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Old 04-14-2014, 02:54 PM   #226
isalas16
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WOW this is a great thread and crazy little world, do you still work at Sykes? I worked there for 5 years... Cisco TAC account.

I've drove on pretty much the same routes you took or ended up on the same places lol except on car.

Never ridden ADV before, did motocross for a few years when I was in high-school always had cruiser bikes Harley/Big Dog, until a month ago I bought a CRF250L and just starting to explore more.
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:23 PM   #227
GRinCR OP
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You work for the government? Know where and on which account...

That 250 should be enough to find you some fun. I have thought much about a downsize, but can't bring myself to let go of the original DR. I'm just going to have to get another bike. Mid 90's two-smoke is the thought. Tow it behind the DR.

See you out there...



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Originally Posted by isalas16 View Post
WOW this is a great thread and crazy little world, do you still work at Sykes? I worked there for 5 years... Cisco TAC account.

I've drove on pretty much the same routes you took or ended up on the same places lol except on car.

Never ridden ADV before, did motocross for a few years when I was in high-school always had cruiser bikes Harley/Big Dog, until a month ago I bought a CRF250L and just starting to explore more.
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Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR , The Bike Teardown
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:28 PM   #228
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Black DD's route to Puntarenas

The next trip down memory lane is a two-fer. Same route just a few years apart. I turned a 2 hour ride to port into five/six hours of excitement.

2008: A lesson in picking up the big BMW .


2012: Nearly ended in a second divorce .



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'90 DR650RS
Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR , The Bike Teardown
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:04 PM   #229
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Montes de Oro, Alajuela/Puntarenas

Like any good ride, you must get out of The Valley.


It is not very far before things start looking different.



Whichever way you go, you have to go through San Ramon.



Outside of San Ramon the road remains paved. We are on the edge of the cloud forest.



This road takes you to the “city” of Piedades Sur.




Piedades Sur defines sleepy. One nice thing to note is the tarmac ends at this sleepy little mountain town.




The gravel track gently climbs to 4000 feet and the views begin to open as we were now looking down the Pacific slope.



That is where this road goes, down the pacific slope to the coast and boy it takes you there in a hurry, kind of.




Mr. Caged complained of some snowplow affect his BMW has in this terrain. The road, although well maintained, is covered with a layer of loose golf and base ball sized rocks. I remember in 2008 thinking “What a weenie” as I chewed through this stuff on a 200cc chino-bike. That 1150 is nearly 6x’s the bike mine is, why is he whining so much? I was naïve.

Well, 2012 was a learning experience. I don’t know what this snowplow affect feels like, but two-up with the wife and loaded for a day at the beach on a 650cc bike was a little different. There was no traction. Not because of bald tires. It was a combination of weight, pitch and road surface. Ana and I were sliding down the mountain and at some points out of control. Ana dismounted when I could get the bike to stop and she walked a lot on this day. We would get to the next switchback only to see another slippery slope. Ana fell to her knees at one point in defeat. All 80 lbs of her created enough to slide as well. I was using every bit of brake and clutch to keep from sliding through the next switchback. These stones acted like marbles.



YBCaged dumped the pig a few times (I so wish there were pics ) and my wife decided to hitchhike. It was that steep .





Both kept asking, “How much further?” My response was the honest one, “I have no f*cking clue”, either because the road was new territory for me or I had forgotten. They were in the same mood at this point .



According to Google Earth we had dropped 2,800 feet in 6 kilometers. The road cannot continue west due to a very large and deep river valley. Instead the road turns north and makes a big loop back up into the mountains to cross the big river’s tributaries where they are more manageable. This meant lots of up and down as we twisted down to the riverbeds and back up into the mountains. Most of the insanely steep stuff was paved in 2012. Not so in 2008 and we got to lift that behemoth Beemer a few more times.






There are a few small towns along this route. One in particular stands out in my memory:

The roads become paved here. You are thinking, “what a relief, good roads!” Wrong! The pavement ends shortly after town. In 2008 we were ignorant. In 2012 I was wise. I knew the biggest obstacle still lay ahead.

