Thursday, June 4, 2009

6/4/09 Bike Sorted Out, Leaving Antigua (Finally!)

So I left off last post by saying I was going to do a shakedown run to the beach with Frank. I show up and he is passed out on a mattress on the floor of his shop. His face is beat up because of a fistfight he got into with a neighbor the night before. He takes about an hour to eat and get himself together and I start up the bike and pull into a gas station to fill up. I notice gas pouring from the carbs all over the engine and I shut off the valve. Shit. We roll the bike back to the shop and call Carlos, the kid who has been tearing into the bike. He says the petcock is bad and is dumping way too much gas into the carbs. The bike is unrideable at this point and a part from the States will take 2 weeks or so to get here. I'm pissed. After sitting around for 3 hours I can't take sitting around the shop any more and head off. I come back a few hours later and Carlos has fixed the problem with a makeshift piece of rubber inside of the petcock to control the vacuum and regulate the gas flow. The kid is pretty amazing. I ride the bike for about 20 miles and things seem to be ok for now. The bike sounds a tad louder than normal, but is starting right up and running smoothly. In hindsight, I'm actually happier that things worked out this way, I was really, really not looking forward to road trip and a day at the beach with Frank! I go back to the shop and start to change the oil again to get the residual crud out of the engine. It come out dirtier than any oil I've ever seen and it has only been in the engine for a couple of days. I don't finish the job because Frank has no oil filter wrench, so I decide to come back in the morning, finish up, and get the fuck out of Antigua. I wake up and start to do the last minute things I have to take care of before I leave. I go by the shop and finish the oil change. As an added bonus Frank helps me to tighten down the tail section of the bike which has been rattling like crazy thanks to the roads down here and also replace my speedometer cable which is also pretty important ( i use the odometer to gauge how many miles I can go before I need gas.) I pay Frank the rest of what I owe him and leave with some interesting memories to say the least. After all is said and done I have to say that I paid a more than fair price for the work done (although I feel like Carlos should have gotten most of it) and that Frank ended up being a pretty stand-up guy with me despite his "eccentricities." I ride up the mountain nearby for some pictures of antigua from the Cerro de Cruz, a nice scenic vantage point where you can see the whole city of Antigua and have one last meal at my favorite local spot where 2 ladies have been making me huge plates of food twice a day for less than 2 bucks a pop. They refuse to accept any more from me, really nice people to say the least. I take my bike to get washed and realize that I'm not really going to be able to leave today and get to Semuc Champey 5 hours north without hitting a lot of rain and getting there after dark. However, I really don't mind chilling out here one more night. I don't like to feel rushed and just knowing I will leave in the morning has taken away any stir-crazy feelings I have been having here. At this point my mindset is to make it home on the bike and hope the repairs are good enough to at least do that. There was a lot of shit in that engine though, I'll be lucky if everything works out with it. I'm not just going to blaze home though, I'm down here now and I'm still going to try to see all of the things I came down here to do, just a little faster than I had planned.

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