A push into the New Year (or how not to cross a river)

As the new year began, it was only fitting that we tried something a little bit different. Having spent the past month dealing with setbacks, we decided to try and get back on track with a little adventure route.
Originally planning on crossing over Paso Vergara, we were disappointed to discover that it was still closed due to heavy snowfall this year. Instead we decided to tackle a small circuit near the pass that involved a large river crossing and a small hike-a-bike. Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan.
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Find your zeal: Zeal Optics sponsorship

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The folks over at Zeal Optics make some pretty nice shades. They’re also doing cool things with some environmentally friendly materials. They even have biodegradable models which will disintegrate if kept under dirt! We thought they made pretty nice stuff so we sent them an email asking if they’d like to sponsor us with a few pairs. A couple friendly emails later and they offered to FedEx some down to us!
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Blast-off: putting Aurisonic’s rockets to the test

Music has always been an integral part of my life. When I was younger I tried to play every instrument I could get my hands on. Nowadays, since I travel a lot, I spend most of my time simply listening instead of playing music. 10 years ago or so, I got my first high quality pair of headphones, a set of Grado 125s. From first audition, I knew I could never go back to cheapies. Over the years, since that pair of Grados, I’ve (embarrassingly) probably spent over 700 dollars on a variety of In Ear Monitors. The problem being, in the past 5 years with such an active lifestyle, they all failed. I’ve had broken cables ruin my perfectly good Vsonic gr07, Yamaha eph100, and Sennheiser ie80. It is at this point that I stumbled upon a really cool offering from Aurisonics called the “rockets”. They are made out of titanium, water resistant, with overbuilt kevlar cabling. They also come with a 5 year warranty which is unheard of for a product like this. Continue reading

Railway to Cuenca (El Tambo to Cuenca)

The old railway
After the inca trail we went onto the old railway (Sibambe to Cuenca) in El Tambo. It was a very diverse trail from dirt roads and single track to mud and even some swampy sections (all mostly well graded). About 10k before Biblian we merged onto another dirt road for 6k to avoid a very muddy section which we would’ve had to walk. Then we were back on the panamerican highway. As it was just after noon we decided to stay on it to make it to Cuenca that day.

Route info: view/download GPX track here

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Excursion: my time on an Ecuadorian ranch

Taking a break from cycling I found a ranch to work at for a week, Rancho Emilio’s. Their main work is the production of cheese, mozzarella, and yoghurt drinks. They also have horses they sell and use for work, as well as sheep, alpacas, donkeys, dogs, cats, pigs, and chickens. Continue reading