No-Moto-Boundaries-Latin America n' back n' da' TAT, un-planned, un-hinged, and solo
***I have a previous ride report called Tanning A Ginger Tip-to-Tip which details the prep work, background story, and building of my bike. That report also tells the story of my first motorcycle trip in 2011 - a 1 month ride through BC, the Yukon, and Alaska. Something changed for me during that trip, and because of it, this new journey really required its own thread. If you are interested in the prologue to the current adventure, jump on over and check it out. Now, lets begin.***
On paper, this ride report is about one guys un-planned, un-structured, and un-hinged solo 55,000+ mile ride through Latin America and back. In a far more ambiguous, yet far more accurate statement though - this report is a story of one guys search for the unsearchable. It's a journey about broadening horizons, connecting with the unknown, finding comfort in the uncomfortable, and freeing yourself to pursue that which you are passionate about in life. It's a story that continues to unfold.
On my first motorcycle trip in 2011 I met a wise man who told me something that would spur me to change my priorities in life. I didn't at that point fully understand the ways in which our conversations would shape my future, but I could tell that something in my mentality had shifted, and it was never going to go back:
”There is no point in spending your life doing things you don’t want to do, and that don’t give you joy. You can make all the money in the world, but you need to learn how to have fun. You MUST learn how to play. Since I was diagnosed with cancer 2-years ago I haven’t had a single bad day. I simply don’t have time for bad days, so I make every day a good day. Life is short, and if you can get started with that mentality young, you’ll do just fine."
We really never know how much time we have here on this crazy planet, and what we choose to make of that time, really is what we make of our lives. I have always been driven to travel and inspired by those with the freedom and ability to do so. I’ve resigned from my work in Seattle, WA and have re-prioritized my life to make extended travel a reality. It’s an opportunity I can’t pass up. I’ve consolidated everything I own into 4 boxes and sold off all of my worldly possessions to afford it. I’ve purposefully gotten rid of everything that would help me call a place home - every town, every country, every place is now equal. I have No Moto Boundaries.
I would say more about my plans, but besides hopping on and hunting for adventure, I honestly have no idea where I'm going, or for how long I'll be doing it. I've rid my mind of expectations, and am heading out. I'm 25, on a limited budget, and I have no doubt that things will go wrong, plans will change, and shit may get challenging. I like difficult though, and challenges are the spice of life.
Fear of the unknown can be one of the greatest fears of all, but there are times in life when you need to value adventure above comfort and security.
If you aren't on ADVrider and want to get ahold of me, shoot me an email: email@example.com
If I'm MIA for a while, you can track me down via my SPOT: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/f...aSmkvKKii4fe8E
Ride Report Posts
Seattle 9.1.13 --> ? (Currently in: New York, New York, USA, September 2014)
1.Rolling - (USA)
2.Slapping Rock, Getting Hot - (USA)
3.To The Shire - (USA)
4.Grounded - (USA)
5.Fix-It, Ride-It, Break-It, Repeat - (USA)
6.Ensa-”todas” - (Mexico)
7.Finding Cortez - (Mexico)
8.Kicking It With Coco - (Mexico)
9.Mulege - (Mexico)
10.Coyote Livin’ - (Mexico)
11.Where Are All The PEZ? - (Mexico)
12.El Pescadero - West Coast’n - (Mexico)
13.Huffing Dirt - (Mexico)
14.Cabo Wabo - (Mexico)
15.Voy A Mazatlan - (Mexico)
16.Guadalajara - Getting Business Done - (Mexico)
