Friday, May 6, 2011

Assaulted by an Argentinean man with road rage on the Valdez Penninsula-Running for my life!

Today was another tuff day heading north to Buenos Aires. Again I was fighting the ridiculous cross winds of the Patagonia, a physical and mental challenge to say the least.

By this point in time I had completed over 90% of my expectations and goals on this trip, so my spirits were high. I had a new rebuilt engine, lots of great photos, video and life experiences no one can ever take away from me. Things were looking up.

Got bored and pulled over to talk to some bikers on the road

As I was close to the Valdez Peninsula, half way between Ushuaia and Buenos Aires, I heard a funky noise coming from the engine. I stopped to check it out, but it seemed to have gone away. So I continued onward only hoping it wasn’t anything serious.

I was told the Valdez Peninsula was amazing, so I forked over the $17 US and inward I went. The road eventually became a dirt road. A very dusty one to say the least.

As on a bike you can generally go faster you tend to overtake people in cars that are going much slower.

So there was a car I was overtaking on this dirt road, I had passed completely on the opposite side 25 feet away from the vehicle, then waited until I was far away to cross back in to the right hand lane.

As I was doing this the guy stepped on the gas and tried keeping up with me, trying to race it seemed like, as to not let me pass, so he got closer to me until he was 10 ft or so away. This was getting dangerous for me so I pulled the throttle and left him in the dust because of his agrresive move.

Well wouldn’t you know it that little car kept up with me and caught up with me. He insisted on tail-gating me for the next few minutes. He got so close in fact that he bumped the bike from the back and almost had me go out of control.

So I was constantly going from 50mph t 80mph trying to get away from this guy on this unstable and dangerous dirt road which was incredibly difficult with a loaded motorcycle and a rear tire that was very worn out, but he still continued to try and assault me.  So here I was basically driving for my life from this crazy mad trying to run me down.

I even stopped to try and let him pass, and he just waited for me to continue on. I couldn’t do anything to shake this guy off, he had hit my bike so I knew things were getting bad, and I wasn’t about to leave my bike to go talk to him. So I just contuned on with this guy constantly trying to run me off the road for a bit.

Finally there was a batch of bushed, and I drove into the bushes where he couldn’t go with his car and he finally decided to passed me.

Down the road he had parked the car perpendicular to the road to block it off and stood in the only area to get by him waiting for me.

What was this guy’s deal?! He was out for blood it seemed.

So I stopped as to not kill the guy, and approached cautiously,  but kept the bike running just in case something happens and tired to talk with the guy who just tried to kill me. Peacefull and patient Alex trying to keep the peace.

He came at me yelling like a good Argentinean, screaming “how dare you pass me! @&$(^*@!!  You broke my wind shield y, I’m son of a b!#$! I’m pissed off, who’s paying for it Etc. etc.”

So this man was accusing me of breaking his windshield with rocks that were thrown at him. Well I had driven behind this guy when I first saw him and all I got in the face was dust, so I knew my motorcycle wasn’t grabbing the rocks and throwing them in the air behind me, plus when I passed him I was so far away from him I knew nothing could have hit him.

Road where I was attacked

But there was lots of oncoming traffic that were indeed throwing rocks at me as they passed by and I’m sure were the cause of his windshield breaking as when I over took him two large vehicle passed us at high speed throwing rocks that hit my own face shield and assume it hit his as well. So it seems this guy naturally thought it was me, although I was impossibly far away for that to actually happen.

So here we were, in the middle of the road, he kept yelling and yelling. I actually tried reasoning with him and explain what may have happened and explained how it was impossible that his windshield was my fault.

Road rage got the best of him and he starting threatening me. I then countered with the reminder of his attemped murder of me when he bumped me with his automobile, which only added to his fire.

Dust.... not rocks
I gave my last shot of trying to talk with him, but he would even let me talk, I was running out of patience and he had indeed assaulted me so I was about to leave. But he persisted to a more hostile yelling followed by smacking me in the head and attempted to grab me and throw me off the bike by kicking and pushing me to one side.

So I fought him off  after he did this by smacking they guy in the head in return as he continued to try and push me off the bike. He came at me full force trying to knock me over, as he attempted this, I quickly gave him a swift kick to the knee, while still sitting on my bike and trying to keep balanced.  

I still had my hands near the throttle and clutch after fighting him off, so a quick kick after he attacked me, as the bike was falling, I pulled the clutch and throttle to prevent the bike from falling on my legs and possibly breaking something, which caused lots of tire rotation and spinning that in turn caused the bike to swerve into control, knock the guy over to the floor and sent rocks and gravel flying at this guys face (un-intentional of course as I was trying to get away from the attack and prevent possible harm to myself) and I took off running for my life as I looked behind me at the guy reach into his pockets as if he had a weapon he was pulling out.

As I sped off I left a huge cloud of dust and couldn’t see much, so I just ducted my head to safety in case he did take a shot at me with a possible gun and hoped this guy didn’t have a gun indeed. I drove at high speed swerving like crazy, running for me life, getting far away from the guy not knowing whether or not he was following me. This lasted about 20 minutes until I reached the end of the road where there was one lonely park ranger, where I quickly jumped off the bike and informed him and he called it in.

There was about half an hour of being pretty tense and worried that this guy was indeed following me and wanting to cause me harm, even possibly killing me for his windshield and now launching rocks into his face.

But luckily after half an hour of waiting, he was not. I left my information and such to the authorities in case this guy was still on the road back just in case something very serious happened I would be legally covered as to what happened.

At the place there were some sea lions and such, 

But I couldn’t enjoy as I was thinking this guy had the look as if he wanted to kill me and even tried to a certain point to do me harm and assaulted me. And now there was the potential danger of him waiting for me on the way back!

So I went back later the same road I came in on because there was no other alternative.

It was a tense 2 hours to say the least, but luckily he had left. I assume it was a local. Argentinean road rage is quite dangerous I found out.

So total over all experience of the Valdez peninsula for me was pretty awful and a waste of time. Also because it wasn’t the high season for the animals there were just the sea lions and that was it, I imagine during the normal season there’s more, but this day was a complete dangerous waste of my time and money.

But hey I survived an assault and lived to ride another day.

Off to Buenos Aires I continue with a healthy appreciation for life, happiness and patience 

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