Posts Tagged With: Convoy

Day 1: Dublin to Dundalk – 80km

We are off! After a week of not riding I am itching to get out on the road.

We have 80.2 km to ride today, the first 10 km in a convoy. First of all we ride to the temple bar for the group photo, and then we are on our way. Perfect weather – not too hot, not too cold. As usual a lot of stopping and starting getting out of town then after what seems like forever we are free to ride off at our own speed.

The countryside is very pretty, lots of rolling hills, very green – it rains a lot here. We saw a sign that there was a castle so we rode down the drive way to Bellingham Castle. However the gates were locked as it is a private residence and only open sometimes. It was a huge place, imagine the cleaning and the power bill.

We are staying at the Crown Plaza which is about 3 k out of Dundalk and we didn’t go into see the town.

When we came down for dinner it was windy and cold, and we were surprised to hear we would be eating outside, especially given it’s a large hotel. When we mentioned it was really cold to Gergo, the tour leader, he was like “so get a coat”.

Thankfully common sense prevailed and the staff moved all the tables inside. Henry Hold, the company founder and owner, is along for the first half of the trip and possibly he was responsible for the change of setting, or Gergo’s wife Esther. Regardless of how the change occurred, we were all really relieved as it would have been an evening to be endured rather than enjoyed.

The meal was great, I had a very nice goat cheese tart as an entrée, and writing the blog four days later I can’t remember what I had as a main but remember it was nice.

Tomorrow we ride to Belfast and then a rest day the day after.

Categories: The Pub Ride, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Day 18: Munich to Dillingen an der Donau

We had 120 km to ride, with 577 meters up and 690 meters down

We have one new rider who joined us in Munich – Catrina – who has come to ride the last section with her husband Peter M, who has done the whole ride. Peter has done one other and Catrina did a section. They are from Seattle and have two children. Peter is an ED doc (he examined my wrist) and Catrina is a pathologist. Catrina is riding a bike she bought here and has not ridden it before.

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Peter and Catrina

To start off today was the dreaded convoy, for 14 km. We did not leave the hotel until 8:20am and it was after 9:30am before we were free to ride off by ourselves.

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Convoy out of Munich

Lots of bikers commuting to work, lots of them parents with babies and toddlers in carriages, front and back seats.

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Frustrating I had a message from the the blog editor just as I was leaving, to say she had never received the blog for 12 June, but she did get my short version of the notes I jot down in the iPad at the end of each day.  No record in my sent box, very annoying as I remember doing it, it had quite a lot of detail. Never mind I will have to do again. Nowhere near as frustrating as in Bolivia where I lost 10 days worth, that were sent and disappeared into the ether, also with no trace in my sent mail.

About 30 km out of Munich, we came to Dachau concentration camp memorial garden. This was the first of the concentration camps and the model for later camps. Overall 200,000 people (Jews, political prisoners, and other so called ‘undesirables’)  were detained here from as early as 1933, and 40,000 died.

Today we are mainly on bike paths. I was looking forward to getting onto bike paths and away from the traffic, however they were frustrating as within the space of 10 k you can change paths 5 times, and it was starting to feel like a navigating challenge rather than a bike challenge.

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Bike path Altomunster

During the day we rode through many fields of crops, through farmland, and through shady forest areas. We also crossed the Danube River (which I did not notice at the time as it was only a stream).

25 km from the end of the ride we had a thunderstorm, huge drops of rain pelleted down, but it was so hot it was a relief.

The traffic here is such that they are happy to stop and give you the right of way, even when it isn’t yours, they even stop on the highway when they can see you are struggling to cross. No tooting or monstering you from behind (sitting right on your back tyre almost).

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BMW headquarters

When we got to the hotel we were a bit underwhelmed by the exterior, not helped by the scaffolding as it was being painted. It was a tired old place, but the staff were friendly and it was clean.

Dinner was delayed as one of the riders was not in. It turned out it had taken Peter and his wife until 4pm to get to lunch (65 k) and then Catrina got the lunch truck, and Peter continued from there. It was just after 7pm when he got in – a long day!

Dinner was potato and ham soup, crumbed Pork with croquettes and sauce, and dessert was Ice cream Sundaes. We had dinner with John, and mine was washed down with copious glasses of cold sparkling  water.

