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Old 09-30-2011, 09:55 PM   #796
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Olympia, WA
Oddometer: 8
I just read through this entire report. This is so epic, and I love the finishing school/going to Alaska bits at the beginning too. Living the dream...
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:00 PM   #797
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Perth Australia
Oddometer: 312
Fantastic RR - thanks for taking the time to update- must be a challenge at times.
Marathon bus trip and you survived- impressive
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:52 PM   #798
bigalsmith101 OP
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Location: Lake Stevens, WA
Oddometer: 929
Drunk man crossed paths with my bike at 90kmph (55mph)

I am in Azoques, Ecuador.

Yesterday, on my way from Quito the the Peruvian border all was well. UNTIL after lunch.

I was thirty minutes from the city of Cuenca when I had my third (real) accident, and what I consider to be a real pain in the ass. Or I guess you could say my fractured (very mild) collar bone.

I was going about 50mph down a straight section of newer road that runs parallel to the Panamerican Highway, and was riding very carefully as the little rain that had been falling had just stopped and the roads were a bit damp still.

The last thing that I remember is seeing a man on the side of the highway, standing there, waiting for me to pass so that he could cross the street.

Well, that man, aged 60 years old, and very drunk at the time, stepped directly into my path without any warning whatsoever, and with absolutely no option to avoid the accident, I impacted him head on.

I then woke up in the ambulance, on the way to the hospital with the man laying in the stretcher in the rear, where they confirmed my fractured collar bone, bruised knee, and jacked up thumb (swollen and strained but not broken)

The man on the other hand recieved substantial injuries including breaking all of his ribs on one side of his body, and was bleeding internally in his lung/s. His condition was stabalized by the time I left the hostpital. He was very gravely injured though, and in a coma the last I heard, though he should make it out alive.

My motorcycle right side case was ripped off, and the left side case was slightly damaged. The top case was fine. My headlight glass lense was broken, and my hand guards deflected upward. The front break line was severed I think, and the ignition button was not working when I tried it.

I was on Day 4 on the road since Bogota, and making great time, being careful and taking rest breaks often. I was just 10 minutes past lunch, and wide awake when it happened.

I am 2 hours from Guayaquil, the biggest city in Ecuador, and when all is said and done, I will transport the bike there, and consider my options. I am tired however, and may be ready to send the bike home from there (a port city and major airport) and call it a day. Maybe not though. I still have much to think about. All I really hope is that the man lives, as his daughter and wife were not in a good way when I saw them at the hospital.

Now I am at the police office. It is Ecuadorian law that traffic accident participants spend the night at the police station in a temporary detained position. I slept on the floor last night with my sleeping pad and bag, with a broken left collarbone.

In 3 hours I will have an audience with law enforcement and a judge, and after an investigaion, fault will be determined. All of the police officers have told me to worry about nothing, that the man was drunk, that I was in the right of way, not speeding, and had no accessible option to avoid the incident. I have been provided a lawyer for the audience, and proceeding case work.

I am physically and mentally well, but it will be at least 10 days off the bike with my broken collar bone. That, and the bike needs repairing.

Did I mention that I am tired of this?

EVERYTHING is very good however, given the circumstancese, and I am in very little pain ( Though I cant move left arm very well without straining sore muscles/bone).

Though I was being as prundent and careful as possible (and I mean that), and I am still healthy, it still happened.

I´ll write it again if you missed it before. I am tired of this.


I just had an audience with the judge, my lawyer, and the other parties people. Now we wait while they investigate, and I can´t leave the country until the case is closed. Legally they have 30 days to do it, but it´ll likely take 2 weeks.

So I´m here for now.

Quayaquil is the largest shipping port on the west coast of South America as well. It may be time to have a friend collect the bike in Seattle while I continue on a bus.

I don´t know yet, and am going to spend the next few days sleeping, eating, and thinking about it...

