I’d love to cycle the Carretera Austral

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. …

Lonely Planet

Cyclists-on-the-Carretera-Austral

cycling Khardung Pass, Ladakh

Cycle high, sleep low. The best way to acclimatize to altitude. 🙂

Khardongla Pass mountain bike - 4 of 16

… 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! 🙂

Khardongla Pass mountain bike - 14 of 16

Dangerous? Nah! They have safety precautions in place.

Khardongla Pass mountain bike - 8 of 16

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.

Khardongla Pass mountain bike - 1 of 16

It takes about 2 hours to drive up the mountain on switchbacks.

Khardongla Pass mountain bike - 6 of 16

There are plenty of slow downs as vehicles inch past one another.

Khardongla Pass mountain bike - 7 of 16

Landslides and washouts are common. Heavy machinery (driven by men) and small hammers (driven by women) make repairs.

Khardongla Pass mountain bike - 9 of 16

Khardongla Pass mountain bike - 10 of 16

Glorious.

Khardongla Pass mountain bike - 11 of 16

Khardongla Pass mountain bike - 12 of 16

Khardongla Pass mountain bike - 15 of 16

Khardongla Pass mountain bike - 16 of 16

Khardongla Pass mountain bike - 5 of 16

Ron and I cycling Whistler

In the heart of Whistler lays Lost Lake Park; a recreational wonderland just steps away from the village. Summer activities include hiking, walking, swimming, canoeing and cycling.

The park boasts an incredibly fun network of mountain bike trails referred to as Zappa Trails. This extensive network of manicured pea gravel pathways, along with fun rocky and rooty singletrack trails take the rider from one end of the park to the other and provide ample opportunities for families, beginner and intermediate riders to explore Lost Lake on their mountain bikes.

The Zappa Trails are a favourite among locals looking to get out for a quick cruise after work or when short on time. The trails are well marked and maintained year round by the Resort Municipality of Whistler, making them relatively easy to navigate. If you do get lost, you’ll find maps at all the major junctions to get you back on track.

The Zappa Trails are well suited to families looking at exploring Lost Lake on two wheels. …

Bike Pirate

14851749928_a274d573e2_z

more photos

(via Best Hike)

Andes to jungle bike ride

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)

cycling Crested Butte, Colorado

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 …

Trail 401 Crested Butte, Colorado

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.

cycling the Hiawatha Trail, Idaho

… 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

details

more photos tagged “Hiawatha Trail”

Rick on the Hiawatha Trail, Idaho

It made Allie Comeau’s list – 10 Great American Bike Trails