This obstacle is a motherfu*cker combination of turns and elevation change. It is a right, left climbing chicane into a right-hand, nearly 180° switchback followed by an immediate near vertical climb up a washout covered in loose stones.

2008: took both riders down and ripped off a fancy BMW side-case . We were very tired of picking up the big pig, it was very hot and on this particular fall the bike was laying nearly upside-down on the hillside. Once again, sorry no pics of this debauchery. I was green.

2012: took two attempts. I was anxiously anticipating this section and once again dropped Ana to walk before my first run at it. I took off too much speed in the hairpin and was spinning the rear, nearly stopped half way up “the hill”. The eject button was hit, and I laid the bike down . I backed the bike down, unloaded the top case and walked the extra weight to the top if the hill. I had set me helmet on some fire ants which was nice when it came time to gear-up for the second go. No sympathy from the wife, I am pretty sure heard her laughing at the top of the hill.




This part is a grand finale of sorts because the pavement reappears shortly after. The road dumps you out on the Pan Am and it is smooth sailing, west to the coastline.



Each trip had its own final destination but the general idea was the same .





Now we know why the Yellow GS1150 vanishes from my RR’s.
Ride Time: A normal ride from Alajuela to Puntarenas is two hours. In 2012 the first picture timestamps at 9:47 and the last picture on the beach is at 14:45 . Not exactly for s.



__________________
Greg Smith
'90 DR650RS
Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR , The Bike Teardown
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
"My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it." -Abraham Lincoln
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:44 AM   #230
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The Stress Reliever: 03May14

Finally got to ride today! The itch had been growing, nearly making me insane . This morning though, the winds of change came and blew the window of opportunity wide open.

The closest thing to a ride recently, until today, was hosting inmate Cody (cmkaduce), currently in Panama; http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=928493. Great adventure still in progress. If one cannot ride, ride vicariously.
Work was fun the next morning.

Now to the present: A minor clerical glitch had me at work this morning when in reality the VM training is not until the 10th. Next Saturday. I should have read the memo… Anyhow as I stood getting ready to leave the parking garage I stopped for a moment to look around.

Clear skies, mountains all around… WTF, time to ride!

I reached the city of Heredia looking for an ATM. I didn’t spot one on my route so I stared pointing myself north into the mountains.

The search for a bank took me off the normal route I would have taken so I rode around lost in/near Heredia for a while. A passing bus said Mercedes Norte in the window. Mercedes, I must be in a classy hood.

I was only lost for a little while as I soon stumbled across the primary route through Barva. I also found a bank!

I was set. I had cash, a full tank and a bunch of curves in front of me.
In the above pic: The route continues climbing to the right up and over the first ridge seen. At the top it drops a bit to another high ridge line which leads you to the peak further off in the distance. That peak is the still active Volcán Poás, sitting just over 7,500 feet.

Now that you know the route, enjoy the ride…

After the waterfall shot disaster stuck!

Not really as I luckily had the spare with me.

While I had the tools out, I snugged up the shiny new hardware I installed yesterday before work. I ruined the originals breaking them free and didn’t feel like cutting bolts.

All good… back on the road.



Poás is now much closer.

This was way better than being at the office learning about the virtual world.

In Poás it is customary to pick up some fresh strawberries. Only $4 for the big box!


Then the 4,500 foot decent home leaving the mountains/volcano behind me.



I took the route through San Pedro. In San Pedro I stopped for some fresh baked goods and coffee. I sat a while in central park before finishing the 16 kms back to reality.


__________________
Greg Smith
'90 DR650RS
Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR , The Bike Teardown
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
"My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it." -Abraham Lincoln
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:35 PM   #231
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Volcán Barva, Heredia 4May14

I can’t freekin’ believe it! I got to ride two days in a row and it wasn’t for my daily commute . A friend of mine called and out of left field asked if we wanted to go to Volcán Barva. I was nearly there the day before on the long way home from work. There were too many people for his car so I HAD to go on the moto .

