Cycling in support of Limbs For Life

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

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

El Silencio- an infected itch that is constantly nagging for a scratch

A near and almost edible mist kept the snowy nevados of the Cordillera Real hidden from view.

Davie and I having a reflective moment - A.K.A. Cookie break

Front yard camping

I would have eaten all that mist had I gotten the amazing views I knew were hiding just behind it all. Still a damn good ride. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

The old West of the old South

Faint and perfectly trafficless

One of my favorite nights accommodations. My little mud boob. A cold wind whip and howled but I spent a cozy night lit with a warm glow from candles.

One big Soccor field

Getting to this church was a wrong turn...

Getting down was good fun...


Bolivian border crossing

Creaked and groaned under the weight of Davie

Police station camping. Puerto Acosta. Waiting for the immigration shack to open

more Titicaca

On the old road to Lapaz

It probably didn't look much different when Butch and Sundance rode by.

 The Altiplano has a quiet and amazing beauty to it
   I felt a bit like a desperado at times rolling into muddy pueblos. I could refer to my self as The Dirtdance kid... if Cass was still here I could call him Butch Cass-idy....but that would be pretty corny, so I won't. Not in public anyway.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Something about a train...

I guess after the Aguas Caliente night mission. I couldn't get enough of the train tracks. I do love trains and being around them reminds me of good ol´times ridin´em. So with no one around to tell me not to, I loosely followed these tracks for more than 100k. Jumping between paralleling dirt tracks, gravel roads and some good fun bushwhacking.


A path often lead me between little pueblos, tucked into the same broad valley as the tracks and the main highway

drying out after a good nights down pour

Sometimes ending up in train yards

and old defunct stations

friends on the same route

             One more time...



My personal favorite and easy going on a fatbike

When the trains did pass. I always looked for Peruvian hobos to wave to. 
P.S. A.K.A. Coffee gulpers note:  So I dropped off Ausengate down to the village of Checacupe. I'm now crusing down the broad flatish valley towards Puno. From where I'll get my Peru exit stamp and then head up around the north end of Lake Titicaca. Then down the east side to cross into Bolivia and head up into the Cordillera Real. If all goes well.

The many roads to Cusco

  Its always funny when something is on the horizon for so long and then its past. Or you are on the way somewhere distant than all of a sudden you´re beyond it. It seemed that way with Cusco. It loomed out there in front of us for so long. A place we´re constantly yet slowly on the way to. A goal with the reward in going. Very much unlike a desert oasis or a long drive in the back of a car. It was about getting there.
   Aside from the U.S., Peru is the largest country I have crossed in some time (if you look at it top to bottom). As with most places, I´m drawn towards the mountains. The Andes! The second largest range in the world. Where the going is slow and arduous on a bicycle. Distances are longer and the temperature ranges dramatically with elevation. Storms hit hard, lack of oxygen humbles the fitness and surfaces constantly keep you guessing. A place on the earth to make you know you are alive. It was truly phenomenal and I loved it out there.·· I had dreamt of those magical peaks and passes for so long. They far more than lived up to my expectations. I tried to soak it all in. Saturate my brain and immortalize those vistas in my memory. I want to always remember the smells and relive the sunsets. Feel that chill in the lungs with the first morning pedal strokes on those twisting and winding dirt roads. See the year long snow in the gullies of the craggy peaks like the veins in the back of my hand. Man... As I ride through out the world, I'm making  reservations for places that need further two wheel exploration. The Peruvian Andes now have a big red flag.

  After Aguas Calientes, I caught back up with Cass in Cusco. As with most passing cyclist we stayed at Hostal Estrellita. There was ·· Matt and Alex heading north·· Douglas from Brazil·· 2 stiff lipped, very clean Frenchies·· Cass dirt road junkie and photo genius·· Kurt horribly addicted cyclist, pastry vacuum and coffee gulper.  We talked alot about bikes, gear and routes. A reoccurring theme among cyclist. As is eating you weight in baked goods. Cusco is a beautiful city. We did a fair amount of walking around, sampled the cuisine and enjoyed a real Irish pub. I stayed for the better part of a week.

  Cass and I said our farewells. Hes off to the U.K. for the holidays. He is a good chap with a calm and educated air, the kind that only comes with years in foreign places. It was a true pleasure to turn the pedals and storm some passes with one of the best in the business. Happy trails, Pal

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ausengate. A.K.A post Cusco awesomness!

Google images can do a better job of depicting Cusco. So I give you this; my favorite view during my time there

Rainy season touring. Stash yourself and listen to it dump bats and frogs.

Waiting out a passing shower. With a hot cup of coffee in a Virgin Mary shrine

The approach to the great Aus

Guardians at the gate

It was easier to ride straight across the paramo than on the muddy road. Thanx mud.

The head of this valley holds the trail to the pass.

I love me some bridges


Pass #1 4750m


fuzz balls

Through out the night this glacier would crack and pop loudly. Small avalanches would rumble down echoing through the valley

 Trekking gear and sturdy footwear was recommended for this route. I brought worn out shoes and a fatbike.
elevator going up

Pass#2 4930m



   A few route notes:  Tinke is the start of the good stuff .It was 117 Km of mostly pavement to get there from Cusco. Upis was 6.6 Km up a steep dirt road. Ausengate is the Mt. on the right. You wanna head for its right side. A long valley will lead you close to its base at 4480 M and 133 km from Cusco. They are just now working on a developed path there. It went for about 100m and then the trail became very vague. Just keep heading for the glacier ahead of you. The pass is around to the right flank. You will drop down to two lakes. Go toward the one on the left and around its right side, A steep ridge will run along your right side. It doesn't seem like a pass but it is (directly south of the glacier on the back side of Aus) The are a million alpaca trails so just pick one and head up over the southern ridge. I went to far and had to go back. As another reference its at hard right and up at the head of the last lake (the one the Glacier dumps into). You climb steeply to 4930M and then drop down into the valley below you, again no real trail. The few buildings that appear further down is the booming metropolis of Ausengate. Stay around to its left side. This will bring you to the road. Left to Chilca and right for a 30km decent to Pitumarca.