17.Guanajuato - You Cheeky, Beautiful Place - (Mexico)
18.Riding Guanajuato - (Mexico)
19.Queretaro - (Mexico)
20.Mexico, The City - (Mexico)
21.Getting Dirty In Hidalgo (Part 1) - (Mexico)
22.Getting Dirty In Hidalgo (Part 2) - (Mexico)
23.DualSport In Mexico - (Mexico)- Video
24.Chilling In Tlalpan, DF - (Mexico)
25.Slapping Rock In DF - (Mexico)- Video
26.Exploring Toluca - Video - (Mexico)- Video
27.Loco Pozas De Edward James, Xilitla - (Mexico)- Video
28.A Run Through The Ringer, Valle De Bravo - Video - (Mexico)- Video
29.On The Road Again, Oaxaca - (Mexico)
30.Back To The Blue Stuff, Puerto Escondido - (Mexico)
31.Salina Cruz and The Bikers’ M.C. - (Mexico)
32.San Cristobal de las Casas - (Mexico)
33.Tonina Ruins, A Childhood Dream Realized - (Mexico)
34.Kicking It In Bacalar - (Mexico)
35.Time To Get Out Of Dodge - (Mexico)
36.Belize? Was That You? Oh, hey there Guatemala! - (Belize & Guatemala)
37.Yaxha Ruins - (Guatemala)
38.Semuc Fuckn’ Champey - (Guatemala)
39.Enchanted Antigua - (Guatemala)
40.Sad Ending To A Great Day - (Guatemala)
41.Recoup For The Holidays - (Guatemala)
42.San Pedro, Watchu Got? - (Guatemala)
43.Hunting History Around Lake Atitlan - (Guatemala)
44.Boredom, Inspiring Activity Since The Dawn Of Time - (Guatemala)
45.Back To Antigua - Video - (Guatemala)
46.Work, That’s Still A Thing Right? - (Guatemala)
47.Working With O.X.’s - (Guatemala)
48.Get Up, Get Out - Riding Antigua - (Guatemala)- Video
49.Rolling soon, and maybe with a ‘Reboot’ - (Guatemala)
50.A Package From North Of The Wall, Green-Light Go - (Guatemala)
51.Volcan Acatenango - (Guatemala)- Video
52.Wrapping Up Guatemala, Volcan Acatenango - (Guatemala)
53.Hey El Salvador...I Think I Like You - (Guatemala & El Salvador)- Video
54.Learning To Chillax From The Pros - (El Salvador)- Video
55.Summa’ Time In Santa Tecla - (El Salvador)- Video
56.Back To Our Roots - Video - (El Salvador)- Video
57.Break-Ups and Re-Bounds - (El Salvador & Honduras)
58.Pool Sides and Low-Sides - (Nicaragua)
59.Sainting Rosa and Mounting Verde - (Costa Rica)- Video
60.Highlands Of Chirique and Carnivalling Chitre - (Panama)
61.Sniffing For Leads, Hunting For Passage To Colombia (Part 1) - (Panama)
62.Sniffing For Leads, Hunting For Passage To Colombia (Part 2) - (Panama)
63.Passage Found, Vamos A Colombia - (Panama)
64.Sailing The Darien (Part 1) - (Panama)
65.Sailing The Darien (Part 2) - (Panama)
66.Cartagena - (Colombia)
67.Finding Medellin - (Colombia)
68.Dodging Sirens and Chilling In Pereira - (Colombia)
69.Day Tripn’ A Solento and Decision Making - (Colombia)
70.Sometimes It’s The People That Make A Place Special, Finding Family in Cali - (Part 1) - (Colombia)
71.Sometimes It’s The People That Make A Place Special, Finding Family in Cali - (Part 2) - (Colombia)
72.Sometimes It’s The People That Make A Place Special, Finding Family in Cali - (Part 3) - (Colombia)
73.Today We Are 6, Thunderbadger Group Ride To Pasto - (Colombia)
74.Pesto Pasto (Part 1) - (Colombia)
75.Pesto Pasto (Part 1) - (Colombia)
76.Finding More Than Expected In Ibarra - (Colombia & Ecuador)
77.Quito and Tena Birthdays - (Ecuador)
**Thoughts and Quick Summary Of Countries Thus Far **
78.R&R In The Hills - (Ecuador)
79.Cuenca and Little Russia - (Ecuador)
80.Dirting To Peru - (Ecuador & Peru)
81.Finding Your Blood & Making Homies In Moyobamba (Part 1) - (Peru)
82.Finding Your Blood & Making Homies In Moyobamba (Part 2) - (Peru)
83.Bumming The Amazonas - (Peru)
84.Slowing Down In Huanuco - (Peru)
85.Bumming The Peruvian Highlands - (Peru)
86.Carretera Numero Uno - (Peru)
87.Hey Atacama, you’re fucking dry - (Peru)
88. Welp, lota road, rock, n sand… - (Peru)
89. Desert, Desert, Desert, Chile!, Desert - (Peru & Chile)
90. What is this, where am I? Antofagasta - (Chile)
91. Finding Cold In The Desert - (Chile)
92. La Serena, Finding Vicuna - (Chile)