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Aichach

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Aichach

We had a balcony, but it looked out to a yard and was too hot to go out into. No aircon again, and once again very hot trying to get to sleep. Plus there was quite a lot of noise – it sounded like people jumping on the floor or banging on the walls. Once I fell asleep, I slept quite well.

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Hotel Dillinger Hof balcony

Categories: The Odyssey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 10: Trieste to Maniago

123 km: 800 meters up and 430 down

This is the start of another four day section, and this was the easiest of the four days.

Instead of having to take notes from a whiteboard like previous trips, this trip we get them passed out in their already printed version. Some riders pour over them, highlighting certain bits, others – like me – shove them in their pocket to be taken out if needed if there is confusion about which way to go.

We started at 8am with a convoy, which was meant to be for 4 km but after 1.5 km most of the convoy was out of sight due to having to stop at the lights. As Gergo doesn’t flag or give notes for the convoy to ensure riders don’t go off on the their own, it was just by good luck and guessing that we managed to stay on the right track.

The first 18 km was along along the coast, then we turned inward and took the last view of the Adriatic Sea (the top of the Mediterranean). The next time we see the sea we will be in the Netherlands.

We went through a town called Palmanova, which is an excellent example of a star fort from the Renaissance. This was built by the Venetians in 1593. The whole town is walled, and there are only entrances/exits through the walls.

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An aerial view of Palmonova (picture source)

This is also where the Trans Europa ride we did in 2012 intersects with this ride, the Oydessy. In 2012, we came through here on the way to Venice.

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Walled town of Palmanova, inside the south gate

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Cathedral in Palmanova square

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North-west gate out of Palmanova, onwards to Amsterdam

There was a big market in the square with lots of stalls selling food, clothes, cooking ware, and lots of fresh flowers.

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Market square inside Palmanova

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Through the palace gate to the Villa Manin

Where we stopped for lunch there was a man trimming his hedge who was chatting away to all the riders, and telling to make sure that they stopped in the next town Mortegliano to see the biggest bell tower in Europe.

 

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The locals reckon this is the tallest bell tower in Europe, Mortegliano.

One of the TDA staff Ozgur had made homemade lemonade for lunch, which was very thirst quenching. It’s made from lemonade, honey, water and soda water.

 

In the afternoon the breeze from most of morning was replaced by beating sun, it was 35 degrees C and felt hotter.

There were lots of very long straights, broken up with interesting small towns. All the town were deserted and the shops were shut as it was siesta time.

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Beautiful riding today through the agricultural flat lands north of Venice.

Whilst going around a roundabout I was bit/stung by bug (through my riding top!). I wasn’t sure what it was, but took an antihistamine just in case it was a bee or a wasp. Luckily I did, as later that night when I had a look I had a big welt.

The last twenty km of the day seemed to go on and on, a bit of an uphill gradient, and into a bit of head wind.

Although we were riding towards the Dolomites, because of the heat haze we did not get a view of them until about 8 km before the end of the ride, where they slowly started to appear through the haze.

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Approaching Maniago and the end of the flatlands. Next 3 days climbing up to Passo del Brennero and entering Austria 🇦🇹

We got to the hotel at 5pm and found out dinner would not be until 8pm. To start off with I could not find my bag anywhere. I looked through the bags twice, and was starting to get really worried. I then went through the bags again, bag by bag. I had never noticed until now that my red bag is actually half black. The bottom half is black and it was upside down. Relieved, I went off to the room to get cleaned up.

The hotel room had a nice big bath so I had a relaxing soak and then I intended to have a quick nap, but ended up sleeping for two hours. I was more tired than I would have expected, as not much climbing, but we had had 9 hours in the sun and although there was not much climbing there was no real downhill, so we were constantly peddling all day.

Dinner was tomato pasta, grilled pork and potato, vanilla ice cream, washed down with sparkling water.  I had dinner with Brett, Miriam, Tom and Cathy.

Introducing

Tom and Miriam, retired they live in New York, and have 3 sons and one grandson. No pets. This is their 4th TDA tour. Miriam was a lawyer and then taught law, and Tom was an engineer.

Cathy is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She lives with her partner Peggy (who doesn’t like bike touring, so is not on the trip). They have no children and have a German short haired pointer. Cathy has done 2 previous TDA rides and is an ED doctor.

