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Bicycle Hell

July 18th, 2006 · 5 Comments

At least it was hell for Gisele and her friend Eli. The rest of us had fun.

We had been led to believe that the ride down the mountain would be on a paved road, with the van following us to pick up anybody who got tired. It turned out to be quite different.

We got on our bicycles (nice mountain bikes, by the way) at an altitude of 13,700 feet and started down a steep, rocky narrow mountain bike trail. The ladies would have turned back right then, but the guide told us that it got easier after a little way.

It didn’t. We descended almost 3000 feet over a steep jumble of rocks most of the way. Gisele walked her bike about 1/2 the time, and I walked it (and mine) about 1/2 of the time, and she rode it the rest of the time.

The kids and the men had a great time, and all agreed that the scenery was wonderful. Snow-capped 16,000+ foot peaks covered almost 180 degrees of the horizon as we descended first through tundra, then forest, then farms. We occasionally had to dodge donkeys, pigs and kids in the path, but the chickens, sheep and dogs pretty much stayed out of the way.

At the bottom we followed a road for about a mile, and Gisele and Eli found a station-wagon taxi that took them and their bikes that last mile. Gisele’s leg was cramping, her butt hurt and she was tired. She now says she’s glad she did it, but she’s also very glad the experience is behind her.

Tomorrow it’s an 8-hour bus ride back to Lima for 3 days rest before we fly home. I hope our flight home isn’t delayed 6 hours like Devon’s was!

Tags: Family Updates

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Donna // Jul 18, 2006 at 9:24 pm

    Let’s see … Gisele walked her bike 1/2 the time, you walked it 1/2 the time and she rode the rest of the time. In other words, she didn’t ride at all?

  • 2 Richard // Jul 18, 2006 at 10:25 pm

    Does not sound like much fun for a novice bike rider. I think my butt would hurt too.

  • 3 Daryl // Jul 19, 2006 at 9:08 am

    Donna — Numbers may not add to 100% due to rounding error. She did ride a little in the few level smooth patches — maybe 5% of the way.

    Richard — my butt doesn’t hurt too much since I was standing on the pedals most of the time. Worst part is my lower back from the continual shock of bouncing off rocks, and my arms and hands a little from clutching the brakes most of the time.

  • 4 Donna // Jul 19, 2006 at 2:32 pm

    Judging from your comment, I think Richard ought not to pursue a bike ride of this sort. We wouldn’t want him to land back in the hospital for more back surgery.

  • 5 Dianna // Jul 19, 2006 at 6:47 pm

    I’ve been so busy caregiving since we’ve been here that I’ve not had time to read blogs or comment on them.

    It sounds like you are having the time of your lives (not always pleasant – but memorable just the same) and will have a lifetime of memories from it. Would love to see a slide show of all the wonderful pictures I imagine you’re taking.

    Guess Devon’s trip home took longer than expected but my cousin, Carrie, has him beat. It took her 27 1/2 hours to get from Sacramento to Oaxaca, Mexico, via Houston, Veracruz and Mexico City, a couple of months ago!

    Have a safe journey home.