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.