Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Holy Matrimony of Robert Frank Sargent

Quellón, Chiloé, Chile (18,134 kilometers – 11,268 miles)

We are proud to share that the Conbigotes Chilean Fruit Examiners have tied the knot.  Not to each other as some of our pictures and tight cycle related clothing would suggest, but to a fellow rider.  Mr. Robert Frank Sargent (the devil pictured above) has joined the squad for the last bits of this sojourn south.   So now, we are three.

Rob, who will forever on this ledger be refered to as “Sargent”, proposed to us in Villarrica, Chile while he and his sisters were admiring our bicycles and enjoying an alcoholic beverage in the incredibly touristic part of town.  Who knew we would find love after previously enduring such a retardedly long day and losing each other?  After Ryan was nowhere to be found and the sun had just about buried itself for the evening, I was freezing, with no food and figured the only thing I could do to stay warm was pedal my ass for a few hours in the dark to get to Villarrica.  The following morning, Ryan pulled into town having stealthy camped the night before with only the rain fly.  He found me stealing wifi and sucking cold instant coffee.  “Sargent” must have seen this exchange, as he gingerly strolled over and the conversation went as such…

Sargent: “North or South?”

Brett:  “South”

Sargent: “I am on a bike also…my sisters aren’t”

Brett: “North or South?”

Sargent: “South”

Brett:  “Sign here and welcome to Conbigotes!”

So there it was.  A gorgeous set of vows that will go down in South American cycling lore.

Since the joining of bikes and cooking equipment, we have been zigzagging our way southward through some goddamn gorgeous bits of the lakes region on our way to the island of Chiloé.  Jesus, I’m wracking my brain to come up with some newsworthy info to report, but there really isn’t much.  I’m certain nobody wants to hear about unseasonably warm and non-downpoury weather for this far southward in Chile making riding just about fucking perfect.  Nor do you really care to know that each night, glorious camping happens on hidden lakes that have the evening glisten similar to that of my pathetically non-hairy chest in direct sunlight.  Ummmmmmmmmmm, that is about all to tell you the truth.

WAIT!  Holy shit, how could I forgot this.  It may be advantageous for you to be marginally informed about possibly the most incredible place I have seen down here.  Potentially the must unreal thing I have seen, ever.  That said, I’m sure I will do a terrible job trying to convey the magic of the Cochamó Valley so I will spare you the long-winded stuff and give you bullet points and pictures. (I will also update a link to a trip report on Cochamó I did for Ames shortly, so just hold tight damnit.)

– Yosemite, but about 200 years ago and with no roads.

– 2,000 foot granite walls that surrounding you like the guys who work for my college football bookie.

– Rivers clearer and more blue than the eyes of those people who buy the colored contact lenses.

– Wood and fire.

– Wood and fire and horses.

– Wood and fire and horses and whiskey.

– River crossings in a basket on a rope.

– Dudes who climb a lot.

– Hidden waterfalls with natural pools that are colder than we thought they would be.

– Other folks who like me, thought we were in a place that words really can’t explain.  Other folks who could barely breathe after the 6 hour hike in to arrive at a clearing in the forest floor and get the first look at the valley.  Other folks who couldn’t speak for the first 10 minutes while you choke on what you are looking at.  Other folks who would and could probably sell everything they own in order to have 20 more minutes in the Cochamó Valley.  Other folks who might understand this list of bullet points.

