Cycling in support of Limbs For Life

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

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Beans and gravel...

Sorry for the delay. Computers that repeatedly crash and waste your ride time are no fun.

My send off from San Pedro de Atacama. Sometimes I intend to get going but party's spring up. The best of both worlds. Have a few beers and then hit the road. Never a problem when you ride a bicycle.  

The ride up Abra del Acay. Argentina's highest pass 4895m

I love a hand drawn map. The route over Passo Sico

The ride over Paso Sico. Takes a bit of pavement riding out of San Pedro. Its the first good pass over to Argentina to the south. Route gets good and dirty before long!  Be sure and get your Chilean exit stamp before leaving San Pedro.  

My buddy Mohawk Tim once said- this was a site to watch for shenanigans. At the time I thought- not really its just me and the silly things I do on a bicycle. Though still not quite a full blown shenanigan, it came close. A caper for sure.
It was afternoon when I started up the Abra del Aacy. The wind was strong in my face most the time so it made slow going. Time wore on and the wind got stronger. Soon a storm rolled in. The stinging rain turned to stingier ice as I went higher. I didn't wanna retreat like most smart people would have. It wasn´t even 5000 meters, how bad could it be? I was soon in a full screaming gale that wanted to rip Davie from me and fling him back over to Chile. This picture is where the last 4x4 turned around, not even to the top. The road no longer drivable, we pushed through snow drifts in destroyed Muppet mouth shoes. The wind was so loud in my ears I couldn´t hear myself yelling "You call this a storm?!" I just knew I was mouthing the words. Never before had I wanted to own a pair of ski goggles so badly. Finally we scrambled to the summit. I couldn't even get a picture. The ride down was some of the most reckless harebrained riding I`ve pulled off in a while. Man, I love bike touring     

If yer gonna ride off road in the rainy season? Your gonna have to contend with these good times. One more reason to travel light. I got Davie up on my shoulders and only had to cross once. Much better than shuttling panniers. 

Ruta 40. Good and dirty in the north

Further on Ruta 40 is mostly paved. Davie and I with our type D personality enjoyed the nice shoulders.

A prime example of Bikeshacking. Get it where you can.

A pure pleasure to be alive and on a bicycle on days like this

It was mostly a brown dry climate in the Atacama but you could find little pockets

So the bottle shrines... The bottles of water are offerings to La Difunta Correa . The water is believed to turn to holy water. A.K.A. holy pasta and holy coffee.

A little front Der work. Moving parts sure like oil from time to time.

For my non climbing friends; who had not seen this route in the first 10 seconds of looking at this picture

The water got tired of going under that old guy.

A nap is usually in order after this kind of destruction

Gauchito Gil, also popular along Argentinian road sides. Anna Wishfish does a great post about these over here

A Velorution kind of morning...

My need to find wifi led me to the local bar. Victor and his buddies invited me to their table. I just wanted to sit and send my important messages, but I didn't wanna be rude. A bit of time and a few drinks later. Victor invited me to sleep at his house. He seems cool enough and not threatening in anyway. At his place he showed me the couch on the fenced and covered porch I could sleep on. He went over how safe it was showing me the lock on the gate and the lock on the door several times. We sat on the porch, he gulped a couple more glasses of wine and stumbled into the house to pass out, locking the door behind him. This was fine other than now I was locked out of the house and onto the porch. I couldn't leave and I couldn't go in. No big deal, I´ll get some sleep and wake him in the morning. Turns out Victor was the local cocaine dealer. Dudes kept coming by all night rattling the gate and yelling for him. He was out cold inside, leaving me to turn these jonseing coke heads away. No easy task. I got a few naps in between customers. After a huge effort I was able to roust Victor in the late morning. He opened my cage and I was set free. Not a predicament I wanna repeat. 

A baby seal dog. Cutest wiggly little guy ever.


campsite pyrotechnics or slow shutter speed?

Get it where you can. Trying to avoid Chilean Ruta 5 at all costs.

