Day…. ummmmm, something… La Ventana, Kite/wind surfing paradise of the World!

What a day… On one hand I am bummed to high heaven and miss Diana, and on the other, I sailed a kite today, my first time, and, according to DJ Guacamole, I am now ready to move on to the water.
Kite Surfing, never thought I would do it, learning to use the kites was super fun and insantly reminded me of the Japanese fighting kites, so powerful as well, one kite was over a meter, the other was 2-3 meters and drug me down the beach!
I was given a ride to a sweet training grond, well, it looked sweet, but upon learning what was really going on there, turns ot the “lake”, is actually the last stop for all runoff in the area, and is a healthy mix of fertilizers, acids, chemicals and no seeums for days.
I looped the kite in figure 8’s left to right and right to left, stalled the kite and saved it, drifted it along the waters edge, avoided the cacti and basically had a blast.
Now I am cooking beans, apparently adding salt to them doesnt allow for them to soften, so I will have to do some googling when I get a chance and see the truth in that.
Salsa class tonight, but, Im over it.
I just want my beans…. at least I hope to get them before the gas runs out!
What else, no real flashes of insight or deep thoughts, I mean I have had, but in all honesty, a flash of depth for me is more than likely a puyddle in your lives so why subject you to it here=]
Im tired, the winds have been between 15-30knts, thats alot, though I cannot say what it would e in Kph or Mph, the tent felt as though it was gong to come loose from its moorings and head into no mans land with me as a passenger, hopefully tonight will be tame…
Im surrounded by people but am lonely. Most conversations I eavesdrop on, dont judge, you do it as well, most of them I wouldnt care to be a part of, I saw a guy catch a scorpion last night only to toss it in the fire… That really pissed me off, but then, stupid is as stupid does and lord knows we got some stupid for dinner in America! I say that as almost everyone down here seems to e from the States or Canada.
The real esatte boom is about to egin in La Ventana for any speculators out there, you can come on down and help destroy another beautiful area, drive up the prices, increase the garage flow and make room for GMO veggies!

Day three, 16-17th, I moved camp from The free camp spot to a yoga retreat and had my first tai chi class this morning – 7 people! Now, the night prior, last night, I was invited with my host family to go to a handmade pizza night, very cool, all the local, nay, super uber local kite and windsurfers, it was hanging out with pro’s which is always a cool thing, to see ninjas in thier relaxed mode.
The pizza was exemplary, big brick over, crust cooked on stone and of course – VEGAN PIZZA! It was there that I met most of my Tai Chi class which I had this a.m at 8, of course NINJA!
I was then invited to go stand up paddle-boarding with SUPLV – suplv.com and, Super Ninja, we are now partnering together!
I am an official global front man for SupLv as I travel the world, I will be paddleboarding in every place I go. So sweet. I had always thought it would be easy, my last experience being in Hawaii with a retired windsurf board from the early days of windsurfing, falling off of it was actually quite difficult. This paddle-board on the other hand was light as a feather, my paddle was so light at times I was unsure it was there [carbon fiber].
So intense, so very ninja, no other way to describe it, it was sweet! Suffice to say i did NOT get any waves today, BUT, this is only day one, I will be ninja on patrol, now pedaling and Paddling for peace. I was also told by the gentleman who runs the yoga retreat that based upon my presentation of myself, he is seriously considering taking me out kiting – CHEEEEeeeeeeHHHHHOOOooooooooo! AIEEEEEEE!
If I had a dollar for every cool person who was genuinely sweet, caring and rad here in La Ventana, I would never want for cash again. Truly, this whole town is like a big family, no one steals here, Its mind bending to say the least=]
My bike ride yesterday was epic, I went to the start of the “Hotsprings” race which includes a very large stretch of offroading, and now I am reminded exactly why I love my bike.
You see, when I was at Interbike in Vegas, I had convinced myself that I needed a Salsa Fargo, and it is a very rad bike. We talked with the owner of Salsa and he was amicable enough and then, shocker, he disappeared off the map, never heard from him again. Bummer really for the simple fact he was a nice guy, bike be damned, anyway, no Fargo=]
Now, after yesterdays ride, to the hotsprings and back to the other end of town, not only was I able to beat offroad vehicles and full on trucks, you know, with dualies, big machines, with the flying mapache [specialized tri-cross, MY BIKE], but I was able to do it with a very high degree of style.
If you are looking for a rad touring bike, I may have stumbled upon, with the help of everyone who donated and helped to frankenstein it out, the ultimate road touring bike that, once in an area, you can rock n roll=]

