Thursday, November 03, 2005


A quick update to that extreme biking day from which I think I´m just about recovered (hands, back and bum hurt like hell) and my clothes have finally dried out.

Can´t show any pics of it yet (even forgot the cd with the older pics on it), but I can direct you to the site of the company that we went with.

Xtreme Downhill
Click on "The Death Road" box then you can click through pictures from the different stages on the right.

The crazy thing about the road is that although there´s about enough room to ride a bike and there are massive drops, poor road conditions, poor visibility with blind corners etc, it´s still used by huge trucks going both ways. When two trucks meet, one has to reverse up to a passing place, normally round a sharp bend. Really is insane.

The conditions we had were terrible, with lots of cloud (that you ride through, not under) and lots of rain which apart from getting you wet from the sky, flooded the rivers that run across the road (yes, there are 2 rivers that you have to cycle through and the water goes way above your ankle) and increased the waterfalls that you have to go through too.

The road is also quite rough in places. From our group we killed or maimed three bikes. One got a puncture (no problem), another had his back brakes fail (one of the guides took that one and rode it down without back brakes!), then I managed to shear a part of my gears of my back wheel (a bit of metal that feeds the chain onto the read gears) which would have meant the end but we had a spare bike so I took that.

A tough day that left me practically crippled the next day with a bad back but it was well worth it. Highly recommended but I don´t think I´ll be taking up mountain biking back home.

Updated with photos (29-Nov-2005) - Click for pics

The good road

The bad road (with the rain setting in)

Waterfalls across the road

You're already wet, so it doesn't matter. In fact, it's pretty, and pretty good.

Just don't forget to slow down for the sharp right-hander. That drop is real, and it's several hundred metres.

Lunch at a memorial for an Israeli girl that died while biking not so long ago.

If you look closely, you can see one of the buses that didn't make it.

A guide waits for the others to catch up.

The road is rough, and it's not exactly wide either.

Most accidents happen when two lorries meet and one has to backup to a passing place. Then it falls off when it goes round the corner.

My derailleur gets derailed straight off the bike (and takes some spokes with it).

Road or river, it's all the same here. Don't forget this is used by loads of lorries all the time.

Two toucans at the hotel at the end of the road.

Two parrots


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