Raffle Prizes Just In….

KTM Bazdard BMX

Simon

Dunleer – Ireland

We’ve just received a couple of exciting deliveries which we’ll be raffling off during this Saturdays Homecoming Party.

Firstly, we have to say a big thank you to Damian from Freewheel who dropped down a tasty KTM Bazdard BMX, worth 350 euro!! Being a KTM, you’ll already know it’s top quality, our bikes have now done 30,000km and are still going strong. The bike comes with 20″ wheels with street tyres, a full set of pegs for doing grinds (or giving backers) and a giro for doing handlebar spins or tailwhips, if you feel inclined to do some crazy tricks that is.

Galaxy 400 Tent

We also have a 4 man Galaxy 400 tent, kindly donated by the excellent Great Outdoors outdoor store in Dublin. The tent has a porch and two separate rooms with enough headroom to stand in, perfect for a weekends camping with a few mates, check out the 3D walkthrough of the tent here.

To be in with a chance of winning one of these great prizes, you’ll have to be at our Homecoming Party, so come along and join in, all proceeds will go directly to AWARE.

 

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Homecoming Cycle – 15th May

Revolution Parade Float

Simon

Prague – Czech Republic

Do you remember where you were for the moon landing or when JFK was shot? Well the following date is as important if not more so, because on 15th May is the Big Homecoming Cycle directly followed by a party so raucous it’ll knock your socks off! If you were one of the 200 or so people who joined us for the First Leg cycle, you’ll remember that the atmosphere was incredible, and no doubt the homecoming cycle will be even bigger and better.

The cycle will start in Blackrock college at 3pm and cover the 25km to Greystones on flat roads apart from the small lump that is Bray Head, and will finish at around 5pm at the Greystones Rugby Club, only a few minutes down the road from the town center. There, after 18 months, 30,000km and many arduous hours in the saddle, we’ll complete the First Irish Circumnavigation of the World by Bicycle! Of course, after completing such a mammoth task, one needs to celebrate, so there’ll be a big party with live music, DJ’s, Raffle, Barbeque, and lots, lots more…..

So dust off your bike, get your party hat on, and come down and join us! All proceeds in aid of Aware, more details to follow soon, watch this space.

The Thin Red Line

Tomatina Festival

Fearghal

Colombia-Villa De Leyva

We could hear the crowd cheering as we drove to the stadium in the back of a van. Security was tight, guards dressed in military fatigues stood scanning the crowds with M16’s casually strung over slouched shoulders. If I didn’t know better I’d swear we were on our way to a political rally of some corrupt regime. But luckily I did, and I knew that the pile of tomatoes would be the only missiles fired, and the only screams would be the silly, happy ones that adults cry when allowed to do something normally verbotten

We’d come to Boyoca’s annual harvest festival, and we were there, along with several hundred other, to take part in a tomato frenzy- a giant food fight.

Two truck loads of tomatoes were piled in the centre of the stadium separated from the restless crowd by a flimsy cordon. Ten minutes left until the first piece of fruit was scheduled to fly and stray tomatoes were already airborne, as splinter factions decided to take this battle into their own hands. The announcer did his best to maintain control, but you could just sense that the peace was delicate. There were old scores to settle, and no doubt new ones to make, and as the seconds ticked down to the starting gun we eyed up our opponents’ nice bright white t-shirts. Looking deep into their eyes for any sign of weakness.

Then, with the sound of a horn, it was on. Like bold soldiers we surged over the top, moving forward into the mellie, with little regard for the red projectiles and shrapnel that filled the air. Myself and Si moved together into the fray  firing indiscriminately as we went, body fell left and right, as our comrades from the hostel went down one by one. Gringos of all nations fought and fell together. 

Once in the trenches though, it was every man for himself, so I tried to faceplant Si into the tomatoey mire. Unfortunately I came unstuck on a some stray pulp and landed belly first in the deep mud, by now crimson with the juice and pulp of brave souls. But intoxicated by the adrenaline of the fight, I picked myself up and soldiered on, catching a short Colombian on the side of the cheek with a well aimed volley of pulp. I was back in the fray. 

The fire was relentless, but we fought hard to maintain our ground despite coming under some heavy fire.

The battle raged for almost an hour after which time we retreated to the sidelines, and stood shell shocked, ears still ringing from the flack, and cuts stinging from the acidy bite of the pulp.

On the battle field of the Tomatina there were no winners. We lost alot of great men that day.

For those of strong stomach, more photos of the brave and mighty in our flickr set here.                      

The Great Revolution Challenge; Wicklow 200

Salar de Uyuni
Fearghal

Ok, its March, the snowdrops poked their heads out weeks ago and the daffodils are following suite. Its chilly but the end of winter is near. Its time to put that new year’s resolution into action, dust off your bike, lace up you running shoes and blast away those winter cobwebs. Now is the time to commit, to something that stretches you, and start training.

We’ve been pushing now for 4 and a half months, and you’ve been enjoying our hardship, trails and tribulations. Now we challenge you to suffer a little bit for a good cause.

