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  1. #1
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    Biking in Peru

    Got our shoulder season trip by going on a biking trip to Peru. I've known about the possibilities there for a long time but never found the time to get to it. Our guide was Holy Trails MTB Peru.


    First day was Morro Solar - Good way to stretch legs in Peru with a few climbs then some downhill in El Morro Solar in Lima. It's one of those rare beasts; sanctioned downhill in the middle of a large urban area. Pablo Lavinas who was out of commission due to a bike injury kindly drove us up On the downhill track there is a memorial to Eguz - a 22 year old fanatical biker who messed himself quite badly in another crash at another local spot. Eguz shouldn't even have been biking but couldn't keep off two wheels and was killed in a minor crash at Morro Solar.


    Diego Pacifico Sarmiento, Pablo, and many others in the Holy Trails MTB Peru gang collaborate to build and maintain DH trails in the Lima area. Diego actually quarterbacked a UCI-sanctioned track in the area. Quite progressive of Lima to allow such a build




    Biking in Peru-05morro-solardsc05785.jpg



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    Last edited by LeeL; 12-11-2017 at 05:19 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Next was Pachacamac; a suburb of Lima. It's an amalgam of cement plant owned industrial land with archaeological artifacts. The slopes will eventually be ground into quaŕrries and hopefully the locals will be able to find a compromise so some trails can stay as it's unusual to find such a well-developed, maintained and dense collection of trails relatively close to urban areas anywhere in the world.

    We did four laps on the slopes around Pachacamac to the S side of the main cement mix access plant. Shuttle access is via gravel industrial roads where the Cement Mix Plant has roads that can be driven by public. These particular trails were used by both shuttlers and people who rode them uphill. We then did a lap in the "Amancaes Bike Park" a collection of purpose built downhill trails circa early to mid 2000s worked on by Peruvian DHers with tables, berms, jumps and tech-gnar. Then finished off with a ride down "Terrorista" named as such because Sendero Luminoso guerillas hid in the area towards the end of their insurrection


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    Last edited by LeeL; 12-11-2017 at 05:26 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Are the pictures showing up for anyone? They show up for me when I click Edit Post (but only I can do that). I'm using the img /img tags instructions from the posting guidelines
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  4. #4
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    Going to try some tests



    Biking in Peru-salkantay-diegodsc00379resizedjpg.jpg

    Biking in Peru-14middle-diegorailingdsc06073.jpg
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  5. #5
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    The test photos are displaying. I look forward to seeing the rest.

  6. #6
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    Nice trip! Pix look fine on Tapatalk.
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  7. #7
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    Awesome, Lee! Looking forward to seeing all the pics (only test photos showing for me).

  8. #8
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    Then we headed off to Olleros - a neighbouring town on the Andean foothills

    The Olleros full pull from the Sierra Andean foothills to Playa Negra at San Bartolo just S of Lima is a 3415m downhill. Be advised that the last 30 kms or so is a relatively gentle riverbed ride to ocean. It's entirely possible for motivated groups to do a couple of the downhill sections to the riverbed where the downhill effectively ends at approx 1000m above sea level then complete the full-pull. The downhills are fun, fast, rowdy-in-spots and can be loose. Watch for cactus!



















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  9. #9
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    Great post Lee. Thanks for showing us other worldly mountain biking opportunities.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the stoke. The last few pics don't show up for me so I'm using my imagination.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Thanks for the stoke. The last few pics don't show up for me so I'm using my imagination.

    grrrr. It shows up on Tapatalk and only on edit but not on desktop. Looks like MTBRs Vbulletin interface is orphaned. How do others load their pics?


    Here's the shots from Olleros. Loaded one by one . they kind of look like ass as they're so small now

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  12. #12
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    Next installment. I know the MTBR vbulletin bug means the pics won't show up for many. I'll find the time to insert them at some point

    PataLares is the name given by Hans to the rides encompassing the high pamero / puna in the Patacancha highlands then valley descending the N side of Pumawank'a from the Chalhua Cocha pass. Via this route we got amazing views of Sahuaisiray and Sirijuani then took parts of the Wakawasi trail to Lares ducking out on partway on the road as a member of the party was feeling altitude sickness.





