What a day… On one hand I am bummed to high heaven and miss Diana, and on the other, I sailed a kite today, my first time, and, according to DJ Guacamole, I am now ready to move on to the water.

Kite Surfing, never thought I would do it, learning to use the kites was super fun and insantly reminded me of the Japanese fighting kites, so powerful as well, one kite was over a meter, the other was 2-3 meters and drug me down the beach!

I was given a ride to a sweet training grond, well, it looked sweet, but upon learning what was really going on there, turns ot the “lake”, is actually the last stop for all runoff in the area, and is a healthy mix of fertilizers, acids, chemicals and no seeums for days.

I looped the kite in figure 8’s left to right and right to left, stalled the kite and saved it, drifted it along the waters edge, avoided the cacti and basically had a blast.

Now I am cooking beans, apparently adding salt to them doesnt allow for them to soften, so I will have to do some googling when I get a chance and see the truth in that.

Salsa class tonight, but, Im over it.

I just want my beans…. at least I hope to get them before the gas runs out!

What else, no real flashes of insight or deep thoughts, I mean I have had, but in all honesty, a flash of depth for me is more than likely a puyddle in your lives so why subject you to it here=]

Im tired, the winds have been between 15-30knts, thats alot, though I cannot say what it would e in Kph or Mph, the tent felt as though it was gong to come loose from its moorings and head into no mans land with me as a passenger, hopefully tonight will be tame…

Im surrounded by people but am lonely. Most conversations I eavesdrop on, dont judge, you do it as well, most of them I wouldnt care to be a part of, I saw a guy catch a scorpion last night only to toss it in the fire… That really pissed me off, but then, stupid is as stupid does and lord knows we got some stupid for dinner in America! I say that as almost everyone down here seems to e from the States or Canada.

The real esatte boom is about to egin in La Ventana for any speculators out there, you can come on down and help destroy another beautiful area, drive up the prices, increase the garage flow and make room for GMO veggies!

Day three, 16-17th, I moved camp from The free camp spot to a yoga retreat and had my first tai chi class this morning – 7 people! Now, the night prior, last night, I was invited with my host family to go to a handmade pizza night, very cool, all the local, nay, super uber local kite and windsurfers, it was hanging out with pro’s which is always a cool thing, to see ninjas in thier relaxed mode.

The pizza was exemplary, big brick over, crust cooked on stone and of course – VEGAN PIZZA! It was there that I met most of my Tai Chi class which I had this a.m at 8, of course NINJA!

I was then invited to go stand up paddle-boarding with SUPLV – suplv.com and, Super Ninja, we are now partnering together!

I am an official global frontman for SupLv as I travel the world, I will be paddlebaording in every place I go. So sweet. I had always thought it would be easy, my last experience being in Hawaii with a retired windsurf board from the early days of windsurfing, falling off of it was actually quite difficult. This paddleboard on the other hand was light as a feather, my paddle was so light at times I was unsure it was there [carbon fiber].

So intense, so very ninja, no other way to describe it, it was sweet! Suffice to say i did NOT get any waves today, BUT, this is only day one, I will be ninja on patrol, now pedaling and Paddling for peace. I was also told by the gentleman who runs the yoga retreat that based upon my presentation of myself, he is seriously considering taking me out kiting – CHEEEEeeeeeeHHHHHOOOooooooooo! AIEEEEEEE!

