This past New Year's Eve I biked around Chile's Lago Llanquihue – a 104-mile journey with views to make your heart skip a beat (or maybe that was just the 6,000 feet of climbing).

Llanquihue Lake, with Osorno Volcano photobombing every picture, provided a backdrop so majestic, it could make The Wave robe jealous. Yes, Osorno is the spitting image of Japan's Mt. Fuji, but with more personality, if you ask me.

The ride was nothing short of an epic saga - sunny skies, breathtaking landscapes, and a cameo by a pack of guard dogs that mistook me for their chew toy. The steepest climb of the day turned into an impromptu meet-and-greet with these furry locals. There I was, pedaling at snail's pace, when suddenly, it was game on. Employing a move I picked up in my youth- the infamous fake throw – I managed to convince them I had a treat. Spoiler: I didn't. It's me, bluffing my way up a hill, with dogs on one side and the serene lake on the other.

But not all the dogs I encountered were mean! I did make friends with a sweet and burly chunky boi while taking a short break to refuel.


Post-dog adrenaline rush, I soaked up the sights of Puerto Varas, the quaint town at the lake's edge that wears its German heritage on its sleeve (or should I say, façade?). Thanks to some 19th-century German immigrants, this place has an architectural flair that screams 'gemütlich'. And yes, the beers are as good as you'd hope. I had myself a cold one and a particularly cheesy bocadilllo on the waterfront then was on my way.

(probably could've gotten a better pic lol)

Finishing the ride, I plunged into the icy cold lake - because what's a little hypothermia in the face of adventure? Revived and ready to brag, I emerged with tales to tell and a sore saddle. A great end to a great year!


P.S. if you made it this far here's a little treat: code EPICRIDE20 is live for 20% off for the next week or so

eric eberhart