At the moment is day #1 of what’s prone to be probably the most tough bike tour I’ve ever tried.
These of you who’ve been following alongside right here at Bicycle Touring Professional will know that for the previous couple months I’ve been touring by way of the South American nation of Peru. However what you could not have realized is that up till this level I’ve not had a bicycle with me. As a substitute, I’ve been getting round on buses, in taxi cabs, and on foot at any time when doable. Sure, I did perform a little biking once I was in Lima, however apart from that, this journey by way of Peru has been largely with out bikes. Till now…!
You see, town of Puno, which is positioned on the western shore of Lake Titicaca in Southern Peru, is a metropolis bustling with bicycles.
Really, tricycles lead the cost right here… not bikes.
There are tricycles made to haul items from one aspect of city to a different. There are tricycles arrange with barbecues welded to their tops in order that avenue distributors can simply roll their meats from one nook to the following. And greater than anything, there are tricycles designed to hold passengers (and their gear) wherever they want to go throughout the metropolis limits.
The Peruvian tricycle taxi cab is in contrast to something I’ve ever seen earlier than. They’re normally extremely embellished, completely beat up, and most of them lack gears or brakes of any sort. And after arriving in Puno, Peru only a few brief weeks in the past, it was these tricycle taxi cabs that gave me a wild thought – an concept that has now grow to be a actuality.
Right here’s what’s taking place:
One week in the past I stumbled throughout the lime inexperienced tricycle taxi cab you see within the photograph on the prime of this submit. There was a big paper signal on the entrance of the trike saying that it was on the market, so I requested the person how a lot he needed for it, and he responded “300 Soles” (about $108 USD). I couldn’t imagine the worth!
To make an extended story brief, I purchased the tricycle from the person (for 250 Soles) and in the present day I’m leaving Puno, not on a bus like most vacationers who go to this charming little metropolis in Southern Peru, however on a single-speed tricycle taxi cab.
The plan for the following 5-6 days is to experience this dilapidated previous tricycle throughout the Peruvian Altiplano and thru the mountains to town of Cusco some 250+ miles away. My 100+ pound tricycle will probably be hauling roughly 50 kilos of substances, plus my very own weight (155 kilos), and if I get fortunate I’ll add on the burden of 1 or two extra passengers.
To make this complete factor much more tough, the elevation I’ll be touring at is between 11,500 and 12,500 ft… I communicate just a few phrases of Spanish, so conversing with the locals alongside the best way will definitely be tough… and greater than anything, I’m doing this utterly alone.
This isn’t the kind of bicycle touring I like to recommend for most individuals wishing to journey by bike, however after greater than 10 years of lengthy distance bicycle journey, I’m definitely up for the problem… and I’m able to strive one thing new.
If I do certainly make all of it the best way to Cusco on my rusty previous tricycle this may occasionally change into one of the unimaginable issues I’ve ever accomplished. Or, I could make it 5 miles out of Puno and understand that that is probably the most unimaginable mission I’ve ever created for myself. Both approach, it’s going to be one hell of an journey!
So keep tuned! I’ll be out of contact for the following 5-6 days, however once I arrive in Cusco (whether or not that be on my tricycle or by way of a bus after abandoning the tricycle someplace in the midst of Peru) I’ll make sure to let you know the entire story.
Please maintain your fingers crossed for me. The following few days are going to be powerful.