Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 44
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Helmetless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    587

    Listen! El Condor - Epic Backcountry Riding (Chile)

    Chileans have a traditional song that says "If you go to Chile/I beg you to visit/where my loved one lives..." you know what, the song is really boring but what's not boring about Chile, is the wide range of trails and tracks in general that this beautiful country offers for biking.

    One of the greatest places is right behind the first mountains of the Andes you see in Santiago, right in the middle between Santiago and the limits with Argentina.

    Well, first would like to highlight that we are a group of Chilean people that work Mon-Fri and spend 7-8 hours biking every Saturday (MTBR uses a expression I like - “weekend warriors”). Having this in mind, you’ll have an idea about our average physical condition.

    This is what we experienced last Saturday, Dec 18th, definitely the greatest biking experience of MY LIFE.

    We started off with a 6:30 meeting at the Copec Gas Station in La Florida, also called 21 Start Point or just 21SP (almost every single mountain bike rider in Santiago knows where it is). Our driver from my tour company arrived at 6:45 and he helped us mounting the bikes over the trailer. We spread some packs of drinks and Quaker bars for the group before leaving to Alfalfal, at 7:05am.

    We arrived to Alfalfal at 08:15 and we took some time to get ready for the initial climbing part. At first, you see those giant canyons around you and think you’ll not do it; this is the part where you know what you’re made of. But being into a bigger group gives you an incredible confidence that will help you control that emotion.

    I bet that the initial climbing itself is easier than the uphill you do every week. However, the total of climbing is too much to be described. If you're the guide, it is better to start saying lies like “the tower up there is our final uphill goal”. That will keep your group alive. Of course they will hate you later. But at the end of this adventure that will be highly appreciated. The total uphill is 40 kms; 5% of the way is singletrack around beautiful gardens of flowers. 95% is a two-way route that you could cross aboard a good 4x4. We started to ride over a lot of switchbacks that really pushed our limits. Your cardio here is crucial to make it, otherwise just go with the bike aside you –as I did the half of the uphill.

    At around 1pm we arrived at the McDonalds (a couple of electrical towers that serves us as “refugio” for our lunch. The timing there is “loco”. You feel you were there only 15 minutes but you actually were 1 hour or so.

    After the tower, there’s a hard part of switchbacks with a few flats to take a rest pedaling at low pace. That’s the hardest part of the day.

    At 3pm we arrived at the highest hills in there. This part of the ride is followed by a wonderful trail in flat terrain. OK, it has some uphills, but just a few. After the McDonalds you have to know you made it through. That’s the PNR of the trip.

    At 5pm we reach the Quesería, after a non-technical but enjoyable descending part. La Quesería is a small stable surrounded by a few fences and a lot of sheeps. From there, it is all about descending on your mountain bike.

    The scenery after a few miles is wonderful. Hundreds of technical switchbacks over rocky, dusty trails and edged rocks right up front await you. Check out the trail and use the best of your 5 senses because you’ll need them. Over the appropriate bike, this is the most enjoyable part so far.

    After this, there’s a little river you have to cross over your bike, totally harmless but makes you feel you’re a great biker. Kind of a baptism!

    There you can spend some time doing a barbecue, dinner or whichever. Beautiful! Great place to meet with friends and share the experiences of the day.

    We continue pedaling a couple miles until Camino a Farellones, (Lo Hermita) where we go down until Las Condes avenue, where the adventure ended (8pm)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails El Condor - Epic Backcountry Riding (Chile)-alfalfal-arrival.jpg  

    El Condor - Epic Backcountry Riding (Chile)-alfalfaluphill.jpg  

    El Condor - Epic Backcountry Riding (Chile)-first-river3.jpg  

    El Condor - Epic Backcountry Riding (Chile)-flora.jpg  

    El Condor - Epic Backcountry Riding (Chile)-first-stop-still-smiling.jpg  

    El Condor - Epic Backcountry Riding (Chile)-condor.jpg  

    El Condor - Epic Backcountry Riding (Chile)-fatal.jpg  

    El Condor - Epic Backcountry Riding (Chile)-horizon.jpg  

    El Condor - Epic Backcountry Riding (Chile)-mcdonalds.jpg  

    El Condor - Epic Backcountry Riding (Chile)-pnr.jpg  


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,056
    Some gorgeous country there. Bravo on your ride, thanks for posting up.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Helmetless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    587
    Quote Originally Posted by She&I
    Some gorgeous country there. Bravo on your ride, thanks for posting up.
    Thanks man!! It's exciting to see a reply here (I thought anybody would be interested given the fact that this is far, far away from most of you).

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,056
    Sheesh, man, I never get tired of checking out great biking in awesome surroundings like Chile has. You post 'em, I'll eat 'em up.

