South America: Until our Luck or Money Runs Out

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Charles Seguin, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. holiday

    holiday DL650K7

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    Like a bad penny.:rofl
  2. j_seguin

    j_seguin Been here awhile

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    Glad to hear someone is going to put it to good use! :lol3

    On another note, it's been nearly a year since we set out from the Springs, which is pretty surreal to me. At times it feels like I just got off that plane from Buenos Aires and there's just a couple hours separating me and the trip, and the rest of the time it feels like it's been years.

    A couple of weeks ago I went to a concert with Courtney and a friend of mine and we got to talking about the trip and writing about. I told her what I've told so many other people... that I just couldn't come up with any sort of cohesive narrative for the whole thing. That lack of narrative was leading to writer's block so I hadn't really written anything since I got back. This had been bothering me since I got back because for me writing is one of the better ways to process and analyze things beyond the rote... to get to deeper meanings. I'd learned a whole lot on the surface of things, and those lessons alone made the trip beyond worth it, but I was still wanting to get at those deeper lessons and meanings. As the conversation progressed Courtney and her basically told me to hell with narrative, just write about what interests you at the moment. Write a bunch of short stories and essays or whatever you want to call them, and either a common thread will show up naturally, or it won't and at that point you can just let the reader piece them together as they see fit.

    That made sense to me so I started writing some stuff.
  3. j_seguin

    j_seguin Been here awhile

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    Here's the first part of what I'm currently working on.

    <meta http-equiv="CONTENT-TYPE" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><title></title><meta name="GENERATOR" content="OpenOffice.org 2.0 (Win32)"><meta name="AUTHOR" content="Joseph Seguin"><meta name="CREATED" content="20090724;8474200"><meta name="CHANGEDBY" content="Joseph Seguin"><meta name="CHANGED" content="20090831;13404142"><style> <!-- @page { size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --> </style> The sun hadn't begun to set when my stomach slowly dropped and a subtle sense of dread began to overtake me. I'd experienced this sensation on a weekly, if not daily basis. On a trip of this length one develops an intimate relationship with the machine he is riding. Every little variation in the way the bike rides and sounds is carefully and endlessly scrutinized as the miles slowly drain away towards the end of the day or the next pueblo down the way. It's enough to drive an obsessive mind insane, especially if you haven't yet mastered the local art of tranquilo. Ninety nine percent of the time this feeling is the manifestation of that paranoia developed over ten thousand miles, nothing more than a shift in the way the wind was toying with the bike, or a change in the consistency of the pavement. This time it wasn't paranoia. My bike wasn't handling properly. There are times you think you know your rear tire is flat, and there are the times you know. I slowly pulled off the road without signaling. Back home in the states I would have signaled my intent before even breaking, but in Peru turn signals could mean anything and everything, they're useless, and mine had long since stopped working properly anyways. Chuck pulled up behind me probably cussing to himself over another road side photo shoot when we should have been hauling ass down this two lane stretch of the Pan American highway towards the coast and Chiclayo where we hoped to spend the night. When I began pulling off my do-it-yourself aluminum panniers, adapted from old U.S. military food cases, he must have known something was wrong with the bike.
  4. motoxxman

    motoxxman Adventurer

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    WOW,, nice to see you have not torn it apart yet ! haha. I was the second, and although brief, happy owner of the seguin machine. And if not mistaken the one who sold the bad beast to this fine gentleman (haha)
    Even though i was only on it a few weeks, it is kinda neat to see it, ahhh the memories of that high tech, custom fitted butt cushion i made !

    cool cool.

    P.S. Glad to see you made it back to your shop that day, after you dropped me off at the train station i was hoping you didn't stall it again, and not be able to re start it like before...... hahahahaha... fun fun
  5. holiday

    holiday DL650K7

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    I appreciate your thinking process. Or at least that of your girlfriend.
    Glad to have you back, analyzing the trip. I hope it has opened the door on the "writers block".:clap
  6. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    Ensenada, Baja California
    HI I read your trip only once and will do it again from the beginning.

    and +1 on what you said. 2 years ago I went on a trip much smaller than yours, Mexico-Canada and it has been a full 2 years and just yesterday I was telling the same story of how I got a flat at the Golden Gate and blablablabla the times... and I was there again, and also now that I am not ON the bike, it feels like a long long time, and I don't know when it will possible to make another one....

    Saludos amigos, y gracias por tu viaje

    Damasovi
  7. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    I know this feeling all too well, I spent a couple extra days waiting on a fuel pump that I just have a feeling is making a different noise than normal, maybe I just need insurance but I got me a spare and will give er hell.

    The bike realy feels like a part of me and I feel it and what to make sure its allright and doing its normal thing, I think that's why I give it/her a name and rub the tank often and tell her how good she is to me.

    I've just started my big adventure and have enjoyed learning what you and your brother thought, one seems to enjoy it quite differently than the other. Perceptions run wildly different, and they tell different stories by those that have lived it.

