I was full of enthusiasm, a few years ago when the idea of this trip began to form. The recent emergence of bikepacking blogs had caught my eye, and I put myself into the shoes of the innovative few who had begun to bikepack South America. Studying and analyzing small lines on google earth, looking for any signs of trails and paths less travelled. Slowly, the hopeful mapped out squiggles turned into real trails beneath our tires. The fruits of labor were becoming real, sometimes working out and other times not. Either way, it was exciting. Bike maintenance mirrored this enthusiasm, and our Pugs were a happy pair of stallions. Smooth bearings, and well adjusted brakes.
Now though, my bike is not as content as it once was. Various squeaks as I turn my cranks, frayed cables, and hubs that are starting to grind. In a way, this apathy towards bike maintenance is a metaphor. Things are coming to their finality. The excitement for this trip has flattened out giving way to a feeling of carelessness. It’s a feeling that I’m all too familiar with, and one which tells me it’s time to move on to something new. The climax of the trip was reached long ago, now I’m turning my pedals to finish what I’ve started.
Less than a dozen cold nights keep me from Ushuaia, yet it feels like much longer. I try and focus on the positives, namely the wonderful people. It’s a solitary life in rural southern Patagonia, but as a shivering wet cyclist I have ample chance to connect with the warm-hearted locals. Their doors are always open, and fires toasty warm.