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Old 01-26-2013, 07:58 AM   #121
AK Smitty OP
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CA was amazing could have spent more time there for sure.

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Originally Posted by explr View Post
Man I miss Central America! Great ride report! Keep it coming!!!
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:15 PM   #122
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The rest of Cartagena

I really enjoyed my time in this city. A few too many beers but that's ok. Spent a lot of time bs-ing with other riders from the Steelrat. I did not take the boat but had met just about everyone on it in Central America. Its cool to hear everyones stories and route plans.

Cartagena is cool blend of the old and new city. The are separate and both are clean and safe. The old city with the wall still surrounding it from the days of the slave trade. There were a lot of battles fought here and much of the history remains in the cites old structures and fort.

The old streets were very cool and the buildings have lots of character.

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A street vendor



Another Policia Event. I cant get away from these guys...

Brand new police motos







Riot gear



cool cop toy


View from the wall surrounding the city





Me on the wall



Skyline of the newer modern part of the city




Horse drawn carriages in the old city.





entrance to Naval Musuem



Fort



Old and new city





So many great photo ops around Cartagena. Yet another place I would love to return to and that was tough to leave. Cartagena is not cheap that helped motivate me to hit the road.

3 day ride along the coast a and then into the mountains to Medellin.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:28 PM   #123
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3 days to Medellin

So the Quebs and I decided to ride together to Medellin where we will meet back up with Pete and Whim. Since the Quebs had been on a boat and not riding they were ready to make a ride out of it. I was on the same page after 4 days in Cartagena. I was feeling pretty bad the day we took off due to flu/stomach issues but it was time to go and I pushed through it.

First day was only about 200k from Cartagena to Tolu. A cool little beach town on the Caribbean. I didn't take a lot of pictures b/c there wasn't much to see and I was really focused on not puking and holding my stomach together.

Tolu
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Day 2 Tolu to Apartado about 350k

We stayed to the coast as long as we could and then road the most western road of Colombia. Pretty flat dull hot riding. Knowing we would be in the mountains tomorrow was what kept us going. We did get a lot of dirt riding in due to road construction and some of the roads just being dirt. No pics. Still under the weather and not a lot to see. Also just wanted to enjoy the riding.

Day 3 Apartado to Medellin

Things start getting back into the mountain twistys with wash outs and landslides. I love this stuff!!!

There were also a lot of military guys on the road. They all seemed legit and I was not nervous about them at all. If they stopped us it was just to ask about the bikes and the ride. I assume that there a lot of them because if you look west from the road we were on it is all jungle and into the Darien Gap.

Overcast and hazy all day but no rain. Getting into the hills.






Mihai and the ADV salute. I am not a big fan but he is Canadian and doesn't know that the ADV salute is about as cool as being on the math team in High School. Someday he will outgrow it!



A cool spot for a house.



Pretty typical for the road. Mudslide








I know lots of landscapes but it needs to be shown how big and diverse the landscape of Colombia is.





Lunch stop





More and different mountains







Different Mountains



I have said before but will say it again. It is hard to capture Colombia. It is big and varied. What a great ride it was coming into Medellin. Nice cooler temps and cruvas peligrousa almost all day. Great day of riding and really looking forward to rest of Colombia and the mountains.

Now to experience Medellin
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:43 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by ak smitty View Post
mihai and the adv salute. I am not a big fan but he is canadian and doesn't know that the adv salute is about as cool as being on the math team in high school. someday he will outgrow it!

fyyff
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:26 PM   #125
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ATGATT in Medellin

This kid put on a show for us while were at King Aluminum. More to come on Medellin!



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Also caught this guy stealing tires.

DCIM\100GOPRO
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:18 AM   #126
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pulsing front brakes....

ola smitty,,,

just perused your thread to check on your progress,,,wish i were ther e with you,,so do lot's of other riders

so i just flashed on you posting something about pulsing brakes

you are right ,,you probably bent one or both when the yo-yo ran into you...