93. The Paradise Valley, Valparaiso - (Chile)
94. Por La Mes, Valpo - (Chile)
95. Valpo - wine, art, food, music, football, beer, repeat - (Chile)
96. A Trip Down Memory Lane, and A Rad Day With An Old Man - (Chile)
97. See you later Chile, Until next time... - (Chile)
98. Helloooo Argentina! - (Argentina)
99. Ditching The City for The Bush - (Argentina)
100. Mina Clavero - (Argentina)
101. Trotting about in Mina Clavero - (Argentina)
102. Adults In The Sandbox - (Argentina)
103. Learning Asado and Dragging My Heals - (Argentina)
104. Welcome To Club Sampacho - (Argentina)
105. Quick Stop-in At Mina Clavero - (Argentina)
106. On The Dusty Road Again - (Argentina) - Video
107. Fractals, Everything Is Fractals - (Argentina)
108. Cata-What? Catamarca - (Argentina)
109. Saying Goodbye To Argentina - (Argentina)
110. Typa, typa, typa....click, click.....typa, typa. - (Argentina)
111. Welkom In Bolivia. - (Bolivia)
112. Bolivia - You Dirt-Y, Wonderful Country - (Bolivia) - Video
113. Salty Days O' Birth - (Bolivia) - Video
114. Sticking w/ Dirt and Finding La Paz - (Bolivia)
115. La-Pazzing La Paz - (Bolivia)
116. Avoiding puns at Lake Titicaca - (Bolivia)
117. Hunting da Picch' - (Peru)
118. Trying to find a balance on Da Picch' - (Peru)
119. Lining Up For Nazca Again - (Peru)
120. Rolling da Coast (Part 1) - (Peru)
121. Rolling da Coast (Part 2) - (Peru)
122. Hey Ecuador, Bye Ecuador - (Ecuador)
123. Going going, Back back, to Cali cali - (Colombia)
124. Home in Cali - (Colombia)
125. Farming La Cumbre - (Colombia)
**Update: Where I'm at, and new posts coming
126. Saying Bye To Family - (Colombia)
127. Wrapping Up in Bogota - (Colombia)
128. Photo Intro - North American Leg
129. Catch you later Colombia, Helloooooo USA - Florida
130. Kicking it with Eickey and catching up with The Don - Florida
131. Learning how to grub southern style, with head chef Dolomoto - Georgia
132. Casa Kenny & PJ, and a smooth refirb at Cogent Dynamics - North Carolina
133. Riding Blue Ridges and Rolling Through Apalachia - North Carolina & Virginia - Video
134. East of Greenwich and Hamping the Shire - Rhode Island and New Hampshire
135. Food, some lobster, more food, a bit of maintenance, and more food - New Hampshire & Main - USA
136. Men in skirts throwing large things & children - New Hampshire & Vermont - USA
137. Back on the road, and back to New York - New York, New York - USA
138. Is this the newest York? Yorkin' it with the ladies - New York, New York - USA
139. Update - Story on HOLD
I’m really interested in heading South and seeing Latin America, so my bike is pointed in that direction now. My only restriction is my wallet which will eventually run dry. Other than that I’m in no rush and have not made nor excluded any future plans. I’m just going day by day and playing everything by ear. In my previous ride report (Tanning A Ginger Tip-to-Tip) I spent a lot of effort planning schedules and working out logistics. I learned that for me this level of planning saps the fun right out of it and now I am just going to roll with it. In essence, everything is an option. Lets get started.
I had my last day of work on Friday September 30th, got dubiously inebriated Friday night with friends at our place to celebrate, recovered on Saturday, and then loaded up the bike and headed out on Sunday for the west coast of Washington. It was labor day weekend so a couple friends came along to camp out on the coast Sunday night and continue the festivities.
We got the coast in good time and spent the afternoon lounging on the beach, getting bashed around swimming out in the ocean, and kicking back some cold ones as the sun set. The night carried on and we had a good time. Glad you guys could come kick it, couldn’t have had a better send-off without you.
I even got to ride on the beach which is always a favorite for me.
