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This happened a few days ago to a 'friend' whilst riding through no mans land between Argentina and Chile near Chile Chico. I have reconstructed the actual event as a lesson to other bikers.

He was in that semi euphoric state having exited one country and almost entered the next. He was really happy to have left the wild winds and wastelands of Ruta 40 behind and was looking forward to riding the Carretera Austral.

A few yards ahead there was a big sign facing the other way. Intrigued as to whether it was a 'Welcome to Argentina ' or 'Goodbye from Chile ' he slowed down to a walking pace and turned his head to read it as he passed it by.

Split seconds later there was a huge crash as the front of the bike plunged dramatically downwards.

In an instant reaction he wound on more throttle to power out of the huge and totally unexpected pothole.

The bike lurched upwards and then stopped dead.

The rider nearly went over the handlebars and only managed to stay on because the panniers kept the bike upright.

He'd just ridden into the large hole in the middle of a cattle grid.

It appeared that Chilean ones are cheaper to make than those in other countries.

Luckily, the burst of power had lifted the front wheel out but the rear was dangling in the middle of the hole supported by the panniers.

It was going to be difficult to ride it out.

Swiftly he laid the bike on it's side and slid it across until the rear wheel was over the cattle grid. A quick heave and it was upright again.

Luckily no one saw this happen.

I have simply reconstructed this tale by reversing my bike into a grid just to show you what my 'friend' did.

Look forwards and drive safely.


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