ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-03-2014, 06:04 AM   #1
DesertRider463 OP
GonzoRider
 
DesertRider463's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2011
Location: MidSouth
Oddometer: 66
Thumb Brazil at 60 Km/h

This is the story of my 42-day ride through Brazil in Summer 2014. Why the title? Because that (60Km/h) seems to be the most frequently-seen speed limit sign on most of the highways here. Of course, that doesn't mean that anyone actually drives that speed LOL! In Brazil, all traffic signs, stop lights, and such are mere "suggestions", especially for motorcycle riders.

I hope you'll join me on this journey to offer your own observations if you've ever ridden here or anywhere else in South America or if you're just interested, curious, etc. about doing so someday in the future.

Enjoy!
DesertRider463 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2014, 06:20 AM   #2
DesertRider463 OP
GonzoRider
 
DesertRider463's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2011
Location: MidSouth
Oddometer: 66
Day 1 -- Memphis, TN to Vitoria, ES

Where should I begin? I first fell in love with Brazil in 2012 during a mission trip to build a chapel. We flew in, spent Sunday afternoon through Friday afternoon at hard labor building a chapel for a small church, had a dedication ceremony on Friday night – which was one of the most moving experiences of my life – and then got on the bus back to the airport on Saturday. It was nowhere near enough. Brazil was in my blood.

So, when we returned for the next chapel project in 2013, I arranged my flights so that I could be a part of the construction team and then stay for an extra week. That time was spent in Fortaleza getting to explore the city, learning a little more Portuguese, and becoming ever more attached to Brazil.

Those experiences led to this year’s plan: fly into Brazil on June 25th and depart for home on August 5th. The construction project is scheduled for July 27-August 2. In the meantime, and this should not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, I’m going to ride a motorcycle and tour the country a little bit.

But, before the riding on two wheels can begin, one has to endure a little bit of riding on two wings. It took three flights to get here: Memphis to Atlanta, Atlanta to Sao Paulo, and Sao Paulo to Vitoria. Basically, you need to plan on just tuning out a day of your life and enduring the miracle of flying through the air at tremendous speeds all crammed up like spam in an aluminium can hurtling towards your destination. At least, that’s what I expected. Fate, however, decided to smile upon me during the long red-eye/overnight flight from Atlanta to Sao Paulo. I had a Delta “economy comfort” seat, but expected to be elbow-to-elbow with somebody for about nine hours. Fortunately, I lucked out and ended up with an empty seat between me and the window and the aisle on the other side of me. Wow! Here’s a shot of true “economy comfort”:



Plus, Delta was kind enough to provide some excellent in-flight entertainment, a USB power outlet to keep your phone/tablet/phablet from dying, and even a 110v outlet for larger power needs:







Here's the obligatory "just landed in another nation and this is what the airport looks like" shot:



And, to keep another American traditions alive, I had to have at least one meal at a McDonalds when visiting another country:



Anyway, enough of that. Let's get on to the real reason for this blog: Brazil + motorcycle = adventure riding time!

My friend Marcos was kind enough to make arrangements for a bike for me. I'm going to ride it for a few weeks and then donate it to the mission's use when finished. After looking around, he found a 2009 Shineray Blackstar 150 that looked pretty interesting. Shineray is a Chinese brand that has enjoyed some popularity in Brazil recently. Why? Probably due to price and looks. My guess is that its design was "borrowed" (or perhaps licensed, who knows?) from either Honda or Yamaha and used to produce a lower-priced alternative bike.

This particular Shineray has approximately 17,000 kilometers on the odometer, so Marcos took it in for a tune-up before my arrival. Here's my first sight of it, just after arriving. The mechanic had it hooked up to a "gasoline IV" rig to give it a little juice during the time he was working on it.





This particular bike has two features that I like a lot: a nice little windscreen and some very, very cool leather bags. It also had one feature that concerned me a little, namely that it was made in China. I know that in the USA it can be _very_ difficult to find parts for these bikes. Then, of course, there is always the lingering fear of just exactly when that low-cost metal alloy substitute chosen by the Chinese manufacturer might fail under stress, compared to the materials spec'd out in the original Japanese design. But, in the truest sense of the phrase "adventure riding", I was willing to give it a chance.

The motorcycles here in Brazil typically have smaller engines than those found in North America. For example, the Shineray is a 150cc wonder. But, they get the job done to roll you around town and on short trips and they are also pretty fuel efficient. So, I decided to "go for it" on this 150cc Chinese bike with much the same gusto as "Nathan the Postman" did when he rode a "postie" bike (small bikes used to deliver the mail in Australia) from Sydney to London.

