God Bless the Mennonites

Filed in Gather Travel Essential by on August 25, 2007 0 Comments

It felt good to hit the 5000 mile point. We thought we would be on our way back from Panama after so many miles, but it turns out we were just entering Belize. Thankfully the countries get smaller from here.

Not far into Belize Mitch noticed that his rear sprocket had turned itself into a table saw blade. The chain had worn deep into the teeth of the sprocket making each tooth look like a hook, if not replaced soon they would begin to break and the chain would start to slip.

Luckily we were in Belmopan the capital city of Belize. The capital of an entire country, finding a mechanic or spare parts should be no problem right? Wrong big time, Belmopan is lucky to have a gas station. We couldn’t even find a bank that would exchange our Mexican Pesos for Belizean Dollars. The Mexican Embassy even turned our Pesos away!

We caught a break when the only bike mechanic in town rode passed us. He didn’t have any parts would could use, but he did point us in the direction of a Mennonite Colony, “If it’s in Belize the Mennonites will have it.” He said.

After bouncing down the dirt road to the colony we found the shop easy enough, and sent the owner rummaging through his storage room for a new chain and sprocket. After a few minutes he came back with a dust covered plastic bag. Inside was a glossy black 43 tooth sprocket, on the side was stamped KLR650. Cheap Mexican chains and sprockets intended to run a 150cc scooter have plagued our trip. And here in the middle of nowhere was an honest to goodness Kawasaki KLR650 rear sprocket. If they didn’t have one our next option was to buy a bus ticket back to Cancun, the nearest Kawasaki dealership is there. So this was a major break.

I guess what I am trying to say here is; buy a motorcycle with a shaft drive. And thank God for Mennonites.

–Ryan

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