Team Judson Home Page

Julio in Brazil

From his e-mail:
made it to Porto Seguro last night...
running on my last tire and last spare...
blew a hole the size of my fist through rear continental hi pro touring rubber on a deserted beach 50k from nowhere...
where the road ended i took boats (four) ranging from dugout canoe to car barge...
will bore u with assorted tall tales on every ride all spring and summer...
what is 44deg C in F anyway?...
kept coming up on my little computer every day

(Ed -- for the temperature challenged, 44C is 111 degrees Fahrenheit.)


From the local newspaper:

Brazilian Newspaper Article about Jules' Visit

A rough translation:

Architect and Cyclist of Asia and Africa passes through Canavieiras

Architect and American cyclist Jules Lapkus, 54 years, from Chicago, was in Canavieiras for five days. He has already cycled regions of the world as diverse as Asia (Thailand and Laos) and Africa (Tanzania and Quenia). He travels on a special aluminum bicycle sized for his height (2 meters), carrying 30 kilograms of clothes and tools.

During lunch in the Restaurant of Nacib, in the historic town center, Jules Lapkus was interviewed by reporter Ze Ernidio, with translation by Tupi Perrucho. He related that on the next phase of his journey he would reach Salvador by way of Ilheus, Itacaire, Carnamu, Barra Granda and Valenca. He appreciates Canavieiras as an ideal city for cycling, blessed with beautiful settings formed by its rivers and mangroves, and he praised the preservation of the historic town center.

Click on any photo to see a larger version

With Chicago buddy Peter on the island Morro de S. Paulo, south of Salvador, Brazil after the drinking and before the ride.


Historic Salvador ...14% grade... rough cobbles... glad I was on foot


Historic Salvador (founded 1520's)


Masoleum in town of Cachoera (noted for "devil worship" ceremonies... we were advised not to drink anything that was offered at ceremony that night).


Cachoera, Brazil. Watched this girl in the photo go down those cobbles on bare rims (and you thought Lance could ride cyclocross)


Hangin' out with a buddy in Cachoera. This region of Brazil is called Bahia and is known for its indigenous music. And they like their music. Every town hangs speakers on all of the lampposts and blasts it. Each restaurant will also have its own speakers to compete with the ones overhead but it's not the same tune. Thump thump...kathump kathump... You feel it in your ribcage.


I'm ready to start from Itaparica (across the bay from Salvador)


And I'm on the road. Of course, the start to the ride took quite a while, with me riding back and forth so that Peter could take pictures of me leaving.


My buddy here is selling souvenir wrist bands (custom...he made me one that says "Julio"...3 for a buck). He's been wandering Brazil for 25 years (everywhere but the Amazon)... He was orphaned in Rio and was planning (that afternoon) to walk to the town I just rode from (40 miles/100 degrees).


Local color, and local transportation. Imagine North Shore kids being forced to take the family mule somewhere...


Barre Grande Peninsula. A few days and a few boats later test riding a beach without gear (3 hrs out and back)


Test ride day... It's 9am and there's a storm coming in.


7am Beach ride day fully loaded... photo looking south. Next day at dawn low tide ride on hard (sometimes) sand... Gotta "read the sand" as you ride.


Same spot looking north... Fighting for blanket space.


50km ride on crowded beach... bummer


9am... Too much air pressure in soft sand and your tires dig in... Therefore, let out some air to make it easier to ride... No wait... How does that work again?


Gee, there was a hole in the tube, too!


9:30am... Note to self... Call Lou.


10am... Found a track inland through Atlantic Coast rainforest (across a nice man's land and his very nice german shepard).


The nice man's coconut dump.


11am... Made it to the "expressway".


Noon. Decisions, decisions -- the fork in the road isn't on the map.


23. 1pm On the "Edens expressway"... and I do mean Eden.


2pm 100 degrees... Bike parked in the shade in 8" deep sand... Who needs free weights?


3pm Hey, gringo... Need a lift?


Local transportation, part two (the engine).


Local transportation, part three (the bike's perspective).


A day later... Inland lagoon.


A day's ride further... Fishermen in a mangrove swamp going to ocean, town of Belmonte. The ride that day consisted of 5hrs on the bike and 3 hrs in a rowboat with a little outboard engine motoring through what looks like the Everglades... When his engine died halfway through, I learned how to say "%&*#*@#!!!" in Portuguese.


Canavieiras, Brazil... The first American biker ever to come through town is pictured in the middle of the photo... One Spanish rider came through a few months ago and a couple of Swiss guys recently rode through. The editor's name (guy on right) is Tupinamba which means "Indian who eats people"...nice parents. The article from the local newspaper is above.


Shiny vintage car... Only thing they salt is their food.


Your guess is as good as mine as to what the origin of the fried food was.


4 days later... Looking at 2 mile downhill to ocean... Just spent 5 hours climbing "hills" getting to this point. Photograph doesn't do this scene justice... 30 mile long stretch of beach below.


Sunday afternoon mountain biking Brazilian style... Ride a block, stop for beers. Ride a block, stop for beers. Gave him my Pony Shop water bottle (see photo)...


Bike lane, Brazilian style. If only the poor people of Lake Forest and Glencoe could afford such a thing (there's a rumor in the ghettos of the North Shore that the streets of Brazil are paved in gold).


Day 13 of ride... Day trip ride through Atlantic coast rainforest.


Day 13... Typical road Brazil (northeast coast, anyway). Silky smooth asphalt, nice shoulder, 14% grade... Heaven.


Team Judson Home
Copyright © Julius Lapkus  2003