Do something everyday that scares you

Trip Start Oct 01, 2005
1
5
39
Trip End Mar 11, 2006


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Flag of Bolivia  ,
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

They dont call it "The worlds most dangerous road" for nothing! Two days after arriving in LaPaz, I met up with a girl from the States and we joined up on a tour to mountain bike down a deadly road that winds from 4700m at La Cumbre, down 67km of winding road to the town of Croico at 2000m. Unfourtunately for us, the biggest views were obscured by clouds at the top which was likely to our benefit so that we couldnīt see the 400m drops off the side of the 1 lane road (shared by two way traffic...and of course us bikers). As we dropped into the valley though, the cacti changed to vine, the puddles of ice to running tropical streams and the desert rock to lush mosses and mud.

Imagine the Rogers Pass with only one lane...and about twice the length. There was evidence of fatal crashes at almost every turn if not by a distant wreckage of coloured metal, by a cross, a story by the guide or a human traffic light (men who have lost family to wrecks now stand at corners waiving flags of green or red to traffic to alert them of oncoming vehicles).

It was still a beautiful ride and a real test to my triceps which havenīt ever been shaken so hard!

If you donīt believe me, here is an article from the Globe:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20030517/BOLIVIA17_ART/TPTravel/

Okay, so I know the likes of you Jeff, Arian, Sherry, Dan, Jim, Ali and others that I ride with regularly are saying - ya okay, but its a fireroad...big deal. Okay so this one is for you...as I sit here with some of the best war wounds ever from biking (and you know my standard seasonal bails so you can only imagine that this is of a much higher magnitude), I will describe briefly yesterdays downhill singletrack adventure. Yes...that was DOWNHILL...as in body armour, goggles, 4" travel both front and rear tackling jumps, small drops, extreme steeps, urban stairs and much more. We started with some private coaching (only 5 of us) down Muela del Diablo (where the likes of NewWorldDisoder riders Cedric Garcia and Dave Watson just finished filming last month), then we ventured over to an area called Palca for a few hours of rolling riding accented with knarly pieces, through some farms and into a beautiful valley sitting under Mt. Illimani. We finished off the day as urban hooligans bombing through the city, riding stairs, taking back alley descents to avoid ankle nipping dogs and crazy traffic, and waiving at smiling school children and amazed locals. As our guide put it "the aliens have arrived!". About 5 hours of nothing but downhill!

I think I had some of the most spectacular bails trying to huck off some jumps but it was an absolute blast and if you donīt fall you arenīt trying right? Although I wonīt likely "come to the dark side" of downhilling, I am now super keen to do some more to help with my cross country on my return! This country RULES for adventure!
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Comments

powdagroova
powdagroova on

Killer Bus
Sounds like great prep for Indian bus rides. They definetely make you wanna get a bike instead.

Just got word Moe is headed your way. I wish I could join, but work is my deal at the moment.

Look forward to all the updates, I'm definetely living through you right now. Great work with the kids & on the mountain. Both equally the best.

How were the turns at Arpa?

Nate

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