A Bike Ride with a difference!
A 67km long dirt track, which descends over 3k in altitude, with potholes, enormos cliffs and cemeteries along the way. Anybody crazy enough to throw themselves down such a road should be recaptured very quickly you would think? For this reason, I decided that a tackle of this muntain road was essential!
The above statistics have actually earned this small stretch of dirt the title of ´ The Worlds Most Dangerous Road´, as more accidents and reaths occur on this road than any other. A twisting road, sharp bends ad huge drop offs all along the way is always a recipe for disaster and Bolivian reckless driving coupled with the odd bottle of Pisco ( Strong alcohol ), probably doesn´t help.
My challenging and life threatening day began very early as i climbed out of bed at 6 am, tiptoeing around in an attempt not to wake anybody else up. I failed!
By 7am I was in a small beaten up mini bus, with my driver and guide and after meeting the two ther crazy people also willing to risk their lives, enjoyed a filling breakfast, before making the ascent to the start line, somwhere near a lake and the snowline at an altitude of over 4500m.
After arriving at the destination, with a very poor view ( we were shrouded in cloud!), we had a brief trial on our bikes and made some small adjustments so that the journey would be as comfortable and safe as possible.
Myself and the two Canadian guys I was riding with were very pleased with our Trek bikes, which offered front suspension and front and rear disc breaks. If its good enough for Lance Armstrong himself, then its good enough for me!
Soon enough our adventure began as we started to descend the first section of the road, which very kindly offered a smooth tarmac surface, where some amazing speeds were obtained, however after only ten minutes of riding, our speeds were slashed as we cornered a bend only to see a jeep on its roof. I soon found out that the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel, only to drive off of the road, where he hit a large rock and flipped the vehicle. Blood on the road was not a good sign and it did not fill us with confidence.
The smooth road continued downhill and we soon had lost a km of altitude, before we pulled up and saw our first proper views of ´ The World´s Most Dangerous Road´, hugging the cliffs all the way into the distance.
Soon we surrended ourselves to gravity and spent the next three hours, with vibrating handlebars and dust being thrown everywhere, coupled with killer views ( quite literally!). Along the way, we stopped numerous times, where we were able to see many crumpled