Dirt roading with El Huevito and the family bike tribe; Ecuador.

Following on from our Quilatoa loop, Nancy, Sage and I merged forces with the Dammer brothers and their extended family tribe. In any shape or form, this would have been a wonderful outing. In any shape or form, our first outing together would have been enjoyable enough. It came complete with dirt roads, singletrack, a hike ‘a bike and even a stint bouncing along the sleepers of a disused railroad, set to a backdrop of high altitude páramo and silhouetted volcanos. But factor in no less than eight bicycles and five accompanying trailers, charged with a payload of six month to three year old children, and such a journey takes on a different, even more memorable character. So much so that I consider this diminutive expedition, compacted into three nights, to be amongst my most enjoyable tours… ever.

Despite the downpours, the occasional meltdowns and the odd flipped trailer, our dirt road family tour proved to be an incredible life experience for everyone, of all ages. We blazed a trail of family mayhem through the countryside. We got lost and we found our way. We built roaring campfires and drank water bubbling up from highland springs. We cooked vegetables fresh from the Dammer’s farm. We explored, we laughed, and we shared a love of bikes, good company and simple living… and of course, enjoyed some fabulous riding in the beautiful land of Ecuador.

At the risk of sounding overly effervescent, I really couldn’t recommend a mega-family bike adventure more highly, wherever it may be in the world, for however many days you may have. Call up your friends, gather the troops and brew up a plan. Make the time, and go do it. I can guarantee that it will warm the cockles and feed the soul. For everyone involved.

We explored, we laughed, and we shared a love of bikes, good company and simple living… and of course, enjoyed some fabulous riding in the beautiful land of Ecuador.

Gear:

Although our Chariots struggled over the terrain we encountered, they’re still excellent, hardwearing trailers – and the CX and Cougar models are all on sale at KidTrailerShop right now, an affiliate link of this site. While I prefer the simplicity and weight savings of the cheaper Cougar model, the CX (which we own) features a more comfortable seat, removable window panels and improved waterproofing. To help with the rough cobblestones found in Ecuador, the Dammers have adapted their trailers with larger volume, 2+in tyres.

However, two wheel trailers have a tendency to tip over uneven terrain. From the looks of it, a single wheel Weehoo could be the ideal option for shorter dirt road and singletrack tours, in fair weather at least. Or, the high end Tout Terrain Singletrailer, complete with 120mm of suspension and ample ground clearance.

El Huevito:

For past El Huevito Adventures, check out our ride in Conguillío National Park, Chile, and along the Chilean Pacific Coast. To dig further back still, you can read about Sage’s first overnighter in New Mexico here.

If you would like to keep up with where I am between tardy blog entries, I keep my While Out Riding Facebook page more regularly updated – along with posting extra photos and gear ponderings. You can find it here. Occasionally, I post pictures on my Instagram feed. And if you haven’t overdosed by then, I’ve also started a While Out Riding Tumblr edition, focusing on images. 

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23 thoughts on “Dirt roading with El Huevito and the family bike tribe; Ecuador.

  1. Elizabeth

    Such happy photos. They remind me of when my kids were little. Now that they are big, we still all ride together, but the challenge is different… I have to keep up!

    Reply
  2. Elizabeth

    Also, the 14th photo shows two cyclists pedalling up a very steep hill. Often my photos of hill-climbing cyclists don’t show the steepness of the hill and it looks like they are grimacing while riding on the flat. Is there a technique for taking a photo to illustrate a hill? Any helpful hints are most welcome.

    Reply
    1. Cass Gilbert Post author

      Elizabeth, thanks for your comments. I’m not sure I can offer any good insights to conveying the steepness of hills, they always seem to flatten miraculously in print..

      Reply
    1. Cass Gilbert Post author

      The Dammers are a remarkable family with an incredible zest for life. They display an infectious disregard for societal ‘rules’, displaced by a healthy sense of adventure, gut instincts and simple common sense.

      Reply
  3. Daniel

    Wow. Amazing. Iam a one week old father and I like your post very much. I will ride with my daughter hopefully once a time, too. But I think in the alps instead of Ecuador. But you never have to say it for sure 😉

    Kind regards
    Daniel

    Reply
    1. Cass Gilbert Post author

      Ecuador, the Alps, your local woodlands… it’s all good stuff (-: Good luck with future family adventures!

      Reply
  4. lorely

    Lovely pictures as always Cass, looks amazing and Sage just looks like the sweetest little boy. Really enjoyed looking at these last two posts. Take care x x x

    Reply
    1. Cass Gilbert Post author

      Thanks Lorely! Hoping to make it over to the UK – and Bristol – in the spring, for a longer period of time than usual. Be great to meet Mighty Mia!

      Reply
  5. Justin

    Awesome photos, yet again, of your continuing awesome adventures, this time family styley. Looks like you’ve met some kindred spirits in the Dammers! Sage looks just like the photo I’ve seen of you at that age. Happy times. Keep on keeping on. If you’re ever in Cornwall…… :-)

    Reply
    1. Cass Gilbert Post author

      Myles, you’re welcome to borrow mine first if you want a test run. Should be in Blighty this April/May.

      Reply
  6. Yasmin Green

    Hi Cass. Love your pics, very inspiring. I kitted us Green’s out with road racers in 2013 /15, you have made me think maybe MTB was what I should have bought. Less traffic and much more mud and fun. Come up north when in uk, manchester and surrounding areas have so much to offer x

    Reply
  7. Daniel

    This is fantastic. Two questions:

    1. What camera are these photos taken with?
    2. The little baby on one of the Dammer’s backs: how old is that guy? What contraption is he tied to the back with and how does it work?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Cass Gilbert Post author

      Daniel, I’m using a Canon 6D. A great camera for image quality, but it’s hefty, and not especially well sealed against dust and water.
      Baby Koru is about 6 months old. He’s securely wrapped in a sheet, in the style that people carry their babies here in Ecuador. He alternates between the sling, when the roads are bumpy, and a Thule Chariot Cougar trailer.

      Reply
      1. Dan

        What an awesome adventure – I’ve been planning an easy cyclecamping overnighter with my young daughter, this has made me decide to do it asap!

        I love the shots too – are you putting these through VSCO? If I ever get my dream brief requiring adventure photography I know who’ll I’ll be asking to commission… :)

        Reply
        1. Cass Gilbert Post author

          Dan,

          Thanks for your message. How old is your daughter? Good luck with your family overnighter. I’m glad this post provided you with some added inspiration. Let me know how it went!

          Yes, using a few modified presets from VSCO.

          Cass

          Reply
  8. Mike Watson

    Great to have found your website via the CTC and find you’re still travelling all these fantastic places (now as a family!) after I first followed your adventure from Sydney to London in C+. Our rides are tamer compared to yours but my wife and I, with 2 other couples, are doing the North Sea Route from April – July. We are the 350 Club, our aggregate age when we reached John O Groats last year!
    Best regard
    Mike

    Reply

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