South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by JDowns, Oct 2, 2012.

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  1. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Clem,

    Sorry I missed that one. I'm on it. I got a little side tracked but will take care of your request as soon as I find a plate. Might take a day or two.

    Glad to have you along for the ride.

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
  2. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Mario33,

    It's been raining cats and dogs all afternoon with thunder and lightening, but I'll be sure to post up some pics as soon as it dries out tomorrow when the sun comes out and I can wheel the bike out of the darkness and into the light. All this Colombian hospitality has kept me busy and the boys around here work so fast you have to be quick to get photographs.

    Saludos,
    Juan Mechanico
  3. Dracula

    Dracula Deus ex machina

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    Hi John,

    Nice to read that Sherpa is coming back to life, there is nothing those old school mechanics can't fix. I enjoyed the pictures from the city tour. Internet forecast there seems rainy for the days coming with cooler temps, hopefully you can pick a route where weather gets better for you when you head out on the road again.

    Best,
    Vic
  4. Clem Kevin

    Clem Kevin Nude With Boots

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    Nothing fancy, keep it grubby. The best part of traveling is trying all the sketchy cheap cuisine.
  5. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Vic,

    I can't tell you how good it felt to get the Sherpa back together, fire it up and ride around the parking garage.

    I looked at the forecast, and I don't really care if it's raining. Heading out into the mountains will be a blast no matter the weather.

    I just can't get over how nice the people here are in Medellin. Really warm and outgoing. Quite unusual for a big city. It makes you want to learn more Spanish. It helps to be around people who don't speak English.

    I got the Sunday paper and tried working the crossword puzzle. Got more words than I thought possible before an Engineer came in for his car and finished it for me. I have been reading the newspaper and looking up all the words I don't know. Great way to improve your vocabulary.

    Anyone who says Colombia is dangerous and to be avoided obviously doesn't know what they're talking about. This place is awesome!

    Saludos,
    Juan Paisa
  6. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF ¿to post or to ride?

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    Hi John! Here's how to figure that: 99 miles / [5.2 (liters) * 0.2642 (gallons per liter)] gallons = 99 miles / 1.374 gallons = 72.1 miles per gallon.
    An incredible 72 mpg! :eek1
    That rocks :thumb
  7. kwb210

    kwb210 Adventurer

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    Can't agree more! My son Ryan rode his 1997 BMW F650 to Columbia and I flew down to meet him. I rented a bike from Motolumbia and we traveled the "coffee axis" for 10 days. Amazing riding and the people were the best. Medellin was my favorite big city. I was surprised at all the public art, it seemed to be everywhere. Ryan had intended to hang out in COlumbia for a couple of weeks before moving on, ADV post: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=770001 he ended up riding Columbia for two months, just could not leave. We felt safe each and every day.
    Thanks for all your effort in posting!
    Regards,
    Kurt
  8. SS in Vzla.

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

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    Ask for a zapatero (shoe repair-man)... They are everywhere and will stich and re-paint your boots very cheap... Might as well put new soles if needed. It will be a permanent repair...

    Buen viaje!
  9. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF ¿to post or to ride?

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    This has gotten me into trouble. In Latin America, they are more common-sense and 'spirit of the law' oriented, whereas here, it's all 'letter of the law'.
    There, you have some latitude to operate safely as long as you don't get in an accident. Just don't get in an accident! Here, we're past the point of ridiculousness with the innumerable things you can't do, and when you get in an accident, it's no big deal, that's what insurance is for. :bluduh
  10. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF ¿to post or to ride?

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    I love this. It's so cool that you're doing this and reporting your locattions. And it's bound to remain a good option as long as people show respect to others and the environment and leave no trace in the wilderness. Or leave only the trace of having had a pleasant and interesting traveler pass through when people are around.

    In the wilderness, it's a good idea to set up out of sight, though, as you've been doing, because some folks passing by might find you a potential target, or simply become perturbed by your presence.

    If we become conspicuous, or irritating, it will become more difficult and possibly more dangerous for future travelers.
  11. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Monday morning started out with a trip downtown with Orlando on the metro. That guy can fast walk like nobody's business. Really fun weaving through pedestrians in El Centro. No time to take pictures as we made our way to the less expensive place to buy SOAT from the Seguros de Estado office. They sold me three months for around 35.00 as opposed to the annual policy for around 200 that other offices wanted to sell.