    Write on, maybe its what you are.
  8. no

    no dreaming adventurer Supporter

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    That's some good writing, Joey.
  9. j_seguin

    j_seguin Been here awhile

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    <meta http-equiv="CONTENT-TYPE" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><title></title><meta name="GENERATOR" content="OpenOffice.org 2.0 (Win32)"><meta name="AUTHOR" content="Joseph Seguin"><meta name="CREATED" content="20090724;8474200"><meta name="CHANGEDBY" content="Joseph Seguin"><meta name="CHANGED" content="20090831;13564200"><style> <!-- @page { size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --> </style> On paper fixing a blown inner-tube on the side of the road is a quick and easy job. One must remove the rear wheel, a simple task on most modern motorcycles, pop the bead of the tire with some tire irons, remove the tire, partially inflate the new tube, place it within the tire and put everything back together. However as most amateur and professional motorcycle mechanics know, a quick and easy job is rarely that. We'd learned some new tricks along the way after watching the guys at the llanteras practicing their trade. Somewhere in Southern Colombia we watched a thin wiry kid, probably no older than 16, lean my bike towards him on his side stand (neither my 1990 DR 650 nor my brother's 1990 KLR 250 had a center stand) while his younger sister placed their utility stump under the peg on the other side of the bike. Chuck and I just looked at each thinking why the hell didn't we ever think of that? while the kid tore apart the rear wheel assembly to get at the tire.



    Back in Peru several weeks later we employed that same trick to get the rear tire off the ground, only this time we propped the bike on one of my side cases. We got the tire off without much difficulty, but we both knew the hardest part of this job would be breaking the bead on my Distanzia rear tire. The scene had always been the same at the llantera, the older guys and the kids would all start with an average sized tire iron trying several different points on the tire. Some would frown and others would curse under their breath then they would get the hammer, jump up and down on the bead, or check to see that the inner-tube was deflated. Without fail they would end up making one last trip to the toolbox finally favoring the two to three foot long iron used for semi, truck and tractor tires. With the increased leverage they would finally be successful in popping the bead, and nearly all of them would look at us with a grin and a comment about how much of a pain in the ass that tire was to remove. The side walls on those tires were tough, they had to be if the tire was going to last all the way from Colorado to Lima, with tread left to spare.


    Those images were playing in both of our minds while we sat looking back and forth between the wheel laying in the sand on the side of the highway and our little ten inch long tire irons. The same scene played out alongside the Pan American that late afternoon. One of us would jump up and down on the bead while the other would try unsuccessfully to pop the bead with the irons. We tried everything we could to increase our leverage but we had no two-foot iron to turn to. In the end we popped the bead with two tire irons and our two longest screw drivers, inch by begrudging inch. Thirty to forty minutes after we'd started, the tube was seated and the tire was back on the rim.
  10. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Haha! I just did mine for the first time a week ago and it took me 45 minutes just to break the bead! I was trying to only use tools that I would have with me on the road but ended up resorting to a 6" C clamp. Maybe I'll throw it into the on-the-road tool bag.

    I followed your trip daily when you guys were on the road. Enjoyed it immensly. There's nothing like the freshness and excitement of a road report that's written while the traveler rides. But there's also lots of detail, insight and reflection that will be gained with the perspective of a year's distance. When you're riding from 6-12 hours per day I imagine it's difficult to sustain the energy and wit to write as you did just now.

    Please run with your friend's advice about letting the overall narrative come (or not) as you write. That narrative may only appear, if it does at all, only after you write numerous short stories, anecdotes and what not.

    If the sample you include is indicative of what's to come, I'll be among the first to buy the book!
    :norton
  11. mad4bikes

    mad4bikes Adventurer

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    Hey Joe, this is the other Mario (KLR 650), and definitely the next time you mentioned was in Colorado Springs. Check our trip report of the 3 Guanacos heading north.
    Thanks for everything and say hi to Courtney.
  12. mad4bikes

    mad4bikes Adventurer

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    Keep it on two wheels my friend...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  13. Jimmymac

    Jimmymac Adventurer

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    You shouldn't have written this report. It made me get my motorcycle certification and buy a dual sport bike.. :D seriously

    Awesome trip report and really inspiring to read about how you two just hopped on and did the ride. :clap
  14. 911racer

    911racer dare to explore

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    :D Well after slowly reading this thread over the past few months I would like to say THANK YOU!

    My soon to be wife and I are planning this same trip and will be leaving August 2010. We have been studying your wonderfull thread and taking many notes. I have read a few different threads and many books and this is one of my favorites. your pic's are good but your writing is great!

    This thread will be our guide book during our trip.. and throwing away the tourist travel books.

    If eather of you ever travel to Santa Cruz CA you have a place to stay for as long as you like.

    Thanks again, Graham and Tamar
  15. bikyto

    bikyto Dans le doute...gaz!

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    Planning on a similar departure date. I'm in the bay area as well. Maybe we'll cross path :D
  16. 911racer

    911racer dare to explore

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    BIKYTO, sent you a PM :D
  17. Thorne

    Thorne Sherpa-ing around

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    Awesome RR>.........:clap:clap:clap
  18. GSMOOS

    GSMOOS n00b

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    great :clap
  19. Barra1967cuda

    Barra1967cuda Adventurer

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    Super Awsome RR ! Just from start to finish your writing skill ,the wounderful pictures , excelent information.I had a great time reading this RR and Im sure Im going to read it many more times it's that good ! Pluse the fact that you two are brothers that alone is a precious experience. Incredible !
  20. rossmcl

    rossmcl Adventurer

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    Seguin Bros,

    I just wanted to say thank you for an absolutely phenomenal road report.

    Its the first one I have read start-to-finish on ADVRIDER, and was an absolutely fantastic ride, thanks a lot for taking us along. I am planning my own trip this year (http://rossmcl.blogspot.com/), and have learnt immensely from yours.

    Hope life is treating you well since you finished your adventure.

    Ross