Andes Trail Stage 11 of 109 Catacocha to Macará, Day 16 of 142
Photos at Strava: 91.7km, 1428m climb, 4:09, 69.8 kph max
|Description||Distance in km||Dirt km||Climb in m|
10% of the Andes Trail riding days are done!
- 911 km done out of 10,943, that’s only 8.3% – so we’ll have longer days ahead.
- 16,265 m climbed out of 110,971, 14.7% – luckily our altitude balance is positive.
- We’re 99.6% done with riding in Ecuador, Peru here we come tomorrow morning.
If anyone wants to know what I carry everyday, here it is…
On the bike including under the seat bag and top tube bag:
- Three 750ml water bottles, only 2 normally filled. Can add a 4th, if needed
- Pump, Spare tube, tire irons, dynaplug (tubeless tire repair kit)
- Garmin Edge 530
- Handlebar mounted bell
- On seat tube: Rear red LED light, run flashing all the time – Cygolite Hotrod 50
- On front shock: Pair of front white LED lights – Cygolite Hotrod 110
- Ass-savers rain/mud guards, front and rear (the small ones)
- My Bike Dreams name card is also working as a rear rain/mud guard
- Set of hexes/torxes
- Wallet in plastic bag
- Wide angle and telephoto lenses for my cell phone camera
- A couple of bars
- The printed instructions for the day, including the all-important hotel name.
In my handlebar bag:
- Rain jacket – Showers Pass Men’s Elite 2.1 – awesome!
- Thick leg warmers
- Thin arm warmers (plan to use for anti-sun on super hot days)
- Full finger gloves
- Waterproof shoe covers
- A long sleeve shirt
- Cell phone – Pixel 3
- Banana(s) and bars
- Sunglasses when not wearing.
Breakfast this morning was up the hill in the garage where we parked our bikes for the night. Since we had an easier day I passed on eggs and just had muesli and yogurt. We packed up and took off at 8:18. The profile showed it but I think most people didn’t realize how the awesome descent started pretty much right in town! It lasted 15km and dropped us down 1000m to our lowest point yet, just under 1000m altitude. It was truly a gorgeous descent. Not a single car came by while I rode. I was out with Kees, passing each other over and over, with giant grins. At one point we even took the lead by somehow passing Niek, but he has a massive gear and knows how to use it so we never saw him again during the ride.
From where we had to start pedaling it was up and down to lunch, about 40km. Gorgeous riding and I finally got to pass one of the Bike Dreams trucks – like it was standing still on another awesome descent. We pulled off and rode down a sandy dirt road to a river where the lunch truck was parked. We got there early so there was time for swimming and relaxing. Only a couple of people went in but the water looked pretty good. There were lots of sandflies though which was the only downer. Eventually an awesome lunch was ready and we ate hard. The flies were bad though so I took off right after.
The second half of the ride had more climbing including one 8km long climb that was over 10% for the first half and under for the second. It was pretty warm but not too hot – luckily the clouds stayed all day. Occasionally a couple of rain drops and occasionally some sun. Once we got up that climb we had another 20km of cruising, mostly down, some awesome, to town. We’re only 4km from the Peru border and it will be exciting to cross tomorrow morning.
The hotel in Macará is down at 500m altitude and was billed as a hostal but is actually a pretty nice real hotel. I have a big airy triple with Andrew and Martin, the shower offers unlimited hot water, and the internet is surprisingly fast and solid. What more do you want? To top it off, the soup was ready after my shower, a super hearty bean soup – delicious.
We went out for a sort of early dinner at a pizza place downtown. Again, no cerveza, but we bought most of the supply from the nearby ice-cream shop so all was well. The pizzas were great – we had a grande and a media between 3 people which looked ridiculously big but were all finished of course. Back at the hotel we got to set the alarm for later having drawn second breakfast shift – clean living!