A page for the ramblings of Zack Sherman, the lead wanderer at Expedition recovery. This blog will include my travelog as well as more concise and targeted written pieces. Reviews and how to's on topics of adventure motorcycle and overland travel will be forthcoming as well.
I slept in too late for the hotels breakfast so I
showered and chose to eat the other burger for breakfast as I packed. I talked
a little with both Cat and Montserrat while I made my final preparations to
My usual routine of loading the bike caused me to
be pouring sweat despite having just left the hotels AC. The sun was painfully
bright as it reflected off of every shiny surface on the bike back at me from the Concrete. In the short few moments it took me to be loaded and ready I was already drenched and nearly blinding myself with sweat pushed from my hair as I donned my helmet.
The ride through town was stop and go due to the traffic control layout. In the
heat it made me acutely aware of how little water I had been drinking and how
poor my diet has been over the last few weeks.
Being that it was already passed noon, I wanted
to make up time as best I could so I ran quick and only stopped for fuel and
water until right around four o'clock when I pulled into an Oxxo for a monster,
a noodle bowl, and a Greek yogurt as a late lunch.
While I was watching the bike sit alone in the
parking area in front of the building, a white Chevy pick-up began to back up
towards my bike. My bike was literally the only vehicle in the parking area and
surrounded by open spaces. I slammed down my drink just as the truck slammed
into my bike knocking it off the side stand and down on to its side across the
metal parking barrier. I got out the door spewing a stream of obscenities in my
wake to see the truck start to pull forward like it might leave.
The view from where I had been eating. The man on the phone is the one who hit my baby.
I ran up to the driver’s side window and slapped
it hard with the palm of my hand.
The driver was an older man, likely in his mid-fifties,
and he immediately began to speak to me in an apologetic tone even though I
didn't understand what he was saying. He put his hands up palms out and then
shut off the truck.
I was glad to have the presence of mind to take a
photo before I lifted the bike so I could prove for insurance what happened. I
then picked up the bike with a little help from the guy who hit me. I began to assess
the damage to the bike. I was still angry and was trying my best not to yell at
the guy. I wasn't so successful that I didn't speak to him in a direct and
angry manner but at least I didn't raise my voice or become aggressive.
In total it looked like a foot peg bolt was bent.
The forks were twisted. The front cowl/windshield frame was bent. Two well nuts
were destroyed. The middle cowl on the right side and the associated graphics
were damaged. Lastly the right hand Rally-Raid luggage rack was pushed in about
Once it was clear that insurance was coming and
that I would be riding the bike out that night, I began to fix what I could
after taking photos of the damaged components. I was able to get the windshield
remounted after bending the bracket back with my pliers and with the use of a
washer made from cutting a section of plastic coke bottle top and reaming a
center hole to fit the bolt for the lower right windshield bolt. I was able to
rotate the bent foot peg bolt to the best position I could and then tighten it
up enough to hold it together for the ride to Cancun.
While we waited I offered the man who had hit my
bike to buy him something to drink. He looked sheepish and said no thank you. I
choose to bridge the gap anyway and bought us each an orange-lemonade that is
popular in Mexico and a package of cookies. I came out of the shop and handed
him his drink and cookies. With the simple gesture he seemed to relax. I apologized
for being so angry and told him it was okay and that we all make mistakes.
While he had very little English and my Spanish is terrible, we were able to
talk a little while we waited.
The insurance inspector arrived at a little past
7 pm. Once there he began to go through the documents from both of us and to
ask questions about what happened. He looked over the bike and my photos and
took many notes. In the hour he was there he got all he needed and we worked
out that it was best for me to go to Cancun rather than to Merida where the
insurance shop was. I had housing in Cancun that would save me the cost of
several days’ hotels. He gave me paperwork for the companies preferred shop in
Cancun and we agreed that if I felt the bike was unsafe to ride I would
stop and call him for a tow-truck to take the bike.
With matters as resolved as they could be for the
moment, I geared up and rode for Cancun. My GPS was telling me it would be an
almost 4 hour ride and with the adrenaline of the bike being hit having burned
off so much energy I was a little worried. Once rolling though, those fears
were replaced by a hit of nerves as the fact that the clearly twisted forks
were giving the bike a very twitchy steering feel as well as a nasty vibration
through the bars and both foot pegs. I only stopped for fuel twice along the
route, once to fill up and once for just a little splash just outside of Cancun
to make sure I got to the house ok. I didn't want the bike full of fuel if I
had to leave it with the shop.
