"I've Been Everywhere, Man" Living the song on two wheels.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by swedstal, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,159
    Ah...yes. Thank you. All of the food names kind of run together for me. Yogurt has been part of my daily routine since I've recovered. I hope it will help.

    I let you off easy, Mitch. I could have also composed a literary tour de force describing the sounds and smells too!

    Possibly. They would have to withstand compression, as that's what got me. The boots I have have good padding at the ankle, but there was a lot of weight that landed on it. "Delhi belly" :lol3

    Why didn't you rent a bike and come join me? It's not that far. :-) Thank you for the support. I'll be looking into some new protection options when I get to Antigua. I have the means to equip myself better, but spending money is hard for me. I should upgrade my gear while I still have the bare knee to remind me.

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I kind of felt like getting back to normal life, which at this strange stage of my life is to keep on riding. I did a couple long days in a row and it didn't feel too bad. I appreciate the encouragement!

    Thank you, but we frown on seriousness around here. :-)

    There's a "Russian Judge" in every crowd, huh?

    The 500X looks great. It came out just after I bought Annie, otherwise I might have considered it. I was so happy when Honda announced that 500cc line. I'm kind of a small bike guy (top case withstanding) and it feels like American market bikes are getting so big. Thanks for the cipro tip and the well wishes.
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  2. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,159
    The following posts will document the day of my crash. I call it "12 hours in Chiapas." It is perhaps the most words I have written about a single day on the whole trip. Buckle up!


    Tuesday, January 23rd

    8:30am

    San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

    I’m not sure when it started: My deep seated disdain for monkeys. There’s just something about them, right? Whatever the cause, I should have trusted my disinclination for these primates. Instead, I had taken my clothes to a “lavanderia” called El Chango Blanco, the White Monkey. (A lavanderia is a place where they wash your clothes for you for.)

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    My clothes had not been ready at the scheduled time, 8pm the previous night, and more than twelve hours later they were still not ready. I knew that I had a long day ahead of me and did not want to end up riding in the dark. Still, I tried to be kind and accommodating. There wasn’t much else one could do.



    8:52am

    With my folded hostages now liberated, I headed back to my happy home: Hostal Marimba. I had met so many nice people here and the owners, Victor and Ali, really went beyond the call of duty in nursing me back to health after my stomach issue.

    [​IMG]



    9:20am

    Packing a motorcycle is a tedious process. There is some sense of poetry to it, as each item has a specific and exact place, but it always takes longer than one would think. Having been stationary for nearly six days, I had managed to spread out a bit.

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    10:30am

    Time to begin the goodbyes. My new friend, Chiara, became the first Italian to sign Annie.

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    (Thanks, Ali and Victor, for the pictures)

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    Ali, Victor and even Kika (at foot level) really treated me like one of their own. I can’t imagine having a nicer place to throw up your guts in San Cristobal.



    10:56am

    Exiting the hostel.

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  3. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

    Joined:
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    The previous day, I had been hoping to be on the road around 8:30. Some of the delays were out of my control, but I was already feeling a little apprehensive about making it to Palenque by the end of daylight.

    Route:
    [​IMG]

    I should maybe state explicitly that I did not need to go to Palenque. It is not on my route. This detour to the north would basically be a dead end turn-around. Still, I’d heard so many wonderful things about the ruins at Palenque, that it sounded worth my trip. Additionally, I would also get to visit the ruins at Tonina on the way. Two for the price of one.

    11:43am

    Things like this burned out vehicle on the road always make me a little uneasy…

    [​IMG]



    12:35pm

    It is hard for me to describe the scenery. Mountainous? Yes. Tropical? Yes. Full of variety? Absolutely. I snapped this picture which includes evergreen trees, deciduous trees and palm trees. I don’t know if this is a rare occurrence, but I found it interesting.

    [​IMG]



    1:06pm

    I reached Ocosingo and fill up with gas. I had a real nice conversation with the attendants. One of them was thoroughly enamored with Sonic. He would spin his legs, then laugh, spin his legs, then laugh…. :-)



    1:20pm

    We reached the archaeological site of Tonina. Tonina was a powerful Mayan kingdom. The site boasts the tallest pyramid in the Mayan world. For some reason, it is a less popular site than some of the other Mayan ruins. More for me to enjoy.

