Thursday, February 16, 2012

Georgie's Peruvian Mountain Bike Adventure

Peru could be cycling heaven, for mountain biking there is something for everybody cross country type single track to epic downhill 11,000 feet in 35 miles!!!(Olleros Trail) If you brave the traffic or get off onto some of the back roads there's climbing everywhere you look. I played around on mapmyride and found a ton of climbs ranging from 1-20 miles, all within a 20 mile radius of Claudia's parents house. Since I'm so addicted to Google earth and mapmyride I also came up with the ultimate century ride. It's a killer.

This is the second year I've ridden in Peru with Jamie Quiroz from Peru Bike. Peru bike specializes in cycling tours all over the country. I really want to do the Olleros trail and pretty much every other tour they offer in the future. Peru is an amazing country and I couldn't think of a better way of seeing it than on bike. Since Santiago is still a baby I can't really see myself leaving him and Claudia for a week, while I get to pedal around Peru. For now I stick close to Lima and do the Sacred Valley of Pachacamac tour. In Pachacamac everywhere I looked there seemed to be single track going up one of the surrounding mountains. Since it's so hot and the sun is so strong most of the upper trails are used in the winter months only.

Jamie came and picked me up around 8am. Once in Pachacamac, we got the bikes ready. This year I got to ride a 26" Haro Hardtail. I installed my pedals and Garmin, made sure the Gopro was on and off we went. The ride starts out with a nice 2 mile climb up to the single track. Once on the single track it is constantly up and down. There weren't many long climbs once on the trail but they were steep most between 16-26%. The downhills were even steeper, on one I looked down at my Garmin and it said we were going down a 30% grade. The trails in Pachacamac range from loose gravel to extremely rocky. Most of the single tracks are on the side of mountains and are pretty off cambered. There are definitely place were I didn't want to fall, if I did I’d still be tumbling down the side of the mountain.

Last season Jamie totally kicked my ass and we had to cut our ride short. I wasn't in the greatest riding shape, didn't know what to expect and I totally bonked, the heat in Lima sucks all the life from you. This year I knew I was going to ride with Jamie again so I made sure I was in better shape. I knew the heat was going to suck everything out of me so I made sure I was hydrated, plus I had some Nutella sandwiches along with some Cliff Shot Bloks to snack on during the ride. I had no excuses, this time I wasn't going to let Jamie kick my ass. Little did I know Jamie had knee surgery and didn't ride for 2 months, so he wasn't in the best shape. The little guy could still ride though and I didn't have any problems staying with him on the climbs. I out weight him by over 100lbs so anytime I can stay on a little guys wheel while going uphill or climb a section he couldn't I consider it a victory.

In the end it was a great ride. We didn't go super far or fast but it was just what I needed. Now only if I would have remembered to put sunscreen on I wouldn't be in so much pain as I write this.

Peruvian Alpacas

Nice little shrine at the top of one of the climbs.

The Sacred Valley of Pachacamac

       The Village of Mal Paso

Thanks Jamie, it was a great ride. I'll see you next year!!!

I'd like my arms and shoulders well done please.

Gopro footage wasn't the greatest but I'll post a video in a few days. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Foggy Fun

Did pretty much the same route I did on Thursday. It was pretty eerie out, it was foggy and the trees were covered in ice. Visibility wasn't the greatest but luckily I didn't see any cars out.
All in all it was a fun ride.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ride Report: Gravel Exploration

Mid 30's in february, couldn't pass up the chance to go out for a ride. I've been wanting to map out some of my gravel routes. Instead of jumping in the truck, I grabbed my bike and jumped on the trail.

Trail was clear in some areas, slushy in others, and snow covered in the shade. Trail conditions forced me to push a little harder than I wanted to during my "warm-up". Once I got off the trail the real fun began.

My Tacx ergotrainer is awesome but nothing can compare to actually getting outside and ridding. Skittles tackled the muddy gravel and I couldn't be happier with the new bike. Skittles is extremely comfortable, handles great, and is pretty snappy.

I was pretty bummed last summer when 2 key roads in my 20 mile loop were closed due to the lakes flooding. One road was redirected, the other is still closed, luckily the water is frozen and I was able to navigate across.

It felt great to get out and enjoy the awesome weather. Bike was awesome and I need to get some hours in the saddle, I leave for Peru in less than 2 weeks and have a mountain bike excursion planned. Last year when we went I wasn't in the best shape and the mountains kicked my ass. This time around I'll be doing the ass kicking.

Stay tuned...