Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 1185, San Sebastian – Onaisin: Head Wind Patagonian Style

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Dec - 22 - 2013

Distance: 56.58 km
Ride time: 6:49:26
Average: 8.30 km/h – Slowest day record!
Total: 20991 km

56 km might not seem like much, but this was the hardest 52 km I have ever cycled. From the morning at the border post it was clear that the head with would be strong, true Patagonian style.

We left Dimitry to look for a ride to Buenos Aires, and Anita had also decided to take it a bit slower today. Thus the riding team was now reduced to Petter and myself again.

As we got stamped out of Argentina the dirt road started. I was very excited about this as I have never been riding on a dirt road before. As it turned out I should have been much more worried about the wind. Going less than 10 km/h it doesn’t really make much of a difference if you are on sealed or unsealed road. My new Scott bike seemed to hold up fine.

During the day the wind only got worse. At some point my sun glasses were blown away, and the speed was down to 5 km/h, pretty much walking speed. I have tried strong head winds before in the Australian outback, but this was beating everything. If I had come to Patagonia for a challenge, this was it. Yet, there was nothing to do but push on as we were very isolated now. I was happy to be cycling with Petter at this point as we could take turns fighting the wind in front while the other could get a bit of rest cycling behind.

There was far too much wind to put up our tents, so our goal for the night was to reach a bus stop at a cross road in the middle of nowhere. It turned out we could just fit in, Petter and myself with our sleeping bags and panniers.

As we cooked our pasta dinners a friendly Austrian couple pulled up in their car. They had planned to sleep at the cross road as well – at least we wouldn’t be alone. The full moon was rising over the steppe as we tried to get some sleep in our improvised home for the night. With no windows and no door it was a bit cold though. A warm bed and pizza and beer for dinner as we had the other day suddenly seemed far away.

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2 Responses so far.

  1. Martin says:

    True adventure Thomas! The Patagonia is well known for its very strong winds. At the beginning of the summer here, through May, winds come mostly from the West, SouthWest and South.
    Average wind speed is around 30-40 Km/hour. With Maximum speeds of around 200 Km/hour.
    Keep it going my friend but most important please keep it safe.
    I know you’ll conquer the Patagonia winds. I know it may seem you barely move forward, but as long as you keep it going you are leaving miles and miles behind.
    Vy 73 de LU5DX

  2. Haha yes Martin, it truly feels like adventure down here. I like the challenge. We just had a couple of nice rest days in Punta Arenas. Tomorrow we are ready for more head winds 🙂 73 and merry xmas. Thomas