ECUADOR: Maintaining Rigid Flexibility

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by EvilClown, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Using Occam's Razor

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    Signs are merely guides.....not requirements....:deal
    #81
  2. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Using Occam's Razor

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    #82
  3. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    As Dave sez, we had some time to kill Saturday morning. Freedom doesn't open until 10 am so after cafe...

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    ...and desayuno we took a brief tour of the area around Casa Helbling...

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    ...

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    Not sure but these uniforms may be a lesson in "be careful what you ask for"...

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    Regardless, the were more than happy to pose for the touristas.

    With the loose plan of scouting out Freedom's location empty handed prior to lugging our shite for the three blocks away we thought it was...

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    ...we found it!

    "Yep. They're closed."

    Time to make our way back and collect our sh-stuff.

    "Nevermind the lineman for the county. How are we going to support this pole while we dig by it?":scratch

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    "These two wooden poles oughta do it. What could go wrong? We'll keep our hardhats on just in case..."

    The two barking dogs on the roof below the Bravia sign are a nice touch.:lol3

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    ...

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    And just so we can try and keep the charactors of this un-ride report straight...

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    Saw a lot of this guy around town...

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    Trouble in paradise? :hmmmmm

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    Back 'home' we collect our gear...

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    #83
  4. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    Skipping ahead just a wee bit to throw some actual riding in here...

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    #84
  5. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    The State Department is considering utilizing whizzerwheel to produce and star in a series of training videos to get this important safety message across...

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    #85
  6. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Using Occam's Razor

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    In case any of you had forgotten how to do this...

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    Don't skip any steps....
    #86
  7. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Using Occam's Razor

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    [​IMG]

    We had a balcony view...

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    We did manage to make our way to the equator monument (s)....

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    With a little help...


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    With the picture taking part anyways....
    #87
  8. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="480" src="http://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/2506591264_P45wNDg?width=640&height=480&albumId=29307798&albumKey=3BsQss"></iframe>
    #88
  9. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    Maybe before we move forward we should back up a little bit and talk about this 'security' the State Department has mentioned.

    Before leaving I had a look at their site, read it and said, "Hmmmmmm...maybe we're going to have to take this a bit more seriously than we did in Costa Rica..."

    Then I went to their page on Costa Rica and read similar warnings. (I don't recall looking at the site before going to CR. Maybe that was a good thing.) Still got the sense that Ecuador was at a higher level of 'be careful' but CR was not Disney World by any stretch.

    As Dave mentioned, we checked into our room and the locals mention the possibilities of problems in their own little information booklet. It makes one sit up and take notice.

    So after a l-o-n-g day of travel we wander out into the city to see what's around and maybe grab a bite to eat. I don't know how Dave felt about it but I was tired and in no mood to test to see if the State Department or the hotel staff was hyping things up a bit or not so when Dave asked how things were I replied, "I feel like I'm running 'tree to tree' out here." Little pockets of safety between the room and our destination - where ever that was. Obviously, we survived.

    Looking back at the trip as a whole there really wasn't any time that the hairs on the back of my neck stood up to warn me that things were about to go sideways. Matter of fact, once out of the city the whole issue sort of fades away as you interact with the locals. As you may eventually read here we ran into an issue or two where the people were very helpful. We found everyone to be very friendly.

    Point of this? Yeah. They do warn you. Yep. Be aware of it. But keep in mind people are generally good - the people of Ecuador are no different. Use your head like you should and more than likely you'll avoid any trouble. YMMV.:deal

    Now, let's grab our shite and head over and get the bikes...

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    #89
  10. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    Sticking to an unwritten rule I have more shit than a Christmas goose packed for this trip.

    My excuse: I don't have any idea what to expect for weather but I'm planning on being wet each and every day. This combined with elevation and I know it can get cold - even in South America.

    None of this is really a problem for me except for the fact that this is a low-budget tour so a $2 arm length retaining cab ride is out of the question.

    This apparently brings great joy to Dave as he literally laughs until tears come out of his eyes as I schlep all my gear over to Freedom Rentals. There were a few locals also finding some humor in it as well.:lol3

    Nonetheless, we finally arrive...

