving cars and trucks as they try to dodge them too.

Brainrotting: Episode 9 - Border Corruption Honduras BMW F650 GS adventure motorcycles overland (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6AN2oqO9EE#ws)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on March 16, 2013, 06:31:10 pm
... check out what happened to this guy.


That looks miserable.  I'm glad you're able to get through it and keep motoring. 
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: RogerJ on March 17, 2013, 12:58:11 pm
Skip them? Good way to land in deep shit I would think. I'd considered using less busy crossings but that can be even worse... check out what happened to this guy.

I think I know how to handle them from now on. Well, until next time I'm confronted with confusing and conflicting information! These two borders were expensive, but on the other hand I got through both, and across Honduras (about 70 miles) in 5 hours. It would have taken probably another couple of hours without the "helpers" so it was worth the money (to a certain extent). I just wish the "road tax" I'd paid actually went into the roads. Many, many deep potholes in the highway as you cross Honduras. You are constantly weaving between them, while watching for swerving cars and trucks as they try to dodge them too.

Brainrotting: Episode 9 - Border Corruption Honduras BMW F650 GS adventure motorcycles overland ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6AN2oqO9EE#ws[/url])


Hey Trevor, don't feel so bad.  The last time I crossed into Honduras (a year ago exactly) it took 3 hours to get in, and 3 hours to get out again.  The aprox. $35 is the going rate for a Temporary Import Permit.  You weren't "hosed" anymore than anybody else if that helps.   It is one of the most infamous borders in CA.  After I cleared the border a policeman stopped me to re-check the papers and they had one digit on my licence plate wrong on the paperwork.  Rather than make me go back and get it right he just let me go on.  Luck of the draw on any given day.   The hitch was that after clearing the policeman the oncoming lane was jammed with parked tractor tailers waiting for the border and my lane was suddenly taken up by a high-balling semi bearing down at speed on us taking 100% of my lane.  Had to jump the bike (wife and I) off the road and deep into the ditch at about 40 kph. Kept it upright and somehow even got it back up onto the road the same way.   Welcome to the adventure. Ride safe and have fun.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Chris-KH2PM on March 17, 2013, 01:07:57 pm
Trevor, I've been following your ride report for a couple of days now, reading when I have free time. Finally caught up to the most current post!
I've been to many of the cities and countries you're traveling though.  I'm a pilot, so I only get to see the airport and the town where the hotel
is in when we stay overnight.  Flying in and out of Mexico, Central and South America (as far down as Lima and Sao Paulo in the past) seeing it
from the air,  very sparse at times with such awesome expanses of uninhabited jungles.  I've often looked down at isolated small villages with
red dirt paths leading to and fro, wondering what life must be like traveling and exploring it all.   Curvy dirt roads along deep
valleys, or along a rocky creek,  to the next small village.  I don't particularly like the big cities with their corruption and crime, and the smog,
which is were me mainly end up on crew rest layovers. 

Have a safe journey, and keep up with the awesome pics and video! 
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Chris-KH2PM on March 17, 2013, 03:41:21 pm
Trevor is mobile again!  I see his SPOT tracker is active..headed for Managua.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 20, 2013, 10:50:13 pm
Trevor is mobile again!  I see his SPOT tracker is active..headed for Managua.

Yep thanks Chris, actually had TWO trips to Managua, one on Sunday while passing through on the way to Granada, and one on Tuesday when I went to pick up my new registration docs from UPS. I was dreading Managua after the bad things I'd heard about traffic there... Sunday was OK, but I thought that was because it was Sunday. But Tuesday was also fine... although I had some trouble finding UPS, since it wasn't where their web site said it was!

I've been pleasantly surprised by traffic in all the major Central American cities I've been to - Guatemala City, San Salavador, and Managua. Had no issues with any of them really. OK I got stuck in a market street in the old part of San Salvador, with fruit and vegetable stalls spilling onto the street, a million people and a dozen big smokey buses... but the rest of town was really a modern city, completely overrun by US fast food outlets...
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 20, 2013, 11:07:11 pm
Maybe... but they don't have a thing for me! It's interesting, I have kind of an awkward relationship with my fellow travelers. When staying in hostels, most of the travelers are young backpackers, and since I'm not really part of their peer group (being 30 years older and riding a motorcycle sets me apart), I feel almost invisible sometimes. Pity, I think it would be interesting to talk to some of the kids (if not drunk or stoned) and maybe they could even learn something from me? But it doesn't happen very often. I find the locals MUCH friendlier.

I think I found the key to getting on with the young backpackers... They don't seem to think a solo motorcycle trip is that cool, but... if you kick their arses at drinking games, you're a hero!  :D Major respect, man. Yeah, that's right, I still got it. I went volcano boarding (pics to come) with a group in Leon, Nicaragua the other day, and when we got back to the hostel there was a BBQ and some drinking. The hostel had a thing where they would give away t-shirts if you could down 4 shots of chilli-spiked rum, and not throw up for 50 seconds. By this time I'd already had a few mojitos and some regular rum, so joined in the "fun". Some of the kids had tried it and thrown up (nice - luckily I didn't see that), but I managed to throw four shots down, and hold them down. Holy shit they were hot! This was rum from a bottle that was stuffed full of chillies - and some in the shots as well. I spilled some on my hand and it was still burning an hour later, even after flushing it with water. Hate to think what it did to my stomach. But it was worth it, I was a hero to the kids after that.

NittanyXT, maybe you should challenge your son?  :D (just make sure you beat him - maybe you need some practice first?)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Chris-KH2PM on March 20, 2013, 11:26:49 pm
It's been awhile, but I've flown into San Jose, Costa Rica. Our layover hotel is the Crowne Plaza Corobici. Probably quite upscale for
the area.  Haven't been downtown in some time though. 
I've also flown into Tocumen, Panama.  Hotel is not far from the canal zone, in the high-rise district.  I could almost see the canals
but too many tall buildings in the way.   Next time I'll get down to see the canals up close. 
Flown in and out of Liberia, Costa Rica, Bogata, Caracas, Port of Spain Trinidad, Belize, Guayaquil, Quito, Lima Peru..trying to think where else down in SA. 
Spent some quality time seeing the sights in Port of Spain.  My flight crew and I all paid a local taxi driver to be our tour guide. Hit
the good local restaurants,  beaches and a local dance club later that night. 

Would enjoy longer stays but when we layover on crew rest we don't get much time to explore.
Title: More border crossings
Post by: dcstrom on March 20, 2013, 11:29:45 pm
A couple of days in a grotty hostel in Granada and I was ready to continue south - after picking up new registration docs from UPS Managua. I'm legal now! By the time I got to the border it was 1pm and a hundred degrees. I was having second thoughts about doing the crossing, standing around in that heat for a few hours really didn't seem to be a good idea. I was looking for somewhere to stay the nigh on the villages on the way down, but nothing appealed to me. There was a turnoff to the beach 20 miles back, and some signs for hotels, so I thought screw it, let's take a punt on that rather than cross the border today.

Turned out to be a good decision - San Juan de Sur is a pleasant beach town with $1 beers and nice beachfront restaurants. Plenty of accommodation meant I came up with a place with a quiet, clean, private room with a comfortable bed, for $8. Just what I needed to catch up on some sleep after 2 nights in a noisy hostel in Granada.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-L1u3YEpaGx0/UUkxE4e6UdI/AAAAAAAAHmg/pDBMq1qDK2k/s800/IMG_3010.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-MaFd3UFbgzw/UUkwPLyGeNI/AAAAAAAAHmI/ZSqHHzksGjY/s800/IMG_3023.JPG)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-THYAamyrVUY/UUkwllYFjgI/AAAAAAAAHmQ/J6saN_88aV0/s800/IMG_3020.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-63ca-ufeaNI/UUkw17pC9RI/AAAAAAAAHmY/KYmVm1WMBt8/s800/IMG_3019.JPG)

This morning I was up early and down to the border. Still an ordeal, but at least not too hot. I got to the Costa Rica side and at first was pleasantly surprised by what looked like a semblance of order. It was not to be however and ended up taking 3 hours to get though. No screwups or bribes this time anyway.

Time for lunch - stopped at a Burger King (I've been eating at fast food places a bit, mainly cos they have wifi) in Liberia, about 50 miles from the border... first thing I noticed was that prices were about double from what I'd been used to seeing through the rest of Central America. I may not be staying long.

Then headed to the mountains to escape the heat - down to a much more pleasant 80 degrees up here. I'm at Monteverde, and found a nice dirt road coming in (or it found me!) It was a little rough, a little loose, pretty windy, but without too many gotchas was just right for giving the Super Tenere some berries. This bike still amazes me the way it can stay so composed when pushing on dirt, fully loaded. Perfecto!

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Chris-KH2PM on March 21, 2013, 12:09:41 am
Glad to see your choice in the Super Tenere is working out for you!  I'm watching your trip with interest as I anticipate the XT1200Z to end up being the new standard by which all DualSports are judged by in the future.   ::022::  Plus you're passing though many places I've been to or flown over.   

As for finding respect from the youngsters, how did that turn out the next day?  Myself, I recall a few times in years past wishing I'd not gone to such extremes with the hard liquor!  Ha!  The aftereffects have a much longer lasting impression than the fun I had the night before!  But it's all good,   glad you're having fun and living your dream!

Ride safe and keep up with the awesome pics.  Particularly of those sunsets!  WOW.   Love it.

Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 22, 2013, 10:02:29 am
Yesterday morning had an early start to go zipping through the forests and over the valleys above Monteverde, Costa Ri ca. At $45 it was a bit of an extravagance, but it was worth it!  3 of the zip lines were over 600m long, and one was 1.6 km (1 mile). And several hundred feet above the ground. We finished with a tarzan swing, with a 120ft drop. That was a leap of faith...

In the afternoon it was back down to the beach at Samara to have dinner with Sara & Dan, who I'd met at the cheese factory weekend in Guatemala. Good to see them and will probably cross paths again somewhere in Sth America!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: nwryder12 on March 22, 2013, 10:59:14 am
Costa Rica has the best zip line tours I've ever been on.
Title: Re: More border crossings
Post by: tpak on March 22, 2013, 11:42:32 am

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-63ca-ufeaNI/UUkw17pC9RI/AAAAAAAAHmY/KYmVm1WMBt8/s800/IMG_3019.JPG)


I just came back from a week in SJDS - great town. I recognize the bar you were in - not hard since there are only a few. I stayed up the road a bit in a house - about 10k outside of town. Definitely a great area.
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 23, 2013, 11:40:15 pm

Stopped at this place near the Costa Rica/Panama border to ask about a cabin. One look and I could see it was out of my budget. However... A free camp site is not ;-)

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/24/y9a8agun.jpg)

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/24/arujy6es.jpg)

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/24/y5y8u3a5.jpg)
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 23, 2013, 11:45:24 pm
Quote from: Chris-KH2PM

As for finding respect from the youngsters, how did that turn out the next day?  Myself, I recall a few times in years past wishing I'd not gone to such extremes with the hard liquor!  Ha!  The aftereffects have a much longer lasting impression than the fun I had the night before!

Actually I was surprised - after drinking several mojitos, a few rums, plus the 4 chilli shots, I woke up feeling fine. Maybe I should do chilli shots more often?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tomatocity on March 24, 2013, 07:55:42 am
The cabin looked nice but your free campsite is very nice.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: erenet on March 24, 2013, 10:02:06 am
I agree, that's a nice campsite. Is that bamboo on the second photo?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 25, 2013, 10:29:10 am
I agree, that's a nice campsite. Is that bamboo on the second photo?

Yes - BIG bamboo. About 10" diameter and I don't know how high. You can see the car in the background. In the clumping-type bamboos, you harvest them from the center out. Which means you can go and stand in the middle of the clump...

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-BO5uRFtw_cI/UVBe8ZrkR2I/AAAAAAAAHnk/SGBHbo43Ic0/s800/_DSC4667_8_9.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tomatocity on March 25, 2013, 03:21:11 pm
During 1972 I lived in Kiire / Kagoshima Japan. Your picture reminded of the soothing sounds the evening bamboo offered. Good memories.
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 25, 2013, 05:07:45 pm
During 1972 I lived in Kiire / Kagoshima Japan. Your picture reminded of the soothing sounds the evening bamboo offered. Good memories.

Yeah, you may see more bamboo pics from me as I head south. Amazing plant, so useful, and as you say, creates a lovely ambience.
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on March 28, 2013, 08:33:17 am
In Panama City, Just about to head to the boat.

Camped around Yeguanda National Park a few day ago - fantastic area, and brand new, perfect roads.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=GfalT5sGzu0


(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/28/gy5adu7e.jpg)

Next post from Colombia!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on March 28, 2013, 09:37:33 pm
In Panama City, Just about to head to the boat.

Camped around Yeguanda National Park a few day ago - fantastic area, and brand new, perfect roads.

[url]http://youtube.com/watch?v=GfalT5sGzu0[/url] ([url]http://youtube.com/watch?v=GfalT5sGzu0[/url])


([url]http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/28/gy5adu7e.jpg[/url])

Next post from Colombia!