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Old 10-02-2011, 04:12 PM   #799
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Upstate NY
Oddometer: 48

Alex...I can hardly believe this. Three major spills, I dunno, if you are spent there is no shame in pulling the plug. You have had a crazy adventure, all of which I have enjoyed here at the terminal but damn! Rest up, I hope the legal procedures ahead are not problematic and you are on your way soon, wherever that may be. Sending good vibes. t
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:04 PM   #800
bigalsmith101 OP
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Lake Stevens, WA
Oddometer: 929
We shall talk no more of pulling plugs.

I need a healed left collarbone, 21 plates of steak, rice, and potatoes, 2 liters of Orange Gatorade, and time to repair my motorcycle.

THEN I will make a decision on the next step. That is 10 days from now, at LEAST.

Potential processes include the following.

#1 Fix bike, continue south.

#2 Get bike to Guayaquil or Quito, send it home, buy backpack, and continue South.

#3 Bag it all, send the bike home, and fly home.

#4 Sell the bike if possible, and continue south.

As we see here, therein lies only a 25% of bagging it and going home.

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Old 10-02-2011, 05:11 PM   #801
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:43 PM   #802
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Columbus, OH
Oddometer: 152
Oh no !!!

Alex, I am really sorry to hear of your accident. I'm just shaking my head and kinda speechless right now.

It's got to be incredibly frustrating for you and a bit embarrasing to report your third major accident. We were all looking forward to you getting caught up with Tom and could feel the urgency you had to make that happen as soon as possible. Once again, so sorry to hear the bad news and thank God you are basically OK. I'm not sure if you are having bad luck or good luck. Obviously one would consider 3 accidents bad luck but on the other hand, it seems like all of these accidents could have been avoided and all could have resulted in death or an “Ozzymandis” and since you are still whole and in good condition, mind and body, perhaps you have had an incredible dose of GOOD LUCK. Sorry man, I had to say it, it’s not a “I told you so”, it’s a concern for your health and well being and longevity.

Just out of curiosity what were the road conditions and weather at the time of this collision…night time or day time. Did you even notice this individual on the side of the road before you collided with him? If yes, did you notice that he was acting unusual in some way…intoxicated or did you find that out after the accident? Was there oncoming traffic. Were you in the left, middle or right side of your lane? Did he suddenly move or fall into you or was it a stagger. I know these things tend to happen in a split second and after a concussion, it’s tough to recall everything. If you know the answers to any of these questions, they may help us out to avoid a similar situation.

I am hoping to do a trip similar trip to yours in 2013 so I am trying to learn all I can from the ride reports regarding the hazards, and the fun and great places to go and things to do. Your’s and Tom’s reports have been really valuable and super entertaining to read. I check for your updates every day.

I’d love to see you and Tom reach your final destination together but your are the only one who can decide what your next move is going to be. Whatever you decide, I’m sure all of us at ADV rider will support it and send as many good thoughts as we can to you and the pedestrian. Good luck with getting through the red tape regarding the accident.

Wishing you safer travels
Tim in Columbus, OH
2007 Suzuki DR-650 'the Valdez' (9 gal safari)
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:44 PM   #803
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Perry, Ga
Oddometer: 1,073
Following you from the get go and enjoying every minute, except for the crashes of course.

If you are going to continue the journey, you will want your wheels.

Repair the bike and continue the journey, you will always wish you did.

Be safe.

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Old 10-02-2011, 05:48 PM   #804
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: CA HWY 2
Oddometer: 2,620
BigAl, i am really sorry to hear about your latest misfortune, while life could be worse it's probably not a lot of fun for you right now (nor for your family and dear friends). Spending the money to send your motorcycle home doesn't seem to make a lot of sense unless it's worth a lot more than the cost of repairing and shipping it, maybe you want to keep it for other reasons. Man, I can't imagine what it must be like to be that far from home, your buddy having gotten pistol whipped, you having gone down on your moto multiple times, and now having to have spent a night in jail. Talk about growing up quickly. I'm sure many of us here will be more than happy to help out however we can, and if I were you (given your adventurous spirit), I'd be looking for a way to either get that bike back on the road or buy another one to allow you to accomplish what it is that you set out to do. Now, if you've already accomplished that (only you could answer such), then perhaps it's time to head back home. What an incredible journey you, Kristi, your friends and family have had up to now. Unreal.