    I think it's interesting, partly, because it's not in the US. And it's way fun doing the cultural exchange...a great way to set up for a vacation, if ya get me.

    Written response to TRs here seems lukewarm at times. Seems the chatter here is more about bikes than biking. Know that your reportage is appreciated, and don't hesitate to post. Adios!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Helmetless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    587
    Quote Originally Posted by She&I
    Sheesh, man, I never get tired of checking out great biking in awesome surroundings like Chile has. You post 'em, I'll eat 'em up.

    I think it's interesting, partly, because it's not in the US. And it's way fun doing the cultural exchange...a great way to set up for a vacation, if ya get me.

    Written response to TRs here seems lukewarm at times. Seems the chatter here is more about bikes than biking. Know that your reportage is appreciated, and don't hesitate to post. Adios!
    hahaha... great chatting here!

    I got your point and I think it's true, we're always talking about forks, frames and tires (including myself, feel free to check my posts) but when you're in such places, you just can't ignore that the moment itself, is the most important thing. It's your PURPOSE. I mean, the final part and the objective of getting the best pieces for your ride and the best techniques to face it. To live the present, absolutely disconnected from the world's worries and feeling you and nature are just one thing.

    I don't know if you believe in God but I do. When I was there I just couldn't stop thinking "all of this has a purpose, a design, everything is unperfectly perfect, and balanced". Can't ignore this fact anymore after getting there and see those beauties around...

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,056
    You got the zen going, man. Right on.

    100% atheist here, but wherever one draws strength from is good with me. Power to ya!

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Helmetless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    587
    Quote Originally Posted by She&I
    You got the zen going, man. Right on.

    100% atheist here, but wherever one draws strength from is good with me. Power to ya!
    Thanks man, gotta powa heah!
    Last edited by Helmetless; 12-23-2010 at 07:23 AM.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    155
    Rode DH in Chile a couple years back. The trails were killer, people spectacular - trip of a lifetime. It is interesting, everyone I met didn't care what you were riding, they did appreciate nice equipment, but were much more focused on enjoying the experience, pushing your personal limits, and friendship.

    Important leasons.

    Your pictures and story brought back the memories - thanks.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Helmetless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    587
    Quote Originally Posted by nmfly
    Rode DH in Chile a couple years back. The trails were killer, people spectacular - trip of a lifetime. It is interesting, everyone I met didn't care what you were riding, they did appreciate nice equipment, but were much more focused on enjoying the experience, pushing your personal limits, and friendship.

    Important leasons.

    Your pictures and story brought back the memories - thanks.
    Glad I have caused that effect on you and thanks for sharing about your trip. Our life is made of (mostly) the moments we remember.

    Things in Chile have changed since the bike forums appeared into the scene. You'll find more people worried about weight, bike appearance, Ti bolts, whichever except RIDING. Our group is, fortunately, an exception... although some of us are really looking forward to new upgrades even though they're not strictly necessary.

    Regards

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    5
    Thanks for the report!

    Can you include some info on the group you went through? I´m in Santiago now and I´m looking at options for a day or two of mountain biking. I need to rent a bike. I'm on a long bike tour through South America, but I´m on a touring bike. Thanks!

    Edit: I just reread the thread and I it seems like you were not renting but using your own bike. Still, if you have any info on where I could rent a decent bike and hit some trails it would be greatly appreciated.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Helmetless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    587
    Quote Originally Posted by pasopia
    Thanks for the report!

    Can you include some info on the group you went through? I´m in Santiago now and I´m looking at options for a day or two of mountain biking. I need to rent a bike. I'm on a long bike tour through South America, but I´m on a touring bike. Thanks!

    Edit: I just reread the thread and I it seems like you were not renting but using your own bike. Still, if you have any info on where I could rent a decent bike and hit some trails it would be greatly appreciated.
    Hey Pasopia, thanks for posting!

    Yes these bikes are ours and we're a group of friends who are addicted to biking. HOWEVER , as a travel agent I can tell you that some agencies like Santiago Adventures or Paseos en Bicicleta offer some great tours out there, including great guides and very decent, well equipped bikes (front suspension, 9-speed shimano drivetrain, maxxis tires and so forth). Maybe if you are traveling alone you'll find it a bit expensive but if you can organize a group the price would decrease so it's cheaper.

    My guess is that if you want a full-day or two-day program, here you'll find bike tours you want.

    http://www.santiagoadventures.com
    http://www.paseosenbicicleta.cl

    Unfortunately I have never heard of bike rentals in Santiago.

    I hope this helps!