Awesome photos and looking forward to more.
Colombia is so colorful and the people so friendly, the next photos should be great!

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on March 29, 2013, 09:12:06 pm
 ::026:: To me that is really a good photo....
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on March 29, 2013, 11:27:44 pm
Nice job DC, as aways !    ::012::
Title: South America!
Post by: dcstrom on April 04, 2013, 05:41:29 pm
Ten of us converged on Panama City in the days before the Stahlratte was scheduled to take us around the Darien Gap and south to Cartagena, Colombia. I had some fun getting into the hotel in the City, where Gene and Neda and Kari and Rosie were waiting for me. The GPS took me on a seemingly direct route to the hotel, but then there were some roadworks and associated diversions and I ended up going through some sleazy looking areas (glad it was still daylight) and several hundred meters down a pedestrian mall. It wasn't immediately obvious to me that it was a mall, since many market streets on this trip had produce and people overflowing onto the roadway. It was when I got to potplants and street furniture that I realized this wasn't one of those! I was lucky no cops saw me I guess - earlier Kari and Rosie had accidentally gone the wrong way down a one-way street (often they are poorly marked) and police asked for a $190 payment for the fine. After some discussion they were let off...

Not terribly impressed with Panama City - noisy, hot, dirty and people probably the least friendly of any I've come across so far. We were glad to get out of there early on March 28th for the 70 mile ride down to the Stahlratte, anchored just off shore at Carti Airport.

There is no actual airport at Carti - just a crumbling airstrip that hasn't been used in years. But there is a dock, and this is where the Stahratte would (litterally) pick up the bikes.

The bikes and the Stahlratte offshore

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TB9-Wf5PJ6Y/UVyGGImeuOI/AAAAAAAAIFg/ylLEDPEau3s/s800/P3280446.JPG)

Gene, Neda and Captain Ludwig (AKA Lulu)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-COYY-lWTE30/UVyGKWqgMrI/AAAAAAAAIFo/-t7Pu8YII-8/s800/P3280447.JPG)

Dock was a bit busy because of the start of the Easter holidays.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-5E4DMnpfxsw/UVyGOd4eNWI/AAAAAAAAIFw/PP7NSFKYpgo/s800/P3280449.JPG)

The bikes await their fate.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-09Mt-ybi_s4/UVyGVCLVjHI/AAAAAAAAIGA/Lb3up_DDX3A/s800/P3280455.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5czpd7tI1j4/UVyGYXw9E3I/AAAAAAAAIGI/6jEnqXtfqqA/s800/P3280458.JPG)

Gulp! Hope the ropes, and the bits they are attached to, hold.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3QP3UfBB4Gs/UVySRSKOXQI/AAAAAAAAIHg/1Q8BTPCxU48/s800/DSC_3427.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NTqNb3BuMJM/UVySyZLyukI/AAAAAAAAIHw/74JqvPxjYBk/s800/DSC_3431.JPG)

Loading went pretty smoothly in the end, and we got settled in our bunks and headed out to one of the many San Blas islands for the night...



Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: nicolasr on April 04, 2013, 06:25:21 pm
Nice RR. I see your friends Trevor. They have a RR and Advrider. I have been following them too!!!!  tell them there is a BMW dealer in Medellin if service needed.
Trevor, I see you have the H&B crash bars fitted to your bike. What are your thoughts??

Nicolas
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on April 04, 2013, 08:50:55 pm
Trevor, I am glad to be following your adventure here in these posts.  Between the border crossings, the attempted police shakedown for a wrong way mistake, and watching your bike hanging over water by a few cables, I don't know if I have right attitude to make the trip myself.  Looks like you're really living an adventure.  I admire it, just don't think I could do it.  Thanks for keeping us up to date.  Stay safe.
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on April 04, 2013, 09:09:49 pm
Nice RR. I see your friends Trevor. They have a RR and Advrider. I have been following them too!!!!  tell them there is a BMW dealer in Medellin if service needed.
Trevor, I see you have the H&B crash bars fitted to your bike. What are your thoughts??

Nicolas

Hi Nicolas,
Yes there are a bunch of us, all having a great time on the road. We spent 4 days on the boat together, and now all at the same hostel in Cartagena.  Tomorrow we'll leave together (riding in a group of 8 will be interesting after so long solo!), then separating (for now anyway) at Santa Marta.

Love the H&B skidplate and bars. Only problem, I dropped the bike on a curb in Mexico and it missed the bars altogether, and cracked the side cover. Some of the other bars give more coverage.  No big deal for me though, some glue fixed it!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on April 04, 2013, 10:03:42 pm
Trevor, I am glad to be following your adventure here in these posts.  Between the border crossings, the attempted police shakedown for a wrong way mistake, and watching your bike hanging over water by a few cables, I don't know if I have right attitude to make the trip myself.  Looks like you're really living an adventure.  I admire it, just don't think I could do it.  Thanks for keeping us up to date.  Stay safe.

Hey Jon,

really, it's easier than you'd think. Yes, you have to have some patience and be accepting of whatever comes - whether that's a shakedown or dropping the bike in the drink! But I find if you run over the worst case (or next-to-worst-case) scenarios in your mind, and try to imagine how you'd handle it if it happened, then there is less stress overall and when everything goes right it's a bonus!  :D
Title: South America!
Post by: dcstrom on April 04, 2013, 10:56:47 pm
Motoring for an hour or so bought us to the island where we'd be staying the night. The Kuna indians control the San Blas Islands and some of the mainland nearby, and they make a little bit of cash by accommodating visitors on one of the islands.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-m7l2-CrJpY4/UVyGtTcGBBI/AAAAAAAAIG4/NuO4BeNHo40/s900/P3290475.JPG)

For $25 a head we got a simple meal and a bed for the night in a bamboo hut.

(http://[img]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-1KAywbEk6k8/UVyTWwKPgfI/AAAAAAAAIIA/srHkDsN8ilI/s900/P3290532_stitch.jpg)

But the bathroom facilities left something to be desired. It was literally possible to get "crabs" off the toilet seat!

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-yBOPL1FQu6g/UVyGmxRmfGI/AAAAAAAAIGo/fYBdXfvLBGQ/s800/P3290472.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-v6hj-WRZxxU/UVyGqB_ZDHI/AAAAAAAAIGw/U4VHdRokDDo/s800/P3290473.JPG)

The bikes were not yet covered for the trip across the open sea.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pw7cXAx8__0/UVyUfaFXPPI/AAAAAAAAIII/mzMQ6pqewOQ/s800/_DSC4736.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ZMRt9MVtrZQ/UVyVHH61OII/AAAAAAAAIIQ/6vTCpKiB-jk/s800/_DSC4732.JPG)

The Stahlratte at anchor off the Kuna island.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-7wwdvGnP1tM/UVyGhnVKosI/AAAAAAAAIGg/cruS2UBm2Gs/s800/P3290469.JPG)

The Kuna still live a very simple lifestyle, based around fishing and growing some crops on the mainland. I was told that one reason they prefer living on the islands is that there are no mosquitoes.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-fui4G378f6o/UVyG0wnKc5I/AAAAAAAAIHI/BfiVvfgO_bw/s800/P3290484.JPG)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-1KAywbEk6k8/UVyTWwKPgfI/AAAAAAAAIIA/srHkDsN8ilI/s900/P3290532_stitch.jpg)

The next day we set sail for a group of uninhabited islands where we snorkeled, BBQ'd, relaxed and partied for a day and a night.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-3nB1tZVpgTU/UVyTVwE7JvI/AAAAAAAAIH4/L3c-7IxSDHc/s900/P3290762_stitch+copy.jpg)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-mtK2ZLYZAbI/UVyG6DUpHfI/AAAAAAAAIHQ/pvn04VundlA/s800/P3290844.JPG)

Food on board the Stahlratte was fantastic.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-jakjlR2dmaQ/UV3agvtOByI/AAAAAAAAIJo/-suoq1XQvIQ/s800/_DSC4741.JPG)

Bikes were well protected for the rougher part of the trip.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-0HMfFuoSiPQ/UV3a6ifvByI/AAAAAAAAIKI/tZwhYzg6PGA/s800/_DSC4776.JPG)

After the fun at anchor on our own desert island, we had 30 hours of sailing across sometimes rough seas to get to Cartagena. Most people handled it pretty well, and I think we all were on some sort of anti-sea-sickness medication. It was a rather more subdued group of passengers than had been evident just the day before... After a full day of sailing I'd just about found my sea legs, nausea had subsided and I had a fairly good night's sleep.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-NxBMT2uI4F0/UV3OGIx60KI/AAAAAAAAIJI/evxAOFkLf-0/s800/_DSC4783_4_5.jpg)

We arrived at Cartagena at 11am on April 1, and made our way to a hostel that was organized for us by Ludwig. It's always going to be a problem finding somewhere with secure parking for 8 bikes, but this place has a central courtyard for them. Just a bit tricky getting them in, up a steep ramp and through the lobby. Nice place though, and it's good that all the gang from the boat can stay together.

Next problem is unloading the bikes... Cartagena has a large port, but berthing fees are unaffordable for a ship like the Stahlratte. That means loading the bikes into a dingy, and unloading them on a some jetty in the bay. Check this out!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JVgZAs4A1sk/UV3p8Nt2phI/AAAAAAAAIOw/TVu9M4ui75s/s800/_DSC4975.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-tHNg9Z_EIsc/UV3miPV77AI/AAAAAAAAIMo/l97vqqy2pS4/s800/_DSC4919.jpg)

The Tenere arriving at the jetty...

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-dFoGkA7SQsY/UV3msbkHj7I/AAAAAAAAIMw/mKMIU72WSf8/s800/_DSC4935.jpg)

Five people to lift - two in the dingy and three on the dock... pretty nervous at this point!

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Im5WTdt1UHY/UV3nC6SNp-I/AAAAAAAAIM4/y09Xi5NdQkI/s800/_DSC4937.JPG)

But the pain was over in a flash.

Unloading the Super Tenere at Cartegena, Colombia (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_zYMSZbn_o#ws)

On dry land at last!

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-wnsVpfKKKbQ/UV3njwPWkDI/AAAAAAAAINI/1sn38yAl6I0/s800/_DSC4943.JPG)

From the dock we had to go to Customs and get importation and insurances done. Ludwig had an agent organise this for us so it was pretty easy, certainly more relaxed than any of the border crossings so far.

I can't speak highly enough of Ludwig and the crew of the Stahlratte. Great fun, great food, well organized (Germans, y'know). No hesitation about recommending them for anyone thinking about this trip. Price has just gone up to $980 for person and bike, but still cheaper than flying and more of an adventure. Just book well in advance.

Cartagena is a great city, but now I'm ready to ride again. A week off the bike is enough. South America, here we come!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on April 04, 2013, 11:16:09 pm
Oh and BTW, some of my fellow Stahlratters, The Matt and Atley Show, are making some great videos of their trip. Here's the latest, their trip through Central America. It's not the same as my experience (being young Aussie hooligans and travelling in a group makes a difference!) but it captures the essence of what this kind of trip is like.

14. Omatepe to Panama City (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S4Uu9rQ6uY#ws)

Their blog at http://www.themattandatleyshow.blogspot.com/ (http://www.themattandatleyshow.blogspot.com/)

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: thfraser on April 05, 2013, 07:11:30 am
Oh and BTW, some of my fellow Stahlratters, The Matt and Atley Show, are making some great videos of their trip. Here's the latest, their trip through Central America. It's not the same as my experience (being young Aussie hooligans and travelling in a group makes a difference!) but it captures the essence of what this kind of trip is like.

14. Omatepe to Panama City ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S4Uu9rQ6uY#ws[/url])

Their blog at [url]http://www.themattandatleyshow.blogspot.com/[/url] ([url]http://www.themattandatleyshow.blogspot.com/[/url])

Trevor


Awesome video!  Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: erenet on April 05, 2013, 08:03:40 am
Looking forward to the stories/pictures threw south America. I'm sure you were relieved to see your bike in the bigger boat and out of that little one :o . I can tell by the surface rust on the brake rotors that your bike was begging to be ridden again.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: True Grip on April 05, 2013, 09:14:58 am
WOW So much adventure and fun.You look like your having a ball. Thanks for bringing us along ::012::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: thfraser on April 05, 2013, 09:37:12 am
WOW So much adventure and fun.You look like your having a ball. Thanks for bringing us along ::012::

Agreed, I'm living vicariously from my computer screen.  ;D
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: CapsLock on April 05, 2013, 12:35:37 pm
99 out of 100 normal people would fully expect the motorcycle-in-the-dinghy picture to be a photo shop job.  That one's a contest winner lol. 
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Chris-KH2PM on April 05, 2013, 03:56:19 pm
Awesome job, Trevor, sharing your adventures with us!  This is one of the best Ride Reports I've seen in a long time!

