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Old 06-21-2013, 12:41 AM   #106
GRinCR OP
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Location: Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
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Talking Central Pacific, Playa Jaco

06Jun13. Jaco Beach Pt. III: The Return

D-Day; this seems an appropriate time to publicly thank all the service men and women of past, present and future. I know there are “a few” of you out there so again, thanks for my freedom and some great RR’s as well.

This here RR is going ADD for a moment as I would like to share the story of my father. No, he wasn’t on Omaha Beach in 1944, he was in Vietnam in 1968. He arrived in February and his tour abruptly ended on 05Oct around noon. He was the SP4 Flight Engineer on a CH-47 Chinook in 179th Assault Support Helicopter Company. Details are a tad hazy, but the story follows. Earlier in the day the pilot made a very hard landing and nearly crashed. They took the chopper back to base to give it a look-over. After some lunch they proceeded to take off on another run. Only this time, roughly 30 to 40 feet off the ground the front rotor threw one of its blades and FUBAR.




Once the blade was tossed the front engine assembly was so off balance it tore the cockpit section loose of the rest of the machine (1st pic). The rear section of the chopper then rolled as it crashed to the ground. My father’s position had him posted at one of the doors which likely saved his life. He was flung out that door in place of going down inside of the chopper’s body. He didn’t pay the ultimate price, but sustained 3rd degree burns over 50% of his body. His right leg is one fused bone from his hip to his ankle and an inch or two shorter than the original design.

So to my dad and all those have and will serve, thank you .

Now back to 2013 and D-Day which is also my son’s birthday. He is two now. Unfortunately we couldn’t spend the rest of our lives here in Jaco sticking to this gruesome schedule of pool, eat, drink, pool, sleep and repeat. It had to end, but not without bleeding every last drop of blood from this turnip. So after breakfast (included) it was back in the pool; checkout wasn’t for a few hours.





Morgan’s Cove gets a thumbs up in my book. Cool spot and a real bargain when booking online.




Checkout at 1200 and at 1204 we were off to the bus stop for tickets, some lunch and I had to eventually get to class.



Dad, wife and son scheduled for departure at 1300, I hopped on the DR at 1242 and took off with 139.8 kms on the dash. About 30 minutes North of Jaco you cross the Tarcoles river. Worth the stop if it is feasible. Safe parking next to the coppers who are generally parked in the shade at the South end of the bridge.





Those crocs appear to be well fed.


It was hotter than two rats f*cking in a wool sock so I did not stick around long. Once back on the bike is was only 20 minutes more before I exited the highway into Orotina and turned due North to San Mateo.


Since they opened the new Hwy 27 the old route know to locals as the Aguacate and seen on maps as Rt#3 is deserted.



Nicely paved mountain twisties all to myself.


With dark clouds looming above I thought surely I would end up in them, but I didn't get high enough.

As I topped out and started heading down into the Central Valley I saw the Grey Wall.


I thought maybe it would be an isolated storm, not on my path and continued on.



No such luck. As the drops began to fall I sought shelter under this bus stop to bundle up.


At 1420 and the tachometer reading 220 kms for the total trip I was home. Unfortunately I had to grab my books and head back into the storm. Turns out it was a nasty one and I drove right into it determined to make it to class. A commute which takes 30-40 minutes turned into 2 hours, only to be turned away. School closed due to storm damage and flooding. It only took an hour and a half to get home though the aftermath. Now I wasn’t lucky enough to get hailed on but this video will give you the gist of what I drove through: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxPzyGCEPBI

1920 and alive to ride another day. I also got to prove nothing is waterproof.


Rida another day? Like this little 100+/- km loop, my next RR from yesterday…


__________________
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

GRinCR screwed with this post 06-21-2013 at 12:57 AM
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:55 PM   #107
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nice reflectors !

jeez you got soaked






cool history pics n' stories. keep it comin'
im diggin your map doodling too.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:12 PM   #108
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Central Valley. North Rim

I call this route my stress reliever. The RR is made of a few rides taken recently and as far back as 2008.


The loop in red consists of 80+/- kms of tarmac, roughly 4000 vertical feet, lots of twisties, big views and is usually good for a few climatic changes. When I am in need of some therapy I can bang this one out in about an hour “on my way” to work. The added sections, in blue and green, on the map above are 10kms each (one way) but are both well worth it. The green path also adds another 1000 feet of climb to the equation. Now let’s RIDE!

Starting at roughly 2800 feet and heading North, it is not long before you are looking back and down on civilization.

The further you go the larger peeks begin to loom closer and closer


Before long you reach the town of Poasito sitting at 6,500 feet.


Here on 17May I took the green route to meet Pops, Wife and Son at Poas National Park. This little stretch never disappoints, unless it is cold, foggy and rainy. I was lucky on this day.



