Bike 2:30:00  38.0 km (15.2 kph) +1300m
Brook and the rest of the gang continued on to Rio Claro today leaving Mike, VJ, Sean, Juliann, Courtney and myself on our own. We shuttled the bags to our next hotel (next to the airport) and then returned back to Medellin to ride our bikes out of the valley. There are a few ways to leave town on this side of the valley. One of them is really steep and the other supposedly starts through some sketchier neighbourhoods. The most famous one is Las Palmas which is popular with Medellin cyclists and also a common climb in the Tour of Colombia. Unfortunately this is also the busiest road out of the three. As it is two lane with a shoulder I didn't feel that traffic was dangerous but it was loud and smelly so not my favorite ride on the trip despite the views. Worth doing to say we had done it though...
At the top you enter a fairly affluent zone with lots of new houses on acreages and a number of strip malls (with Canadian prices - usually things have been 50-70% of our cost). A weird juxtaposition when you compare it to our ride on Monday for instance. We detoured onto a really nice side road and down an alternative highway which was much quieter and a fun descent.
Legs are feeling tired... I had driven the climb in the van earlier today and thought it looked to be a moderate grade but I underestimated it as the last half was pretty steady 7-10%. Short steep ramps are feeling harder than they should.