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Tom and Miriam on the left, Cathy on the right

Tomorrow is going to be a big day, 130 km and 2600 meters climbing and I am feeling a bit daunted. We are going to be climbing through the Dolomites.

The Dolomites are the mountain range located in north-eastern Italy, and form part of the Southern Limestone alps. The Dolomites are also known by the name The Pale Mountains, they take this name from the carbonate rock dolomite. The rock was named for the 18th century French mineralogist Deodat Gratel de Dolomieu (1750 to 1801) who was the first to describe the mineral.

The Dolomites are renown for skiing, mountain climbing, cycling, and BASE jumping.

The first week in July is the Maratona dles Dolomites, where in a single day, road bikers climb all 7 mountain passes.

Categories: The Odyssey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day 58/164: Lomas de Lachay to Lima – 123km

Climbing 1,160 meters – down 1,560 meters

Thankfully no sign of snakes or scorpions! The ride out was not as bad as I had imagined, as the sand was easier to ride down than up. However a lot of the surface was corrugated and a few riders lost drink bottles and rear lights on the way down. Sue lost her drink bottle holder as well!

Today's route details (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Today’s route details (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Off we went, initially the riding was pretty easy, a few ups and then a long stretch of flat. At 37.2 kilometres we had to turn left at a y intersection, and I could see a hill stretching up into the distance. What I did not know was it was a 15 kilometre hill of mostly up! This would have been usual info to have had regarding being able to make it to the 90 kilometre mark by 11am.

As I did not know it was 15 kilometres up, I expected at every turn that I was at the top. Not sure whether it would have been better or worse to have known. I am getting up hills much better and I made it to the top without stopping.

About 5 kilometres up the hill the dinner truck came past and said the convoy point was now at 76 kilometres, so I was pretty sure I would make it. If we are not there on time the trucks will come back for us.

I am not spinning my legs as quickly as I am building up more strength, and not always in the smallest gear. Of the 15 kilometres about 2 kilometres was downhill before the actual top. I thought a couple of times I was at the top when I wasn’t. It was a bit foggy, and I put my high viz vest on. Finally go to the top of the hill and went flying down for about 10 kilometres.

The ride from the bottom of the hill to the convoy point was the pits! There were dogs, debris, taxis and mini vans darting in and out in front of you, cutting you off, pulling out in front of you, hooting and tooting at you. There was about 2 kilometres with no shoulder – that was quite scary. Thankfully at this point two other riders caught up with me, and I rode the rest of the way to the convoy point with them. The traffic is a bit better with a group than a lone rider.

As always despite the pressure to get to a certain spot by a certain time, it was ages before we set off. I had lunch and then milled around with the other riders, waiting for the three remaining riders to come in. Finally we were ready for a 50 kilometre convoy. The traffic is chaotic.

We had a land rover with the local guide, Cristano in his ute, 2 TDA staff in the front, and 1 at the back. Plus the two trucks at the back and the riders in between. Still we had taxis and cars trying to cut through the middle.

The local guide, instead of having us in the slowest lane, had us in the fast lane so at least we were protected from buses, taxis, and vans darting in and out of the road shoulder to pick up and drop off passengers.

Overall the convoy went really well until about 40 kilometres where we ran into a bottleneck due to a huge food fair. This took about 45 minutes to get clear of.

We arrived at the hotel (Hotel Villa Santa) finally about 4pm, all hanging out for a shower, fresh clothes, a nice meal and a bed to sleep in. Unfortunately with about 50 people hitting the showers at the same time the hot water system did not cope. Luckily it come warm again about an hour later.

Covered in oil at the end of a long day (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Covered in oil at the end of a long day (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

We went to a really nice restaurant up the road and had a fantastic steak. It was a 400 gram Argentinean beef, cooked perfectly. The other option was 600 grams. I am pleased I did not get that, as hungry as I was I couldn’t finish the 400 gram. This may of course have been affected by cold beer in the chilled glass to start, with the basket of warm crusty bread, real butter, and pesto. I shared a really nice Argentinean Syrah / Merlot as well. Food heaven.

Went happily back to the hotel looking forward to the rest day and no 5am alarm.

