Lobsters to Llamas, Maritimes to Argentina

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Kedgi, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. SS in Vzla.

    SS in Vzla. Totally Normal? I'm not!

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    Cali is a big city and every Colombian city has a "moto street" where there are hundreds of small stores selling everything motorcycle-related. As long as you are not very picky about brands, I'm sure you'll manage to find something like a Pirelli MT90 or similar ... They will sure work on Saturdays, maybe even half day on Monday 24th...Closed on the 25th, but open again on the 26th.

    I can't point you in the right direction for the "moto-street" but if you ask a cab driver to take you there, I'm confident you'll manage. Just say "quiero comprar llantas para mi moto, por favor lleveme a la calle que tiene muchas tiendas de repuestos de moto" (or write this down on a piece of paper and show it to the cab driver).

    or

    Write this phrase in Google "llantas de moto en cali" and you'll have several addresses and phone numbers.

    Hope this helps.

    Buen viaje!
  2. shojac

    shojac Adventurer

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    I just found your report and I have really enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures, which, by the way are great.
    Looks like you are having a really good time and seeing lots of sights. Keep on doing what you are doing and we will be riding along with you in spirit.
    I spent a little time up in your country back in August, going to PEI and Nova Scotia. On the way back we went to Hartland and saw the worlds longest covered bridge, quiet a sight.
    Have a Merry Christmas.
  3. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Thanks for your help. I have been helped a lot by Mike who owns Motolombia here in Cali. Great guy. He is confident I can get tires tomorrow. Today all the shops are closed. I'll write more about my ride into here and all of Mike's help.

    Thanks

    Kedgi
  4. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Glad you found my report and glad to have you aboard.

    New Brunswick is a beautiful place and a beautiful place to ride.

    Merry Christmas!

    Kedgi
  5. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Hi Paul it was really nice to meet you on the road and all the other riders. What fun to have 17 long distance bikes in one spot.

    Thanks for your info on Mike at Motolombia. He's great. I rode hard yesterday from Honda to Cali and found Motolombia with Mike's help. We are going to check out tires tomorrow. Everything is closed today. It's all good. I'm here at the Hostel, safe and sound and have a day off from riding.

    Good to hear that Alison is on the way.

    I just got a PM from Boris, who is the rider i met in Playa del Tunco, El Salvador and rode to panama City with. He is in Ecuador and wants to get together with whoever can make it down there somewhere for New Years. Should be fun!

    Scottish Mike is a day behind me but will catch up to me here today.

    Thanks again Paul for the Motolombia tip.

    Dwight
  6. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Merry Christmas to you too! and all the best in the New Year!

    Dwight
  7. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    I rode from Honda to Cali yesterday. I was well rested after a day off in Honda and motivated to get moving to look into tires. Some of you readers who are not bikers may not know that motorcycle tire do not last nearly as long as car tires. They have a stickier rubber compound to provide grip in turns and they wear relatively quickly.

    I had a bad crash in July on a hot day thanks to a front tire blowout and now I am a little over cautious maybe about tires.

    The ones I have on are still good for a couple thousand Kilometers at least but i have heard many stories that it can be tough to find tires in South America to fit a bike like mine, because these bikes are not very common down here. There are lots of KLR on trips like mine but the local popultaion tends to ride much smaller bikes.

    So, when RTWPaul told me about a motorcycle rental business, named Motolombia, in Cali, that uses bikes like mine, I emailed Mike, the owner. He says I can get tires for the KLR here, no problem.

    Yesterday I was motivated to get a move on and get down here. Mike, my Scottish riding partner wanted to take his time, which i understand so we split up and I rode down here while Mike made it a two day ride and will catch up to me this evening.

    It's ironic that when I got here I found out today is Sunday and all the bike shops are closed! That's just the way it goes some times. It's all good, now I have a day off from riding in Cali.

    When you leave Honda for Cali, the going is good. Nice two lane, smooth black top through ranch country. Pretty with mountains on either side of you. You come to the city of Imbague, a fairly large, busy city where my GPS led me down the same dead end twice. realizing it was familiar I just rode in the direction I thought I should head and it finally picked another route, through the Bario (according to the sign) and over some badly busted up pavement down a steep mountainside and finally out to the highway. I can't believe there isn't an easier way through Imbague but if there is, my GPS doesn't know about it.

