Crankin´It Up a Notch With Some Help


I left Medicilandia about an hour before sunrise for two reasons: I was sleeping above a rooster and the dogs in this town like to start fighting at 4:00am.

The mornings are by far the best time to ride. It is much cooler, the sun is low and at your back, and all around it´s fairly pleasant. This morning was cool and damp with some long stretches of jungle reserve on the left side of the road.

I was hunched down laboring up a hill when two guys on a motorbike start idling beside me. This happens all the time and at this moment I was in no mood to talk so I ignored them and ground away at the peddles. Of course the typical questions come, “Where are you going, where did you come from, where do you live” etc. Then, the driver puts his hand on my back and starts gassing the bike up the hill.

Right away I am laughing my ass off and trying to keep the bike straight through all the ruts and rocks. Once we reach the top he gives me a good shove and lets me steer the downhill. Then he times it so when I start to slow on the next up hill there he is with the assist.

I have to peddle like a madman to keep the momentum up enough on the uphills to make the process work but overall this went on for 30-40min! I was exhausted from steering and peddling as fast as possible but definately made some good time.

On at least a few occasions the road made the bike and motorbike bounce together, which would have spelled a hard take down, but my bulky panniers kept the handbars from tangling and no harm was done. A fun way to roar through the countryside, if not a little dangerous!


As I said before there was about a 4 hour stretch of jungle reserve on my left side today (the otherside of the road was grazing land). I have seen so little real jungle up close it was very nice for a change. As soon as the reserve ended, marked by a sign, a cattle fazenda started, of course.

Tonight I am in Uruara, and in the next series of pics and posts to come you may see me with my new cowboy hat. I took a look at the tops of my ears in the mirror and noticed they looked almost black. Figured the proper head gear was in order considering my constant cowboy surroundings.

14 Responses to “Crankin´It Up a Notch With Some Help”
  1. wow Doug.. what a wild ride today, eh? very few people in our circle would have such a story! Sleep well tonight. I’d imagine you’ll be in Para tomorrow night or if you’re ultra ambitious Ruropolis.

    by sara
    on 05. Oct, 2009

  2. Doug–good wear the hat and keep that sun off your face. You sound more excited each time we hear from you and that makes all of us breathe a little easier. We love you.

    by Mom
    on 06. Oct, 2009

  3. Doug, I love that you got a push today! That is hysterical! Greg does that for me, but usually we are both on bikes, and I just don’t have the endurance he does!!! Now here is the nurse in me– did you bring sunscreen? I am concerned that your ears are almost black!!!! I like the hat idea– looking forward to the pictures to come! I love your blog! I have my family checking it out and they commented on how professional it looks and what a badass you are!!! Keep up the hard work!

    by jess
    on 06. Oct, 2009

  4. Sounds like the motorbike guys thought you came from out of the sky and couldn’t believe someone was riding a bicycle to places “unknown”? Once again though people wanted to help or at least have some fun!

    by Dad
    on 06. Oct, 2009

  5. Doug, you’re flyin! You have to be hitting 1000 km soon. That’s crazy how dusty it is there in the jungle. You must be a red boogar factory at this point. I’ve been OCD checking your blog for new posts… keep em coming!

    by Joel
    on 06. Oct, 2009

  6. Can’t wait for the cowboy hat pics! Oh, and that guy has some sweet safety goggles! Stay tough Gunz!

    by Yost
    on 06. Oct, 2009

  7. Aw, what a fun day! I love the random acts of kindness that you keep encountering.

    by Becky
    on 06. Oct, 2009

  8. I can’t believe the progress you’ve made already and the amazing support you’re getting from everyone! The cowboy hat seems pretty appropriate…we’re all living vicariously through you….and getting inspired to start our own adventures….

    by amy gunz
    on 06. Oct, 2009

  9. I share the sentiment of everyone else, I can’t wait for each new post. What do you do for food in the mornings and during rides? Keep up the amazing job.

    by Adam
    on 06. Oct, 2009

  10. Dust down a country road
    Blowing int he wind
    Behind an old truck load
    Up before the rooster crowed
    There’s an old dog staring
    At the dust down a country road
    J. Hayatt

    by ed
    on 06. Oct, 2009

  11. Flopp/cowboy hats are so common at Burning Man, I didn’t appreciate that you were doing so much riding without one. The also have ones with a flap to cover your neck – not too sexy, but it doe keep the sun off. Hopefully the tops of your ears will be OK with topical treatment and some time under the cover of your new hat.

    by Ken
    on 12. Oct, 2009

  12. Very much of the route has reminded me of old dust bowl america (from what i´ve seen in media). I have some woody guthry songs on my mp3 player (small luxury I indulge in at times while riding) and alot of the lyrics could be spot on for the here and now of rural northern brazil.

    by doug
    on 27. Oct, 2009

  13. My diet has always been sugar-centric (thats a word right?). I eat alot of cookies, coke, chocolate, Tang, stuff like that. Gotta keep those bones strong and teeth healthy!

    by doug
    on 27. Oct, 2009

  14. Haha. I am probably going to be a red booger factory for months after i get back. it´s stained my finger nails and i cant scrub it out of my scalp.

    by doug
    on 27. Oct, 2009

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