Cycling in support of Limbs For Life

Cycling in support of Limbs For Life
Cycling in support of Limbs For Life

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Go Go Go

   A little story time:


Sergey Lyzhin
In 2004, Falon and I were on our way to Alaska. We called it "the mad dash to Alaska." We’re on touring road bikes and averaging about 90 miles a day. Somewhere in the north of British Colombia we bumped in to another cyclist. An energetic, bordering on spastic, middle aged man named Sergey. He was from Estonia and pedaling around the world for his second time. The first time he went around going east. This time he was going west, crossing Europe, Russia and the States both times. Our pace was a bit much for him so we slowed, camping together for a few nights. He was an amusing and interesting little guy. His broken English with heavy slavic accent and the frantic way he did things was hilarious. "Go Go Go" was his favorite phrase. It's how he explained his trip, how he told us it was time to ride and how he woke us up in the morning. It rained just about the whole time were together. The first night we slept in a junk yard, the next we camped in soggy tents. One morning we had a fire to dry things out and cook pancakes. Falon laid his socks along the fire to dry and quickly melted the shit out of them. They were his only pair. Sergey and I were cracking up watching him try to get his feet back in them. They weren't socks so much anymore as scorched and destroyed flaps of fabric. He wore them anyway, classic Falon style. Later that same day we bid Sergey farewell. We were going off to some town I can't remember the name of to pick up a tire. So we got back on our old pace. My sister was getting married soon and I needed to be back in California. Two years later, Falon, his brother Jasper and I were in Scandinavia. We had just ridden from Bergen, Norway to Stockholm, Sweden. Jasper headed home to the states. Falon and I boarded a ferry across the Baltic Sea. Sergey had told us he was from Tallinn Estonia. As we rolled off the ferry in Tallinn, we thought: it couldn't be too hard to find him? The guy rode around the world twice. One of these bike shops is going to know of him. Shop after shop they shook their heads at us. Until one. While doing our terrible job of describing just what we wanted and giving a vague description, I turned around and there was Sergey’s bike... hung on the wall next to a big photo of him. Excitedly we got the shop owner to phone him up. He had just got off work and said he would come to the shop. We weren't sure he was going to remember us. We had only crossed paths for two days a few years before. He busted through the door, obviously having sprinted there, yelling "my friends, my friends!” He gave us big hugs for a little guy. I asked "do you remember us? He said yes, but it was only when he reached down to check the condition of Falon's socks that I was sure. He invited us to his home. We rode through the city, stopping several times at homes of his friends so he could show us off. He beamed, playing out the story of Falon's melted socks in his hyper way, more emphasized by his happiness. We went back to his tiny communist block style apartment. He made us dinner and played for us many of the tapes he recorded on his tours. I had forgotten about the big lump in his coat back in Canada… the VHS video camera he carried around his neck, occasionally popping it out to film something. Eventually he found the tape and we watched ourselves on the screen 2 and a half years earlier. Sergey had a girlfriend and a child on the way. He left us in his apartment and went off to her place for the night, returning to meet us in the morning. Together we rode to the city limits. He had to return to work and Falon and I were continuing south to Latvia. He gave us big hugs, wishing us "Go Go Go,” then turned away abruptly, his eyes full of tears, too choked up to say anything more. He got on his bike and rode back. I stood there a long time watching him go. What he must have felt? Twice he pedaled around the world at its largest land mass. The friends he made, the experiences he had. The things he saw and learned. All the emotions that come with it were in those tears. Elation and sadness, joy and frustration. The flood of memories from a monumental experience done twice. We were just two beings who had morphed out of the mist as living reminders. We pedaled on. All of us better for the chance meeting. People like Sergey make this a better world. One that can be lived without borders, supremacy and fear.
 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

CA, BD & NF

 CA: Carretera Austral
 BD: Birthday
 NF: Nacho Feast



There are just no reasons to upgrade some technology, ie: gate hinges 

Old school graffiti 

The scenery has not been to hard on the eyes lately

The Carretera Austral is one of the worlds most trafficked routes for traveling cyclist. I now know why.

