Yesterday I started to write about moto-traveling to the country of Bolivia to adventure ride the death road and more. I explained how I was re-invigorated by the moto series of Million Dollar Bogan world travel YouTube series. It’s been awhile since I rode and I now have a fever for the flavah of a road trip! Then I saw a squirrel and delved further into writing about how I financially plan a trip and how taking off for three months affects my business at the Attorney That Rides law firm located in Fort Lauderdale. This article actually explains the Bolivian Death Road dream of a road trip.
Enough of that boring Gabe planning shit nobody ever wanted to hear, and let’s go into what is the DEATH ROAD in Bolivia!Gabe the Babe!
In 2019 when I was riding all over South America I came close to entering Bolivia but problems with the relationship between my riding partner clipped that idea. Note to self: Ride your ride and travel by yourself! My grandmother use to say, “Quen handa solo paga solo!” In other words if you hang alone you pay it alone thus if someone else does something YOU don’t have to pay the price of their actions or deeds. Wait, I am drifting…..lets get the the Death Road. Let’s see what a cut and paste from Wikipedia has to say on Bolivia’s death road just below: “
What the Hell is the Death Road of Bolivia?
The Yungas Road, also known as Road Of Death is a cycle route about 60 km long that links the city of La Paz and the Yungas region of Bolivia. It draws about 25,000 tourists per year and is a major La Paz tourist attraction. Many tour operators cater to downhill mountain biking, providing information, guides, transport and equipment. At least 18 cyclists have died on the road since 1998. It was famous for dangerous condition and death for traffic accidents per year (averages around 209 accidents and 96 people deaths). The tourist route is a 64 km-long road with 3500 metres of descent. In 1995, the Inter-American Development Bank dubbed it as most dangerous road in the world.  Those characteristics made it a favorite tourist destination.
The route includes the Cotapata-Santa Bárbara section. It replaced the old road, built in 1930. It was considered dangerous because of its steep slopes, narrow single track, lack of guardrails, rain, and fog, and was nicknamed the “Road of Death”. However, it was not the most dangerous road in the region. Unlike the rest of the country, traffic was left-hand, to allow the driver to assess the distance of their outer wheel from the edge of the road.
Part of this road were built by Paraguayan prisoners that were captured after Chaco War in 1930s. It was of one of the few routes that connect the Amazon jungle up north, with the city of La Paz. Due to steep slopes, combined with road that can fit only one vehicles (3 m in some places), and lack of the guardrails, this road was extremely dangerous. Weather also causes problem; rain and fog reduces visibility, muddy terrain, and loose stones that fell from the mountains.
A new alternative route, now part of Route 3, was built during a 20-year period ending in 2006. The modernization included enlarging the carriageway from one to two lanes; asphalt paving; bridges, drainage, guardrails, and the building of a new section between Chusquipata and Yolosa, bypassing the most dangerous sections of the original road. As the result, the dangerous road is now only used for bicycles and walking.
On 24 July 1983, a bus fell off from the Yungas Road into a canyon, killing more than hundred passengers. It’s one of the worst road accident in Bolivia. Mid 1990s, around 200 to 300 drivers fell off to the cliff. It was around 1 deaths per day. In 2011 total accidents were around 114 (the second route with the most accidents in Bolivia after the road between La Paz and Oruro), 42 people died.
Gabe’s Thoughts on Riding the Death Road
Having a moto-trip-induced fever that only an adventurous road trip into the call of the mountainous wild can cure caused me to pick this video only watching Danny Bogan aka the Million Dollar Bogan YouTuber videos of him tearing up the roads in Bolivia. Watching Danny ride Bolivia as I sat in front of my PC in the morning in my thunderwear left me wanting to get back into the international riding again. I would self fund my trip and not beg or kiss ass for funds since its so embarrassing to do so.
Since my 2019 trip that was a re-do of the 2015 trip where I set a world’s Record riding on a Harley-Davidson Bagger from Tierra de Fuego to Prudhoe Bay Alaska, I had saved and planned to ride around the world using the Iron Butt Association rules to document and certify my trip. I was going to fly my bike to Ireland, then take the ferry to the isle of man, then take another ferry to England; go east through Europe riding the boot of Italy; then heading to Russia (I know, I know); across the Trans Siberian Highway to a port town of Vladivostok, Ferry to South Korea, then fly it on an Air Canada to Vancouver. If I had enough time I would go to Prudhoe Bay but if I was short on time or funds I would Hoka Hey it to Florida to complete the round the world trip.
Covid and the Ukraine was sort of threw a bucket of water on that trip leaving me wanting a ride since I was double blocked from that. Besides, the Covid shut down hurt my business having me to spend all my savings to keep my employees employed. The current recession adds to the problems of trying to save for these long trips since its not just the expenses and costs of the road trip. I also have to save enough to keep 4-employees paid for that time period including the rent, utilities, insurances, legal subscriptions and more costs of operating a business.
At this time I cannot take 3-months moto-ride through the world as my heart desires. I have found a way to kill two birds with one stone. First I will save $$$ by hiring a moto-adventure company with a tour guide for ten days that will take me to the most exciting parts of Bolivia for a few thousands dollars using their bikes. I would be riding a DR650 Suzuki instead of a Harley but like they say: as in Rome do as the Romans. In bolivia there are NOT that many Harleys riding the Death Road!
The second part of hiring this group of adrenaline inducing riding company would be to scout out a country I am not familiarized with. Here I will determine what if any gear that I would need to ride my Harley on these Bolivian roads. I plan one day to ship my HD to Chile then head to Bolivia to attempt to complete a trip on my 2019 Road Glide or my 2013 Police Edition Road King. I am leaning towards my RK.
There is a company called Bolivia Motorcycle Adventures that operates out of Bolivia giving moto-tourists as myself the opportunity to see places without getting lost. I will say that getting lost is part of the adventure. By using these folks I save almost $6,500 in motorcycle shipping costs alone! It’s a lot easier to escape for 10-days than to undertake a 90-120 day excursion worldwide.
I will update you all as to what happens on Gabe’s adventures as certain milestones come and go here on Screaming Thunder aka Gabe’s Blog/Vlog! Until then then you can support your local Attorney That RIDES by referring your family and friends who may need an Attorney in South Florida. I work hard on behalf of my clients to get them close to their goals either in Injury Law cases or their Family Law matters. #getgabe