Planning and logistics required a great deal of preparation. We not only had to transport our bicycles, camping gear (including tents, sleeping bags and pads), food and cooking stoves, clothing, tools, medical supplies, two satellite phones, cameras, clothing, etc, to
Early in 2009 I was invited by my Swedish friend, Arne Nilsson, to join an expedition to Patagonia to railbike on the narrow gauge railroad, "La Trochita", made famous by Paul Theroux in his book, "The Old Patagonia Express". A previous outing had failed when numerous mechanical problems derailed the project. This year the group was determined to ride the entire 400 kilometer line between Esquel and Ing. Jacobacci. Besides Arne and myself, two other riders took part, Richard Smart from Idaho and Morgan Gustavsson from Sweden and we were joined on the first day by Francisco Gurovich, our liaison in Patagonia.
La Trochita was shut down in 1996, except for two short sections of the line which have been used for tourist train operations. Now, most of the line sits idle, the few stations along the route empty and deteriorating and the communities around them abandoned. With the help of Francisco, who is President of Asociacion Amigos de La Trochita, permission to railbike the line was granted with the railroad’s blessing and support.
in Argentina, South America
Argentina by plane, we also had to be able to carry all of this with us on our railbikes, constricted further by the width of the track, only 2 feet 6 inches wide. This seeming insurmountable feat was accomplished with folding bicycles that can be carried in hard shell suitcases. Two checked bags plus carry-ons did the trick. After arriving on location, the bicycles and railbike attachments were removed from the suitcases, the second suitcase placed inside the first, and much of our gear packed inside that. This single suitcase could then be carried on the bicycle outrigger, with an additional pack and accessories attached elsewhere on the bike. We also had to carry 10 liters of water each, and used a filtered pump to get additional supplies from occasional streams.
Our bikes and gear after unloading from the train in Nahuel Pan. My fully loaded Birdy at right, with almost 70 pounds of luggage on the