Long update simplified
1) Three tires failed at the same time after days of repairs and a new cheap tire purchase, and got my first flat. So I hitch hiked 40k to Banos, home of hot springs and waterfalls.
2) Decided to hang out in Banos for a few days and wait for a tire order to arrive.
3) Rented a mountain bike and went riding with some new friends, doing the section I hitch hiked in reverse. Having a mountain bike with no gear allowed me to go places I wouldn’t have been able to with my bike, like across the hanging bridge to the amazing waterfall in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh6b-yH1qAI
4) Found, purchased, and consumed a wide array of donuts.
5) Bussed to Ambato to pick up the tires. Returned to Banos, installed tires, went to sleep.
6) Was accompanied by Matt from California for the tough climb to Ambato. He’s planning to ride from Patagonia to California beginning in February 2010.
7) I am now in “Volcano Alley” the famous Pan American Highway route that threads the needle between several of Ecuador’s stunning volcanoes. Here’s a photo of the ride past the Tungurahua Volcano.