The next morning my friends headed back to Seattle and I headed south down the coast, destination Newport. If you followed my previous ride report (Tannin A Ginger Tip-to-Tip) you’ll remember Sophie. She was now living in more habitable climates doing her graduate work in Newport OR.
En route at a stoplight a big orange truck pulled up, Scraper Joe was his name. “Ay you goin down all the way tuh Tillamook?”. “Fallah me, you’ll love it on a bike”. I followed him to a couple off track roads before he pulled over, gave me the lead and said “get goin!”. Sure enough, it was a great road for a bike. So good I took no pictures, too busy riding. Here’s the route on the GPS though.
Thanks Scraper Joe.
Got to Sophies in the afternoon.
I had developed a rattle that I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. While riding I had earplugs in and couldn’t locate the sound. Found it though, spark arrestor had rattled loose. I’ll give it a fix tomorrow with new bolts and some loctite.
Soph showed me around her new digs, I’ve gone through Newport before but always just blowing by. As with most places, if you go slow enough there’s always more to see.
Scoped out the beach.
Further down the beach the wind had swept the sand into some planetary hill patterns. Running around I felt like I was a martian chasing the mars rover.
The next day we went for a hike. We found this stone lookout at the top.
(I lie, we drove straight to the top. Ain't nobody got time for that).
I tried to teach Soph how to ‘dougie’.
Soph thought I looked dumb and pushed me off the edge.
Was a pretty swell look-out though. The crew that built it did so in the middle of the winter?! For those that don’t know, this is summertime here on the Oregon coast. Come winter, this place would not be a pleasant location to be building on.
We looked around some more and then headed into town for some grub.
Diver was trying to escape being dinner.
There was a haul-out for juvenile male sea lions here too. These are the guys that can’t get any action yet. Probably because they stink pretty bad. They couldn’t have cared less though, this guy was ballin.
The next day it was time to head out, I’m sure I’ll be running into Soph again though, she always seems to move to cool places so we’ll see where she ends up next.
A few months ago I rode my bike down the coast in the winter time to get to some sun in Cali. I don’t like to go the same way twice so I was keen to head towards eastern Cali instead this time. Maybe hit up Yosemite and do some climbing on the way.
I ran into Doug (?) navigating his V-Ship Enterprise. He had a plethora of gadgets all mounted neatly up like a fighter pilot cockpit. Sweet rig Doug.
After Doug left I spoke to the guy at the gas station about places to sleep the night while incognito. I’m trying to stealth camp as much as possible. It physically hurts my brain to hand over $20 for a tent space that offers me nothing more than what any roadside pullout does. I prefer a rural dirt road to sleep near or an empty pasture any day to a KOA or other pay campsite. The guy at the gas station told me about a nice free camp space just a bit down the road so I headed there.
Crossed a set of tracks just in time for a good shot as a train came blowing by. There wasn’t any gate here, I think the conductor got worried as I hurriedly stopped the bike right as I crossed the tracks and jumped off the bike. He blasting his horn quite a bit.
This shit was $3.29 for 2 at the gas station. ‘Merica!
A good book, early campsite find, and a leisure beer. Nice evening.
The next day I packed up and got back on the road headed towards Yosemite, I wasn’t quite in California yet though so I probably had another days ride until I would get there. The weather was getting hotter though, and the landscape was showing the temps effects.
By the end of the day I made it into California and just near the tip of Lake Tahoe. I came in via the Mountain Rose hwy which winds up the pass just NE of Lake Tahoe coming from the Nevada side. It’s a nice little highway but the sun was setting so I pulled off near the summit where it would be nice and cool. Cooked some dinner on the camp stove and then called it a night.
Now that I’m in Cali, Yosemite should be obtainable for tomorrow. I could see a fair amount of what appeared to be smog in the air though. This made everything look foggy and I couldn’t figure out why. I totally forgot about the big fire that has been raging in the Yosemite valley. I remember from the news before I left that it was pretty bad, something like the worst fire in 10 years?? Hopefully the areas are still open… No interwebs though so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Nice! I prefer the less structured adventure. :clap No schedule means no missed appointments or commitments to stress over. Enjoy yourself!
Oh yea, totally subscribed till the end.
Sweet, this should be a fun adventure to follow.