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  13. #13
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    Awesome pics, could you please send me the information of your guide?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    Next installment. I know the MTBR vbulletin bug means the pics won't show up for many. I'll find the time to insert them at some point

    PataLares is the name given by Hans to the rides encompassing the high pamero / puna in the Patacancha highlands then valley descending the N side of Pumawank'a from the Chalhua Cocha pass. Via this route we got amazing views of Sahuaisiray and Sirijuani then took parts of the Wakawasi trail to Lares ducking out on partway on the road as a member of the party was feeling altitude sickness.






















    Nice pics and trip!


    I tried 4 browsers Edge, Ie, Opera, and Firefox in Win10. Only Opera displayed all pics, the rest had issues on pics not displaying in posts #8 and #12
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    Here's the shots from Olleros. Loaded one by one . they kind of look like ass as they're so small now
    I've been following your trip on FB with envy. Thanks for compiling into a trip report. When I click on the small images they will load full size. But, yeah, I hate the new more limited photo downloading protocol here. PITA
    Last edited by KRob; 12-20-2017 at 05:49 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arizzle View Post
    Awesome pics, could you please send me the information of your guide?
    Arizzle. It's Holy Trails Peru. Price ran approx $ 1800 for 10 days of biking and everything taken cared of (transport, breakfast, lunch, accoms). Call it $ 20 - $ 30 pp for nice huge dinners in Peru even in touristy places - Peru is pretty inexpensive/.

    EDIT - forgot contact info - diego@holytrails.pe. Prices go up if you have smaller groups and more if you want 5* hotels (we were ok with 3*) or if you want to do stuff like surfing, or kiting or ziplines etc

    Quote Originally Posted by socal_jack View Post
    Nice pics and trip!
    I tried 4 browsers Edge, Ie, Opera, and Firefox in Win10. Only Opera displayed all pics, the rest had issues on pics not displaying in posts #8 and #12
    Damn. I tried Chrome, IE and mobile with only mobile working. Thanks for letting me know re Opera.

    KRob thanks for letting me know you can click on the pics. I didn't even know that. Just took a lot of time on the pics and kinda felt bad they were so tiny displaying on MTBR
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    Next installment. I know the MTBR vbulletin bug means the pics won't show up for many. I'll find the time to insert them at some point

    PataLares is the name given by Hans to the rides encompassing the high pamero / puna in the Patacancha highlands then valley descending the N side of Pumawank'a from the Chalhua Cocha pass. Via this route we got amazing views of Sahuaisiray and Sirijuani then took parts of the Wakawasi trail to Lares ducking out on partway on the road as a member of the party was feeling altitude sickness.
    Here are the pics before I run out of steam

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    We then transferred from Lares up the insane paved road past Pampascorral and Morras with its Sahuaisiray glacierview at 3850m marvelling at how the glacier had carved up the mountain. The final pass at Abra Lares was flanked by Chhullunkunayuq and an un-named peak and was cold. Then we descended via Lares to Tortora finishing at Machacancha

    The first leg was 4100m to 3100m The second leg was 4460m at abra lares to 3300m

    Back to cosy lodging at Villa Urubamba in plenty of time for dinner and sunset on the mountains

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  18. #18
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    Another run on Lares then two on Lamay. 1400m + 600m + 1100m - all via vehicle shuttle.