    That done I headed back to the parcadero to finish bleeding the front brake, adjust it with some shims so it lined up and took it out for a spin. It's not perfect and the wheel is a little out of round, but nothing I can't fix down the road with a spoke wrench. Here is the Sherpa loaded up and ready to take off this morning:

    [​IMG]

    and two of the mechanics at the parcadero that were so helpful in getting the Sherpa rideable:

    [​IMG]

    Orlando drew me a map out of town and soon I was up in the mountains. The road to Cartagena was more of a freeway, so I saw a sign to Puerto Berrio and took a derecho off into the hills on a lovely winding mountain road. Puerto Berrio sounded like somewhere on the coast. It turns out it is up in the mountains over towards Venezuela I learned when I stopped at this restaurant for some lunch:

    [​IMG]

    No worries, it was a great winding road. Here is what 9000 pesos ($5.00) buys you out in the countryside:

    [​IMG]

    It looked like somewhere in Italy with all the brick buildings and red tile roofs:

    [​IMG]

    Here are some kids on bicycles catching a ride on the back of a truck heading up hill:

    [​IMG]

    nothing but curves for a 100 miles or so. I don't have an odometer so I'm guessing here:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was almost to Puerto Berrio when a thunderstorm swept through. A real gully washer with thunder and lightening. A few kilometers after a village in the mountains the Sherpa just died. Probably soaked ignition or somesuch. So there I was in the dark coasting to a stop. And I thought to myself. It could be worse.

    So I sat there in the pouring rain and decided the best course of action was to push the bike back to the last village and find a place to stay for the night. Let the bike dry out. It could be something simple like the kickstand switch going tits up. Or it could be the Ignition Control Unit. Who knows?

    So I pushed the bike slowly back uphill. Glad I am a minimalist with a small bike. Over the top of the rise coasted down the hill to the village and a guy on a bicycle rode by and asked what the problem was. I explained I needed a place to stay so he rode with me down to the local hospedaje. It was full but the owner said I could set up my tent behind the restaurant.

    And an engineer staying here has a laptop with wifi and gave me the password so I can upload this. Really nice folks. I'll add pictures as I can this evening. It is currently 8PM and they have some smooth latin jazz playing outside my tent.

    Great place to break down I'd say. I never know from day to day what's coming. This is another interesting twist. I am confident the new day will bring more friendly and helpful Colombians for me to hang out with while I figure this one out.

    More later.

    Saludos,
    Juanito
  12. Dracula

    Dracula Deus ex machina

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    Dear John,

    This is so effin awesome I can't find my words for it, pardon my French.
    Do enjoy every moment of this slice of reality as it is never coming back, and I know you do.
    Am sure Sherpa will fire right up once it's dry or you will find some loose little wire needed to be re attached.
    I remember in the old times people would get by with a sliced potato and two wires poking it instead of ignition capacitor or a lady's pantyhose instead of alternator belt, so you must find a similar recipe in Colombia for he Sherpa, am sure.

    My Colombian colleague from Cali is now asking me about your updates every day at work so we have something nice to discuss.

    Cheers!
    Vic
  13. trespalacios

    trespalacios Oh libertad

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    Hey it seems that you'll be staying in Antioquia a bit longer after all :lol3 That was some detour you took. Puerto Berrio is a port on the Magdalena river, Colombia biggest river. If you follow the river it will bring you to Barranquilla (carnaval starts in 4 days). The original route (the one you saw as a freeway) is not for the faint of heart. Here's a video of what you missed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pUL0XoBsBx0#!

    What an awesome ride report!!!
  14. miguelitro

    miguelitro Chuchaqui

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    any plans for Ecuador yet?:ear
    Mike
  15. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hola trespalacios,

    I got all your helpful emails. Thanks so much!

    Yes Puerto Barrios is a ways off the beaten track. Really like it up here. I almost made it. Only 22k away. This Colombian mountain riding is the bomb. I pulled into San Jose and was an instant celebrity. People wanting to know all about my ride. And am having fun here in the small pueblo I find myself in.

    Colombia rocks! I am having a lot of fun breaking down in this country!

    Saludos,
    Juan Berrio
  16. Hawk62cj5

    Hawk62cj5 2 Cheap 4 a KLR

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    People Look at the plate , Where the hell is the country of Nebraska. :D
  17. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi miguelitro,

    If not this year then next year for sure. South America is huge. When I run out of money, I'm parking the bike and heading home to work. But I will fly back down and continue exploring the continent. Might take a while at the rate I'm going.

    Saludos,
    Juanito
  18. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Your right in the the thick of the really good stuff right now:clap:clap:clap


    Have fun in the Tres Cordilleras!

    How about some photos of the repair work, something about a brake caliper hanger welded on:ear
  19. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

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    Good to see you back on the road and riding again .
    Suerte mi amigo!!
  20. bESS

    bESS Been here awhile

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    John:

    was so happy to see you back on the road. I chuckled when you wrote, "it could be worse" . I'm going to use those same words when I have a problem (crossed fingers)

    enjoy your down time and hope it just needed drying out, but that doesn't mean you have to leave where you are

    bob
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