A brief break from blogs about Argentina. Last weekend I went on a 61km bike ride to Mindo. Mindo is a small town outside of Quito, that is located in a cloud forest. We have been there before and have always enjoyed ourselves as we stay at a coworkers bed and breakfast. But this was the first time I had biked. I was a little iffy on biking as I thought we would be biking along the highway with traffic flying by us, but our friend Andy convinced me that it would be worth it. Thankfully we did not bike along the highway, rather we biked the old road which has hardly any traffic or asphalt for that matter. The trip began early at 6am on saturday where we took off with our rented bikes and began biking through the city. As it was so early traffic was almost non-existent. We biked through the city until we got to a panaderia where we got a couple of donuts and hailed a truck to take us up a big hill. While I felt that this was kind of cheating I was happy we were doing it as I was still carrying the kilos of beef from Argentina. When we got to the top we stopped took in the sites layered up as it was a little cooler and began our descent. This decent lasted about 25km. it was on a winding road and provided majestic sights. It reminded me a little of a bike ride I did in Maui with my dad down the volcano because as you descended the vegetation changed and it kept getting warmer, also because I was constantly braking. While going down I stopped and took a lot of pictures and talked with Andy as the other two in our group where flying down the road ahead of us. We smiled and joked and talked about how “this was awesome” and “why hadn’t we done this sooner” and “we should do this again before we leave Ecuador”. As one can predict these words came back to haunt us. We arrived in a little town, if you can call it that of about 4 houses, at which point we took a break and took off some of our layers. This is when we were told that it would be 1 1/2 hours up which was about 8km. We didn’t think this was that bad of a trade off as we had just gone 25km. downhill. Little did we realize that it was a steep 8km up hill. I made it for about 20min. before I had to get off the bike and start walking. Now usually when I start pushing a bike instead of riding it, it becomes easier, it didn’t. So I kept walking it up the mountain. I was now with the other Andrew of the group walking the bike up the hill, we caught up to Andy who had gotten ahead of us and the three of us trudged up the road. At one point Andrew began to ride again and did not go any faster than we were walking up the road. We got up to a hotel and took a break, but don’t worry we still had another 20mins. up. After the break I thought I might be able to bike for awhile again. My legs felt rested and I began biking again. It took about five minutes to realize that now it wasn’t my muscles so much as my butt bones were sore from the jarring down hill. I had to walk again. Once we got to the top the down hill began again. Which turned out to be worse than the up hill as it was a rocky road and my butt and palms were sore as could be. I bounced around down the road braking as hard as I could, to the point that my hand cramped in the brake position. After about an hour more we made it to a smoother paved road and rode the rest of the way to Mindo. Once we got there I waddled around like I had pooped my paints because of the soreness in my butt. This last uphill and butt jarring downhill account for the limited number of pictures from the second half of the ride. All in all though it was a fun trip and I realized that I will not be doing an Ironman race anytime soon.
Andy in the back of the truck, trying to avoid being in the picture.
At the top before we started our 25km down hill.
The road we took through the mountains.
Andy cruising along.
The river we road along.
A cool looking trout farm.
We had to dodge a few cows along the way. Luckily they didn’t take too much interest in us.
The view from above of the road we would ride down to.
Right before we started the uphill ride. This is the tiny town of Tandayapa, if you can call it that.
The only picture I took after the up hill. One spider that Ray spotted.