    I parked Annie and walked to the little information booth. Amazingly they told me that there is no charge for entrance, but they had a little red cross bucket where you could contribute if you wanted.

    The ruins are a bit of a walk from the lot, probably at least half of a mile.

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    ….over a bridge…

    [​IMG]

    ….and up some stairs.

    The grounds are peaceful and humble. Cows graze just a few yards from structures that are over 2,000 years old. It was sort of refreshing.

    First up was the ball court, with the pyramid far in the distance.

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    I can’t describe the view of the pyramid from the ground. Unfortunately, the pictures don’t really do it justice either. It is a terraced design, featuring seven levels that stretch 230 ft into the sky.

    [​IMG]

    It was really fun to explore: Go up a level…look around….repeat.

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    In the Palace of the Underworld:

    [​IMG]

    Some thick walls.

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    “Steepness” is one of those things that is so hard to capture with a picture. This is about the best that I could do.

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    There was not a single informational plaque to be found. The only signs were the occasional ones that looked like this, informing you that it was OK to pass that way: (But maybe I was supposed to be bare-footed?)

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    This was the path of ascent on the second to last level. Can you see the stairs in this picture?

    [​IMG]



    2:34pm

    Summit!

    I must admit, my legs were a little tired. Though I had seen only a handful of people on my way up, I met a nice couple at the very top. They were Daniele and Paola from Italy. We did a brief language dance before leaning that English would serve us best. :-)

    I had a great time chatting with them and they had lots of good questions about my trip. Additionally, we learned that we were both heading to Palenque that evening. They asked me if I had heard about the protests and road blockades on the way. I had not. It was great that they gave me a heads up of what was to come.

    Ok. Sorry for all of the words. Without further ado, the pictures from the top:

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    What’s that? You don’t believe I was actually there? Fine:

    [​IMG]
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  4. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

    Joined:
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    3:20pm

    Back near the entrance, I saw Daniele and Paola again. They were in discussions with a couple of the guides about the road blockades on the way to Palenque and if there was any way to avoid them (they were travelling with a rental car). With the mountainous terrain, any detour would have added at least a couple of hours. My phone said that the normal route was about 2 and a half ours and there were only about 3 hours of daylight remaining. We all pretty much agreed that rolling the dice with the blockades was the best bet.

    I showed them Annie, then Daniele and I talked about bikes for a bit. They left about five minutes ahead of me, but I noted their license plate so I could keep an eye out for them. I rode through Ocosingo and turned north to head towards Palenque. It was a nice ride until…..



    3:58pm

    A motorcycle has been my primary means of transportation for the last 16 years. I had never had a crash before. An innocuous looking left bank, would be the first obstacle to ever take me down.

    I was going relatively slowly and was in what I thought was a good lane position. The turn was basically completed and my eyes were already looking down the straightaway. Suddenly I felt a little wobble from my front end. Just as I was beginning to wonder what was happening, I was slammed down on to my left side.

    Much of Annie’s weight landed on my left ankle. I was momentarily pinned underneath, but we rotated counter clockwise until I was sliding ahead of Annie, on my back, head-first into the ditch.

    As instantaneously as the crash happened, time slowed significantly during this slide. I had two main thoughts:

    1. I can’t believe that the streak is over. I can no longer say that I’ve never had a motorcycle accident.
    2. “I don’t deserve this! I didn’t make a mistake. There’s no reason that I should be sliding along this road right now.
    Annie and I came to rest among some roadside trash, just off of the paved surface. I took a couple of rapid breaths, then began taking mental inventory of my extremities. Everything moved, but my left leg was really painful. I had a moment of pure suspense as I gathered the courage to raise my head and look at it with my eyes. I feared I would see a bone sticking out or my foot pointing in some abstract direction.

    “Whew. Everything looks OK.”

    I dropped my head again and took a few more rapid breaths.

    Suddenly, some figures approached from my left. I blinked to bring my eyes into focus, then blinked some more when I did not believe what I saw. It was my new Italian friends, Daniele and Paola.

    I was confused, but very thankful.

    They encouraged me to lay still and not rush getting to my feet. I took the process slowly, sitting up and removing my helmet first. After a bit of time in the seated position, I stood up without too much difficulty.