Categories: Peru, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 19/164: Bogota to Anapoima – 85km

1,356km down: 12,285km to go

Three new riders have joined the group:
Franzwar (not how you spell his name but that’s how it sounds, he’s from France) he has done sections of other rides and is doing a couple of sections of this one (Editor’s note: I’m assuming Mum means “François”)
Mario – a young German guym this is his first TDA ride doing the whole ride
Rosa – from the Netherlands here for 3 weeks has done the South African ride before.

Rosa at the market lunch stop (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Rosa at the market lunch stop (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

We are staying at El Molino camp in Anapoima tonight.

We left in a convoy of course, as we were coming out of a large city. It was threatening to rain, and would you believe there is a public transport strike happening.

We had a police escort. I decided to ride in the the lunch truck until lunch, which was meant to be at 29 kilometres, and then ride the rest of the way – about another 90k. The convoy took over 2 hours through the crazy traffic.

The police escort then dropped us off at the Terpel petrol station as planned and the instructions for riders, regarding distance and turning etc started from there. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans! The problem was it was the wrong Terpel station and the person who had mapped out the route was not with the convoy. So chaos ensued as the directions and the road were not matching!

Trying to figure out which way to go (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

Trying to figure out which way to go (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Luckily the riders realized pretty quickly and re grouped and contacted Christiano, and they were redirected and it only added another 10k to their ride. The truck however went really wrong, and by the time the TDA staff realized and back tracked, the riders had already passed the 29k mark.

The lunch truck was following the riders, and trying to overtake riders going down a narrow steep dirt road. It was not till we got to 52 kilometres that we had passed enough riders to make it worthwhile stopping for lunch.

I decided to still ride as there was approximately another 40 kilometres so I hopped on my bike. The first 15 kilometres was down and up the same terrain as before lunch – windy, narrow, dirt and occasionally rocky. This certainly was part of the 15% of the time I knew I would wish I had bought a mountain bike.

After this was about 10 kilometres of uphill, reasonably steep gradient. It was boiling hot and I was huffing and puffing. I am still not coping with altitude, and generally not being fit enough. I finally got to the open road with a reasonable down, and then some rolling hills.

Just before camp I came across Paul, one of the other riders, walking his bike down the hill. Paul’s brakes had failed quite a while before but luckily he was not harmed. Paul commented that it was a peculiar brand of torture having a bike you could only ride up the hills.

I got to camp and set up my tent, but did not realize I had put it on too steep a slope. I didn’t realise until I went to bed, and then I did not want to try and move it in the dark, which as it turns out would have been a better option. I kept waking up uncomfortably hunched at the bottom on the tent. Between the roosters that started at 2 am, the heat, and the trucks, I did not get a lot of sleep.

We had Spaghetti Bolognese for tea.

Tonight's campsite (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

Tonight’s camp-site (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Categories: Columbia, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 16/164: La Vega to Bogota – 60 kilometres

1,271 km down: 12,370 km to go (End of Stage 1)

We had to get up at 4:30 as getting into a large city is always difficult. Having been awake most of the night with the music and with the puncture issues, I decided to forgo riding 60 kilometres, including a 2,000 metre speed trial up hill, and the convoy into Bogota.  A convoy is difficult enough anyway when you are one of the slowest riders, without an almost 100% certainty of a flat tyre or two. So, I decided to ride in the truck.

We got to the lunch spot and set up lunch, by the time we had finished it was about an hour before the first riders were expected. The road we were on is a main road into Bogota, and one that the local cyclists use for training, and it is Sunday. Cycling is big in Bogota and there were hundreds of cyclists out that morning.  There was a constant stream of pelotons (groups of cyclists) individuals, dads and sons etc. Most were brightly dressed in cycle gear, but some were in jeans. The bikes ranged from top of the line to old.

The 30 kilometres ended up being 27 kilometres due to parking availability. I wandered about 500 metres down the hill. I was watching one cyclist with a very old bike that had a rusty chain, and it broke twice within a couple of hundred metres. I tried to convey to him that there was a bike mechanic just round the corner who could help, but it was lost in translation.  As the riders were expecting to do another couple of kilometres I stayed where I was, letting them know the finish was just around the corner.

After they had all come in and rode off again to the convoy spot I was helping clear up lunch, watched by a couple of hopeful local dogs. As we were going into two rest days and left overs needed to be chucked, they became very happy local dogs, with a big bowl of shredded chicken tipped out for them.

