RoadSide Update from Navojoa, Mexico

3 05 2010

Here’s tonight’s camp! Thanks to the firefighters of Navajoa for the amazing hospitality. They signed my bike, taught me that bikes are called “ranflas” and “baikas” in Mexican, and even dressed me up as a bombero for the classic jump photo. Fijense…



22 04 2010

Happy Earth Day, Earth creatures.

Earth Day is a holiday that gives us the opportunity to pledge our support for the environment.

So, what will you do today (or all this year) to make the Earth a healthier place?

Click “comment” below and tell us!

(note: I glanced at some simlilar forums online and noticed a lot of people saying they plan to drive less. That’s okay, but I think we can do better. Driving less doesn’t help the Earth directly, it just hurts it less. Pledging to drive less on Earth Day is like pledging to flick fewer cigarette butts at your grandmother on Grandmother’s Day.)

The Domino Effect

21 04 2010


The Three Bikers of Baños

A fellow traveller, once a bus-traveller, writes: “A Change of Plans. On March 26, 2010 I left Buenos Aires, Argentina. I am heading back to Southern California. I am, however, traveling by bicycle.” Fantastic!

Then I found this on his blog

Argentina, where I was attacked by killer bees: “On, March 27, my second day of riding, I rode through a large swarm of bees. I didn´t even see it coming. I just felt one hit my arm, looked up and…while I wish I could say that everything slowed down and like Keanu in the Matrix, I dodged them all like a CGI acrobat, I don´t want to brag. Actually, I don´t even think I remembered to close my mouth. Hopefully that doesn´t happen again…” 

And the domino effect:

(Flashback to December of last year): “Later that night in the rooftop, self-serve honor-system bar, I started talking to this guy… As it turns out, Sam has been working with the Peace Corps in Paraguay for the past two years and is headed home now, on his bicycle. He is riding his bike to raise money to save the rainforest where he lived in Paraguay ( He shouldn´t even have been in Baños but he had a problem with a tire and no where in town even carried the proper size replacement. So, he had been waiting for a few days for a replacement to come in from Colombia. For some, unknown reason I became curious. We talked for a while, he answered a bunch of questions and we ended up heading out for the night in a big group.

I still don´t know what it was about our chat, but something planted in my mind, “Hey, you should do that!” And I was seriously thinking about it. So, the next day, I woke up after sleeping for four hours, rented a bike and took off on a 35 mile trail down river to the east. I had done the same trail on the previous trip, but on an ATV. I figured, let´s have this be a little mini-test to see if I am capable of this kind of thing. About twenty miles into the trip, the back wheel began shaking from side to side. “No problem”, I thought, “I can handle a little shaking, let´s see if it gets any worse…”. Well, after the next patch of gravel, the rear wheel began shaking rather violently. I had to stop. I quickly realized that I don´t know the first thing about bicycle maintenance. “Hmm, that may be something worth looking into if I decide to go through with this”, I thought to myself. So, I hitch-hiked back into town, feeling really excited about the ride I had just had, but with a creeping sense of doubt as to my ineptitude as an emergency bicycle repairman.

The next day Sam´s new tires had arrived and he was heading north to continue his trip back home. I decided to give it another try and joined him for the ride from Baños to Ambato some 25 miles away. At some point I asked him, “OK, I know that if I end up doing this it will be an adventure etc., but, given what you know about me, do you think I would be putting myself in unnecessary risk given my total lack of knowledge of the bicycle?”. He gave me an unequivocal, “No, it would not be taking a stupid risk, you can do this.

We ended up riding together for six hours, 90% of it uphill. As I turned back towards Baños and Sam continued on to Ambato, I felt uplifted by his endorsement, but in the back of my head that same sense of doubt was creeping, but now it was directed toward my physical capabilities.

Despite this doubt, the moment he told me I would not be making a rash decision, I knew I had to do this.”

The biggest risk is the naysayage, the dominoes that kill dreams, spouted from the mouths of people who call dreams impossible.

Hope you’re enjoying the ride, Matt!

And for any students out there who have been inspired and want to do something about it, check out to ride across the U.S. with 20 other students while supporting affordable housing.

Aurora’s Climate Cycle

18 04 2010

Hey everybody (and especially Peace Corps Paraguay folks),

I got an email from a Peace Corps friend, Aurora, announcing that she’ll be participating in an environmental bicycle ride to support green education in Chicago! It’s called Climate Cycle, and here’s what she has to say about it:

“On May 15th I’ll be riding a 20-mile loop on Lake Michigan (well, not ON Lake Michigan —  next to it) to raise money for solar panels and green education  in Chicago Public Schools.

If you are wondering if this is worth your donation, I can tell you that I have met one of the students this program has benefitted and her enthusiasm inspired me to participate.”

The organization’s website is and Aurora’s personal donation page can be found at

Terehoporaiteke pe kavajupiruari Aurora!


25 01 2010

A mud volcano, forts, friendly folks, dolphins, Caribbean sailing, and a million beautiful views. Share it, rate it, comment on it if you like it. Subscribe on youtube, do a little dance, and plant a Tajy if you really like it.

Revisiting Lake Titicaca through John’s eyes

24 01 2010

You pass a million people on the city streets and you could forget them all, but if you pass another cyclist in the Amazon in Ecuador you will remember them forever. I met John, a Dutch cyclist who started his trip in Quito, Ecuador, when we were going in opposite directions in a pouring rain on a dirt road in the jungle. We exchanged contact info, and today I got an update from him… from Bolivia! Here’s a piece of his journal from Lake Titicaca:

Becouse it is already suffocating here, the Lake Titicaca at 38/3900 meters (13,000 feet) above sea level is one of the highest laying lakes of the world. Happy about the fact that is very flat here becouse this means les strain so les tiring so les suffocating. I ask you what is tiring or hard when you get to cycle next to a lake so beautifull as the lake Titicaca, i wont easy forget it is so beautiful here.
In a state of bliss i cycle further. After a while the only thing i can see acros are the mountains in the far distance over a such a bleu lake under the white clouds. Kkkkkkkrrrrreeeeuuuuhhhh a car passes me more loud and close than the other cars. I did not even hear that one comming, so rough i get puld out of my moment. I sigh a breath of dissapointment bud also not to breath in the exhoust gases, bud becouse it is already so high and suffocating here it hits me in my head and i get dizzy and  unstable for a moment without swinging. Just on that moment another unfriendly vehicle passes me by honking loud. With after that a éxtra treat a bus passing me and right on that moment pushing out a black cloud. So big !. That for a moment i forget about myself. When al this has past me. I stop for a moment and eat my yoghurt, there are no cars for a moment, everything is so quiet. So quiet that i can hear the birds whistling, and i see the lake and i feel compleet silence going trough me. And i think to myself this is why i do this and al other things are not important.

Status Map

8 01 2010

The Current Situtation