2. Slapping Rock, Getting Hot
I headed out onto the road again in the AM. No rushing here though, I don’t know what time it is. I guess it doesn’t matter, I have no place to be. Time of day is something that doesn’t really matter anymore. When the sun comes through my tent I wake up. When I start to feel hungry, I look for food. When I’m tired, I sleep. What day is it now? Sunday, yes it’s Sunday. No, no it can’t be... it’s definitely Wednesday. I like this. Make a right turn here, head South towards Lake Tahoe.
My stomach started asking for a heavy serving of porridge. I’m simple when it comes to breakfasts on the road. Oatmeal mixed with some dried fruit. Preferably several large helpings. A glooping gut-bomb of fuel. Add brown sugar if available. I like to cook it on the back of my bike. Scenic view optional but preferred. Lake Tahoe will do this morning.
Here she is.
I’ve never been to Lake Tahoe but I can see why it’s a destination. At a stop light I pulled up to a guy on a f650 gs. We both commented on how shitty of a place this is to ride. Really too bad we were out on bikes right now. He was a local firefighter. Said the firehouse was out of bananas, they bent his arm to ride around the lake to go get some more. Rough life.
I rode around the West (california) side of the lake and exited out south at the bottom. Continuing on 88/89 South. GPS says this place is called “Hell Hole”??
Looks pretty good to me. Maybe they are trying to deter people, keep the place a secret.
89 south then turns into a canyon heading east where it’ll bump into 395 south. This road. Is fantastic. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but picture 3rd and 4th gear sweeping turns. Long smooth lines, canyon carving. Climbing in elevation, working the motor well. the wrist generating motor noises crescendoing off the walls of the canyon. 30 minutes of sweetness.
If you are in the Lake Tahoe area heading south find it. You’ll dig it.
Bumping into 395 I’m now heading south. In a couple hours I should hit 120 west to take me into Yosemite. I've been seeing a fair amount of smoke the last couple days. A haze blanketing the region and blurring the views in the distance. As I get closer to the 120 I see big signs saying 120 west to Yosemite is closed due to the fires. Balls. Well I know there are other great spots further down the way…..mmmmm….Bishop, CA! Yep, Bishop it is. Plug it into the GPS, calculate route. Great, I’ll be there by the afternoon.
Most climbers know how to dirtbag it. It is a given that anywhere there is serious climbing, there will be climbers living in a free squatter camp of sorts off near the routes. I'm traveling on the cheap so this is what I’m looking for. I notice ambient temperature is heating up as I burn further down 395 towards Bishop. When I arrive it’s sweltering. The bike’s running temp is a full 20 degrees hotter than usual. Still within a normal range though. I pull into a coffee shop, “you guys got wifi?”, cool. 5 minutes later I have pegged two locations where there are likely to be climbers hanging out for free off near the climbing areas. Bonus, they are down dirt roads. Mmmmm I like the dirt.
Pretty area. Getting closer….
Shit, went too far. Are those hoof prints in the dirt?? Damnit, definitely been following cattle tracks for a while now...
Turned back and found it. That’s more like it.
I found the this beacon of 'free living' and decided to set up shop next to it.
I met another climber burrowed away in the back of his van sleeping off the afternoon heat. Meet Beatty.
Beatty’s from New York. He’s been traveling across the country climbing and visiting friends for the last 5 weeks. This place was empty during the day. He said it’s way too hot to climb with the sun up. Instead people climb in the early morning or in the evening after the sun goes down. As a ginger I am not built for the sun, waiting to hit the rock with better temps was fine with me. I’ll rearrange some of my kit on my bike that I wanted to move in the meantime. As you all may know though, one little job turns into another, and another, and another.
Next thing I know I’ve got my bike stripped and am cutting out the top of my airbox to reroute a carb breather tube (like a snorkel for high water crossings) and assessing a leaky fork seal. Leaky fork seal will have to wait though for a full replacement later.
As the sun went down behind the ridgeline to the West the temperature began to drop. Other climbers started showing up and things got into full swing. The rock radiated heat well after sunset like a warm furnace. Temperatures were perfect.The routes and rock in this area, called The Buttermilks, are great.
