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Old 08-13-2010, 01:13 PM   #1
lifecycles OP
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Lifecycles adventure! CA to Tierra Del Fuego

Wow, I can't even begin to describe how incredible this website and all of you experienced riders have been for planning my trip. I honestly can say that while we still would have done it, planning and logistics would have been a nightmare. So far, my favorite part of motorcycling is the community (I just got on a bike for the first time this month.)

The plan is this, leave next week for a 10 month ride leaving from Chico, CA and finding our way down to Tierra Del Fuego, maybe Antartica, then up into Brazil. Maybe sell the bikes there or ride back if we have enough time. I'm turning 25 soon, my fiancee is 31, and this is sort of our big, let's risk our lives before having kids blow-out trip. Originally, we wanted to travel across China into Europe. However, I JUST learned how to ride, neither of us have any mechanical experience, and the culture gap was too wide and too scary to attempt that. I figured if I punk out, better to do it closer to home.

In the past month (we just moved back from Israel to start planning) I took a MSF course, bought three BMW F650GS Dakars on Craigslist (long story) sold one of the bikes (and made 1k off of it) bought oodles of shit for our bikes and our selves, and now are in the last week of changing parts, getting to know our bikes and making sure I can pull a U-turn. Which I'm having a really hard time with right now. I'm 5' 8" and even with a lowered seat I can only get a few toes on the ground. Maybe some other ladies or vertically challenged folk can give me some hints? I have dropped my bike (shasta) like 8 times now, and while she doesn't show any scratches yet, my nerves are getting shot.

Things we need to accomplish before we leave on Aug. 21st: change tires (Metzeler Tourances), change oil, change brake pads, change batteries (Scorpion AGM). Organize the gear strewn all over the house and try to pack it into side panniers. Come up with rain proofing system. Buy maps. Get AAA int' driver's license. Oh, and learn Spanish. and a million other things.

Of course, everyday I am practicing. My big weak spots are u-turns and stopping. If I stop too jerkily, my knee buckles and I go down. I'm also terrified of stopping in off-road conditions. Any kind of slant or dip, and I'm down.

The logistics right now are so over-whelming that I can't even think about what it will be like once we cross the border. We are trying to cross on August 30th, then head down Baja so Yaniv can get some dental work done. After that, our only definite plans are to get me SCUBA certified in Honduras, go backpacking in Patagonia, and go to Carnival in Brazil.

Let the adventures begin!
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:03 PM   #2
garrydymond
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Mex City

If you want to stay with us in Mex City you are welcome. There is a lot to see here including pyramids, incredible museums and Mexican wrestling. I normally meet people just outside the city and guide them in. We will give you a place to stay and even give you breakfast.

Garry

www.garryhostel.com
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:01 PM   #3
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thank you!

Wow, it's hard for me to describe how happy your invite made me. I have been so focused on planning, I forgot that the best part of this trip will be the PEOPLE! We would love to stay with you guys. You seem really sweet and I respect what you are doing. I was a little nervous about going to Mexico City, but I think that if I knew where I was going and someone pointed me in the right direction of what to see, I'm down. Because otherwise, it's a bit overwhelming. Right now, I'm not 100% sure of when we will be coming in, because Yaniv needs to get two root canals along the way. Any dentist suggestions? Should I be contacting you through your website?
thanks again,
Erika
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:47 PM   #4
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You can contact me through my mail which is on the website or through my work mail which is garrydymond @ interlingua.com .mx (just put itall together)
I have a sister-in-law who is a dentist. She lives in Aguascalientes and may be able to help you out. She may also know of good dentists in other cities. My wife goes to a couple of good dentists here in Mex City but you may not want to wait that long. I on the other hand go to a dentist just down the street from where we live who I find to be quite good. The advantage of having treatment in Mex City is that you will have a place to stay and people who can take care of you.
There is very little to worry about in Mex City and wewill try to makesure you havea good time.

Garry
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:58 PM   #5
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Search for a new seat

SO my boyfriends bike ('06 bmw f650gs Dakar) came with a corbin seat that was custom made for the original owner. Unfortunately, it's a bit wide and a bit uncomfortable, especially for off-road riding. The goal right now is to find him a stock seat that he can easily ride standing up with in the next week. ANy ideas about cheap options or alternatives? ANy one want to seel us your old dakar seat?

and the search continues....
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:59 PM   #6
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Are you changing to Tourances ? You don't need an off road tire for this trip.
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:36 PM   #7
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From first bikes pictures, yoesmite, and chico
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:42 AM   #8
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yeah, the tourances are supposed to arrive later this week. Hopefully not too late, because we want to hit the road on the 21st, and I'm afraid changing tires and brake pads for the first time will be a bit beastly. I just completed my first oil change yesterday, but i pulled a totally rookie manuever and refilled when the oil wasn't at running temp. The directions specified 2.3 quarts and i put in 2.6 probably. So I think today I will drain a little out. Then we are doing a practice overnight ride up to Downieville then Dutch flats. See how I handle the curves of 49.