    When you leave Imbague, westbound toward Cali you hit this incredible mountain road, good pavement for the most part, steep winding climb and then a steep winding descent with very tight turns over a 65kms section. There were a few trucks and busses holding up traffic some with a line up of about thirty cars behind them as the grinded their way up but nothing like my ride from Bogata to Honda.

    I passed wherever I could, on the shoulder, in tight turns getting ahead of one car at a time until I could pass the truck or bus. Everything was moving so slowly it was easy to get through the mess and then you would enjoy a few minutes of excellent mountain riding until you caught the next truck. All in all it was fun! (The scenery was amazing and I'm sorry I didn't stop to take pictures, but I find pictures of the mountains simply do not show how dramatic they are, and if you stop you get to pass the same group of traffic all over again)

    When you get through the mountains you ride the rest of the way to Cali on good road, mostly four lane, first world type road, through a valley used for sugar cane and other agriculture.

    I got into Cali before dark, following the GPS to an address Mike had given me. Turns out there are more than one 6th Ave. in Cali, in fact I think every area of the city has one. The one the GPS was showing me was not the right place. I tried to ask for directions (I don't know why I do that because I don't speak Spanish, but at least I get a general idea for just how lost I am from the reactions i get)

    Two people at a dental clinic I eneded up in front of tried to help they offered to call. I didn't have Motolombia's number written down it was in my computer, of course, and i needed WiFi to get at it. Another rider a young man on a small bike seemed to think I was only a few blocks from where I wanted to be and he actually led me there but that was wrong too.

    Now it was dark and I was really lost. I typed McDonalds into my GPS and it found one. I went there, used their free WiFi to call Mike at Motolombia, told him I thought I was in the south end of Cali, and it turns out Motolombia is in the North. I explained what was going on and asked if there was a landmark like a hospital or anything near him I could possibly navigate to. Turns out there is a huge shopping center and I headed there. I had an amazing nightime ride across Cali, which is a huge city, from south to north. Passed through the Historico district where there were thousands of people, thousands like giant mobs on the sidewalks, crazy traffic, although crazy doesn't really do it justice. it's really madness. Little motos squeezing into any hole they can find at a light to blast off ahead of the other traffic which then roars past them so they can all do it again at the next light.

    I had one little bike come from behind me while I was stopped and zip between me and a taxi at what seemed like 50mph and just miss hitting me. It was so close there must have been a mm between the three vehicles. The dumbass kid actuall scared himself I'm sure, he looked back to see if he hit anything.

    In the end I found the mall. I found another McDonalds, used their free WiFi to tell Mike I had made it to the Mall, which is 6 blocks from his place and he very kindly jumped in his truck and came and got me. YAY!:clap

    All the while I had been riding across the city I had been pissing people off because i had my high beams on. My low beam has burnt out again. I just replaced it before I left home. What a way to ride through Cali!

    Anyway I'm here, safe and sound, looking forward to a do nothing day. Yesterday was a long hard ride and I am happy to chill today. I had supper at MCDonalds last night. (I walked the six blocks back to the mall to get a 1/4 pounder meal):clap

    Guess where I'm going for breakfast later this morning:D

    Kedgi
  8. Nice_Rumble

    Nice_Rumble Long timer

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    Easy enough to re-aim your headlight if you can't find a replacement bulb.
  9. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    The headlight bulb itself is no problem, Mike has them here at Motolombia, putting it in a KLR is a pain. I think I have to take the fairing off. Not sure, I'll have to research that.

    Glad i can get a spare, I would hate to have the second one go, and I wonder why the low beam has burned twice. I do leave it on all the time though and I am just short of 40,000 kms. I'll reach that milestone before I'm out of Cali.

    Kind of a boring day here. Cali seems to be very quiet on a Sunday. That's good though, I can use a break.

