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Mountain Biking the Worlds Most Dangerous Road

BOLIVIA | Tuesday, 26 June 2007 | Views [1862]

I signed up for a bike ride on the Worlds Most Dangerous Road which goes from La Cumbria (4800m altitude) all the way down to Yosolo 1200m just near Coroico. That was a 3600m decent and 64km downhill. That´s the type of bike ride I like.

They took us by bus from La Paz up to the top of the pass where we got all our bikes and gear and they spelled my name incorrectly on my vest so for the day I was called JETT. I kind of liked the name so I think I´ll use it from now on. The bikes were fantastic, brand new Iron Horse dual suspension bikes with hydraulic disk brakes. They sure soaked up all the bumps.

The road started at the top of the pass where it was freezing. At 4800m that was the highest I´ve been so far and there was almost no air. There was snow nearby and the windchill riding down was really harsh. The first 32km was on sealed road but still lots of fun, except for the 1km of uphill. Do you know how hard it is to ride a bike uphill at 4500m altitude? We passed through the cocaine checkpoints and through beautiful valleys to get to the start of the old Coroico Road (the worlds most dangerous road).

This was a single lane gravel road that hugs the side of the mountains while you drop down to 1200m. No guard rails or anything safety related of course. There used to be over 100 deaths per year on the road with busses and trucks often going over the edge with 500m drops as they try to reverse up to the turnouts to allow one to pass the other. There is a new road now, so the old road is used mostly by mountain bikers.

From the start it was all clouds and we decended into the cloud forrest, coming out the other side into the upper jungle. From there we decended further into the lower jungle where we rode through waterfalls and through many creek crossings. The last hour was just a dust bowl, but all 32km were downhill. It was a fantastic ride. Not hard, but beautiful scenery and really enjoyable.

Coroico at the bottom was a nice escape from the altiplano and did a few more hikes and stayed at a nice resort with Pool, sauna, pool table etc for $9/night.

It was a great trip until I had a dodgy meal and ended up sitting on the toilet for 2 days. Oh well. They say if you go to Bolivia you either get sick or robbed so I guess I was lucky.

See also http://www.bside-adventures.com/flash/window.html

Jett

Tags: Sightseeing

 

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