Now inside the park gates.



Once inside after paying the cover charge ($10 for foreigners, $2 for locals) it is a short hike to the main attraction.




From the main crater it is 1.8 kms more to hike to the Laguna.

My favorite sign… it always means fun ahead…



We made it, alive, to the next display of stunning beauty.


Socked in! This is common up here. We continue on.


This is why they closed the trai? Weak.


From what I hear Poas is Costa Rica’s most visited National Park. It is not every day you get to stand literally at crater’s edge of a very active volcano.

Moving along, back on the Red loop and in the saddle again. The ride on 19Jun we skip the volcano and head East to a town called Vara Blanca. Civilization is much further away now.




Vara Blanca is a very small town and on this day we take a turn north to check out La Paz waterfall (the blue route). This area was the most affected by the 2009 earthquake and the rebuilding process is still taking place. This pleasantly lead to the road changing to gravel for a bit.



Soon enough the switchbacks begin…

… and thar she blows!




A pic of what it was before 2009. The trail behind the falls no longer exists.


After turning back, we now continue on the Red loop East past Vara Blanca.


On this day, 19Jun, we drove right into and out of a cloud.



The fog did not last long and as we were on our twisty, but Southerly decent into the valley things cleared up nicely.

Coffee plantations are everywhere on this route. Got Starbucks?


Now back in the city of Heredia we stop at a well known, roadside, gallo pinto, eggs, picadillo and salchichon stand. I ordered a “doble”, did not take a picture and barely finished it. Cheap, filling and delicious.


We finished this ride out in a rain storm on route home.


As always trying for less work and more . Now in the garage playing with a few new toys and prepping for the yearly transit inspection (RTV) as well as the next ADV.



Cheers all!
__________________
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

GRinCR screwed with this post 07-10-2013 at 06:54 PM
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:35 PM   #109
Chiriqui Charlie
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I live in Western Panama, and love riding in Costa Rica! I have been on many of the roads you show, and am eager to get back and ride some of the other ones. I love the mountains, the wide open spaces and the Little towns, my major concern is planning routes where I can find a cheap hotel at the end of the day.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:45 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiriqui Charlie View Post
I live in Western Panama, and love riding in Costa Rica! I have been on many of the roads you show, and am eager to get back and ride some of the other ones. I love the mountains, the wide open spaces and the Little towns, my major concern is planning routes where I can find a cheap hotel at the end of the day.
JDowns said a few nice things about you so good in my book. If any of your routes bring you to Alajuela drop a line. I am easily bought: . Kidding aside, you can crash at my place. Your own bed. No charge. Try to find a better price.

That goes for any ADVrider who can prove through a RR or two they have not killed, raped or pillaged in their travels.

Saludos todos! 10K+ views... thank you !
__________________
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 07-18-2013, 08:05 PM   #111
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I might just take you up on that! I've only been in Alajuela once, took a few minutes on one way streets to find a gas station. My big decisión now is whether to just head out now, or wait for dry season (unless you can give me the magic formula for avoidinjg the heavy rains!)
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:47 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiriqui Charlie View Post
unless you can give me the magic formula for avoidinjg the heavy rains!
OTR by 0430 and parked by 1300. That's the best I got.
__________________
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 07-18-2013, 11:34 PM   #113
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Cool2 Buscando Peligro for this Saturday.

“Dear Boss,

I quit, effective immediately. More pay and less hours elsewhere.

Cheers.”

I was a bit more diplomatic, but that is what took place in my world today. I now find myself with three days and nothing to do. Today I started with “buscando peligro” as my wife calls it. This is the result:


300+/- kms. 100 of them off the tarmac. One day; Saturday 20Jul13. If all goes as planned I will be accompanied, and we should be treated to these views.


Until then…
__________________
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 07-19-2013, 06:30 AM   #114
swamp
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hey man,
does that yellow line go between two volcanoes ?

looks like a fun one.
congrats on your new jobby job.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:37 PM   #115
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Talking 369 Kms, 12 hrs.

I am thrashed. The full RR will come in time. The route changed a bit; missed turn, detour and improvisation (in that order):


There were challenges:




But they were all a part of getting me here:




Cheers
__________________
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 07-20-2013, 09:52 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp View Post
hey man,
does that yellow line go between two volcanoes ?

congrats on your new jobby job.
I think just about anything in Costa Rica is between two volcanos. This line in particular though, not really. I would venture to guess you are thinking of a route further North by Rincon de La Vieja... maybe?

Thanks, back to work on Monday!
__________________
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 07-25-2013, 01:48 PM   #117
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Lake Arenal x Santa Elena. 20Jul13 Pt.I

The final #'s were just shy of 370 kms and took 12.5 hours. I did the loop clockwise and the route was altered some from the original, marked. The first one I had missed the turn, the second was a detour and the third was to avoid bad weather and get home before dark...


