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Old 09-19-2013, 07:19 AM   #106
RobBD
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Location: Perth Australia
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Thanks for the offer but that 90ft high cliff will be waiting a long long long time before I even go near the edge let alone jump off!!! like I said "Respect " for those like you who do it.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:53 AM   #107
Sbolin
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I am so freakin jealous! You have inspired me to ramp up my adventures! Thank you!
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:12 AM   #108
RhinoVonHawkrider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobBD View Post
Fantastic pictures - 90feet jumps -Respect!
+2

I love jumping into water - My biggest is 75' into Beaver Lake in Ark.

Keep up the Great RR

All the best

Rhino
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:25 AM   #109
KLR 41B
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I'm in

I'm in for this RR, would not even concider a 90' jump! Maybe at gun point.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:49 PM   #110
Hafte
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Location: behind the Zion curtain a.k.a. Utah
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Great RR. Awesome pictures. Living in Utah we play down there a lot. This picture is a place we used to camp a couple of times a year. Brings back a buch of memories.

If this is the right place that over hang was where we would sit around the fire and party after a long day of mountain biking. I showed it to my wife and she agrees it looks like the place. The Monitor and Merimac butts in the back ground are one of our favoride views. I'm really suprised you found the place. Sat through many a strom there both in the Van and in a tent.

Can't wait to see/read your Mexico and beyond travels and stories




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Old 09-20-2013, 12:13 PM   #111
El Explorador OP
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Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala, and going down!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhinoVonHawkrider View Post
+2
Thanks Rhino, there are all kinds of crazy places to jump from on the Way Down

Quote:
Originally Posted by KLR 41B View Post
90'
- In all fairness it was measured by dropping a rock and counting the seconds. Mind going over there with a tape measure and jumping off to check? hehehe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hafte View Post
over hang
Cheers mate, yeah it's a killer spot, I wanted to find all the nooks and crannies but you could spend years out there and still be surprised. More to come!
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:32 PM   #112
backdrifter
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I've become more silent in this thread, but nothing lifts my day like another installment of your amazing adventure, Blake. This is hands down my favorite ride report ever on ADVrider. You have a great attitude, an uncanny ability to draw the reader in with your extremely well written entries, and a good eye for photography. Grade A, all the way. Keep up the adventure, and stay safe!
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backdrifter screwed with this post 09-20-2013 at 12:38 PM
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:52 PM   #113
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Kinda late in finding this thread... Subscribed and reading as fast as I can

The very first shot, is that the roof of Place Bell? I used to rooftop in Ottawa a few years ago.

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(ex Mutt on UER, former Orleans resident)
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:13 AM   #114
El Explorador OP
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Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala, and going down!
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Shucks guys if y'all keep it up I might just have to post more often

Seriously though I really do appreciate the support, I'm honing my presentation skills here with the help of audience feedback so I can put something saleable together when I reach Argentina and hopefully fund a continuation on farther continents. A dream for another day, right now I'm just trying to figure out how to cheaply cross the Darien.

Good to see you here Mutt, your footprints were the ones I was following in as I began to peer behind the curtain in the Kapital. The view in the first shot is a construction crane, I suspect it is around the Elgin/Somerset area as there were a bunch up there before I head off into the sunset. I've got the same post on UER but let it die when I realized there isn't much urban about my explorations on average. Some good exploring down here, let me tell you!
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:17 AM   #115
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The best paths, like the best stories, are discovered, not told

I’m done in Page. Strike gold in the breakfast buffet – today they have a bacon tray. And I’m off.

From the desert rise strange forms and images to occupy my mind with questions as I ride towards Flagstaff.







I’ve been fortunate to find myself invited to Arizona’s airy heights where Lost will gain a new heart and kick her drinking problem thanks to fellow KLRista Chuck. He’s offered to fix my bike for me.

Shortly after acquiring my steel horse, beat up and beautiful, I went to go visit a friend in London. I rode seven hundred kilometers as fast as I could, not that my dear Lost is designed for speed, but that it’s exhilarating to feel so naked, exposed, free on this contraption hurtling down the highway. Around the 140 Kph mark the machine protests, knees slapping the tank as the front traces increasingly faster and wilder parabolas on the pavement. The game is to see how close you can cut that margin, coax those last revs out before the machine begins to shift and shudder. Prior to returning I checked the oil and was horrified – it was almost all gone.

My first ride and I’ve already destroyed my bike.
Clearly a sign.
Going to be getting to Argentina by bicycle.

I swallowed my histrionics and refilled the oil. What else to do? The guy where I bought my oil told me to keep an eye on my RPM on the way home. Sure enough, riding above 4500 RPM the oil level plummets. Below, and losses were barely noticeable. My first lesson in motorcycle ownership: Keep an eye on your oil level because you never know.

Well, actually the first lesson was “if you might drop your bike while loading it onto a truck, have a friend handy to lift if off you”, but that’s another story...

Anyway, I discovered the bike’s drinking problem was so fierce the oil was changed frequently without ever needing to drain. Plan A had me stopping in California for a rebuild that would solve the issue, but while in Page I missed my window of opportunity. Chuck got me rolling again by mailing me a stator. Another reason to love the KLR – what other bike has this kind of community built around it?

