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

Expenses

Lodging
Total $3,229
per day $19.81

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

Transportation
Total $516
per day $3.17

Tolls/Parking
$89.08
per day $0.55

Park fees
Total $206
per day $1.37

Entertainment
Total $211
per day $1.3

Laundry
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

Mexico

30 days
Total $2,077
Daily $69.23

Guatemala

12 days
Total $729
Daily $60.77

El Salvador

3 days
Total $379
Daily $126.44

Nicaragua

4 days
Total $214
Daily $53.43

Costa Rica

12 days
Total $719
Daily $59.94

Panama

7 days
Total $721
Daily $45.84

Colombia

14 days
Total $576
Daily $41.14

Ecuador

7 days
Total $230
Daily $32.91

Peru

17 days
Total $950
Daily $55.89

Bolivia

6 days
Total $260
Daily $43.34

Chile

8 days
Total $499
Daily $62.34

Argentina

27 days
Total $1,777
Daily $65.83

Posted in Bike, Canada, Central America, South America, The Americas, USA | 4 Comments

People

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
Sobeys
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


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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

Gear Review Part 1

Gear Review

survey

Part 1 is a review some of the major items I had with me on the trip. I have intentionally kept each review as short as possible but I can elaborate if anyone is interested. Part two will cover some of the smaller items. Please let me know if there is anything I miss that you want to know about. The bike and tires will be in a separate review.

The rating system. This is how my brain works and believe me I had plenty of helmet time to think about this stuff.

Quality

A Perfect
B Almost Perfect
C 50/50
D More bad then good
E Not at all good

Usefulness

1 Could not do without it, used it all the time
2 Almost mandatory, rarely used
3 Could have left it at home but nice to have
4 Never used it

Alpinestar Scout Adventure boots

This was the only equipment donation I received and it was at the last minute. I didn’t have the budget for boots so was going to use a pair of old Aplpinestar Gortex road boots. But my good pal Greg at Riverside Motosports and Parts Canada stepped up and supplied me with these great boots.

Rating B1

Absolutely comfortable from the box and really easy to walk in. Lightweight and relatively easy to get in and out of.
The left lower buckle is impossible to close unless I hit it hard which I have been doing with the heel of the other boot. This started within two months of daily use.
The left boot also is not totally waterproof. In light to medium rain, no problem. But in heavy prolonged rain my left foot got soaked all the time.

Would buy again.

Klim Latitude pants

Rating A1

Great fit, totally waterproof, no flapping in the wind, and good venting

Would buy again

Klim Badlands Pro jacket

Rating B1

Love the fit and the built in kidney belt is great to help support the weight. Generally comfortable but the collar is not a good design. Each time you put on the jacket you must make sure the collar is not turned over or it chafes. Also the elastic cuffs were a bother and I had them cut out.
There are plenty of pockets, which are not waterproof but that is not unexpected. The small zippers can be a bit stiff but they are the waterproof ones which by nature are a little tougher to move.
I’m not sure why but the sleeves are not waterproof. Perhaps the zips are leaking but this was very annoying. The main reason I bought this jacket was it is supposed to be waterproof and it eliminated a rain layer. However I was forced to don an overjacket everytime it rained. Venting is adequate in hot temps but only when in motion. It was a crazy hot jacket at sweltering border crossings.

Would buy again only after looking at other options first

Klim Element Glove long

element glove

Rating B2

This really should get a 1.5 for usefulness as it was the go to glove for almost all of Patagonia when it was cold and rainy. However it’s not perfect. The main problem is the sizing but I can only blame my anatomy for that. To get a glove wide enough I had to get the XL and the fingers are too long. The other problem is the leather patch on the palm is really stiff and creates a pressure point on my hand when it is around the grips. I think this is slowly breaking in but like the rest of the glove, the break in time is very long. It’s really comfortable other than that and they designed the palm to be thin for good heat transfer from the grips. They are totally waterproof and fairly easy to put on if your hands are a bit moist. Oh and the knuckles are Titanium!!