Here is how the route varied:



Entonces, from the city of Barva head straight up the mountain.


The road is paved for all but the last 6 kms. It is a delightful motorcycle road, barley wide enough for a car and a moto. Lot of twisties as you climb quickly off the chaos of the valley floor.

The first three kilometers of dirt are the public road which lead to the National Park entrance. I sadly chose not to ride this section, at least for now. It was very steep, rocky and washed out in many parts.

Even though everyone, including my wife said to ride it I decided it was best to park it and walk. You know, throw the prego wife a bone and be a nice guy. I was paranoid about leaving the bike in the open, so near to the asphalt down by the cars so I did ride a little ways up to find the perfect hiding place.

I knew he wouldn’t walk the entire three clicks. And they told me to ride it.

It was an awesome road and I can’t wait to come back to ride it. The best part was you felt so far away from the urban mess. You could see it sprawled out in front of you but there were none of the sounds or smells. No diesel smoke, horns, squeaking brakes, nothing. Only birds and wind yet I could see the mess, right there in front of me.

These were so tasty. Better than any other I had ever eaten. The wife agrees too. Mora de Montaña.


The road continues on to the park entrance. It is another three kms to the Barva crater. A second crater awaits you if you wish to walk two kms more. We could not do the second crater. We had gotten a late start and the weather was changing fast. Plus, my wife and my son and my friend’s mother with Alzheimer’s and her caretaker were waiting at the ranger station for us to return.

The Braulio Carillo National Park is 100,000 + acres. More than 90% of its area is covered in virgin rainforest. 135 species of mammals including multiple big cat species are cataloged. 600 + species of plants and 500 + species of birds as well. We could hear the Quetzals as we walked the trails. The Barva crater is 500 feet shy of 10,000. It is unearthly.

What a sweet place to live, in a volcano crater. Private lake, virgin rainforest, cats and only an hour from the airport!


While we were at the lake the rain began to fall. By the time we got back down to the ranger station it was raining harder. The aguacero never came so we stayed relatively dry as we walked the three kms down to the vehicles. The girls, and my son had hitched a ride 30 mins before we arrived.


The DR out of hiding and we slid down to the pavement as the rain left loose rocks and mud to be navigated.


I will come back one day and give this section of road its due justice. A camp out here would be amazing. Plus this is ADVrider, not ADVhiker and I didn’t ride the whole road. You can camp at the ranger station for $2 or anywhere nearby for free. Park entrance is $8 for gringos, $2 for locals.



__________________
Greg Smith
'90 DR650RS
Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR , The Bike Teardown
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
"My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it." -Abraham Lincoln
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:43 PM   #232
Vinbowie
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I have kept up with your report for quite some time and enjoy it very much. Thanks for the report. I could travel to Costa Rica...
You say Gringos camp for $8 and locals $2. Well you are a gringo and a local...so what do you pay?
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:05 PM   #233
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Thumbs down Crash

Morning commute, 06May14:



It is four lanes, two lanes each way and I was heading eastbound with a red light 50 meters in front of me. There are no lane markings on the asphalt, cars are half parked on the sidewalk thus blocking half the right lane. I go straight though this intersection and most others go right since it dumps them directly onto the highway. I was hugging what would be the double yellow line. A man in an Isuzu NKR started easing off center with the cars Pac-Manning what would be the dotted white line in the middle of the two eastbound lanes. This is normal, he was passing the poor suckers waiting in line to go right. There are no lines painted so the lanes “technically” don’t exist and people make room where they can. Following…? I started fucking up at this exact moment.