    First physical damage assessment, not too bad:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Shortly after I made it to my feet, there were probably 20-30 people around the crash site. There were a number of truck-buses (basically just a pickup with some caging and tarping in the bed area, used to efficiently transport LOTS of people) that drove by and stopped and some other bikers. I took some pictures of this pandemonium, but those did not save for some reason. :-(

    I gave a brief speech to the gathered throng, thanking them for stopping, telling them I’d never had a crash before and letting them know I was just fine. I’m not sure why I felt the need to do this.

    I decided to leave Annie lay, while I surveyed the scene and took some pictures. After a few minutes, most of the people had dispersed.

    [​IMG]

    We noticed that there was quite a bit of spilled diesel fuel in the right tire track of my lane. Though I am still unsure about the exact nature of the crash, this seems like the likeliest culprit. Before the crash, I hadn’t registered it as an obstacle to be avoided. This makes me think that I was probably turning a little wider than I thought.

    [​IMG]

    Daniele helped me get Annie picked up and we began looking her over. His first concern was my shift lever, which was undamaged. Nothing was really broken, except for the camera mount I use for “Sonic Cam” videos. My phone holder had detached from the mount, but the screen was undamaged. That streak remains intact. The left hand guard and side case were pretty scraped up though.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The side case was bent inwards, but not enough to be an immediate impediment. I hopped back on and did a couple of passes (on the straight part, not the curve) testing braking and handling. Everything appeared in order.

    Daniele and Paola were really the best. They offered me to sit down in the car for awhile if I needed to and would have done anything for me. Though I was still a little dazed, I had the wherewithal to ask them to sign Annie. Three Italians in one day!

    [​IMG]

    Next, I made a pretty big mistake. I was only about 5km from Ocosingo and I could have found a place to stay there. With the uncertainty of the road ahead, that was obviously the correct decision. Looking back on it, I have no idea why I decided to continue towards Palenque. Maybe this is just another lesson in why it is unwise to make decisions while in a traumatized state of mind.

    The first few miles were terrible. Every bend in the road (and there are thousands on this one) felt like I was going down. It was absolutely nerve wracking.
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  5. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,159
    4:40pm

    The rains began.

    [​IMG]

    I should not need to explain how unfortunate this was. The damp surface made the perpetual cornering even more difficult. I stopped to put on my rain gear and boot covers. It was at this point that I realized that my ankle was beginning to swell rapidly. I could hardly put any weight on it. Getting suited up was much more challenging than usual.

    In addition, I didn’t have enough flexibility in my ankle to up-shift. I had to do so by pulling my whole leg upwards.



    4:55pm

    Right where the guide at Tonina had indicated, I reached the first road blockade. A large Coca-Cola truck blocked most of the road and the remainder was secured with homemade spike strips. There was not a very long line of vehicles, so I just waited a minute before it was my turn. I didn’t see any guns, but I still wanted to proceed very cautiously.

    [​IMG]

    (I may post video later. I’m struggling with internet right now.)

    I asked them what the protest was about and they gave me a sheet explaining it. I read later that the protest stems from an incident where the driver of a Coca-Cola truck was beaten and robbed by bandits, but the company did not offer any compensation.

    Trying to stay on their good side, I told them that I had a website where I could write about this. They said that they would charge me 50 pesos (about $3) to pass. I didn’t offer any argument. They were true to their word, removing the spike strips and letting me go through after I paid.

    I continued on slowly and laboriously. At one point I got passed by a portly couple on a 125cc (Annie is 670cc) Italika (a really cheap Mexican motorcycle company). I was already worried about darkness, but I could not bring myself to ride with any sort of speed.



    5:17pm

    Did I mention that the road was not in the best of conditions?

    [​IMG]



    5:39pm

    A loooong line of vehicles appeared as I entered a little town. I recognized a white VW a few cars ahead and went to speak with Daniele and Paola again. They said that they had no idea what was going on, but that the line of traffic was really long. I also found out that we had paid the same price at the previous blockade. I decided to start riding to the front to see what I could see. There was probably at least a half mile of standing traffic.

    [​IMG]

    (You can see the dry spots beneath the vehicles. Traffic hadn’t moved since the rains began.)