PLEASE investigate this matter!!!,,,i don't want ya doing more damage to the bent disc[i'm positive it is just abent disc] an dultimately yourself,,so bear with what i tell ya,,,

1,if ya keep riding with abent disc it will wear the disc down in the bent area ,,every time the high spot swipes the disc it wears it down abit resulting in that area being thinner than the rest of the disc

2,,if it gets thinner/too thin then when you apply th ebrakes as you slow down the pads drop down in the thin spot and WHAM down you will go and as i've often said nothing will promote you to being an instant 'pavemen tinspector'',,,,,there's a job i don't aspire to nor wish on anyone else

3,currently the pulsing you feel is the high spot pushing against the pads everytime it goes past em,,later as the high spot wears down the pulsing incurs more from the in n out action against the pucks

Rx= setting bike on centerstand ,,then
1,,,,grab a 12'' crescent wrench,,sit down and spin the wheel ,,your eyes will immediately tell ya which disc is bent and where on the disc that is ,,now,,,

2,,carefully watch where the disc deviates from the norm,,,,grab the crescent wrench and adjust tightly on the hi spot ,,,,slowly push back in desired direction a little at a time,,,it doesn't have to be perfect,,,,at this stage your goal ist to straighten it enough so that it doesn't wear too much and cause you to do more harm to your self,,,

3,,if you are carefull you could get it just right,,,just eyeball the spot as the disc travels past the pucks,,,like i said you could get it close to perfect,,,

4,,,later you could stop off at some mechanic that has a dial indicator tan dknows waht he's doing or,,,

5,,buy a new disccirca $250....
hope this helps
salud
senor woody
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:18 PM   #127
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Thanks man.

I will get on it on Friday!!
The pulsing seems to have gone away on the short ride I took once I got it back from BMW Medellin. I am checking in Bogota for a new disc b/c BMW here said it is tweaked a little but ok to ride. Easy to say its ok to ride if you are not the guy on it.

Thanks again I will take your directions and get it as good as possible to get me thru the next 6 weeks to 2 months.

Later


Quote:
Originally Posted by woody's wheel works View Post
ola smitty,,,

just perused your thread to check on your progress,,,wish i were ther e with you,,so do lot's of other riders

so i just flashed on you posting something about pulsing brakes

you are right ,,you probably bent one or both when the yo-yo ran into you...

PLEASE investigate this matter!!!,,,i don't want ya doing more damage to the bent disc[i'm positive it is just abent disc] an dultimately yourself,,so bear with what i tell ya,,,

1,if ya keep riding with abent disc it will wear the disc down in the bent area ,,every time the high spot swipes the disc it wears it down abit resulting in that area being thinner than the rest of the disc

2,,if it gets thinner/too thin then when you apply th ebrakes as you slow down the pads drop down in the thin spot and WHAM down you will go and as i've often said nothing will promote you to being an instant 'pavemen tinspector'',,,,,there's a job i don't aspire to nor wish on anyone else

3,currently the pulsing you feel is the high spot pushing against the pads everytime it goes past em,,later as the high spot wears down the pulsing incurs more from the in n out action against the pucks

Rx= setting bike on centerstand ,,then
1,,,,grab a 12'' crescent wrench,,sit down and spin the wheel ,,your eyes will immediately tell ya which disc is bent and where on the disc that is ,,now,,,

2,,carefully watch where the disc deviates from the norm,,,,grab the crescent wrench and adjust tightly on the hi spot ,,,,slowly push back in desired direction a little at a time,,,it doesn't have to be perfect,,,,at this stage your goal ist to straighten it enough so that it doesn't wear too much and cause you to do more harm to your self,,,

3,,if you are carefull you could get it just right,,,just eyeball the spot as the disc travels past the pucks,,,like i said you could get it close to perfect,,,

4,,,later you could stop off at some mechanic that has a dial indicator tan dknows waht he's doing or,,,

5,,buy a new disccirca $250....
hope this helps
salud
senor woody
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:35 PM   #128
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Medellin Post 1

After a long day on the road all 3 of us were pretty tired. We found a room at Happy Buddha Hostel. The place is very nice and they had a good size room with 3 double beds. Threw our gear in the room showered up and met Whim for dinner. After dinner it was time to crash and see some of Medellin tomorrow day and night. We all hit our beds and commented on how amazing they were. Crazy comfortable with great comforters!!! Out like a light at 11.

Cue insanely loud music at 1 am!!!

Ok I will just put in my ear plugs and it will be over by 3 at latest. It should be noted that our room is directly above the bar but also note that this place is known to be pretty chill. In and out of sleep until 3 something when the music shuts off briefly. Then back to rock concert volume at 330. Until 5 am ish!!