From first bikes pictures, yoesmite, and chico
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:39 AM   #9
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From first bikes pictures, yoesmite, and chico
From first bikes pictures, yoesmite, and chico
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:40 AM   #10
VelvtRide
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Making a U-Turn

When making the turn, turn your head as far as it will go in the direction you're turning and your bike will follow. Don't worry about turning the handle bars or leaning or anything but looking all the way over your shoulder.

I'm a bit surprised to see you biting off such a large trip with so little experience. I'll be watching for your ride report.
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:24 PM   #11
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You mentioned SCUBA in your original post, so I thought I'd share my experiences. I assume you're looking at Roatan for certification in Honduras, right? It offers some great diving, but it's become quite a tourist resort since they built a stop for the cruise ships there about 10 years ago. You can probably find a certification program there for about $500, but there are much cheaper opportunities out there. In Taganga, Colombia many PADI or NAUI certified dive shops were advertising only $200 for the full cert class. If your BF is already certified they offer two tank dive days with lunch and transport for only $40. That's the cheapest I've seen anywhere. If you really want a fantastic diving experience without many tourists also check out Akumal, Mexico. It's just inland of the Cozumel Island, but there are only 1/10th the number of people.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:48 PM   #12
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good luck

I live in San Diego. You are welcome to stay in my spare room if you like and use whatever you need, tools, etc. If you need anything else, just ask.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:11 AM   #13
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Scuba

Quote:
Originally Posted by cu260r6
You mentioned SCUBA in your original post, so I thought I'd share my experiences. I assume you're looking at Roatan for certification in Honduras, right? It offers some great diving, but it's become quite a tourist resort since they built a stop for the cruise ships there about 10 years ago. You can probably find a certification program there for about $500, but there are much cheaper opportunities out there. In Taganga, Colombia many PADI or NAUI certified dive shops were advertising only $200 for the full cert class. If your BF is already certified they offer two tank dive days with lunch and transport for only $40. That's the cheapest I've seen anywhere. If you really want a fantastic diving experience without many tourists also check out Akumal, Mexico. It's just inland of the Cozumel Island, but there are only 1/10th the number of people.

awesome information. I am definitely still shopping around. My friends recommended Utila as a cheaper alternative to Roatan, but they went there over ten years ago. things may have changed. $40 for two days is sounding sweet to me (and my rapidly shrinking budget)
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:55 PM   #14
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Day 2

We left Chico yesterday, about 4 days and 7 hours later then we originally planned. The extra time to change tires and brakes and really organize our stuff was really worth it. Unfortunately, the weather really hit us hard, 105 leaving chico and all through the valley. THe humidity thrown off the rice fields was withering. WHen we stopped for gas in Colusa we were a bit down and out. It was so sweaty and boring and we barely slept the night before. As we filled up, a guy in a massive truck and trailer came over to talk. He races and was so friendly and generous it totally turned us around and made us excited to be traveling. Day one and we were all ready meeting beautiful people. THe road to santa rosa was really gorgeous after that. there is nothing like the sun-burnt hills of northern california. The moon rose on our right as we hit the really windy area. it was my first time riding in the dark on mountain roads. probably my dads worse nightmare come true. Today we left santa roas late, hit the golden gate bridge as the fog rolled in and promptly got lost in san francisco. We spent a miserable hour in stop and go traffic going over the bridge into the east bay. I still am uncomfortable stopping and it was super windy so it was basically terrifying for me. however, i made it and it was a good learning experience and now i have a beautiful drive down highway one ahead of me. so excited to be on the road!
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:41 PM   #15
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Mexico, Finally!!

A bit dated, but we had a couple of fantastic days in San Diego with fellow advrider. life just wouldn't be fun if we weren't meeting amazing people every step of the way
We just spent our second night in mexico in San Felipe, a cute fishing village on the coast of the Sea of Cortez. We are in our third day in Mexico, still adjusting to the culture and language and HEAT! We are attempting our first serious off-roading today, will probably not make it to next village and camp along way. the desert in Baja is so beautiful but the heat is really a killer.
Passing through the Mexican border was way easier then anticipated. Too easy in fact. We zipped through, got confused in downtown Tijuana and suddenly found ourselves on the road to Ensenada. I finally convinced Yaniv that there was paperwork to fill out at the border so we turned around and eventually found the customs building. The place was empty and the Aduana (customs agent) was very helpful. After numerous trips to the copy room and the back, we were out of tijauna by 6pm. only 7 hours after our goal time. typical of our trip so far.
The road to ensenada was good, but cold. The fog rolled in and we pulled into Ensenada in the dark. A nice guy named kiko from couchsurfing gave us directions to his house (its the blue house next to the pink house with the green and white garbage can in front) and after an hour and help from all the neighbors we finally found it. Woke up early yesterday and started on the hot, windy, mountainous road to San Felipe.
next comes the first off-road riding!!

From southern California

Yaniv and Gregg in San Diego

From baja california norte


looking for lost spare keys on the way to Gonzaga Bay. no luck finding them

From baja california norte


friendly neighbor Hector in Ensenada let us lock up our bikes in his courtyard
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