    There were some large rocks placed on the road preventing vehicles from passing. I stopped a ways back and thought about my next move. There were some locals watching proceedings, sheltered under awnings from the rain. They whistled at me (Mexicans don’t yell “hey,” they just whistle when they want to get someone’s attention) and signaled that I could go through. I walked to the line of rocks and nonchalantly slid one over with my foot to make sure I had room to cross.

    I rode through no man’s land and was soon stopped by a group of three guys. They told me what they wanted in rapid-fire Spanish. With the rain plinking on my helmet and my limited command of the language, I understood none of it. Using the polite, formal form, I asked if he could repeat himself. One of the other guys came closer to my face and shouted “Money!” in English. I asked how much they wanted and they said 10 pesos (about 50 cents). Done deal. This protest had something to do with a school, but I couldn’t make out what was being said.

    This blockade was the last time that I saw Daniele and Paola. I should have exchanged information with them. I still don’t know if they made it to Palenque this night or if they had to turn around.

    Though neither of these blockades were too serious, I think that these are the kind of things that give people pause about travelling in a place like Mexico. It gives the impression that the people can do whatever they want without intervention from the authorities. I’ve felt very safe during my time in Mexico, but there was definitely a “wild west” aspect to this day.



    6:10pm

    Darkness.

    This was not the appointed sunset time, but the thick rain clouds were blocking the last traces of daylight. I only had about 50 miles remaining to get to Palenque, but it was still going to be a long ride. Reaching 30 mph was a rarity. Visibility when it is both dark and rainy is extremely limited.



    6:45pm

    Despite all that it had thrown at me, the road began to have concerns that I was actually going to get the best of it. Accordingly, it began to disappear into muddy, sandy patches in some places.

    [​IMG]



    7:10pm

    I was finally at the limit of what I could mentally bear. Though I would like to tell you that it was just some rain which had penetrated my visor, I have to confess that they were real tears which trickled down my cheeks. I’m still not entirely sure what brought them on. I suppose it was a mixture of physical pain, the fear that I was going to crash again at any moment, the concern that the injury to my left leg might actually be serious and the endless perpetuality of challenges that the road was presenting to me. In some strange way, I felt that this road was going to be the end of me.

    Normally I believe that crying is a healthy experience, but in this instance it was just a further inconvenient impediment to my vision.



    7:32pm

    I scraped Annie’s underside on one of the mountainous topes in a little village. It was the last one for the village, so I began to accelerate away. My headlights caught the sight of something huge in the road. The first thing my weary mind registered was “buffalo.” As I got closer, I saw it was just a gigantic pig. He did not acknowledge my presence as I carefully coasted passed.



    7:46pm

    I had my first glimpse of the lights of Palenque. I almost felt a little surprised that I was going to make it.



    7:55pm

    I made it to Casa Janaab, my home for the night. It is a hostel owned by an adjacent hotel. Before ringing the bell, I sat down and began to strip off my rain gear. My left leg was hardly usable. Each movement of my ankle caused lots of pain.

    The staff got me set up and let me bring Annie into the gated courtyard. I had a bed in a three person room. Shortly after I arrived I met my roommate, Francisco from Argentina. He was a huge help. I knew I had to clean the wound on my knee, but I was not looking forward to hiking out and trying to find a pharmacy that was still open. Thankfully, Francisco had some hydrogen peroxide and antibiotic ointment with him that he let me have.

    Francisco, the next day:

    [​IMG]



    8:20pm

    The first hydrogen peroxide treatment on my knee was incredibly painful. Still, it was a relief to know it was clean.



    I guess sometimes the pain is worth it.



    8:30pm

    Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico



    BA
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  6. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

    Joined:
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    1,159
    Realtime update: Whew…I’m glad that’s done. It was a bit tough to relive that day again. I’ve made it to Lake Atilan in Guatemala after two long days of riding. I’ll take a day or two here before heading to Antigua Guatemala.
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  7. Tlaloc

    Tlaloc Un Tigre del Norte

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    At the risk of sounding like a know-it-all dork, those are banana trees in the photo with the evergreens and deciduous trees. There may well be palms present as well. I acknowledge that this is really trivial, given all that you’ve been through. But you seem like the kind of fellow who would want to know.