None of the 3 of us are afraid of a good time but this was just too much. I think on any other day we would have just joined in. Up at about 8 to try and get some things done and on no sleep it was a rough 3 hombres for breakfast. Checked another hotel that was a little less expensive and way bigger rooms but bye bye awesome beds. So now errands of laundry , bike to shop and hotel move to the list. Oh mandatory siesta.

Bike dropped at BMW and they hope to get it back to me on Monday(dropped there on Friday).

A little bit of the city

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Lots more to come!! Need to get on the uploading and sorting pics.

So far Medellin is one to the top 3 spots. It is going to be tough to leave!!!
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:58 PM   #129
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Awesome RR!

Love Colombia, brings back memories.
The women are insanely beautiful there, especially Medellin.

I need to go back on motorbike next time around.

Safe travels.
Dave
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:24 PM   #130
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Bike Pick up and King Aluminum

So I couldn't get my bike Monday as I had hoped. They needed to change a bearing in the front end. I was getting nervous about cost. Norman said he understood I was traveling and would do all he could. I was still nervous

Picked the bike up on Tuesday and the bill was lower than I expected!! Norman is the man!!! He cares a lot about his customers and really goes out of his way. Another great BMW experience abroad! I must say the shops abroad have been far better than most stateside experiences.

This is Norman at Ruta 40 BMW. Thanks so much Norman!! It is just amazing to get such support from people so far from home!!

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I stopped back in the shop yesterday b/c I needed some screws I forgot to ask about and was going to the mall across the street anyway. As a little joke I told Norman that the bearing they replaced locked up and the bike wouldn't steer!!

He literally turned white and said no way!! Sorry Norman. I knew you cared about you customers but your experssion really showed how much!

Maybe my next whip!

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Saw this outside of Ruta 40 BMW. First time I have seen a sidecar on a scooter.

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After I picked up the bike it was off to King Aluminum to get the left side case fixed. It was being held on by a couple of ratchet straps and had generally just taking a beating from the two crashes. Ruta 40 did not have the latch I needed and I am not sure that the case isnt beyond the latch. A more sturdy fix is needed.

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These guys do some great work. If I lived in Medellin I would have them do a full set of panniers.

before

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and bent rack.

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They said go take a long lunch and they should have it done in about 2 hours.

Finished product. Make shift latch. One hole for screw and one hole for a padlock

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Brace added. I really think that this set up should have this support anyway. Especially is you off road!
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This guy did the work. He busted his ass. It took about 3 hours but King Aluminum fit me in and turned it around fast!! Another place I highly recommend.

DCIM\100GOPRO

All the guys were pumped on our trip and took our picture. Lots of handshakes and laughs. Two guys from the shop are riding to the World Cup next year in Brazil on DR650's. The Quebs were pumped that their bikes were getting some attention. When they are with the F800GS they get a little over shadowed. I think I even catch them drooling every once in a while haha

They did have a good talk with the guys and gave them some good input on how to set up the DRs.

On a side note I give props to anyone that take the leap to do a big trip they dream of. Leaving is the hardest part and weather you do it one off custom bike or the most economical China made bike, doing is what it all about. Meeting and riding with others has been a big part of this trip and I love the time effort and passion everyone has for bikes and travel. So stop thinking about doing it and start planning to DO IT! Yoda said "There is no try. Only do or do not." I say DO!

So that is what I did, was do! Get it? Anyway I have accepted that I probably wont make Machu Picchu. It is not concrete yet that I wont get there but given my time line it is not likely. I am not disappointed at all. I knew going into this trip that plans and timelines would change. I will keep heading south and just see where I am in a few weeks. I also need to determine the best option for my bike at the end of all this.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:00 PM   #131
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Great trip report dude. Keep on rocking on.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:15 PM   #132
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Pablo Tour

So I got my bike all don at both shops Tuesday and Wednesday we decided to take the Paisa Road Pablo Tour Wed morning.

It is a great tour. Not the one that you meet his bother but very well done and the first in Medellin. I am fascinated with where Colombia is at in its history and the impact that the cocaine business has had on shaping Colombia. I read Killing Pablo before this trip and watched a lot of shows about the drug trade. If you are interested I highly suggest Killing Pablo and The Story of Two Escobars. The Story of Two Escobars is an ESPN 30 for 30 show that is really well done.