Great videos on the MattandAtley YouTube channel as well! Now I'm trying to find time to watch those!   ::012::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: RogerJ on April 05, 2013, 04:01:21 pm
Great reading Trevor.  Glad the bikes were well wrapped for the boat trip.  Other poor souls in the past haven't done this and ended up with electrical problems. eg. on BM's the ECU portion of the ABS modulator packs up and no ABS brakes or worse.  Glad to be along for the ride. ::001::
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on April 05, 2013, 07:56:10 pm
Great reading Trevor.  Glad the bikes were well wrapped for the boat trip.  Other poor souls in the past haven't done this and ended up with electrical problems. eg. on BM's the ECU portion of the ABS modulator packs up and no ABS brakes or worse.  Glad to be along for the ride. ::001::

Yeah I have a cover and was going to wrap it myself, I didn't realize the crew was going to do it for me. They did a better job than I would have... Was glad they did, when seas got a bit rough large quantities of water were coming over the bow, right onto my bike. I washed it ASAP once back on land, no indications of any problems so far.
Title: Into Colombia
Post by: dcstrom on April 07, 2013, 05:18:46 pm
Thanks all, will keep the reports coming.

We stayed an extra day in Cartagena after discovering the old walled city - absolutely gorgeous, pics to come soon.

Some other things we found that were absolutely gorgeous (even the boys!)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/525386_159563100871950_597328105_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/535773_159563147538612_910557537_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/524294_159563397538587_1804612642_n.jpg)


Left Cartagena on Friday with 7 of my new mates from the Stahlratte. It was interesting getting that many bikes out of town in the crazy Cartagena traffic. We had a meal down the road a bit before going our separate ways - me and two others to Medellin, the Matt and Atley Show to the beach, and Gene Lee & Neda S-L back to town. We'll meet again somewhere down the track.

Got caught in a huge rain storm in the afternoon so didn't get as far as we'd have liked. The start of the Wet? Packed it in early and found a cheap hotel.

That left us with a 500km ride to get to Medellin on Saturday. Good ride through farmland and mountains. Late in the afternoon I spotted the dome of a church way up the top of a hill. Thought it looked like it might be interesting, so scrapped the idea of getting to Medellin that day (that's the beauty of no plan!). We found a cheap hotel, but no secure parking for the bikes. Nice policeman said "we'll look after them", so we parked with the police bikes. Nevertheless, we took most of the gear off and covered them. Not expecting any problems. Town is cute, everything you need around the main square-cum-basketball court, police and our hotel at one end, beautiful church at the other, and lots of bars and restaurants in between. In one of the bars we discovered a locally made brew that tastes a lot like Sambucca. Had to have a few shots just to verify that yes, it was as good as the stuff the Greeks make...

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/47034_159564054205188_1896486776_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/540682_159564024205191_789869223_n.jpg)

Today we had a easy run into Medellin down some twisty mountain roads, lots of trucks but we are learning to take every available opportunity to sneek past them. Some of the moves would seem risky anywhere else, but here they are used to meeting other traffic head-on, and (usually) know when to back off. Not that I'm pushing to that extreme, I'm riding (comparatively) safely.

Medellin looks like a great city, will stay here a week or so. Meeting forum member Nicolas for dinner to get the inside scoop!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: thfraser on April 08, 2013, 07:55:30 am
 ::012:: Thank for sharing your travels. I've truly enjoyed reading your updates!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on April 08, 2013, 07:51:46 pm
 ::026:: On the sharing....

You can tell that many of the forum gang has really enjoyed your RR and many (at least myself) wish we could be doing the same thing.  Be safe and keep the recaps coming.

Alan

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tpak on April 10, 2013, 01:17:59 am
@dcstrom your photography has been getting much better as the miles pass by! keep it up!

living vicariously ....

-c
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: bruised on April 10, 2013, 07:31:06 pm
wow read watched this whole thread one afternoontruly amazing ::008::
Title: reasons to buy a Super Tenere in Colombia
Post by: dcstrom on April 12, 2013, 07:06:56 pm

reasons to buy a Super Tenere in Colombia
 
1. The white one here has some nice touches not available on US models

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-7KsTkztoang/UWiLXaosqhI/AAAAAAAAIdU/gPBQ-r0qjOs/s819/2013-04-12)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-kGvBoCzvGOo/UWiLT2cIs0I/AAAAAAAAIc8/o4ONRBiWtfU/s819/2013-04-12)

2. Yamaha has well-trained staff and a well-equipped workshop

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-MfjPq7YtF5s/UWiMjpVRaGI/AAAAAAAAId4/wPhEKAdB4HA/s819/photo+3+%281%29.JPG)

3. The sales people are friendly! (Nicolas with the rep that sold him his bike)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-ZtkqsNEKzKY/UWiLP7KWE9I/AAAAAAAAIco/V6VcDxgLjko/s819/2013-04-12)


Reasons NOT to buy in Colombia - 39,670,000 pesos = almost $22,000

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Hzxr87IZUHU/UWiMc4_YcZI/AAAAAAAAIdw/s13f10eNxPQ/s594/photo+1+%283%29.JPG)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Chris-KH2PM on April 15, 2013, 11:26:53 am
Travis, just checking to see how your trip is going.  And to inform you that your SPOT shared tracker site is no longer working.

Hope you're having a fun trip, and getting lots of pictures and video!  Ride safe!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on April 15, 2013, 02:33:40 pm
Travis, just checking to see how your trip is going.  And to inform you that your [SPOT shared tracker site is no longer working.

Hope you're having a fun trip, and getting lots of pictures and video!  Ride safe!

Ahh that would be because I'm having a good time in Medellin and haven't moved from here for a week! Be here a bit longer too. Will update the report soon.

Oh, and it's Trevor  ;)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Chris-KH2PM on April 15, 2013, 04:32:36 pm
Ahh that would be because I'm having a good time in Medellin and haven't moved from here for a week! Be here a bit longer too. Will update the report soon.

Oh, and it's Trevor  ;)

Having fun are you?!  Is this person (pointing at Trevor) causing trouble?!  Ha!  Have a blast, and sorry for the goofup on your name. My nephew's
name is Travis.  Didn't get much sleep last night.  That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!  Ha!   ::013::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on April 25, 2013, 09:25:39 am
After two weeks in Medellin, it's time to think about heading out. This is a really great city. I don't know how they do those "liveable city" rankings, but this one would be close to the top of my list. Very scenic, friendly people, good infrastructure, great weather and culture. You can get anything you want here. What's not to like? Did I mention there's a million beautiful women? Some of the poorer neighbourhoods are pretty sketchy, but with the city thriving I get the feeling life is improving for those people too.

Colombia is a big place though, not to mention the rest of South America, so time to move on and see what the rest of the trip holds. The bike has a wash and the chassis lube at the dealer, Great guys, very professional and competent. I'm in Giro now, but will catch you up in the next couple of posts.

Here's the bad boys at the Yamaha dealership.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/295808_163410490487211_321841432_n.jpg)

Medellin has a fantastic metro system, including 3 cable car routes.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-BLyx3nxwPgQ/UWX25cpKL4I/AAAAAAAAIa4/RPbmxH-QTVM/s800/_DSC5334.JPG)

With friendly staff

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-W3LjuFn82Ys/UWX3HP4D0MI/AAAAAAAAIbA/yBWREQktRXE/s800/_DSC5351.JPG)

and passengers

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-HhCY2I5Jg8o/UWX3SDYTNCI/AAAAAAAAIbI/pNXiiQJ1NAw/s800/_DSC5354.JPG)

Cable cars serve the barrios on the steep hillsides surrounding Medellin. Great system to serve poorer communities - their commute to the city is cut from 2 hours to 20 mins. Ticket to use the entire metro system costs about $1,

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-PqCP4zitdJk/UWX2dche_xI/AAAAAAAAIao/P7uNNgz-29o/s800/_DSC5330.JPG)

In Colombia, even if you can't afford decent housing, you can at least afford nice underwear... Billboard as seen from one of the cable car lines.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-LyJTe5H25OY/UWX2nU1CREI/AAAAAAAAIaw/0F_CTm6JTnc/s800/_DSC5332.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--KA6o0hm240/UWX2J43FckI/AAAAAAAAIaY/UP6Q4lmTL6A/s800/_DSC5325.JPG)

A library and community center in one of the barrios, built with the help of the King of Spain.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-S77yrH8NEfQ/UXFg913lqnI/AAAAAAAAI_k/aUoXre_uFBs/s800/_DSC5373.jpg)

Rosie, Octavio, Kon and Kari, who I met on the Stahlratte;

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-J9G3NPFfjPQ/UWX3g6QMpSI/AAAAAAAAIbQ/EUDENXdmfe0/s800/_DSC5357.JPG)

There's a park full of statues...

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-WZSDLo0pV50/UXFggQjCQUI/AAAAAAAAI_M/YaIUHE6TCbw/s600/_DSC5436_tonemapped.jpg)

And curious children.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-lQt21EMH7eA/UXFhcqKSAcI/AAAAAAAAI_0/5_FLCL2tdrs/s600/_DSC5432.JPG)

Very impressed with what they've done with this city, especially considering the hell Escobar put them through in the 80's. More about him soon.
Title: Chasing Honda parts
Post by: dcstrom on April 25, 2013, 11:51:24 am
So Ken and Ebru (2ForTheRoad.co.uk) were here at Casa Kiwi Hostel on a Honda NX 400, and one day we started helping Ken change chain and sprockets. Then we found that we needed a new bearing in the sprocket carrier. It was too late in the day to take to have it repaired by then, so we put everything in the hostel garage planning to get it done first thing the next morning.

In the morning the bag containing the new sprocket and chain, the axle, and the sprocket carrier, is missing. Then we realize that the bag had been on the floor near the garbage can. Some inquiries revealed that it might have been thrown out with the garbage the night before... that was a big drama, because some of the parts would be difficult to replace, and without them there could be no drive to the rear wheel. The bike is a Made-in-Brazil Honda, not imported to Colombia, so no new parts available here. It would be a disaster for Ken and Ebru if we couldn't somehow get these parts replaced.

SO the project for the day was to ride all over town carrying the rear wheel, looking for parts that might fit. The only other solution would be if we could somehow get the parts back that had gone to the rubbish tip. No chance of that right?


Ebru with the stuff that went missing...
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/525424_163140007180926_1147592350_n.jpg)

Ferrying the wheel around town
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/923153_163140163847577_2051539382_n.jpg)

We found a sprocket carrier that fitted the wheel, but we still needed to find out if everything lined up when we got the wheel back in the bike.

We got back to the hostel about 4:30... and amazingly, Ebru had the parts! While we were doing our thing she had been haranguing the hostel people to try to find out how the parts could have gotten chucked out. She found they might have been picked up by a recycler rather than the garbage truck. Then managed somehow to track the guy down, and yes he'd had the parts but had sold them already. More pressure and she got him to go and get them back! She had to pay about $8 for them, but it was a huge relief to have them. They’d recently been stuck for a month waiting on a new piston and rebore, and they weren’t prepared to do that again.

At the Honda repair shop, where William and his crew found a sprocket carrier that might maybe possibly work on Ken's bike. Once we got the original back and compared to the replacement, it was plain that the replacement was a LOT different... SO lucky to get those parts back!
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/11489_163140040514256_1456801278_n.jpg)

Then we were back where we started 24 hours before, needing to install a new bearing in the sprocket carrier. So out we went again to get that done... Thanks to William at the Honda workshop for his help and patience with all of this!

All's well that ends well ;-)

The gang at the end of a stressful day, after having found the original parts
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/923056_163140187180908_370527908_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: erenet on April 25, 2013, 11:04:15 pm
I can see you're having a fun in Medellin, the bikes are not cheap.
 Did you ever get to install the new seals?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on April 25, 2013, 11:12:23 pm
I can see you're having a fun in Medellin, the bikes are not cheap.
 Did you ever get to install the new seals?

No, didn't install the seals - the leak stopped after I change final drive oil in El Salvador, and is still not leaking! I didn't mention the problem to the tech in Medellin, but when he removed the swing arm to lube everything he found some leftover oil there. He stopped everything until he could talk to me about the bad seal. I explained that it had been leaking but not leaking now... I have the parts so I could have just gotten him to do it anyway. He seemed very conscientious and proficient so maybe I'll regret not having him do it. But like they say, if it's not broke...
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on April 26, 2013, 10:49:39 pm
One thing I forgot to mention about Medellin - it was GREAT to have a local contact. Forum member Nicolas was there to show us the ropes. He took me and a few others on a ride around local roads and villages, helped track down parts for Ken's NX 400, helped me find the right people to work on the bike. He helped me work out the route I'm on now. And when I asked "do you know any good optometrists?" he said "my dad's one!". I'd started the trip with 4 pairs of glasses, but had lost 1 and broken 2. Sergio gave me a great deal on repairs and a new pair of glasses. Hope I can make these last a bit longer!
Title: The Mobil Girls
Post by: dcstrom on April 26, 2013, 10:52:53 pm
In Colombia, something as mundane as a fuel stop can turn into a party, complete with cute girls in uniform!

