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Old 03-24-2010, 09:58 PM   #91
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: South Texas
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I just spent the last three hours reading this ride report, that wouldn't be bad if I didn't have a ton of Algebra homework to do. Oh well...

Oh yeah, well done guys, well done
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:11 AM   #92
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Joined: Jan 2009
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Brazil part 4 - Carnival at Rio

The last part of the ride to Rio was a pretty nice last day of riding for the trip. We had to decend a twisty, two lane each way, mountain road. I got hit by a semi passing on the inside of a right turn; my wheel was scraping the curb on the right and he hit my handlebars and tripod on the left while I hugged the brakes, balls in throat. No real damage other than being shaken up for a minute and a bent sideview mirror, which is actually at a better angle now! We hit Rio by sundown, then spent four hours trying to locate our couchsurfing host’s house.

Finally at midnight we show up knocking at the door. His mother comes out in her nighty and tells us he’s not there, but wait outside and she’ll call. Two minutes later this funny Brazilian rolls up on a 49cc moped and is exited.

I guess he’s been online watching us make wrong turns all over Rio on the spot tracker since we’ve been here, and it’s been very dramatic since we'd apparently passed through some of the bad favelas. The six other couchsufers at his grandmother’s apartment are blonde Europeans, and they can’t wait to meet us. Let’s go party at Lapa.

Our first night is really funny. We go to the house of some girls he’s been talking to online, and I accidentally see her roommate naked. In an hour that girl is wasted, and gets upset when I don’t want to buy her tequila or an hourly love motel for something that’s illegal in several states. Oh well, that’s not why I’m begging my family for money! We’re home around 9 or 10am.

The next day our cameraman and buddy Mark shows up to the bus station. I have the bright idea that Diogo ride with Mateo on the back to the station, since he knows where he’s going. Diogo likes the torque, and likes even more so the obnoxious sound Mateo’s DRZ makes. I almost have a hard time keeping up… Diogo rides with little respect for either his or Matt’s life, passing between cars, busses, and other motos at high speeds. He also runs red lights, uses the shoulder, bus lanes, and anything he can to get ahead of as many people as possible. He revvs the motor so as to announce to the cars ahead they need to move. I think it’s pretty dumb since the horn is designed to project sound forward, and also that’s the common etiquette in Rio so drivers actually know how to react. Anyhow, Matt’s a little shaken up when we get to the bus station. Matt and I smirk and suggest Mark ride with Diogo, but I don’t think Mark really understood what he was in for until Diogo punches first gear and Mark nearly falls off the back (we’ve got it on camera). Diogo pushes even harder with Mark now that he’s built some confidence on the way there, and I have a hard time keeping up with Matt on the back. Finally we get back, and Mark looks like he’s just been raped.

With a certain pride, Diogo tells us he felt Mark shaking during the ride.
We spend the next two nights much like the first night in Rio: we go out around midnight and return at daylight.

Rio is absolutely filthy during carnival. There’s no low against littering or urinating in the street, and people exercise these liberties with zest. There’s puddles everywhere and it hasn’t rained in weeks. Everyone is in full party mode, and ice-cold beers are about a buck each on the street, with any vendor willing to negotiate.

The other couchsurfers, Diogo’s couchsurfers of choice, all blonde women, try to hang with us for the nights. It’s a constant struggle to get away from them. They say they don’t feel safe because the Brazilian men grope them. Well, they are 6 blondes in slutty outfits during Carnival. I didn’t bring them, and I want to meet a nice Brazilian girl that works out, so they’ve gotta go.
We really want to see the parade, but can’t afford the tickets to the drome and Diogo for some reason won’t take us to the free one. Our last night there we just try to get near it and look inside. The other guys want to sneak in, which I think is ridiculous. To think that security hasn’t been worked out by now to keep the likes of us out? Turns out I’m wrong, and the fact that Mark has the camera out helps us as well. One of the outer gates has a wire tie holding it shut, and we get that undone with a leatherman. As soon as we’re in we avoid eye contact with security by talking to the camera as we walk backwards towards the next level of security, which is directly where the dancers are exiting the drome. We get through there, but soon after are approached and kicked out of that level. The best we can do is steal some used costumes and hit the party in style.

