This tour: why Brazil? The bike, tent and other bits and bob. - Northbound from Argentina through Brazil - CycleBlaze

July 29, 2010

This tour: why Brazil? The bike, tent and other bits and bob.

So why this tour?

I suppose I had had enough of night work for a while so I quit my job in Norway in April 2009, then after a few months at home in Ireland, I flew to Buenos Aires on a oneway ticket. I would be away up to two years but now I envisage returning as early as next April to a northern hemisphere Spring.

But what will I do for the rest of the time when I complete the tour in say November?

Ah, then hoping that I remain motivated I thiink perhaps a new tour, Southbound. I haven't been to Urugray or seen much of the Province of Buenus Aires and there's still roads and places that would draw me back to Patagonia.

And why Brazil? Couldn't really say but suffice to say it'll be something new. My bike. a Gary fisher Genesis design, that is it's a mountainbike with 700c wheels. I bough it in Oslosykkelcampaign, one of the better bikeshops in Oslo in 2005. It was an impulse buy I know. I just sat on it in the shop and it felt so comfortable that within half an hour the creditcard was out then back in again and I was it's owner. Suffice to say I'd great fun playing around on it the rest of the weekend and never had reason to regret my hastily made choose.

I bough a Bob-trailer before my last trip to South America. I've covered around 22,000km in total with it loaded. While being a good design I have certain niggles. To begin with the floor is a piece of metal mesh which is tack welded to the lower cromoly tubing of the body. This began to break at the weld after a few months use on bumpy often washboard unpaved roads. I would tie it up with sting or zip-ties but this only worked for a while. Eventually on this trip the tack-welded ends of the mesh had broken the whole way round except on the rear-facing tube. I've had to tied the whole thing up with strong wire. Secondly, why in hell does'n it have a stand. Its fustrate to be at the roadside needing to leave the bike for a moment as the metode of leaning the trailer down so that its underside sits on the ground, the wing-arm and bike turned at a right angle is cumbersome and the bike often falls over anyway or's blown over by the wind. Speaking of which, I got caugh in strong wind one January day, in Patagonia in a situation where I couldn't stand up on a lonely stretch of Route40. The bike was parked as aforesaid. The wind was so strong it pushed the bike hard against the trailer snapping the wing-arm. I had to flag down a car for a lift to the next village to get it welded. I've since bough a kick-stand for the bike so solving any parking discomforts.

I've bough racks and Orlieb Bike-roller bags in Chile as I've found it better to spread the load around instead of it being solely on the trailer. Chile has been a place were I could fine decent wide section 700c tyres. I'm running front and rear Kenda model KwickTrack which have done 2,500km and still look new. I'm also carrying five spares, a cheaper Kenda model, two part used Cheng Shin which I've found to be excellent, a new Cheng Shin and a Maxiss overdrive. I carry five innertubes and I bough a spare mini-pump as a pump can offen fail leaving you stranded with a deflated tyre.

The tent I bough too in Chile, a Doite Himalaya2. Its the same as TheNorthface tadpole. My sleepingbag is Vaude which I've got since 2004 and is rated to minus 17. For cooking I use both an alcohal stove and a gas stove for safely cooking inside the tent.

Gary Fisher and Bob-trailer before I bough panniers.
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