I hitchhiked it in 2005. Cycling would be far better. 🙂
Among the world’s finest road trips, the Carretera Austral – or “Southern Highway” – is a 1240km route through Chile that’s mostly unpaved. Winding through millennia-old forests, it visits dusty Andean hamlets and turquoise rivers spawned from landlocked glaciers. …
Cyclists should have the skills and materials to repair their own gear, and should plan on taking a solid month for the entire endeavor. According to Italian cyclist Tomas Balzk, the hardest part was not pedaling the terrain, but ingesting enough calories. …
Cycle high, sleep low. The best way to acclimatize to altitude. 🙂
… Khardung La is 5,359m (17,582ft) … The summit signs incorrectly claim that its elevation is in the vicinity of 5,602m and that it is the world’s highest motorable pass. …
Still … it’s bloody high.
Normally cold and windy, on September 14th when we were there it was sunny and mild. The Gods are smiling on me of late.
It’s 39km from the Pass back to Leh. Entirely down hill! 🙂
Dangerous? Nah! They have safety precautions in place.
Summer Holidays is the company that pioneered downhill mountain biking out of Leh.
My day trip only cost about $25. No fancy support vehicle. They pile the bikes on a jeep.
It takes about 2 hours to drive up the mountain on switchbacks.
There are plenty of slow downs as vehicles inch past one another.
Landslides and washouts are common. Heavy machinery (driven by men) and small hammers (driven by women) make repairs.
I’ve done several, including the standard World’s Most Dangerous Road in Bolivia. I did that with Gravity Bolivia.
Here’s their NEW single track adventure.
… Imagine this: a 78 km downhill with a vertical drop of 3500 meters. You start at 4800 meters altitude and end up at 1300m. The most amazing thing is that you ride on an old and lonesome Inca trail, starting from high altitude landscapes and finishing in the jungle, not far from coca fields.
Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo. (includes 1.5km zip line at the end)
It looks mellow, but it’s not. Rough terrain, even if it’s a road.
One of the best bike rides in the world. No doubt.
Thanks Alistair Matthew from Gravity Bolivia for sending me the link.
(via Pink Bike)
I could live in Crested Butte, my favourite American Rockies town, a mecca for skiing and mountain biking.
The hostel is the best in Colorado, … so says Lonely Planet. It is awesome.
Between afternoon thunder showers I did a warm-up ride on the Snodgrass. Gageesh! It was tough. I was sucking wind at high altitude. Power sliding turns through mud and horse poop at the bottom of hills.
How was the much more famous 401 going to go, next day …
The 401 Trail is often listed as one of best singletrack mountain bike rides in the world, especially in the Spring wildflower season.
And I’m pleased to report that my 52yr-old self and my $500 bike both survived. I rode about 85% of the time both up and down the 401.
… The “crown jewel” of rail-to-trail mountain bicycle trails is operated by Lookout Pass Ski Area which is located adjacent to I-90 at the Idaho/Montana state line, 12 miles east of historic Wallace, Idaho. The Hiawatha Trail is generally open late May through early October. …
Winding through 10 tunnels and 7 high trestles, this 15-mile route crosses the rugged Bitterroot Mountains between Idaho and Montana. The Route of the Hiawatha is best known for the long, dark St. Paul Pass, or Taft Tunnel, which burrows for 1.66 miles …
more photos tagged “Hiawatha Trail”
It made Allie Comeau’s list – 10 Great American Bike Trails
The best bike rides are cruising downhill in the Andes. To see all annotated photos, jump to the permanent webpage in Rick’s photo archive.