    Call it moto-served alpine riding with liberal amounts of Inca ruins and steps and lots of sheer cliff dropoffs. Acceptably satisfying

    Lares run













    Lamay runs



















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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    Here are the pics before I run out of steam





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    We then transferred from Lares up the insane paved road past Pampascorral and Morras with its Sahuaisiray glacierview at 3850m marvelling at how the glacier had carved up the mountain. The final pass at Abra Lares was flanked by Chhullunkunayuq and an un-named peak and was cold. Then we descended via Lares to Tortora finishing at Machacancha

    The first leg was 4100m to 3100m The second leg was 4460m at abra lares to 3300m

    Back to cosy lodging at Villa Urubamba in plenty of time for dinner and sunset on the mountains

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So many great pics but these just stood out for me...Amazing.
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  20. #20
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    Gonna try to fix the pics but here's more before I run out of steam

    Just a half-day for us so we could play tourist a bit and rest a tad before doing the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu hike.

    Descent from Misminay at 3885m to Tarabamba at 3000m. Unfortunately part of the trail has been taken out by a new road but there's lot of natural berms and playfulness in what is left. Also saw an old Incan agricultural laboratory at Moray and the salt ponds at Maras (3175m). The salt rises from ocean and through tectonic pressure is extruded through geological strata to this elevation and is incredibly concentrated and pure

    The revenue from the salt pans gives a lot of money to the community and draws lots of tourism.










    Then we went to the Mercado Urubamba. When we were little kids in Malaysia we would always follow Mum around for food shopping. She knew all the shopkeepers. The sights and sounds were always so interesting.





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  21. #21
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    This time with pics uploaded painfully one by one

    Another run on Lares then two on Lamay. 1400m + 600m + 1100m - all via vehicle shuttle.

    Call it moto-served alpine riding with liberal amounts of Inca ruins and steps and lots of sheer cliff dropoffs. Acceptably satisfying

    Lares run

    Biking in Peru-03upperlaresdsc00830.jpg

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    Lamay runs

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  22. #22
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    This time with pics uploaded one by one

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    Gonna try to fix the pics but here's more before I run out of steam

    Just a half-day for us so we could play tourist a bit and rest a tad before doing the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu hike.

    Descent from Misminay at 3885m to Tarabamba at 3000m. Unfortunately part of the trail has been taken out by a new road but there's lot of natural berms and playfulness in what is left. Also saw an old Incan agricultural laboratory at Moray and the salt ponds at Maras (3175m). The salt rises from ocean and through tectonic pressure is extruded through geological strata to this elevation and is incredibly concentrated and pure

    The revenue from the salt pans gives a lot of money to the community and draws lots of tourism.

    Biking in Peru-03-morayviewmarasdsc06430.jpg

    Biking in Peru-06marasdsc06448.jpg

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    Biking in Peru-villa-urugopr1108.jpg


    Then we went to the Mercado Urubamba. When we were little kids in Malaysia we would always follow Mum around for food shopping. She knew all the shopkeepers. The sights and sounds were always so interesting.

    Biking in Peru-mercadogopr1127.jpg

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  23. #23
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    Even more #blessed then one can imagine in real life. On a trip to hike the Inca Trail from Chachabamba via Winaywayna and Intipunku to Machu Picchu organized via Peru Outdoor Experiences Sidenote- Inca Trails specifically the Runaniang are steep! And maybe not llama-friendly. Got lucky and avoided crowds!

    Much thanks to Willy Altamirano for showing us around and humouring my yoga poses. And yes there really is a #machupicchuyoga hashtag





    Inca trail











    A deserted Winay Wayna









    Intipunku (the Sun Gate)







    The alarmingly majestic Inca Bridge









    Machu Picchu





















    The rather underrated town of Aguas Caliente









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  24. #24
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    The Salkantay trek is usually done in 4 days if hiked. We opted to do it in one completing 44kms with "only" 800m of ascending but most of it in the death zone for us sea-level dwellers climbing from 3800m to 4650m. The reward is that from Abra Salkantay to Rio Santa Teresa is a 3800m descent. Rowdy, rocky, and should be sponsored by dentists as you will be picking up teeth from the "eyebrow of the jungle" if you crash. It's pretty epic and not for lycra crowd but well worth doing.

    Uphill portion with horse support for the bikes. Our sea-level dweller lungs appreciated and took the help. I tipped the porters generously.











