Arriving in La Serena this afternoon, I was pleased to find a beautiful seashore city that is also home to a university. By 3:30 PM, I was checked into Resdencial Chile, not quite a hostal and not quite a rooming house. I have a small room, with a community bath at a cost of 7000 Pesos, or about $11. Of course I had to also find secure parking for my bike and that
cost another 3000 Pesos.
Yesterday´s ride started off great! 272 miles through the desert mountains, where I was accompanied by my companion, the wind. Srong and boistrous wind at that. Then around a bend, throud a pass and I was on the beautiful Pacific coast. The wind subsided and the next 100 miles was a great ride. 372 miles and I arrived at Copiapo. Chile, where I stopped for fuel. Mistake! The bike would not start, not even turnover. A great fellow helped me push it started and we made our way to a garage. After a couple of mechanics looked at it one decided it was a solenoid problem and said (at least I think that is what he said) that he could have it repaired by 1:00 PM today. I had my doubts! Back at the gaarage this morning at 9:30 AM, I found the Goose repaired and ready to travel!
Back to my hotel, packed the Goose and I was on the road by 10:15 AM, headed to La Serena. Listening to the bike run, making sure all was in order, I failed to notice a truck turning ahead of me. Suddenly realizing what was happening, I grabbed my front brake, and being on oily asphalt, I was down in a flash. Twenty five MPH and hitting on my left, sliding up the highway. Thanks goodness for full face helmets, riding jackets and good quality motorcycle gloves. I am in fine form except I bruised my ribs on the left and they hurt significantly. Traffic stopped and we got the Goose up. A through examination showed only a damaged engine guard (riders call them "CRASH BARS" and now you know why). Nursing my ribs, I finally got back on the bike and cautiously and attentively rode on to La Serena, making today's ride only 217 miles. But that is enough for me. My ribs hurt when I cough, when I bend over, when I get on or off the bike....they just hurt. I just went to the Farmacia and purchased some 400 mg ibuprofeno. I hope that helps me sleep tonight.
Don´t let this concern you! This is not the first fall for me. A couple of years ago, in Monclova, Mexico I had a very similar fall on another bike. Remember, if bikes weren´t supposed to fall, they would be built with three or four wheels instead of two. Safety gear, full face helmets, gloves, jackets...I am a believer!
Tonight, rest! Tomorrow, it depends on how I feel.