A new 688 piston is included in the rebuild, adding power and reducing felt vibrations. The vibe reduction is a real bonus – after a few hours on the road, when I get off the bike my palms tingle and if I clap them together I can feel it resonating in waves of intensified tingling sensations.

Chuck is younger than I expected, or younger looking at least. For some reason I always expect these crusty old misanthropes with hands like baseball mitts and brows creased from furrowing at mistreated motorcycles. Instead he’s a genial and welcoming host; I am impressed by his professionalism as he efficiently takes the bike apart and critiques my work. Looks like I had my valve clearances wrong. He warns me to be careful with the spray he gives me to clean the parts while he walks his dogs. By the time he returns I’ve managed to spray myself in the eye and my mouth tastes like radiator fluid. But the parts are clean and polished, beautifully precision machined metal awaiting reassembly – to be completed tomorrow.



Dinner is capped off by margaritas and my shelter by the golf course seems worlds away. Like so many other people I’ve met on my journey, Chuck’s story seems larger than life. A world traveller like myself, and ex pro track racer. Racers are nuts already to my mind – someone who teaches it has to be on another level. I love feeling the pegs scrape, but at 30 KpH, not 90. He reminded me in many ways of Curtis from Texas – assured and disciplined, and with his own story of perseverance over tragedy. He shattered his leg on a hidden rock in the sand while riding one day, and the doctor said he was going to have to lose it. He refused, and not only did they manage to save it but he now runs daily with his two dogs around the gorgeous trails through the pine forests of Flagstaff. That they would have amputated his leg if he was a smoker is an eyebrow raiser for me.

The next morning Chuck is already hard at work, Lost is looking a little thin and I get to know her insides a little better.



He throws more information at me than I can really absorb – coarse thread bolts are better on single cylinder bikes for resisting wear on threads, the wobble I feel on curves is due to overloading the capacity of the rear shock, carb troubleshooting tips, long-haul riders use lemon oil to stay awake, Inuit villages have polar bear alarms. I even discover he taught at the school that made the manual on motorcycle racing I have been studying. Figures.

He deftly manoeuvres the 688 piston in just past the rings leaving enough room to attach the connection rod. I wish I’d seen the whole process but a soft bed has some powerful gravity and I missed the beginning. He buttons Lost back up in time to go for a late lunch, delicious pulled pork.

Chuck offers to let me crash at his place another night since I still haven’t planned out my route and he has so many suggestions, so I decide to make my famous Asian-ish Chicken, though I cut the meat too small and it overcooks. One more night in a bed is irresistibly tempting. He doesn’t want to send me down the hardcore trails, which I appreciate as much as I bristle at the implication. To be fair, this is my first bike since that little 100cc Honda in Vietnam, and I am not yet two months deep into learning how to handle riding with all the luggage offroad.

Of course I go for a run the next morning. You never know. A pink-bottomed tarantula stops when I crouch nearby; it rubs its abdomen releasing irritating hairs into the air to drive off predators and curious explorers. I note with a smile that Chuck has replaced various missing non-essential bolts and cleaned my filthy chain.

I get some final advice and inspiration from his stories, naturally sober advice sticks less than the adrenaline exciting tales of bike wrangling and I am eager to measure myself against an offhand comment he makes – I don’t bother airing down the tires much, if the back tire wants to drift I just let it, keep the front up and the rear follows. Anything he can do I can do better!

No prize for predictions: I drop the bike trying to drift around a gravel corner later. It hurts just enough to knock the humility back in me. Something about superior riders, they seem to inspire overconfidence.

This is after winding through dirt roads to reach a serene overlook where I take a long nap just because I can. From there I make my way down dirt trails to a series of gravel roads that take me to a truly magnificent vista. The ground is littered with shell casings and I consider camping out, but there’s still too much light to end the day so I ride on towards Phoenix through the impressive Saguaro forest. And finally lose the GPS track in a series of winding gravelly hills near the city (where I lay down the bike).



Chuck's route takes me two days to complete, though it looked like 6 hours from the map. Good thing he didn't send me down the rough path. Riding and cogitating, I decide not to go to California after all. I’ve overspent my budgeted time here almost twofold already, and there is plenty of world to get lost in yet. Just pick up some new shoes for Lost in Phoenix and head on to Mexico. I have a plan.

No plan survives execution.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:39 AM   #116
Kevan Garrett
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Woohoo!!!

Hey El Ex.

Just loving the RR. My new favorite line: "It hurts just enough to knock the humility back in me." Heh. How many times have I felt that pain?

Keep the pictures and report coming. Be safe.

Kevan
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:41 AM   #117
selkins
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Location: The Frozen North
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Hard to find unique praise to add on to this report. Remarkable. Thanks and keep it coming!
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:07 AM   #118
rootsy
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Your adventurous spirit has captivated my imagination.

Thank you for your thoughtful narration and vivid images.

I look forward to the tales of your spontaneous exploits.

Be well!
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:42 AM   #119
Sbolin
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What camera are you using? I love the composition as well as the quality of your pictures. Truly inspirational stuff.
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:55 AM   #120
El Explorador OP
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Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala, and going down!
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:)

Thank you sirs, always love the feedback.

Stuck here in Nicaragua trying to find replacement parts for the rear wheel hub. What are the odds anyone around here knows of a junked KLR kicking around Central America?
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