[Like him, however, I'd soon learn a lesson about "going for it" and need an upgrade. But more about that later. BTW: Here's a link to his book, "Going Postal" on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Going-Postal-D.../dp/B004KAB2CG ]

After visiting the bike at the "moto hospital", Marcos dropped me off at my hotel in Vitoria and I promptly fell asleep. I was a little disappointed in myself because I wanted to get in a workout before midnight, but it didn't happen. Instead, I lay down on the bed for a 30-minute nap at about 9:30 p.m. and didn't wake up until 3:00 a.m. or so. Since I was up, I thought I'd get a shot of the beach because this was the only time I'd seen it empty so far.





That second one was a "panorama" shot from my phone. The beach really is crescent-shaped, but I think the panorama mode curved it a little too much. How big is it? It would take you about 30 minutes to walk from one end of the Praia da Costa (in Vila Velha) to the other end.

Anyway, why "disappointed" with falling asleep after 40 hours of travel, etc. with only limited sleep on the "red eye"? Well, I've been on a non-stop workout kick lately and had made 100 days without a miss in preparation for this trip. Three days of weights and four of cardio. Now, I'm going to have to start counting again. My friend Lawrence Muruako, who runs Rebel Body Fitness, has come up with a new routine for me to try to use while in Brazil without any weights available. Hopefully, I'll be able to get that going in a few days, after getting the ride kicked off.

That's it for today. Day 1 & 2 out of 42 in the books. Tchau (bye, in Brazilian Portuguese)

[I'm a little behind on the ride report right now, so am planning to write one each morning and one each evening until caught up -- so be on the lookout for more tonight.]
DesertRider463 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2014, 06:47 AM   #3
GB
Mod Squad
 
GB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 55,320
Great intro!

Thanks for taking us along..

__________________
ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2014, 07:09 AM   #4
mamm
< advertise here! >
 
mamm's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Floripa, Brazil
Oddometer: 200
Boa sorte na tua viagem!

Are you coming to the South? When you get "downwards" of São Paulo, it's like entering another country.



----------
BTW, I hope that the bike serves you well, but unfortunately that was a bad choice man... Those Shineray are (allow me to be blunt here) pure cr@p. If you wanna follow the low cc route, get a Honda or a Yamaha 125cc. Those are indestructible: motoboys abuse them here in Brazil to an inch of their lives and they keep on keeping on forever.
__________________
2012 R1200GS TB

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.
mamm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2014, 07:24 AM   #5
JoséLuiz
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: São Paulo - Brasil
Oddometer: 128
Hi I'm from Brazil and I live in São Paulo.

If you need any help just ask.
JoséLuiz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2014, 01:37 PM   #6
orion650
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2014
Location: Northern Colorado
Oddometer: 22
Boa sorte. Have a suco de maracuja for me.
orion650 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2014, 05:44 PM   #7
Sister1963
n00b
 
Joined: Jul 2013
Oddometer: 3
Wow, sounds so neat, love your photos. Glad to see you got your McDonald's fries.
Sister1963 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 03:42 AM   #8
DesertRider463 OP
GonzoRider
 
DesertRider463's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2011
Location: MidSouth
Oddometer: 66
Thumb Welcome friends

Thanks GB! I'm looking forward to the journey and am glad to have you along.

Hi maam! No, I'm heading north. Maybe next year I can ride south. Thanks for sharing your feedback re: the Shineray. Stay tuned -- I think you'll like how things turn out in a few days. I've always been a Yamaha rider. My first ride was with my father more than 40 years ago when I was just a _little_ boy. I loved the feeling of the wind whipping by and the open road rolling underneath our tires! I've owned many Yamahas over the years and definitely agree with you.

Bom dia JoseLuis! I'm sure I'll need plenty of "local" riding advice and tips. These Brazilian drivers are muito loco! Plus, as Marcos will tell you, my Portuguese is not even 1st grade level. If you've got any "Brazilian riding vocabulary" I'd certainly appreciate your advice. For example, tires. Tires should be a simple thing. I thought I had it all figured out. Pneu. Easy, right? Well, in English, we don't pronounce the "p" in words like that but in Brazil, you need to start that word with the "p" sound. Of course, when in doubt, I'll just resort to pointing, waving my hands, and making faces to see if I can get my point across. LOL Anyway, I'm glad you're here!

Hi orion650! Welcome and I'll do my best to find one to enjoy.

Hello Sister1963 -- it's good to see you here! Hope all is well for you.
DesertRider463 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 04:12 AM   #9
DesertRider463 OP
GonzoRider
 
DesertRider463's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2011
Location: MidSouth
Oddometer: 66
Eh? Day 2 -- Vitoria, ES to Guarapari, ES

Yesterday was a long, but good, day. It's great to be here with so many days of riding stretching out before me. I don't know about how other riders approach things, but I really enjoy getting ready for the ride -- thinking about what's to come, trying to decide if I have the right gear with me for situations that might arise, wondering what I forgot, and, most of all, anticipating the feeling of riding free across open country.

