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Lost Nevados Day 01: Zika Virus

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Day 01 Objectives & Points of Interest


  1. Avoid Zika Virus.
  2. Avoid getting murdered by the police.
  3. Ride up and out of the heat.
  4. Enjoy some moments on the side of the highway.
  5. Benedict’s jacked biceps.
  6. The wheelie kid of Fresno, Colombia.

Twelve Steps to Simulate Riding out of Mariquita at 11:00am Onto the World’s Longest Road Climb


  1. Take your bike trainer setup to the nearest steam sauna.
  2. Pump the tires up to around 20 psi.
  3. Click the resistance setting all the way over to “not budging.”
  4. Hire a long haul trucker, preferably named Vance, or Cherry, or Dale, to park his rig just outside of the sauna.
  5. Attach some fire hoses to the exhaust of this big rig and have him/her/zee start rollin’ coal.
  6. Make sure the other end of the fire hose is depositing diesel smoke into the sauna.
  7. Find a couple of gnomes.
  8. Put them in scuba suits.
  9. Swallow them alive, telling them their only way out of your GI track is punching their way out.
  10. Once you’ve mounted your bike allow your more fit, healthy, and handsome friends to dictate the pace of your riding. Ideally this should be 20-30% above your comfort level.
  11. Continue doing this for six hours.
  12. NEVER allow the Gnomes to escape. That would be embarrassing.

A Chronological Breakdown of the Day’s Events


  1. 9:45am: The crew is up and swarming our bikes in the parking garage of Hotel Brisas. The heat of the day weighs on us like a wet cloak doused in scalding water. Gear is jettisoned.
  2. 9:52am: Team Photo! Team Photo! Team Photo!
  3. 10:03am: There is a little pastry shop in Mariquita that marks the bottom of the Letras climb. It also happens to serve these little round fried jobs. Cole and Kyle dare to order them and discover hardboiled eggs on the inside. It is very likely that this meal was the Typhoid Mary of Kyle and Cole’s tummy tumbles. Fret not, they were neither the only nor the hardest hit by stomach ailments.
  4. 10:14am: It’s really really really hot out.
  5. 10:15am: Due to a high school mountain bike stunt gone horribly wrong, Poppi’s #1 game is a bit unique. When his bladder is ready to release he’s got to be ready; this means he carries around a pee bottle at all times so he can safely capture the urine. He’s practiced and nonchalant about it, but then again maybe he shouldn’t have dumped his pee into the planter in front of the pastry shop. If you do this ride, don’t eat the hard boiled egg bun and don’t tell them Yonder Journal sent you.
  6. 10:35am: We finally start riding and everyone is instantly soaked with sweat.
  7. 10:35am: In this part of Colombia you chew the air rather than breathe it.
  8. 11:02am: The climb to Letras is a two-lane highway. It is the main lifeline between Bogotá and Medellin, and as such there are many diesel trucks that travel on this road. What’s more surprising is that they all,—every single one of them—gave us plenty of space and honked/waved/thumbsed up with enthusiasm for our efforts.
  9. 11:26am: Mini roadside Colombian bananas are INCREDIBLE.
  10. 11:27am: Mini roadside Coca-Colas are INCREDIBLE.
  11. 12:23pm: Have you ever picked cacao off the side of the road? You can do that in Colombia.
  12. 12:48pm: While most of the dogs in Colombia look like foxes who’ve bred with dingoes11By which I mean they have alert ears, tan/brown fur, and look like they could run and hunt for days., we were caught off guard by a surprising amount of what appeared to be purebred Beagles. Cole, having kept a pair of Beagles for the past decade-plus, was especially mesmerized by this phenomenon. If you have any information leading to a better understanding of the Colombian Beagle craze please contact us.
  13. 1:05pm: We lunch in Fresno Colombia. The food, the vibe, and the wheelie kid are infinitely better than comparable experiences in Fresno, California. Even the mayor of Fresno, California would have to agree.
  14. 1:46pm: Letras has not been kind to our photographer/leader/trend-setter. Daniel came into this ride sick as a sick dog; hacking, barking, and coughing his way into the country. He was forced to make a difficult move and grab a nifty little taxi to Padua. We might not be rational by nature, but that doesn’t mean we can’t act rationally once in a while.
  15. 1:47pm: The wheelie kid and his crew give us a lead out fit for kings, clearing the road of traffic as we begin to ride out of town. So this is what being the pied piper felt like.
  16. 3:32pm: A 12/13 year old Colombian kid rips by Cole and Kyle on a beat up department store mountain bike. He’s crushing it despite the fact that his seat is FAR FAR FAR too low. Kyle is able to give the kid instructions on how to properly position his saddle and what to watch out for regarding knee pain. At least he thinks so.
  17. 4:15pm: Arrival at Padua.
  18. 4:17pm: Daniel confirms that the truck stop is the hotel. It also has a restaurant.
  19. 5:35pm: Kyle and Cole are showing the first signs of stomach trauma. Fortunately, two out of five of our rooms have toilet seats. It’s still not clear whether those who had the room with toilet seats were the lucky ones.
  20. 7:03pm: Dinner at the Estadero Padua. What was on the menu? If you guessed Rice, Beans, Potatoes, and Chicken you’d be dead right.
  21. 8:15pm: Heavy post-dinner ‘Gram sesh before we pass out/lights out.
  22. 9:07pm: Struggle to read as the sandman enthusiastically tries to shut our eye curtains.
  23. 1:08am: Wake to the sounds of a rain stick symphony practicing just outside our hotel window? Pray it gets its energy out by the morning.

