Motorcycle Minute: The Jugs Recovery in Cusco, Peru
There is no video of the crash, but from the photos, road gouges, scratches and missing pieces, I’ve deduced that Jugs did at least one flip down the highway. Likely several. This would require some repairs. (Link to the video I took talking about it all, damage chat starts at 4:40 Video 1 day post crash)
Once I escaped the hospital post-surgery, the first step was to get Jugs out to Pisac. There we would stay with Sandy and Sandra Hart.
The first step was to strip everything down.
Once the bike was striped bare, I discovered there were broken and bent parts, but nothing unrepairable or unreplaceable.
While doing the minor repairs on Jugs, Sandra kindly helped with my personal repairs providing Bandages and taking out my sutures.
Back to working on Jugs: the whole front end was bent and needed a stern talking to.
The smashed gauges took a full day to puzzle back together.
And then I notice the frame…
The gauges, the bent bar, the airbox, even the boxes and fairing I could fix or have someone else fix nearby and easily. But the frame… The frame needed more work than I was capable.Fortunately my friend Chester from the hostel in Pisac knew of a good mechanic in Cusco. A phone call and 2 days later the mechanic made a house call out to Lamay to check out Jugs!!
My challenge now was to get Jugs back to Cusco. The Harts were busy with their charity work and their truck wasn’t available, so I set out to find some wheels for my wheels. After several hours of asking around in the rain, I waved down a 1 ton truck who happened to be heading to Cusco in the morning. Perfect. The next morning I called first thing to confirm, then head to Lamay before the sun was up to rendezvous with the truck. 45 minutes of waiting later, I tracked down a phone to find out that the truck driver had changed his mind and wasn’t coming anymore. Fantastic. Oh Peru, where truly “Anything is possible, nothing is certain”.
I searched all morning and afternoon turning down offers from station wagon taxis who were both dreaming if they thought it would fit, and too expensive. I found Richard and his pickup in a gravel yard. 2 hours later we had Jugs loaded and on our way to Cusco.
70 soles (25$) and an hour later, Jugs was dropped off at my mechanics shop.
It took about two weeks for all the work to get done. Lots to dismantle and re-assemble. Lots of chains and hydraulics. I took the opportunity to use the shop space for the repairs I was able to complete myself, along with some maintenance. Brian was warm and welcoming to my presence. I really lucked out finding him to do the repairs.
With Jugs nearing completion, I head to Lamay by bus to pick up my repaired riding gear. Only took two weeks longer than she originally quoted!
After a couple weeks in the shop, once the frame was straight and I felt ready to go, I re-assembled the final pieces and did a test ride out to the sacred valley. I paid Brian the 420 soles (170$) I owed for the work (300 for the frame, 120 for a new handlebar). At that price: basically two hours worth of labour at any shop back in Canada… I shook his hand and set off on my ride. The ride was long enough to be a good test, and also allowed me to stop in and pick up my boxes from the welder that was out that way.
The ride took me a couple hours and included a good argument to get my boxes back. The welder had mostly finished the job on my pannier boxes, with a few bends left to be hammered out, but he wasn’t around. His wife/guard dog was home, but she didn’t want to let me pay her and take my boxes, saying I should come back in a few days when my welder returned. I had been through this once before with her when checking on the boxes a previous visit. That encounter ended with her closing the door and locking me out. Not going to go through that again, I handed her cash, took the boxes and left. The door slammed behind me. Glad I didn’t forget anything. Back to the test ride.
The test ride was successful in that Jugs was behaving well and I was able to retrieve my boxes, but it was a failure in the most important test: My shoulder hurt. I tried to ignore it, I tried to position my arm differently but by the end of the ride I had to rest my left hand on my leg for long stretches. Only when I had to use the clutch would I really put my hand back on the bar. I would later find out that this was because the pins had shifted, no longer holding my clavicle tightly in place. Jugs was now ready, but I was not. Isolating my shoulder to a sling for a month was my future, while Jayne would continue on without me. I insisted that she go on since there was a real chance that my trip was over and I would have to head back to Canada to heal there. Time would tell, and having her wait with me was a waste of her time.
For now, Jugs was healed and would be waiting for me whenever, if ever, I was ready. Until then I just had to eat calcium supplements, chew calcium rich coca leaves and kill time. And kill time I did. Next up: Drinking my way to a healed clavicle, with a trip to the Dakar to boot.