Bolivia postcard

Meet a couple on bikes, these encounters almost always jolly, fellowship of the road and all. The first thing out of his mouth, before “hello” or “lovely day” is about how he read a careful scientific study in a magazine showing that any tire width greater than 2 inches is wasted on a bicycle.

They’re on trekking bikes, butterfly bars, kickstands, four matching Ortlieb panniers, handlebar bags, plus that large bag that goes across the rear panniers and rack that’s big enough to carry a small child or whole roasted pig in. Not that there is anything wrong with any of that.

They’re in the process of dismantling everything to load up in a jeep because they heard the sand was really bad in the section coming up.

Maybe there’s no word for irony in their native language

11 thoughts on “Bolivia postcard

  1. Feliz navidad—you are a two-wheel rock star. Hope all is well. I’m truely pedaling in place these days with the season of slush and snow gripping this hemisphere, but getting out to see the lakefront and breathe heavy on a pretty regular basis. Keep livin the dream and count me in next epic. Cheers

  2. I would like to read that study. And I would like you to lead these two to Machu Picchu. And I’d like to read that story as well.
    Seriously, I keep thinking that with even fatter, fat-tire bikes coming out, that at some point the size increase creates more problems then it solves, but after reading where people have taken their Pugsleys (especially on this blog), I’d have to be really sure of myself before I told someone that their tires were too fat to be useful.

  3. Be interesting to ask if the control cases in the scientific study used a jeep too. And how wide the jeep wheels were. But that would be snarky. There may be no word for “snark” in their native language.

  4. I always try and use “lol” “ROFLAO” and “IMHO” in sentances when I meet people like this to make them feel at home :)

    Please send them home, the Internet Bike Forums are missing them.


  5. I had that once in Alaska. This German touring guy came up to me, shaking his head vehemently, even looking pretty cross. No, no, no! Was all he said by way of introduction, pointing at my suspension fork. He was on a bike with an aluminium frame and 700c wheels. I guess it’s easy to lose your social skills when you’re out on the road too long…

  6. I believe it’s not about ‘what’s better’. Some people like Pugsleys, some roadbikes. Some like dirt roads, others highways. It is about passing judgement. When they cross paths, they should learn (and try to understand) each other’s story, not criticize.

  7. Germans.

    The European trekking bike is a curious thing, and a resolute design. I find it too “rugged” for spirited road riding, but too feeble and overladen for the rough stuff, especially in it’s 700C/Alu permutation. They seem to be derived from a road/canal bike, capable of carrying lots of luggage, conveniently. Not to say anything of the riders, who seem to be quite rugged and adventuresome. The only thing worse is an overladen American tourist with piecemeal panniers/racks/lights, whereas the European permutation is generally quite integrated. I guess I’m judging what people ride; funny, if you’ve seen my hunk(s) of steel.

    Edward C.: I was just reading some Lovely Bicycle comments the other day. What a rigid bunch, although surpisingly civil. They bully her so much that she apologizes for installing a simple, silver zero-setback seatpost, on a bike with 71deg angles!

    The Pugs is infinitely versatile. A foot of fresh snow up here.

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