Ride Report Link Thread

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by bananaman, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

    Joined:
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    From "Two Arms and a Head: The Death of a Newly Paraplegic Philosopher," located here: www.2arms1head.com.

    Three weeks into my trip, a few hours south of Acapulco, a donkey ran in front of me and I hit it going around sixty miles per hour. I remember every detail perfectly. Two donkeys were on the left side of the road. One looked kind of skittish as I approached. I immediately remembered something from my motorcycle safety course about evading pursuing dogs by speeding up at just the right moment. I also simultaneously realized that this didn’t apply but was feeling a bit aggressive and impatient just then. I found much of Mexico disgustingly filthy beyond any conceivable reason apart from pure slovenliness, was approached and had my pocket picked on the street two nights earlier by a transvestite hooker, and had to go through some bullshit with another guy who had ripped me off the night before. I of course expected those sorts of things on the trip but was just a little impatient to reach Guatemala. So as soon as the idea of accelerating occurred to me, I did it. The donkey, probably alarmed by the sound of the engine, started suddenly into the road, jumping like someone had whipped it. Then just as suddenly it relaxed, casually trotted along, and stopped directly in front of me. A message should have gone from my brain to my right hand and foot, telling them to operate the brakes, but the situation somewhat perplexed me so I didn’t react properly. I have zero experience with donkeys so to me this was almost as bizarre as if it had been a hippopotamus. “A donkey?” That is what my brain said. “Donkey?!”
    So instead of braking I tried to go around him to the right but his head was just about to the edge of the road and there was a ditch for a shoulder. This all happened in a matter of seconds. The vivid detail with which I remember these last moments is quite pronounced in my mind. Up to the very point of impact, my visual image of the donkey’s face was perfectly sharp. I saw the texture of his furry head in increasingly close-up detail as my eyes came within about three feet of him. The next thing may sound odd or it may not, but just before the left end of my handlebar smashed into his face and killed him I perceived him to be expressing some kind of emotion. He looked a bit crestfallen, or penitent. Maybe it was just the normal downward position of his head that gave me this impression, but he seemed to lower it perhaps slightly more than usual and to cast his eyes down like an abused dog, submissively resigned to a beating it sees coming. Or maybe my imagination is running away with me. Anyhow, I’ve since said to myself many times “Fucking donkey!” but the truth is that I have no resentment toward him. I hope he had a good donkey life.
    To digress for a moment, here’s my advice for those who conduct motorcycle safety courses and write the books that go along with them. Include somewhere the following sentence. “If you see an animal on the side of the road ahead of you, slow down immediately.” Maybe include some pictures of animals so the brain can associate the idea more readily to the visual stimulus. Most people who read this might think I’m a complete fool for not knowing this without being told. As Gracian said: “The world is full of fools; and he who would not wish to see one, must not only shut himself up alone, but must also break his looking-glass.” So I won’t argue. There is no question that I was an inexperienced, aggressive, cocky motorcycle rider. Whatever the case may be I can say with some confidence that if I had read that precise sentence in my safety manual my brain, instead of going to the file about evading menacing dogs, would have pulled the file concerning animals on the side of the road. The idea “brake” would then have suggested itself instead “accelerate”, and I might just be happy and having the time of my life studying law in Venice right now, with wine and gondolas and pretty girls.
  2. Nata Harli

    Nata Harli Cunning Linguist

    Joined:
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    I've been perusing the Ride Reports to try and update this thread.

    I've noticed something good and bad about this. It's good that so many FFs are riding in LA and writing RRs about their experiences.

    It's bad for me trying to keep this thread updated. There are just too many new RRs to include in my updates. It's a dilemma that I don't quite know how to solve.

    If you are in this thread because you are looking for information on riding in LA, that's good. But, if you are overwhelmed by all the information, that's bad.

    So, what to do? One thing I'm certain of is that including ALL the RRs written about LA is not the solution. First of all, the summary will eventually be overwhelming.

    Next, there are good RRs and bad RRs out there. That's just a fact of life. I want to cull out the bad ones but I don't have the time to go through every RR on LA.

    My thinking is to use some sort of nomination process. Maybe PM me with your nomination and when I receive x number of nominations, I'll include that particular RR in my summary.

    This is not the process yet. I'm looking for some suggestions as to how to handle this so the summaries would have more meaning for you. If you are finding this thread and the summaries helpful please send me some suggestions as to how we should proceed with this thread.

    Thanks.
  3. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

    Joined:
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    Passing ADV Stalkers in California
    I like the nomination process but ultimately an editor must make the final decision. ADV rider has had the problem of too much information for years now. Nothing new there. Too many participants ... we can't all be geniuses!

    IMHO, many RR's are dismal and boring with poor photography. I know you are old enough to remember what an editor does. Seems on the internets there are no gatekeepers ... as everyone is a fucking expert! :lol3 ... apparently! I recommend a book called The Cult Of The Amateur ... it's all about the internet and where it's leading us.

    Too much content turns into one big clusterfuck. So a talent spotter is what is needed. Someone familiar with the anthology concept. Cream of the crop and all.