Classic Bikeshacking

A little dry river riding? Sure...




The last ferry of the year from Villa O·higgins

Fall is in the air


 The route from Lago O·higgins ferry to the border. A section many heavily loaded cycle tourist dread.  


I bypassed a the second ferry across Lago del Desierto by taking this beautiful hike a bike


I think fairies, unicorns and trolls migrated to the rest of the world from Patagonia


A bit of beach riding? Ok


Most of this trail was no place for wheels, but some sections were pure magic






In El Chalten there is an amazing little gem of a woman named Florence. She has opened her home to the hoards of passing cyclist.  Her kindness is just unbelievable. Hundreds of crusty bikers pass through every year. She helps set up your tent, cooks you breakfast and waves off your thank yous with a smile.


It can seem much like a base camp for most the year. This was the scene on my birthday. Mate for most, coffee for me.

 "I don't have a beard, I just haven't shaved yet"

The scene at the Nacho table. It was a revolving crowd of- 2 Italians, 3 Germans, 2 Polish, 2 Canadians, 2 Americans, 1 Welsh and about 5 Argentinians 


My birthday nacho dream in full affect!  I Thank everyone for helping to make it happen! Really, Thank you all!  My belt is cinched pretty tight these days. Splashing out on a big meal for friends and I would have blown my budget to pieces.  To have so many new friends there to sing happy birthday and pat me on the back was just awesome... tear  inducing. As much as I love storming mountain passes and roaming the less populated earth, times like your birthday are best not spent alone.
Even desert!


It was a great birthday but soon it was time to get back to business!

ditch camping

The infamous Pink House. A known refuge for cyclist. 


Stop in and sign the wall

Friday, April 4, 2014

The great Nacho Campaign






  For the days surrounding my Birthday. I have changed the blog donation button into the Birthday button. A.K.A. Nacho Button! 

 Its my Birthday in a few days and I've been dreaming of a Nacho Feast! (My Favorite food on the planet). I'm on  a slim travelers budget after more than a year of riding. So I'm looking to friends and family to help me in financing this amazing occasion.



  I'm launching the Nacho Campaign! A Birthday feast kickstarter. With a series of micro donations you can help make this a dream a reality! I don't know what other people think about 23 hours a day? I think about food. Most of all Nachos.  




You might say eff that? Its yer Birthday, I wanna buy you a beer. You can do that too! All with the same contribution to this cause. I'll be of coarse dragging in as many travelers and bicycle nomads as I can find to partake in these happs. Who wouldn't be into some guy who looks like a shipwreck victim trying to feed them nachos and a cold beer?




                                      



             

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Corresponding imagery to a roving and dirtstruck cyclist...


This is how you know you have made it to Patagonia

Monkey Puzzle trees

A gateway to giddy splendor


Walking on the surface of the moon


A quiet and windless spot for a cup

Get it where you can. Windless sleeping

Fetchaholic

More expensive than the other brands and not compatible with other pasta










Bikeshacking

Railcart across the marsh


yet another crossing

My first run in with the infamous Austral

more Bikeshacking
and more shutter speed play


Roadside dulce de leche y manzana... mmm

I don't think I'm the first to partake of these free accommodations 




The feast! Casa de ciclista in Villa Maniguales. I got there and it was empty. I was bummed, I was really looking forward to some company and interaction after weeks riding dirt hyways alone. But slowly the cyclist rolled in and we had a great dinner. 

To bad Mike was going the other way. A cool dude and a fellow bikepacker

I first met Simon and Olivia back up in Lapaz. By completely different routes we bumped into each other again here in Southern Chile.


Fresh snow in the hills. Proof that winter is coming on fast at the bottom of the world. Gotta get scootin.