All the best to you, young man. Heal up, stay positive, and keep happy happy thoughts.

(sending some more beers/trinkets of health )

ps: my best to the other injured party
2015 BMW r nine T | 2012 Vespa 300 Super
past: Ducatis, Aprilias, Moto Guzzis, a Husky, KTM 1290 SDR, and some BMWs as well

oalvarez screwed with this post 10-02-2011 at 06:56 PM
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:49 PM   #805
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Woodland Park Colorado
Oddometer: 78
Sorry to hear about your accident. I sincerely hope the pedestrian recovers. Good to hear you are not too badly injured. Some say things come in 3’s—so maybe you have this sort of thing behind you for a while

(fyi-I think a ‘broken collar bone’ means you may now officially qualify as the hardest of the hard core ‘adventure riders’)

I think you are wise to take your time before firmly making up your mind and committing to a particular path. Sense it seems you will be stuck where you are, waiting for the bureaucratic wheels to turn so to speak, it’s seems a good idea to not make any hard decisions just yet! Yes, investigate all your options but remember you are living an adventure, good and bad. Once you finish this one and move on, well its forever behind you.

Best of luck and thanks for taking us all along to this point!
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:11 PM   #806
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Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Salt Spring Is, British Columbia
Oddometer: 816
Cry Bummer!

A real shame this happened BigAl. Boy... I'm glad you're relatively OK I can tell you that justice is a funny concept in Latin America, especially when there's a 'gringo' involved in an accident. Locals tend to think you have mucha money because you're not working and traveling around many countries just for fun. I really hope this turns out well with the local authorities.

Anyways, your chances (and anyones) chances of getting into an accident increase in Peru and Bolivia. I'm not trying to scare you but it is a fact that the driving in those two countries is just insane compared to Colombia/Ecuador/Chile/Argentina. I would hate to see you running out of luck and getting seriously hurt.

Whatever you decide to do, best of luck to you my friend.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:13 PM   #807
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Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
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have not read this entire thread yet... only beginning to mid

sorry to hear about all the wrecks... hang in there...
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:44 PM   #808
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Missoula Montucky
Oddometer: 258
Have a few on me, mijo.
Gotta keep rollin'
Gotta keep ridin'
Keep searchin' 'til I find what's right
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:04 PM   #809
suffering somewhere
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Joined: Jan 2008
Location: "X" cramento
Oddometer: 487
my 2 centavos.........

I somewhat reluctantly have been clicking on your thread because I had a feeling that a post like this would come up. I am very, very, happy that you are OK. Broken collarbones heal up real nice.

Somebody's trying to tell you something......... you've had three major crashes and none of them were "your fault". I wasn't there so I'll take your word for it. If they were your fault, and your analysis was............ " I need better tires, or I need to slow down, or my shock settings are bad" and you learned something from each crash, that would be different. But if they weren't your fault, and could not have been avoided, then you need to get out from under the cloud of doom that has been following you !!!!!

sell the bike. fly home and get on with your life with Kristi. You've had a good run and inspired lots of people, including me.

Best Regards
Adventure begins when your plan falls apart.
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:46 AM   #810
Baja is on the way
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Joined: Jul 2008
Oddometer: 154
Big Al--hope your case is settled favorably.

I know nothing of SA justice systems, but it can't be fun to have to deal with judges and lawyers. The options you list are all sound, and the most important thing is to "live to ride (or fight, love, ...pick your verb) another day".

Cheers, and I hope this finds you on your way again soon.
2012 KTM 990 ADV R.
2007 KLX 250S
The man who starts alone can start today.
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