Dennis and I spent a couple hours riding our mountain bikes around the gravel roads of Shrine Pass. We actually never made it to the single track, since we just had a couple of hours. It was a pleasant place to ride due to the sweeping views. And, since we got there in the middle of the day (right before thunderstorms started up!) the roads were not totally crowded with 4wd’ers.
Sometime, I’d like to ride the single track into the back bowls of Vail, but that will have to wait until next summer!
The day after getting back from the whirlwind trip up Blanca and Ellingwood, I joined Dennis for a half day of mountain biking around Buffalo Creek. My legs were totally trashed, but I still had a good time.
Or, at least until the last 30 minutes, when I totally wiped out going down a steep section of trail. There was a girl riding right behind me, so I tried to pull the bike over and hit a soft patch of sand. My bike came to a sudden stop and I kept moving…Not good! A relatively minor accident, but I was totally steaming…I shouted a bunch of bad words and then walked my bike down the rest of the steep hill.
It took me a while to calm down, but I still feel like griping. Why do people ride their bikes inches from my back tire? It’s not like we have airbags and anti-lock breaks! Geez Louise!
Elk Meadow is Beautiful. Bergen Peak in the background!
Trail Signage Abounds
On our Friday off, Dennis and I take our mountain bikes over to Elk Meadow to thrash down some trails. I had not been to EM since I went trail running there a few years ago. I remember running up to the top of Bergen Peak, so I was hoping we weren’t going to be doing that on the bikes. It was steep and a bit rocky, so it stuck out in my mind as being pretty advanced.
Dennis was super happy, we finally had the chance to go mountain biking. Pedro drove us out to the country and we road down a gravelly jeep style road. It was slightly hilly, but beautiful terrain.
At the Bacalhoa Winery there were these odd sculptures out in front!
On the way out there, we stopped at the Bacalhoa Winery and bought some delicious Moscatel Roxo (Red). I wish we could have purchased an entire case, but we were going to be travelling over the next week and didn’t want to lug it around from place to place!
We also visited a Mom and Pop tile factory named Ceramica Do Lapidario (email them at lapidario at clix dot pt or call them at 212191123, for tour information and products). We met with the crafts people and purchased some hand painted mosaic tiles. It was neat to take a small tour and learn how they make the tile. The gal who painted our tiles has been doing so since she was a little girl.
Later that afternoon, Pedro drove us to another area and we rode the bikes downhill to a very nice beach. We lounged about on the beach for an hour and then called it a day!
In the morning, we said goodbye to the tour folks and donated a few things to the porters. We then set out to meet the Reserv Cusco folks for our half day mountain bike excursion. We were really excited to go biking.
In the video above, you can get a feel for our ride.
It started up on a hill, above Cusco, near the Pukapukara Ruins. We rode along a two lane road for a little while, passing some construction. Brenda had some trouble with her brakes and I had a flat tire…but we fixed those problems and were able to finish the ride. At one point we stopped for a breather (riding at over 12,000 ft is a challenge!). The view was amazing.
We veered off the concrete onto a muddy downhill road. This was where the fun really started. It was steep, full of puddles, and did I mention…Muddy!
William, our guide is a very profficient mountain biker, so he usually rode ahead of us a little. He’d stop on occasion and let us catch up. At one time, I asked him to take video of us riding and he caught some awesome footage of us negotiating the turns of the road. (more…)