This is yet another occasion I wish my Spanish was better! The youngest one (in the yellow cap) came up to me laughing and blushing furiously, saying something about the other girls, who were also laughing their arses off. Or maybe she was saying something about what the girls were saying about me. I couldn't figure it out, but whatever it was it was enough for little miss yellow cap to be terribly embarrassed about telling me. Oh well, we had a good laugh about whatever-it-was.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/431949_164533170374943_1018551246_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/165480_164533110374949_1972643826_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/532912_164533100374950_1896244948_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/935493_164534073708186_1672050540_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on April 27, 2013, 06:35:37 am
Glad to see you're having a good time.  We'll miss you next weekend at Romney.  And when I say "we" I  mean Kasey and the rest of the gang will miss you.  With any luck we should be having breakfast with Kasey next Saturday.  Looks like you're in good company down there.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tubebender on April 27, 2013, 10:01:11 am
Hi Trevor,

Yay, your spot page is active again. I use your location and transfer to Google where I can see street view or pictures of your surroundings.
I was thinking of you the other day as I changed my fork springs. I made a few tools to make it easier!

Cheers!
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on April 27, 2013, 11:14:30 am
Glad to see you're having a good time.  We'll miss you next weekend at Romney.  And when I say "we" I  mean Kasey and the rest of the gang will miss you.  With any luck we should be having breakfast with Kasey next Saturday.  Looks like you're in good company down there.

Do me a favor, don't show Kasey the pics of me with the Mobil girls eh? I told her she was the only girl for me, and now look what's happened!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on April 27, 2013, 11:48:24 am
Do me a favor, don't show Kasey the pics of me with the Mobil girls eh?

What picture?  I have no idea what you're talking about.   ;)
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on April 28, 2013, 09:41:30 am
Hi Trevor,

Yay, your spot page is active again. I use your location and transfer to Google where I can see street view or pictures of your surroundings.
I was thinking of you the other day as I changed my fork springs. I made a few tools to make it easier!

Cheers!

Hey Carl,
Yeah I screwed up spotwalla at one point - glad to hear its working again.

What springs did you put in, the Sonics? Nice improvement eh? And with your new tools, does that mean changing the spring is now a one-person operation? ;-)
Title: In Cali
Post by: dcstrom on May 03, 2013, 06:50:03 pm
I'm in Cali now, met up with the Matt & Atley show, the bunch of Aussies I met on the boat from Panama. Our paths have crossed a few times since then, but this will probably be the last, as they have a schedule to keep - I don't! They've been putting together some GREAT videos of their trip, the latest one covers the boat ride and Colombia. If you have a sharp eye you might even see me in there!

15. Panama city to Medellin (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2q24KcIYdbA#ws)

The entire blog is here, if you want to catch up on the previous episodes...

http://www.themattandatleyshow.blogspot.com/ (http://www.themattandatleyshow.blogspot.com/)

Super Tenere content - I changed the oil and filter yesterday! 24,000 miles on this trip so far. The pinion oil seal that was leaking until I changed the oil in San Salvador, is STILL not leaking 3800 miles later...
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: GrahamD on May 03, 2013, 07:32:52 pm
Keep them coming DC.

Not posting much, just reading.

Thanks for all the efoort.. ::012::

 ::003::
Graham
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: coastie on May 03, 2013, 07:58:50 pm
Wait, your in California? I'm confused.  But that is not difficult to do.  And awesome video!
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on May 04, 2013, 01:10:53 am
Wait, your in California? I'm confused.  But that is not difficult to do.  And awesome video!

Cali - third largest city in Colombia ;-)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: roger123 on May 11, 2013, 09:26:55 am
Hey Trevor, awesome ride report.  Looks like the trip of a lifetime!

Take care and be safe.

Roger (COG member from Virginia Beach)
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on May 11, 2013, 03:56:00 pm
Hey Roger, good to hear from you. Are you a full time landlubber yet?

Just near the Ecuador border, will cross over tomorrow. Internet has been patchy lately, but will finish off the Colombia report, and post photos, as soon as I get to spend some time somewhere with decent Internet.

Let me give you a brief summary though.

Colombia=Awesome!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: roger123 on May 11, 2013, 08:57:40 pm
Hey Roger, good to hear from you. Are you a full time landlubber yet?

Just near the Ecuador border, will cross over tomorrow. Internet has been patchy lately, but will finish off the Colombia report, and post photos, as soon as I get to spend some time somewhere with decent Internet.

Let me give you a brief summary though.

Colombia=Awesome!

Sounds fun. Yes, I am no longer a part of the sea going Navy!  Said goodbye to the Enterprise and am living the good life on shore duty.  Trying to get in as much riding as possible and enjoying being around the house too.

Keep posting!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Tommyhof on May 13, 2013, 02:51:06 pm
Trevor, Missed you at the Romney rally, but we chatted a wee bit about you, was a great time, there even given another Tee-shirt out,  great folks and if i buy another bike it will be from them.  Anyway have a great time and be safe....Oh yea post lot of pics of South American Girls

TommyHof  (COG Member)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: thfraser on May 17, 2013, 03:33:04 pm
Haven't seen you post in awhile.  Hope all is well and that you continue to live the ride/adventure of a lifetime!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on May 21, 2013, 10:01:15 am
Thanks guys, good to hear you made it to Romney Tom! Yeah great guys.

Getting ready to leave Cuenca, heading for the coast. It's miserable, wet and cold outside, so delaying departure as long as possible. Is this Ecuador, or Britain? Rain is forecast all week, so staying an extra day will not solve the problem!

Hoping to find somewhere nice, and cheap, to stop for a while, will update the report then.

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on May 21, 2013, 01:29:49 pm
 :D


I've been screwed up going to the southern hemisphere. 
My pea brain just fights the idea of packing gloves, hats, and other winter gear when it's 90+ degrees and I'm sweating in the DC humidity.


Glad to hear you are well and look forward to your sharing!
 ::012::

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: RogerJ on May 21, 2013, 03:36:45 pm
Know how you feel about the upside down temperatures and gear packing.  Rode in Chile, Bolivia and Peru in early August and rode in minus 8 degrees C by day and outside temperatures at night of minus 20 degrees C.  The good news was that at least it was dry!  Always look on the bright side of life (insert Monty Python style whistling here).  :)
Title: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on May 23, 2013, 06:10:46 pm
I visited the KTM shop in Cuenca the other day, the new 1190 Adventure was there. The salesman gave me the brochure for it. "Garage in Constant Use" - appropriate I thought - KTM's spend a lot of time there!

Nearly as silly as the "Unstoppable" campaign that BMW used on the introduction of the frequently-stoppable F800GS...

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-9b1iGpDZvjQ/UZ6XvvqoH4I/AAAAAAAAJiM/vL95Ykv8kfI/w457-h612-no/ugunutyn.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on May 23, 2013, 06:25:35 pm
:D


I've been screwed up going to the southern hemisphere. 
My pea brain just fights the idea of packing gloves, hats, and other winter gear when it's 90+ degrees and I'm sweating in the DC humidity.


Glad to hear you are well and look forward to your sharing!
 ::012::

Yeah I was listening to NPR the other day (strangely) and hear DC was 90 and humid. I was sitting in the cool, wet mountains, thinking, glad I'm not in DC right now!

At the beach now, and it's been cool and cloudy. Pretty nice actually!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on June 06, 2013, 11:51:19 pm
OK, way past time to update some stuff here...

After leaving Medellin, first stop was Pablo Escobar's former mansion and property. Most of you will probably remember Escobar's reign of terror in Colombia in the 80's and 90's, at the height of the cocaine boom. At the time he was the richest criminal in history, his wealth estimated in the billions. There was a story that he made an offer to the Colombian government to pay off the national debt, in return for the creation of an independent state within Colombia, of which he would be the leader. THAT'S how rich he was - rich enough to buy himself a county. The government refused.

More here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablo_Escobar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablo_Escobar)

He owned a property about 120 miles from Medellin, and I was curious to see it. That was to be my stop on the first day out of town, after 2 weeks in Medellin.

It's the strangest dead person's mansion I've been to since Gracelands! The government took it over after his death, and I guess since it was already more-or-less some kind of theme park, somebody thought it was a good idea to build on the idea. I think "Jurassic Park" was influential in the design... if you notice the typeface on the logo, it's the same as on the titles for the movie.

They've obviously put a lot of effort into it. The dinosaurs, the zoo, the hippos in the lake and his first drug-smuggling plane on the arch at the front all date from Pablo's time, but now there are 3 hotels and some other things that look like they are new. Admission is relatively expensive by Colombian standards, about $20, and I'm sure the hotels are expensive. I was the only visitor there! It seems to mean that this estate, which was a rich man's playground, has now been turned into, well, a rich man's playground. I don't think this is what was intended when the government took it over, I think the idea was to takes Pablo's riches and give it back to the people in the form of this theme park. It's quite well done, but apart from being expensive to enter and obviously maintain, it's also quite a long drive from either Medellin or Bogota. It would be a nice day trip for middle class people from the big cities, but it's a weekend trip really. With only one visitor this morning - me - I have to wonder if it will be around for long. But what the hell, it was paid for with drug money anyway. Thankyou to all the 80's American cocaine fiends!

All the things below are what Pablo had built on the property, or recreations of what was there. Remember, all this stuff was for his own amusement, only since the goverment claimed the property has it been open to the public. They have added hotels and some other attractions, but I wasn't really interested in those...

The entrance to the property - Pablo's first drug-running plane
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/532828_164220340406226_1979501727_n.jpg)

A really weird water park and dinosaurs

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Xfmoxk7au9c/UXcy1EmdkDI/AAAAAAAAJDc/DxRiIusba0k/w637-h422-no/_DSC5869.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-It3c14KtueM/UXcx31nbPyI/AAAAAAAAJCw/oM2KtC3npMs/w637-h422-no/_DSC5909.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-R_rKeTGI90c/UXcyx--7HqI/AAAAAAAAJDU/eaw3xO_gxxk/w637-h422-no/_DSC5870.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-vhuD2IO9bdU/UXcytfIclmI/AAAAAAAAJDM/dsrTItlXbis/w637-h422-no/_DSC5876.JPG)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-OZ_J1IYDX9s/UXcyqIO3Q2I/AAAAAAAAJDE/R7BDAqNwIiQ/w265-h400-no/_DSC5875.JPG)

Diplodicus, with some HDR treatment!

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/h0X_p_qNOBhArcn13WHZ4wpIR0wK2BENGpDnlQn0iRg=w637-h422-no)

The hippo collection. At some point over the years a pair wandered off and  started breeding in a nearby river system, and now there are an unknown number of hippos in the Colombian wilderness.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-RL973KxYAfA/UXcy6ASn4mI/AAAAAAAAJDs/yhZlrTjfb7A/w706-h422-no/_DSC5861.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/WUiTL9aXrqtuXKmJE0N9MfGpwF6ZAOtyAI0MMODdXBU=w637-h422-no)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/PZ6ae3b5E6IW3QdgKX3iJqx0Y5ZcKuS2X_F2m0ZxUws=w637-h422-no)

Gorgeous hotel overlooks the hippo lake - but with no guests.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-0jd7EPou57U/UXcy3iD1mvI/AAAAAAAAJDk/VjGwierZUn0/w637-h422-no/_DSC5865.JPG)

This is a billboard advertising another hotel on the property. I guess the marketing people didn't realise that they don't have safaris in Casablanca when they named the hotel.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/OEf1nbN6LZaPUQECh3udmVKOU9i6vePIsz0f2sJtBn0=w637-h422-no)

Pablo's collection of toys was on display

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-ywAFmx7Z094/UXcxF-v-4rI/AAAAAAAAJCg/HmBML8MvU10/w637-h422-no/_DSC5917.JPG)

The Mercedes 6=door saloon in the pic got burnt out at some point, and now looks like this...

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-4quPnIG1pOM/UXcxCF_TsRI/AAAAAAAAJCY/bQckka3REoE/w637-h422-no/_DSC5918.JPG)

Remember these?

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-2GMBoGr6C5s/UXcw156QajI/AAAAAAAAJCI/sLBYmknLT6g/w637-h422-no/_DSC5923.JPG)

Just outside the entrance to the mansion is this giant pink dancing hippo, with flapping eyelashes - huh???

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-RRWCZwdzLAs/UXcxqMbo4iI/AAAAAAAAJCo/jjVpCtaURHs/w637-h422-no/_DSC5912.JPG)

No mansion is complete without the flamingo flock.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-prCjg4Bxubo/UXcwstmaMZI/AAAAAAAAJCA/HtoYTbJzvwM/w637-h422-no/_DSC5931.JPG)

And on into the mansion itself. It's interesting that in all the literature and signage, Escobar's name is never mentioned, until you get right into the grounds of the mansion. It's also the only part of the property that doesn't get maintained - just left to rot. It's now a museum dedicated to victims of violence.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-7fVYMGn1In0/UXcvJqigwwI/AAAAAAAAJAQ/LTZR5uHX2Vs/w1091-h378-no/_DSC6031_stitch.jpg)

Imagine the wild parties that went on around this pool...

