I left the boys behind in Riobamba fairly late in the day. I made 60km before setting up camp in a nice pine forest.
Once again I was solo. It was a lot easier this time :) after a great nights sleep I headed out into a light drizzle. Aiming somewhere around the 130km mark.
It was straight into it CLIMBING. I would climb for 5-10-15km think I was at the top, but nope a short down hill then climbing again. Really glad I have this 1x11 group set
I rolled along with the intention of getting all the way to El Tambo 136km. I flew down a few great descents but was met with just as great climbs.
I finally got to take my rain gear off a few hours after I started. The sun burst out & it was a magnificent day. The climbs seemed to be going on & on. Man I am unfit.
I finally rolled into Chunchi right on time for lunch & a water restock. It had taken me 4.5 hours to do 70km. I had 65 to go.
After filling up on lunch & 3.5litrrs of water I was off. I got a nice little descent out of town then it was. Climbing.
I caught up to an older guy who was walking said hi & kept on pedalling. A few seconds later he passed me running. This was a reasonable climb & over 2200mtr. He continued to run as I struggled to keep up.
I finally passed him again as he slowed a little. He was running in dress shoes with no socks & undone laces. He was schooling me jahah.
I rode on & again he caught me. This must of been over 1.5km by now. I sat next to him on the bike but was having to put serious effort in. This continued for probably 4km.
Then he stopped at his patch of dirt. I stopped had the usual chat & he gave me his address & wanted to know all about Australia. I left with his details & continued the climb.
The deluge of rain started around 1 & would not let up all afternoon. All I was doing was climbing & climbing. My legs were knackered but the climbing & rain continued.
I knew at this point there was no way I was making it to El Tambo. It was still 24 km away & I think it had taken Me over an hour to do 7.
I stopped & put my sleeves on, buff & gloves, it was getting cold. No real surprise as I was over 3000 mtr. I listened to a podcast & kept on climbing.
I would get a short down then a looooooong up. Just as I was absolutely soaked through & beginning to shiver I arrived in Zhud.
I rolled through the tiny town, passed the police station & a further 800mtr to the service station. I was hoping this may offer a place to camp.
I quickly went into the bathroom to get changed. I was freezing. I warmed up & bought a coffee. As I sat there sipping my coffee trying to stop shivering I surveyed my surroundings.
Absolutely no grass or protected space. No chance to camp here at all. My only option was to ride the 800mtr back up hill in the rain to the police station.
I finished my weak as coffee, paid the exorbitant .65c & left. Making a run for it as the rain has eased. My main concern was getting my dry clothes wet.
I went to the police station & spoke to the officer who barely looked away from his FB on his phone. Telling me that it was only 20min down the road to some accom.
I once again explained I was on my bicycle. I gestured across to a small car park shelter & asked if I can camp in there. He shrugged told me I would be cold but whatever.
I took my bike & ran the 30mtr quickly in the rain to my new found respite area. I quickly set up my tent & a clothes line to hang out all my wet stuff.
My back was killing me but I still needed to make dinner. I had a few chats with inquisitive locals which was great. I cooked pasta & tuna & prepared myself for what would be a long night.
As soon as I got into bed it was so loud. The highway was literally 50mtr away. To make it worse was there was a stop light & construction going on. As well as being the Sunday of a long weekend.
So everyone was travelling home. Wverytime a truck would come grinding to a holt it would hit the road works & it would sound like it lost its entire load.
At 11pm someone decided to crank the music up right next to me. I do believe it was the night shift police.
30-5-16 Zhud- Biblian 60km 1860mtr
Feeling pretty flat & tired after my restless sleep I made my way to Biblian. Of course it was loooong climbs with short descents until 15km out of town.
Them BOOM finally a mammoth descent. 15km of downhill woooop with a top speed of 79km/hr. The loaded bike gets pretty loose after 77 haha but man it was fun, zipping between cars & trucks woooo
i was was stoked to arrive just before the rain as well. A beautiful little town with some tasty salchipapa ( chips with a small Frankfurt sausage ).
It it was early & only 30km to Cuenca but no point in paying for accomodation if I don't have too. I checked out the sites & on dusk went & camped in another police station. This time a nice quiet one.
I was up early & on the move. I cycled the 30 some odd km into the city. A pretty nice place overall. Found myself a hostel & had one of the nicest hottest showers this trip.
I spent 2 days in Cuenca just checking it out & resting my tired legs hahaha. Finally I'm starting to hit the REAL mountains.
Some stats :
5 days riding
10,284 mtr gained
3 dead dogs
All cycling was above 2,200mtr above sea level.
I am an ultra runner, Mountain biker, Packrafter, Climber, Ironman, Endurance Athlete