cycling Patagonia

I’m planning to do 1500km plus in Chile early 2019. About 4 weeks.

Here’s the best trip video I’ve seen so far. Giorgio Frattale and Francesco D’Alessio from last season.

Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo. (9min)

The endless and arid steppe, the wonderful and jagged peaks of the Andes, the huge fresh water basins with their incredible colors, the awesome glaciers that fall into the deep depressions of the Cordillera, the extreme and changing wheather conditions, the incessant and exhausting wind, make Patagonia one of the few place in the world able to convey the feeling of being on the edge of the Earth.

I won’t be carrying a packraft, however.


my plan to bikepack the Carretera Austral, Chile in 2019

During my two months in Patagonia 2018 I did a fair bit of research on a future cycle hiking trip.

I arrive Santiago Jan 11th and might rent a bike in the big city. They’d transport it to and from both trailheads.

The Carretera Austral is far more popular now than when I did it 15 years ago by bus / hitchhiking.

The Carretera Austral runs about 1,240 kilometers (770 mi) from Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins through (sparsely populated) rural Patagonia. …

This area is characterized by thick forestsfjordsglaciers, canals and steep mountains. …

Among the world’s finest road trips, the Carretera Austral – or “Southern Highway” – is a 1240km route through Chile that’s mostly about half 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


cycling Rose Valley, Goreme, Cappadocia


I cycled Rose Valley out of Göreme twice the first time getting it done the hard way.

I went uphill from Cavusin village to the Panoramic viewpoint.

hike a bike

The great single track is downhill the opposite direction.

I rested up at the viewpoint. Then enjoyed one of the best 3km rides of my life.

Soft, rolling, slippery sliding chutes like this. (No I did not crash.)

Glorious scenery, of course.

The second time I rode secondary highways 45 minutes uphill to the viewpoint. Then tried a different line, this high traverse.

Cool. But it dead-ended at a cave.

I traversed all the way back to viewpoint, then took my favourite run again … a little more slowly this time. Stopped to smell the flowers.

I wasn’t the only one out on a bike. There are guided groups.

Some of the best cycling of my life.

I didn’t take any video. But click PLAY or watch some Rose Valley cycling on YouTube.

I met another cyclist out on his own from Washington State. He’s been coming here twice a year for 20 years (May and October). January / February he cycles Arizona from campgrounds. Lives on a boat in the San Juan islands during the summer. His wife seems to like the lifestyle too.

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! 🙂

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Dangerous? Nah! They have safety precautions in place.

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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.

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

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

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Khardongla Pass mountain bike - 10 of 16


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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


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)