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-po5cFPWo7TA/UXcwKyi713I/AAAAAAAAJBY/QCPaQOgN1ts/w637-h422-no/_DSC5960.JPG)

Pablo's bedroom - with the image of Pablo sleeping like a baby.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-loW9_BpudK0/UXcwHRP0TjI/AAAAAAAAJBQ/gFRdjZzBZx0/w637-h422-no/_DSC5957.JPG)

What's left of the prick's crapper.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-glE6EPSzAQ4/UXcwOE5VkBI/AAAAAAAAJBg/FRNz4_y1o98/w637-h422-no/_DSC5955.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-OKixF6vbGUE/UXcwkzNGecI/AAAAAAAAJB4/XGApXeWuvLc/w637-h422-no/_DSC5935.JPG)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-xw5VvEviKmY/UXcwe75NhgI/AAAAAAAAJBw/UaUex_MdY70/w637-h422-no/_DSC5940.JPG)

The rogue's gallery

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-9CXtik18E6I/UXcwT8t-EhI/AAAAAAAAJBo/oqmHb2lWQTY/w637-h422-no/_DSC5950.JPG)

Some kind of replica of Roman baths?

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-F3LhlL9ZTeo/UXcvdic1MyI/AAAAAAAAJAw/mLSOT8tBlw8/w637-h422-no/_DSC5973.JPG)

Pablo himself, beer in hand, shows the way.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-7NPPGBqvVIg/UXcvUxHSsOI/AAAAAAAAJAo/Na32WnTlT6M/w637-h422-no/_DSC5972.JPG)

The helipad with airstrip in the background.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-W_i9J1MnS5E/UXcvPeQ6rdI/AAAAAAAAJAg/26z6YPC7Gn0/w637-h422-no/_DSC5976.JPG)

Who wouldn't want one of these?

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-AtbzxC-Kcyg/UXcvMao81wI/AAAAAAAAJAY/ymWELISGqDM/w637-h422-no/_DSC5979.JPG)

A life-size poster of a picture from the day the chased him, barefoot, across Medellin rooftops, and shot him dead. Cop is happy eh? Escobar had many police killed, in fact put a $500/head bounty on them so that kids in poor neigborhoods would do the killing for him.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-RkBxpjHpyTg/UXcv-J9mDYI/AAAAAAAAJBA/61G2iSxhwGw/w637-h422-no/_DSC5970.JPG)

The poster is mounted on the wall of one of the three garages

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DSOU9wTswXc/UXcvi5qTkNI/AAAAAAAAJA4/IhJmlBQl9B8/w637-h422-no/_DSC5968.JPG)

Before I wasn't sure what I was going to be in for, but turned out to be a creepy but intriguing look into the mind of a ruthless killer that terrorized his country for years. Creepier than Gracelands? By a long shot! (Weird thought - if Elvis had lived a few more years, he might have been one of Pablo's best customers!)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on June 06, 2013, 11:57:34 pm
I'm going to be filling in some gaps in the story soon, but just to bring you up-to-date, I'm in Quito, Ecuador now. I've updated the trip map on Everytrail.

http://www.everytrail.com/iframe2.php?trip_id=2147530 (http://www.everytrail.com/iframe2.php?trip_id=2147530)

I tend to keep up with things more on Facebook (yeah, I know... but it's the easiest way to keep track of people). If you want to join me there, I'm "aroadanywhere". Send me a friend request, of "follow" me...

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on July 09, 2013, 11:50:04 am
Hi guy and girls, just a note to let you know I'm still alive and made it to Peru after almost 6 weeks in Ecuador. All´s well, arrived in Huancabamba a couple of days ago via an awesome dirt road. Was planning to stay one day here, then more dirt to Jaen, but it´s rained a lot the last 2 nights and I´m dubious about road conditions heading to Jaen. I asked around and of course one guy said ¨no problem¨ and another one said ¨no way¨! Sun is trying to come out now so I´m going to stay here another day and hope the road dries out a bit.

A couple of pics from the road in... and yes, the Super Tenere took a nap. It was one of those times where there's a very small ridge running down the road - when you try to cross over it, the front makes it and slides down the other side... the rear doesn't, and slides the other way.  I saved it twice before this, but third time unlucky. I just wish I knew how I saved it the first two times! No problem though, going slow, I just stepped off, no damage to the bike.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/1044465_193850157443244_1209003642_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/1044840_193851274109799_1753380185_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/1044366_193851564109770_2023285098_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/1005429_193851780776415_1494291793_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on July 09, 2013, 08:49:38 pm
Hi Trevor, good to hear from you.  Been wondering where you were.  Nice photos.  Looks like a wonderful place to ride.  I nearly put mine down for a nap earlier this month.  Ended up off the road and facing the wrong direction before it was all over.   Stuff happens, glad all you got was a napping photo...and maybe a hernia trying to pickup a loaded bike on mud.  Good times.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on July 09, 2013, 09:27:12 pm
Trevor, my man!  Been wondering about you and where you may be.  Good to hear all is well other than a little nap for the S10  ;D

Take care of yourself and keep the photos coming.

Alan
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on July 10, 2013, 07:10:37 pm
Hi Trevor, good to hear from you.  Been wondering where you were.  Nice photos.  Looks like a wonderful place to ride.  I nearly put mine down for a nap earlier this month.  Ended up off the road and facing the wrong direction before it was all over.   Stuff happens, glad all you got was a napping photo...and maybe a hernia trying to pickup a loaded bike on mud.  Good times.

Hey Jon... ending up off the road is a worry for me - how to get it it back? Especially here, where the dropoff can be hundreds of feet  ;)

Not too bad getting it up - strap around the front of the Jesse rack and over my shoulder (there is nowhere to grab onto), rubber band on the front brake, then lift with the legs and the left handlebar. Worked a treat!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on July 10, 2013, 07:43:06 pm
Hey Jon... ending up off the road is a worry for me - how to get it it back? Especially here, where the dropoff can be hundreds of feet  ;)

Not too bad getting it up - strap around the front of the Jesse rack and over my shoulder (there is nowhere to grab onto), rubber band on the front brake, then lift with the legs and the left handlebar. Worked a treat!

I've lifted in mud before, it's not idea, but also wasn't much of a problem.  Glad you could do it without unloading.  Strap sounds like a good idea.

My off road was on 15 Mile Creek Road up at Green Ridge State Forrest.  Top of the mountain, just riding across a simple looking shallow mud section.  Can't explain it, bike just started a wide slide to the right.  I was positive it was going down, I put my foot down once to keep it up and it stayed up much to my surprise.  I ended up off the right side of the road after spinning approximately 270 degrees.  Not a huge deal since there was no drop off there, but it was my second bad incident of the day and I decided I should go home after that.  I'll admit it does shake me a little when I think about the muddy sections I've ridden along a 50' cliff straight down to the river. 

Glad you're still safe.  I believe you're rapidly closing in on one year on the road.  It's been fun following you.  Thanks for keeping us informed.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on July 11, 2013, 01:38:07 am
Another 100 miles of gorgeous dirt backroad today. I was glad I waited a day for the road to dry out... left Huancabamba this morning with people telling me the road was "peligroso" (dangerous), so I was interested to see what it was like. It was still pretty sloppy in parts. I've found the Tenere will get through the muddy bits ok (even with the unsuitable tires) if you can just keep the wheels in line, give it a whiff of throttle, and let it chug through. I did fall down again though. Near the end of the dirt, there was a water truck that had just watered down part of the road. That bit was like ice! The back end just came around... no problem though, just stepped off (getting good at that!). I had helpers this time to get the bike up.

OK, as Dirt Dad has had no problem pointing out in the past, I don't have a good record with water crossings. I drowned my Vee a few years ago, and, way back, my R90/6, twice. So suffice to say I've been a bit tentative about water crossings on the S10.

Today was what I thought was the first serious water crossing of the trip. Not so serious after all, went pretty easily in the end. I set up the camera to video proceedings, just in case I went belly-up. The problem with these things is that the hidden boulders can kick your front wheel in any direction, so a bit of luck is required. I had some... There's a big boulder poking above the water in the foreground, I was aiming for the right of that. This was the route I'd scoped out earlier. Instead I ended up going to the left of it - lucky that side was clear, just a bit deeper than my chosen path.

It wasn't that hard, but it was a confidence builder I needed. There were more than 15 water crossings today, most of them small, but a couple of them deeper, but not as long, as this one.


river crossing in Peru on a Super Tenere (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCDbjCwzvKw#ws)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on July 11, 2013, 05:24:46 am
I don't have a good record with water crossings.


You made it look easy.  I'm with you on the hidden danger thing.  It's a lousy place to be picking up a bike.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tpak on July 21, 2013, 12:25:25 am
Trevor, don't want to hijack your RR but I a few questions  for you about the Jesse's since you have been on the road with them for 6 months, that makes you the resident expert with them on this bike :-) I know you have dropped it on the Jesse's a few times and they are bombproof but:

1) How is living with them every day?
2) Do you love or hate the outboard hinge? I am looking at these, the HT's and the TT's. Not sure which way to go. I can't get my mind around they way these and the HT's are hinged.
3) Do you/did you find yourself adjusting them front to back?
4) How is the space and what size did you end up with? The muffler side looks narrow to me.

Thanks and hope you are having a ball!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on July 21, 2013, 05:28:46 pm
Trevor, don't want to hijack your RR but I a few questions  for you about the Jesse's since you have been on the road with them for 6 months, that makes you the resident expert with them on this bike :-) I know you have dropped it on the Jesse's a few times and they are bombproof but:

1) How is living with them every day?
2) Do you love or hate the outboard hinge? I am looking at these, the HT's and the TT's. Not sure which way to go. I can't get my mind around they way these and the HT's are hinged.
3) Do you/did you find yourself adjusting them front to back?
4) How is the space and what size did you end up with? The muffler side looks narrow to me.

Thanks and hope you are having a ball!

Yeah, time flies - it's actually almost 11 months!

The Jesse's have taken some abuse, and come back for more. One time I dropped the bike on a curb, and the bag/rack took almost the full impact. Another time I didn't do the clamp up correctly and a bag fell off and slid down the road at 40mph. Came out of it with only scratches.

1. Easy to live with, just wish they were a bit easier to get on and off. The main problem is that you have to partially unpack them to undo the crank handle. I tend to leave them on the bike most of the time.
2. To my surprise the outboard hinge will hold whatever weight you have in the lid (in my case probably 6 lbs) in whatever position you set it. It thought the hinges would wear after a while and the lid would start to "flop", but not so far. It's handy sometimes, and is definitely no irritant. I had HT bags with the separate lid on my Strom, and one time forgot to do the latches - and the lid flew of going down the highway. Lucky it didn't hit my mate riding behind, So there are pros and cons to both.
3. I like the adjusment - solo, move the weight forward, or with a passenger, move it back to make room for legs.
4. I got the Odyssey, which IIRC are 95 litres- compared to Yamaha bags at 64 litres, or the Touratech which are 80-something I think. Yes left bag is narrower, but still, it's total capacity that's important.

For me the biggest single selling point is the width. They are the narrowest of any bags out there of equivalent (or sometimes less) capacity. The Touratechs are some of the widest.

My only real complaint is the finish on the racks. The first set were rusting in a number of places after only 2 months, I sent them back thinking they were probably part of a bad batch, but the second set was just the same and now I've had paint flaking off in large chunks. I just hit it with a brush and some anti-rust paint. Looks like crap but bags are on all the time so it doesn't matter. I'll get them refinished one day. Just a bit disappointing for premium gear.

Hope that helps!

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tpak on July 21, 2013, 08:16:47 pm
Yeah, time flies - it's actually almost 11 months!
<snip>

Wow! Doesn't seem like it but wow! That is excellent!

The info helps a lot. I have been kicking back and forth between the HT, TT, and Jesse's. It's really down to the HT and Jesse's b/c as you point out, the TT are wide, not to mention the price. Anyhow, that is a different thread so carry on and thanks for the info!

Stay safe!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: limey on July 30, 2013, 11:48:33 pm
 ::017::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tubebender on August 20, 2013, 10:00:46 pm
Hey Trevor,

How are you? I see you made to Lima. Hitchhikers Hostel?
Give us an update.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Tommyhof on October 15, 2013, 02:32:46 pm
Trevor, What's Up? OK?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on October 16, 2013, 09:35:25 am
Hey Guys - yeah really sorry, waaayyy behind on this report. When I find a nice place to settle for a while, with good internet, I'll catch up. I AM posting on Facebook fairly frequently, so if you are on there look for me at http://facebook.com/aroadanywhere (http://facebook.com/aroadanywhere)

yes Carl, Hitchhikers in Lima - how did you guess.

Tommy, thanks for caring ;-)

Here's a new timelapse from the Salar

http://www.yamahasupertenere.com/index.php?topic=9655.new#new (http://www.yamahasupertenere.com/index.php?topic=9655.new#new)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tubebender on October 16, 2013, 03:47:33 pm
Hitchhikers in Lima - how did you guess.

I check your SPOT page to see where you are and since the map is powered by Google, I can somtimes get street views of your surrondings.
Usually your last breadcrumb is where you're staying.

Man, some of the roads you have taken are incredibly twisty!

