One Lucky Cyclist!

23 03 2010

Bicycle Humor of the Week

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36R8nL2x0D4





Bottle: Half Empty. Glass: Half Full.

22 03 2010

Happy WORLD WATER DAY everybody! Today is a good excuse to take five minutes and educate yourself on the bottled water hoopla.

If not on World Water Day, then when? Thanks to Rainforest Action Network for posting this and Annie Leonard for making it.

The Story of Bottled Water





Ride for the Trees in GOOD Magazine

20 03 2010

Check it out! Thanks to Theo Schell-Lambert for writing this…

http://www.good.is/post/ride-for-the-trees-biking-from-paraguay-to-am

erica

Check out the story in GOOD Magazine





Photos

20 03 2010

Sorry about the photo delay everybody… here are a few words from the new camera:

Roasting Marshmallows on hot lava. Volcano Pacaya Guatemala

Elaborate Mayan carvings in Copan, Honduras

Feeding Scarlet Macaws in Copan, Honduras

The view on our hike back down the active Volcano Pacaya in Guatemala





Squashing Bees and Squashing Me

17 03 2010
THEFT: I got a late start yesterday because I had to go to the police station to file a theft report. For those who don´t know, I fell asleep with my hotel door unlocked and somebody came into my room in the middle of the night and took one bag, the bag farthest from the door, on the table next to my head. The more I think about it, the more I realize I was probably being watched and followed because the bag itself did not look valuable in the least; it was a dirty, green, indigenous-style cotton cloth from Peru, tied at the corners. So why would somebody steal it? It was the only bag with my Laptop, camera, flash drive, (and some gifts for my family, a few sentimental items like a patch from the Colombian Army, and letters from my 10- and 11-year old students in Ecuador.)  Insurance should cover the cost.
Then I bolted out of town like lightning. I had a nice strong tailwind all day riding alongside managua lake, a giant lake with another perfect cone-shaped volcano behind it. I stopped for food and got to try a quesillo, a corn tortilla with cheese, onions and sour cream… not bad.
I decided to avoid the capital city, Managua. I was riding the highways around it whenBAM!!! I got hit by something hard and wet on my ribs on the left side of my back. I looked over and saw the cascara of a squash splattered around me and I had orange-colored fruit in my hair and on my back. Haha, yeah it hurt but I must give credit to the guy who threw it because it was a long throw and he hit me dead on. Looking back it´s funny, but I must admit I haven´t been that angry at a car since Costa Rica when a guy pulled up next to me and flashed me from the drivers seat as he gave me a creepy smile. Or maybe that one time in Arizona when I was hit with a pumpkin at about 70 mph. Will the rivalry between cars and bikes ever end? We´re already choking on exhaust, getting yelled at on the sidewalk, and honked at in the streets… now I have to wash squash out of my hair while I nurse bruised ribs and try to avoid looking at creepy drivers because they might be getting nekkid?

Later, closer to Managua a car was backing up in the middle of a one way street, causing a chain reaction of quick braking. I swerved left but so did the car in front of me so I crashed into the back corner of it. We were all fine. That’s my third impact with 0% damage. This Raleigh Sojourn is a beast.

I found a dirt road toward some trees just before sunset. I rode it and found a perfect little clearing under 5 large trees to camp. As I was setting up the tent a bee landed on my arm. I thought about the killer bees in Argentina and decided it might be best to kill this one so that it didn´t go do a little dance and tell the rest of the swarm to try to kill me. Then there was another bee, and another. I killed about 4 bees one by one, regretting it each time. After all, they were my only friends way out there in the middle of nowhere, and there is comfort to be found in their presence. My friends and family had no idea where I was, but these friendly bees had arrived to greet me, and I was the intruder. After a moment I realized there were too many bees to kill (20 to 50, perhaps?). They liked me, and were landing all over me, but they liked my tent more (why do insects like my tent so much?! (remember the leaf-cutter ants in Ecuador that carried pieces of the tent screen away)). But none of the bees were stinging so I let them be. Then I rinsed the sweat off my body under a water bottle, quickly dried off, and jumped into the tent before they could follow me in.

Another day, another adventure.

Thanks for following Ride for the Trees! Donations to support forest conservation are greatly appreciated and can be made by clicking the FirstGiving link over there to your right, my left.





Checking in from EL SALVADOR

12 03 2010

Conversation of the day (while riding and speaking with an El Salvadorian cyclist on the road):

Me: “Is that a volcano up there?”

Him: “Yeah. The San Miguel Volcano.”

Me: “Is it active?”

Him: “No.”

Me: “Isn’t that smoke, though? You can’t even see the top of the volcano.”

Him: “That´s just because so many people are burning their trash.”

—————-

It’s true. I recently saw groups of students and teachers cleaning up trash at the side of the highway. I thanked them for their work as I passed. Then, the farther I pedaled the smokier the air became, and it became evident that the piles of garbage they were collecting was being burned in the gutters.

So I find myself wondering: In places where there is no trash management system in place, what’s worse? 1) Littering or 2) Cleaning up garbage and using trashcans only to burn the garbage afterwards?





NICARAGUA

3 03 2010

Progress!

Not much distance remaining, folks!

I´m in Nicaragua now, slept on this active volcano island last night and should be in Honduras in 2 days.

Isla de Ometepe

Ride on,

Samuel