The next couple days were spent riding and climbing. I recommend this area to anyone that wants to do some great off roading. The lines are smooth, fast, and flowy. Plenty of berms and great views. Think 2nd, 3rd, 4th wide open. It may look dusty, but that is all fairly large granules of granite slough, so you get to fun & feel of cutting the back end loose without all the dust that you usually get with the really loose stuff. Fucking great.
During the heat of the day Beatty and I got out of the sun in the shade of some of the big trees.
Beatty used to be a tree climber for work at one point. A very old and large tree was begging to be climbed. Beatty said it was probably ~2k years old. I’ll be lucky if I experience 100 years of life on this earth (hopefully most of those healthy). This tree had seen many people and cultures come and go from this barren desert valley. People have come, places have changed, but the tree remains, ever vigilant.
Just touching this tree was an experience (2k years!) let alone being up in the top of it. Don’t worry, no trees were harmed.
Once at the top, we had a great view of the valley and surrounding area.
After a couple days Beatty recommended I go hit up Joshua Tree National Park on my way south. This sounded like a good idea to me. Hidden Valley Campground is my next destination.
Before heading out I took the liberty to clean myself and the few clothes that I have. There's something so satisfying about riding into the desert valley and walking around buck naked in a creek with nobody around, clothes left drying in the midday sun on the bank. Scrubbing away days of grime and dirt with cool glacial water. Sitting in the stream, listening to the water and wind rustle through the desert valley. I don’t know why I enjoy living like this as much as I do. But I do.
This little guy hung out for a bit too.
The next day it was time to hit the road. Bike pointed South towards Joshua Tree.
I made it into the park just as the sun was setting. The ‘trees’ in Joshua Tree are actually not trees at all, but a type of shrub that grows rather tall and slender, like a tree.
The landscape here is immense. Both in expanse as well as the prowess of it’s infinite rock formations. Big boulders full of ledges and outcroppings stretched throughout the valley in large crumbled masses. Worn away into odd shapes and flowing forms. Like giant sugar cubes worn away by water over the years. All I could think of was the lion king. Shit was pretty epic.
After the sun went down I set up my mobile home and went wandering with my headlamp around camp. I like to get to the highest point of wherever I am to get a feel for the area. I found the base of the highest rock face I could find but wasn’t sure if I could climb to the top. I put my climbing shoes on as my headlamp began to flash low-battery. The climb looked doable solo but without a light, that would be pretty stupid. The next morning I climbed to the top and got to see the view.
Not very good at self timers…
The view was way better during the day.
I enjoy free-solo things on occasion (climbing without ropes) as long as the route is well within my ability. I just have my shoes and chalk bag with me and can’t pack a bunch of gear on my bike since I don’t want to take up a ton of space.
Found some chains on the way down so it’s definitely got routes going up it.
I spent the next couple days hanging out with people that had come into town for “Bhakti Fest”. Supposedly it’s a huge yoga festival? I don’t really partake in the yogas but apparently there were thousands of people all doing yoga together in a mass undulating chanting group. Murray, a friend I met in camp said the ratio of females to males was 10/1. Yoga anyone?
Murray and I went tromping around in the desert exploring. Pretty wild place. Here’s a coyote.
I told the mother-unit that I would come see her before I die in mexico next week so I’m flying out of San Diego to the east coast to see her for a few days. My flight is in 2 days so the next stop is another ADVriders couch in San Diego where I will also store my bike for 7 days. After that, pointed towards Baja. The land of dirt and beaches.
Catch you in a couple.
It's great to see you've tied up everything in Washington and are on your way south. Nice start to the RR. Can't wait to see/read more!
3. To The Shire
To the shire Frodo! I had been meaning to go see the parental unit that lives on the opposite coast before I left but didn’t get to it in time. Flights are super cheap when flying out of San Diego so I said I would go then. While on the flight I played musical chairs with a family so they and their fresh-out-of-the-cooker twin babies could sit together. Nice stewardess 'thought that was just so sweet' and decided to get me liquored up in appreciation. Why thank you very much kind flying-bartender. The flight went quickly after that.
Welcome to the shire. Lots of people packing heat, lots of corn, and lots of rolling hills. No motorcycle helmet laws here either?? “Live Free or Die” till the end I guess.
Mmmmm Atlantic ocean.
Isnnn’t that sweeeeeeet.