Stay safe!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: coastie on December 14, 2013, 08:53:41 pm
So what is going on Trevor? Did you complete your trip? Are you back in the States?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 20, 2013, 05:08:57 pm
Hi Guys! Well I'm ALMOST at Ushuaia - should be there Sunday. Everything is great, the bike has hardly missed a beat, except for that nasty cracked frame business. Best forget about that! The repair is holding up well so far.

Here's the map, up to date.

http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=2147530 (http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=2147530)

By Sunday it will be 478 days and 42,000 miles since leaving DC. I cannot lie, it's been fantastic! ;-) Everyday I think how lucky I am to be doing this trip. The scenery is incredible, people fantastic, bike has been amazing... is that too many superlatives? I've been very lucky with the weather, and everything else. No incidents of note, except for a dislocated shoulder in a silly fall in northern Peru. Even then it was worthwhile for the people I met and the first-hand experience of the Peruvian hospital system!

Rather than go through the laborious process of posting pictures here - there's so many of them - I'm just gonna give you a google+ link. It's easier to view them there, but if you see any than you particularly like feel free to grab the link and post it back here.

https://plus.google.com/photos/107632123776958177476/albums/5959484018650757297?authkey=CJzDjfTCsqDB3AE (https://plus.google.com/photos/107632123776958177476/albums/5959484018650757297?authkey=CJzDjfTCsqDB3AE)

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: eemsreno on December 20, 2013, 05:20:34 pm
That is a lot of good pictures Trevor,   Keep having a good trip    looks fun.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on December 20, 2013, 06:30:19 pm
I expected nothing but great pictures and was not disappointed..... thanks for sharing. 

Enjoy the balance of the trip.

Alan
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tubebender on December 20, 2013, 06:57:03 pm
Only 478 days to ride North and South America? You're no Nick Sanders!

Great pictures Trevor. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

What happens when you get to Ushuia? Turn around?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: limey on December 20, 2013, 07:32:17 pm
Awesome pictures Trevor. Merry Christmas and safe travels in the new year. ::008:: ::008::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: True Grip on December 20, 2013, 07:53:11 pm
Amazing Trip! Lots of culture in those pics.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 20, 2013, 08:54:55 pm
Only 478 days to ride North and South America? You're no Nick Sanders!

Great pictures Trevor. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

What happens when you get to Ushuia? Turn around?

I may not be Nick Sanders, but I AM at least using one of his cast-off front tires. When he got to Santiago on his return let he changed tires, front was less than half worn, he gave it to Roberto (Thagua) who gave it to me. Thanks guys! I squeezed 5000 miles out of the Pirelli Scorpion Rally front, but it was well gone by the time I made the switch. I figure the secondhand Tourance front and well-used K60 will get me to Buenos Aires, then new tires there.

As for what's next... well the start of the Dakar Rally at Rosario is within range, about 1800 miles from Ushuaia and I have a week to get there. Follow the race for a few days before heading back to Buenos Aires to meet a friend coming from the US. After that, not at all sure. MotoGP is back in Argentina at the end of April, I'm sure I could find some things to keep me occupied until then!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: GSteve on December 20, 2013, 09:31:47 pm
Congratulations on an epic adventure.  Kudos on the excellent photos.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: GrahamD on December 20, 2013, 09:31:59 pm
Only 478 days to ride North and South America? You're no Nick Sanders!

That's the difference between a job and a Holiday.  ;D
Great photos Trev. Keep upright and best for the leg north.

There has to be a book in this somewhere.

 ::003::
Graham
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: snakebitten on December 21, 2013, 01:05:41 am
Wow.
Took my time and soaked each pic up. Just amazing.

Life's been good. I can't complain. But I have an unfulfilled dream of unscheduled adventure. I've practiced enough. :)

Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on December 21, 2013, 07:39:03 am
Trevor, looks like you have seen and done some spectacular stuff in the last 42K miles since I last saw you.  It's always a treat to see what you can do when you bring out the good camera.  Those photos are awe inspiring.

Glad you are doing well and enjoying the experience.  Are you close to putting yourself and the bike on an airplane and heading to another continent?  I seem to remember you had a 2 year time table, and there's a lot of distance between you and the intended destination.

Thanks for the update.  I don't have a facebook account, so I really enjoy it when you post over here and bring us up to speed.  Stay safe, and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and all that kind of stuff.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on December 21, 2013, 11:31:00 am
Thanks for the link to the photos. I/we sure appreciate your taking us along!


Like Jon wrote, it's been a long time and yet feels like just a couple of weeks ago.  After south America, are you and the bike going west? or East?


And don't forget that big party in Ushuai:  http://youtu.be/xlvKLVwRgbs (http://youtu.be/xlvKLVwRgbs)
 ::018::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: coastie on December 21, 2013, 05:54:54 pm
Trevor, I'm glad you are still alive, well, and having a blast! Thanks for the update. I did not know you scheduled out two years for this trip, that is amazing!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: nga on December 21, 2013, 08:24:53 pm
Great adventure!  I've loved the pics. 
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 23, 2013, 10:36:09 am
The end is nigh! At last made it to the end of the world, Ushuaia, Argentina. I arrived here late on the 2st, after a long day from Punta Arenas, Chile. Great weather until the pass just before Ushuaia, where sleet, rain and cold made things a bit interesting.

Yesterday I tried to go to the end of the most southern road in the world, which requires going through the national park. This is where the traditional "I'm in Ushuaia" shot is taken, at the sign at the end of the road. I paid my $12 entry fee but thought about turning around after riding a few km's on the wet, slick clay road. In motorcycling part of your brain is always occupied doing risk/benefit analyses, and in this case I didn't care enough about getting to the end of the road to risk sliding off on the slimy clay surface. No worries I thought, just go back and get a refund, and try again another time.

I told the guy at the ticket office that the road was dangerous for motorcycles and could he please give me a refund? "No refunds". He knows I have only been in the park 15 minutes... and has the nerve to say "we have many motorcycles go through here no problem" implying that I don't know how to ride a bike. "Today?" I say. "No, not today" My blood is rising... I ask for the jeffe (chief) and am directed to another guy. I'm not sure if he's the chief or not, but he tells me to wait 5 minutes. I assume this is because he is going to call somebody and talk to them about my request, but he continues selling tickets and ignores me. Five minutes goes by and he's still ignoring me, so finally I get his attention and ask what's going on. "No refund". Where's the jeffe? "I am the jeffe". I'm starting to lose my cool, for the first time on this trip. Why the hell did you ask me to wait then!! Ok if you can't give me a refund, how about a ticket for another day? "No". I really need to brush up on my spanish swear words... I lost it then and screwed up the ticket and threw it at his feet.

I got back on the bike and had second thoughts - maybe if the sun shines the road will dry out and I can use the ticket later that day (it's valid only for the date of issue), or maybe I can complain to HIS jeffe. So went back to the office and asked for my crunched-up ticket back. That wasn't embarrassing at all  :D

It rained on and off the rest of the day, and the head office of the Argentine National Park Service was closed because it was Sunday.

But I had my revenge... rather than having my photo taken at their fancy-pants sign at the end of the road, I choose to highlight the good work of the Municipality of Ushuaia, by having my photo taken with one of their flower pots. Ha ha screw you national park service!


(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/903836_245442255617367_1794183357_o.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: HoebSTer on December 23, 2013, 12:45:24 pm
Trevor, Congrats!!! on making it to the southern tip of the dirt.  Best of luck on your next venture, whether job, another continent or getting closer to your kid in Australia!!!  Anyway, Happy Holidays to you!!!  Relish the thought of all of us whom are with you each and every day in your journeys'. Peace to you Trevor!!! 

Jeff
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 23, 2013, 12:54:10 pm
Ok here's the OFFICIAL "I made it to Ushuaia" shot. The sign at the entrance to town is good enough!

I added a photo of me with the Tenere on pickup day at Romney Cycles, a bit over two years ago. We were so young and innocent back then! Now we are older and gnarly-looking, but I would prefer to think that we have gained some character!

That was the same day Dirt_Dad picked up his Tenere Number One as I recall...

This trip has been a fantastic experience... I never imagined things would go as smoothly has they have. The bike has been just about perfect, but have to thank you guys for your help and support at time when things have been a little less than perfect (i.e. when the frame cracked). People I've met along the way, most with much more challenging missions or life situations than mine, have been an inspiration. Terrain and roads have been nothing less than awesome most of the time.

Some numbers since leaving Washington DC;

It's hard to express how lucky I feel to be able to do a trip like this... so I'll leave it at that

Will be here for Christmas before heading north to Buenos Aires and Rosario for the start of the Dakar Rally. That should be something completely different!

Here's what 42,000 miles looks like...

Flash-based map
http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=2147530 (http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=2147530)

Non-Flash
http://www.everytrail.com/iframe2.php?trip_id=2147530 (http://www.everytrail.com/iframe2.php?trip_id=2147530)

Have a great Christmas all!


(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1517388_245449522283307_14697638_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/1518765_245449662283293_323333657_o.jpg)

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 23, 2013, 12:58:05 pm
Trevor, Congrats!!! on making it to the southern tip of the dirt.  Best of luck on your next venture, whether job, another continent or getting closer to your kid in Australia!!!  Anyway, Happy Holidays to you!!!  Relish the thought of all of us whom are with you each and every day in your journeys'. Peace to you Trevor!!! 

Jeff

Thanks Jeff, was great to spend some time with you on the way... fitting one of those nearly-free tires (thanks Mark). Still working on the plan for what's next.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on December 23, 2013, 01:09:03 pm
Congratulations Trevor! You've bagged a destination that everybody is curious to see and few will.

Sporting that beard, you look like Sean Connery's kid brother.
 ::008::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: GSteve on December 23, 2013, 01:33:07 pm
Congratulations!   ::012::  By the way, did anyone mention that you can go to the Post Office there and have your passport stamped with a Fin del munro entry?  Again, most excellent adventure.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: tubebender on December 23, 2013, 04:02:56 pm
Way to go Trevor! Have a great Christmas.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on December 23, 2013, 04:35:19 pm
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1517388_245449522283307_14697638_n.jpg)

I do remember seeing that fresh faced boy that day.  It appears the trip has given you a more distinguished look.  You wear it well.

Congrats on getting to your southernmost point of the journey.  It's been a lot of fun following you.  Thank you so much to taking the time to allow us to share your trip.  I'm sure I'm not the only one reading your adventures and looking at the photos and thinking, "what if I could just..."  You have a lot of people living vicariously through your stories.  It means a lot to us.

Merry Christmas, and stay safe down there.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: coastie on December 23, 2013, 09:45:47 pm
Wow, congratulations!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: snakebitten on December 23, 2013, 10:23:28 pm
That Tenere and its rider are sandblasted. You can't fake that. You gotta ride and ride and ride and..........
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: sportsguy on December 23, 2013, 10:28:11 pm
Well done Trevor! Congratulations and Merry Christmas. :)

Truly inspirational!

Stay safe.

duane
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: GrahamD on December 24, 2013, 01:15:42 am
 ::008:: ::008:: ::008:: ::008:: ::008::

Congrats Trevor,

Won't have a clue how that feels but I bet it is good.  ;D

Have a big relax and get the sticker.

Looking forward to the return..

 ::003::
Graham
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Buckeye56 on December 24, 2013, 06:23:15 am
What an amazing adventure you have had. Being able to follow along on your trip has been great! Merry Christmas!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 24, 2013, 09:59:17 am

Sporting that beard, you look like Sean Connery's kid brother.
 ::008::

Thanks Bob, but I'm not sure that's a compliment. You know Sean Connery is in his 80's right? I would have to be his 30-year-younger kid brother! Or are you saying I look really old?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on December 24, 2013, 12:01:38 pm
Thanks Bob, but I'm not sure that's a compliment. You know Sean Connery is in his 80's right? I would have to be his 30-year-younger kid brother! Or are you saying I look really old?



OK, so you'd be his son - forget the age part.  Here he was a couple years younger:
(http://gordonandthewhale.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/6b9b91b9bebaf9203dbb2fbe0de36825.jpg)



Hope you are with good folks and happy! 

Don't know if you remember Karen as you only met briefly in the garage two years ago, but she said "hi."
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: NittanyXT on December 24, 2013, 05:51:06 pm
Way to go Trevor!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on December 24, 2013, 11:14:24 pm
What a Great Ride...... Thanks for taking us along.

Enjoy the next ride, where ever it may go.

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 31, 2013, 07:56:28 am
Left Ushuaia on December 26 with Kon and Valerie, bound for a shed in the middle of nowhere that Kon had found on the earlier southward leg. Great spot, if you don't mind the graffiti! Wind was howling around the shed all night, I slept with my earplugs in. Gorgeous sunrise this morning.

I left Kon and Valerie to go and visit the penguins while I started the long trip north - 2700km to Buenos Aires from here. A flat tire slowed me down a bit. On this road, it's hard to tell when you have a flat. Was that weave from the rear end caused by the loose surface, a gust of wind, or a flat tire? Turns out it was all three!

