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Old 03-14-2013, 05:56 PM   #2071
ONandOFF
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Location: Shenandoah Valley riding wonderland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
... I was with a group of moto travelers in Batopilas we were just drinking beers in front of the hostel when a fight broke between what appeared to be a man and woman (maybe girlfriend). So they started throwing fists, at which it was obvious the female was loosing. One of the folks in our group, a Minnesota truck driver and Harley rider who was a super nice guy - decides to intervene as he could not stand there watching a woman being beaten even if that was her husband. Luckily between the time the fight broke and the efforts of our group to trying to convice him it's not a good idea to get into that with the locals, and stop him from getting involved, all was well in the end. Few minutes later a bunch of guys carrying guns walked down the street apparently going same direction as the duo described above; I would surely not have wanted to have anything to deal with them. Make what you will out of this
Yikes! Well I think it's only fitting to help a damsel in distress, but with some kind of assessment of the situation, in a respectful and uninterested way, and with backup so as not to get killed in the process for intervening. Who knows what was going on in that situation you describe? You'd have to be there and make a judgement call, and be able to justify your actions.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:21 PM   #2072
Free Radical
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Hey Juan Quijote -- I'm sure you've made a comment about apparel, that I'm equally sure my age-related memory lapses have annoyingly discarded.

Could you give a BRIEF review of your riding gear?
Brand?
Durability?
Versatility?
Yada?
Yada?

Thank you!
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:40 PM   #2073
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free Radical View Post
Hey Juan Quijote -- I'm sure you've made a comment about apparel, that I'm equally sure my age-related memory lapses have annoyingly discarded.

Could you give a BRIEF review of your riding gear?
Brand?
Durability?
Versatility?
Yada?
Yada?

Thank you!
I've been meaning to ask this as well. As a new rider with a limited budget it would be nice to hear about gear selection from a budget-conscious advrider like JDowns.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:54 PM   #2074
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswwright View Post
I've been meaning to ask this as well. As a new rider with a limited budget it would be nice to hear about gear selection from a budget-conscious advrider like JDowns.
Hi James and Freeradical,

My gear selection is nothing to get excited about. It is all used from Craigslist or hand me downs. I have a First Gear jacket and pants. They are quite old. They offer no weather protection and get soaked in the rain. The seams in the pants are coming apart and need re-stitching now and again. The pants were hand me downs and were old when I got them 6 years ago. They have taken me all around, down to Panama and back two years ago and currently from Nebraska to Colombia. They still offer padded protection and warmth in the mountains.

The First Gear jacket is the same deal. Bought used for cheap and it has held up remarkably well over the years. It is the second one I've owned in the last twenty or so years. It offers good padded protection but is not weatherproof.

I used to take a heated vest, but little 250 Sherpa alternator would probably choke on heated grips and vest, so I have a short waisted down jacket that I wear under my First Gear jacket in the cold. It puffs up and keeps me quite warm down to the high 30s which is as low temp as I ride usually. It packs down to nothing.

I have a Shoei helmet that I bought off Craigslist for 50 bucks years ago. I like Shoei. It fits my head. No complaints there.

I have a pair of BMW boots. They are hand-me-down from Throttlemeister. They are my only shoes. Comfortable to hike up pyramids. They have taken a beating. The right one is oil soaked from when my oil filter cover was leaking for a few thousand miles. The seams are starting to come apart. I usually buy used boots on Craigslist.

I wear insulated fishing gloves. They are hot in the tropics but keep my hands warm in the mountains and are cheap to buy.

The only other riding gear I have are one pair of REI expedition socks that have held up amazingly well over the last 5 months. One pair of black thrift store jeans that never look dirty even though they don't get washed too often. Two black tee shirts. I wash one and wear the other. I also have a pair of patagonia long underwear that I wear under my jeans when it gets cold.

That is it. So far so good. And I can leave all this stuff in Colombia when I park my bike and fly home. Who cares if it's still here next year? Which is why I don't have to use locking panniers. Just a locking top box that I keep my expensive stuff in i.e. down sleeping bag, steri-pen water purifier, GPS, camera, Macbook air laptop, oil filters and other things I don't want to get wet. I put anything else I want to keep dry in ziploks in my soft panniers that offer no weather protection.

I try to keep it simple.

Saludos,
Juanito
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:43 PM   #2075
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Haven't had much ADVriding to report the last few days. Still staying at the Shamrock. Al is a great guy and I highly recommend this place if you're in the area.

Since Al found out I'm a contractor he has kept me busy. Today I installed a halogen spotlight to light up the dart board, a halogen drop light fixture over the bar sink, installed the coin slot mechanism on the new foosball table. It was missing some critical parts, so I had to come up with a creative solution to attach the coin mechanism to the ball drop arm. It works until the proper part can be fabricated. I learned a lot about the inner workings of a coin operated foosball table, so that was interesting.

Then when the rain stopped I moved outside and got on the roof and drilled some holes to re-attach the pub sign to one of the braces that had come apart. And finished up the day by re-painting the faded Irish kelly green stripes on the front of the bar.

Tommorrow I'll finish painting the front and retire to my room before the St. Patrick's Day crowd comes.

It's actually kind of fun making myself useful doing a work exchange while I wait for Venezuela to chill out.

