Distance: 34kmAltitude: 2700mDescent: 1700mClimb: 500m over 4km
I decided I wanted to see more of the country region of Antioquia so I searched for a new adventure. I’m not big on large tourist groups and or bus tours so I try and find something a little different. I stumble across “Colombian Bike Junkies” a mountain bike tour co that does either 1 day or multi day tours. The 1 day downhill adventure looked pretty cool except I am not sure of the skill and fitness level required as there is a 4km climb half way through the ride. I send an email to JJ a Canadian guy that runs the tour expressing my concerns about the climb and my skill. He assures me it will be fine and that I can jump in the support vehicle if I can’t make the climb. I head over to El Poblado the following morning to meet the group. My worst fears are founded as it is a group of early to late 20 year olds gun ho and ready to go. One guy expresses he concerns about the ride being to tame as he rides downhill bikes all the time. Oh great, I think to myself.
We head north out of Medellin and wind our way up through the most beautiful country side you can ever imagine. Lush green rolling hills and quaint little villages line the side of the road. Its known as the “milk way” for the dairy farms. We climb slowly in our van that is fully loaded with 10 bikes on top and 10 guys inside. Nine riders total, including our guide and mechanic and the driver who follows us throughout the day. Its about a 2hr drive as we climb to our starting point at 2700m. The temperature has dropped about 10c since we left Medellin Valley and the views are amazing. We unload the bikes the mechanic does a few quick adjustments to get everyone set up and JJ gives us a quick briefing. Its pretty brief and I am a little surprised as now I can see a few worried faces. We start our journey down a nice windy dirt road that does’t require any peddling at all. The speed slowly increases as the road gets steeper and we have our first casualty.
A dutch guy hits the corner to fast and can’t make it. Over the handle bars he goes and hits a few rocks. Scrapped and bruised he get up and mounts his bike again. The next to go is the gun-ho guy. Apparently, he hits a corner at speed and can’t make it. I make it down the first accent without incident.
We break for lunch in little village in the hills at a private home. Lunch is a traditional 2 course Columbian meal. After lunch we begin our single trail descent and things get interesting. Guys are crashing and going over the handle bars every few minutes. Its becoming dangerous just riding behind some else. Each time we stop to help someone up to their feet after a crash or just to just wait for the someone to catch up I try to move past a few other riders. We arrive at the 4km climb and the sun is now over head and its bloody hot. I few guys go screaming past me in a gear so big they can hardly peddle. I put my MTB in the granny gear and get to work. It doesn’t take very long before I have passed most of the other guys. I just take my time and manage to complete the climb behind one other guy and without getting off the bike. Im pretty happy for a none MTB rider. A few slower guys come in about 15 minutes later and a few others opt for the support vehicle. We stop and have a few snacks before we continue our down hill single track. The accidents are now getting worse and the Mr Gun-Ho is even concerned. As We rack up crash after crash and they are starting to get pretty spectacular. One guys goes over the bars and off and edge and drops about a meter. he is lucky not to get seriously hurt.
We make it to our final destination and have well deserved cold beer and share a few stories. People are battered and bruised but in pretty good spirits. We load the bikes on top of the van and head to Santa Fe for a quick stop and a drink before we head back to Medellin.
What an amazing way to spend a day and experience Medellin and the beautiful countryside.