Pablo at Church at a very young age. That is not a gun but a candle in his hand.
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Pablo lived here with only for other people. All his buildings were white in tribute to cocaine. It is believed that Pablo never did coke, but he loved to smoke weed all day.

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Almost all of the buildings that were seized during the man hunt of Pablo and his death are still vacant today. Its has been 20 years since his death and these buildings are in prime locations sit empty mainly because of political BS. It is still all about power and money and not just in Colombia.

I forgot the name of this place but it where people believed the Virgin Mary appeared once. People come to pray and leave signs giving thanks for their prayers being answered.

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It is rumored that a pilot for the Medellin Cartel once gave an old lady praying about 300,000 dollars. The story says he did this and told the lady to stop bothering his god with stupid requests and distracting him because he needed to focus on real prayers like keeping him safe for his next flight and delivery of cocaine. Probably one of those urban myths but makes for a good story and gives perspective on how important religion is to so many people in this area.

This is a cartoon from the 80's depicting how the people of Colombia felt during the drug cartels war and bombing campaign.

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Another Pablo Building. White of course and still damaged from a car bomb 20+ years ago.

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The house where Pablo was flushed out. He died on the roof of the neighbors house. This house was originally two stories and the current owners have added a level.

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The rooftop where Pablo died.

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This is a comic from a paper during the Pablo manhunt. It says who pays more the Colombia Authorities or Pablo. The Colombian Govt amiunt is in Pesos and Pablo is offering $100,000 US dollars to say nothing. It was a crazy time.

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Pablo was so rich at one point that he offered to pay Colombia's National Debt. It was not for free of course. In return he wanted two states of Colombia. One of course had some ocean front real estate for the business. The Colombia Govt did not go along with the plan. But it gives some perspective on the money and power that this guy had.

Pablo's grave

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It is the only grave in the cemetery that is different all the others have to be flat stones.

This is Pablo's Cousin's grave and his right hand man. One of the nicest plots overlooking Medellin.

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This is the grave of the Black Widow who was shot last year in a butcher shop. She had been living and imprisoned in the US and moved back to Medellin. The report said that a 64 year old lady was shot in the head 3 times in a butcher shop. Once Police identified the body it all made sense. The black widow was the most powerful women ever in the drug trade. Guess she still had some enemies.

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Pablo wanted posters.

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Just because Pablo was killed the cocaine business has not stopped or really even slowed down. It is believed to now be in the hands of guerilla forces and paramilitary groups in the jungles.


In the afternoon we took a short but awesome ride to El Retiro and then the next day an even more amazing ride to Guatape. Post on that tomorrow.

The tour also took us through a very poor part of Medellin with lots of addicts living on the street. It is very sad what drugs have done to some of these peoples lives. A big problem now in Colombia and Peru is Oxy aka Paco. It is the bi-product of the first processing of cocaine. It is very cheap and very harmful.

The time of Pablo Escobar was a very dark and dangerous period for Colombia.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:28 PM   #133
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Thx man. The end is looming but not thinking about it to much yet

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Great trip report dude. Keep on rocking on.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:30 PM   #134
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Colombia and especially Medellin are amazing. Did a great day ride out of there the other day. Greta roads and dirt!! Post coming soon.

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Originally Posted by mint julep View Post
Awesome RR!

Love Colombia, brings back memories.
The women are insanely beautiful there, especially Medellin.

I need to go back on motorbike next time around.

Safe travels.
Dave
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:11 PM   #135
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Around Medellin

I took an afternoon and walked the city. Took the metro to the gondola which is also part of the metro. It less than 2000 pesos to ride the metro and the gondola on one ticket.

Overlooking Medellin

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The Gondola

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I loved this sign in the gondola

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I did not prance but I must admit I bustled a bit. Got away with it though!

There is another Gondola up to Arvi National Park that is 4000 pesos each way. If you are on a moto I would say drive to the park. It takes longer than the gondola but it is a fun road and cool drive.

The park

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Some statues and sights around the centro. The centro is a totally different feel than Poblado. Poblado is kind of the rich peoples play ground and seems to be lacking something authentic. It is very nice but when you go to the rest of the city you feel the difference.

Things getting a little more real.

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Outside the library



Centro






Not sure of the significance of the fat people statues but there were lot of them





The Quebs love sweets. Here they are enjoying some made fresh daily gelato.

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The are special!

This nice lady had sympathy for special kids



Up next a couple of great day rides from Medellin!! Then rolling south.
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