Monday, 14 May 2012

Riding up Santa Elena

About 15 of us turned up at 6.45 am on this sunny morning for the ride. Leaving my apartment I headed out on Carratera 33 crossing Rio Medellin before looping under the bridge towards the meeting point by the side of the 6 lane autopista, Regional. We went North then East past the centre of the city until we started climbing up through the barrio of Buenos Aires near where Pablo Escobar had built a small town on the proceeds of the drugs cartels and where even now it isn't recommended to cycle alone. 

puncture stop 1 Buenos Aires
We kept it super steady but as soon as the road headed steeply upwards past some new social housing apartments the group parted and as usual I was deselected by the stronger guys, forming a smaller group of 4 and eventually climbing to the 9.2 miles to Santa Elena a small but vibrant farming community high above the city. 

We soon had breakfast from an open air wood burning parilla and I enjoyed chicharon, arepa con queso and chocolate caliente. We then continued on through lanes not unlike Surrey's before joining the main road to Las Palmas where we descended for a further 9 miles at up to 40mph and back to the city. Unusually there were 5 punctures over the morning but even so we arrived back early by mid morning since it was Mother's day in Colombia and people had to make customary visits, buy cakes and flowers etc. The Strava feed is here

Here is a video giving a flavour of the ride

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