    Safe travels!
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  8. vicmitch

    vicmitch Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    995
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Wow, I can't believe you did that ride in your physical and mental state. My helmet's off to you. I went from San pedro (Atitlan) to Antigua and wished I had stayed longer in San Pedro. Antigua is more Gringos than Guatemalans, and they are less laid back Gringos than in San Pedro.
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  9. GHOC

    GHOC FNG

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    Hi Brett,

    Looks like you have discovered how slippery diesel is for a motorcycle tire. I made the same discovery while riding a police BMW "blues and tunes" banked over steeply. The front tire passed through a very narrow ribbon of diesel that had trickled out of a saddle tank. It was a classic case of, "There I was riding down the road admiring the scenery when suddenly I found myself riding down the scenery admiring the road." The front tire side slipped leaving about a 6" long smear on the road before the bike went down hard and I went sailing. Ouch!

    If you're travelling in a straight line and neither braking nor accelerating you might not even notice a diesel spill. But if you're braking, accelerating or turning the sudden drop in the coefficient of friction is likely to cause a control loss. It happens so fast there's usually no chance to react. Traction control or ABS might keep you going if you're not straight up and down. But if you're leaning it's almost certainly over.

    So IMHO there was nothing you could have done to prevent this spill. The only way to avoid it would be if you were fortunate enough to realize the dark stain on the asphalt was diesel and avoid it.

    Hope your injuries heal quickly; there's no reason for your pride or self confidence to be injured.
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  10. The Breeze

    The Breeze Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    446
    Location:
    The Rockies
    Glad you're back on your horse and riding!!!

    Enjoy Lake Atitlan...very nice place.

    Despite Antigua being a touristy place....it's definitely worth checking out. I rode down from the States as well and am currently here taking Spanish lessons. Give me a shout when you get into Antigua if you want to meet up for a beer and/dinner.
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  11. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

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    1,159
    I really should have known that since Nebraska is a prime banana growing climate. I DO appreciate the correction. Once of my favorite parts of travelling is learning new things of which I was previously oblivious. :thumb

    San Pedro was great. Thanks for recommending it. I maybe should have stayed longer, but I'm kind of feeling like I'm in a "go mode" right now. The day from Comitan, MEX to Atilan was a wild ride. I'll catch up on that eventually.

    Thank you for that! I'm still really surprised that I didn't see it. Maybe I'm just less likely to recognize discolorations as obstacles down here. My eyes were already down the straightaway when I went down. There was such little warning, just one little wobble. My initial reaction was more surprise than fear.

    P.S. : Is there anyone left in Vancouver? I keep on meeting people from there at every corner of my trip!

    PM sent!
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  12. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

    Joined:
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    Alright. There's not a lot of media in the following posts until I visit Palenque. Just a permanent disclaimer: I do not judge you for scrolling through the words. :-)


    Wednesday, January 24

    Ok. So I crashed but I didn’t die, so I guess I have to keep writing. :type I don’t have any media from this day, but it was fairly eventful.

    The morning after an injury is always full of suspense. My ankle had hardly been usable at night. Giving it a full night to swell up was going to be telling. But when I woke, I was pleasantly surprised. Though the hobble to the bathroom was an arduous process, I was able to put a little weight on my left foot. At this point I doubted that there was any serious injury. I decided to give it one more day before deciding if I needed to see a doctor.

    Still, I wasn’t moving well and I had some business to take care of. I had only paid for one night and it was obvious my stay would much exceed that. I limped over to the adjacent hotel (which owns the hostel) and attempted to pay for two nights. Unfortunately, I was a few pesos short. They told me that the closest ATM was at the supermarket, about a half mile away. Time for a hike! (I’m sure that a taxi would have cost like $2, but the thought never entered my mind. I’ve still never ridden in a taxi in my whole life. It’s just not something I think of doing.)

    It took me a long time to cover the distance, but I found that I could actually walk better as my ankle warmed up. Still, I really hated gimping around. One of the things that normally puts my mind at ease is that I don’t (think I) look like an easy target. That was definitely not the case this day.

    Furthermore, I like to be pretty careful with my ATM choices. I prefer to withdraw money when I’m just passing through a town. Hop off the bike, get money, make sure I haven’t been followed and get out of town. Now I was taking out money in a crowded supermarket, looking like I was on my last legs.

    I got enough food and water to last me for a few days, paid at the hotel and made it back to the hostel. It felt like a real accomplishment.

