“Estas bien amor?” says my Colombiano boyfriend as I gasp for air and struggle to keep pedaling up the hill. “Si, vamos!” I reply. I simply refuse to quit even though my legs hate me and my lungs feel like they are going to explode. About the time I’m ready to hop off and start hiking we hit a flat spot and I recover my breathing. Ha! Flat spot my white ass! It’s still uphill just a tad more flat ish than the grade I just climbed. Welcome to my bicycle adventures in the Colombian Andes.
Colombian is a country of diversity and culture, however one thing that is always constant is the presence of the Andes. The Colombian Andes are the single biggest obstacle to travel in this amazing country. However much like the Swiss Alps they also produce some of the best cycling opportunities and challenges in the world. That success has shown itself to be quite evident in the 2013 Giro D’Italia where several of the 15 Colombian participants have distinguished themselves in the event.
My bicycle adventures definitely pale in comparison but I have developed a lot of respect for the cyclists here in Colombia when I go out with my boyfriend on the weekends. There is always a couple or even several hard climbs when we ride but the rewards are great when I have the chance to rest and take in the views of the city from the mountains above. The rides are never boring and there are so many different routes that after almost 3 months of riding we rarely take the same route or climb the same mountain. Tunnels, bridges that curve, and rough muddy trails called “trochas” are only a few of the features that I have encountered. The local vegetation which features rainforest and jungle abound with tropical flowers, small farms and roadside cafes. Rivers and waterfalls are also profound in the region.
Colombia is a wonderful place to own a bike whether you want to just cruise the city or go down an extreme trail in the forest, it’s all here for the taking. One of my newest projects here is a startup of adventure tourism guide service for English speaking tourists who want to experience more than just a walk in the park. I love my new home and I know other cyclists, hikers and backpackers will too when I can take them out and show them a different kind of adventure! This is my crazy life!!