I was packed early but anxiety kept me up till midnight. Well not quite: 2351, sleep.


The alarm rang at 0420, but for some reason I was thinking of a reroute. Cut the distance in half, stay closer to home. My justification was I would be flying solo. Rider number two had bailed. I thought maybe this is too long a ride, too dangerous. Something could go wrong! Then I thought to myself Stop being such a pussy and go! I’ve been told to follow your gut so at 0521 I was off.


200 meters from the front of my garage I was already digging the ride. I look North…

Those are the mountains I will be coming over many hours and many kilometer from now. Ear to ear!
After 21.5 Kms, mostly on the Interamericana, I hit reserve and stopped for a fill. I was now facing Eastward towards those same mountains.


I continued on the CR1 and would do so for another 74 kilometos. Only took one pic just outside San Ramon. The pista is clear at this hour so I didn’t stop.
San Ramon


At 0646 I turn Right off the Interamericana. Only a few Kms later I reach Sardinal and hang a left.


Past Sardinal the road continued paved for longer than expected. I guess things could have been worse.



Finally, 114 kms later I had found what I was searching for, The Dirt Road.


The ADV got better and better. I was happy to be out here early because it was nice and clear!









Everything was going perfect until it felt like the front end was wildly out of control. I stop and look at the front tire. It is fine. Now the rear… and FLAT. I am F*cked! I have never gotten a flat before. I have never, and still to this day, have yet to change a tire/tube. I had no clue where I was nor how far to the nearest town. Enter Chilo. He owns this pulperia.



He tells me Santa Elena is only 4 more Kms up the road but is sure we can get this thing changed. I feared doing this, but what the hell? Chilo seems cool. Right in front of his store the tire came off and 2.5 hours later the tire was back on the bike, FLAT. What an absolute pain in the ass and we were stopped, unable to break the bead. I gave him my bag of Original Flavored, Pepperidge Farm Fish Crackers (I doubt he stocks those) and bought some water, other crackers and a can of tuna for later.


I road so slow and stopped at a gas station only a kilometro from town. The tube would not hold any air unfortunately. The views were no less spectacular with a flat rear.


The road became paved again for a short while through town. It was now 1014.


The culprit.


The shop. Mr. Villalobos. The plaza, Santa Elena.


Oh, so easy.


The tube was shot and I had an extra. He only charges $3 for the work. He didn’t have another spare tube for me so I pick up an extra 520 chain link. 1110 and 133 kms in, the ADV continues on. I leave Santa Elena and the next stage of the trip begins…

-Fin Pt. I-
__________________
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 07-25-2013, 06:59 PM   #118
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remember when you told me that you had never had a flat before....

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Old 07-27-2013, 06:07 PM   #119
Chiriqui Charlie
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Cry

The part about the flat tire really hit home. I've been riding for twice as long as your total life, and I have never had a flat while on the road! I spend a lot of time cruising the boonies of Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, alone, without much in the way of Spanish skills. I don't know what I would do, my first problem is that my current bike (an XT250) doesn't have a center stand. How do I get the wheel off the ground to start? Some say to lift the motor up on a log or rock, but what are the chances of finding something the correct size? Some say to lay the bike down, but then how would I get a wrench on both ends of the axel? Meanwhile the gas is leaking out through the cap. I keep praying that I will continue to be flat free, but I know my time is probably running out.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:53 PM   #120
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Nice RR!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRinCR View Post
Everything was going perfect until it felt like the front end was wildly out of control. I stop and look at the front tire. It is fine. Now the rear… and FLAT. I am F*cked! I have never gotten a flat before. I have never, and still to this day, have yet to change a tire/tube.
Nice RR Greg! Really enjoying the routes you're showing (some I have taken already - others not). Sucks about the flat tire. Happened to me once in Carate (OSA). First time as well - took me 2 attempts to repair and make it back home. Sooo much easier on tubless now.

I'm assuming it's busy time of the year for you too (congrats on new gig btw! ), but after storm has passed, let's do that ride we've talked about when JDowns was here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiriqui Charlie View Post
The part about the flat tire really hit home. I don't know what I would do, my first problem is that my current bike (an XT250) doesn't have a center stand. How do I get the wheel off the ground to start? Some say to lift the motor up on a log or rock, but what are the chances of finding something the correct size?
Hey CC - look up "enduro stand" - that might help. Never used one myself, but have seen some guys using it on their RR. I think I good way to get the fear/uncertainty out of the way, is to practice changing a tire (front & back) *at home* . Anyway, that's what I'm planning on doing soon. So next time I go on a long ride (eg Panama ), and I get a flat or need to change a tire, I'll tell myself... "Oh well"... instead of "Oh sh*t" !!

NB: This is my first multi-quote reply... awesome feature!
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