I took the bike to where the GPS was saying but
it didn't make any sense. Since Jessica had sent me the google location rather
than an address I didn't have much to go on. The only number google was showing
was 42 (Brian Adams would have been happy) and so I went to the house on the
block with that number. I rang the bell a few times and waited. Since I had
never met Jessica I had no idea who I was looking for. A women I would guess in
her mid to late 40s came out and looked confused. I asked for Jessica and she
went back inside. A lot of laughter came from the house and out came a girl
likely around 16-19 who looked utterly perplexed. I tentatively asked if she
was Jessica and she said yes but looked no less confused. I than asked her by
Jessica's full name and she exhaled and said no before rushing back in the
I began to load up on the bike and consult the
GPS information when a whole group of people spilled out of the house and into
the gated courtyard on the other side of the locked metal fence. It seemed to
be the end of some sort of party and people coming out began to ask me what I
was looking for. In Spanglish we were able to communicate and they offered me Wi-Fi
to get a hold of Jessica. I handed over my phone so they could connect it and
we chatted a bit about derby and my trip. They seemed impressed once they
realized I had ridden from Alaska. They helped me to contact Jessica who was in
an apartment building on the end of the block.
It was her way of
explaining that my motorcycle would be staying in her living room for security.
Mercifully she was on the first floor and there was enough room on the foot
path to maneuver the CB into the house, only needing to remove the bags to get
it through the door by picking up the back end and shifting it. The bike parked
easy enough, though it took up about half of the usable space in the room.
Jessica explained that she had to be to work in
just a few hours and would be going to sleep. She showed me to her room at the
back of the apartment and told me it would be mine for the stay. As I unloaded
she told me that I would be teaching a practice at 8:30 in the morning, an
early start after such a long day and it already being past midnight. I made
quick preparations for bed and took up Jessica's offer of Bluetooth tethering
to her phone for data so I could update folks that I was alright. I called it a
night and closed my eyes feeling the heat and humidity taking their toll as I
sweated profusely laying uncovered atop the sheets.
12/16/16 San Ignacio, Belize. 106.6 kilometers ridden. Woke up and got in a quick bit of relaxing before
it was time to start getting ready to ride. Ed, Aaron, and I would be heading
out to Big Rock Falls and 1000 Foot Falls on the bikes. I got most of the prep
done and found out that Aaron had already eaten breakfast so I walked around to
the bar and restaurant combo we had been drinking at the night before. I got an
omelet with bacon, cheese and veggies and a side of "toast bread".
The toast bread was more like fry bread and was very good. I went back to the hotel and Ed had arrived. We
finished prepping the bikes but Ed and Aaron then want to go for a few things
so we ended up at a smoothie shop where the guys grabbed wraps and I had a
smoothie. Service took the usual forever I have come to expect in Belize but
the smoothie was good. We went and geared up before setting off from the hotel
Tropicool. The ride out was spectacular and full of both
twisty canyon type passes o…
12/17/16 San Ignacio, Bel. 108.5 kilometers ridden. Morning started off with a trip up the street for the cheap breakfast Christine had told me
about, it was a breakfast burrito and a large lime juice for the equivalent of about $2.50 US. The burrito was basic but tasty and the lime juice was a refreshing start to the day. After the beating the rough road gave the little C90, I went on a walkabout with Ed and Aaron to go get
the exhaust on Ninty fixed. It took most of the morning but we ended up getting some clues and finding a
Canadian welder who had emigrated to Belize. He did a great job TIG welding the exhaust and it came out looking better than new.
We managed to get a little twisted up on the route before walking across the low wooden bridge that had carried us into town. Along the way we wandered through a market with
lots of hand crafts and cheap Chinese products. I could tell I was in a more tourist oriented town than most I had stayed in so far. I wasn't interested in an…
12/18/16 San Ignacio, Belize to
Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala. 19.6 kilometers ridden. I started out slowly
getting ready before taking a final shower in the small bathroom by my room.
The ability to get the water temperature to something other than arctic blast
or surface of the sun seems to be getting worse each day. We went out for
breakfast at a place called pops. It was the most western place I had been too
in weeks. It had vinyl diner booths in a deep red color that would be at home in any greasy spoon in the US. I ate a bacon and cheese omelet with pancakes but paid more for it
than I would have at a less Americanized place. We went back to our
hotel and Aaron, Ed, and I sat around exchanging digital files of our photos
and videos so we each had copies of everyone’s media from Belize. It took a
long time so as each of us finished we set off separately to be ready to leave.
I was the last one out at past 12:30 but when I got up to Ed's hostel he and
Aaron were both still there. W…