Mission Accomplished

Scott Hayes wrote a nice feature on the trip in today’s St. Albert Gazette

Click the link to read it


Posted in Canada, Central America, South America, The Americas, USA | 1 Comment

Skelly Comes to the Island

February 25, 2012

Yesterday I walked on the ferry from Nanaimo to Vancouver so I could pick up the bike from Air Canada Cargo. After about 15 cm of snow in the lower mainland and the island it warmed up enough for me to risk riding.

The shipment had to clear customs first and I when I went to get my stamp I was informed that it would be another day. I explained my situation and the nice agent managed to get the inspection done immediately. So by 5:15 I was riding to catch a 5:45 ferry back to the island.

It was damn cold I tell you but on the mainland the roads were fine.

By the time I reached Nanaimo it was dark and the temps hovering around zero. There was thick fog on the highway so I had my wife following me with the flashers on to protect my back side. I had 30 km to ride to the place I am storing the bike. When I got there the roads had started freezing.

Yesterday ranks up there as one of those “what the heck am I doing here?” days

Posted in Bike, Canada | 5 Comments

Stats Wrap Up

Stats wrap up

Well here is the final tally for all the stats of the trip. This is not very scientific but I’d say it’s about 95% accurate. There a certainly plenty of things I forgot to document or have the amounts wrong.

I tried to keep track as closely as I could.

A few notes:
I am using $ CAD
The expenses for my Belize break are not included
The Christmas break expenses are not included
Stahlratte not included $950 USD
Air fare and shipping home not included $1500 air fare $1800 shipping

Final trip distance 32,089km

Oil changes: 4

#1 San Cristobal Mexico @ 8,200km
#2 Jaco Costa Rica @ 4,300km
#3 Hanuco Peru @ 6,820km
#4 Coyhaique Chile @ 8,167km

Tires: 2 front tires and 3 rear tires

First set of tires were Mitas E07 NON DAKAR. The rear Mitas was removed in Costa Rica at 12,500km and replaced with a Kenda K761

The Kenda Rear and the Mitas front were replaced in Peru. The front had 20,000km and the rear 7,600km. The new front was a Continental TKC80 and the new rear a Hiedenau Scout K60

By the end of the trip the Hiedenau is ready to be replaced with about 12,000km but the front has some life left in it albiet with lots of cupping.

Replaced parts:

1 set of front brake pads
1 set of rear brake pads
2 Countershaft seals. First replacement faulty
1 set of rear wheel bearings
1 Rear tube. Only one flat the whole trip.
1 rubber spacer for GIVI trunk

Lost stuff:

Hockey puck for side stand lost at Lake Tahoe
Acerbis hand guard bolts x 2
Bicycle led tail light
1 small pad lock
Side panel rubber spacer
Ipod nano and earbuds

Fuel used: 1,509 liters
Fuel cost: $1,859
Fuel per liter $1.21
Fuel per day $11.41
Fuel cost per km $0.0589
Consumption 4.781 liters/100km

Daily average distance 194km


Total $3,229
per day $19.81

Food includes booze
Total $2,250
per day $13.80

Total $516
per day $3.17

per day $0.55

Park fees
Total $206
per day $1.37

Total $211
per day $1.3

Total $24
per day $0.15

Vehicle import fees/customs fees/insurance
Total $584
per day $3.58

Misc/personal supplies
Total $369
per day $2.26

Bike Maintenance
Total $425
per day $2.61

Total $9,800
per day $59.58
cost per km $0.31

U.S.A. and Canada

8 days
Total $787
Daily $98.38


30 days
Total $2,077
Daily $69.23


12 days
Total $729
Daily $60.77

El Salvador

3 days
Total $379
Daily $126.44


4 days
Total $214
Daily $53.43

Costa Rica

12 days
Total $719
Daily $59.94


7 days
Total $721
Daily $45.84


14 days
Total $576
Daily $41.14


7 days
Total $230
Daily $32.91


17 days
Total $950
Daily $55.89


6 days
Total $260
Daily $43.34


8 days
Total $499
Daily $62.34


27 days
Total $1,777
Daily $65.83

Posted in Bike, Canada, Central America, South America, The Americas, USA | 2 Comments


All about the people

The ride is over and I’m sitting in the airport waiting for my flight home. In a little more than 24 hours I’ll be having Tim Hortons coffee with my wife by my side. The things I missed the most were without a doubt my family and Canadian coffee.

As I think about going home I can’t help but remember and thank all those who have made this more than just a bike trip. First and foremost I can’t thank my wife enough for being such a good sport about this. Most guys I talk to ask how I convinced her to “let” me go. Well she never once gave me any negative signals despite making some big sacrifices over the last 6 months. Wanitta is my hero.

My whole family has been wonderful with their support. My kids with encouragement, my Mom lent us her house for 6 months, and my siblings have all been so great with their enthusiasm.

