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World tour

Discussion in 'Bike Touring' started by pcflvly, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. pcflvly

    pcflvly Hungry for Knowledge

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    It's been a long time since I posted in here. If you remember, I was planning to bicycle to Montreal from Iowa. That was about sixteen months ago when I posted my plans. Well, I rode and I kept riding. I rode ten thousand miles through eight countries. This was all on a dumpstered bike and with almost no money.

    I rode from Des Moines to Montreal then south to the Rainbow Gathering in Vermont. From Vermont I went through Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Nashville, Natchez, Austin, El Paso, and across New Mexico to Arizona. I ran out of money there but continued riding and I rode to almost every small town south of Tucson. I carried on from there to Yuma, Slab City, Julian, and to San Diego. My bike was worn out by then and I got a ride to LA where I had a space to rebuild it again.

    I rode back to San Diego then, and crossed the border at Tecate with only eighty dollars. I went on from there through eleven Mexico states and despite banditos and blood, fell in love with the country.

    I continued through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and all the way through Costa Rica one town away from Panama. My bike was worn out by then as was all my gear and I took refuge in Pavones. That was one continuous trip of ten thousand miles.

    I flew back then to Portland and it took two months to find another bike. This one was much better and after the gathering in Oregon, I test rode it by riding 1750 miles to Minneapolis.

    I'm on my way back to Mexico now, my intent being to return to where I turned off in Costa Rica and then cross Panama, sail to Columbia, then ride most of South America.

    I'll be riding through Des Moines, Lawrence, KS, Tulsa, Dallas, Austin, and Laredo. I love to meet up and if anyone wants to ride with me part of the way, the more the merrier.

    Anyway, that's a broad recap. I'll say more in the comments. The picture is from Costa Rics
     

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  2. saveanimals

    saveanimals I'm a d-bag and got banned.
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    Sounds unbelievable, literally. Where do you get your food and food money from?
     
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  3. OP
    OP
    pcflvly

    pcflvly Hungry for Knowledge

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    Lol, unbelievable... Yeah, I hardly believe it and I was there! There's no short answer to your question but I'll try. First, I approached the entire ride as a prayer. I meditated almost constantly and focused on having a clear center. From that space, I gave freely. Kindness, wisdom, acceptance, and understanding. I also gave gifts of my artwork. I never asked for anything but in my giving found deep reciprocity. I also gave my words. I told the story of all my days and my followers freely supported my journey. They sent me enough to keep my pantry full. In addition, people fed me almost everyday. There's an ebook of the first six thousand miles of the trip available for any donation at peacefulvalleywalker.com where you can read about the profound generosity I encountered.
     
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  4. Dunedrifter

    Dunedrifter Appreciated Participator

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    Beautiful. It really is just this easy. Totally inspiring.
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    pcflvly

    pcflvly Hungry for Knowledge

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    Thanks bro. It was easy in the sense of realized potential, a clear manifestation of intent, but it was never easy in the sense that the mountains were steep, the language a barrier, and my equipment substandard. I reveled in the challenge though knowing it made me stronger.
     
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  6. pallaway

    pallaway Appreciated Participator

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    Amazing!! Dunedrifters right. Totally inspiring. I bet you feel on top of the world right now=) keep posting. Id love to see more.
     
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  7. OP
    OP
    pcflvly

    pcflvly Hungry for Knowledge

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    Thanks. I'm going to paste in a story I wrote. I ride, I meet people, and I write. This is a typical encounter

    I finally met a Moose, a large Moose wearing a very dirty tiedye. We'd become friends because we had both experienced the profound generosity of Rexburg, Idaho.

    I'd seen him and his buddy three times over the past couple weeks. They're homeless and spend their days under First Bridge in Minneapolis. Yesterday, I stopped and introduced myself.
    The only other Moose I'd ever heard of was from Archie comics. He was the lumbering and dimwitted guy with a crush on Veronica. My new friend Moose was big like that too and as far as wits, he'd spent his entire disability check the day he got it, mostly on debts.

    Comfort with pennilessness is quite liberating though and Moose had that in great measure. I respect that. He also had heart and he let Jesus live in there. Don't get me wrong, he wasn't religious but he had a relationship with his savior. He was a good man.

    One of the things that Moose spent all his money on was weed and in recognition of our brotherhood, Moose loaded a very small pipe and handed it to me. His friend offered me vodka which I gracefully refused.

    While I smoked, his friend told me about being robbed of all his gear while he was hospitalized. He suspected who had taken it and was plotting revenge. We agreed that the least fortunate should have the compassion not to prey on each other. That it was better to pray with each other. This in fact happens and is part of the homeless culture.

