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Old 08-11-2014, 05:36 AM   #106
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It was time for their first solo adventure. They prepped





and that was the really crazy part of the trip. They generally wear helmets, but the gloves and jackets are borrowed - he rarely even wears the armored jacket we gave him a few years ago. I require the gear for all our rides here since they have no medical insurance here and it's my bike. (Insurance of any kind, by the way, is rare in Paraguay and only for the rich.)

The local 'GetGo' was the landmark for the turn.





Landmarks are the key:
1) There are very few marked roads in Paraguay so he doesn't look for street signs
2) English road names make no sense
3) His clocks and odometer generally don't work on his bike so he's not used to using them
4) No tripmeter on the Wildfire so we can't use that


A few km later and they arrived at the park.





Notice that he parked perfectly between the lines of our "Don't Park Here" markings. Those lines look surprisingly similar to "Motorcycle Parking Only" markings all over Asuncion.

This is Romu's wife, Gladys.





Her legal name is "Ladis." When her father went to register his children's birth, he did so three at a time, didn't insist on proper spelling, and got a birth year or two wrong. She's the fifth of ten kids.





"Romualdo" came from a Catholic name calendar. Check the calendar on the day your kids are born and the suggested name is there. He's the ninth of ten.

From the smiles and stories when they returned, I think they enjoyed it immensely. You'll notice that we have done nothing important on the bikes here - It's all been "Hey, let's go to the park" and that's intentional. The motorcycle is a tool. Like a machete. It's a lot more convenient than a bus, faster than a bicycle, and cheaper than a car. The Chinese imports are crazy cheap and Kenton has a great dealer network and parts availability.

A park visit is almost a daily thing for us and our kids.

A park visit is a rare and wonderful adventure for Romualdo and Gladys.
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:19 AM   #107
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Romu had shown me a broken bolt from the exhaust but I didn't think much of it since he didn't seem too concerned and there was another bolt supporting the exhaust.

I guess I didn't quite get what he was saying. Or maybe he didn't say it since he often speaks in suggestions. It was a few days later when I asked why he wasn't riding the bike that he told me he wouldn't ride it until it was fixed. We found some time amid all the family activities and home maintenance.

The bolts ran through the exhaust bracket just forward of the muffler. Then through this suspension bracket and into those two ears off the rear of the engine case.





The ears were threaded on the back side but only half-way through and both the bolts broke just where the ear threading ended.





The bolts seem to be original but the whole length is threaded - never a good idea when they're that long and supporting two brackets in shear. They had the markings of a hardened steel bolt but the insides tell a different story.





I was able to vise-grip the bolt ends and continue turning them out the back but only after drilling the inside ends a bit. It turns out that those bolts are just some tin wrapped in lead and coated with something that makes them look like steel. I avoided drilling at first, expecting a dulled bit and a damaged case, but they drilled out just like aluminum and looked just like lead.





I put in some real bolts,





reassembled everything, and we were ready for the next ride.

'Cheap' is definitely the word I'd use for this Chinese Wildfire. Caveat emptor.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:06 AM   #108
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Cheap Chinese Moto all fixed and ready to go, it was time for another husband-wife solo. Just a few km away is Highland Park with a reservoir, kiddie park, pavilions, fountain, and flowers. Gladys is constantly grafting orchids into a mango tree and she loves flowers so I recommended the park and showed Romu the way a couple of times.

First they had lunch at a pavilion





where a large woman in an SUV came along and tried to communicate with them. "No English." She was apparently trying to tell them that she had reserved the pavilion and that they needed to leave. At least that's what they eventually understood. They moved on.

Then somebody apparently tried to tell them that they were illegally parked. Or something. That whole language barrier is a serious problem and they're just guessing at what people are trying to tell them by facial expressions and the things at which they point.

Anyway, it's a ten minute trip and they returned three hours later so they must have really enjoyed it.



Fountain


Flowers


Relaxation
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:00 PM   #109
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Our last big moto adventure was a trip to the range - something that just doesn't happen in Paraguay.





Yup, that's a new bike. Now I've got to get the Concours ready to sell. 20 years newer, 200 pounds less, and fuel injection were just what I needed. Only now do I realize that I rode that big bike less because I had to wait a few minutes every time I hit the starter. Plus I was always apprehensive that I'd drop it.

Anyway, Romu was in the military for his "compulsory" military service ever so many years ago so I figured he'd like it. I say "compulsory" because, although it seems to be a current requirement, very few men I know under 35 have served.









He loved it. The .22 revolver was his favorite. "No patea"

And the ride out and back was all untraveled two lane roads with plenty of twisty ups and downs. I'll be sad to see him head back to Paraguay. Anybody want a Wildfire?
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:57 AM   #110
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Last Gasp

One last ride before they left. We went to Hartwood Acres since there was a flower garden and we knew Gladys would love it.

But we took the whole family. In Paraguay you might just put everybody on a motorcycle or two. Sometimes I go to my wife's Grandma's house on a bicycle while her father and mother go on the motorcycle and the rest hop the bus for the long, tortuous, standing room only ride. Because of the wait and walk time I can always beat the bus by a good margin in the 25 mile ride.

In keeping with American tradition, we took every motorized vehicle we could. Wife and kids in the van. In-laws on the scoot. I on my new ride.





It was beautiful and we had a great time.





I miss them already.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:05 AM   #111
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It turns out that I'm glad Romu rides at a maximum of 50 kph. He texts sometimes and his mind wanders and he doesn't generally use his front brake. He almost hit me from behind twice while we were riding together and he almost ran into my wife in the van.

Unfortunately, he got so accustomed to the total lack of traffic on local roads here that he rear-ended a car on his second day back in Paraguay.
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:16 PM   #112
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Farkles

I made sure to add at least $700 in 'necessary' accessories to the new-to-me VStrom before they left just to equal the initial purchase cost of my precious Kenton in Paraguay. It didn't take long.
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:38 PM   #113
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Great!

Great addition to your previous ride report Brian! Loved seeing and hearing about your families adventures and the time spent with your father-in-law. Making memories!
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