So we go to meet Matt’s friend, who waits for us at a huge outdoor gay party. There we are, standing in these costumes, in the middle of a mostly shirtless gay party. The costumes had to go. Eventually we’re tired of the street party and head back to Diogo’s grandmother’s apartment in Sao Goncalo.

Diogo takes us to a secluded beach in Niteroi, where through conversation Matt decides to leave Diogo his motorcycle. Aside from the cost and hassle of sending his bike back, he wants to pass the torch and give back something he’s gotten from the trip. There’s no way Diogo would have the means to buy a bike capable of the trip otherwise, and Matt realizes this is about the best gift he could ever give anyone. Diogo agrees to take the bike on the condition that he promises to take the bike back to Vegas, and help me ship my bike back and return to the US after Matt leaves. Diogo promises to do anything and everything Matt says as the keys are handed over; time will tell whether or not Diogo has what it takes to get it done…

Even Diogo, who has huge holes in his shoes, is embarrassed by my underwear at the beach!

Mark has some buddies out in Cabo Frio, a beachtown about two hours ride from Sao Gonzalo, so we head out to stay with some Vegas locals and relax from the Rio party scene by hitting the beach with some beer and sunglasses.

It’s nice having Mark around to shoot… All I’ve got to worry about is offloading the memory cards now…
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:29 AM   #93
just passin' through
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Laughing out loud with the costumes - fuking hilarious - really!
What's next? More action!
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:35 AM   #94
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Joined: Jan 2009
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Brazil part 6 of 6 - Carnaval at Cabo Frio

As soon as we roll in I can feel that good beachtown vibe.

It’s like Rio, but cleaner, and reminds me more of the town where we accidentally ran into the Carnaval in Argentina.

Mark’s friends set Matt and I up each with a bed at no cost, and we get some decent rest, though not very long.
The beach is great!

There’s seats that are free so long as you buy some beer.

Not to mention the agreeable water…

And plenty of other activities…

I almost commandeered that paddle and…
It’s also a great place for families.

Or an afternoon nap…

The beach is full of beauties, including one that takes an interest in me.

She’s got the most beautiful body I could dream of, including the bunda I’ve been looking for all my life. Later that night she confesses to me she’s not free. Sigh, and I thought she liked me! Oh well, she was actually decent company so I promise her I won’t tell my friends and she can hang out with us. I had to explain to her why I don’t get do this sort of thing, which is my fear of disease, which was an awkward thing to tell her!
We spent an afternoon interviewing their buddy Mike, whose an expatriot in the middle of building a house there in Cabo Frio. I give him a ride on my bike, and it turns out he’s wrong about the helmet rule there.

I get shaken down at a police stop, and since I left my paperwork at the hotel they threaten to sequester the motorcycle for weeks and hundreds of dollars in fees until I pass them R$100, at which point they wish me well and I take off. Unfortunately, my camera had just filled a memory card and Mateo and Mark weren’t around to help capture the moment!
Our last night there was a little, uh, funny.

Myself, along with Mark and his buddies go out. We kick the night off by watching the soccer game with a large, rowdy crowd in the streets.

Afterwards we hit a night club, where I meet a very nice and good looking mechanical engineering student from Rio. She speaks excellent English, so I’m pretty distracted from what Mark and the gang are doing. Suddenly Mark tells me he’s being thrown out, and soon after Jeff is telling the bouncer with enthusiasm what a “fucking dick” and “fucking asshole” he is. Though I doubt the bouncer understood the exact meaning of the words, he did not appreciate their understood meaning and intention. He proceeds to shove Jeff and Jared out the door, and though I didn’t see, I could hear that sound of a fist hitting a face real hard. I break from my potential ex-wife and try to run out and offer whatever help I could, and the entire staff, now in the doorway, hold me back and then realize that I’m with them too. So as I’m being thrown out, my would’ve been baby Mama translates for me to explain everything. “Your friend tried to sneak out without paying.” “What?! Haha, we’re Americans. That would never happen. That’s ridiculous, we have money, hahaha.” “You need to pay and leave now, it’s R$26,” she says. “Um, hehe, you're not going to believe this, but I’ve only got R$22.” The next morning I find out that yes, Mark tried to jump from the second floor and sneak out as a joke. His bill was R$13, like USD$7. Jeff’s face is lumped up, and it turns out Jared had run since he was getting it from several dudes at once. He wound up running into a neighborhood where security escorted him out with a gun to his head for about 15 minutes.