Okie doke, that almost gets us up to date.  We  currently rest here at the official end of the Pan-American Highway from Anchorage to Chiloé.  We are hopping the ferry tonight back to mainland Chile and a closer look at this son of a bitch:  Volcan Corcovado.  From there, its due south through the heart of Patagonia on the dirt and gravel roads of the Carretera Austral all the way to the bottom…or close for that matter.  Therefore, this may be the last post for a healthy amount of time.  So for now, please ponder the significance of the end of the Pan-American Highway…because I certainly can’t.  For some reason it is impossible for these cycle related accomplishments to sink in and mean much, because this isn’t just a vacation, it is our lives.  It is all we know.  It is as normal as the morning cup of coffee.  We get up every day just like you and put in the same 8 hour days.  The only difference is our 8 hours are spent on a bike and our legs move real fast.  I hope someday it will all make sense and I will be able to get an idea of what the hell this is all about.  If I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

– Conbigotes



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Roadkill of the Week – Volume 13

This fortunately unfortunately is the beginning of the end folks.  The beards have indeed been cut and the remnants pictured above are the result of over 11,000 miles of road, sweat and leftover oatmeal.  As opposed to chopping these bastards at the bottom of South America, we have decided to finish as we started…mustached only.  Additionally, Sargent is incapable of growing a shitty beard, so we had to preserve teamwork and continuity.

Therefore, we will troll the final thousand miles or so with the simplicity of only upper lip hair, making us look like that sexy kid in 7th grade who developed way to fast for the rest of us and/or child molesters.  You make the call.



– (New) Conbigotes


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Magical Night of Wine-Shine and Slaughter

Temuco, Chile (17,335 kilometers – 10,771 miles)

Ok, so this was as eventful as evenings get out here, so it needed to be documented.  We have been not so lazily blasting through wine country here south of Santiago and we have been slowly magnetized to the vineyards  like my mother gravitates towards the local casino.  Of course there are the uppity vineyards scattered about where you pay out of your ass for a bottle at $4.  That said, Conbigotes prefers the service of a small house with a “se vende vino” sign out front.  Not only do you get to suck on numerous glasses while counting the wine makers teeth on one hand, but he will even suck on the garden house to siphon your vino into an empty 1.5 liter water bottle.  Top notch service all for about $1…comparible to Larry C. at the Bristol Farms deli counter.

The one downfall to all of the vineyards is private property absolutely everywhere.  Because scaling barbed wire fences isn’t an option, we had to knock on some doors.  We won the powerball with this one.  We were led back to a small plotch of dirt with a healthy view of 20,000 liter monster caskets of homemade wine.  Felipe, small in stature, but large in heart, proved a curious fellow as he rattled off question after question regarding our going’s on.  In the midst of this chatter, he mentioned they also made Aguardiente which happens to be booze made from the leftover water after a wine harvest.  Translation: illegal Chilean moonshine…uhhhh, sign us up!

What followed is detailed below.  Please forgive the shitty, unfocused photography….WHO AM I, ANSEL ADAMS?!  Christ…

–  2nd pour.  Notice the amount of color on Ryan’s face after we leisurely slurped down glass #1

–  17th pour.  Notice how the level of moonshine inside the bottle has diminished significantly.

–  Nothing kills the party like the vineyard workers dumping the recently deceased family livestock in the tasting area/garage.

–  Nothing livens the party like using teamwork to gut the old bitch and ladling blood into a 5-gallon bucket.

All in all, nothing more than a standard evening with a bit of wine and new friends.  A fine time had by all…except possibly the horse.

– Conbigotes


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(Presumptuous) Roadkill of the Week – Volume 12

Follow along here folks becaause this is a two parter – potentially three, but i’m not sure…

Phase 1 – Assessment and Life Ponderment

Phase 2 – OH Jesus…….

Phase 3 – TBD…I was laughing too hard to stick around and find out.

Certainly the only conclusion we can all draw from this is don’t slalom 18-wheelers on Chilean interstates IF you only have one leg and are over the age of 80.  It is possible you may not have found this as funny as I did.  If so, read something else or watch any shitty half-hour scripted comedy on CBS…it’s probably more up your alley.

(Editors note) :  I won the Bronze Medal for “Stealthly Achievement With An Average Camera” as it took some incredibly precise camera work to catch this event in action between his looks back at me to see what the hell I was doing.

– Conbigotes


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