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Colombia?

Old 12-02-17, 12:01 PM
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rfield54
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Colombia?

I'm considering signing up for a road bike tour in Colombia next year - probably in October or November - and was looking for suggestions and recommendations, mainly regarding the choice of a tour company. I want to do a longer tour (nine or ten days of riding), and I want the tour to include Alto De Letras. The one I'm considering is by a company called Cyclota: La Heroica. Cycling tour Colombia The article in Bicycing Magazine a couple of months ago caught my eye (https://www.bicycling.com/culture/c...et-list-cycling-destination-youre-looking-for). The itinerary and dates really appeal to me.

Does anyone out there have experience with this company? There doesn't seem to be a lot of internet activity regarding this or any other Colombia bike tour.

Thanks
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Old 12-02-17, 01:15 PM
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Old 12-02-17, 09:56 PM
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Have you checked a climate chart? November is the rainy season in south america. 2 hours of hard rain in the afternoon is normal in Colombian rainy season.

Does that say $3,600 and the guide wants a $300 tip?

Colombians are big into cycles. You have a choice of 700 x 23mm tires, or 26 x lots of sizes, or 27.5 x 2.1 in the cities. Why do you want to pay $360 a day + tip for a tour company? Not even the hyper expensive adventure cycling charges that kind of money.

Why not just ride out of the airport on your own? If you can spend $100 a day in Colombia, you are rich. You could be comfortable for $30 a day, or squeek by on $15 a day. If you stay at a $5 hotel they might borrow your bicycle. A $20 hotel is comfortable and has security. Colombia is bicycle friendly, you do not need a touring company.

The Medellin police had trouble catching the bicycle bandido, so they welded together their own bicycle. looked a lot like a track bike, the fork was to straight up and down for safety, very short wheel base. The new and faster police bike did catch the bicycle bandido.


Colombia raises minimum wage by 7 percent for 2017
Reuters Staff
1 MIN READ
BOGOTA (Reuters) - The Colombian government will raise the monthly minimum wage to 737,717 pesos ($246) in 2017, a 7 percent increase from the current minimum, the labor ministry said on Friday.

The increase was decreed by the government after business owners and unions failed to reach an agreement on the rise.

The labor ministry also increased transportation assistance for minimum wage workers by 7 percent, to 83,140 pesos a month.

($1 = 3,000.71 Colombian pesos)

Last edited by chrisx; 12-02-17 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 12-02-17, 10:47 PM
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"Have you checked a climate chart? November is the rainy season in south america. 2 hours of hard rain in the afternoon is normal in Colombian rainy season."

I did see that, and the only other month I can go is May, which has more rainy days (but a bit less volume)

"Colombians are big into cycles. You have a choice of 700 x 23mm tires, or 26 x lots of sizes, or 27.5 x 2.1 in the cities. Why do you want to pay $360 a day + tip for a tour company? Not even the hyper expensive adventure cycling charges that kind of money."


That's actually a bit less expensive than the other international tour companies per day.

"Why not just ride out of the airport on your own? If you can spend $100 a day in Colombia, you are rich. You could be comfortable for $30 a day, or squeek by on $15 a day. If you stay at a $5 hotel they might borrow your bicycle. A $20 hotel is comfortable and has security. Colombia is bicycle friendly, you do not need a touring company."

A tour company makes life with luggage and a nice road bike the only way to go for me.
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Old 12-03-17, 07:32 PM
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blend in, not stand out

When visiting Colombia,
and most other places, try not to stand out, or paint yourself as the richest kid on the block. Leave your gold watch and jewlery at home. Dont brag to the locals that your carbon fiber bike would cost them 5 years pay. Might be a good idea to buy some clothes after you get there, so as to blend in better.

I tell people My bike cost $400, about what everyone else pays for a bike. I do not tell them I have S&S couplers, tubeless wheels, and an XTR crank set.
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Old 12-03-17, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
When visiting Colombia,
and most other places, try not to stand out, or paint yourself as the richest kid on the block. Leave your gold watch and jewlery at home. Dont brag to the locals that your carbon fiber bike would cost them 5 years pay. Might be a good idea to buy some clothes after you get there, so as to blend in better.

I tell people My bike cost $400, about what everyone else pays for a bike. I do not tell them I have S&S couplers, tubeless wheels, and an XTR crank set.
Thanks for the response, especially the idea of buying clothes down there...brilliant 😎 . . . cheap sunglasses as well.
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Old 05-03-22, 04:56 PM
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So, how it went? Did you do it?

I'm taking part of "Letras Challenge", a Gran Fondo on Alto de Letras on June 25. There are still a few places left if you want to come. The good news is the road will be closed for the event. https://fb.me/e/3glOn6p4y
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Old 05-04-22, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by rebayona View Post
So, how it went? Did you do it?

