Pumping water

Pumping water

One of the best cycle touring investments we ever did was getting a Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter.

We often ran out of water and the only thing near that looked a bit like water you wouldn’t drink as it was. We would scoop up some water with our Ortlieb “kitchen sink” and start pumping – I even managed to catch a very small fish one time.

We couldn’t just pop into a “estancia” aka farm and ask for some water, because they would often be at the end of a five or more miles long farm track. That would be 10 miles or more round trip on a very rough bit of gravel track, where we wouldn’t know if there would be water at all.

Small lakes, streams and even dirty looking puddles was our source of water. 15 minutes pumping with the Katadyn and all our water bottles were full with very nice and clean drinkable water.

If the Red Cross and the US Army, to name but a few, rely on the Katadyn – it would be good enough for us.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Tailwind at last

Tailwind at last

The last eight miles and for the next 10 or so – we had tail wind! Sadly it was so short but we made good time. Even the ripio was good, only on the steep “ups” was the road rough. We truly enjoyed it and the more than blue sky.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Smile

Smile

Not sure what the smile is for, it could be for a few reasons : that she managed to climb the hill without falling off or the need for a rest, that she saw me looking silly, that she saw the gravel would become rather good (albeit only for a few yards) again. I think it is all the above reasons and then some.

It is great to see that she could still smile her beautiful smile. Even when this was turning into the hardest riding we ever had done and that we were running low on food. Along with the wind that was stronger than anything we had felt before. The ripio or what supposedly was the road was becoming harder and harder to ride, not at all helped with the steep hills. This all slowed us down to a record shortest – day long ride – 5-8 miles in eight hours of riding, well more like – walk, push, pull, swear, slide around on the loose gravel, into the wind, swear, attempt on moving forward.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Are you lost?

Are you lost?

Just before this photo was taken, a local in a car – the only one we had seen and would see all day – pulled over and asked us if we were lost. We think that he was a bit surprised to see us heading into emptiness that is Tierra del Fuego.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Looking for the border

Looking for the border

Heading towards the border control at Bella Vista, loaded with six days food hoping that this next leg would take five days only. On the third day we had to eat all our fresh food, veggies and fruits along with our cheese, because you can’t take that into Chile.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

This might look boring

This might look boring

Let’s just say that this road wasn’t boring. The ripio was hard going at times, the wind was never stopping right into our face, and it was no where near as strong as a stiff south westerly that we get up here – it was much stronger.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

La Ruta de Oro

La Ruta de Oro

The stunning La Ruta de Oro on Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia Southern Chile on our way to Porvenir in search for water and food.

A slight miss planning by yours truly, seen in the picture above taken by Peli, where I as was sure that 300 odd kilometres would take us around five-day, five and a half days tops. But on the third day it was clear that it would take more like seven days. The very strong wind (80km/h and above at times), very rough gravel road (aka ripio) and steep hills – slowed us down to an eight hours battle against the nature and our wills to gain just 15 kilometres.

The route we have taken does not have a corner shop that we could just pop into for a pint of milk, it was – really the middle of nowhere! Food and water rationing started, lucky we had our life saver our water filter from Katadyn. It was a few rather hard and tiring days cycling this remote, but yet very beautiful, part of the world. By the time we found civilisation and more important crisp, chocolate and biscuits again it was early afternoon on our eight-day and we didn’t have breakfast.

Cycle Cross in PDX

Cycle Cross in PDX

While in Portland we had the chance to go and see Cycle Cross race or two. It looked mad, crazy and like utter mayhem.

Everything that you can add to a bike ride to make it as hard as possible jumps, steep as f**k hills, grass, tight corners and steps etc. And this was all done for the “fun” of it, I have heard that it is more enjoyable when it is dark, raining, muddy and bloddy freezing. If you don’t come home with something broken on you or your bike and covered in an inch of mud, cuts and blood – it has not been a good day.

So when can we have a go?

cycling food

Cycling food

One good thing about cycle touring is that you have a very good reason for testing out the local food. If you should find yourself in Fort Bragg, California, do stop by at Cafe One on the main drag. And don’t worry vegans you actually along with the veggies have more choice than the carnivores at this place. Peli spend fair good time trying to pick and I had little choice for once.

Kerb crawlers

Kerb crawlers

Also “fondly” known as Chutney.

Yes they do look beautiful, wonderful colours and are just begging to be kicked about. Though do be careful: if they are wet they are as good as an ice rink. After a fall a few years ago where these little blighter took the front wheel away and I came down hard, wet leafs are now known as Chutney. Because of the mango coloured bicycle I was on was called that and the mess I have hit looked a bit like some too.

honey brooks b17

The only bad part is …

… when you ride your bicycle with a Brooks B17 you can’t enjoy looking at the works of art it is.

A few weeks ago I got a new honey coloured Brooks saddle, which have since then been changing colour. I really loved it as it came out of the box, but after each ride it has darkened a little bit. And each day the new colour, along with the copper rails, makes it look even better.

Autumn vs. Fall

Autumn vs. Fall

This is a bit like the old tomato, aluminium and nike etc. thing. I say fall because the leafs are falling or is it because my English teacher picked the US version or because I have watched too many US sitcoms. But if it is the latter, why the heck do I say all the other words in the Queen English?

Anywhoo, what ever you call it, I’m about to bore you a bit with some photos of the season.

Good times in Denmark

Good times in Denmark

We have just returned back from 11 days cycle touring in Denmark where we had lots of: fun, rain, chatting, cycling, hospital, train, ice cream, hotdogs and winerbrød (Danish), sun, camping.

Even on a day where we had to endure the rain and the famous Danish wind, I got this beautiful smile from my ever so wonderful travelling partner.

Bike parking

Bike parking

This a common sight in Denmark, bicycle parking. Not that I would do that to my bicycle letting it stand out there by itself. Freezing it tyres off in the winters and in the summer no shade or cold drinks for it. I do not how in such a great country and with such great people that they can be so cruel to their bicycles. Its right up there with cruelty to animals.

“Have you oiled your bicycle chain today?” should be right up there with “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away. And should be on your daily agenda like walking your dog or give a good friend hug.