Once we got the truck packed we headed off to the convoy spot. The constant stream of local cyclists continued. Outside every cafe and coke stop there were dozens of bike. The convoy start was by a big café, inside were about 40 cyclists as well as the TDA riders.

Amazing atmosphere at the cafe (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

Riders congregate at the cafe (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

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Amazing atmosphere at the cafe (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

We had three cyclists from Bogota to help led the convoy. We had a TDA truck at the front of the cyclists, and another TDA truck behind. The traffic, as you would expect in a city of over 7 million, was crazy but much more tolerant than Wellington drivers.

One of the riders got a flat and him and his bike had to be hauled up into the truck. Then another rider’s bike broke – he is still on track for EFI, so the sweep gave him her bike and then the sweep and the broken bike had to be hauled into the truck.

The riders got to a bike only lane (Bogota shuts off inner lanes on Sundays, the same as Medellin, for public use, only Bogota started this). There is a complicated one way system in the city and we ended up going around one part twice, taking about an hour due to traffic.

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Convoy into Bogotá (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Finally we got to the hotel which is Hotel IBIS. The riders got there well before us. We collected our daily and permanent bags and set off to get into a warm shower. Warm shower – the joy! Then into my only remaining clean clothes. Just as well Sue and I get on, as we have a really small room. The beds are two twins pushed very close together, and not a lot of other space.

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The hotel room Sue and I are sharing at the Hotel IBIS in Bogota (Photo credit is obviously Kaye, as it is blurry again)

A group of us went to an Italian restaurant just around the corner called Archie’s – found out later it was a chain. The food was good, I had a medium pizza with jalapeños and anchovies, it was delicious. I also had some red wine.

My plan for the next two days:
Monday – laundry and sorting bike and bike gear
Tuesday – a tourist.

Categories: Columbia, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 11/164: Medellin to La Pintada – 82k

816 km down: 12,825 km to go

Back to riding today after a rest day. The first 17 kilometres from the hotel was a convoy. We were in rush hour traffic on the motorway, it was insane. I kept imagining what the police at home would do seeing a large group of foreigners riding along the motorway in the rush hour.

Convoying through rush hour (Photo and caption credit: Sue's Blog)

Convoying through rush hour (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s Blog)

Every now and then a motorbike got in the middle of the convoy and then wanted to turn suddenly which added to the chaos. One of the other riders, having seen me hesitate, told me that when we had to change lanes not to hesitate because the drivers then did not know what you were doing.

The aim of the convoy, apart from leaving the city safely, is to have the slowest riders up the front. This may be the aim but human nature being what it is I am one of the last at the back within a couple of kilometres. I am not that fond of convoys due to the pressure of not keeping other riders waiting.

Convoy in Medellin (Photo and caption credit: Sue's Blog)

Convoy in Medellin (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s Blog)

After the convoy there was a 21 kilometre uphill climb. After the rest by days my legs were in pretty good shape and I only had to stop a few times before the top.

View from Sue's bike as she cycles up the hill (Photo credit: Sue's Blog)

View from Sue’s bike as she cycles up the hill (Photo credit: Sue’s Blog)

I had bought a new battery for my speedometer in Medellin as the mechanic thought that would get it sorted but unfortunately this was not the case. It is disconcerting not knowing how far you have come and also hard to follow the directions.

I saw two of the riders at the summit of the climb and as I am not exactly speedy, I expected they would overtake me within a few kilometres. After I had been riding for about an hour and a half and they still hadn’t, I was pretty sure I had somehow managed to make a wrong turn. I was also pretty sure after another hour that I had missed the lunch truck.

There was a really long downhill with some steep ups. There were a few dogs that rushed out at me which is always a bit nerve wracking, as you never know if they are aggressive or not . I found out later they had had a great day rushing out at a number of the other riders. Shirley, one of the riders, was hit a few days ago whilst riding.

Through a village on the ride (Photo and caption credit: Sue's Blog)

Through a village on the ride (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s Blog)

I was tired and hungry and started pushing my bike up the hills. A motor bike with two local chaps came past and asked me something in Spanish, but I had to say “No Spanio”. They then speed off and arrived back about 10 minutes later with a mango and oranges for me to eat. I must have looked as tired and dispirited as I felt.  I said mucho gracious a few times and they speed off smiling and waving.

In much better spirits I pedalled off again. Five kilometres later – yay there was the lunch truck! Yay I wasn’t lost! Yay also to the news that it was only three more kilometres to camp! And double yay it was all downhill!