I'm taking part of "Letras Challenge", a Gran Fondo on Alto de Letras on June 25. There are still a few places left if you want to come. The good news is the road will be closed for the event. https://fb.me/e/3glOn6p4y
I didn't make it...someday maybe. And maybe that someday will be the Letras Fondo if it happens yearly. Have fun! . . .
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Old 05-04-22, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by rfield54 View Post
I didn't make it...someday maybe. And maybe that someday will be the Letras Fondo if it happens yearly. Have fun! . . .
It seems it does every year. I'd be happy to be your host if you want to ride for a couple of days before taking that adventure, as a field recon. Where I live there is an active community riding every single morning to various destinations: flat, hilly, etc. I feel I live in cyclist's Nirvana.
Just take a look at my last three rides: Sunday - Tuesday - Today
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Old 05-04-22, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by rebayona View Post
It seems it does every year. I'd be happy to be your host if you want to ride for a couple of days before taking that adventure, as a field recon. Where I live there is an active community riding every single morning to various destinations: flat, hilly, etc. I feel I live in cyclist's Nirvana.
Just take a look at my last three rides: Sunday - Tuesday - Today
Wow, Vuela al Laga Calima looks like a sweet ride! I'll be in touch when I decide to make it there, and thank you!
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Old 05-04-22, 11:25 AM
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You sound like an extremely strong cyclist, rebayona. I toured in Colombia in early 2019. I flew into Medellin and biked from a small town south of Medellin to Armenia (the town in Colombia, not the country obviously). I passed through Manizales on the west side of Alto de Letras, but never considered climbing the pass. In my younger days, I biked over lots of passes including at least one slightly higher than Alto de Letras, though starting at a higher altitude. You've got one big advantage living in high altitude Bogota at over 2640m (8661 ft). Fortunately, I've never experienced altitude sickness, but I live near sea level so I definitely could feel the altitude while biking and hiking in your beautiful country. On the way to Armenia, I met some British cyclists who were going to bike over La Linea east of Armenia, another high pass. They tried to convince me to join them, but I declined.
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Old 05-04-22, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by rfield54 View Post
Wow, Vuela al Laga Calima looks like a sweet ride! I'll be in touch when I decide to make it there, and thank you!
I really enjoyed it! I like this one too, as the destination is a very beautiful Hacienda with lots of history around it.
Colombia is full of these types of rides, whether for an early workday or for a weekend.
Feel free to contact me when you're ready for it, I'll help you to plan the experience of your life.
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Old 06-28-22, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
You sound like an extremely strong cyclist, rebayona. I toured in Colombia in early 2019. I flew into Medellin and biked from a small town south of Medellin to Armenia (the town in Colombia, not the country obviously). I passed through Manizales on the west side of Alto de Letras, but never considered climbing the pass. In my younger days, I biked over lots of passes including at least one slightly higher than Alto de Letras, though starting at a higher altitude. You've got one big advantage living in high altitude Bogota at over 2640m (8661 ft). Fortunately, I've never experienced altitude sickness, but I live near sea level so I definitely could feel the altitude while biking and hiking in your beautiful country. On the way to Armenia, I met some British cyclists who were going to bike over La Linea east of Armenia, another high pass. They tried to convince me to join them, but I declined.
Sorry I missed this!

Letras challenge was past Sunday. I'll post about it later this week.
La Línea is another mythic destination everyone wants to conquer indeed, but not a great idea due to high and heavy traffic. I drive that route a couple times per year (I'm not living in Bogotá anymore, gotta update my bio) so I have to cross that to visit my family, and I'm always silently shouting each time I see a random cyclist in that route. There is no space for trucks in some curves, I wouldn't dare to do it under traffic and I've never seen it closed for a recreational event for cyclists, so it is a hard pass for me. It is not about how hard it is, it's about how dangerous it is with traffic on that route.
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Old 07-01-22, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by rebayona View Post
Sorry I missed this!

Letras challenge was past Sunday. I'll post about it later this week.
La Línea is another mythic destination everyone wants to conquer indeed, but not a great idea due to high and heavy traffic. I drive that route a couple times per year (I'm not living in Bogotá anymore, gotta update my bio) so I have to cross that to visit my family, and I'm always silently shouting each time I see a random cyclist in that route. There is no space for trucks in some curves, I wouldn't dare to do it under traffic and I've never seen it closed for a recreational event for cyclists, so it is a hard pass for me. It is not about how hard it is, it's about how dangerous it is with traffic on that route.
I was forbidden from cycling La Línea last year (heading towards Ibagué). No, nay, never.
I had to hitch a lift from a truck.
On the Ibagué side I did see posters advertising a closed day so that cyclists could attempt it.


Alto de Letras was a bit cold, damp and disappointing at the top
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Old 07-01-22, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by HobbesOnTour View Post
I was forbidden from cycling La Línea last year (heading towards Ibagué). No, nay, never.
I had to hitch a lift from a truck.
On the Ibagué side I did see posters advertising a closed day so that cyclists could attempt it.


Alto de Letras was a bit cold, damp and disappointing at the top
I agree, Letras summit is a bit anti-climatic XD. After 80km there should be neon/leds/lasers/goats in biikini... something!

About those signs: it is allowed to ride a small segment from Ibagué to Cajamarca on certain Sundays as far as I understand. That's on route to La línea, but not quite. La Línea starts in Cajamarca indeed.

I stumbled upon this by the way: there are bike lanes projected for new roads. We'll see. https://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/CMS-16553972
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Old 07-01-22, 03:23 PM
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Hey HobbesOnTour,
I followed you on your epic trip to the USA and down to Colombia. Great read. I want to do that when I grow up.
You should add a link to your trip in Cyclechat.net in your signature. I think a lot of people would be interested in it.
kindest regards
Larry
ps
Very sad when you lost Hobbes.
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Old 07-02-22, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by HelpSingularity View Post
Hey HobbesOnTour,
I followed you on your epic trip to the USA and down to Colombia. Great read. I want to do that when I grow up.
You should add a link to your trip in Cyclechat.net in your signature. I think a lot of people would be interested in it.
kindest regards
Larry
ps
Very sad when you lost Hobbes.
Thanks!
I have no idea how to add/make/change a signature
As for waiting until you "grow up"? My advise is not to wait. These things are best done with a youthful spirit

Thanks for the kind words. I'm sure Hobbes is having the time of his life in México - I know I miss it!
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