Personally, I'm not a big "route planner". You can ask my riding buddy Bryan. Last year, we rode about 8,500 miles up into and across Canada. He'll tell you that I was concerned about two things: where would we meet to leave on our ride and how many days could we manage to ride before one of us had to be back for work. We figured out that we could spend 35 days on the road, that we'd start off in Tunica, MS, and that we'd go to Canada. At that point, I was done. He, on the other hand, invested a lot of work (thanks Bryan!) in laying out an itinerary in a spreadsheet with daily mileages, waypoints, and more. My contributions were more along the lines of: "Hey, can we make it to Sturgis too?" and "Wow, the Doobie Brothers are in concert with the Steve Miller Band in Denver, wanna go there?". As you can see, we make a great team.

It would have been a lot of fun to ride Brazil together too, but our work schedules didn't align for this one. Also, I'm not really certain that he's as interested in riding in South America as I am. For example, every time I say to him "Hey Bryan, let's ride to Tierra del Fuego!" he just rolls his eyes and changes the topic of conversation. We both like to pass time playing black jack, so he'll start talking about Las Vegas or Atlantic City and the dialogue moves on. We had a ride report going last year, but it petered out just after Calgary because I couldn't decide which pictures -- out of the couple of hundred I snapped due to the huge number of amazingly beautiful sights -- to use from the ride through Banff and Glacier National Park just west of Calgary. I learned an important lesson from that: don't let the ride report slide too long or it won't get done. Here's a link to last year's ride report thread "8,000 Miles to Tunica":

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=904019

Back to Brazil now. Why is today's post Vitoria to Guarapari? That's only about 45 minutes riding time, right? Well, because the motorcycle wasn't ready yet. Patience, as it turns out, is a _mandatory_ virtue in Brazil. I'm gonna struggle some with that one, for sure...

So, I just hung around my hotel, ran along the beach (got a workout -- hooray!), and waited to meet up with Marcos and another friend, Tony, in the afternoon when Marcos was giving Tony a ride back to the airport. Tony spearheads the efforts in Brazil for a group called "Pioneer Missions" and is someone that I like and respect a lot. He has dedicated his life to helping others find a path to salvation and has touched thousands of lives. Here's a link to his page, if you'd like to learn more about what they do:
http://www.pioneermissions.org/tony-karen-gray

This morning arose clear and beautiful. Morning is one of my favorite times because the possibilities for the day seem almost endless. We each get to make so many choices, both big and small, to shape each day. My first choice was to snap some pics of the beach just after sunrise and then grab a light breakfast (called "café da manhã" in Brazil).







After breakfast settled and I banged out some email messages for a consulting project I'm working on, it was time to explore the hotel a little bit to check out their gym on the top/roof floor and see if I can get some pics from a higher vantage point. After that, it will be time to go for a 45-minute run/walk/run along the beach to make up for missing yesterday's workout and to enjoy some beach ambience.







Marcos and Tony came by to pick me up this afternoon and we got to visit for a while during some errands and then taking Tony to the airport. We'll be meeting up again later this month at this year's chapel construction project. After dropping Tony off, Marcos and I headed down to his house in Guarapari. He had arranged for a friend of his to pick up the motorcycle from the mechanic and bring it to his house. It was a great relief when they arrived. I thought: "Okay, getting on the highway tomorrow morning!".

Unfortunately, the glacial bureaucracy that is the registration/documentation process in Brazil for transferring a used bike -- which evidently takes longer than a new bike -- was busy grinding my hopes into tiny pieces. It soon became crystal clear that my desired outcome was not going to pan out. As things turned out, the paperwork would not be finished until Monday. So, in the best spirit of "it is what it is", which is the only healthy way of dealing with bureaucracy in Latin America otherwise you'd go insane wishing they would just hurry up, I decided to just do a day trip over the weekend and then plan to head out on Monday. Besides, there's going to be some great FIFA World Cup soccer action this weekend! Who wants to be on the highway and miss that, right?

The plan for tonight was to go to Marcos' church for a youth ministry and for me to try to say something relevant to them. Let's hope that I can pull that off... So we headed off to the church for the 10:30 p.m. event. Right inside the door, I had the pleasure of meeting Dennis. All I can say is "Wow! That guy has a great spirit!" The "L" that we're both making is for "Life".



I don't know if you can make it out or not, but that photo backdrop is covered in a checkerboard pattern with two symbols. One is the "IBG" which represents "Primeira Igreja Batista em Guarapari" and the other symbol is the word "LIFE" with the "E" backwards. Dennis explained that the backwards "E" represented the fact that they were encouraging the young folks who participated in their programs to behave in a healthier way that was "backwards" from many of the unhealthy things that are available to today's youth. Almost every service that I've ever been in while visiting Brazil over the past three years features live music, typically with guitar, piano, and drums of some sort. I've seen this in churches both big and small and like it a lot. Here's Dennis during a time of music and praise.