Tire repair was a bit problematic, since there was no obvious foreign body in the tire that might have caused the flat. Only thing to do is pump it up and see if I could tell where the air was coming out. Normally you can hear a hissing sound, but it was hard to hear anything except the wind whistling past my ears. Pouring soapy water on the tire was the next idea, but how to direct the water onto the tire without the wind blowing it away before it got there? Eventually I found a plastic coke bottle (you can find discarded plastic bottles just about anywhere these days  ), poked a small hole in the cap and used it to spray the water at the tire. This worked! And showed up a small split which I was able to plug. Not sure if it was actually a puncture or one of the many small splits in the Heidenau had found its way all the way through the tire. Repair is holding for now and the tire is just about done, just needs to last another 1200km or so till I can get a new set.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/893627_247030888791837_1472282543_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/882993_247030852125174_1471447088_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1493488_247030815458511_2116419322_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/1483558_247030798791846_1189133456_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1501197_247030838791842_847078013_o.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 31, 2013, 08:11:34 am
We went to see the King Penguins on the coast on the way to Ushuaia. The colony is on private land, and they charge $24 to see the penguins. I thought we would be sitting on the edge of the colony, David-Attenborough-like, eye to eye with the penguins... but no, we were separated by a creek. Not unlike a moat you would get at a zoo. I didn't think it was good value really, except from the point of view that it might be the only time I get to see King Penguins in the wild. They are gorgeous creatures...

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/1512739_246538398841086_1589513767_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1462813_246538288841097_456471260_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/995574_246538048841121_389610926_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/1524212_246538308841095_389785551_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/736020_246538492174410_1116146977_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1421233_246538208841105_1986730826_o.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on December 31, 2013, 08:20:54 am
Heading north with ideas of be in Buenos Aires for New Year - not going to happen now. There's a heatwave there, power and water outages and people are getting a bit antsy. Best to avoid for now.

 I had a bit of catching up to do after 2 slow days - one with a flat tire that cost me some time, and the next day I wimped out early after 250km of freezing rain.

Sunday 29th was much better but had a slow start. The rear tire was a bit soft (the one I plugged 2 days before) so I spent some time searching for a gas station with some air. Would you believe I struck out with 3 in a row? Screw it, I'll just get air at the next gas stop a couple of hundred k's down the road.

I got some air at the next station, but guess what? No gas! The truck was there, just had to wait 30 minutes for it to finish filling the tanks. After 30 mins, "Sorry senor, 10 more minutes". Then another 10. I moved the bike and one of my expensive heated gloves fell off the seat. One of the stray dogs picked it up and casually walked away with it. I had visions of chasing the bugger across the pampas! Or him chewing on that tasty leather, and tearing up the wiring at the same time. Arrggghhh!

Luckily he dropped it with the same casual attitude as the initial theft.

I decided to move on rather than wait for the tanker to finish filling the tanks, hoping that the next station 130km away, had gas - if not I would really be screwed.

They did and the rest of the day went pretty smoothly - finally got into long-distance mode and knocked off 1000km for the day. Biggest day in South America by a long shot.

Arrived in in Puerto Madryn it's like I walked into an oven... from 40's and freezing rain to 80 and humid at midnight.

About to do an oil chang,e, last one was Santiago 5000 or so miles ago.


Nice thing about being on the road late is that you're there for the sunset...
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/980693_247712278723698_724801004_o.jpg)

My reward at the end of a long day - Argentinian fast food!
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/1484052_247712152057044_365961403_o.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Mully316 on December 31, 2013, 08:22:45 am
Hi Trevor,
Thanks for doing such a great job documenting your trip. It's been truly inspirational and the photography is simply amazing. As a new rider in Michigan I've been staring at my bike longing for spring. Thanks for letting me live vicariously through your adventure.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on December 31, 2013, 08:36:07 am
Great color!  Thanks for sharing.


Happy New Years eve.

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Firefight911 on December 31, 2013, 09:48:20 am
Hey Trevor.  Haven't checked in lately with you.  Happy New Year and awesome job letting us tag along.
Catching any of Dakar while in the general vicinity?
Jamie and Amelia say hi.  Bed is made and kitchen is stocked if/when you ever swing through again.

Sent from my Windows phone.  Spelling errors free of charge.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on December 31, 2013, 05:43:02 pm
Great photos, as always.  Happy New Year, Trevor. 
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: twodogs on December 31, 2013, 07:58:37 pm
 ::026::  On the photos...   Have a great New Year   ::018::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: GrahamD on December 31, 2013, 08:49:22 pm
Thanks again Trevor,

Great pics as usual.  ::008::

 ::003::
Graham
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 03, 2014, 07:37:06 am
Hey Trevor.  Haven't checked in lately with you.  Happy New Year and awesome job letting us tag along.
Catching any of Dakar while in the general vicinity?
Jamie and Amelia say hi.  Bed is made and kitchen is stocked if/when you ever swing through again.

Sent from my Windows phone.  Spelling errors free of charge.

Thanks Phil! Re: the Dakar - read on...

Happy new year to you too, and your gorgeous ladies...

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 03, 2014, 07:40:38 am
HA HA Rosario, Argentina! Home of the Dakar Rally in South America. I can already tell it's going to be a HOOT! Rolled into town around 9pm last night after a 1000km day, people out drinking in the street cafes, looking at me... People pull up next to me at the lights, waving, smiling and taking photos with their smartphones. Yelling "Suerte!" (Luck!).

I'm feeling like a rock star... evidently local people know there's a race on involving motorcycles, I look different to a normal motorcycle, therefore I must be a racer. Suerte!

I think I'll just play along... I just have to go and practice my autograph now. Maybe some cute Argentinian girls will want me to sign their T-shirts? Have to be ready for that!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: coastie on January 03, 2014, 06:12:37 pm
HA HA Rosario, Argentina! Home of the Dakar Rally in South America. I can already tell it's going to be a HOOT! Rolled into town around 9pm last night after a 1000km day, people out drinking in the street cafes, looking at me... People pull up next to me at the lights, waving, smiling and taking photos with their smartphones. Yelling "Suerte!" (Luck!).

I'm feeling like a rock star... evidently local people know there's a race on involving motorcycles, I look different to a normal motorcycle, therefore I must be a racer. Suerte!

I think I'll just play along... I just have to go and practice my autograph now. Maybe some cute Argentinian girls will want me to sign their T-shirts? Have to be ready for that!


I can see it now!
Talladega Nights please be 18 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUXxmA-Zpq0#ws)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 04, 2014, 07:48:28 am
Ha! "You better watch it when I get into autograph mode". Yep that will be me. No flashed boobies yet but it's gotta happen soon, I can feel it.

I met Nick from Houston on a GS Adventure, yesterday we went to the racetrack which is the holding area for the Dakar bikes/cars/trucks/atv's. There's no public admission so people are lining the road watching competitors go back and forth to scrutineering. Since most people already think we are Dakar competitors, Nick came up with the genius idea for us to stand on the pegs while going in, to make us look even more Dakar-racer-like. Felt like a bit of a dick but the crowd was cheering and whistling and taking photos, while I was laughing my head off inside my helmet. Not only did the crowd think we were racers, the officials at 3 checkpoints did too, and waved us through. We got stopped at the final checkpoint,  but Nick has connections to one of the teams - but no pass - and managed to talk his way in. Now that's what I call "adventure riding"!

There's a ceremonial start today followed by the real thing at 4am tomorrow. Will be a lot of people there so won't be taking the bikes. Bummer, I won't feel "special" any more!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on January 04, 2014, 09:48:10 am
Boobies, bikes, riders, whatever


 ::006::


 ::015::



Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: snakebitten on January 04, 2014, 04:17:13 pm
Rich!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 04, 2014, 07:16:34 pm
From when we crashed the pits...

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t1/1551643_249493588545567_638103669_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/1545076_249493595212233_680014988_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1538668_249493558545570_1004040533_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/576554_249493521878907_1610369385_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/1560449_249493635212229_903813451_n.jpg)

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: coastie on January 04, 2014, 07:30:29 pm
Damn, those trucks are BadAss!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 09, 2014, 07:43:49 am
More Dakar-related chaos as we tried to leave Rosario in the wake of the REAL Dakar racers. I was with 3 other riders and we were mobbed every time we stopped. I was handed a baby (neither of us very happy about that!), signed kids t-shirts and posed for a million photos.

I felt a bit of a fraud pretending to be a Dakar hero, but then again, who am I to disappoint my public?

On another subject... It was 104 for most of the day, except when it was 106!

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1553447_249983598496566_1434573090_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/1496002_249983565163236_882328596_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1492316_249983535163239_553104396_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1557407_249983498496576_1709229882_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/894908_249983415163251_1036155814_o.jpg)

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 09, 2014, 07:55:07 am
I arrived in San Luis on Sunday night after losing Nick, Miguel and Arturo on the way out of Rosario. Turns out we had conflicting ideas about where we were supposed to be going. I was heading to San Rafael, but after riding all day on my own came to an intersection pointing to San Luis in the north, where there rally was camping for the night. On a whim I turned north, knowing that if I was going to be where the rally was, I really should get up at 4am the next morning to ride out with the racers.

Turns out it was a good move, cos I found the other guys there having beer in a street cafe. They'd found a hostel as well, so with good companions, beer and a bed, I was set for the night.

It was a real thrill riding with the guys, 260km south to San Rafael, where they started their next timed section.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1501528_250785581749701_1248997215_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t31/1556386_250785585083034_125594873_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/1496156_250785571749702_1096884291_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/1487828_250785608416365_158118630_o.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/1519178_250785578416368_62765625_o.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: snakebitten on January 09, 2014, 12:07:09 pm
Ok, those last 2 posts just Blow My Mind!

I'm sitting at my desk a million miles from any adventuring today.

But those pics, and the accompanied story whisked me away for a few fleeting moments. I could swear my pulse increased and my eyes widened as I put myself in your place.

Dang you are having a ball! I could understand if you were a bit jaded by the many months you have been on this ride. But today ought to JOLT you out of it. :)

Just a great place to be right now. This day. This place. These people.

Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on January 09, 2014, 09:09:20 pm
Great report, Trevor.  Living the dream.   ::008::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 09, 2014, 09:57:25 pm
Thanks guys... Snakebitten, glad I could help  :D Here's something for tomorrow...

--------------------------------------

A day at the Dakar...

Up at 4:00 after a 900km ride the day before and a sleepless night in a hot, airless hostel bed. Need to put some air in my rear tire, lucky for me the gas stations are open at that time. Unluckily for me, none have air... I went to five of them, and each one directed me to the others. Just another reminder to get my own compressor fixed so I don't have to rely on these slack buggers.

Never mind, bit of low tire pressure never hurt anyone (!), on the road out of town by 4:40, and soon I'm in amongst the Dakar bikes, ATV's, cars and service vehicles. That was a very fun 3 hour ride into San Rafael.

Everyone has to get gas at the end of this stretch, and I started chatting to a guy who turned out to be one of the 6 Aussies in the race - Mark Davidson, no. 121 in the pics below. Good guy, not his first Dakar and told me some amazing stories of his previous race.

The spectator point is out of town a bit, so I still have 100km to get out there. I arrived around 11am, found Aussie mates  Mark and Carlie's bike but walked all over the place without finding them. Had a good time taking pictures anyway.

The bikes came through first, followed about an hour later by the leading ATV's Bikes were fantastic, but when the first of the cars came through it was frightening. They are so much faster than the bikes on the rough stuff, and for some strange reason spectators move CLOSER to the track when the cars come through. It's not hard to imagine one of the cars getting out of control and taking out 50 people. Cops do their best to keep people back but it's not really possible all the time.

Not only that... I'd heard stories about the car drivers being pretty rough on the bikers as they pass, and I got a close up look at an example of that. The leading Mini came up behind a bike on the narrowest part of the track, barely wide enough to accommodate the car. This is while roaring through a tunnel of spectators. The guy is standing on the horn, right up the bikers backside, only the bike has nowhere to go except into the spectators. I don't know how he did it, but the Mini just forced his way past, missing the bike by centimeters. This is happening on a rough, sandy track with the car doing probably 120kph. Like I said, frightening.

I would have liked to see the trucks come through, but after 4 hours standing in the sun, and the soles literally melted off my crappy TCX boots, it was time to go "home" and have beer and BBQ with the great Mark and Carlie, Dave and Sue (the couple they were volunteering for) and another RTW rider from Canada, Jeremy. What an altogether great day - but an exhausting one. Much more so for the Dakar riders though!

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/1526562_251286181699641_408612346_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1531961_251286115032981_1747674051_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1517648_251286588366267_797320431_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/1520669_251286545032938_2020552818_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1604889_251286575032935_1632262101_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1513226_251286095032983_1230725622_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1527122_251287221699537_248831126_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1524571_251286338366292_971755856_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1544290_251287098366216_2095575134_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1601322_251288081699451_537197366_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1488023_251289088366017_451978883_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/1526953_251289185032674_146331177_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/t1/1524953_251288035032789_970832581_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/t1/1546459_251288101699449_538152027_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/999999_251289041699355_2068249871_n.jpg)


I think I'm starting to get a bit of an obsession with Argentine police women... here's one from last week.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/994406_249249278569998_218690892_n.jpg)

Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: snakebitten on January 10, 2014, 12:05:38 am
Good times right now. But sounds exhaustive.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Firefight911 on January 10, 2014, 02:01:38 am
You, sir, are a rockstar.  I love it!!!!

