Monday, May 25, 2009

Bips and Bops

Current Location: Huaraz, Peru
Distance Cycled to Date: Unchanged
Days Spent in Huaraz, Peru: 13

In writing our blog entries, we try to maintain a smooth narrative to tell you our stories. But so many little things get missed along the way, so we thought we'd give you a few little bips and bops from along the way.

Spandex Cycling Shorts

A little over 6 months into our trip, I woke up one morning at the Costa Rican border, and started my daily routine of packing up my sleeping bag and getting dressed. I reached for my trusty spandex cycling shorts to get dressed for the day. We each brought along 2 pairs of shorts for the trip (with the intention of washing them daily - what optimists we were back then!). Being my favourite shorts of the two pairs, I had easily worn them over 100 times by this point. But as I was about to put them on, I looked at the tag, for what may have been the first time. Ladies Size Large. What? Over 100 times I had put on and off my shorts, and only on the day we entered Costa Rica did I realize that I had mistakenly bought Ladies cycling shorts. Still though - they fit nice and snug, and I can't really complain. However, I've decided that my black shorts are now my favourites.

Rummy Standings

1st - Jeff (13-11-0)
2nd - Keenan (11-13-0)

The Neverending Search for Peanut Butter

Almost every cyclist has a staple of peanut butter in their diet. It just makes sense. But the one fear that we always have is that we'll reach the point to the south where we just won't be able to find it anymore. When we reached San Diego, California, we stocked up. Would we be able to find it in Mexico? We didn't know, and so we weighed ourselves down just in case. Of course, Northern Baja has Walmarts and Costcos, and so we found some more. But - would we be able to find it once we left the orbit of the US and their tourists? We couldn't risk it, and so we stocked up some more. We had jars and jars of it, and hoped that one day we'd find it again. In La Paz, before leaving the Baja Penisula and heading to the mainland, we found a supermarket stocked with it. But could we find it in the mainland? We just didn't know, and so again, the panniers were weighed down. Luckily for us Mexico had great chains of supermarkets, and every city we stopped in, we would make sure we had at least an extra jar or two, just in case it was our last chance. This has kept going, time after time after time. We read in cyclists blogs how they can't find peanut butter in the country to our south, and so before leaving, we resupply with as much peanut butter as we can carry. Every single country that we've been to, we have found peanut butter. And still, we keep carrying extra jars, as if for luck. We heard that in Peru, you can't find peanut butter. Today we bought our 3rd jar of the country. So - a piece of advice for touring cyclists - if you look for peanut butter, you will find it.

A New Look

While we were in Trujillo, we finally couldn´t do it anymore. Every time we ate we would get a mouthful of mustache, and we realized that it was time to shave once more. So a trip to the barber and $2 later, we were clean-cut and clean-shaven. Here's the before and after.


We like to make lists. We're working on top 10 lists for whatever we can think of, mainly because it's fun. And so when we left Panama, we ranked every country we've been in on a variety of angles. Here's a few. All of them are completely biased, most of which are based on one or two good (or bad) days. But they're our lists, and we can do what we want with them.

Central American Colas

1.Pepsi Retro Cola (Mexico)
2.Coca-Cola (All)
3.Pepsi Cola (All)
4.Super Cola (Guatemala)
5.Shaler Kola (Nicaragua)*
6.Salva Cola (El Salvador)
7.Raptor Cola (Guatemala)

*Jeff would place this at number 8 or lower if possible, whereas Keenan would place it at number 1. We compromised.


5.El Salvador
8.Costa Rica


5.Costa Rica
6.El Salvador

Ease of Free Camping

6.El Salvador
7.Costa Rica

ride for HOPE team doubles.

We've been in Huaraz now for a long time. Nearly two weeks, which is the longest we've ever stayed in any one place besides Christmas. We didn't intend to stay so long - we came here with the intention of meeting Laura, a Canadian friend that we've met up with twice before in Ecuador and spend a few days here with her. Here in Huaraz, she rented a mountain bike and came along for a 2 day trip, to see what this touring cycling is all about. And of course, she decided she couldn't pass up the opportunity to join in on this adventure. After hearing our stories and seeing our pictures, she knew that she had to come along for at least a little while. If you really think about it, you might decide that buying a bicycle and joining two relative strangers on a bike trip through Peru without any planning or preparation is a little crazy. But - the crazy part of it comes when her sister surprised her with a visit to Peru, and after meeting us, decided that she had to come along too.

And so - the ride for HOPE team has doubled for the time being, with the 4 of us nearly ready to head out into the mountains of Peru. We've spent the last week doing what Jeff and I took a year to do - buying bicycles, sleeping bags, and a tent, and getting racks and panniers custom built for the trip. It's been quite an adventure, with daily trips to welders and seamstresses, trying to explain just what we need. It's crazy how you can get anything made for you in a Peruvian marketplace. Now we'll just see how good these homemade denim panniers hold up. The four of us have had a pretty great time this week getting everything organized, and just getting to know each other. Hopefully the fun will continue once they find out just what it's like to ride up and down Peruvian gravel roads, and over 4000 metre passes. We'll let you know how it goes.


Stevi said...

I want to comment on everything. This may get confusing.

Is that (win - loss - tie)? Only 24 games? What other games do you play that you are not admitting the scores to (hehe)?

Shorts = phahahahaha

Mmmm, peanut butter.

WOW you look like totally different people! I prefer non-sasquatch, by the way. I mean, didn't your face sweat?

So, what made the Shaler cola so sensational/dreadful?

Umm go Canada!!

And lastly, yay for Laura and her sister!!! Talk about answering the door when opportunity knocks!! Best of luck to you all!!!

k thanks. :)

David said...

Thanks Stevi for all your comments. I do enjoy reading them. I wonder who else reads the blog entries and your comments and doesn't respond. But I feel a little silly commenting on my own sons trip.

Stevi said...

LOL hey Dave! That's exactly what I was wondering!! Thank you for replying to my comment, even if it did make you feel silly :D
Hope all is well with the RMH Cooks!

Keenan said...

We do enjoy the comments too. A whole lot. We wonder why nobody comments, and kind of hope that people will start to do it more.

Our faces did get a bit sweaty - but, the hair kind of helped to soak it up, so it evened it out.

Shaler Kola was just awesome. I don´t know why Jeff didn´t like it. We also just tried Kola Mas in Peru for the first time the other day, and we felt the same way - I loved it and he didn´t. Though after Laura pointed out that it tasted like a cleaning product I wasn´t as sure anymore.

Thanks for the comments. Hope more appear someday!

Hairy Swede said...

Keenan and Jeff, as a proud beard grower, I know all too well the dangers of eating moustache.

Personally, I'm impressed you kept them going as long as you did. Because while the beards come in handy when skiing or performing other cold weather activities. Riding your bike in June for thousands of kilometers is a different story.

Well done.

And seriosuly Keenan, I'm glad to hear youre keeping your girlish figure. Ladies large huh?

ksweber said...

Yo--Gentlemen--oops--my daughter warns me that EVERYONE can read Lar and Sar from anut K and Tani--we are reading the blogs and looking at pictures. Jealous!!!! Enjoy--right--we have to donate money--looks like a good cause....carpe diem--see you soon, baboons xxoo