    Despite conquering this obstacle, I was in a terrible mood. I was having a hard time shaking off the events of the previous day. I was having some serious doubts about my will and ability to complete the trip, moreso than at any point previously. I felt like I should update my blog and this RR, but I knew it would be some terrible drivel that would not be indicative of how I really felt.

    I really struggled with the lack of justice with the events. I had not deserved to crash. There have been plenty of instances during this journey where I’ve ridden too fast or too aggressively. If I would have crashed on the Tail of the Dragon, I would definitely have deserved it. But this time I was being cautious and riding at a reasonable speed. I should not have gone down.

    Additionally, the thought of getting back on the bike actually sent a wave of fear through my core. The thought of riding back down the same stretch of road was almost unbearable. It is such a foreign feeling for me that I was having a difficult time processing it. I knew the feeling would probably dissipate, but it still made for a very rough day.

    It was great having my new friend, Francisco, there (he was the one who gave my hydrogen peroxide in the previous post). We had some good chats which helped improve my mood marginally.



    Thursday, January 25

    I felt a little better in the morning, both physically and mentally. Franciso left in the morning and he signed Annie before going.

    [​IMG]

    It rained all day, but I had nowhere to go. I got an update sent out, but did not get much else done in terms of work. I tried to reassure myself that I had a pretty good excuse.
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  13. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,159
    Friday, January 26th

    I’d had enough wallowing for the time being, so I decided to get some work done. Annie’s left side case had taken a hard hit and I knew I would need to replace the corner brace which acts as the fail-safe for the system. I brought two spares along.

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    It’s not too convenient to replace this part. For being homemade I think my luggage system is pretty good, but it’s not exactly intuitive. I needed to remove the trunk to access it.

    New vs. old. It takes a lot of force to bend one of these.

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    Fixed.

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    I probably spent a couple of hours working on this project. It was difficult not being able to move around like normal. Still, it felt good to know that Annie was road worthy once again. She’s really living up to her “tough chick” namesake.

    Being able to complete this fix also gave me enough confidence to feel like I could get back on the road in a couple of days. Though I still had quite a limp, it was obvious that I was improving each day.

    Saturday, January 27th

    Palenque.

    Why was I here again? Because I like crashing? Because road blockades are a source of joy for me?

    No…..Oh yeah. The ruins.

    I had sacrificed quite a bit in order to get to view these. This morning, I decided I was well enough to try to visit the site. This would mean about a 20 minute ride and a couple of hours of walking around.

    As usual, I wanted to be there right when the site opened (8am), so I got a fairly early start. The ride was peaceful enough, but I still proceeded slowly and nervously through the curves. I could tell right away that this site was much more trafficked than the ruins at Tonina that I had visited a few days prior. Even at this early hour, it was rare to get a picture without another person in it.

    I’ll interject here and there, but let’s let the pictures talk for awhile.

    Temple of the inscriptions

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    The Palace

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Vendors getting set up:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The thing that probably impressed me the most about this site was the sprawling nature of the site. It really goes and goes. Still, it is estimated that only about 10% of the site is excavated. There is still lots more to be discovered.

    Temple of the Cross, a steep hike up:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    By about 10am, my left leg was beginning to complain fairly loudly. There were still a few more things that I could have seen, but I decided not to overdo it.

    [​IMG]

    So was all of the hardship worth it to see the ruins? HECK NO! Though someday I will probably appreciate it. :-)

    Back in the parking lot, Annie had company from another adventurer.

    [​IMG]

    When I departed the next day, I would get to meet the rider, Ron. He’s from Vancouver, on a trip to reach both ends of the Americas. His online handle is “Ural Guy” (Ural is a Russian made bike….not exactly known for its reliability). After a myriad of issues, he scrapped the Ural in the US. He decided to continue his journey on a Honda Africa Twin. I concur with this decision.[​IMG]

    I took it easy the rest of the day and had a nice long conversation with my sister. During which, some sort of miniature dinosaur was prowling around.

    [​IMG]

    I wandered out for some street tacos in the evening, finding some with pineapple on top. I think it changed my life.

    They've appeared in countless other RRs, but I don’t think I’ve written about Tuk-Tuks yet.