Everyone goes right or straight here. Wrong. 50 meters from the intersection (where we were) there is the tiniest of hardware stores with two parking spots on the north side of the road. I never knew it was there, until yesterday. Many of you already know now how this story ends. But… I felt comfortable knowing everyone goes directo or derecha in this place so I put the DR in second gear, breaking my personal lane splitting rule to make sure I was around the truck before we reached the light. Unfortunately the NKR went from merging into the left lane to a full on left turn into the hardware store parking lot. I swerved but no matter. The handlebar clipped him and end of story.

When in Rome, right? I do split lanes in CR but have one rule; never get out of first gear. I made the rule after my head on with a taxi. The fact I broke this rule angers me. I am further perturbed because thinking back on it, I may have made that move any day. I was feeling comfortable in traffic. I made an assumption based on what I had never seen or taken notice of even though I pass this place five and often six times a week. The “what ifs” anger me most of all, still, right now. What if I had totaled the bike? What if I had someone on the back? What if I wasn’t the luckiest SOB on earth to somehow land on my feet? What if the bike hadn’t just slightly twisted my knee? What if I were on crutches, surgery, pins, bolts, screws? What if there was an oncoming car? What if I had been feeling this comfortable and making these assumptions in some other situation, maybe on the highway, or an empty parkway at breakneck speed!





Sorry about the downer post. Happy things to come, if I just slow the fuck down.



__________________
Greg Smith
'90 DR650RS
Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR , The Bike Teardown
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
"My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it." -Abraham Lincoln
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:10 PM   #234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinbowie View Post
I have kept up with your report for quite some time and enjoy it very much. Thanks for the report. I could travel to Costa Rica...
You say Gringos camp for $8 and locals $2. Well you are a gringo and a local...so what do you pay?
No discrimination on the camping charges, everyone pays $2. They just stick it to the white man on the entrance fee. All national parks/museums are like that here.

I pay local rates with my CR affiliation/residency card. I was somewhat pissed the ranger didn't ask to see it since I paid so much for it. I must look local .
__________________
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'90 DR650RS
Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR , The Bike Teardown
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
"My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it." -Abraham Lincoln
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:59 AM   #235
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Glad to hear you're ok

Sounds like it was more of a "oh sh*t" moment than actual damage, which is a good thing. I like your "splitting in 1st gear only" rule. It took me some time before splitting lanes here, but I do now and then mainly when cars are stopped or crawling. And I'm always afraid of dumping the big pig right in the middle, which would be quite embarrasing to say the least...

I've meant to touch base with you for a while now and meet up for a ride. Let me know when you and the bike are back in shape, and we'll set up something if you're up for it.

Still enjoying your RR btw! You seem to find roads I've never been on yet. PV!
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:42 PM   #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QCRider View Post
Sounds like it was more of a "oh sh*t" moment than actual damage, which is a good thing. I like your "splitting in 1st gear only" rule. It took me some time before splitting lanes here, but I do now and then mainly when cars are stopped or crawling. And I'm always afraid of dumping the big pig right in the middle, which would be quite embarrasing to say the least...

I've meant to touch base with you for a while now and meet up for a ride. Let me know when you and the bike are back in shape, and we'll set up something if you're up for it.

Still enjoying your RR btw! You seem to find roads I've never been on yet. PV!
Thinking back on it, it was an oh shit moment and then some. If I hadn't broken my little rule, it would not have happened. I was in a hurry that day for no reason. I wasn't even running late for work like every other day of the week.

We should ride. There are ruins near by. A friend of mine paid for some obscure sales pitch/cheap tour to them this week. Says the road to it should be fun on a moto. There is also the small patch behind the wind farms TheDudeHimself and I missed due to darkness a few months ago, or, or, or...

This year's bag-o-parts is due to arrive soon. Nothing major but is prohibiting me from any rough roads and I am trying to stick to only the daily commutes. Once in top form I will drop you a line. Winter riding is always fun. I almost had to ride in tonight's little downpour...




Ride on everybody!
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Greg Smith
'90 DR650RS
Costa Rica: Trippin' with GR , The Bike Teardown
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
"My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it." -Abraham Lincoln
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:51 PM   #237
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Keep it coming.....
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