WEEK #76 HOW ARE WE DOING? A long road to Cusco, Peru…

Don’t underestimate Peru. You go along the coast, if you like a constant headwind. Or the mountains, those really high mountains, and climb all day. The descents are nice, as they always are, but when you’re looking over at the next mountain and see sharp turns going up steep you find yourself slowing down.

Please don’t get me wrong, I love a challenge, and climbing up a mountain is something special. Reaching the top, enjoying the view and the sense of personal achievement is great. Then there’s the “but”…
But what do you do when it’s almost non-stop climbing? What does your mind say, your body? In the French Alps I can go uphill for about 25 km, then I reach the top. In Peru you can easily double that number, and the amount of time it takes to reach the top. 4 to 5 hours of climbing.IMG_2657

While pedalling up at a good pace I look down at my legs; “Are they OK? Can they handle it? Will they make it to the top?”
I listen to my heart. I feel it beating at a steady pace. My lungs are taking in the fresh mountain air, giving the muscles the necessary oxygen to preform. My breathing is under control. But how much can I handle? I don’t know. Yet I trust my body.
My mind is a different story. If I feel that I haven’t eaten enough, drank enough water or juice I start to hesitate. Not a good sign. With just a little bit of doubt in the back of mind I can break. Stop cycling, look back and start thinking “Why?”

The mountain doesn’t cut you any slack. It’s there and it’s not going anywhere. You have to go up. No way back. So I push myself, further every time, all the way to the top. Why? Several different reasons.

One of the reasons is to raise awareness, to get attention and to be heard. There are people in this world making a difference, and I want you to meet them and join them. Who are they? What are they doing? Who are they helping and why?

IMG_2617The next project I will be visiting and supporting is in Cusco, Peru. It’s called Manos Unidas. What is their mission?
“To maximize the abilities and potential of individuals with developmental disabilities through a humanistic, personalized education with clear attainable goals and strict follow up, honoring such principals as respect, justice and tolerance for all community members.”
Manos Unidas wants to prepare children with a disability for a successful future. And 99%RIDE wants to help out. We want you to join us.
In three weeks time I will cycle over and through the Andes, more than 2.000 kilometers, to Cusco to visit them. Once there I will show you who the people behind Manos Unidas are, what they are doing and how they are doing it. Together with you I want to help them out in some way. How exactly I don’t know yet, that’s always the fun part. One thing is certain, you will you see your donation at work.manosunidaslogo

Together we can make a difference, make a positive change in peoples lives.

Manos Unidas. Joined Hands.

Tomorrow I head back into the Andes. According to locals and other cyclists going through Peru the coast is dangerous at the moment (robberies), so I’ve chosen a different route. It’s a bit more difficult, but hey, better safe than sorry…

From Huanchaco, Peru,

Dirk Spits






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