If I had a doallar for every cool person who was genuinely sweet, caring and rad here in La Ventana, I would never want for cash again. Truly, this whole town is like a big family, no one steals here, Its mind bending to say the least=]

My bike ride yesterday was epic, I went to the start of the “Hotsprings” race which includes a very large stretch of offraoding, and now I am reminded exactly why I love my bike.

You see, when I was at Interbike in Vegas, I had convinced myself that I needed a Salsa Fargo, and it is a very rad bike. We talked with the owner of Salsa and he was amicable enough and then, shocker, he disappeared off the map, never heard from him again. Bummer really for the simple fact he was a nice guy, bike be damned, anyway, no Fargo=]

Now, after yesterdays ride, to the hotsprings and back to the other end of town, not only was I able to beat offroad vehicles and full on trucks, you know, with dualies, big machines, with the flying mapache [specialized tri-cross, MY BIKE], but I was able to do it with a very high degree of style.

If you are looking for a rad touring buike, I may have stumbled upon, with the help of everyone who donated and helped to frankenstein it out, the ultimate road touring bike that, once in an area, you can rock n roll=]

Part 4 of the Beginners Guide to Bicycle Touring – What kind of ride you want to have

Now we get to some more meaty parts, you know where you are going, you know why and lastly you know what, at least you think you know what you want to get from it.  So what are you going to ride and what kind of ride do you want to have when your bags and gear come off and it’s just you and the cycle.

There are a few factors here, terrain, weather conditions, ease of repair i.e. just how far from civilization will you be.  For instance, if you have an aluminum/carbon bike like I do and you are in deep country China, the odds that you will run across a gentleman with an aluminum welder is slim if you need one.  Keep this all in mind when choosing your bike, because one day, it could definitely make a big difference!  Not sure how weather plays into it, but just know that it does.  Weather will play more so into the gear you take to clothe yourself and camp with, though, if you are extreme, you will need extreme gear for the bike as well.

What style bike, and with this I am not speaking to off-road, road, hybrid, beach cruiser, no, with this I am speaking to the actual frame style.  Recumbent, cargo, tandem, traditional and whatever else people throw together  The two main divergences from the standard or original design I have seen thus far on my trip are the recumbent,Pedaling for peace - recumbent bicycle rider bike touring

which is a seated bicycle, some of these even forgo the conventional pedals to allow for hand crank turning, which if you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to use your legs, no worries, hand crank.  Many people swear by the kick back version [recumbent], try it and see!  I have seen them in 2 and three wheel configurations, built for two and even with a sidecar!

The cargo bike, most commonly associated with the Xtracycle corporation [www.xtracycle.com], is a version of bike in super basic theory, the aft [back] section is extended, this allows for a vastly increased load size [400 pounds!] while providing a much lower center of gravity, in other words, you can carry a house and not break a sweat [exaggeration, but only kind of=].  These bikes come in various styles and from the people that use them, they consider them to be quite rad indeed.  The bicycle originated when it’s founder Mr Ross, had the hopes of easing the burden on peoples in third world countries.  He and his company continue to do so today.

A friend of mine is using his to carry his Paragliding kit, so he bikes to a place, flies for a while, plays music to pay for dinner, camps out, and then, off he goes to the next destination.  This would not be possible on your typical bicycle without a trailer.pedaling for peace - xtra cycle carrying hay

The terrain you will be travelling through will be one of the most important factors in choosing your steed [bike].  For instance, if you want to do an off road surf adventure, then you will have to have an off-road bike that can handle the trails you will be traversing you will most likely have to tow a trailer.  There are kits and people groovy enough with working metal to make surfboard holders that mount on the side of the bike, but for long distances I would not recommend this as wind could take you for a serious spill…

If you are thinking of doing a high speed run through European towns and all the roads seem generally well paved, then you will want a more “road style” bicycle.

