Day 327 – Thread the needle

Day 327 / Santa Rosa-Medellin, Colombia / 45 miles (Total 7830)

A great way to wake up in the morning. A rainbow started and ended in the backyard of the hotel. It was to foggy for my camera to pick up the colors, but it was an incredible site.

A great way to wake up in the morning. A rainbow started and ended in the backyard of the hotel. It was too foggy for my camera to pick up the colors, but it was an incredible site.

Someday’s you just know the day is going to be amazing and today was one of those days. Waking up to a rainbow in the backyard and knowing there is plenty of downhill riding started my day off right. I just had no clue that it would be one of the best days behind the bars. I don’t like using this word too much, but today deserves it. Epic, would describe the ride today.

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A nice stranger giving us some good advice through Colombia. He gave us his contact info just in case we ran into any troubles.

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Caballo

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The German cowboy. Every time Marko gets excited he yells out YEE-HAW! There was plenty of that today.

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Haven’t seen a sign like this for a very long time.

One of the many landslides today on the road

One of the many landslides on the road

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Speeding down the mountain  I saw this view from far away. All’s you could hear was brakes squeaking till I came to a stop. What a view!

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View #2

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Love this photo

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Everything seemed to flow today

After the waterfall we couldn’t think the day would get better, boy were we wrong. In total, we had almost 20 miles of downhill riding and the last 12 miles were insane! There were no straight shots on the road. The road constantly switched from hard lefts, to hard right switchbacks. With some traffic on the road I wasn’t going to let that slow me down. My speed was double of the vehicles, so I didn’t even bother slowing down when I approached them. Passing on the shoulder or to the left had my heart pounding down the mountain side. A few times I had to thread the needle with on coming traffic approaching, so I held on tight and squeezed between two vehicles with speeds of 40+ mph. It was one of the best descents of my life!

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This is where things got wild. You can see our road far down the mountain side. RAD!!!

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Taking it in before the crazy downhill bomb

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I started pedaling fast right about now

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Some stunning views today.

Waiting for oncoming traffic at a landslide

Waiting for oncoming traffic at a landslide

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Approaching the city of Medellin. A nice wide shoulder saved us from the fast-moving traffic

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With a city of 3 million people I thought I would lose my mind entering the big city. Overall, the ride in wasn’t to bad. We found the apartment to our Warmshower host with no problems.  We got settled in and laughed about the days ride. Going to stay here for a few days and check the city out.


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Day 326 – The final push

Day 326 / Yarumal-Santa Rosa, Colombia / 35 miles (Total 7785)

This little girl loved the Mother Trucker. She came out and inspected all 3 bikes and came back to mine. She pointed, poked, clapped and laughed at the bike. Think it's cause the colors matched her outfit. Silly girls

This little girl loved the Mother Trucker. She came out and inspected all 3 bikes and came back to mine. She pointed, poked, clapped and laughed at the bike. Think it’s cause the colors matched her outfit. Silly girls

Today was our final push up the never-ending hill and we were all excited for a little flat ground. It was great to ride in the cold weather again. All bundled up, we pushed off for the final 35 miles.

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The streets out of town were insanely steep and fun. Even with both brakes on it didn’t matter, our speed still picked up. We descended a quick 1000 ft  in a matter of seconds it seemed. At the bottom of the hill I had a nice flat to start my morning. A quick fix and back on the road.

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More great views at 7,500 feet. Around 8000 ft we could see our breath and the rain clouds came in. It got darn cold for the next hour. Rain gear on and we pushed through the chilly weather.

We found a nice hotel for $7.00 per person and had a heck of a time getting our bikes up the stairs. The hotel was a labyrinth of turns in every direction. You could easily get lost in the giant hotel if you weren’t paying attention. We had good internet, a comfy bed, a great view out the window and a piping hot shower.

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We met Evon on the road and he was going in the opposite direction. He is from Panama and not so use to the cold weather. His teeth were chattering and he was rubbing his arms frantically to stay warm.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We made it to Santa Rosa  early in the afternoon when the sun started to peak through. A beautiful city with a laid back feeling.

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We walked the city for a while and filled our faces with more of Colombia’s great food. Later in the night a crazy thunderstorm came in and the thunder rattled our hotel. Some of the lightning strikes came down only a few hundred meters away. We sat outside our rooms and watched the lighting show for a while. I love a good thunderstorm at night and Colombia doesn’t disappoint. Almost every night mother nature puts on a great show here.


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Day 325 – Travel your life away

Day 325 / Truckstop – Yarumal, Colombia / 10 miles (Total 7750)

Standing still for too long will collect moss under your feet, that’s when life gets slippery. Shake the moss from your feet and travel your life away.

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Waterfall far off in the distance and our road ahead is camouflaged to the right.  After 12,000 miles of touring, Alaska and Oregon was on top of my list. Well, Colombia dethroned those two by leaps and bounds. I have had serious thoughts about skipping the rest of the tour just to see more of Colombia. Yes, it’s that amazing here.

After touring through Mexico and Central America, I never would have thought South America could compare with those people. Colombia has a whole new level of kindness. They want to truly get to know you, where your from and where you are going. They want to know about your family and if you have a wife and kids. There is no hidden agenda in their kindness. They truly love life and the people who cross their paths. I feel so honored and blessed to be riding a bike through their incredible country raising money for a great cause.

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Rubbed my morning eyes and this was my first view

I was a little scared to get out of bed this morning. 30 miles and 7,000 ft of climbing was sure to put some hurt in my 38-year-old body. I stood up and felt great. Opened the door with a smile and the first thing I saw was mountains surrounded by fog. Reminded me a lot of Alaska and I was eager to put some miles on.

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As we were packing the bikes up the owner came by and told us breakfast was ready. A large cup of hot chocolate, eggs and cheese. What a great way to start the morning ride.

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Yummy!!! Arapas

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The crew and the owner of the hotel. Thanks for everything!

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Our little photographer this morning.

If you have a sweet tooth you will love Colombia. They love there candy here

If you have a sweet tooth you will love Colombia. They love their candy here

WOW, was the word for today. A short 11 miles, but the views were packed in tight. Another day that words cannot describe the ride. so i’ll just say WOW again. The weather was cool and perfect. The sun was out giving the green mountains an extra glow to them. The locals cheered us on going up the enormous hill. I think all the locals must have pedaled part of the mountain once in their life and they know the difficulty of it.

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Not just a slice of heaven. Colombia is the whole piece

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It’s hard to imagine that we are around 7,500 feet in elevation.

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Anja with a smile from ear to ear.

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No body is safe with the Pedaling for Pennies blog around. I document it all. Marko caught with his pants down.

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The Mother Trucker and the Andes Mountains

We were going to try and put on another 60 kilometers and 1,500 feet of elevation today. We made it to the large town of Yarumal, where we wanted to hit up a super market and an internet cafe. Anja let us know that she wasn’t feeling the best, so we decided to stay put for the day. I really didn’t feel like pushing on without them, cause I have been having too much fun with the German couple. Plus, I have been far behind on the blog and this would give me a full day to get caught up. Hopefully it’s just a little altitude sickness and her body will acclimate to the elevation by tomorrow. Either way it’s nice to give the body a rest after 8 hard days of riding.

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Yarumal off in the distance. The town roads here are the steepest I have seen. You don’t want to make a wrong turn on a bike here.

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Taking a coffee break in the town center.

 

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Downtoen Yarumal

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A hotel view


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