    Kedgi
  10. Max Wedge

    Max Wedge ADVenture mowing

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    Hey Kedgi,
    I finally caught up to you on this RR, and I am really enjoying it. I saw in an earlier post that you are 55, and asI am closing in on that number, it makes me really glad to see a trip like this can still be in the cards for me, maybe when I hit 55. Ride on, and thanks for posting this from the road. I have done it, and I know it isn't easy to keep us all updated. :freaky
  11. Nice_Rumble

    Nice_Rumble Long timer

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    Remove the front fender and look straight up. You will see a black panel held in with a couple screws. Remove that and you can access the headlight bulbs.
  12. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Awesome!

    Thank You!

    Kedgi
  13. love/hate it

    love/hate it Adventurer

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    Still following along and am especially enjoying the pictures. You seem to be adapting well to your new world. Sent Steph what was to be an installment on your report. I'm sure she and the Learning Center appreciate what you are doing for them. Season's best to you man. Ride safe.
  14. Eagletalon

    Eagletalon Been here awhile

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    Incredible journey so far! I always think that the best bike is that one you can afford. I mean after all I am sure even the those fancy bikes lack a few things here and there. Glad to see that you didn't let the Central America mishap shape your trip. Thanks for the continued updates.

    Later
    John
  15. GoMotor

    GoMotor Adventurer

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    Or remove the four screws holding the windshield and replace it form the top. Either way it is not necessary to remove the fairing.
  16. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Thank You for your donation. It makes me feel good to know that some people will benefit from my ride. There are so many people that could use a hand up, down here, and in Central America. I see it and we all know Steph saw it and did something about it.

    I have enjoyed my time in Colombia. This country is recovering from so many bad years, now they have an expanding economy and I think that's why Mike and i have encountered so many trucks on the road. Great roads just loaded with trucks

    This morning I will finally have a chance to check out tires. Then I don't know what were doing. We may stay here for Christmas, there are worse ideas. Here we have WiFi, it's a decent neighborhood that could pass for a neighborhood in Toronto.

    Another rider showed up here yesterday. Steve from Vernon BC. I knew his bike the moment I saw it. It's a GS 800. It's one of the other two bikes that went on the same aircraft my and Boris' bike went on. Mike and I saw the other bike a German BMW pass up, opposite direction, up by Santa Marta. It's a small world. Steve is staying here for Christmas and will likely join us for New Years.

    Kedgi
  17. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    You know, that is so true! Angele and I have many other things on the go. Dropping 20 grand on a bike didn't make sense to me. I got a screaming deal on this fully farkled KLR and it is serving me well.

    I think for me the hassles at the borders were wearing me down. Showing up at those borders, alone, not speaking Spanish is a trying ordeal. Colombia where I've been riding for about ten days without even thinking of borders has been great.

    I have received reports from riders up ahead that the Ecuador border is relatively easy but there is a long wait for your migration stamp due to foot traffic. Not so bad, it sounds like you don't have to jump through 14 hoops like we did at some borders.

    Glad you're following along

    Dwight
  18. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    That's good to know. This website and it's readers are amazing.

    Kedgi
  19. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Hey it's Christmas Eve, people are in the spirit of giving, and I'm thinking I should post this link again. In case anyone hasn't seen it this is the blog from my friend Steph who I met in El Salvador. She is raising money for a much needed learning center in Little Corn Island, Nicaragua. She rode her bicycle from Calgary, Alberta Canada to Nicaragua and 20 miles from her final destination she was struck by a car. Click on the link and you can meet this amazing young lady and if you have a few bucks burning a hole in your pocket you can donate to her cause.

    http://stephgoescyclingforacause.blogspot.com/
  20. anytwocylinder

    anytwocylinder Too Old for WHAT?

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    Kedgi,

    I can't tell you how much we (myself and office staff) are enjoying your report. It has resulted in many hours of lost productivity I'm sure but your trials, tribulations and written insight have made it well worth it. We have spent many summers riding your home turf in the Canadian Maritimes from the Hartford, Ct area. Hopefully we will cross your path someday.


    Outstanding work and much continued safe and smooth riding. We'll be living vicariously through you this winter. As for Steph, we did the math on what we all paid for our last good novel and sent that amount to the fine young lady's cause. Just be sure to keep the good adventure stories coming. We need a great ending to the book.

    Enjoy your holiday away from home. We wish you all the best.

    :clap