Photo Gallery: Bicycle Touring Across Argentina

I was feeling like a different challenge this month, so I veered away from my northbound trajectory in favour of crossing La Pampas (the Argentinean plains). This 2000km ride took me from Bariloche to Buenos Aires. What I hoped for was a change of scenery, what I ended up with was dozens of new friends and a new perspective of Argentina!

bicycle touring argentina

Route of the 7 Lakes.

bicycle touring argentina

It was at this moment that I made the biggest decision of my trip. Instead of following the mountains and lakes north through Chile, I would start a 2000km journey across The Pampa (desert) to Buenos Aires. Why? Well, I felt like a change of scenery. I’d also like to spend a bit more time with locals, and a bit less lost in nature. It’s easier to do this when I’m not distracted with endless hikes and mountain roads. It’s about time for a new backdrop too, don’t you think?

bicycle touring argentina

MY CLOTHES. I wear a button-up cotton shirt in hot and dry conditions. I find they offer unparalleled sun protection, plus you can open them up for an extra breeze. When it’s hot, I soak my shirt in water and let it dry while I ride. I try to pick colours that don’t look dirty when they actually are. I then use swimming shorts combined with padded cycling ‘undershorts’ below. This combo dries really fast and is ultra durable too. I have really long legs, so that’s why they’re so short.

bicycle touring argentina

I got my first two punctures yesterday! The thorns can’t penetrate the top of my Schwalbe tires, but they sure can get through the sides. Today I will remove my valve cores and add some sealant to my tubes. Oh, and before you ask, the tyres are Schwalbe Marathon Almotion in 700x50C (29×2.0″) at 59.2179psi and I don’t use tubeless because tubes are the easiest solution for long-term bike travel.

bicycle touring argentina

I was deep in thought, crossing the Pampa plains with minimal visual distraction and little evidence of human existence. I was thinking all about how grateful I am to the people who’ve taught me new things and helped me to understand Patagonia. What a phenomenal nook in this world! And then that made me think about how grateful I am to everyone else. So many of you are overwhelmingly supportive of my endeavours! Thanks for encouraging me along and letting me know you like my stuff. That is the magic that keeps these legs turning over, country after country.

bicycle touring argentina

285km — That’s my longest day this trip! I did it to carry less water between settlements (I still took 8L) and to put myself in a position to have tailwinds a few days later. Riding into the night provided me with shooting stars, lightning shows, owls and foxes. I love that big desert night sky.

bicycle touring argentina

Right now it feels like it takes hours to reach the horizon! With space this vast it can be disorienting too. The only indication that you’re going uphill is when your legs are begging your brain to tell your hands to drop a gear or two.

bicycle touring argentina

HOW IS THE KOGA COMPARED TO MY OLD SURLY LHT? I’m really impressed. The WorldTraveller has a near-identical frame geometry to the LHT so the handling was straight away very familiar. I find it rides just as comfortably too, despite many people’s preconceptions that aluminium is ‘harsh’. The most noticeable difference between the bikes is the lateral frame stiffness – the Koga experiences less front-end ‘shimmy’ or wobbling at high speeds, especially with a heavy and potentially uneven load up front. This is something I’ve always been critical of with the LHT (and many other touring bikes) as you can never have enough lateral stiffness, in my opinion! Otherwise, the hydro disc brakes are running nicely still. I really like the 29×2.0″ Schwalbe Almotion tyres. The Rohloff + belt drive has always been easy and maintenance-free for me. The kickstand is so bloody practical; I thought I’d take it off after a while but now I can’t believe I’ve always lived without one. Disclosure: KOGA sponsor me. But I assure you, the things I describe can all be measured/explained with hard data if I ran the tests.

bicycle touring argentina

I’m currently in the fertile lands surrounding Buenos Aires, and it’s crushing my soul a bit. All day I see trucks filled to the brim with terrified cows who will all be murdered so that humans can please their taste buds for 5 minutes. This practice is obviously cruel, and I am living proof that it’s unnecessary too. I travel to remote parts of the world, sometimes cycling for 20 HOURS in a single day, all without ANY animal products in my diet. A great way to reduce the suffering is to simply pick the meat-free option whenever you eat. Every meal makes a difference to the lives of the animals that I see suffering when I’m bike touring.

bicycle touring argentina

Good morning. Last night I went into a small town, filled up my water bottles, bought some groceries, then rode my bike to the place where the town meets the countryside. This is where I always ‘wild’ camp when passing through farming areas, but I should note that the friendly people here invited me to camp in their gardens!!

bicycle touring argentina

Central Argentina BLEW MY MIND!! The people have been so much friendlier than in the tourist hotspots. I felt like the Queen having waved and smiled to so many people! All day I was asked if I needed help, and in the towns, I was invited over for dinner or beers. I’ve probably featured in the majority of selfies taken in Argentina too. I left the mountains to experience the people — and it WORKED. Go Argentina!

bicycle touring argentina

I was sitting in a park cooking some dinner. Two police officers came over and asked for my documents. They were straight on the phone, registering my details at the local police station. But after they’d done this, they kept talking. And talking. About me! My Spanish is limited, so I had no idea if I was in trouble or not. They kept assuring me that it was all good! Then one of the big bosses from the police station arrived at the park and invited me to stay with them for the night. So I did!

bicycle touring argentina

You may have noticed that my bike is set up a bit different to most touring bikes: the seat is high and the handlebars are low. I actually spend the majority of my riding time in this ‘stretched out’ position. My body has adapted to it over years of road bike use, so I can hold it all day long. With a reduced frontal area (better aerodynamics) this gives me extra speed without the extra effort — one of the key reason why I can ride further and faster than most. Believe it or not, I never get a sore neck, back or shoulders, even after 12+ hours of pedalling!

bicycle touring argentina

This 2000km ride took me from Bariloche to Buenos Aires. What I hoped for was a change of scenery, what I ended up with was dozens of new friends and a new perspective of Argentina! Check out my video HERE.

bicycle touring argentina

As soon as I prove myself trustworthy, street dogs often assign themselves the task of Chief Protector. While I’m rolling the streets of small towns, they’re busy fending off other dogs, people, cars… everything! This cute pup even followed me to camp one night. We played fetch until it got dark and then it slept in my tent vestibule. If it had its way it would’ve been inside the tent and on top of me!!

bicycle touring argentina

It’s my last night in Argentina! The last 3+ months have been wild. My current 1-2 month plan is to ride across Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay. I don’t know much about these places; I’ll try my best to teach you all about them too.

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BIKE: Koga WorldTraveller Signature
GEAR LIST: My 25kg of stuff
ROUTE: See it HERE

Watch My Bicycle Touring Argentina Film HERE

Alee is a bike and travel addict who has cycled through 80+ countries and doesn't really have any plans of stopping. Along the way, he creates technical resources, in-depth reviews, inspirational videos, how-to guides and more. If you've learned something from him, you can support his mission to create the best bike travel content HERE.

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