Two Words & Phrases to Know


  1. CABALLITO: wheelie, as in, ‘How rad is that little dude in Fresno pulling fresh caballitos all over the place?’
  2. TAXI: taxi, as in ‘Bros, I am sick, I am dying, I am breaking. I AM BREAKING. Polar bears aren’t supposed to live in the jungle. I got to get out of this heat. I’m taking a Taxi’


A morning with the sun.
Hotel Brisas went to great lengths in decorating its mosquito breeding sanctuary.
Turns out it is the dream of every mosquito to suck dolphin blood. Precious few take the chance but those who do, those who pull the rich briny blood from those mammalian sea dogs are vaunted in the annals of mosquito lore. This frieze is meant to instill young 'squitos with courage and will. #deadreckoning
Every day should start with a game plan.
It's good to have options.
Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo Team Photo
That planter, the one right in front of Benedict, that's the planter he got caught dumping his pee into. My advice is that if you're in Colombia don't eat the dirt out of this planter, because it is definitely pee dirt, unless pee dirt is your thing, in which case you're going to love that planter.

Hitting the Wall

Letras was steeper/harder/hotter than anticipated.
Late 60's paisley pop band The Temperate were spotted when their tour bus broke down on the road to Letras.
This is the most perfect example of a Colombian convenience store.
If you don't agree that it is perfect in every possible way then there is no doubt that you are broken.
Patrick, dude. You can get rid of the peel. The jungle wants it back, just let go. Just. Let. Go.
The boys mined Cacao from the Cacao tree/bush that was growing just behind that initial wall of green you see there.
If an image can be a spirit guide. I choose this image.
Colombia is great for sweating practice.


Caballito Mejor!!!
Macho Without Borders.
Sometimes you're sick, your body is failing you, and the trip has just started. In the past, 100% of the time, you would have pushed on, gotten worse, felt awful.
This time you don't, you draw upon your experience, grab a cab and get a lift to the next town. In the morning you feel amazing and you know you made the right decision.


Our hotel is conveniently located next to a truck stop. The truckers conveniently come at all hours of the night and conveniently leave their trucks idling with that not-so-quiet ticking roar they have while they "rest" in the hotel.
This is a perfect example of an "I know I'm done for the day" smile.
You never know, there might be safes around that need cracking.
Of course I coordinated with my bed spread. Also Andy and I had a toliet seat in our room but we didn't tell anyone else and the other guys all used Cole and Erik's room (I think) to go #2. And, well, the #2s were really starting to pick up some steam at this point.
Erik's #2 reaction.
Go ahead, take a guess.
You'll be back tomorrow. You can't help it, you have NO choice.