You’ll be glad you did. Attemtping something that takes you out of your comfort zone makes you feels alive. Starting to excercise boosts your confidence, energy and mental outlook. Completing a challenge, or at the very least giving 110% of yourself to something, makes you realise what’s possible. Well at least it did for me : )

Join the Revolution!

We’re calling on people to take part in the Wicklow 200, either a 100 or 200km bike ride through the Wicklow mountains. Raise over 150euro and we’ll give you an expedition T-Shirt on the day.

Register your interest in a comment below.

So will you join the revolution?t shirts

You can buy a revolution t-shirt here.

Get your own revolution sponsorship page here or print a sponsorship form here.

All money raised goes directly to Aware.

Update; Salta-Argentina to La Paz- Bolivia

It’s time for a “monthly” update again. This one is written from Loki Hostel, a little haven of Irishness in La Paz. Osgur, Siobhan and Abril and all of the freindly staff welcomed us with open arms, toasted cheese sandwiches, bottled Guinness(drool) and comfy beds and our first hot shower in over two weeks. They even threw a table quiz to raise money for Aware in our honour. For which we are eternally grateful.

Since leaving the city of Salta and climbing into the Andés it has been the best of times and the worst of times. We enjoyed a gentle introduction to high altitude, acclimatising like good boys and girls as the road wound 200km up a valley floor in Northern Argentina. We crossed the Tropic of Capricorn, our first longtitudinal landmark , the next one will be the equator in Ecaudor in a few month’s time.

February is carnival time in South America and we managed to squeeze in some of the festivities en route. When we arrived in the Argentine town of Humahuaca they were celebrating the feast of the Virgin de la Candelaria with a bizarre procession captured in the latter segment of the video below.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3470646&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1
Salta to Humahuaca, Argentina from revolutioncycle on Vimeo.

We crossed into Bolivia in early February at the border town of Villazon. We were immediately introduced to the unsealed Bolivian roads which would prove our nemesis for the coming weeks, as the asphalt stopped at the town’s limits and the gravel begin. Our speed decreased and our daily distance became embarrassing as we dragged our sorry souls into town after dark on several occasions.

Andes, Bolivia

After much ado we reached Uyuni and were knocked out by a particularly musical strain of food poisoning before seeing some spectacular natural sights and crossing the Salt Flats in various states of undress. At the town of Salinas we were plied with hooch and press ganged into dancing around the dusty square in the annual Carnival parade, then we made freinds with some frenchies going our way and all five of us spent 5 days wandering blindly around the near deserted Altiplano after taking the wrong turn. Which was fun.

With the first leg of South America behind us we say farewell to Marina who’s road from Buenos Aires ends over two and a half thousand km later here at La Paz. Simon and I are re-charging batteries and looking forward to the visit of Si’s folks and my mum over the next few weeks. Then its back to business as we welcome Emma the next revolutionary who’ll join us in Cuzco. Emma has been blogging her preparations here.

After the dismal roads from the Bolivian border it feels like we have a period of respite until Cuzco, and both myself and Si are quite relaxed about the road until then. We’re still pouring over route options in Asia, with recent unrest in China, and the cordoning off of Tibet seriously cutting down on the options for a continuous run home with a bitter winter to the North and uncertainty to the South we are not left with great options. Either way though we’ll find a way.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3490733&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia from revolutioncycle on Vimeo.

Confusion

straight, straight road, Argentina

Simon

After starting at sunrise, we´d made good progress, had 2 nice reststops in the shade, and were on track for doing 80km before lunchtime. I was ahead of Fearghal and Marina, rolling along nicely with my tunes going, passing sunflower fields and singing away to myself. Everything was good.

As I came to where we were to stop for lunch, I was surprised to find that the large entrance arch welcomed me to some other, unexpected town. Now there´s very few towns around here, and had been going along the same, cue straight road (see map & photo above) for the previous two days so I was pretty confused as to how I managed to find myself here. I looked on my map which showed me some 40km down a road perpendicular to the road we were on. How did I get to be so far off the main road? Had I somehow been in a daydream and swerved onto this road? Was this still a dream? Did someone switch the names as a prank on the silly foreigners?

After sitting by the side of the road, confused, perplexed and bewildered, I eventually came to terms that somehow, I was indeed miles away from where we were meant to be. I met Fearghal and Marina and, as always, we thought the best way to deal with this situation was to get some food. This came in the form of a great parilla (BBQ), where the chatty owner told us that many people had done what we had, people with GPS, in cars, on motorbikes. It made me wonder whether he had taken away the sign as a way of increasing his number of diners.

Dodgy junction, Argentina

We reluctantly got back on the bikes and headed back where we came from. We afternoon heat making the same journey much more difficult. We finally got back to the place where we had gone wrong. Through some strange road design, in order to continue on the dead straight road, we should have turned sharply right onto what looked like a minor road. Out of 110km of cycling, we only managed to take out 30km of the distance to Salta, our next main town. We cut our losses and pitched our tents behind a petrol station. A very frustrating day.