This page was last updated Thu 05 January 2017.

Contents: Tours (3)   

Reports by Nick Cowan

All descriptions are in English, unless otherwise noted.

Tours

Cycling in Turkey and Bulgaria
by Nick Cowan, tour started August 2006, submitted 1 January 2007

THE PLAN: My bags are packed, i've got a new bike (long story, best told over beer...) and i'm heading to the airport tonight. My plan for the trip is as follows:

Istanbul --> Bucharest --> Odesa --> Kiev

Each leg of the trip is about 600 km long and will take me about a week (at a stately pace). I'll try to send an email from each city. I'm hoping to take a train back to Istanbul and spend my last week checking out the sights there.

THE REALITY: Spent the bulk of the trip in Turkey, due to its inhabitants' incredible generosity and friendliness, as well as the dismal roads and driving in the Balkans.

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Cycling Patagonia
by Nick Cowan, tour started January 2004, submitted 10 February 2006

The winds in Patagonia are living up to their reputation. Although we had them blowing at our back this morning as we rode into Puerto San Julian, they have been cross and head winds for the last number of days. The desolation and emptiness of the land has reached an unprecedented level. We have not seen running water in days and it has become simply impossible to find any shade. We have given up finding quaint places to pitch our tent and now simply throw our sleeping bags in the ditch and lay down to sleep after an exhausting day. We wake up with the rising sun, often with a thin layer of sand covering our gear. On the upside, we have been seeing lots of wildlife of late, including flamingos, guanacos (like llamas), and rheas (like ostriches). We've also figured out that we can carry a combined 21 liters of water, which comes in handy when the ``towns'' on the map turn out to not even have a gas station :-)

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Late afternoon on the Patagonian steppe.
Vancouver to Montreal on Bike
by Nick Cowan, tour started May 2001, submitted 8 February 2006

We awoke to cloudless skies and a strong headwind. Breaking camp we hit the road only to learn that Saskatchewan highways don't always have paved shoulders. We assumed the alpha formation whereby Nick takes point and Dave is the rear guard. Appearing inebriated, Dave would sometimes swerve into the road to scare cars into the far lane. Making possibly the smartest decision of his life, Dave stopped to ask road workers if we could have two pairs of disposable earplugs to drown out the wind. These were great for the moral and allowed us to phase out of this world and create sci-fi stories which became entertainment for our breaks.

As we were getting into Maidstone, Dave got a flat back tire. Inspection of said tire revealed multiple punctures: two staples, three pieces of glass and a small rock. These had all managed to work there way through Dave's ``Perfect'' (brand name) tire. Much to Nick's dismay Dave decided to swap front and back tires. This took a few hours since Dave makes bike repairs at a Tectonic pace. As we mounted our Cromoly steeds Nick realized that he too had a flat tire. (Just ask us about road tar, we dare you) Dave's response: You're shitting me, right?

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