Mark and I are both hung over, and Matt is well rested for the ride home.

Their flights both leave Rio this night. There’s stop/go traffic for about 50 miles into Sao Goncalo, and Matt takes it on like a champion. He’s got both Mark and the tripod, making his ride heavier and wider than mine, and it’s raining a little. This is truly telling of how far he’s come as a rider since we began. The first day we left he said he wouldn’t even split lanes or ride 2up, and now here he is kicking ass through Brazilian traffic, and not even stopping to take notice when he rips off some part of a truck that connects to the wheel and pisses out gas when taken off. Mark’s not feeling too well, and I can’t imagine the feeling of puckering your ass to keep it all in on a thumper while your genitals are kept warm by Mateo while riding in the rain through some close calls in traffic. Haha, poor guy. At the end of the day I suggest Matt ride his bike with Diogo, for the hand off of the bike, so I ride with Mark. Now I’ve got the tripod, and Mateo loses me in traffic on the way to the airport. We don’t find them until Matt had already went through security. So, we missed the goodbye’s on film, oh well. What I’m upset about is that since I don’t have a debit card (remember one was stolen in Nicaragua and the other expired in Jan), I have no way of getting cash. My AmEx won’t give me cash down here as far as I know (as if I’d want to pay the 30% or whatever it is on that anyway). So Matt was supposed to give me all the cash he could get from his then leave me the business credit card (visa). I say goodbye to Mark and race Diogo across the bridge back to grandma’s with R$7 and my almost maxed out AmEx. It turns out they take it at the gas station, which is good since I need to buy Diogo food and gas. Time for a good night’s sleep with air conditioning. At least I have Diogo to help me get home.
I wake up on Friday with the hopes of finding a way to ship the bike. Here’s my assessment of this business: People in Rio are very lazy, generally speaking. They often don’t go into work until 10am, take an hour and a half lunch, and leave before 5pm. They don’t understand the concept of urgency either. Diogo’s attitude suddenly changed as well, and when I asked him to call some companies for me that don’t speak English his response was “you need to relax, this will take weeks. This is Rio.” Friday is a bust, but I learn a little about the laws of customs here and why I can’t deal with an airline direct. Plus, since it’s Friday nobody works past 4 really.
Diogo and I party it up on the weekend, and I try to enjoy the free abode as much as possible. I now have my own room with AC, and my only expenses are food and gas for both Diogo and Myself. I didn’t realize that I’d have to pay for all of Diogo’s expenses until there I was, filling Mateo’s gas tank and buying food and drinks that he couldn’t get one of his six girlfriends or mother to buy for him.
He takes me to the bunda party of my lifetime: the Castelo das Pedras in Sao Goncalo. It’s basically a warehouse full of young women doing the booty shake. I’m simply intimidated, and don’t know what to do with myself. I look around smiling. A couple of girls start to back it up to me, but I’m simply too stunned to take action. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a woman right there in my face and I’m too pussy to know what to do. Oh well, at the end of the night Diogo and I take the bikes to the front of the club and pose.
I spend a couple more days making phone calls to cargo agencies and get quoted minimum $2500 airfreight to Miami, or $3500 to LAX, or $2500 seafreight to LA. My morale has really sunk, and even with conscious effort I can’t find my happy place. Finally, without Diogo’s help, I go solo to the airport cargo terminal direct and start asking around in person. Thank you Cargo Clan, along with my man Iedo of Continental Cargo, for hooking me up $1700 airfreight to LAX. We removed the front wheel, and put the bike on a small pallet, so I was only charged around 270 kilos, as opposed the 420kg I was charged from Panama City when they put it on a huge pallet. Anyhow, Diogo takes me to drop the bike off, then we ride back to Grandma’s in the rain since the flights are too expensive same-day. I buy Diogo a tank of gas and head back, where Grandma has finally returned from vacation, ready to ream us out a then kick us out of her place. We stay at mom’s.
The next day Diogo decides to keep the gas I’ve bought him and mooch money from his mother to buy me a bus ticket to the airport. Fuck it, if that’s how it is oh well, all I can do is write about it.
My bike is a day late getting to LAX, but I don’t mind. I’m enjoying good food, Speaking English, hot showers, decent coffee, friends… It’s good to be back in America! My buddy Adam gives me a ride to pick up some gas and chain lube on the way to the bike, then helps me get the front wheel on so I can head to Vegas. It’s a cold ride at night, but worth it. I drop by Matt’s house and find good friends, nice beer, and my cell phone. I finally get home and find my new roommate in a warm house. She’s moved in while I was gone, we hardly know each other, yet she’s waiting for me with twice 210 ☺. God bless America. Now all I have to do is figure out how to finish paying for this trip… I think I should write a sum it up, lessons learned, kind of blog. Not today though…
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:05 AM   #95
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Awesome Story!! Im sure you have great memories!! Congrats!
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Old 03-30-2010, 10:36 AM   #96
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By far the best Ride Report I have read in 2010! I'm going to buy you a beer the next time I'm in Vegas!
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:54 PM   #97
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Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
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Incredible report! You've got to be feeling good now. After being gone so long, it must be nice to speak English all the time, and eat at familiar places, and stop at Starbucks if you want to, and sleep in your own bed......

