Preparing to Leave Cuenca…

31 10 2009


Next friday will be my last day teaching English to my 10 and 11 year old whiney wawas. Truth be told, after living in Ecuador for 3 months now I think I’ll miss them more than anybody. But right now I miss cycling so I’m cleaning out my closet and placing some last-minute orders at the local shop.

One of my small closets that needed cleaning is affectionately referred to as a handlebar bag. Inside I found hundreds of little papers with information from some people I wish I could remember and some people I will never forget. There’s Carlos, the Director of something. There’s the UFO-hunting couple living in a tent in the Peruvian desert, carving a sailboat shape into a cliffside for some reason. There’s my amigo James from Australia who helped the Bolivian police in an endangered animal skin trade raid. And over there to the right you’ll find a list of new links from some of the touring cyclists I’ve crossed paths with.

Here I sit on the couch at the local hotel, working a double shift as an illegal immigrant. Being a new hotel with few guests, it gives me the opportunity to update the website while I watch a program in Spanish with a title that translates to something like “Desert Oceans and Empty Nets.” The quote of the day comes from a man with glasses and a mustache: “If you went into a store and saw rhinocerous steaks and tiger chops you might ask a few questions.” Due to the current overfishing all over the world, he says “we should ask the same questions when shopping for fish.” Come to think of it, I remember getting an email from Green Peace about their TRAITOR Joe’s campaign. Let’s see if I can track down the link… Green Peace put together this sarcastic website to challenge TRADER Joe’s, a “green” grocery store chain accused of greenwashing due to the high amounts of red-list-seafood it buys and sells (15 of 22!!!). Thar she blows:


Indigenous Rights Issues– from Ecuador to Arizona

28 10 2009

Big thanks to Garyn for posting this on facebook and bringing it to my attention!

This controversial little road and the “Indian” reservation are literally my backyard. I used to jump the wall behind my Protesting the 202childhood home and search for scorpions and rattlesnakes in the desert. As I got older my middle school and high school track teams would go for long runs through the endless sandy oblivion, and when my father bought a road bike I converted to wheels for rides along Pecos Road, which is now part of Loop 202.

Panel approves extension of Loop 202 through Ahwatukee  photo by Nick Oza/The Arizona Republic

Hilarious Video of the Week: Bicycle Race Prank

13 10 2009

Some roadies fake a race finish behind some unsuspecting casual cyclists in a park. In the end the casual cyclists win the race, get interviewed, and accept awards at the top of the podium.

Special Interest Group for People Who Like to Drink Water

6 10 2009

About an hour ago I was slurping homemade spaghetti and talking green with one of those wise-beyond-their-years friends who has a way of making profound statements with simple wit. In this case that friend is the director of an environmental non-profit here in Ecuador. And so hers became the quote of the day: “The crazy thing is how quickly people get labelled ‘special interest group’ if they express interest in something environmental… even if somebody’s focus is just clean water. When are we going to realize it isn’t a special interest if you like to drink water?”

Here’s a quick newsfeed from Sierra Club for everybody out there who belongs to the same special interest group as us:

“Thicker Skin: Arctic ice is staying thicker than it has been in recent years, which could mean less melting next summer. Dot Earth (NYT)

A Positive Decline: Predictions put 2009 U.S. carbon dioxide emissions at a 5.9 percent decline; reasons include the recession, as well as lessened demand for coal, electricity, and steel. Reuters

Ouch: A new study links appendicitis to air-pollution exposure. Treehugger

Hello Again: A ferret species thought to be extinct are now roaming the Canadian wilds again, thanks to a breeding program at the Toronto Zoo. Scientific American”

VIDEO: Lewis Pugh Swims the North Pole

3 10 2009

Wow, this is one of the most daring environmental awareness events I can imagine. Thanks to David for sending the video link my way: 

A few of my favorite quotes from TED’s discussion board:

“Simply amazing, maybe borderline crazy but amazing. There is no doubt in my mind the we have these problems. I think it takes ppl to be boderline crazy to show the world what is going on. Thank You Lewis”

“Lewis Pugh certainly did it for a noble cause. Nevertheless I think it was a rather stupid thing to do. I wonder if the talk would have been perceived similarly inspiring if Mr. Pugh had held the talk with just stumps for his hands.”

“I had tears rolling down my cheeks after watching the North Pole swim footage when people gave him a standing ovation. Hats off!” “Me too. I think this is the most moving TED video I’ve seen yet.”

Hilarious video of the week

3 10 2009

A classic! A spectator chucks a cyclist off a bridge… jajaja