To my Brother in Law Barry, who inspired me to make the trip a fund raiser. I wish he hadn’t been injured in the first place but thanks to him I made the trip count for something more.

Thank you Louise Miller and SCITCS for allowing me to briefly be a part of your organization and helping me do what I needed to do. We have raised over $14,000 and still counting. Thank you to all my donors.

To Chuck for his generous help with all the publicity and fund raising. Without him I would have been lost.
To Cindi for whom Skelly wears pink, thank you for your hard work at the fund raiser,the Costa Rican resort stay and connecting me with your Cabo friends.

Tim Der and Sign Source for the great graphics on my truck and the bike.

Claysmore Spring Water
Swift Media
The UPS Store
Glenn Cook of the St. Albert Leader
Scott Hayes of the St. Albert Gazette
Marty Forbes

Riverside Motosports came through big time with a donation to SCITCS and hosting the big send off event. Thanks Greg, Danny, Chad and the gang.

Parts Canada who donated my Alpinestar Scout riding boots, and Screens for Bikes who donated the shipping cost for my windscreen.

And all the people along the way who I have met. Sorry I didn’t get all of your names but you had an impact.
The fine folks who fed me on my first night, and the biker who made a donation after only knowing me for 60 seconds. Chris in Lake Tahoe, Charles in Chetumal. Troy and Martin, awesome KLR dudes. Paul and Asli touring on a Vtsrom. Tim and his friends ziplining in Costa Rica. Toby and Sara Shannon in Huanuco, thanks for keeping Skelly safe. The whole gang from the Stahlratte, I don’t want to miss any names, you know who you are. Bart and Renata, Daniel and Sarah you guys helped make the trip so much more complete. Kyle and Trevor, I had such fun riding with you two guys.

And of Course Eran, my good pal who I spent almost 10 weeks with. I am so glad I met you and that you waited for me in Uyuni. What a pleasure it has been to know you despite your ripe boots. You taught me to look beyond the surface, and take some chances. I hope we meet again some day.

Boy I sure hope I haven’t missed anyone.

Thank you all my report readers and thanks for the comments.

It’s been great fun.

Posted in Canada, Central America, South America | 10 Comments

Day 165 The Last Day of Riding

Day 165 Bahia Blanca to Buenos Aires February 16

View Larger Map

It was to be a very long day today. I had 640km to ride so I got up early and started moving by 8. I took highway 51 North East towards Azul which is a little shorter than Ruta 3.

The road was much the same as the past few days with long straights and a curve here and there.

Wake Up! A curve in the road!

HEY CK, Skelly still wearing pink!

My plan was to just stop in the suburbs but I failed to find a cheap hotel anywhere so continued into the city. After a few futile attempts at finding lodging a nice man asked if he could help me. His Daughter and Son in law helped me find the Palermo area which is the hotspot for hotels, hostels, and places to eat.

Well there were plenty of those things but they were all full. By the time I found the Palermo Hotel it was dusk and I was a very tired rider. The hotel cost 275 pesos and the parking was 100 pesos for 12 hours. I had to leave before 8am the next day or would be charged the 24 hour rate.

In the room the phone rang and the front desk girl tried to tell me something. I didn’t understand so I started down to the lobby. She intercepted me with my GPS in her hand. Wow, I didn’t even realize it was missing because it had dropped out of my helmet when I picked it up from a chair in the lobby. Thank you!

The next morning I got up early and rode to Dakar Motos about half an hour away.

I waited in the beautiful morning sunshine for Javier and Sandra to come and open up the shop. We immediately got down to business and Sandra gave me all the details of the shipping process. I stayed the night in the back of their shop where they have a mini hostel set up. They only charge 100 pesos for a bed and 40 pesos for the bike.

On tuesday I rode to the airport with two fellows who I had met way back in Panama. I had to refresh their memories because the meeting was very brief and helmets didn’t come off so we didn’t know each other’s faces. But I recognized the bikes, One GS1200 from Alaska and one from Holland. The Alaskan bike was being flown to Miami so we rode to the airport together.

Final Mileage

TKC 80 after some 10,000km cupping badly

And The rear Hiedenau K60, down to the wear bars

The instructions from Sandra were great and everything happened the way she said it would. The bike is all wrapped on the pallet and ready to go. I chose not to remove the front wheel which in hindsight was a minor mistake that cost a few bucks but it will be easier to get it set back up in Vancouver.

Sorry no flash allowed

Total cost of shipping $18,843 pesos including the Dakar fee of 1,000. 14,300 of those pesos were exchanged on the Blue market at 10.5 pesos per US dollar and the rest from an ATM at the official rate of 7.7 pesos per US dollar….you do the math.
The next step is to take the train downtown tomorrow and pay the shipper in exchange for the waybill.

Posted in Argentina, South America | 2 Comments