Saludos,
Juan Shamrock
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:10 PM   #2076
trespalacios
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How was the ride back from guatape? I figure you didn't enter Medellin through Santa Elena and didn't make many significant stops. Enjoy your work as "todero" and pose as Irish on St. Patrick 's. I wouldn't mind a few kisses by some paisa girls
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:21 PM   #2077
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trespalacios View Post
How was the ride back from guatape? I figure you didn't enter Medellin through Santa Elena and didn't make many significant stops. Enjoy your work as "todero" and pose as Irish on St. Patrick 's. I wouldn't mind a few kisses by some paisa girls
Hi Ricardo,

The ride back from Guatape was excellent! I have no idea where I went. Just took backroads over the mountains and ended up in Medellin.

Handyman todero work is nice. Albert's gringo friend needs 7 bathrooms tiled around the corner. Not sure if I have time for that. I am enjoying Medellin though.

Albert gave me a kelly green tee shirt with the Shamrock logo as my work shirt for painting along with some work shoes that were slightly small for him but fit me perfectly and another pair of black jeans. I am set now. I am ready for anything!

You'll get plenty of kisses from paisas when you get down here in June. You will have so much fun! Your family looks forward to your visit.

Muchas gracias amigo,
Juan Gringo
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:18 PM   #2078
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water?

Hey John, I have been wondering how you stay hydrated while you are traveling? Do you buy bottled water, or have a filter that you use for tap water?

Just wondering, thanks.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:47 PM   #2079
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
...It's actually kind of fun making myself useful ...
This is great, John; good on you. Great for karma points. Really warms my heart. I have enjoyed forcing family members to let me do some work for them while they put us up, feed us, and run us around to all kinds of interesting places day after day. I've regrouted marble flooring, installed circuit breaker panels where they had two open breakers for a whole house, new entrance cable, and broke the house up into circuits, installed rough drain and supply plumbing and made connections to the street, put a bathroom and kitchen into a house with no previous indoor plumbing, painted, and I don't remember what more. Worked on cars and bikes. It feels great to give something back, and they are amazed that a gringo can and will do all this stuff. Plus, when they find out you can navigate around their country better than they can, it really blows their minds.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:49 PM   #2080
tomski74
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Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
I absolutely love how you guys keep this ride report going while I'm goofing off. Kudos!

...

It has a life of its own! Look what you started.
I'm reading it backwords, trying to find a page where I last left it.

Great pix and great stories Nebraska John. Good info, too. I guess I'll be taking both passports if I ever head out that way.

Cheers from Silesian Bros.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:39 PM   #2081
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Originally Posted by tomski74 View Post
It has a life of its own! Look what you started.
I'm reading it backwords, trying to find a page where I last left it.

Great pix and great stories Nebraska John. Good info, too. I guess I'll be taking both passports if I ever head out that way.

Cheers from Silesian Bros.
Hi Tomski!

Glad you are still following along! I pity you having to catch up reading this ride report. With all the great comments from fellow riders, this report is going to be longer than War and Peace by the time I finish.

And yes, bring your Polish passport for the countries that don't like the U.S. passport.

Cheers,
Nebraska John
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:46 PM   #2082
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legends117 View Post
Hey John, I have been wondering how you stay hydrated while you are traveling? Do you buy bottled water, or have a filter that you use for tap water?

Just wondering, thanks.
Hi legends117,

I drink water while on the road to stay hydrated. Around here I drink the tap water in most places. The water in Medellin is good. Down at the coast I used my steri-pen to purify water in sketchy places. It's been that way all through Mexico and Central America as well. I sterilized water from Pemex gas stations in Mexico, and if the water smelled bad I occasionally bought bottled water. But bottled water is expensive.

Most travelers drink bottled water. It's available everywhere. But at a buck a liter that adds up if you're on the road for a few months on a limited budget.

Plus I drink sodas as well since coke is often cheaper than bottled water down here.

Saludos,
Juanito
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:04 AM   #2083
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Hello John,

Quote:
There were some rare owl like birds living inside that made eerie haunting echoing sounds
I'm reminded of Asa Wright in Trinidad where my wife and I late in the day made our way to the cave (didn't know you needed a guide) and out of no where heard the same strange sounds. They are oil birds, the only nocturnal fruit eating flying birds.

From Wiki, in Colombia and for when you get to Venezuela, there is:

Quote:
The Guácharo Cave was Venezuela's first national monument, and is the centerpiece of a national park; according to some estimates there may be 15,000 or more birds living there. Colombia also has a national park named after its "Cueva de los Guácharos", near the southern border with Ecuador.
Speaking of winged nocturnal fruit eaters, I always think of the flying foxes near sunset while living in Borneo.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:28 PM   #2084
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Originally Posted by ex_MGB View Post
Hello John,



I'm reminded of Asa Wright in Trinidad where my wife and I late in the day made our way to the cave (didn't know you needed a guide) and out of no where heard the same strange sounds. They are oil birds, the only nocturnal fruit eating flying birds.

From Wiki, in Colombia and for when you get to Venezuela, there is:



Speaking of winged nocturnal fruit eaters, I always think of the flying foxes near sunset while living in Borneo.
Hi ex-MGB,

Guacharo. That's the name of those birds. Thanks. trululu96 told me but I forgot. Their haunting calls reverberating off the walls deep inside the caves at Rio Claro Reserva were otherworldly. You know what I'm talking about. You had to be there.

Saludos,
Juan Guacharo
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:31 PM   #2085
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It's Saturday and St. Patrick's Day weekend is in full swing here in Medellin at the Shamrock pub. Al suggested I take some pictures of the beautiful women here for all you ADVriders at home. Great idea!

It's my mission tonight. Al hired a gaggle of barmaids for the festivities. They are awfully cute. Here are three to get you started:



more later....
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