Thread: Latin America!
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:03 PM   #1
bananaman OP
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Madison, Wisconsin and/or Panama, Panama
Oddometer: 7,742
Latin America!

Do you really want to read this?

Latin America!

January 15, 2008: I have always always always always wanted to do this. I have no guarantee that it will end well. I am hoping for a grand adventure. I define "adventure" as an attempt to get into an unkown amount of trouble, then get out without being busted.

I am right now in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Barb and I arrived around 8 last night. Oops- we rode the mountains in the dark! Please donīt tell our mothers.

Itīs been almost 3000 odometer miles since last Monday, so weīre taking a day off from riding. Today is for laundry and checking the bikes over.

log entry: "January 5, 2008. 1:54 PM, Madison, WI. 29,817

4:53 PM Mendota, IL. 29,948. -very slow going. Fog from Madison to Beloit. Thunderstorms in Beloit. Thunderstorms now."

I rode untl about 8 PM and had to stop for the night. Too many thunderstorms. Tornado watch. The weather channel showed a tornado south-west of me. It was a tremendous frontal system. I ended up riding 1000 miles of rain, thunderstorms, and tornados. Near Osceola, Arkansas, I think I rode under a funnel cloud. I stopped at the next rest area, and two people in cars said we missed an actual tornado by less than five minutes! I guess a town just off the highway got flattened, or something.

Riding south from Madison Wisconsin United States of America in the beginning of January just isnīt very easy.

I found Barb in Austin. I donīt count the ride from Madison to Austin as "adventure riding." It was just a pain in the butt. The real adventure started south of San Antonio.

It took a little while to get out of Texas. Barbīs KLR had a nasty speed-wobble. Probably from being tied down too tight for the trailer ride from Denver. The dealer in McAllen did a fantastic job for her.

Adventure night 1: Three-Rivers, Texas.

Adventure night 2: Santo La Marina, Mexi

Before I left- actually as I was leaving- I posted a little note over in Outer Darkness. Here it is again, from January 7, 2008, 1:42 PM.

Originally Posted by bananaman
Current location: Madison, WI. Temp 50 degrees F. Fog. Snow melting. Waiting all day for fog to lift. I'm leaving anyway.

I've got a PLB and a brand-new SPOT. So no worries about my location. SPOT is on and tracking fine.

Destination: South of here.
(post-ride Edit: the brand-new SPOT didn't work as advertised. It hardly worked at all. It was a total waste of money.)

January 10, 2008, 8:42 PM, I added this entry, still over in Outer Darkness.
Originally Posted by bananaman
I'm in a McAllen, Texas Holiday Inn. How did I get here? First, Hectoglider started motivating me way back last summer in Merril. Then I rode south from Madison in fog. In Beloit Wisconsin I heard tornado sirens THROUGH MY HELMET. I pulled into a gas station and they said a tornado was just west of us. HOLY SHIT! I waited a while and shoved off. Storms and rain all the way- I had to keep stopping. Finally at about 8 PM just north of Bloomington Illinois I had to get a room. The lightning was cool to watch but it wouldn't go away. I was itching to ride though.

I started up again at 5 AM. As soon as the tornado watch was lifted. It kept raining. I had to keep stopping for lightning. Right after getting gas somewhere in Missouri the electricity went out. I was really glad that I was filling up every 200 miles, and not using the entire 11 gallons. In Arkansas I noticed VERY WIERD CLOUDS. I pulled over as soon as possible, and people in cars told me we'd just driven (or riden, like me) through a tornado! This was near Oceola Arkansas. I guess Wilson (Arkansas? Tenn?) got hit. That was just a few miles from me.

Tuesday was a 970 mile day- Bloomington to Dallas. Yesterday was a slow day- Dallas to Three Rivers. Today was a slow day. My travel buddy on a 2007 KLR got the wobbles. We finally found a dealer and they noticed that the rear shock was shot, the tire was rubbing against the muffler, and the front fork was out of alignment. At about 65 mph the thing would sometimes wobble and scare the crap out of me. Looking like a tank-slapper about to happen. Not fun. But now it's fixed.

The SPOT is great. I'm pressing "ok" in the morning, noon, 4, and at night. If I don't check in for 24 hours... they'll know where to start looking. I've got extra lithium batteries. As a back-up to a terrible emergency I still have my PLB. My family won't worry too much.

Ironman- we're headed toward Tampico tomorow. I'll send you a PM with my phone number. Send me a text if you want to meet up.

Hectoglider- YOU SHOULD BE HERE ON YOUR HARLEY! Could you see it- a Harley, a BMW 1100GS, a KLR, and a Triumph? Like the Village People on motorcycles!
I am Charlie.

bananaman screwed with this post 10-07-2008 at 11:19 AM
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