miércoles, 28 de agosto de 2013

Tumbaco to San Jose de Minas: a great training ride on a friday

The summer of 2013 was full of outdoor activities for my family, specially on August. We did on the weekend of the 2nd a great bike ride from San Jose de Minas to the high pass towards Otavalo, 31 km in total. On the weekend of the 9th we did a 33 km "hike", between the outskirts of San Antonio de Pichincha near Rumicucho Inca Ruins, towards San Jose de Minas, and to complete the month, on the following weekend on the friday 16th I took a solo bike ride from Tumbaco towards the same village.

It took me 8 hours and 17 minutes in total to reach the family hacienda, but I was riding and waking for a bit less than 7 hours. The bike ride was not extremely intense, although I tried to keep a good riding rithm. My average speed according to the GPS and Locus App for Android (great app by the wak, always improoving) was 13.9 km per hour on movement, and 11.3 km per hour general average.

I had to walk uphill most of the last 3.8 km with my bike over the shoulders, because just 1 km before reaching the last point of the highway, I kissed the asphalt and went into the water channel by the side of the main road, hurt my left knie relatively bad for the momment, and scratched the right knie and left elbow. The left knie still has this big scratch, but it seems that I have no ligaments compromised.

It is a funny sensation to feel the cars, trucks and busses passing near you all the time, but you get used to this idea, and also you realize that there is more space for a bike on the side of the panamerican highway, in most of the way, than what you might have tought or saw from a car. We drive this route several days per month.

I satrted at 5h18, and reached the river below the hacienda at 13h30. Above tree pictures taken on the ride and the weekend before the trip: first picture, an early morning view towards the east just below Calderon, of the new airport; second, view above Perucho; and last, a view near San Jose de Minas before the Piganta River.

Below is the map of the track seen in Google Earth.

Technical data
Riding time: + to - 7 hours bike ride
Lenght: 94 km,
Difference of altitude: 3200 meters.

We will be happy to organize a great adventure or holiday for you. Visit us at: www.surpasstravel.com, specialized in-land tour operator from Ecuador.

lunes, 5 de agosto de 2013

San Jose de Minas towards Otavalo: A high pass with beautiful landscapes at Ecuador

This route shows you spectacular views of the west side of the Mojanda Crater Lake, specially the summit of its highest rim known as Fuya Fuya, and the agricultural valley at its base. Our goal today was to reach the high pass between San Jose de Minas and the famous village of Otavalo.

We started not so early this time, because my biking partner had a bed sheets problem: they get always too sticky before 07h00. After a quick breakfast we took off, and from that point and on, it went only upwards: 40% of the total route.

The difference of altitude between the starting point and the stone making at the high pass is 1,217 meters. It took us 3 hours and 45 minutes to reach it, with many stops in between: lots of photography, two chains that sliped out, and helping to pull up a motorbike driven by a local villager, that fell on the road, after she came back from a nearby water source were she was havesting watercress.

In the morning we passed by San Jose de Minas, one of those small highland villages that still has its charm and character, somehow lost in our time by "modern" architecture. Afterwards there was only one road, and we just followed it until we reached the top.

The road is at this time of the year very dusty due to the nice sunny and clear weather that we have, and for our good luck, there is little traffic on it. We might have encountered only 6 cars and a motorbike in all the time it took us to ride up there. Only a couple hundred meters before we reached the top, we encountered the cobbled road that comes up from Otavalo. This is the borderline marking between the Imabura and Pichincha provinces.

Technical data
Riding time: + to - 4 hours bike ride
Lenght: 31 km,
Difference of altitude: 1200 meters.

We had a great morning and a fast descent, it took us only 35 minutes to ride down the 14 km. At the very bottom of the trip today I had my first flat tire on my new bike! I hit a sharp stone and the tube could't stand the shock. For my good luck I was riding at this point slow.

We will be happy to organize a great adventure or holiday for you. Visit us at: www.surpasstravel.com, specialized in-land tour operator from Ecuador.