    I know I tend to skip any report that spends 15 pages talking about prepping and packing for the ride while still in the US and showing stop overs at relatives houses on the way South. Only a few have done this right. Anton is one ... but his pics are world class. He has a rare thing, it's called TALENT ... and it's in extremely short supply on ADV.

    I wouldn't even try to review all reports. Let others help with that and link you to ones they feel are worth while. When you find out certain of your assoc. editors haven't a clue ... you can get recommendations from others.

    I would cull the very best parts of RR's and include them in a kind of anthology ... sort of like a book of the best short stories and pics. :deal
  4. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Thats a tough chore sorting through the noise to get to the good stuff since there are so many Latin America ride reports going on.

    I considered not posting a ride report of my travels for various reasons, not least of which was adding to the noise. If I were to do it all over again, I would make a fraction of the posts that I did, and only post the more interesting or unusual stuff, kind of a "best of" from my trip. 5 or 10 posts would have been worthy, but the rest of my report was mostly noise. We have all seen Mayan and Inca ruins and the Ushuaia sign, and backpacker hotels, changing a tire ad nauseum, and I posted the same mediocre crap as well. My report was probably a little better than some, and not as good as many others, but I had no illusions that my trip would be much of an adventure as it was more of a long travel experience seeing some cool stuff and meeting great people along the way. The moto was just my tool to do it and enabled me to go places that most folks never get to see. As far as being an expert or having real talent for writing and photography, I think those folks are few and far between.

    IMO riding Latin America was probably a real adventure 30 or 40 years ago, but today, not so much. Its just too easy to do these days I think. You have the internet everywhere, ATM's everywhere, bikes are reliable methods of transport, fuel, food, and hotels are available everywhere, parts and support is usually easy to come by, every place is safe enough to visit, the gringo trail is chocked full of travelers, so its just not the balls out adventure that it probably once was. There is adventure to be had out there, but you have to seek it out. Again, everyone is different in this respect as well. Of course maybe I'm a little jaded by now.

    Ride Reports that blast through all of the Americas in a couple months on the Pan Am dont interest me very much since its been done a million times before. Its seems today that many folks do it for bragging rights to say they rode a motorcycle from Alaska to Ushuaia, which is fine, to each their own, but it doesnt make for very interesting reading for the simple fact that so many people are doing it these days.

    I like the reports where folks explore places, do something a little different, and really get out there, thats the good stuff. If they are good photographers like Anton, thats a huge bonus. YMMV.


    Now this is a very good idea! Any volunteers? :lol3
  5. Nata Harli

    Nata Harli Cunning Linguist

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    Thanks for the input. I'm still not sure how to handle this but your input helps!
  6. Archimedes

    Archimedes Adventure Researcher

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    181
    Location:
    The Americas
    New ones or old ones, nominations sound good. Maybe just tally the nominations for each month and have that one made sticky? That way the best RRs get exposure. It might be easier to handle too? Actually all the really good reports I have to find by luck, Not that my RR is any good but if it was it would be a crap shoot to find unless I called it (hot chick on fast bike in LLama pants)
    Just a thought.
  7. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

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    OTR RTW since 2006 (currently in India)
  8. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
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  9. drifter dave

    drifter dave Been here awhile

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    BC, Canada
    Yay!
    I made a list :)

    Mine's one of those hidden little reports: Seldom read but enjoyed by those who do read it :)
  10. Nata Harli

    Nata Harli Cunning Linguist

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    I've been mulling this over for months and don't think I've come up with a solution that will satisfy the masses.

    However, I'm a visual sort of guy. I like pics over verbiage. 1 pic being worth 1000 words. That's just how I am and at nearly 71 I ain't changin'.

    So, I'm going to leave all the other RRs in my last update alone and start a new one that will be photo oriented. I'll try and remember to put a link to the last updates of the previous RRs in my new posts. I'll leave them alone and venture into totally new territory with the new posts.

    I'm going to start with JediMaster's "Trails of North America...a photo journal" and "Trails of South America (PtI)... a photo journal". These are both the kind of RRs that immediately draw me in and make me want to stay up all night finishing them.

    So, I'll wait a few weeks before I dive in again and that will give everyone time to let me know yea or nay for more visually oriented RRs.

    Your input will be appreciated. :deal
  11. Two Moto Kiwis

    Two Moto Kiwis Homeless Somewhere

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,082
    Location:
    Wanaka, New Zealand, Currently RTWing
    Buenos dias

    Ellen and I are crossing into Mexico today Sunday 4th November 2012, this is our ride report in the ride reports section for anyone who is interested.

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=789269

    or our blog

    www.twomotokiwis.com

    We would welcome any input from locals for travel, rides, lodging etc, anything to make our stay from Mexico south would be cool.

    Gracias amigos
  12. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    Vankouver
  13. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Madison, Wisconsin and/or Panama, Panama
  14. Mafketel

    Mafketel Adventurer

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  15. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    In Epic Rides; tuckers to tdf
    Colleen and James rode two DR650's (in a hurry) to Ushuai from Los Angeles. Kept a good account of costs each day. Met gpothaven in Quito Ecuador! Met John Downs in Medellin Colombia. Met Two Kiwis in Cajamarca Peru.