    I met another small group of homeless men several days ago. I'd approached them in all brotherhood. They were all men my age. I gave the Ghanaian man a beer. The other men each had a drink already and he was without.

    I met each man there eye to eye and heart to heart. One of the other men needed to smoke and I gave him a puff. Another sought existential validation and I filled the prescription. We met like this and I say that in all profundity.

    Then, as everyone was ready to depart for their camps, one of the men gathered us into a circle. We joined hands and he prayed. We all prayed. For our health, for safety, for family, and for community.
     
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  8. saveanimals

    saveanimals I'm a d-bag and got banned.
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    It's impressive but not that impressive if you eat meat regularly. It's not a peaceful journey either.
     
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  9. OP
    OP
    pcflvly

    pcflvly Hungry for Knowledge

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    I'm not trying to impress. I'm living. I live outside on the road. This is how I do it. Meat? I don't carry a refrigerator. The road life is primarily vegan. As to the rest of your comment, the world is not peaceful but we can learn how to be.
     
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  10. Hillbilly Castro

    Hillbilly Castro Sir Posts a Lot

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    wow, insane to see this post. I am switching from hitching to biking right now. And I am strongly aiming towards heading south of the border with not-so-much money.
    Frankly, I'm scared to do it. You've got serious balls. I dipped into Mexico a couple times, just for a day each time, this winter, and it's a pretty radically different place. I get the feeling that the border cities are in no way representative of the rest of Mexico or Latin America. Most considerations of such a journey don't confront me terribly, but mostly, I am worried I'd be lonely - at least until my Spanish improved enough to survive.
    Right now, I got a catrike recumbent tricycle (basically for free from one of the guys who helped create the cartoon Arthur), and have outfitted it to live on. I'm pretty ready. I'm committed to making it to the Jambo, and I'm rolling with Erin Oface from STP, who is not an experienced rider, so I've got to get a ride west, hopefully with Zim. I'm hoping to dip straight south from I-90 somewhere around Utah/Idaho and make for the jambo in two months. I've also got a motor and may motorize my rig. Purity be damned - I want all the best of a car and all the best of a bike, together.
    Hopefully I'll encounter others who want to head south. A tribe would be best for me. Did you share your ride for any portion with anyone else? Are you headed to the jambo? Anyway thanks for the inspiring post, best wishes on your ride. Maybe we'll encounter each other out west. I'll message ya when I know where I'll be.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    pcflvly

    pcflvly Hungry for Knowledge

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    Awesome! I'm curious about Jambo now so tell me more. Yeah, language is a barrier but you only need to know a few words. Mota for weed. Cerveza for beer. And comida for food. I hardly speak Spanish. What I know I learned by stopping at the abarottes where the old men were drinking beer in the afternoons. They buy. Yes, it's different past the border. The people are very friendly. Look eye to eye and even heart to heart. I never rode with anyone but I would like to, mostly for camping and the company of meals together. Someone to smoke with. Yeah, don't be nervous to cross. It's just another country and in many ways better than here. Hey, our paths will cross somewhere. Let's meet up.
     
  12. Matt Derrick

    Matt Derrick StP Founder, Admin, and travel addict
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  13. OP
    OP
    pcflvly

    pcflvly Hungry for Knowledge

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    Here's a little story from in the mountains of Mexico. It's a diary entry.

    Because she was born prematurely, at seven months, her mother gave her three first names, Luz Maria Guadalupe, that she would have the strength of the saints to survive. She said that along with her two last names, attendance at school was embarrassing. The teacher would say her full name, she'd raise her hand to acknowledge that she was there, and then all the other kids would say, "amen".

    There's something to be said for a country with a goddess. I'm sitting at a shrine to the Virgin now. It's next to the highway in a carved niche of a huge rock face. As people drive by they glance at the shrine and cross themselves.

    Speaking of miracles, I stopped at a tiny town to get out of the sun and on the wall was a picture of Mabry Mill. The mill is in Virginia about five miles from where I lived for ten years. It's near where my girls were born. It blew me away to see it here in Mexico.

    There was also a painting of a toucan on the wall, acrylic on wood. I asked the woman if she painted it but she said no, it was her son. He was fourteen and they showed me his other paintings which were in the back.
    I also helped unload the truck when their delivery came. The driver was old, the boy was young, the woman wasn't built for carrying heavy things, and I was there strong. So I helped. It's a very great gift for me when people allow me to help.

