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Old 01-31-2013, 03:08 PM   #1476
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,739
The guard dog didn't even get up to say goodbye as I left Turbo yesterday:

A lot of women are riding around on small step throughs like this little Suzuki:

Here the boys are in front of the guesthouse loading a tuk-tuk with padrillas (bricks):

I really like this Yamaha 250X outfitted with fat rims and 18" wheels front and rear. Those forks would look good on the Sherpa:

The feretarria next door loads up cement and rebar on a horse drawn flatbed for local deliveries. They just let the 20 foot lengths of rebar drag on the ground and everyone seems to avoid running over them:

I even saw a fellow on a scooter dragging three 20 foot lengths of pvc pipe down the street with his left hand while he steered with his right. A wouldn't like to be the plumber trying to put fittings on that pipe.

Here is the Sherpa being tied down in the delivery truck in Turbo:

and here is my ride:

The road started out as a nice paved two lane for the first 100 kilometers through banana plantations:

But it soon got dark and the road started to climb and deteriorate. Stopping for coffee and to pick up packages:

It was like a land version of the Kuna cargo boat, stopping to pick up and drop off stuff. Coconuts, boxes of this and that. Here I bought some pupusas from a one-eyed happy Colombiano:

We stopped in Antioquia to pick up the truck drivers novia (girlfriend) named Luz:

We dropped Luz off a 100 kilometers down the road. They were gone for a while so I can guess why he was smiling when he came back to the truck. The road turned to alternating pavement and gravel for long stretches with single lane traffic through landslides. Here we stopped to take a pic of a poisonous snake with his pencil head sticking up cobra style. Hard to see:

Got into Medellin at 4AM after an 11 hour ride. I slept by the truck until 7AM when this car showed up to deliver the Sherpa the last few kilometers to Orlando Trespalacios garage:

Here they are after stuffing the bike in the trunk. He roped it in and it didn't fall out in thick rush hour traffic. No need to worry if the front end sticking out to the left gets whacked. It's already toast:

Orlando is Trespalacio's Dad. What a great guy. I had a hard time keeping up with him today. Got the Sherpa out of the car and wheeled it into a covered area. Had to use a hammer to bend the axle enough to be able to unscrew it with a pipe wrench:

jacked up the bike and hung it from the rafters with a rope to start taking off the forks:

Here is Orlando:

and the Sherpa over in the corner after stripping off all the nasty bits:

Well okay, the bike is filthy and there are still some nasty bits I need to attend to. But for now the mission was to find a front end. Orlando hailed a cab and we hit the road looking for used parts. Here we are at a shop with the broken wheel and a bag of Sherpa hurt on the ground while Orlando is calling the next place:

after a couple stops we got to Eduardo's shop up on Avenida Buenaventura in the south hills:

Eduardo had a decent set of forks off a Suzuki trescientos setenta (370). Never heard of it. But it used a 21" front wheel and the Sherpa triples slid on the fork tubes like butter. Same exact spacing and 36mm fork tube diameter. Then Eduardo dug out a campaņa (hub) that had the same 36 radios (spoke) pattern as the Sherpa. The guy has or can make everything to make a new Sherpa front end using the Sherpa triples, steering head bearings and dust seals, Suzuki fork tubes, new spokes, good used rotor off some kind of bike, Suzuki axle and front hub, Sherpa rim and tire, and Sherpa caliper and brake master cylinder. Using the Sherpa triples means all the gauges and lights will bolt back on the bracket holes. And the Sherpa front high fender will bolt back on the lower triple.

So by 1PM everything was set. Eduardo did a calculation of parts and labor and came up with 670,000 pesos or around 375 bucks. Probably less than shipping in used parts from the states and it will be ready in 2 days. I could never have done this by myself in 5 hours. Orlando is the man. He made it all happen. Three cheers for the Trespalacio family. We left all the Sherpa front end parts at Eduardo's shop and took the metro train home:

and went out for some lunch, stopped at a cajero automatic to withdraw some pesos to pay Eduardo before driving up in the hills so I could drop off some laundry and visit Seņora Trespalacios and use their computer. I am now back down where I'll be staying in a spare room at the parking garage. Will go over to a local internet cafe and upload this now.

Hasta Maņana,
Juan Colombiano
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
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