Very well done, Dennis! They also had a cool light show (matching what you'd seen in a nightclub), live music, and a lot of happiness in the group. Wow!

That's it for today. Tomorrow will actually have some riding in it as I give the Shineray Blackstar a trial run and also have my first Brazil moto experience. I'm going to sleep with riding on my mind...
DesertRider463 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 04:22 AM   #10
DesertRider463 OP
GonzoRider
 
DesertRider463's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2011
Location: MidSouth
Oddometer: 66
More to come...

Well, I'm still working on catching up the ride report. Right now, my hotel Internet connection is excruciatingly slow (almost like using a modem, back in the "dark ages" of connectivity) so I'm going to wait until tonight and hope for a better connection to post at least two more "catch up" reports. I need to get on the road now so that I'll have at least a slight chance to catch some of this afternoon's World Cup action. It would be nice to see some of the France v. Germany game, but I _definitely_ want to be well-situated for the Brazil v. Columbia match!

BTW: learned something new the other day, because I kept wondering who the country "ALE" was when they were playing "ALG" (Algeria). As it turns out, the country is referred to as "Alemanha" in Portuguese. This term has its roots in the Germanic peoples' break with Rome back in 213 AD.
DesertRider463 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 09:58 AM   #11
leandrorr
leandrorr
 
leandrorr's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Ponta Grossa, Parana , Brazil
Oddometer: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertRider463 View Post
Well, I'm still working on catching up the ride report. Right now, my hotel Internet connection is excruciatingly slow (almost like using a modem, back in the "dark ages" of connectivity) so I'm going to wait until tonight and hope for a better connection to post at least two more "catch up" reports. I need to get on the road now so that I'll have at least a slight chance to catch some of this afternoon's World Cup action. It would be nice to see some of the France v. Germany game, but I _definitely_ want to be well-situated for the Brazil v. Columbia match!

BTW: learned something new the other day, because I kept wondering who the country "ALE" was when they were playing "ALG" (Algeria). As it turns out, the country is referred to as "Alemanha" in Portuguese. This term has its roots in the Germanic peoples' break with Rome back in 213 AD.
Hi DesertRider463, i live in Brazil, in Ponta Grossa, Parana, south of Espirito Santo. If you will pass here, fell free to contact me for some help or tips, my cellphone is +55 42 91338660
Have a good travel and visit the south of Brazil
leandrorr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 10:55 AM   #12
ibtoddster
Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Oddometer: 17
donate bike in brazil

where?
i have heard that some usa riders ride down to brazil and then donate their bikes to a monastery and fly home.
easier than riding back or expensive shipping
do you have any details ???
ibtoddster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 11:55 AM   #13
JoséLuiz
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: São Paulo - Brasil
Oddometer: 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertRider463 View Post

BTW: learned something new the other day, because I kept wondering who the country "ALE" was when they were playing "ALG" (Algeria). As it turns out, the country is referred to as "Alemanha" in Portuguese. This term has its roots in the Germanic peoples' break with Rome back in 213 AD.
Alemanha, Germany, Deutschland: many names for one country
JoséLuiz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 04:38 PM   #14
klauskiwi
Adventurer
 
klauskiwi's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Oddometer: 19
In case you go by more to the countryside of sao paulo, send a PM and I'll be happy the show you around, we have some motorcycle-friendly mountain passes where 300+ motorcyclist ride every sunday.


Enviado do meu iPhone usando o Tapatalk
klauskiwi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 07:36 PM   #15
DesertRider463 OP
GonzoRider
 
DesertRider463's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2011
Location: MidSouth
Oddometer: 66
Thumb Donation Possibility

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibtoddster View Post
where?
i have heard that some usa riders ride down to brazil and then donate their bikes to a monastery and fly home.
easier than riding back or expensive shipping
do you have any details ???
My bike is being donated to Pioneer Missions, the group whose link I posted above. They are some awesome folks that I've gotten to know over the last three years through our church's participation in the chapel construction projects. I'd imagine their contact information is available via the link, otherwise, contact me via PM and I'll give you the information that I have. Here's that link again, for your convenience:
http://www.pioneermissions.org/tony-karen-gray

This option definitely made sense for me. Plus, I know the funds will be used responsibly in a way that will impact some very poor folks and will help build healthy loving communities for the next few decades. Back home, I give money to the United Way, which then donates to local charities. However, that money typically has little long-term impact, IMHO. Don't get me wrong -- I do think the United Way does good work and do what little I can to help them out. On the other hand, these small chapels will be around for a long time and will be a place of shelter, community, and love for many generations. That's a good outcome from a ride, I think.
DesertRider463 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 10:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014