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Old 09-24-2008, 07:28 PM   #302
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Fiendish Fluoridator
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 522
Zipping through Costa Rica... or not

Nir and I followed the west coast north through Costa Rica. Since we've both spent plenty of time in the country, our plan was to blaze through as fast as possible. Gavin, his Ducati finally fixed, was waiting for us in Nicaragua.

Lots of southwestern Costa Rica looks like this:

Nir's photo

Really! It's all bridges! And a few long stretches of road about to be paved:

Nir's photo

Unfortunately, just as the road turned from dirt to pavement near Quepos, my rear tire went flat. Fortunately I was carrying a spare tube and I was within rolling distance of a llantera! It turns out (as I will soon discover) that no matter where you are in Central America, you are nearly always within rolling distance of a llantera.

I tried to unseat the bead from the tire myself. It's a serious pain in the ass. I can do it, but I'm much happier to leave it to the professionals.

The new tube lasted less than five minutes before going flat in the middle of Quepos. We called it a day.

The next morning was spent running around in the rain with the wheel getting it fixed. We were downgraded to a simpler form of two-wheeled transportation:

The new llantera dude told me that the tube was *way* too narrow and I needed a wider one. This surprised me since I got the spare from Scuderia in SF and they're a top-notch shop. The moral lesson is to make sure you understand the fundamentals yourself and never just blindly trust other people... since inner tube sizing seems to be poorly documented, here's the explanation.

Finally, we were on our way...

San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja
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