Author Topic: Cycle touring in Colombia  (Read 587 times)

Cycle touring in Colombia
« on: October 21, 2017, 07:27:14 pm »
Has anyone toured in Colombia recently?

We are off there in a couple of weeks and so were interested to hear of anyone's recent experiences. We only decided where to go on Wednesday, so haven't really got a route planned yet. We will be flying in and out of Bogotá and will be there for four weeks. The full size (non-coupled) tandem plus trailer makes internal flights and bus transfers logistically challenging, so we are planning on riding a loop out of Bogatá towards Medellín.

So, has anyone toured or camped there? All information is useful, but we're particularly interested to see if travelling without a planned route is a reasonable in terms of finding rideable roads (either paved or gravel) and places to stay. We're always interested in hearing about interesting places to visit too!

Emma
California Dreaming

Andrij

  • Андрій
  • Ερασιτεχνικός μισάνθρωπος
Re: Cycle touring in Colombia
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2017, 03:43:13 pm »
Perhaps the Bicycle Touring & Bikepacking group on Bookface?
;D  Andrij.  I pronounce you Complete and Utter GIT   :thumbsup:

Re: Cycle touring in Colombia
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2017, 04:51:11 pm »
"Cycle touring in Columbia"

....sounds like some sort of euphemism. Trying to work out what for...

Re: Cycle touring in Colombia
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2017, 08:38:27 pm »
Being used as a destination offered by some companies:

https://www.redspokes.co.uk/cycling-holidays/itinerary.php?c=2&t=26

https://www.skedaddle.co.uk/classicroad/holiday/Road_Cycling/Colombia_-_Emerald_Mountains_-_Guided_Road_Cycling_Holiday/433/view.rails

This might be of use:

https://gearjunkie.com/bicycle-tour-colombia-tips

And don't forget to wear a jersey in the Columbian colours or at least a Movistar, Cannondale, Orica Scott, or the team of any other Colombian rider!


Re: Cycle touring in Colombia
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2017, 01:33:06 pm »
http://www.whileoutriding.com/category/south-america/colombia

Cass Gilbert has done some rides there. 
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Cycle touring in Colombia
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2017, 04:58:19 pm »
IRTA 'Cumbria' and my first thought was that it'll piss it down, and you'll be headbutted to death by ineffectual midges.

Anyway, I look forward to the ride reports...
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: Cycle touring in Colombia
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2017, 03:29:48 am »
Great links - thank you. We've found a friend of a friend who lives (and cycles) there which is good too. We have a vague plan now, and a bit more confidance that things will work out. We fully expect it to change completely once we're out there, but that's what we like about doing this sort of thing.
We're just finishing rebuilding the bike and will be off for an overnight trip to shakedown new components and to remember what the Hilleburg looks like  ::-) We're planning on calling in on a few local breweries too  ;D Anything to avoid sorting out and cleaning the house prior to shipping....
California Dreaming

Re: Cycle touring in Colombia
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2017, 09:10:05 pm »
We were there earlier this year, though not cycle touring - only a day spent cycling, but I would say it's pretty cycle friendly. There were plenty of solo cyclists out and about, even on the main routes, and the traffic is very accommodating. Roads other than the main routes don't tend to join up so to get anywhere you will be on the through roads.

Finding places to stay is fairly easy, even away from the gringo trail, and camping is fine (eldest shallot travelled there with a hammock a couple of years ago and was fine). Connections by air may be possible, although the planes are more like a bus in the cabin people seem to take loads of stuff and the charge for hold luggage is free or small. Absolutely no way would you get a bike on a bus.

Things to bear in mind:
The standard of road surface is *extremely* variable. Take a look at the two main routes from Bogotá to Medellín marked as "interstate" 56 and 60 on Google maps - one is perfect smooth tarmac with a cycle-able hard shoulder, the other looks like a farm track! Away from the main roads it's pot luck whether you get tarmac or something rutted like a stormy North Sea.
It's hilly. Very hilly. Imagine you take a normal hilly landscape in panavision and display it on a 4:3 aspect ratio - that's what Colombia looks like.
You will need some Spanish.

Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Re: Cycle touring in Colombia
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2017, 07:54:23 pm »
Thanks Picked Onion, that's all useful info.

It seems like Strava is pretty popular there, which helps give us an idea of the most popular roads (via heat maps).
California Dreaming

Re: Cycle touring in Colombia
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 08:41:44 pm »
You might find some interesting info at this site:https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/locales/?locale_id=48&doctype=journal
Tim Tower's posts (#68) are particularly recent and quite well done with lots of pictures and he spent a long time in Colombia before heading into Ecuador. Lots of others there too, many from people who spent varying amounts of time in Colombia before heading to other countries.

thing1

  • aka Joth
    • TandemThings
Re: Cycle touring in Colombia
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2017, 12:58:40 am »
The tips here are proving useful! We made it to Colombia and now on the 3rd day of riding. The usual sorts of challenges - you can read about here http://blog.tandemthings.com/ - but the experience so far is phenomenal. There's an incredible amount of little known cycle touring Bliss and the country is setup so well for it: very regular places to eat and sleep (not camping though) and so many really friendly people.