Browsing: Cycle Touring

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By Rodney Dodig

I must admit I never imagined that I would be writing an article about downhill biking. It was a trip to Peru that changed all that and inspired me to let all you downhill enthusiasts know what I saw and experienced while I was there. I hope this inspires you to travel to other countries to experience your sport in other cultures. My own experience started out innocently enough on a beautiful Saturday morning on September 29th, 2007. I was visiting my friend Mauricio in Cusco. He is a vice principle at one of the schools in the town. He is also the founder and coach of the school’s downhill bike racing team. He had invited me to travel with his team to the town of Coya in the Sacred Valley for a practice run for a downhill invitational that was to be held the next day.

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Written by Aníbal Paredes

Cycle Touring Peru: Expedition through the valleys of Asia & Mala - Peru This long planned expedition was made on the long weekend from june 28th to july 2nd 2007. We crossed part of the Omas and Mala rivers basins, visiting some towns like: Coayllo, Omas, San Pedro de Pilas, Tamara and Quinocay. Our goal was to pass from one basin to the other cycling but couldn’t achieve this for reasons beyond our control, however the shared experience by the four of us was much beyond the expected.

This cycle touring experience can’t be defined with a single word but many that won’t be enough: friendship, generousity, solidarity, enthusiasm, hospitality, sense of humor, respect, camaraderie, cooperation, good manners, optimism, joy, nostalgia and finally love and gratefulness.

Cycle Touring Peru: Expedition through the valleys of Asia & Mala - Peru The trip started late as usual, we departed Lima on june 28th about at 9 p.m., it was scheduled at 7 p.m. (peruvian time, the old style),  towards Maria Nelly and Sydney’s country houses.

At Sydney’s, dinner, wine, banana cake with ice cream and the chat was great, all five stars. Thanks Syd!

In the morning on the 29th, breakfast at Maria Nelly’s was identically good and generous. Thanks Lele!

As soon as everything was ready: luggage, three bikes, Sydney’s truck, equipment, etc., the tree of us started cycling, one driving on that cold and humid morning. The 10 kms from Mala to Asia were cycled alongside the highway.

The cycling trip by the Asia valley begins just front of La Huaca facility and crosses the coastal desert contaminated with garbage deposits and demolition debris from the near flourishing Asia beach neighbourhood, followed by the poor and languishing town of Santa Rosa de Asia – what a contrast! Afterwards Coayllo, old town, small and calm which that day, june 29th, celebrates Saint Peter patron with procession, band, service at the church, party, fireworks, etc.

A brief rest with stretching session preceded the departure toward Omas along a road that shortly after showed its general profile: a long and progressive 55 km length ascent that placed each of us in its corresponding position according to our fitness condition: 1st Sydney, 2nd not too far behind Bruno and 3rd far back away Anibal. The truck, driven by Maria Nelly, was shifting positions from behind them to in front of them.

The toponimies of the route: Sequilao, Uquira, Huavinchurco, Francia, La Yesera, Los Gentiles, Tierra Amarilla and Cata slowly passed fell behind us, according to the pace of the phisically demanding cycling, under the oblique sun rays on this nice late june afternoon.

However the strong ascents right after Cata were not finished by any of the first two energetic bikers whom left their power along the way. The last one also paid in full with painful cramps the consequence of inactivity for three weeks without cycling due to an accident that affected his ribs.

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Cycle Touring Peru: Winter Solstice Bike Trip to Chankillo

(Written by special contributers Aníbal & María Elena)

Chankillo, Peru According to a study published by archaeologists Ivan Ghezzi, Universidad Católica del Perú and Charles Ruggles, Leicester University UK, there is evidence of the oldest known observatory in the world. They stated that "The towers of Chankillo provide us with evidence of the first solar observations and of the existence of advanced cults to the sun, 2,000 years before the cults made by the Incas from Cusco."

Before now, based on the references of the first Spanish chroniclers, it was believed that the first observatories were in the Coricancha region, near Cusco and were constructed by the Moche culture, 600 years after Chankillo. Chankillo was constructed when one of the major religious centers collapsed, Chavin de Huantar, between 200 and 300 B.C.

Located some 15 km south of Casma, about 400 km north of Lima, Chankillo is made up of a fortress strategically situated on the top of a hill, composed of 3 concentric oval shaped thick rock walls (with 5, 4, and 3 entrances respectively from the outer to the inner). These leveled doorways lead to elaborate corridors, its roofs are made with thick algarrobo wood that still support the weight of the wall above. Surrounding these concentric circles are 2 round structures and 1 circle. The C14 analysis of the wood shows us that the wood is 2,300 years old.