The big hit

Well shit...

Ciudad Del Carmen, Mex to Cancun, Mex

701 kilometers ridden.

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 leave.

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 an inch.

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 house.

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 will be another San Lois Pottasi." Jessica said as she showed me into her home.

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.


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