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Training Log Archive: revy

In the 7 days ending Nov 11, 2017:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Bike4 17:30:00 215.93(12.3/h) 347.5(19.9/h) 7275
  Hike1 1:00:00 1.86(32:11) 3.0(20:00) 475
  Run1 48:00 4.97(9:39) 8.0(6:00) 25
  Total6 19:18:00 222.76(5:12) 358.5(3:14) 7775

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Saturday Nov 11, 2017 #

7 AM

Bike (Road) 4:30:00 [2] 86.5 km (19.2 kph) +2050m

A loop ride from Cauca Viejo downstream, right near Bolombolo and a climb up the back way to Fredonia via Venezia. The road was very quiet (tertiary road) and climbed through ranches towards Cerro Tusa (a dramatic rock peak that supposedly is the mountain in the background of the Juan Valdez ad). We hit a number of gravel sections ranging from 50m to 500m - we probably had at least 3 km of gravel. For the most part this was uphill and rideable so not a big deal. The weird thing was that the pavement in between was quite smooth. After the first climb we dropped a bit to Venezia where we had a nice snack stop. The climb to Fredonia was a little busier especially once we reached the intersection with the main road (but still not bad). The last bit of the climb was also steeper. The main square in Fredonia was even busier than yesterday as it is a holiday weekend. So far Fredonia and Venezia are my favourite small Colombian towns. The rest of the ride took us along the scenic mountainside road to the coffee plantation from yesterday and then back down to the river. Temperatures were nice up high and warm once we got back down to the valley bottom. Most of the bigger (and more affluent) towns seem to be higher up and enjoy a more pleasant climate than the valley bottom towns.

Friday Nov 10, 2017 #


Coffee plantation tour - in Spanish but despite this the tour was still very interesting. It was not a place where they frequently do tours so I felt like we got a pretty realistic exposure including clambering right on the machinery (don't carry anything with straps) and then a crazy drive on steep plantation roads in the back of a truck... great light and views until we got hit by a downpour.

Thursday Nov 9, 2017 #

8 AM

Bike 3:00:00 [2] 80.5 km (26.8 kph) +725m

Transfer day from manizales to cauca viejo. I had low expectations that today would be great as we were on the main road to Medellin so was pleasantly surprised by the actual ride. We started with a ride through manizales which was not too bad despite being on the double highway through town (we did inhale some diesel smoke which was not ideal). The descent was also on the double lane road out of town but this road was quiet and because it was the main road it was smooth and fast. We descended for half and hour and we were back into the warm tropics at 900m in the river valley bottom. The rest of the day was spent following the river with occasional ups and downs. As Colombia seems to be rebuilding this highway into double lane were multiple sections of alternating single lane traffic. Occasionally we got stopped but this allowed us to buy drinks from the road side vendors. The bonus of the traffic stops was that for 10-20 minutes at a time we had pretty much no traffic on the road. At La Pintada we stopped for fruit drinks and then left the main road for the last 28km to our accommodation. Despite the significant climb shown on the Garmin today felt like mainly riding downhill so a good change from yesterday.
1 PM

Bike 3:00:00 [2] 72.0 km (24.0 kph) +600m

Had to restart the GPS to get the route to load so second part of the ride.

Wednesday Nov 8, 2017 #

6 AM

Bike (Road) 7:00:00 [3] 108.5 km (15.5 kph) +3900m

Colombia has one of the longest paved road climbs in the world - the eastern side of Alto de Letras. Of course this is a little subjective as this climb does have a few small descents along the way making it not a sustained pitch but for the most part you pretty much climb for 80km once you leave Mariquita. We started prett early to avoid the heat at low elevation though it was still very humid. Early on the skies were clear enough to see the volcano (Nevado de Ruiz?). We passed from lowland ranching and farming, to coffee and fruit plantations to ranching again. The climb is so long I've already forgotten many parts... we stopped for snacks at the two bigger towns (Fresno and Padua). As we neared Padua we followed a ridge that gave us views of what I envisioned Colombia to be - steep green hillsides with huge vertical relief and houses in crazy spots. Beyond Padua the climb became more steady (the first 15km were also steep) and unfortunately the clouds had increased and eventually we were riding in fog and drizzle. This deteriorated into rain which wasn't too bad on the way up in terms of temperature but a short 2km descent about thirty minutes from the summit was pretty unpleasant. I can't say I really noticed the altitude rather I just noticed the many hours of climbing and my legs were getting tired (plus some my right knee - jumping right into a huge climb title road biking in the last few months is a great idea).

Finally we reached the top which isn't really a stunning col in the European sense but rather an easily passable broad high point. Too bad that it was still cloudy as we didn't get many views here. As we were all pretty cold (it was 7 degrees at the top I think) we stopped at a roadside stall and changed base layers, drank some hot chocolate, and eventually piled next to their wood stove to try and warm up (which really wasn't that warm but it was a good story). After an hour the truck with our luggage came by and Harvey and Andrea lent us some extra clothes. The rain had stopped so we chanced the descent. It was a still chilly but better than an hour prior. Some people were getting speed wobbles from the shakes so we took it pretty easy. The road down the other side was quite scenic and to me seemed like a weird combination of Swiss alpine pastures and jungle forest. Only a 1500m descent as our destination Manizales was at 2200m.

Big day which was a bit AR-like at times. Probably more type 2 fun than type 1... ;)

Monday Nov 6, 2017 #

10 AM

Hike 1:00:00 [2] 3.0 km (20:00 / km) +475m 11:10 / km

Montserrate hike in Bogota. We didn't realize that today was a holiday so this meant that there was lots of people on the pathway that climbs up to the Montserrate church. As safety is supposedly an issue at quieter times this was ok - lots of interesting people watching too. It is amazing what people will hike up in. Some nice views of bogota today and good to get some exercise. We climbed to 3200m so oxygen was getting a bit sparse. We took the funicular down saving our legs.

Sunday Nov 5, 2017 #

2 PM

Run 48:00 [2] 8.0 km (6:00 / km) +25m 5:54 / km

A long day and night of flying yesterday (living in Revelstoke and flying out of Kelowna makes most flights long...). Arrived in Bogota and as the rest of the crew were out on a bike ride Courtney and I went for a run to avoid going too stir-crazy. We ran from the hotel to Parque Simon Bolivar which turned out to be a happening place on a Sunday (lots of families out). Felt like I couldn't get my breathing under control to start the run - perhaps the elevated was to blame (2600m).

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