    [​IMG]

    These three wheeled contraptions are basically a little modified motorcycle, used to transport people, pizzas or anything else you can think of. They are not common in northern Mexico, but upon reaching Oaxaca (and further south) they are practically ubiquitous.

    I tried to mentally and physically prepare myself for getting back on the bike the next day. My knee was still pretty raw, but it was finally starting to scab over.

    [​IMG]

    (Side note: I’m still working out how to get some real motorcycle pants. It will happen!)



    It will be interesting to see how my memories change and evolve regarding my time in Palenque. Though they were some of the darkest days, mentally speaking, I think they were also some of the most important days. I’ve faced very little hardship on this journey so far, so I think it was important to see how I would react to it. Once again, thank you for all of the support through this trying time. I don’t know if I would have made it on my own.

    Stay rejuvenated, everybody.

    BA
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  14. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,159
    Realtime update: I’m in Antigua, Guatemala currently. For some reason, I’ve been feeling like picking up the pace a bit. I’m not a hundred percent sure, but I may try to cross over into El Salvador tomorrow.
    scudo, bar-low, BenAround and 5 others like this.
  15. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,143
    Location:
    The Bluegrass
    I went to Costa Rica and rented a bike years ago and not wanting to look like I'd just ridden off a MX track , but wanting to protect my knees , I chose to wear MX knee pads under some loose fitting jeans. It worked well enough . The pads cover from above your knee caps to the top of your boots.
    There're better ways , but, since you're in Mexico , adapt , adapt , adapt.
    A little dig , I've never worn fingerless gloves.
    swedstal likes this.
  16. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,923
    Location:
    Fly over zone
    You are picking up the pace. I've always done my rides way too fast, and now I feel like I need to go back and do it right. Just a thought, you've got time to do it right the first time. :brow
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  17. Some Beach

    Some Beach Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Oddometer:
    286
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Agree with Mizzou. I've only done one big trip and it's easy to let the planned route and schedule get in the way of enjoying your adventure.
    swedstal likes this.
  18. hankmoody

    hankmoody Ummmmm?? REALLY?!

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,646
    Location:
    South YogaPantistan
    I tried to mentally and physically prepare myself for getting back on the bike the next day. My knee was still pretty raw, but it was finally starting to scab over.

    [​IMG]

    (Side note: I’m still working out how to get some real motorcycle pants. It will happen!)





    Stay rejuvenated, everybody.

    BA[/QUOTE]

    Brett!!

    Get some MX knee/shin armor as mentioned by others. I use them in summer under jeans. Negligible issues w comfort and heat. Relatively cheap. $30-$80.

    https://www.foxracing.com/store/pro...oQvPmm4KwwSXoyXTnd_4ueISZ-JgVdc8aAhIFEALw_wcB

    https://www.motosport.com/product/?...95fcccf438b80ac23_t-1517668824&segment=badger

    Let me know if i can help by purchasing here and sending to you.
    You have my contact jnfo.

    Ride safe and enjoy
    Larry Byvik.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  19. vicmitch

    vicmitch Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    995
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Slow down, you move too fast, got to make the moment last.

    You may not realize it now, but these are the good old days. Enjoy them to the fullest, don't rush. When the trip is done, it's done, and I've never met anyone who wished it had ended sooner so they could go back to their routine life.
  20. swedstal

    swedstal Open heart, open mind, open can of beans

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,159
    But gloves are so unnatural! :-) I don't know why I dislike wearing them so much. I suppose I will get used to the feel after wearing full gloves for awhile.

    In regards to the knee pads: I've actually looked for these at a couple of shops. The riders I met in Guanajuato were wearing these. I think they are the only people I've seen with leg protection in Latin America. For now, I think I'm going to have my uncle bring me some proper riding pants when we meet up in Ecuador (more details on that later). @hankmoody thanks for the offer in assisting in getting these to me.

    In regards to the pace: @vicmitch , you're busting out the big guns with Simon and Garfunkle! :gun2
    I do appreciate the advice on this subject from all of you. It always has to be a balance (time, funds, weather, mental health). I'm trying to keep the dream of Usuaiah alive, knowing that I am already late in the season for reaching the tip of South America. I can't explain it perfectly yet, but "going" just feels like what I want to do right now. I'm not sure if it has to do with the crash. I'll write more about this later, for sure.
    Geezerguy, scudo, jays100 and 4 others like this.