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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #1  
Old 21 Jan 2009
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South America Warning

This is a serious warning to anyone riding in South America and particularly Brazil.

I have just been through Sao Paulo, Lins, Promissao, Parati, Rio, Juis de Fora and Uba. Most local motoboys [125cc delivery bikers] are now using what looks like telescopic radio aerials, with a forward facing hook on the top, fitted to their handlebars. I thought it was just a fashion accessory, until I asked a motoboy.

The street kids are stretching throat height wires across the roads, or flying kites [pipa's] at the road side, with ground glass stuck to the kite string. The intention is to dive the kite as you pass, to catch you under the chin. They are after the motoboys loads, be it a pizza, shopping delivery, or whatever is in the box.

I asked the motoboy how many bikers he had heard of being hurt. He said "pipa's morte muito motoqueiro's", which is why they all use the wire cutters.

If you are in South America and see the motoboys with "radio aerials" on their handlebars, be very careful. I dread this trend spreading elsewhere.
Please, take care.
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  #2  
Old 22 Jan 2009
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Colombia

No sign of that kind of thing here, and I feel it would not be well-tolerated.

Chin up and don't lose your head! ;-)
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  #3  
Old 22 Jan 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike the Bike View Post
This is a serious warning to anyone riding in South America and particularly Brazil.

I have just been through Sao Paulo, Lins, Promissao, Parati, Rio, Juis de Fora and Uba. Most local motoboys [125cc delivery bikers] are now using what looks like telescopic radio aerials, with a forward facing hook on the top, fitted to their handlebars. I thought it was just a fashion accessory, until I asked a motoboy.

The street kids are stretching throat height wires across the roads, or flying kites [pipa's] at the road side, with ground glass stuck to the kite string. The intention is to dive the kite as you pass, to catch you under the chin. They are after the motoboys loads, be it a pizza, shopping delivery, or whatever is in the box.

I asked the motoboy how many bikers he had heard of being hurt. He said "pipa's morte muito motoqueiro's", which is why they all use the wire cutters.

If you are in South America and see the motoboys with "radio aerials" on their handlebars, be very careful. I dread this trend spreading elsewhere.
Please, take care.
I was talking to a brazilian traveller yesterday and he told us the same info!
I wouldn´t say "SOUTH AMERICA" as a big.Refrace as: Brazil warning,at least for now.

Hey thanks for the warning.It was new to me as a argie local too!
KH
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  #4  
Old 22 Jan 2009
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I lived in Brazil foir 4 years in the late 90s and it was a problem then. A friend hit one of the kite wires and his mirror finally snapped it but it put a nasty gouge in his windshield. The following weekend he had an aerial with a cutter on the top!
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  #5  
Old 22 Jan 2009
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Brazil Wire Cutters

I'm glad to see my post was noticed, so somewhere along the road a biker might benefit. I know Colombia pretty well and have good contacts in Bogota and also Georgetown, Guyana, if anyone needs back up. Ride safe.
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  #6  
Old 23 Jan 2009
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I was riding to Uyuni at about 95km/h when I see two construction workers lift a wire about neck high! they were trying to move it forward a couple of minutes but didn´t wana wait the 10 seconds for me to go past, luckily I just slammed the brakes on in time and they put it to the ground, a bit off'topic but you always have to be careful!
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  #7  
Old 23 Jan 2009
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Wires

Pockets, well spotted Sir. Glad you're still with us. Anybody know if an aramid fibre neck scarf is available ? Kevlar ? Cordura might be ok though. I'll check NP Racewear in Juis de Fora, they make Kart/Bike gear. Might reduce a fatal to a painful but survivable. I'll post any relevant info. Mike
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