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    ...Sylvain <sp?> has the bikes outside ready for us...

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    After the necessary paperwork and signing of our lives away we start the tedious process of piling/strapping our gear on the bikes for our journey.

    Sylvain is a very patient man.:lol3

    Motherly Advice: Apply sunscreen before starting this process. The wages of not following this advice can be high.:deal

    A wide brim hat isn't a bad thin to pack along either.

    Here Dave demonstrates what not to do...

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    ...white, untreated chicken skin neck pointed directly at the sun.:deal :lol3

    More on that later.

    Notice the tank bag. We're both trying out a new piece of gear for this trip. That tank bag is it. Made by Enduristan. The Sandstrom 2 Sport is the version we have. Supposedly waterproof. Arrived just before our departure so this is it for testing. No. We're not sponsored so I'll tell you how I really feel about it.

    Finally loaded...

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    ...both bikes are also sporting Giant Loop Great Basin saddle bags. Freedom can provide these but we've brought our own - prepacked as much as possible to save some time at this stage.

    We've both used them on other trips on our own bikes but this is the first time using them on rentals that we've never seen before. Whizzer tried this once before in CR but had issues mounting it on their bike so switched to a giant duffle. Here they mounted up just fine.:clap

    Last thing to do before we get this show on the road is have the GPS routes reviewed...

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    Let's get out of here!

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    2:10 is where you start to get the flavor of riding in Quito. San Jose, CR is all I have to compare it to. Very similar, just more of it. 2:40 is about where things start to go bad.:lol3
    #90
  11. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    This one is solely for SCS.

    Always nice to find these kinds of things tucked in the gear while getting sorted out...

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    :raabia
    #91
  12. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    A little more Quito footage...

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    I like the enterprising ice cream vendor in the middle of the traffic jam.:lol3

    Wonder what kind of calculation they would have to do here for Worker's Comp?:confused



    This might be a good time to review our planned itinerary.

    • Find our way out of Quito
    • Visit the Equator site(s)
    • Follow front wheel of bikes for remainder of trip
    • Return to Quito
    Sounds simple enough.:1drink
    #92
  13. SidecarSue

    SidecarSue Adventurer

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    :nomystery
    #93
  14. CourtRand

    CourtRand Been here awhile

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    Did't you guys sign an agreement that you would obey traffic laws? LOL....
    #94
  15. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Using Occam's Razor

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    Nice you stopped in Court....if we followed the traffic laws, we'd a been the only ones.....:norton
    #95
  16. tyrebitr

    tyrebitr jus wanna ride

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    Too damn funny! Having ridden with Whizzerwheel about 50,000 miles I should have warned EC about the left turns from the right lane. Or the warning of "we're taking the second right" as he takes off and passes multiple vehicles on the left while lane splitting.

    Yep, thats Whizzerwheel. How about riding into a new town, getting a block or three in and suddenly stopping in the middle of the road? I'm sure that will be on the next video.

    All the while, I'm enjoying the ride!
    #96
  17. timbercat

    timbercat Texas Cruiser

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    Quito equals. 5 lanes of traffic on a 2 lane road. And a double yellow center does not equate to no passing. Just go with the flow. :-)
    #97
  18. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    When in Rome...:D
    #98
  19. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Using Occam's Razor

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    Great to hear from you tyrebitr....now don't be telling too many stories out of school.....Hmmm I seem to remember a few myself.......

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    :clap
    #99
  20. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    Right on track, we do eventually find our way out of Quito and locate the Ecuator site...

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    Classic tourist pose...

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    Just not enough. We've got to get the bikes in the shot.

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    Against the State Department's recommendations we find an unsuspecting local to take the shot for us...

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    None of them were carrying mustard or ketchup or feces so we took the chance.

    Once they took the shot, their girls wanted to get a shot of themselves with the bikes...

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    While hanging around contemplating going in or not another local wanders over and strikes up a conversation - in English. He speaks English quite well but says he doesn't get to practice much. He goes on to tell us about the 'other' equator.

    That is the one we're looking to see. We load up and make our way towards it...

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