Sent from my Windows phone.  Spelling errors free of charge.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: True Grip on January 10, 2014, 06:04:06 am
Trip of a lifetime! Thanks for sharing this!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: snakebitten on January 10, 2014, 03:33:39 pm
Despres is struggling a bit so far on that Yamaha. Pain dropped back today too. But Metge moved up!

Go Yamaha! :)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 10, 2014, 04:44:32 pm
Despres is struggling a bit so far on that Yamaha. Pain dropped back today too. But Metge moved up!

Go Yamaha! :)

If this is "struggling a bit" I hate to see what you'd have to do to be "in deep shit"!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWYIP2g6NDQ#t=310 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWYIP2g6NDQ#t=310)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 10, 2014, 04:49:26 pm
Biggest problem with my Super Tenere? Some of the hardware is buggy...

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1553493_249983115163281_305671840_o.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: snakebitten on January 10, 2014, 04:54:18 pm
WOW

Ok, yea, that's what I meant. Lol
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 11, 2014, 03:45:19 pm
I'm in Santiago, Chile now, mainly to take care of bike stuff. Need some new tires, my current set are pretty well fried. Choices are limited in Argentina, and tires are expensive. Choices are better in Santiago (but only slightly), but much cheaper.

Also getting Johnny Motos to check valves on Monday - that should be interesting!

I was hoping for another K60 for the rear - my current one is done at 11,000 miles but it's a straight run from here to Buenos Aires so I will squeeze another 1000 miles out of it. It was pretty low when I left Ushuaia to go 2000 miles north to Rosario, I thought that would be the end of it. But no! Since then it's been across Argentina to Chile, and will get me back again.

No K60's available in our size though, 18" only (for KTM). I could get Anakees or Metzler Karoo 3's or Battlewings, but I'm addicted to the high mileage from K60's and hate the thought of paying a lot of money for tires that I know will last half as long.

So no K60's but they did have the more road-oriented K76, negotiated a discount to get the price down to $330 for the set (about $50 more than US price). Never had them but decided to take a punt... don't expect the mileage to be as good as the K60 but if I get 8000 it will be ok.

(http://altes.co.rs/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/150-70-17K76II.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on January 11, 2014, 06:05:40 pm
... if I get 8000 it will be ok.

Dare to dream.   ;D
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 11, 2014, 08:09:21 pm
Dare to dream.   ;D

Ha ha Jon... my other option for cheap tires was Shinko 705's at about $290 the set... I like them but know from experience the rear will only go 4-5000 miles. If the K76 go just a couple of thousand more they will be equal in the value stakes. Daring to dream  :D
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on January 11, 2014, 09:13:55 pm
You'll probably do it.  Tires just tend to hate me, so 8K sounds so ambitious.  You've had much better luck than me, so 8K seems like a reasonable number for you.  Enjoy the new rubber.  Nothing like those first few ride with nice fresh tires.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: GrahamD on January 12, 2014, 01:18:43 am
Trevor just posted up a new video... :D

Yamaha XT 1200: Take your soul everywhere and come back (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqI1Hzd7ABQ#ws)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: snakebitten on January 12, 2014, 01:37:34 am
Slick!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Don in Lodi on January 12, 2014, 04:04:57 am
One of the earliest videos, I wish they did more, the videography is stunning. There is the Morocco Intro, but that's a group, not quite the same.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 12, 2014, 07:11:21 am
Trevor just posted up a new video... :D


That guy's done a lot of travelling with nothing but a small daypack. They didn't mention it, but bet he packed a credit card as well. I doubt that he would make it RTW if he rides every sandy track like he's in the Dakar.

So not really much in common with me, except we both have a thing for women in uniform...

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/999999_251289041699355_2068249871_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Don in Lodi on January 12, 2014, 11:37:17 am
You know Trevor, she looks like shes trying to keep an oncoming headache under control... Are you the cause of said headache?  :pol
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 12, 2014, 01:47:53 pm
You know Trevor, she looks like shes trying to keep an oncoming headache under control... Are you the cause of said headache?  :pol

Actually Don, I think this would be a good photo for a caption competition. My entry;

"I have work to do, have to focus, have to stop staring at that hot Aussie guy..."

You can see that, can't you?

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/999999_251289041699355_2068249871_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on January 12, 2014, 04:53:12 pm
You can see that, can't you?

I can see that.  I remember watching a very pretty waitress become infatuated with you at breakfast one morning in WV. 

That's your memory of Kasey...right?   ;)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: mobyfubar on January 12, 2014, 10:13:53 pm
Just caught up after a few weeks away.  Beautiful photos, Trevor!  I was jealous of you before, then I looked at the photos on G+ and got moreso.  Then you got to see some of Dakar and now I'm really annoyed!   ::013::

Seriously, thanks for sharing the ride.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 16, 2014, 09:52:43 am
I can see that.  I remember watching a very pretty waitress become infatuated with you at breakfast one morning in WV. 

That's your memory of Kasey...right?   ;)

Yeah, Jon, you must have noticed she couldn't take her eyes off me?

Ha ha Aussies are nothing if not wankers! (or Wankars, the name of a business I saw painted on truck yesterday. "Plumbing problems? Call the Wankars for immediate assistance!")
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 16, 2014, 10:16:06 am
The Yam and I have done a few thousand miles over the last couple of weeks, from Ushuaia north up the east coast of Argentina, across to Santiago and part way back again. I thought it might be a good time to update the map...


(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1526637_253945308100395_591210872_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on January 16, 2014, 11:14:51 am
That's AWESOME ! !    How is the frame holding up ?   
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 16, 2014, 11:31:30 am
tabasco, frame repair is holding up well, but... I noticed some flaking paint around the joint above the one that we welded, just near where the top of the subframe mount is welded on. Wondering if we just moved the stress to a different place! No visible crack there, painted over it and keeping an eye on it. If it IS a crack, at least it is in an easier location to weld than last time.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: ~TABASCO~ on January 16, 2014, 11:40:14 am
If you want me to take a look Email me some pictures when you have time.......  Ill be happy to help.......     ::008::
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on January 17, 2014, 05:59:24 pm
Trevor, you've been gone long enough and ridden far enough that I'd really appreciate getting an update on your Klim gear.  Good choice, still happy with it?  Have you ridden in rain... yet?
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Checkswrecks on January 17, 2014, 06:31:12 pm
Trevor, you've been gone long enough and ridden far enough that I'd really appreciate getting an update on your Klim gear.  Good choice, still happy with it?  Have you ridden in rain... today yet?


Fixed it fer ya'
 :D
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 17, 2014, 07:28:59 pm
Actually I really haven't had much rain, but coming north from Ushuaia I had a day of cold 40F rain that was pretty miserable. To answer Jons question... the pants leaked in the crutch. This is not the first time, and I've been in touch with Klim. Of course they will fix it, but I would have to send the gear back to them... bit difficult under the circumstances.

One thing I've fond about goretex stuff though - the waterproof guarantee is worth something. My TCX Infinity boots are falling apart and are out of the manufactuer warranty, but warranty on the goretex liner is lifetime... they are leaking, so goretex is sending me a new pair of boots. Even upgrading to the TCX X-Deserts. So pretty happy with that...

So regarding the Klim gear, my experience has been less than perfect, but if you are in the US you can be pretty sure they will fix problems if there are any.

Trevor
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 17, 2014, 07:30:03 pm
PS Checkswrecks = definitely no rain TODAY - 104F!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on January 18, 2014, 10:22:28 am
So regarding the Klim gear, my experience has been less than perfect, but if you are in the US you can be pretty sure they will fix problems if there are any.


Thanks for the update, Trevor.  If I'm interpreting correctly, sounds like I may not need to lay out the cash for Klim gear to get the same level of performance from another GorTex option.

Oh, and 104F sounds wonderful as I look out at the snow that has trapped my bike in the barn this weekend.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 20, 2014, 08:45:44 pm
Jon, that's not exactly what I'm saying. True that anything with a Goretex label will have lifetime warranty on waterproofing as long as there is no physical damage, so if that's your main criteria you can choose any gortex suit. Whichever you choose it will be expensive and well-made (goretex doesn't let their name be associated with inferior products). So then it comes down to style, fit, function, and service. I think for someone in the US, KLIM probably makes the most sense - if you have a problem it's easy to get it dealt with. If you're in Europe Rukka or Revit might be a better bet (not sure Revit even does Goretex though).


Thanks for the update, Trevor.  If I'm interpreting correctly, sounds like I may not need to lay out the cash for Klim gear to get the same level of performance from another GorTex option.

Oh, and 104F sounds wonderful as I look out at the snow that has trapped my bike in the barn this weekend.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on January 20, 2014, 08:48:30 pm
Can't kill this tyre! Original plan for this rear K60 when I fitted in in La Paz, Bolivia, was that it would get me to Ushuaia, then back to Buenos Aires where I would fit a new set. It was still good when I got up to this part of the country, even after many long fast kilometres. Then it took me across Argentina to Santiago, and back again... and it's STILL got a few thousand k's left in it. Despite having one plug and many cracks, still good. Was almost shame to pull it off today, but good to have a nice new K76 to replace it. 12,000 miles/20,000 km.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/t1/1521699_255392654622327_741998368_n.jpg)

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/t1/1530509_255392641288995_524222309_n.jpg)

(https://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/1526542_255394394622153_1408085497_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: snakebitten on January 20, 2014, 09:12:43 pm
Yea, I don't think K60's really ever die. I think they torture us hanging on. We simply, and finally, give up waiting for that "fresh rubber" opportunity. It's a great feeling.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: coastie on February 09, 2014, 01:45:48 pm
Been awhile, hope your having a blast! I don't think you are anywhere near this, but looks like there is unrest in Mexico and this guy went missing heading down to where you were.
http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/08/world/americas/missing-american-mexico/index.html?hpt=hp_t1 (http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/08/world/americas/missing-american-mexico/index.html?hpt=hp_t1)
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: dcstrom on February 10, 2014, 01:24:51 pm
Hi Coastie... yea, been to Uruguay recently but now back in Buenos Aires till about the 17th, then head to an Horizons Unlimited meeting in Iguazu Falls on the 22nd.

About the missing guy... hate to say it, but to me it's more likely that he crashed off the road somewhere and nobody saw it. From the CNN article;

"I've never ridden a motorcycle," he wrote. "Mostly, naturally, because I don't know how. So tomorrow I'm going to go to the DMV, get my motorcycle permit, buy a bike and hopefully figure out how to ride it home without crashing. Which I'm sure will be an adventure in itself."
He added, "Then in the next 2 or 3 weeks I'm going to drive it across America, through Central America, down to Brazil for the World Cup, and eventually south to Ushuaia, which as far as I can tell from a map is about as far south as one can get on the continent."

So he started the trip with almost zero motorcycle experience. I don't see any indication that he had a Spot tracker (or similar). Yes there is some unrest in this area but I still think it's more likely he crashed. The problems revolve around vigilates battling drug cartels, with the police and military trying to keep them apart. As far as I can tell none of those groups would have much interest in interfering with a lone gringo. If anything it could be bandits taking advantage of the unrest, but even that seems unlikely. Plenty of other places with fewer cops and army around.

Been awhile, hope your having a blast! I don't think you are anywhere near this, but looks like there is unrest in Mexico and this guy went missing heading down to where you were.
[url]http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/08/world/americas/missing-american-mexico/index.html?hpt=hp_t1[/url] ([url]http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/08/world/americas/missing-american-mexico/index.html?hpt=hp_t1[/url])
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: RogerJ on February 10, 2014, 02:22:02 pm
Hi Trevor.......hear you on the Michoacan situation. Lets hope that all ends well.
Glad to hear you are going to the HU meeting and getting to take in the falls.  It is a treat.  Walking the catwalks on the Brazil side (helicopter if you have extra bucks).  Also super and even more wet by Zodiac on the Argentina side.  If you are inclined, the twisty ride from Iguazu down through the hills to the the Serra do Rastro road and onwards towards Antonina, Paraty and along the emerald coast as far as Rio is pretty good stuff.  All the best!
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: Dirt_Dad on February 10, 2014, 08:49:27 pm
... hopefully figure out how to ride it home without crashing. Which I'm sure will be an adventure in itself."
He added, "Then in the next 2 or 3 weeks I'm going to drive it across America, through Central America, down to Brazil for the World Cup, and eventually south to Ushuaia, which as far as I can tell from a map is about as far south as one can get on the continent."

Launching on that type of trip after 2 or 3 weeks total experience...that is just scary as can be.  Sadly your speculation sounds like a reasonable possibility.  I know we all hope the guy shows up alive and well somewhere, with maybe just a story to tell.
Title: Re: Escape from DC
Post by: JTWY on February 17, 2014, 08:32:04 am
Thanks for all the great input on these tires , you guys sold me on them . Sorry it took so long to reply , I forgot to check the " notify me of replies" box .
Spring's coming , can't wait :-)  Hope you all have a safe and awesome riding season .

   JT