Would buy again

Shoei Hornet DS Helmet

Rating B1

I love this helmet for comfort and visibility. The peak is only useful in high sun and is a wind catcher. I removed the peak during the windiest parts of Patagonia and the difference was amazing. When I started north again I put it back on because the sun was always in front of me and it did help with the glare. I also have a Shoei RF1000 and the fit is almost identical. The only real issue is wind noise and for that reason I won’t give it an A. In fact I don’t think I could give any helmet an A for that reason.

Would buy again

Garmin Montana GPS

Rating B1

Almost flawless until heavy rain and wind in Peru. The screen developed a bad condensation problem and then the back light totally failed. At one point even the touch screen was acting up which rendered the unit useless for a time.

I have no complaints about software or the user interface. It performed as well as I expected considering the maps I had installed. For the most part I don’t use GPS for turn by turn directions. I use it to see where I am and what direction I’m going. In cities this is essential for me so I don’t get turned around the wrong way. The big screen of the Montana is great if the backlight is working.
I never used the built in camera.

Would buy again, in fact I have to get this one refurbished when I get back home.

Delorme inReach for Smart Phone

Rating B1

I really like this unit. The ability to send and receive messages is an important feature for me.
In other regards it functions much like the Spot brand device. I would say that the inReach is more sensitive to overhead cloud than the Spot and therefore some tracking points did not make it. At times I had trouble sending a message if it was cloudy but almost always had eventual success.
I used the 12v power adaptor most of the time so battery life was not an issue. I did bring Lithium batteries with me so I could use it off the bike like on my Darian gap voyage.
The RAM holder held it safe but the antenna rattled in the housing so I used some tape to fatten up the antenna and secure it.Also the RAM holder was not designed to hold the 12v power adaptor so I had to make some mods.

Would buy again

Screens for Bikes Windshield

Rating A1

Peter at Screens for Bikes was kind enough to send this to me with no shipping costs.
This is one tough windshield. It performed really well keeping the wind off my chest. It did move the air flow right into my face which did contribute to the wind noise but I think it was a good trade off.
There was no vibration from it at all even though it is mounted to the flimsy headlight surround.

Would buy again

Happy Trail Teton 7.5 Panniers and racks

Rating A1

These guys are tough and really easy to straighten if you need to. After hundreds of openings and closings the latches are still perfect. The seals have taken a beating but the boxes are still waterproof and the seals are easy to replace. The mounting system held firm with normal use. With abnormal use one of the boxes was pulled off the rack. I needed to use a rock to straighten the metal enough to reinstall it but when I had access to a hammer I got it perfectly flat again.

The racks stayed solid but I must admit I had them reinforced before I left. I had read stories of cracks developing on heavily laden bikes so I took no chances. I believe this was not necessary in the long run.

Would buy again

Posted in Bike, Central America, South America, Trip Prep | 3 Comments

Northbound

Day 160 to 164
Rio Gallegos to Bahia Blanca
February 11 to 15


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It has been an uneventful 5 days and 2,000km. The roads are in great condition but absolutely straight as arrows. Some stretches take you more than 70km before the slightest curve. In the wind even a slight alteration in course changes the whole dynamics of the bike and you need to readjust the lean.

Puerto San Julian

Skelly has another birthday

Officially 30,000km today

I have seen numerous guanaco and rhea along the way, plenty of them road kill. So far I haven’t struck any of them dead or alive but they sure blend in with the landscape and can surprise you.

Oil is the big industry in these parts

Approaching Puerto Madryn

A Beach!

The kilometers keep piling on

Only 1000km to go

The barren Patagonia plateau has given way to some green and actual trees. Along with this has come the customary bug splatter on my visor. The temperatures have gradually been climbing to the point that all my layers have come off and I actually opened my jacket vents.

The wind however is still blowing and gusting like a champ but I re installed the helmet peak which helps with the morning sun.

Dozens of radio towers all over the country

Tomorrow I’ll ride about 660km from Bahia Blanca to Buenos Aires. This will make it easy to find Dakar Motos in the morning on monday so I can start the shipping process.

Posted in Argentina, South America | 2 Comments