Monday, February 25, 2013

Quito to Guayaquil - 400kms by bike in 24 hours

Endorphin adventures just has to best itself.....if nothing other than to prove the old man still has some gas in the tank.  Previous record was 323km.  For this we rode thru the night under a near full moon, with no need for the headlamps.  However, the rear flashing lights were invaluable.  Biggest dangers?  Hidden potholes and oncoming, passing traffic.  Left Quito at 5pm Friday....hit Guayaquil (Ecuador's largest city) at 5pm Saturday.  18 hours in the saddle and the other six???  where did the time go?  eat, pee, repeat.  Thanks Compadre!  Do it again next weekend?
Ecuadorian/Canadian risk Assessment
1/2 hour from the start and we get hit with a huge downpour....go the rain gear on just in time!
The latest in not so waterproof foot wear; socks in plastic bags.....did the job!  (Trying to keep it light, so no point in carrying a pair of shoes)
All lit up like an xmas tree (See the video to see how bring the rear light is) serious at a young 44 years of age.  Out of the rain in a bus shelter at 3am or so.
Posing for the locals.
Full on meals keep Pablo truckin'
Soy milk to keep the old man tickin' kind of store!
From 9 am to 5pm we had full on sun in the lowlands.  Earlier during the night we had about 4-5 hours of rain....which was much easier to handle!
Crossing the 2 huge bridges into Guayaquil
Rio full flood.
End of road!  Welcome to Guayaquil! (says the top of the Seiko sign)  ...and a bike lane even!
Half crazy or full on crazy?  Looking surprisingly fresh here....good for another 400km?  not.   Compadre headed right back to Quito on a night bus.  I had a glorious 10 hour snooze and headed back at 7am...more snoozing on the bus....home by 4pm.
....and upon arrival....Ramon had drawn a picture for me.....from Quito (mountains) to Guayaquil (city)....thanks bud!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Studley's little red light

Thanks mate!  Sure made the vehicles move over!  It's so bright it makes your eyes hurt!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Emily and Carla's big downhill ride to the jungle

A few firsts for this bike adventure.  Emily had never toured before, but with a strong fitness base of running, she had no problems at all.  This was Carla's first full tour on the tag a long and she had no problems either, due to the fact that she traded places with ramon at times (between the chariot and tagalong) on last summer's big tour in southern Ecuador.  Jefferson, our main taxi man, drove us to to 4000m at Paso de la Virgen and from there we rode 5 days down to 500m and the town of pacayucu, just east of Lago Agrio, 275kms, and bussed back up.
Our intrepid band of merry cyclists, high up in the Andean Paramo/Alpine zone
Emily all bundled up.  Using my old Giant Iguana, who I had sold to a collegue for $100.  He kindly lent it back to me for this trip.
Spider girl all bundled up
A steaming plate of habas con choclo.....broad bean and corn
Hiking in papallacta
bike then hike
....followed by a soak in the hotsprings
This girl needs some jungle sun
cooling off
....all legs's a tough life this cycling touring biz!
Here comes Carlita!  Sure got a lot of use out of this MEC rain suit with both kids
just zooming along
multi-tasking already....
peddling along while chatting with mom on the phone
Blondie rides up front for a bit
Mascots for this tour....Blondie above and bear below
Emily in fine riding form
Not only did she borrow my old bike, but my old stinky Colombia bike shorts too :)
The oil pipeline....the fossil fuel resources that make the world go this case the tires, bike, paved road, the inputs to produce the food in our bellies to power the machines.  What will the future hold on the downslope of peak oil?
tortillas de trigo
Rumba/party with Maracuya flavored vodka
I'm sure you'd all agree that Carlita is much more beautiful than this orchid :)
love the overlap of the petals
splash time in the river
....and in the pool I say....this cycle touring is real tough
....doing the laundry in the shower
Does this girl ever eat a lot....and no shortage of vegan fare
Hike down to the highest waterfall in Ecuador
Volcan Reventador...3500m or so....smoking away
all kinds of interesting drinks
just another 17kms to tonight's destination
Happened upon an evening of cultural dances and displays, put on the by the gov't of the province of Sucumbios....with the purpose of celebrating the diversity of cultures in the region.
Cofan indigenous group.....wonder if the headgear could serve as a bike helmet?'s a wee bit warm down here in the jungle
chocolaty rivers
Chocolate trees....cacao
and a few coconuts
along with guavas so ripe and plentiful that they fall of the trees and no one seems to collect them
The obligatory road kill shot
baby boa...or what's left of it
Holiday/carnival time means kids spraying cans of blue, foamy, soapy stuff
....into unsuspecting people's faces.  No Carla did not do this....this deed was done by someone in a passing vehicle.
Carla going to town with the stuff
good fun, but unnecessary canisters to add to the landfills  (well then don't buy them papa)
pulling into Lago
.....and off for a canoe ride in parque Perla
This poor guy got scratched up by a cat and has been given medicine
....which makes him sleepy
hike and bike!....along the edge of the lake
give that girl a basketball!
$1usd fills the belly
some not so wild life
and some more not so wild life, although we did see a number of flocks pass overhead....always super noisy
A sugar cane press, made entirely from wood (made in Colombia sells for 800usd) and a few nuts and bolts.  Incredible craftsmanship!  Carla loved feeding the sugar cane in and didn't want to stop.  The guy had just opened for business and we were his very 1st a few extra bucks and a Canadian pin were in order!
How did this craftsperson carve this wheel with the offset teeth in perfect alignment with the corkscrew below?/
go Carla go! shortage of young, handsome soldiers to pick up.....
....but no sex on the beach around here.....
....just 2 more monkeys....
weeeeeeeee......yup.....this cycling touring is just too much to handle
more splash time.....
....and the ultimate splash (if this photo looks familiar, it's the same place I took Ramon last year).   Well....what a great little trip and lucky me to have had two beautiful ladies to share it with.