I need about 30 minutes of your valuable time, if you don’t have it right now I fully understand but come back when you do, this post is that important, it’ll require you read every word and watch every single second of video and then take time to ponder what your brain just absorbed and if you then want to do anything, which is not required…but you might.
Go grab a beer or wine or bottle of water, let’s get started
In 2011 I joined ADVrider since then I’ve made exactly 4196 posts on that amazing forum that @Baldy conceived nearly two decades ago, without doubt, this will be my most pleasurable and proud post to write.
Last Sunday I made a post 23 of you acknowledged with ‘like’ it was here and included this video
The guy in this video is called Robin de Leon and he’s from Guatemala City, Guatemala and this is the rest of his amazing story written by Egle:
A couple of days ago, we were riding from Antigua to Coban (Guatemala). As we were making our way through the back roads, we noticed a peculiar rider: he had one leg missing, and was shifting gears by hand. He also had a small boy on the back of his bike.
We rode alongside him for a while, intrigued; using the Sena intercom, I said to Paul – “He looks like someone who has a fantastic story! Let’s pull him over and talk to him”.
Paul said, sure. So we stopped the one-legged motorcyclist, and we were totally blown away by his story!
When Robin was 17, he was walking home from work; he lives in a poor neighborhood in Guatemala City, and there was a shooting near where he lived. A stray bullet hit him in the leg as he was walking by, and they had to amputate above the knee…
Robin was an avid cyclist, so losing the leg meant losing the freedom to travel. However, his boss convinced him to try a motorcycle and gave him his old 125cc bike. Robin came up with a small steel rod that he attached to the gear lever and shifted gears by hand. “I fell down a lot, at first”, – Robin says. “But I felt that the motorcycle would change my life, so I kept trying”.
As soon as he started to ride, motorcycling became a huge passion of his. A few years back, Robin rode his little Suzuki 125 to Nicaragua and back!
And as if that isn’t cool enough, Robin also races. He’s won a few disabled riders’ races in Guatemala and Honduras and his dream is to one day compete in the Bridgestone Handy Race in Spain.
Robin works as a motorcycle courier in Guatemala City and takes care of Angel (Robin’s a single dad). He doesn’t make much money and whatever income he has goes towards his son’s food and school needs.
The biggest hurdle for Robin to continue racing and riding is proper motorcycle gear: more professional races simply won’t let him enter because he doesn’t have a racing suit. Angel, who is eight years old, loves riding with Robin, but all he has is a tatty Chinese helmet. Proper motorcycle gear just isn’t something that Robin can afford.
So we decided to help Robin: we are going to get people to either donate $$$ or gear and send Robin and Angel some good motorcycle gear. But that’s not all – we talked to Tolga Basol of ‘Ride Must Go On‘, asking him if he would help us create a short film about Robin. We would then use that video to convince companies to help Robin. Tolga said yes, he’ll think about it
So, we’re just putting everything together now, figuring out the best way to get the gear to Robin, and so on. Can you please help share the message, or perhaps one of your advertisers could donate some gear, or…literally ANYTHING would be a big help!
Here is the video, its almost 16 minutes long, PLEASE WATCH IT ALL AND LISTEN TO WHAT WE ARE SAYING as we go into great detail while we ride through Northern Guatemala, so there’s stuff to see as well.
yesterday I posted on Instagram this screenshot
it got a measly 86 likes because it’s not a shot of a bike and because you actually had to do some work to get to the video because I’ve not got the hang of IG yet as you’ll notice in the comments. People wanted a link to click!
Anyhow, someone at Klim saw this and keep this in mind this was yesterday, so this post was not up yet, Klim has already offered to send some gear to Robin and Angel. I have been part of the Klim family since late 2017 and this just makes me proud to be wearing their name when they step up like this.
Also, someone who at the moment is remaining nameless has a friend who makes prosthesis and is going to see if there is an interest in helping (fingers crossed).
Remember these guys, Chihuahua Motorrad…they have offered to collect packages in El Paso, TX and cover all the logistics and shipping and also they are adding a bunch of clothing and gear too.
If you were really listening to the video the one thing that holds Robin back besides the obvious handicap is the lack of a racing suit so he can compete more, if anyone has one laying in the bottom of closet let us know, or if you or your friends, co-workers, friends, associates etc. have a connection in the right place then please share this post.
We are now sharing it everywhere we can and in a hurry, as we leave for Cuba in 13 days, so, logistically for around 2 months we will be out of the mix completely and are so glad others are stepping up to help out.
It will be great for us to see where you guys take this in our absence.
Also mentioned in the video, Robin is setting up a small motorcycle shop, he has some equipment but is looking for a few things, some small, some big, Egle has a list but as we all know you can never have enough tools…but, if you do have too many, this might be a great place to send them.
Numerous individuals have already stepped up and donated money to assist which is great, but the logistics are tough as Guatemala has no government-run mail system in place and so it requires the use of private companies like Rapidito Express to get stuff ‘in country’.
It would be amazing if someone has family in Guatemala City and could help out someway somehow, even if it’s just with translation as Robin only speaks a few words of English.
For those of you who are on Facebook, you can find him – Robin DE Leon Guatemala
This is one of those posts | videos | chance meetings that needs to be shared everywhere to everyone who you know who loves motorcycles and inspirational stories.
If by chance there is someone reading who is or who knows someone high up in a media outlet that would like to hear more, Egle would love to write that article, NY Times, New Yorker, LA Times, USA Today, Oprah, Washington Post, Time, Life, NG, Readers Digest etc…please let me or her know