The shitty day…

Posted: December 17, 2010 in Guatemala

After a couple of days of smokin ganja and walking all over the few streets of Flores I was ready to keep going. The overly crowded and super touristy hostel of Los Amigos was not really my cup of tea so I decided I’ll just get on the bike and ride through some small towns with less gringo frequented places.

I wake up in the morning and first thing while flossing I realize that one of my fillings is falling out. Ok, no big deal, I’ll find a dentist along the way. In Guatemala it costs about 50$ for a white filling and about 100$ if you need a crown, so it’s not that bad to go to the dentist here. I’ll probably just go somewhere more south.

A few minutes later, I realize that my stomach is not doing so great. I guess that eating street food to fulfill the munchies for a couple of days is finally paying off. No big deal, take a couple of immodiums and it should be good in a couple of hours.

I pack my stuff and start riding back south. I have already done most of the road on the way up and knew that it’s was pretty good pavement so I’d make it in no time. My 12V plugs stop working. iPhone has a problem with the headphone jack and distorts the music so now I’m left riding in silence. The GPS in not charging and the battery is done, but I know where I’m going. All my electronics seem to hate me all of a sudden. Even the SPOT satellite thing is flashing red that it’s low on battery. Oh well, keep riding….

The road is great, the sun is out, I ride for about 100km south of Flores and I can just cruise at highway speeds. Sometimes I even have 2 lanes which is rare here. All of a sudden I feel a tiny shake on the front as if the road were uneven. Before I even have time to think, the front goes under and I’m sliding. No big deal I think, I’ve done this before on sport bikes and this time it feels like I’m just sliding straight. Smart as I am, I hold on to the bike and try to slow it down because my 180lbs will slow down 700lbs of metal. The bike keeps going for a bit and hits grass that brings it to a full stop while throwing me in the ditch over some rocks about 6 feet down. I feel my helmet smack over a rock but thanks to todays amazing helmet technology, all the energy gets dispersed evenly while my head gets nicely cushioned as if I were sleeping on a duvet pillow.

I get up and do my full body check. Every piece of gear did it’s job. From the gloves to the padded jacket and my boots. Even my pants which I had doubts about took the slide really well. I only have a tiny rash on my knee and one bruise on my elbow. Not bad at all. I look at the bike and it seems in pretty rough shape. I walk out of the ditch and happy that I’m ok, I decide that it’s a good time to let a good old fart out. I’m a guy so it’s ok to fart and to even write fart in here. Anyway, farting with stomach issues is not the best choice… I realize after the fact…

So I’m standing next to my bike and now people are starting to stop. Pretty much everyone that is driving up stops to see that I’m ok. They help me lift the bike and start talking to me in Spanish. I tell them that I’m ok, but they seem more scared than I am. I start the bike and she starts right up. Lots of damage though on the side and back. Tough to strap everything on. It looks like everything will hold but not for long at all. They all wait till I leave to make sure I’m gonna be ok. No way I can change my pants now… gotta get on the bike as it is.

I ride into town and start asking welders as they are everywhere if they can help me. They all look at the bike and see too many broken aluminum components. None of them have the technology to weld aluminum. Finally after searching and asking, one guys starts making a bunch of phone calls. We look at the broken stuff and decide that it might be easier to rebuild it from scratch. He makes a few more phone calls. Finally he has his son escort me around the corner, behind a few stores to a garage behind a house.

I look around and find a couple of guys working there on a car. One speaks English as he’s from Belize. I explain my situation, they look at each other and decide to help me. It was going to be their day off as it was a Saturday but they leave everything they were doing and we start taking the bike apart. The parts look a lot worse once off the bike. We decide to build the support part from scratch.

Work started I think around 11am. They worked all day till it got dark around 6pm. Cutting, bending, welding, measuring…. without a single minute of stopping. They saved my bike!

Here’s pics:

This is the road. If you look on the right side of the lane, you can see a dark thick trail with some yellow in it. Not sure what it was but it was slicker than ice and went for a few hundred feet. Kinda looked like egg white but I think it was dirt mixed with diesel. Pretty common here, specially on uphills as trucks leak stuff behind. I see all kinds of trails now.

On the left, if you look closer, you can see the slide mark my bike left.

klr crash

These are some of the guys that stopped and helped me lift the bike

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This is the ditch I landed in. If you look closer, about 6 feet down there is a place where the water is supposed to drain under the road with all the rocks in it. That’s where I stopped.

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The bike with everything “strapped” on

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The not so “happy trails” mounts. Bent and 2 welds totally broken.

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More damage

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Everything’s off the bike

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Puzzle anyone?

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Guys working on the rebuild. They had some amazing skills and were total perfectionists. Hard to find around here… or even in Canada.

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New and stronger than before. My box now sits higher so that people can see my break light and this new holder sits on the subframe, therefore dispersing weight and energy better.

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Pannier holders welded back and bent back in place. Everything is back up and better than new.

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My saviors! Thanks to them, I was able to get back on the bike the next day and keep going on my journey. Guys, once again I can’t thank you enough!

klr crash

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Comments
  1. Ben says:

    Stephen,I hope you managed to clean up the deposit in your trousers,before it turned to cement.

  2. Evan says:

    hey Stefan,

    glad to hear your alright.
    thats some scary stuff and one hell of a shitty day.

    hope to see you on the road soon.
    take care and ride safe!

    • pimptrix says:

      yeh man, where are you at now? I’m still in Guatemala till around the 21st and then heading to salvador

      • evan says:

        Hey bud, Im on roatan island right now, doing some diving. probably be here at least another week then making my way to nicaragua. see you on the road and merry christmas!

      • pimptrix says:

        Sweet stuff man! I’m still in Guatemala (illegally now) and heading over to Salvador tomorrow through a backroad so I don’t have to pass the border. I’ll be there for a few weeks and then Honduras. Sounds like you’re way ahead of me!

        Merry Christmas and hope to see you down the road!

  3. Steve says:

    Oh man, I’m really sorry to hear about both of the unfortunate skids you had. I’m glad to hear that it turned positive and that all is well. It’s awesome to find such friendly people in times of need. Perhaps helping with the baby turtles will give you some spare luck to carry further south. Awesome post!

  4. katia says:

    Riding in silence with nature, it will be good for you. 😛 Listening to the deep jungles of Guatemala. I’m glad that you are alright and katusha is up and running again with new accessories, but I think you should fix your filling before your next ‘adventure’ with flossing. 😉

  5. Daniel says:

    Hello Srefan its sad what it happend to you but I also felt in Palenque on the Mayan ruins I will send you the pics. Keep riding.

    Daniel

  6. Tiffany Shorson says:

    Hey dude! I am so glad you’re ok and that you brought the extra underpants!
    That is so cool about the baby turtles! That is rad that the guys made your bike better than ever! Miss ya!

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