I returned to Medellin after my big northern loop for another crack at my ignition problem. I’ve replaced the clutch switch, the potentiometer and Ruta 40 are stumped. Can’t find the problem. But i’m still working on it. In the interim I can’t start the bike in gear. The ECU says something’s wrong. God knows what. So why not ignore it? Well there are times when you want to start in gear. Stopped on a dirt hill for instance. Anyway.
I’m sitting at the Shamrock the day I arrive back and there’s a call for me from Al, the Shamrock owner. He tells me to get down, right away, to the coffee shop he goes to each morning. Off I go.
Another HP2, and judging from the paint job on his huge 40 litre tank, going around the world.
It’s a Swiss guy, Hans Eichmann. Same age as me and on the road for 4 years so far.
So Hans gives me Adam’s email address and I send him a note. Adam had just completed his ride a week and a half earlier. Here’s part of his note back
Hans was the first RTW HP2 traveler I ever heard of, and made contact with, you are the second.
A week ago Ive landed back in Israel after 4.5 years of RTW trip with the HP2.
Compare this to Hans’ 4 years (so far) and 140,000K and you’ll see the numbers line up. The big thing they’ve done that I am unsure of is Africa. They both lapped it and both dealt with the dangers and difficulties of the western side, including the very iffy DRC Congo.
Hans and I hang out for a few days in Medellin while he gets his bike serviced. The good news is our styles are quite similar. We do the same mileage weeks, look for the same type of dirt roads, rest as often, and generally are in the same head space.
Hans has some bike handling tricks that are impressive, I’ve never seen before and have to do with how he launches and stops. They’re so cool looking that I can’t share them until I can do them myself and pretend I didn’t just rip him off, you all having forgotten this a few years from now…
He also offers me a solution to the big problem I have of returning to Santiago for my flight west after going to Ushuaia, which involves either a different route back up Chile, or an early route east through Paraguay and Brazil. Neither suits me and Hans has a solution. I’ll share it when I get down that far and make a decision.
Hans also invited me to cross Russia with him as our timetables roughly line up in the late spring of 2015. I passed this on to Adam. That would be very very cool – 3 HP2’s ripping across Siberia. We’ll see.
We talk about the highs, lows and risks. It’s all fascinating and I really enjoy the time. Unfortunately I don’t have much to contribute this early on, but if I don’t crash out in a big way maybe I’ll share stories with another HP2 rider as early into his trip as I am now.
Anyway, Hans and I have to wait a year or two before riding a route together if we ever do – he’s headed north. We pull out of the parking lot side by side, ride down to the main road, he takes a right, I take the left, on long routes that circle the world in opposite directions and intersect in Russia.