Green Colmbia (Photo and caption credit: Sue's Blog)

Green Colombia (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s Blog)

Once I got to camp, I put up my tent and I headed over to the bike clinic. The mechanic played around with my speedometer for a while but decided it was beyond fixing. One of the other riders offered to sell me their spare cats eye (a type of speedometer) for US$150, but the attachment that kept it on the bike had been cut so it would not fit around my handlebars and needed two cable ties to hold it in place. I decided that I did not want to pay the price that it cost new for something that did not fit my bike. So I will probably have no speedometer until Bogota, in another five days.

Waiting for my bike to be worked on (Photo credit: Sue's Blog)

Waiting for my bike to be worked on (Photo credit: Sue’s Blog)

At this stage I realized I had lost my wallet, so I spent the next hour retracing my steps to no avail. Luckily it only had cash, not any credit cards.

I went to bed at the usual time of about 7:15pm and as I was going to sleep I heard the rain starting again. As we had come back down in altitude it was again sticky and hot.

Stunning Columbia (Photo and caption credit: Sue's Blog)

Stunning Columbia (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s Blog)

Categories: Columbia, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 9/164: Via Lactea to Medellin – 48km

734 km down: 12,907 km to go

It was cold enough again to sleep in a sleeping bag. We camped at approximately 2,500 metres. Just as I was about asleep last night the security lights came on right over our tents, thankfully after about an hour they went off. Not sure if someone complained or whether they were on a timer.

Today we had 25 kilometres riding then were meeting as a group to ride in convoy into Medellín. There were 8 riders that did not ride today, which includes 4 who left the camp by taxi yesterday to get another night in Medellín.

When we left the camp, it was straight up a hill so I walked up to the top and rode from there. I only had to get off once more for the ride. I missed a flag at 12.6 kilometres, so rode an extra 4 kilometres which more than made up for it.

Luckily it was mostly rolling hills, nothing like yesterday. Of course the one other time I had to get off was in front of a bunch of locals.

Half of the first section of the ride was downhill, we dropped nearly 1,000 meters in 12 kilometres. It is Sunday today so I passed a few riders coming up it. I had to stop a couple of times to let the rims cool down. There were 3 local boys who came screaming past me at great speed. One of the other riders said he saw one come off but jump back on, and another nearly collect a bus. I came around one corner and they were sitting at the side of the road, looked like they were repairing a bike.

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All downhill to Medellin (Photo credit: Sue’s Facebook page)

Got to the bottom where we were meeting for the convoy. A local lady was selling the most wonderful hot chocolate. I shared my lunch with an adolescent dog with a limp, who looked hungrier than me. Actually he got all of it.

There were 3 riders from Medellín who came to lead the convoy in. It was especially chosen to arrive on a Sunday as on Sundays half of the city’ motorways and highways are shut during the day for cyclists. There are wardens every few kilometres and at intersections, plus policia dotted around.

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Convoy into Medellin (Photo credit: Sue’s Facebook page)

The convoy took about an hour. One of the riders on the way in commented we could go back up the hill the next day and do a time trial. My look of horror must have been the same as if he had suggested that I cut off my arm. I managed to stutter out that I needed to rest my legs!

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Riding into Medellin (Photo credit: Sue’s Facebook page)

The hotel rooms are quite large, with good air-conditioning, plus hot running water, a shower and a bath.

Today was spent sorting out gear, washing, emails and stocking up on supplies:
Large plastic bags
Sunscreen
Bug spray
Water
Snack food
Batteries

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Buying supplies (Photo credit: Sue’s Facebook page)

Shopping at the local store (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

Shopping at the local store (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

A number of the riders have commented there doesn’t seem to be that many bugs. That’s because they are all lurking around me for the moment they find a spot of skin without bug spray!

After going to bed at about 7:30 for the past five nights I have been wide awake tonight, but now am off to bed.

Tomorrow I have to go to the bike shop to get some stuff such as another magnet that will hopefully make my speedo go, and clips for my new shoes as the old ones are unlikely to last another day.

Sue's chocolate stash for the next 6 days (finally - a photo Kaye took!)

Sue’s chocolate stash for the next 6 days (Editor’s note: finally – a photo Kaye took!)

Categories: Columbia, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments