by: Shane hutton
So I have been here in the US for 5 weeks now & it has been a whirlwind. Whilst i have been here i have been trying to get all my things in order for the next leg of the trip, Ecuador to Patagonia. When i arrived the bike was in serious need of some love. After much deliberation on changing groupset ( thats the gears) to make it easier for when I have some monster climbs in the Andes, I decided to get a new one exactly the same as my old one.
I figure if it was still running as well as it was after 15,000km I can`t go wrong with getting the same, so SRAM 1x 11 it is. I had a new chain put on, brake pads, front chain ring, & a new rear wheel built after the last one decided to crack up.
I got some new Axiom panniers after having troubles with 2 sets of Thule. Although their customer service has been impeccable the attachment system just sucks so I am getting away from them.
I`ve also got a new tent. Although my Mont Moondance 1 has been rock solid I just feel the need to get a tent that I can get my panniers in with me. The weather as I get further south looks like more rain & snow so I want to be able to store stuff out of the weather. Again after a lot of research I have decided on a Nemo Obi 2 lets see how it goes.
I also invested in an MSR Dragonfly. After not being able to find Butane for the last month or 2 of South America I decided it would be a good idea to get something that I can burn all types of fuel with. The Dragonfly has great reviews & I have met many people traveling with them & they all swear by it. The biggest thing for me is the fact I will be able to simmer & actually cook food rather than just boil water. That will be a novelty after 8 months of boiling water.
It`s going to be a bit of a transition for me going back to the bike. After being in the land of excess. It`s been great to spend time with my sister & nephews. We have been pretty busy doing a lot of fun stuff. I`ve been to watch the boys play sports & special days at school. I will miss these guys when I leave but i know i will be back again.
I have eaten the best steak of my life & I`ve been to some pretty fancy restaurants. I have consumed enough coffee & chocolate to kill a horse. My intention was to gain some weight, I have certainly achieved that.
So for now thats my little update.........
Keep it rubber side down
I am an ultra runner, Mountain biker, Packrafter, Climber, Ironman, Endurance Athlete