    The country here is mountainous with cattle and corn in the valleys and thick forests of oak and pine on the mountains. The beauty is incomparable. This is in Gallineros.
    I stayed in Mascota the night before. It's a town of eight thousand people. I needed to shower and check in on the Internet for the first time in a week so I looked for a room.

    The first place I stopped at wanted six hundred pesos for one night, mas rico, too expensive, so I asked the taxi drivers where the hotel mas economica was. They directed me to a nice place that only cost a hundred and eighty pesos, less than ten dollars. It was very nice with lots of hot water, working TV, and Internet.

    Well rested the next morning, I assumed that I'd be strong too but I was exhausted all day. My muscles were tired and I'm not surprised given the difficulty of the climb out of Estancia the day before. In addition, it's uphill all the way to Mexico City which means much more climbing than coasting. It also means more rest breaks and more practice in Spanish so I didn't even hesitate when I saw a group of men in front of a store.

    I of course stopped. I could see myself in them from the road and I am unlikely to ride past myself. Roberto, Juan, Cesar... all the typical names. Roberto and I became friends. He took me out back to smoke. He gave me some too. Then we talked about ripples.

    He was very helpful with my Spanish and I told him about riding 29 days in prayer learning reverence for beauty. We had the dust to draw in and I showed how a pebble in a pond makes ripples and then how ripples interact when there are multiple pebbles tossed. All this with real life examples. Intersecting ripples in the pond.

    The level of comprehension between us was complete. I understood him and he understood me. No language barrier. Although I had a taste of that at the eco village, there Paco and Luz both spoke English. Here, Roberto did not.

    After we had explored all the mysteries of the universe, I asked him about hunting in the surrounding mountains. He hunts venido, deer, and javelina. They had the fat of a javelina hanging from hooks in front of the store. Roberto hunts with a 308 rifle. He said, "one shot".

    When we got back to the front of the store, Cesar was cutting the javelina fat into strips. All he would say about it was, "manana", tomorrow. And that it would be for sale.

    I rode on then and met a guy who was roasting pelota, corn on the cob. I'd just tried some the night before and it was way too dry, overcooked. I told him about that and he insisted that I try his. It was tender and moist. Him and I really laughed together. I'm not sure what we talked about but it was great fun. He also told me the name of the bread they were selling at the next stand, sardina, so I could ask for it by name. It was made with a milky looking alcohol that they were also selling. I don't remember the name of that and I wasn't interested in trying it either.

    A little farther down the road were several restaurants and a couple of them were selling an oil "reforzado con marijuana", fortified with. It was called peyote something. It was in both oil and salve form. I didn't try any but at one of the restaurants, the cook was interested in my journey so I told her about it with the help of a boy who had lived in Chandler, Arizona. The other cook made and gave me a beef quesadilla.
     
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  14. OP
    OP
    pcflvly

    pcflvly Hungry for Knowledge

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    IMG_20170819_111400. This is me in Mexico north of Puerto Escondido
     
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  15. Gypsybones

    Gypsybones Sir Posts a Lot

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    I'm a 4,000 right now, headed to cali in November from Utah (currently doing conservation work), then planning to hit up Alaska way come spring.

    How much weight ate you carrying? What your average mileage per day?
     
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  16. OP
    OP
    pcflvly

    pcflvly Hungry for Knowledge

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    I've never weighed my load but it's on the heavy side. I try to carry all my needs and nothing that is unnecessary. As far as mileage, on my old bike, my highest rolling average was 55 miles per day. That was riding 1600 miles in 29 days. On my new bike, I rode 1750 miles in 24 days for an average of 75 miles or so a day. On that trip I rode 700 miles in eight days once I cleared the mountains and I rode the 260 miles from Minneapolis to Des Moines in two and a half days.

    I tend to push myself. I never thought I'd ever ride a hundred in a day but after I did it once, I was able to do it every day. My next goal is 120 in one day but that might have to wait for longer days.

    Happy riding and much serenity your way!
     
  17. OP
    OP
    pcflvly

    pcflvly Hungry for Knowledge

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    I just weighed everything. I'm carrying 25 pounds on the front in two bags and twenty in the back with two bags, my tent, and my tarp roll. My bike, loaded with three liters of water, a front basket with a few things in it, a bike pump, and tools weighs 42 pounds. This is a light weight. I still had a few things unpacked and am not carrying many groceries right now. Also, I typically carry more water, up to eleven liters for long dry stretches. Add all that for a total of about 120 pounds if I were at capacity. More typically, I ride at between 95 and 100 pounds
     
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  18. Tude

    Tude Sometimes traveler is traveling.
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    This is just awesome - just reading this now!