Highest peak out side of the Himalaya

I bit of mis-information at the information center lead me to a big loop and a busy highway.  Out of Mendoza I was gonna cross to Santiago by way of a little trekking path to the south. I was told that there was an immigration office in Tupungato where I could stamp out of Argentina. I rode all the way down to find there is no longer a immigration office in Tupungato. I should have gotten it 100k back up in Mendoza. Rather than ride back up there, wait till the next day to get the stamp and ride back to Tupungato. I decided to just mash it over the main pass/ border crossing between the two cities.  

This was pretty fun though

I had been looking for new shoes since Peru. Peruvians and Bolivians are not very big people. I could never find shoes big enough. At and Chilean flea market I finally put the old kicks to rest. The best $1.60 I´ve spent in a long time. This pic doesn't show the hole in the bottom of the right shoe that 3 of my toes would hang out of. I kinda miss the air conditioning affect.

First of any tire trouble I´ve had. A little cut kept spreading. No matter what the boot. I dipped into my Cache over in Santiago and put on a new.  Premature tire failure is not something I need riding this bike.   

The North South options are a bit limited leaving Santiago.

Ill take what I can get.

More efforts to avoid the main highway. Unfortunately knee deep muck had me turn back.

My celebratory afternoon snack. Celebrating getting back into the Andes after the agricultural valley south of Santiago

That's more like it!

Coffee tank 1/3 full

I had slight misgivings tapping into these portable wells. Until I saw Chilean Pablo chugging away.

Normally climbs look pretty flat in pictures. So this one you know was steep.

gritty and loving it

My trusty partner

Mornings like this will bring the cheers and smiles

Carving some waves, shredding some gnar. This one was quite a bit softer than the others, put me right over the bars. you gotta love it

Bean cravings satisfied. So worth the weight.

Pablo. One evening I was riding along. I looked over to see a tent flapping in the wind and no car. Those would be the tracks I was following.

Captain to bridge, we seem to have a problem in the cargo bay.

Spoon fed roosters. You snooze you loose pooch

The next generation.

Hey Ma, remember when I used to hold onto the fence and move the cranks back and forth pretending to ride?

I ain't pretending no more Ma. I just rode to Patagonia!


  1. Beautiful stuff, your pictures are getting better by the hour.
    What are these plastic bottle "shrines"?


    1. I give all the credit to the camera. I'm just the guy who pushes the little button. Hope my captions solve the mystery?

  2. Some really beautiful photo's.

    1. I never considered myself a photographer. More of a photo taker. Point and click style with no alteration. That's how you know just how beautiful it really is in some of those places.

  3. Man... I'm going to need some details on this one...

    Like - pic 4, case in point.

    Awesome (ness).

    1. Paso Sico! A great place for a sandwich and a bike ride. I think you will enjoy it, should you go that way. Awesomeness for sure!

  4. Great pictures! I'm also kinda curious about the plastic bottle shrines.
    Nice legs, even if they are two-toned.

  5. hi kurt ! i'm Pablo. i'm in Chile now, i arrive to my country 2 days ago, all its fine. Very luck for the nextmonths and really nice to meet you. when i arrive to my house, i write you again. Adios

    1. Pablo! Yea man, great to hear from you. Glad you made it back. I was worried when you didn't turn up. Great to meet you too.

    2. Yeah my friend ! that was a very hard route jaja. that day, i could only arrive to big lake, then when de sunset finished a cowman invited me to drink mate and eat bread ! just a little luck, but sad for could not arrive to the city.

      hey ! you've motived me to write in my blog about my travel. so .. we read together.

      good luck. and i hope soon your posting where you are. byeee

  6. If getting locked in a random coke dealer's porch, your sailing adventure, pop-up going away parties, encounters with assorted random people and animals, and your assorted issues at various border crossings don't qualify as shenanigans, I don't know what does. Glad the adventures are going well.

    -Mohawk Tim (Nohawk Tim these days...)

    1. True. The ad and misad ventures are both going great! These days? I think the last time I saw you with a hawk was somewhere around 20 years ago. Still the MHT to me.

  7. hi kurt could you show more details/pictures of your disc brake rotor holders on your fork legs, which hold your tent and sleeping mat.
    thanks tony

    1. Tony, email me at and I will gladly reply with photos and explanation of them

  8. Very inspiring blog. Following your travels. And...trying a fat bike soon!

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