This amazing mountain bike riding adventure awaits the courageous. Dubbed “The World’s Most Dangerous Road” by the Inter-American Development Bank in 1995, it has claimed more than 150 lives a year since opening in the 1930s.
The ride begins at La Cumbre Pass, 45 minutes northeast of La Paz, in Bolivia — the world’s highest large city with more than 1 million residents. Herds of llamas and an occasional alpaca trek the mountain slopes near the pass.
Cyclist deaths are not uncommon; two were killed on this road in August, and at least 15 have died since 1998. Shattered wrists, broken legs and other severe injury are not unusual.
The video from vosgym shows you what you will encounter.
Norman Pillsbury, a professor at Cal Poly State University completed the ride in early Setember and had this to say of his experiences:
‘…… onto the bikes, with special goggles and face muffs in place we were off, single file, for the 15-mile paved section. Sailing at eye-watering speed down the mountain, it was like waking from a dream. Flanked on either side by treeless, snow-capped peaks of the Andes, rough and majestic, windswept and towering, I heard myself say, “I can’t believe I’m really doing this!” It was both magnificent and surreal. I was barely aware of the canyons below as I raced down steep pitches of road, concentrating instead on the edge of the road I claimed as mine.’
This downhill route starts at 15,250 feet and drops to 3,850 feet in 40 miles, a whopping 11,400-foot descent. Altitude is not the only factor – the temperature could easily range from well below zero at the top, with wind chill factor to boot, to a more temperate 30 degrees C – 90 degrees F – when you get to the bottom.
You can do this fantastic journey with www.gravitybolivia.com who continue with the story:
‘…….. after a brief undulating section of road we enter the jungle itself and the most challenging part of the ride. This infamous narrow dirt road is cut precariously into the side of the mountain and descends 2,000m (6,500 feet). With 1,000m+ (3,300 feet) sheer drops off to our left and hulking rock overhangs and cascading waterfalls to our right, we ride through mist, low cloud and dust……’
Its a great website and will give you all the information you need on how to get there, where to stay, clothing to bring, insurance etc. Top quality bikes are provided and the booking will cost you in the region of $85 and will take you 4 to 5 hours to complete – it does look like an extreme adventure.
Photo courtesy of www.gravitybolivia.com