You can also choose a Tri Cross bicycle [this is what I have done] and get the best of both worlds, though high-end performance in either world is obviously less than a bike that was designed specifically for the purpose.pedaling for peace - specialized tri cross bicycle

There are also bikes built for touring specifically and of course, 100 percent custom.

Once you know what the minimum requirements for the bicycle to traverse the area you will be traveling, now you can work with your local bicycle shop personnel or Bike Kitchen/Co-op [This is my highest recommended option as they will teach you hands on and it is great for the community so SUPPORT SUPPORT SUPPORT!], or buddy that is super knowledgeable, or you can wing it, or you can go on the internet for hours and days, you get my drift, unless you are experienced, I suggest working with someone who isn’t trying to sell you, just be aware that if you are in an establishment that does sell things, and they are nice enough to give you a lot of their time, respect that, either buy something, like all your gear, or give them a generous donation to their teaching the student off the street fund.  As I was saying, you can work with whomever and whatever source you choose to further determine which type of bike you want when you are NOT riding.  Does this make sense?

For instance, you know that for the roads you are travelling on you could use a road bike, BUT, you like to shred trails and the places where you will be have some great ones, CONUNDRUM, what do you do… WHAT DO YOU DO!?!?

  1. Your bicycle, what kind of ride do you want to have when your bags are on AND OFF!

Now we get to some more meaty parts, you know where you are going, you know why and lastly you know what, at least you think you know what you want to get from it.  So what are you going to ride and what kind of ride do you want to have when your bags and gear come off and it’s just you and the cycle.

There are a few factors here, terrain, weather conditions, ease of repair i.e. just how far from civilization will you be.  For instance, if you have an aluminum/carbon bike like I do and you are in deep country China, the odds that you will run across a gentleman with an aluminum welder is slim if you need one.  Keep this all in mind when choosing your bike, because one day, it could definitely make a big difference!  Not sure how weather plays into it, but just know that it does.  Weather will play more so into the gear you take to clothe yourself and camp with, though, if you are extreme, you will need extreme gear for the bike as well.

What style bike, and with this I am not speaking to off-road, road, hybrid, beach cruiser, no, with this I am speaking to the actual frame style.  Recumbent, cargo, tandem, traditional and whatever else people throw together  The two main divergences from the standard or original design I have seen thus far on my trip are the recumbent,

which is a seated bicycle, some of these even forgo the conventional pedals to allow for hand crank turning, which if you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to use your legs, no worries, hand crank.  Many people swear by the kick back version [recumbent], try it and see!  I have seen them in 2 and three wheel configurations, built for two and even with a sidecar!

The cargo bike, most commonly associated with the Xtracycle corporation [www.xtracycle.com], is a version of bike in super basic theory, the aft [back] section is extended, this allows for a vastly increased load size [400 pounds!] while providing a much lower center of gravity, in other words, you can carry a house and not break a sweat [exaggeration, but only kind of=].  These bikes come in various styles and from the people that use them, they consider them to be quite rad indeed.  The bicycle originated when it’s founder Mr Ross, had the hopes of easing the burden on peoples in third world countries.  He and his company continue to do so today.

A friend of mine is using his to carry his Paragliding kit, so he bikes to a place, flies for a while, plays music to pay for dinner, camps out, and then, off he goes to the next destination.  This would not be possible on your typical bicycle without a trailer.

The terrain you will be travelling through will be one of the most important factors in choosing your steed [bike].  For instance, if you want to do an off road surf adventure, then you will have to have an off-road bike that can handle the trails you will be traversing you will most likely have to tow a trailer.  There are kits and people groovy enough with working metal to make surfboard holders that mount on the side of the bike, but for long distances I would not recommend this as wind could take you for a serious spill…

If you are thinking of doing a high speed run through European towns and all the roads seem generally well paved, then you will want a more “road style” bicycle.

You can also choose a Tri Cross bicycle [this is what I have done] and get the best of both worlds, though high-end performance in either world is obviously less than a bike that was designed specifically for the purpose.

