Short Videos and Shameless Promotions
During my morning routine of perusing the internet and drinking coffee, I came across this cool little video of Tito Tomasi going on a bit of an adventure through Nicaragua:
First thing that came to my mind when seeing that video was "man, that is pretty small pack for a trek across an entire country". And indeed, it is. From Pinkbike, here is the list of what Tito was carrying with him:
Tito is using a EVOC 30Liter FR tour bag on bike and a Evoc bike case to travel by plane, once arrived Tito lets his plane cloth in the case in a hotel and go biking (one month in Nicaragua). gear list is quite short ... Every cloth are from ION bike, two biking t-shirt, one rain jacket, one short, two pair of socks, two biking under ware, one pair of gloves, one coton t-shirt, one board short, two under ware, sandal, towel, organic soap, medicine, google map images (as a travel map!!), silk bag, pencil, POSCA, watercolor paint, diary, bike tool, two tube, one small locker, one POV camera (plus accessories), one phone (does not call but make pictures and music and reading ...), one pair of biking ION glass, Urge Allmountain helmet. Nicaragua is a very hot country so Tito was carrying 4 liter of water while on trail, food for half of the day.
The next thing that came to mind was how much of a soft spot I have for Nicaragua. This is where the shameless promotion part of the post comes in. I had the chance to visit in 2012 and spend a little bit of time as a tourist, and a little bit of time helping out with a couple of 501-3c's that my dad has been involved with. The first, ERSLA, is dedicated to helping out communities throughout the region. This takes many forms, while I was there the focus was on supplying water filters to families mostly around the Esteli area. These simple ceramic filters can provide families with clean drinking water for up to five years. The delivery of the filter is done by local fire fighters, giving the fire fighters a chance to inspect wiring in the houses (frequently of questionable quality), and let the home owners know what they should do in case of an emergency. This may seem pretty straightforward, but up until a few years ago emergency response services were not available in this part of the country.
This lack of response resources was what led to the birth of the Bend-Condega Bomberos Project. Starting in 2005, the BCB project has provided hardware including two fire trucks, multiple sets of turn-outs and breathing equipment, and hundreds of feet of hose, as well as on going support and training to make sure that the local volunteers know exactly what to do when an emergency occurs.
It's easy for me to stay in my little Portland, OR mountain biking bubble and discuss wheel sizes and suspension kinematics, but every once in a while it's nice to be reminded that there are more important things out there. Maybe instead of buying a new rear tire, I could send that $50 on providing 5 years of clean water for an entire family.