    Best,

    Cristian

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    5
    Awesome, thanks for the info! I`ll check them out and report back here if it works out.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Helmetless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    587
    Quote Originally Posted by pasopia
    Awesome, thanks for the info! I`ll check them out and report back here if it works out.
    That's the spirit! I will appreciate it

  14. #14
    EM
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    6
    I am going to Chile this week and would really appreciate any insight you can offer. I will be staying in Vina del Mar with my family. It is a town on the beach outside of the city Valparaiso. It is about 1.5 hours outside of Santiago. I saw you haven't heard of bike rentals in Santiago. Was wondering if you had any knowledge of this beach area and what the mtb situation is like in that area. I am debating whether or not to go through the hassle of bringing my bike as I will be with my family and anticipate only 1-2 rides if I can get them in early in the AM and close to where I am staying. Any advice or info you can share would be most appreciated. I checked out the Santiago site you suggested but guess that will take a bunch of travel for me and I'd prefer to spend 3-4 hours in the saddle and no time in the car if I can. Many thanks for whatever info you can share.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Helmetless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    587
    Quote Originally Posted by emodel
    I am going to Chile this week and would really appreciate any insight you can offer. I will be staying in Vina del Mar with my family. It is a town on the beach outside of the city Valparaiso. It is about 1.5 hours outside of Santiago. I saw you haven't heard of bike rentals in Santiago. Was wondering if you had any knowledge of this beach area and what the mtb situation is like in that area. I am debating whether or not to go through the hassle of bringing my bike as I will be with my family and anticipate only 1-2 rides if I can get them in early in the AM and close to where I am staying. Any advice or info you can share would be most appreciated. I checked out the Santiago site you suggested but guess that will take a bunch of travel for me and I'd prefer to spend 3-4 hours in the saddle and no time in the car if I can. Many thanks for whatever info you can share.
    Hi emodel, thanks for posting. Well, due to the hard work of logistics by picking up bikes from Santiago and back, plus all the necessary items they will need for ensuring a great adventure in there, unfortunately there is no point for the travel agency in Santiago to do a half day tour rather than a full day. For the travel you suggest it is definitely good idea to bring your bike with you. Maybe not the most comfortable one, but the cheapest and the easiest in a lot of ways. As Santiago is the "center" of Chile's ravel business I don't expect Viña del Mar to have bike rentals either, but I could be wrong... will find out more information and will keep you posted.

    Regards

  16. #16
    EM
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    6
    Thanks very much for your quick response. Not sure what you mean by bring the cheapest and not the most comfortable bike but the easiest? Do you mean bring my steel single speed rather than my carbon 29er? If I'm gonna bother to schelp a bike there I might as well bring my race bike unless there is some concern I should have? I would really appreciate any additional information you may be able to provide. I see tons of trails on the satellite views of Google maps.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Helmetless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    587
    Sorry, my bad. What I meant was, that bringing your own bike would be not the most comfortable way (because you would be including a big piece of luggage) but it may be the easiest way, as I don't know bike trip agencies renting mountain bikes there, just for that.

    When are you planning to visit Chile? I can tell my friends to welcome you so that they will show you some of the trails. The only issue is that they speak a few words in English only.

    I have a tear in my vastus lateralis due to a bike crash and I am still recovering from that, otherwise I would invited you to join me on a free trip But, if you come here a month or two from now, I think I should be in better health to make it. I live in Santiago.

  18. #18
    EM
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    6
    Wow I didn't realize you live in Chile that's awesome! Sorry to hear you are hurt would love to hook up for a ride. I just sent you an email so we can email off the forum. I will be arriving there this Friday in Santiago and then traveling immediately to Vina del Mar. I see many trails very close to our appt. I will not have a car and cannot travel far to ride since my family will be waiting for me. I would like to ride 3 hours or so 1-3 mornings and really hope there is someone you might be able to introduce me to in the area to ride with. I am sorry you are hurt...

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Helmetless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    587
    Thanks Eric, just sent you an email a few minutes ago

    Find below a link with more sensational photos of this epic adventure in El Condor!

    http://picasaweb.google.com/teamsppe...ondor18122010#

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Helmetless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    587
    UP to ya!

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Helmetless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    587
    oopa shaloopa

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    15

    MTBing in Chile in June

    I may travel to Chile in June or July - are there any areas that are still good for mountain biking at that time of year? My preference is single-track long scenic rides, fine with technical and climbing. Also would not want to do it alone but it seems that tours are not offered that time of year. Any clubs that I might contact? Thanks a ton. Unfortunately, I do not speak Spanish.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    91
    Great write up!!

    From a friend on Bikemontt !

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    91
    Im "G Byrne" on Bikemontt forum, just saw the video you posted there about this trip.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Helmetless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    587
    Quote Originally Posted by assas1n View Post
    Great write up!!

    From a friend on Bikemontt !
    Aleko? algún endurero?
    Banshee Paradox V2
    Santa Cruz Tallboy LT

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •