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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by danisOTR, Jan 13, 2020.
Thanks for taking us along
Those of you who have been following a while remember we had an issue with Pattis’ front brake line when we were in Merida. The hose had a split and was leaking. This all came to light on a Saturday.
Being desperate I turned to ADVrider community and posted the issue on “Gspot”. Within minutes people were posting opinions and options.
On inmate recommended that I contact Tom Cutter from Rubber Chicken Racing. I did just that and he replied shortly after I reached out to him. After I explained the issue, he said he would order replacement lines from Speigler the following Monday morning. I figured while he was at it, I’d order new lines for my GS as well as they were original.
Tom went out of his way to explain that customs and the post office in Mexico was rife with theft. He was very clear that I was ordering at my own risk. Best case scenario if things went perfectly, I would get the parts in a few weeks.
We were already 3 weeks into a 4 week stay in Merida but our next destination was only 50 miles away so I went ahead with the order. I thought that we could always circle back to Merida. I let the hotel manager know what was going on and he said that he would watch for the parts and let me know when they arrived.
In the mean time I took the part off and the bike and found a hydraulic shop. This was also recommended by inmates.
On Monday I rode over to the hydraulic shop. After some hand signals and back and forth the counter person and I were able to agree about what needed to be done. He let me know the part would be ready Thursday afternoon and as I remember it cost $35.
Tom got the parts ordered from Speigler and shipped them out later that same week. He wrote and said best case would be 18 days. Again, he warned be about the issues in Mexico.
On Thursday I picked up the part from the Hydraulic store. I installed it a couple of days later. It was almost perfect but more importantly it worked. I bled the system and tied of the brake lever overnight to make sure we ended up with firm pressure. I tested it a few times and all was good.
We left Merida the following week and headed to Celestun where we spent two weeks. During that time I kept checking the tracking information that Tom had provided. I got confirmation that the package was in Mexico City and left Mexico City on March 2.
Using the US postal service as a reference I figured it would take a week or so to get the package to Merida. I could not have been so wrong.
We figured we’d go back to Merida and wait for the package. We thought better of that plan and left Celestun and headed to Palenque. That turned out to be the best plan.
I periodically was checking in with Donny in Merida asking it the parts arrived. He kept on saying they had not.
After 6 weeks of waiting I put a claim in with PayPal. I made it clear when I opened the claim that I was confident that the package was shipped and that I did not hold Tom in any way responsible.
Unfortunately, my statement was not included and poor Tom got the claim notification. He thought that he was going to be out the money. We ended up speaking that day and I told him that no matter what that I would make him whole.
He and I had to go back and forth with PayPay which, unfortunately caused Tom some angst for which I was and am sorry.
Last Tuesday the 21st I got a Whatsap from Donny letting me know that the parts were at the local post office. Apparently, there was a fee of ~$50 required for them to release the package.
Zhenia called the Merida post office on my behalf and was able to figure out what had to happen. She got reference information and contact info. I shared this with Donny
Donny and I went back and forth with me eventually offering $100 plus whatever cost were involved to have the package picked up. He ended up stating that he had someone that would do it. That was last Thursday.
Saturday rolled around with still no word from Donny. I was speaking with Zhenia and Felipe on Saturday and the subject of the parts came up. When I told them that there was no progress Felipe immediately called a friend of his in Merida. He explained the situation and what I was offering for a “reward”. He put his friend on the phone with me. “Leon” happens to own the KTM shop in Merida and Villahermosa. He said he would take care of it for me. I asked how I could get the money to him and he said “don’t worry, give it to Felipe and I will get it from him”. WOW.
We exchanged information. On Monday Zhenia called the post office again and let her contact know that Leon would be coming in to pick the package up.
At 1 today I received a Whatsapp from Leon with a picture of the package sitting on the spoiler of his Porche. He let me know that he would give it to Felipe when he saw him next.
I contacted Tom to let him know how things had worked out. I have to say that Tom is a stand-up guy. Please remember this and contact him at Rubber Chicken Racing if you need parts. He is one of the many small retailers suffering during this time. He deserves a break. I know he’ll be the first person I contact in the future. Don’t worry Tom I promise not to be in Mexico next time!.
What a story! Mean while the locally sourced hydraulic line is working perfectly?
One heck of an adventure so far. Things are improving ... but still lock down in force, but i keep hearing that may be relaxed.
Have a safe and uneventful trip back.
A asked Kamran to get our bikes out for us. With luck We’ll be there next weekend to pick them up.
In the future use DHL.
They are the only shipping company who consistently delivers in Mexico.
Have the box shipped to the local DHL office for hold pickup. Everyone who does this gets their package.
UPS stores ship DHL international packages.
We are all set with our flight out of Villahermosa on Tuesday at 7:40. Zhenia volunteered to bring us there. It is around 2 hours away.
The next stop is MC City Airport. I posted in FaceBook asking if someone had recently gone through that airport. I received a reply letting me know that there are few people in the terminal. Many are wearing masks and there is plenty of space for social distancing. Also the bars area open. We have a 5 hour layover.
We then go to Dallas Ft Worth. A quick turnaround to get on the flight to Boston. We arrive in Boston at 11:30 PM.
I've rented a car but we are still deciding about a hotel or just driving to Plattsburgh NY where we will do our two weeks of isolation.
Felipe, Patti and I rolled the bikes up a ramp and put under the eaves of the rooms. I disconnected the batteries.
We are going to stuff the panniers with as much as we can and Felipe will store them out of the way. We are leaving our riding jackets and pants that fit into one of the panniers.
We both have Wolfman Bags. Riding boots, helmets and clothes need to fit in. We both with have a backpack for the stuff we'll need for a couple of days incase we get separated from out Wolfmans.
I will post on the fly as we travel on Tuesday.
Safe travels. You certainly put the Adventure into ADV Rider!
As said above......safe travels, and yaaaaaaaa.....the bar is open!!!
Well, so much for that idea. Our flight from Villahermosa was on Interjet. That flight was cancelled.
It is 11 hours to MX City or Cancun. Ok we’ll rent a car and drive to Cancun. No MX connection using Interjet.
Wrong state borders are closed. This is according to a federal law enforcement person that our hosts are friends with.
I know others here may have heard or know different in other states. But apparently that is the way things are in this area of MX.
Back to the drawing board or hammock.
The Dept of State was assisting American Citizens desiring to return home.
The following link is to the Consulate General closest to you.https://mx.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/merida/u-s-citizen-services/
Might be worth a call?
Thanks. I was able to book on Aeromexico so original plan is back on. At least for now.
We left Palenque this morning with Zhenia and Felipe as our drivers.
The were kind enough to be willing to drive us to Villahermosa so we could catch our 1st flight.
We went through one health check point which Zhenia talked us through. There are only supposed to be 2 people in a car.
We made it to the airport in plenty of time. This was our first of 3 trips through security and having to check bags three separate times.
We arrived in Mex City but had to change terminals. Also having to carry our large and full Wolfman bags.
The bus did not bring us to the door we needed to be causing us to carry our gear 1/4 mile.
Getting ready to take off so have to shut down. More to follow.
We checked in with American Airlines, went through security again.
We found our gate then went to find something to eat. Almost everything was closed. We found a place to grab a sandwich.
Most everything was closed down. They were using the light volume of people to do repairs and upgrades.
We made it back to the gate in time to start to board.
In general everyone was wearing a mask. Some had gloves. Some safety glasses or even shields. But the below was the one that caught our eye.
I was selected for an additional screening at the gate. It appeared that they were checking for explosives residue.
We got on the flight and took our seats. But at the entrance we were each given our snack in a paper bag. A small water and some cookies. No soda. No coffee. The flight was full so not real social distancing was possible.
It was a quick flight to Dallas and we arrived early. We replanned and headed to customs. We used the kiosk to check ourselves back into the US went to the agent and grabbed our bags and moved them to where they we placed on another conveyor to go to our
Plane heading to Boston.
Back through Security again. This time having to take our shoes off for the first time.
The terminal was quiet and almost no stores or restaurants were open. We settled on McDonalds. It had been over 4 months since we’d had McDonalds shakes. Of course we’d have preferred a margarita.
We noticed that the majority of the people, passengers and staff members were NOT wearing masks. There was 100% compliance in MX. Why not at DFW.
While we waited for our flight to Boston I tried to get a hotel room near the airport. Not happening. Only essential personnel. The same was true for NH.
We boarded our flight which was 60% full. The majority of the people were masked. We received another snack bag.
We got to Boston 30 minutes early. We walked to baggage and got our bags. We dragged them to the curb and waited for the bus to the rental car terminal.
At the terminal we had to drag our bags from one end to the other and back again when we got to the floor where National was. We were directed to go right to the car and given our choice. I’ll take the new full size jeep please. All cars were the same price.
We were out of the airport and heading up Route 93 and before we knew it we were in NH and then VT.
At around 3 in the morning I was done and we pulled off the highway and went to a large service station where I promptly went to sleep for 3 hours.
Refreshed we grabbed coffee and continued our drive north to catch the ferry to Plattsburgh, NY.
So that wraps up this section of this report. Thanks all for following along and everyone’s kind wishes.
Just wondering. Could you guys have stayed where you were? I certainly understand coming home at a time like this, but was curious if you were asked to leave Mexico or just made your own choice?
I was enjoying reading about your trip. Hopefully things get back to normal soon.
What a trip!
I hope you both recharged and rejuvenated soon. When do you go back? If you have already mentioned that, I am sorry I missed it.
Thank you for the time and effort to post up so frequently. If it makes you feel any better, I dropped Spanish 101 twice in college - once on the last day to drop without penalty. Conjugating verbs - I still don't get it. Hang in there, hopefully it'll all come together soon.
Glad you made it home safely. Welcome back to the Estados Unidos!
Just the opposite. Our hosts really wanted us to stay. Also there was no request official or otherwise to leave. The US Embassy sent out an email 2-3 times a week suggesting that US Citizens go home while they could still flights. But it was 100% our choice.