I felt good in the morning. I left my apartment around 730am and made my way through downtown Medellin to start the 1 hour climb up to Boqueron. Just before the summit, I met a cyclist named Diego. It turned out that he had won several climbing competitions in Colombia. We were headed in the same direction so we rode together. After the 40km descent from Boqueron, we found a small restaurant in Santa Fe and gobbled down frijoles, arroz and heuvos.
I really suffered on the ride back to Medellin. I have no idea why, but the 1800 meter climb from San Jeronimo to Boqueron was painful from start to finish. Several bottles of Coke-Cola was the only thing that helped me tough it out. Diego tackled the mountain with ease.
Diego lives on Medellin's western slopes in a town called El Cucaracho (part of San Cristobal). The return route passed through his town so he invited me to meet his family and show off his championship medals and trophies.
I left their apartment around 6pm to negotiate 10km of rush-hour traffic. The exhaust emissions here can choke you, so I held my breathe for much of the next 30 minutes. I learned the safest way to ride through Medellin's traffic is to own the lane and defend your territory. Its the only way to get home in one piece.
|Crossing Rio Cacao.|
|A little Paris-Roubaix in Colombia.|
|Crossing Rio Cacao again to get to Sopetran.|
|Washed-out roads are common in Colombia.|
|A quick stop for Coke-Cola.|
|The Ortiz-Delgado family.|
|Fighting with motorcycles and cars in Medellin.|