Bariloche, Argentina

A quick update from a hostel on the 10th floor of an apartment building (I tried to remember the last time I rode an elevator…). Having been mostly camping for free by the sides of rivers lately, once in a while I’ll decide I deserve to sleep indoors. But not because I like beds, in fact, I find my Thermarest superior to most anything else. Just once in a while a shower and Internet is nice. I heard about this hostel from some other cyclists, and it is quite the place with amazing views.

While I walked around town looking for pastries, I enjoyed the nippy weather. I don’t think I’ve been this cold since sometime in Bolivia (or in Chile when hiking with Hawk). Just yesterday I picked up a 16 pound (7kg) duffel bag that I sent ahead from Mendoza. Among other things, I sent my down jacket and a couple wool layers which will be good to have. However, upon strapping it to my bike I asked myself why I have so much junk in the first place. I think I’ll try to ship as much stuff as I can to Buenos Aires and pick it up there. Or maybe I should just throw it out.

Recently, I’ve been noticing some bulges on my rear rim, which mean I can’t brake smoothly, as the bulges lock up the wheel. On gravel or wet pavement this means I skid around and wear out the tire faster than usual. (For cyclists out there reading this, the blue protective layer on the Schwalbe Marathon Plus MTB is now showing through, but I’ve read in places that this shouldn’t be a problem… we’ll see.) I took it to a mechanic and was told what I thought would be the case: the rim has opened up, and even if you could bend it back, it is already weakened and not a good idea. So I had to get a new rim, but the mechanic is closed today, so I’ll bike to El Bolson on the old rim and get it replaced tomorrow morning. When I asked what may have caused it, I was told either inflating the tire too much (unlikely), or overloading the bike (You don’t say!). Having gotten it in Trujillo, Peru only (“only”?) 4,000 miles ago, I had hoped it would last until the end, but it did see some of the rougher dirt roads of Peru and Bolivia.

Dear spokes, rims, bottom bracket, pedals, derailleurs, bar end shifters, Ortlieb buckles, mind and body, we got this, we can do it! Don’t fail me now, just 1,600 miles to go.

Well, it is almost noon here, but I still have 8 hours of sunlight (and hopefully not rain) to try and do the 75 mile ride to El Bolson.

10 comments to Bariloche, Argentina


    P.S. I decided that dessert at my birthday party is going to be raspberry lambic and chocolate stout floats with Tillamook Old-Fashioned Vanilla ice cream. (No, my birthday is not until June, but it is important to think about these things.) You and/or your cake recipe would of course still be welcome.

  • Dad & Mom

    Do you remember the coffee/chocolate candy/ice cream place in Plaza Satélite called Bariloche? Is chocolate a big deal in Bariloche Argentina?

    We are proud as punch of you and are cheering for you as you begin the “home stretch.” Looking forward to seeing you soon!! Vaya con Dios.

    Love, Dad & Mom

  • KK

    Échale ganas, si se puede! Se te extrañaaaaaaaaaa. I’ll eat lots of pain au chocolat for you if you eat some alfajores for me. You can borrow my bike when you get back to Chicago if yours needs a break :)

  • Keep cycling strong! Don’t forget to stop by the ‘La Union’ Panaderia owned by Emilio in Toulhin just before you get to Ushuaia. Can’t beat a free place to sleep and a hot shower.

  • After reading the rant about your bike and it’s parts kinda reminds me of the album by Little Feat “feats don’t fail me now” Hang in there no te faltas mucho suerte Matt!

  • Dennis Carlson

    Sounds like you’re picking up speed for the final stretch. About Mile 25 of the 26.2 marathon?! You Pedal, PanAm Guy!

  • Ruth

    Chile!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats! You’ve almost made it…enjoy the last leg(s?) of the trip, I hope the berries and the scenery make it beautiful and enjoyable. Keep on riding!

  • Greetings from a snowy Michigan. We remember the day you were born even though you don’t remember. Now look at you,a world traveler with so many experiences you’ll never be able to share them all. Have a wonderful Birthday wherever you are. If you don’t get a birthday cake of your liking, order one in Mexico City when you arrive. Mamacita will deliver and Papacito will furnish the chocolate. D & B

  • karen feijoo

    Happy Birthday to you!!Hope you are having a great bday…maybe even celebrating with a piece of chocolate cake!!!
    Are you getting anxious to get back north? am sure your family will be really happy to see you!
    Que Dios te bendiga mucho!!!!
    Aunt Karen and Uncle Carlos

  • Linder

    happy birthday matto! made a little birthday donation in your honor, finish strong and get home safe!

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>