Friday, 7 December 2012

Durango To Mazatlan - Back Track Two Weeks


So in order to let you guys know we are not dead I am posting up the report I wrote prior Ellens big off, needless to say this is slightly out of whack time wise but I have written it and it records our trip which is what it is all about.

Leaving Mazatlan we headed off down the Mex40 libre road (free road), it was a very nice ride and the weather was great although slightly chilly to start with.

New Bridge

The first part was flowing corners and straights so we maintained a nice even pace taking in the scenery and enjoying the ride.

About two thirds the way to Mazatlan the road tightens into a myriad of twisties better suited to a light weight motard than a big bike.

This is called the devils spine and I can see why, neat bit of road.

We came across a crash between a car and a truck, appears the car missed the corner and hit the left front wheel of the truck, the trucks axle was torn off the spring back onto the drivers step through the back of the front mudguard.

The car (a nissan pathfinder) was punted back across the road and was trying to finder path back up the bank which didn’t work, neither vehicles were going anywhere without heavy towing equipment so we threaded our way through the wreckage and the 100 Mexican onlookers and were on our way.

Taking in the great road and extreme views from 2850 metres (9350 feet for you imperialists) was a treat, only a few points to stop and take take photos as there are no shoulders at all for 99% of the road, the Mexicans cut only the width that is almost required and no more... actually sometimes quite a bit less!!

Further down the road a truck (that was) loaded with reinforcing mesh threw its load on a tight corner with an off camber, I made it through but Ellen with her right foot injury lost it and threw the bike down the road, I was unaware of this until I got through and waited but she did not turn up.

I turned around (I was only 50 metres down the road waiting for a moment) then I saw the guys waving their arms and yelling, I looked further round to see two of them helping Ellen to the side of the road and two of them pushing her bike.

Ellen had buggered her already buggered foot again, the bike had sustained some damage with some twisted components and had gravel rash, I straightened out what I could so we could make it to Mazatlan then take the time to sort it out on flat ground without trucks roaring past.

Advice to any RTWers, if you are new at riding and want to enjoy your trip more school up on the basics and practice without house and contents on board the figure 8, stops, starts, U turns and quick S maneuvers as these will save your arse and your sanity on your trip. 

Today we have stopped, Ellens foot is not good so we will probably bunk down for a few days to give it a sporting chance to start healing, I have had a look at the bike and done some more straightening and fixing, the two locks that took a hit were not in good shape but I managed to straighten and recover one, the other will be just for show. 

Hobbit and Chiwi relaxing in the courtyard

The biek needs fixing again so I will glue the marker lights back on and straighten the Barbuster back out, these took a kingpin hit and stood up well but will still need repairing.

The rest of the damage is rashing so won’t effect the function, the key thing is to get Ellen back up and sorted at this point. 

Mazatlan day 2, Jim (going south on ADV) arrived in Mazatlan which our chains and sprockets, and our seal head for my rear shock which has all but stopped leaking after Batoplias!!!

We were invited to stay and with working space and a access to tools etc turned out to be a real plus, we shifted our gear over then went back to Abels for tea, Abel and his bro cooked up a beautiful feed, laughter, food, drinks good times.

Our host Abel

Abels bro and Abel with the food .... YUM

The following morning was straight into bike work, new chains and sprocket the order of the day, I got out my new Motion pro chain breaker with my task on hand, one turn and my chain breaker broke!!! WTF it is brand new!!, it had a dark patch on one side so it appears it had a floor in the metal and just gave way .... I am stuffed.

I used the disc grinder to then grind right through the link to essentially cut the chain in half, we had to do this on both Ellens and my bike which made the task a lot harder.

Mmmmmm new Ti chains and sprockets 

My front sprocket was seriously on its last legs after having 32500 km on it, now the bike is nice and smooth again.

I glued Ellen LED light back on and straightened everything out, tweaked the steering back into line so it is ok now.

That afternoon we visited Abel at his work and had a coffee, was very nice coldie in the heat, on return to the unit we had a swim and relaxed a bit again to help Ellens foot. 

SR and his good lady were in Mazatlan that evening so we all organised to meet down and a local taco stand, beers, wines, food and chat, it was a great night out and great meeting the guys who have helped us, Stephen (SR) gave us pointer on good riding roads, places to stay and buy food, information you cannot get of a GPS or maps! 

Jim and I chattin

The one thing we did find out though was the Mayor and the Police and a shootout and hostage taking session the day we went through Santa Maria del Oro, be fair to say we were unaware of this until Stephen told us.

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