Looking at this last installment makes me miss Rio..... FWIW, I only wandered through Lapa once (see the stairs in my avatar <------ ), and it wasn't anywhere near Carnaval, and it still looked like that. Filthy, trash everywhere. Definitely a hip place, though.

I've greatly enjoyed following your report, I'm almost sad to see it end. So when and where for the next one?
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:04 AM   #98
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Just spent most of this morning reading your very entertaining ride report instead of working. Great trip! I wish I had done this when I was your age. And you did well with the ladies, too - a big plus.
"Reason takes a holiday as Dr. Horrible spends money he doesn't have, on a motorcycle he doesn't need, in a misguided attempt to recapture his youth which, upon reflection, wasn't all that great in the first place."
"Ride to the bar in your pirate outfit, guzzle some beer, play "Free Bird' on the juke box and then go home. Badass."
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:42 AM   #99
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Inspirational ride report fellas!!
Glad to see you made it, was looking a bit shaky when you passed through Panama. I would love an update on your production when there are things to tell?ż? Ours should be with the editor in July.

Will be hitting the states in a month or so, hopefully Vagas is on the cards. Ill be sure to let you know if it is.
Congrats again,
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:01 PM   #100
tiernan OP
Joined: Jan 2009
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Ride Report Movie!

Doing big things here in the world of post production... In a few weeks we'll release the trailer and a couple of teaser scenes... In the meantime, we'll try to keep the updates live!
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:49 PM   #101
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Looking forward to it.
Peace in your heart & Light on your soul.

ad·ven·ture n.
1. Participation in exciting or hazardous experiences.
2. An undertaking of a questionable nature.
3. An undertaking of a hazardous nature.

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Old 10-04-2010, 10:09 AM   #102
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Excellent ride report.

What was the average miles you were getting out of the 4 gallon tank? Did you change the gearing too or just keep it stock?

Ive got a drz400e and thinking of picking up an sm for my road bike when i sell my buell

'06 Suzuki DRZ400SM, '04 Suzuki DRZ400E
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:38 AM   #103
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We both had stock gearing for the trip, but I've since switched to a 38t rear and really enjoy it in first gear wheelies and highway speeds. I think I'll go to a 39t though (my 38t is aluminum, and I rarely go over 75).

We normally tried to fill up every hundred miles to play it safe, but I remember estimating we got about 40mpg on average. I removed the spacer on the petcock when I installed the IMS tank, so I would hit reserve prematurely, and Matt had the aftermarket carb and exhaust, so his mileage wasn't quite as good as mine (though it was surprisingly close).

The day we almost ran out of gas on the Isla Ibera in Argentina I think we had gone 140 miles, half of which were spent in the sand, during which time Mateo was falling relentlessly.

I'll bet if you have the 4gal tank, are not carrying all the crap we had, had a 38t rear sprocket, and stayed on road, you'd get around 60mpg.
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:36 PM   #104
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Check out this clip from New Years in Nicaragua

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tiernan screwed with this post 10-21-2010 at 04:38 PM
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Old 10-23-2010, 06:16 PM   #105
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river crossing

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