Lost Nevados Threads: Patrick Newell

A Systematic Breakdown of Slim’s Clothing
S-Works Helmet & Nitto Factory Cap & Oakley Jawbreaker Prizm

Matching colors! The bill is slightly larger than a standard cycling cap—extra shade for my beak. As for the Oakleys? The closest thing you can get to Macho Man Randy Savage.

Seersucker Shirt

So light and breathable, dries fast, protects from the sun, cools once wet from a stream or sweat. Unfortunately a repair I made didn't hold up and I got a bit of the lobster tan on my back.

Evolv Approach Shoes + Defeet Wool Socks

I ride flats when I anticipate walking. I hate walking in clipless shoes, tears my sensitive dawgs up. These canvas boys dry quicky and grip well. The thin socks stay cool and resist stink.

Patagonia Short Shorts

Not sure the model, but they're nylon and as short as they make 'em. Gotta keep those legs tan. I never tour with a chamois. Used Cake's herbal liniment in the AM and PM to sooth the taint.

Old, Raggedy Bandana (not pictured)

Fajk I love dirt bikes, but after this I hope I never smell a two-stroke again. I usually use this to keep the sun off my neck, but it worked well as a gasmask. Also works as a pre-filter.

Andy's Sunscreen & Ben's 100% DEET

Unprepared for how close the sun is at 14,000', I bummed a quarter-sized dollop of SPF daily. Multiple applications of DEET plus Cake's cider vinegar (thanks Be'ne) did the trick for bugs.

Patrick "Coach" Newell's Top Nuts

As we started to climb Daniel casually mentioned to Patrick that he’d had a couple handfuls of cashews before we took off, “Hey Patrick, I had a couple handfuls of cashews before we left this morning.” “Cool,” said Patrick, “the cashew is a fine nut, but it’s no pistachio, I’d probably rank the cashew as the 7th best nut.” Patrick @ultratradition “Coach” Newell knows a thing or two about nuts. Heck they’re part of his daily dietary intake and as such he’s worked out a definitive nut hierarchy based on pseudoscience, real science, speculation, aesthetics, and taste. We’re excited to share them with you here.22The opinions expressed here are the views of the author and do not reflect the views and opinions of Yonder Journal, unless you agree with these views, in which case Yonder Journal completely embraces them.

PISTACHIO: This is an adult nut, made to be eaten by adults. It requires dexterity, finger strength and guile in order to obtain it’s rich concentration of copper, manganese and vitamin B6. It also has a certain shade of green named after it which I find stimulating.

COCONUT: technically classified as a “dry drupe fruit”, a term which makes me so limp thinking about it I have to remember how ideal coconut oil is in just about every situation from chain lube to sexual lube to popping corn.

PECAN: Plenty of oleic acid in these guys which is the same fatty acid present in olive oil, making this nut high in machismo levels.

HAZELNUT/FILBERT: Known as filberts in Oregon, I once spent the first night of a soggy three-week bike tour camped in an idyllic filbert farm only to awake in mud well over a foot deep. I think my bivy wore that mud til its demise this past summer after eight years of service—unheard of longevity for a piece of lightweight gear. Maybe you should just eat filbert mud and live to 100.

ALMOND: You know they’re good in everything. As with almost every nut, you wanna sprout it first by soaking ’em overnight in warm water with a dash of himalayan salt. This makes absorption of all the nutrients much easier and more complete upon consumption.

WALNUT: the organic variety are cheaper than some of the nuts listed above, and they are nutritionally speaking very similar. Taste wise, a little blander, but I use ’em in smoothies so it doesn’t matter.

CASHEW: fajjkk these things are creamy when blended and taste better than just about everything else. They are on here for pure taste though, cuz nutritionally they are not that impressive. Use sparingly.

MACADAMIA: one of the best tree nuts out there, I don’t really like ’em too much, but they are supposedly a useful supplement for minerals most Americans are lacking in their Mickey-D diets.

BRAZIL: Selenium, selenium, selenium. This nut has the highest levels of this vital nutrient of any nut on the list. Whatdya need this for? I dunno, but it sounds like something the T-1000 was made outta and he fucked Arnold up pretty good in T2 Judgement day.

ULTRADAMIA: The result of 10 years of GMO research, this nut is the revolutionary confluence of the Coconut A137 gene with a Colombian Puma gene C33.

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