Trip Is Over and I am Heading Home

Two days ago at 10:30pm on Ruta 40 I was riding south towards Ushuaia, that elusive place that almost seems imaginary after making a course for it six months ago. The road was rough to say the least. Dirt and rock. The dirt was loose where the trucks hadn’t treaded and the rocks were the size of your fist. A conveyor belt of loose dirt and rock flanked either side of my tires giving me about two feet of room.

Riding at a steady 35-40mph pace I hear a thud and then suddenly I am steering to the left for some reason. The tires hit the rocks, I lose all tractions and Jenny and I slide through the dirt. Tiny punches from the rocks batter my left side (nothing major). The bike comes to rest on me left ankle, engine running, rear tire spinning and that giant bulb illuminating the side of the road leaving the road ahead and behind me in darkness.

“TRIP OVER!” I shouted. I try and free my leg but it takes a couple minutes. All hope drained in that moment and I try and free my leg with weak attempts. “I wanna go home…” I say sternly.

I knew what happened as I was falling. The left luggage rack gave way from my motorcycle, dropping the 50lb case on the road. The right case had given way weeks ago and was now sitting on the rear seat. The bike was lopsided, but a constantly corrective steering kept Jenny straight. When the weight on the left side was gone, my corrective steering was no longer…correct.

I picked Jenny up and prayed that she wouldn’t start. The bullet proof bitch that she, of course she started up right away. If she was broken, at least that could be my excuse.

I could have repaired the rack and continued on, but I couldn’t go any longer. Still recovering from accidents weeks earlier I wasn’t in good physical shape and my mental health was even worse at this point.

I sat down on the side of the road, looking at the bike and the stars, considering what my next move was for about an hour. Maybe I could have my luggage transported to Buenos Aires, waiting for me. I could get by with only a little equipment. Do I repair the luggage rack? It wasn’t meant for these kinds of roads, I wouldn’t have faith in it. Among all this I realized I was chasing a destination that in the end was only a place to reach so that I could say I did.

To say I loved every moment would be a lie. Overcoming all the challenges wasn’t always fun, but the journey has been amazing. This was simply the last straw. I was already exhausted at the pace I was riding at for the past week, and I had only started the hard part of Ruta 40 that day. This kind of traveling was no longer fun and the next three weeks wouldn’t have been at that pace, so why continue?

I had traveled 20,000 miles through 15 countries for 196 days. And just like that, my riding days were over. I was 12 miles outside a town where I returned, sold Jenny and hopped on a bus to Buenos Aires where I will catch a flight to the US.

Thanks for everyone for following and especially those who donated along the way. I could not have done this without you. I have many stories, photos and videos to share and I am looking forward to sharing it with all of you. There’s more to come and I’m sure this kind of journey won’t be my last.

  • Sven

    /sadface

  • http://www.sineofthetime.com Eric

    Perfect timing! Well done, AR.
    Que te vayas bien.
    E

  • ralph

    Sorry to hear that you did not reach your final goal. However, you are to be commended on a good effort. I am impressed with your efforts.

    No doubt the experience was well work the ride South. Once back in the USA, I will try to contact you and discuss the journey with you in more detail. Travel well!!
    Ralph

  • cfarmer8

    Love following you! Glad you are safe, cant wait to see the rest of the videos.

  • uncle marc12

    It’s truly about the journey..the destination is arbitrary.

  • bogfro

    Great job! Thanks for sharing the stories from your adventure! I really enjoyed them.

  • AsylumRider

    Outstanding accomplishment Atlas! Truly an amazing journey. Rest up. Can’t wait to hear more about the adventure is future posts.

  • http://paulsboutique.com pliszewski

    Congratulations on a safe trip. You have gone further than most can dream. thank you for sharing your experience. The next big step is adjusting to the ‘real’ world.

    Looking forward to the stories and photos. – Paul

  • Bukco13

    Great job Atlas, congratulations on an amazing experience and an adventure you’re sure never to forget. It can be an incredibly hard decision whether to go on or not, but in the end it is about the journey and just having fun. Looking forward to all the pics and videos!

    Ps- I’m hoping to do my own version of your Americas trip and have already done a couple “training” trips around the US, tracked on my blog at rubberontheroad.wordpress.com

  • KnollNomad

    Hope you find another bullet proof bitch.

  • http://OpenTheWorld.tumblr.com OpenTheWorld

    Atlas,

    I just got back to my office and was so sad to hear your trip has come to an end. No, I am not disappointed in you. Rather, I have loved living vicariously through you the entire time I have been sitting in a stuffy office. I am sad to see that the trip updates will be ending.

    This entire trip, I have been quietly supporting you from Seattle. And while I have not said anything until now, you have been an inspiration the entire way. While I don’t know what my own adventures will look like, seeing someone else pursue them has been brilliant.

    That said, just yesterday I finally have committed to a trip of my own. I purchased a one way ticket to London. I currently have no itinerary and no sense of when I will return. I don’t know how the trip will take shape, where I will stay, or what countries I will visit. I am putting everything in storage and becoming an indefinite nomad. In a way, seeing you through your trip has inspired me to seek my own and has given me the extra confidence I needed to do so.

    So thank you. You have done a wonderful job, have been an inspiration, and should be very proud of your accomplishment.

    John
    OpenTheWorld.tumblr.com

  • aprilia rs 125

    Fair play to Atlas. Would love to have the fet up a go to do something like this myself. All the best.

  • http://www.timnormanphoto.com Tim

    Ah the adventure is never over. The stories never fully told. It is said to see one adventure end, but joyous to see another begin. Glad to see you survived in mostly one piece. Now you should right a book about how to travel on a motorcycle and across countries and inspire a bunch of others to attempt your journey.

  • cashstore1

    Coming back to Arizona? Take the time to relax and recover. You did a lot in a short period. Take care

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  • http://www.sineofthetime.com ea1958

    Shift often. It’ll be over when it’s over.

    “You’ll write the book that you were Goddamn well meant to write.” Kurt Vonnegut

  • DF

    Hi, I hope all is well, now that you are back in the U.S. I can’t wait to read more about your travels.

    <3

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  • Snikrep Nitram

    About dirt on your bike’s conveyor, I would suggest you fit your motorbike with Dirt Bike Exhaust. These are reliable in that they take care of any dirt that may be of interference to your bike. Furthermore, it is always advisable to conduct regular checks on your exhaust system so as to avoid any possible unwanted outcomes from the mufflers..

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