There are also bikes built for touring specifically and of course, 100 percent custom.

Once you know what the minimum requirements for the bicycle to traverse the area you will be traveling, now you can work with your local bicycle shop personnel or Bike Kitchen/Co-op [This is my highest recommended option as they will teach you hands on and it is great for the community so SUPPORT SUPPORT SUPPORT!], or buddy that is super knowledgeable, or you can wing it, or you can go on the internet for hours and days, you get my drift, unless you are experienced, I suggest working with someone who isn’t trying to sell you, just be aware that if you are in an establishment that does sell things, and they are nice enough to give you a lot of their time, respect that, either buy something, like all your gear, or give them a generous donation to their teaching the student off the street fund.  As I was saying, you can work with whomever and whatever source you choose to further determine which type of bike you want when you are NOT riding.  Does this make sense?

For instance, you know that for the roads you are travelling on you could use a road bike, BUT, you like to shred trails and the places where you will be have some great ones, CONUNDRUM, what do you do… WHAT DO YOU DO!?!?

Bam, after working with your local co-op personnel, you decide to take your mountain bike, take spare parts for the forks just in case and take the added burden of extra tires.  You will do the touring on slick tires to help decrease your rolling resistance and when you get to where you are going, you’ll switch the tires to knobbies and do some right proper riding!

There will of course be situations where you will not be able to so easily work to a ninja compromise, for instance, you have to take a mountain bike for the ride, but you will end up in cities that have paved streets and you want to rip through them on those teeny little tires on a bike that is weighed by the ounces and not the pounds.  Again, talk to your experts and if nothing can be found, go for plan B, this is fun, vis-a-vis there is always a plan B.  In this case plan B is renting a bike when you get there.

Never despair about your trip, that’s not why you take it, there is always a way, you just need to find it, the journey of learning begins when you decide to go, everything else is just icing on your enlightenment cake, ENJOY!

Bam, after working with your local co-op personnel, you decide to take your mountain bike, take spare parts for the forks just in case and take the added burden of extra tires.  You will do the touring on slick tires to help decrease your rolling resistance and when you get to where you are going, you’ll switch the tires to knobbies and do some right proper riding!

There will of course be situations where you will not be able to so easily work to a ninja compromise, for instance, you have to take a mountain bike for the ride, but you will end up in cities that have paved streets and you want to rip through them on those teeny little tires on a bike that is weighed by the ounces and not the pounds.  Again, talk to your experts and if nothing can be found, go for plan B, this is fun, vis-a-vis there is always a plan B.  In this case plan B is renting a bike when you get there.

Never despair about your trip, that’s not why you take it, there is always a way, you just need to find it, the journey of learning begins when you decide to go, everything else is just icing on your enlightenment cake, ENJOY!

Part 2 Beginners Guide – Getting out the Door and Deciding where to GO! pedaling for peace

The Santigo de Compostela route

  1. Getting out the door and deciding where you are going

One of the most difficult things I have found is to decide where?

Where do I want to go and what do I want to see.

For myself the solution was easy and obvious, I’ll go around the whole world, no brainer:). For Diana, it was equally easy, I’ll go where you’re going.  Sorted, done, vamanos!

For you it may not be so easy, you may not want to unshackle yourself from the world by plunging head first into it all at once, you may have a family, a very close circle of friends, a job you love, or hate and will only give you x amount of time off…  Therefore, I have a plan…

First, lets decide what you want to GAIN from the ride. Then we decide where you want to go, O.K.?

If you are completely happy with the life you lead and just want to see the world in a different manner than you are accustomed, very easy, decide where you want to visit, put your vehicle and gear together based upon the place you are visiting, get the requisite time of from work or make sure the trust fund credit card is topped off, find a plane/train/etc, assemble your components upon arrival and go!  If it is out your front door and around the state, even easier!

Now, if you want a ride that will cause you to search your soul a bit, to purposely promote growth, you will have to find a place that offers opportunities for the growth you seek.