Caution, gear rant ahead → My zipper on my riding jacket decided to take a shit and stop working several weeks ago. All of the velcro also gave up and left their work posts. Now, #BMW, if you are going to build a purpose-built jacket for the top of the market price-tier, please, pretty please, with sugar on top, put some fucking quality pieces into it. The design and layout of the jacket is tits, well thought out, and the designers have obviously gone through a thorough iterative process. Even put in some pretty creative purposeful features. But if you cut corners on the build quality of the materials, you’re gonna have a bad time. I know I beat the piss out of my gear, but your ads make me feel like I’m supposed to be able to. Now that things are breaking, I just feel like a sucker for some well done adventure marketing. Damn you Ewen McGregor!
I’m not angry at you BMW, I’m just disappointed. #KLIM, you’ll have my business next.
With that said, there is a solution to every problem! Some may say don’t try to fix it, send it to BMW they’ll fix it for you for free and it’ll be done professionally. As 'professionally' as it was built in the first place? I say thank you, but nay nay.
I don’t give a shit about how my gear looks or that I paid a pretty penny for it, if it doesn’t function it is useless to me. So I tore the jacket apart and set out to customize it to fit my (apparently) absurdly demanding needs. I went to a outdoor fabric/equipment store and purchased a REAL zipper. One that could probably zip shut the continental divide. Also picked up some quality velcro. Now, my Sussie-homemaker skills are decent in the kitchen, but I’m about as delicate with a needle and thread as a rhino trying to do palates .
Luckily though I have a mother and fixing things for her son makes her feel warm and fuzzy inside.
She did a marvelous job. Her concentration was impeccable.
The zipper zips firm and tight and the new velcro stuck like cement. Perfect.
I hadn’t washed the jacket in at least 6 months (I ride every day, aint nobody got time for that) so it was dirty, and ripe. I refused to wash it though. It’ll just be dirty again tomorrow! She found sand inside the pockets.
She was not amused.
Hopefully she doesn’t ask how many pairs of underwear I brought for the trip….
Flight back to San Diego tomorrow, then time for some huevos sucios south of the border.
Currently stuck at in the Boston Airport waiting to get back to my bike. I was sitting at my gate waiting to board when a fuel truck decided to martyr itself and go up in flames. No one was hurt but unfortunately that fuel was the fuel that was going to fill our planes. After several hours we were told that the next flight wouldn’t be until tomorrow afternoon so I spent the night in the terminal sleeping next to baggage claim. Been almost 24 hours here now. How did Snowden stay in an airport for multiple days? The bar only has so much beer.
Need to get back to my bike. Can I have tacos yet??
Good Job Mom!
The making of a good RR? Sign me up! :deal
5. Fix-It, Ride-It, Break-It, Repeat
Finallllyyyy back at my bike. Why hello pretty lady, que es tu nombre?? So good hearing her purr again, I definitely mean that in a creepy way. Love this bike.
Every lady needs some TLC after being gone for a bit so we got to it. It was time for some new shoes so we got those taken care of. Keith, another ADVrider inmate is who I have been crashing with in San Diego (Thanks Keith!). Keith said that if you are going to be riding offroad in Baja, sliming the tires beforehand can go a long way towards avoiding flats, so we did that as well. Pesky cactuseses.
This was a good chance to address my leaky fork seal and change my oil. In regard to the weepy fork seals, I have another gear rant. My Happy Trail fork brace will not be continuing on the ride with me. I’m sorry but I’m going to have to let you go. “But why, what have I done?”. Nothing, that’s the problem. I’m sorry fork brace, but you have a negative net effect on this team.
After having several instances of weepy fork seals over the last few thousand miles I have come to the conclusion that my abnormally high rate of leaky seals has been largely instigated by the design of the fork brace. When you bolt it to each of the forks, there are two C-shaped pieces that you bolt together around each fork. Unfortunately when you put these around the forks the C’s don’t meet flushley. This leaves a ¼ inch gap (⅛ if you split the difference front and back) where the pieces come together. The brace is designed to clamp on at the point where the fork boot usually clamps on to the bottom of the fork to keep grit/dust/mud etc out. They thus designed another lip on top of the brace for the boot to attach to. BUT, because the brace doesn’t completely ‘shut’ around the fork, you have a slim slit front and aft where dust can get in and this cannot be prevented due to where the fork boot now connects on top of the brace. This may not be an issue for everyone but it appears to have been the root of the systemic issue. To be fair to Happy Trails, I get that if the pieces touched they wouldn’t be able to tighten as tight, and maybe they have to account for factory variations in fork dimensions (mind you the KLR is not a precision engineered machine). In any case though, for me it's just not going to work and thus must go. Alright, I’m done complaining.
