Boozecycle Touring…Does Alcohol Have Any Place In Adventure Cycling?

Beer-Break-In-Chivirico-Cuba

We all know that alcohol negatively affects cycling performance. It increases the risk of accident by slowing reaction time and impeding agility. It has a dehydrating effect that can cause muscles to cramp. And it leaves the cyclist feeling sluggish and impervious to pain. So, we shouldn’t drink and tour, right? Not necessarily. Let’s not […]

The Road Kill Zoo

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To stare into the eyes of a wild animal in its natural environment is a thrilling experience. I’ve had close encounters with flamingos, sloths, howler monkeys, quetzals, guanacos, giant toads, giant stick insects, and once even a jaguar. Sadly, however, a lot of the “wildlife” I meet in Latin America is not alive at all. […]

Fill’er Up And Go! Why I Love Gas Stations

Altiplano Gas Staton, Bolivia

What is it about gas stations? Even though they represent everything I despise, I love them! When I’m riding Latin America’s lonely rural roads for days at a stretch and I come across one, concerns about pollution, greed, and globalization become overshadowed by concerns about food, water, and toilet paper. The first thing I do […]

Pitch Perfect: The Myth of the Perfect Campsite

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Searching for a place to camp with two other cyclists in Cuba one afternoon, I discovered a near-perfect site. It was an area of dry, sheltered, level ground next to a small, clean, tree-enclosed river with a waterfall the perfect height for showers. It was out of sight and earshot of the road, yet it […]

Dog Days on the Road

Dogs-In-Garbage-Bolivia

Riding south on Peru’s coastal highway. Miles of hot, flat, yellow desert to my right. Good road surface, good speed, I’m feeling good. But wait, what’s that in the distance? A small dust cloud, jet-streaming across the desert floor toward me. And what’s that noise? Sounds like barking. Dammit! Here we go again – I’ve […]

Latin America’s Epic Descents

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I’ve always preferred the long-lasting endorphin high of a hard climb to the short adrenaline buzz of a steep descent. But every so often I find myself on a downhill drop so spectacular it reminds me how much of a rush cycling can be – the epic descent. What does it take for a descent […]

The Best Gear is Crappy Gear

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In the Yucatán I met a couple of young American bicycle travellers, Lee and Jakob, who were on their way to Cuba. I’d just come from Cuba so they asked me for route suggestions and advice. What impressed me most about these guys was their gear, and not because it was good; it wasn’t. It […]

Bungee Cords & Bike Touring

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Bungee cords, (or shock cords, or whatever else you might call elasticized, shock-absorbing cables with a hook at either end), are on the “essential” list for most travelling cyclists. Personally, I cannot imagine touring without them. The most obvious use for bungee cords is to attach items to the rear rack (or, in the case […]

The Road To Ruin: Biking The Ancient World In Latin America

Ruins-Post-Feature-Ciudad-Perdida

While organizing this article, I made a list of every pre-Columbian ruin I’ve visited on my bike tours, thinking it’d be about six or seven. Nope, thirty five. Thirty five! I had no idea I was such an archaeology nerd. It’s not like I make a pilgrimage to see these sites, but if there’s one […]

Bike Shops: What’s Not At The Bicicletería

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I’ve visited some great bike shops in Latin America. In Buenos Aires, in Santiago, in Bogotá. Once, I had an entire drivetrain replaced at a huge bike shop in Panama City. At these kinds of bike shops (that is, big shops in big cities in countries with a culture of cycling) you can often find […]

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