The Santigo de Compostela routeFor instance,  Lets just say you are a devout Christian, or you are very interested in the history of the faith and want to really push your spiritual growth/knowledge.  Then perhaps you will ride one of the prescribed spiritual pilgrimage trails, such as the Santiago de Compostela, which is actually a Cathedral in Galicia, Northwestern Spain, in which it is thought the remains of the apostle St. James is buried.  Over one Thousand years old, it is one of the most important Pilgrimages in the Faith and is a Unesco World Heritage site.  It is as important to the Christian faith as Mecca would be for the Muslim Faith, and possibly Stonehenge for Wikken faith [I say possibly as my knowledge is lacking in this area, BUT, that is why I am on a ride around the world, at some point, I will learn all about it!].

I do not try to steer you the gentle reader to any one place, or religion, I am merely outlining how wonderful bicycle touring is for opening ones eyes to travel and learning!

Perhaps you want to know more about the area in which you live and are happy touring your state.  My goodness, the amount of info I have learned when tourists come to visit me and I show them around.  Now is your chance to show yourself around, meet new friends that you can actually stay in touch with because they live close by, and be amazed at the diversity and richness of the area you live in.

Maybe the whole of the country you live in or specific parts of it based on what you like to do and see.

Perhaps you are a rock climber, find places that have great rock climbing and bike tour to them.

You love beer, make yourself a Beer Tour and visit breweries.  Likewise, you love wine, make yourself a wine tour.

It is with tours such as this that you can even have the potential for earning supplemental income, if not radically change your life and what it is you do.  Imagine, you go on a wine tour, write about it, become somewhat of an expert, and bada boom bada bing, now you are running tours, blogging for dollars and being sought after as a most knowledgeable sort.

Another popular bike tour is surf adventures, the surfboard being pulled behind on a cart and having the luxury of stopping whenever you see some great waves!

Adventure cycling association has the USA covered very well.  I was fortunate enough to get a complete route across the US from them, which is an extremely kind donation as the maps come at a premium, and rightfully so, they are fantastic, tear and water proof, covering basically everything you will come across from places to eat, elevations, avg. rainfall, temperatures etc.

All of that to say, I ended up not using them as I was swept away in the “moment” and found myself deciding my route day by day, of which I am still doing.  In the U.S. and around the world for the most part [do not base your thought of Wi-Fi on your local Starbucks, there are many places that without a satellite, there is no internet], you are able to check in to the world wide web with enough frequency that you would be able to map out as you go.

Of course, DO NOT NEGELCT TO BRING AN ACTUAL MAP OF THE AREA YOU ARE GOING TO BE TRAVERSING, regardless of supposed internet availability!  But we are straying from the topic… more on this later…

Yet another reason for cycle touring could be wanting to shift your centralized view of things to be more Worldly.  You know you have it good and you want to be more thankful in your life, to live this goodness without taking it for granted.  Perhaps you will ride your bike through a poor section of a third world country, I guarantee you wont leave the lights on or neglect to acknowledge how lucky you are when it comes to having water come out of a pipe in most rooms of your house!

There is also cycling for causes, very popular and very positive, its what I am doing.  There are many causes to choose from, many ways to promote your ride, and you will find that it helps you better understand your cause as well as give a focus beyond having a rad time….

Whatever direction you choose for your trip, know that it will be an adventure, it simply works that way, there is no choice in the matter!  All that remains from you is to what degree it helps to mold and change your view on things.

You can also let your house go into foreclosure as I did, leave your idyllic life in Hawaii, literally giving away everything, and off you go for an undisclosed period of time, undisclosed, as you have no clue!

Whatever type of tour you do, remember, to rest often and, if you want, take or accept rides from others, then you just enter into the realm of velo tourist.  As long as you are happy, you are doing the right thing!  Never feel constrained by what you read or others tell you.  As long as you do no harm and are having a blast, well, don’t stop!