Keith said he was going to go riding this weekend in the mountains outside of Baja. Get in the dirt? Count me in! After we finished up we headed out east on I8 towards an area called Fred’s Canyon. Keith has a sweet rig that he can throw all his camp gear and bike in so he took that up there. It’s a bit slower than a bike on the loose stuff so I went ahead to do some riding and then meet-up later at the camp.
Fun place, less flowey, bit more technical and up on the footpegs than Bishop CA. Better temp too since you are up around 4k - 5k feet in elevation.
Unfortunately the ‘up on the pegs’ part was a little too much and my left boot came off the peg. I fumbled the bike, managed to keep it upright though, but there was no longer any place for me to put my left foot. Foot peg wasn’t there anymore.
Found the bolt. It was stripped out.
After further inspection of the way my centerstand works, I believe this to be the cause of the eventual bolt failure. This bike isn’t designed for a centerstand, it’s aftermarket, and quite heavy. If you use it often with a fully loaded bike it puts a lot of pressure on the footpeg mounts (where it attaches). That coupled with a lot of offroad battering, which causes the heavy centerstand to overcome it’s springs and bounce up and down as you whoop around, eventually wears the footpeg bolts out (which are quite incompetent in the way they attach the pegs to the frame in the first place). Don’t worry though, this is not a rant nore a fault of the centerstand. I just shouldn’t have purchased it in the first place given how I ride my bike. If you are mostly on street I would still recommend it highly, just use it sparingly and try to unload the bike before pulling it up on the centerstand. For me though, the centerstand will be coming off as well as the fork brace now.
I rode the bike back to a highpoint where I could look across the canyon and see Keiths rig rocking back and forth as it crawled over the rocky terrain towards the camp spot.
I pointed the bike towards the rig and rode her back. Sweet basecamp Keith.
Since my bike was out of comission for serious riding for the moment, Keith bent my arm to take his KTM 530 for a spin. Sure thing, I’ll warm it up for you Boss.
Damn that bike is saweet! When I stop vagabonding I need a trail bike like that in the garage. Got back and Keith had camp set-up deluxe.
He geared up for a sunset ride.
I stayed back and took in the scenery. Pretty rough out here.
After sunset we spun the chairs around and watched the moonrise from the opposite direction.
Next morning I woke up, mind and eyes pointed towards Mexico. You can see it right there in the distance.
I’ll be en Ensenada in the afternoon. I’ll fix the peg there. This will do until then, that’s why we have hwy pegs anyways right?
Mapped out a dirt road towards the border and took it.
Picked up a new knife, definitely sharp, cut my tongue on it licking it clean.
I crossed at Tecate and took Hwy 3 to Ensenada, called the Ruta Del Vino. Welcome to Ensenada.
I’m crashing with Damaso, another ADVrider who lives in Ensenada, gracias mi amigo.
Great to meet you Sean!
For all of you out there ahead of Sean on the couch surf/ tent space list,
welcome the man with open arms! :deal
Good, fun , intelligent guy to hang with!
He was even cool enough not to rat me out about my biff and pranging my elbow on that sunset ride!
He helped me get the truck loaded after camping, without his help, my bike would still be up there stashed in the brush. :lol3
Vaya con Dios Amigo! :pope
hi amigo!! nice to have you here!
UPDATE, today Sean's KLR had a first, it went into a shop! sorry amigo, but I did not know how to fix the pegs, so I did the best thing I could, take it to the man you could fix it! SO peg is FIXED!
tomorrow we are going for breakfast with my friends the Cochilocos! I hope your stay in Mexico is a nice one!
Cheers and as the previous poster said, open your resourses (house, couch, garage, beers, what ever you can for this guy).
OBTW Sean, the only thing you forgot to take was the liter of Pacifico in my cooler. I promise to keep it safely for you...........:evil
Oops... all gone! :1drink
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