    Took poser pictures as the light was disappearing and the clouds were coming in quick















    Downhill portion is like 3 successive technical Garbonzo to valley bottom rides. Almost zero rest as there were always rocks and tech sections to navigate.





















    After the end of the alpine to subalpine segment we picked up a trail that's simply called Jungle Enduro. By the hallmark of the Salkantay descent its' smooth and fast and pure singletrack. Quite the icing on the cake to end that way.









    We started at Mollepata and ended up at the Termales Banos in Sta Teresa. At both places there is a chance to contribute to the towns; Mollepata via the entry fee to the Salkantay park and Sta Teresa through the fee to use the hot springs. I really like the fact that the community owns and operates the hot springs in Sta Teresa - all the money goes to them for development and facilities. It truly makes a difference in both Mollepata and Sta Teresa. The streets are clean. The marketplaces are full and in good shape. There is work and commerce.









    Some have asked how much something like costs. Ballpark is $ 1800 for 10 full days of riding including breakfast, lunch, all accoms, all in-country transport (transport, flight from Lima to Cusco) if a smaller or bigger group size and group plan. Call it 1600 if bigger group of 8 + people Budget about $20 pp/day for dinner. More if you drink. Less if you eat simpler. More if you eat gucci (Peruvian food is really good). This is really approximate. We also hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Also snagged 5* accoms at the base of Salkantay courtesy of Diego's contacts with Mountain Lodges of Peru. This is all extra but the comfort was worth it.

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  25. #25
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    Biking in Peru

    Amazing. Iím going to Peru for two weeks in two weeks with my family. Didnít think Iíd ride at all, but this post has changed that!

    Most I could manage is a day or two of riding. Going to Lima for a week and Cusco for a week. Any recommendations for day trips?

    I think I could handle most of the stuff in your photos (the DH jumps out of Lima are definitely too much) but who knows how much more intimidating it would look in real life. ;-)

    I live in Australia and ride a Trek Fuel EX 9.8 mostly on single track trails, but do a bit more gnarly stuff on it with a full face helmet now and again. I have no idea about how consistently trail ratings are applied internationally but am comfortable on all the black runs Iíve come across here, but leave the dedicated DH double black stuff alone.
    Last edited by puffmoike; 01-01-2018 at 01:13 PM.

  26. #26
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    Man, I'm so jealous. My mom was born in Chiclayo and I have family in Lima, and still I haven't managed to go!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by puffmoike View Post
    Amazing. Iím going to Peru for two weeks in two weeks with my family. Didnít think Iíd ride at all, but this post has changed that!

    Most I could manage is a day or two of riding. Going to Lima for a week and Cusco for a week. Any recommendations for day trips?
    Daytrips out of Lima? Definitely Pachacamac and Olleros. You can rent bigger bikes from Holy Trails MTB if you'd like. Just email diego@holytrails.pe to make sure he's got a bike set aside for you.

    As far as Cusco there's a pile of daytrips out of there too. We mostly day-tripped out of Urubamba but that's just 30mins from Cusco. Will post those up.
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  28. #28
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    After Salkantay we chilled in Sta. Teresa and watched Peru beat New Zealand 2-0 to qualify for the Football World Cup for the first time in 36 years. The whole country partied hard! VAMOS PERU CARAJO!

    The next day we drove back to Urubamba via Abra Malaga at over 4400m. It was socked in so we elected to not do the Inca Megavalanche course and instead headed back to the Sacred Valley and lower elevations to ride the Racchi trail. There are four Racchi combinations off the viewpoint on the Urubamba-Cusco road and we took Racchi Caleta all the way down to Diego's property at Huayllabamba for an enjoyable 800m descent - good for tired legs

















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  29. #29
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    Biking in Peru

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    After Salkantay we chilled in Sta. Teresa and watched Peru beat New Zealand 2-0 to qualify for the Football World Cup for the first time in 36 years. The whole country partied hard! VAMOS PERU CARAJO!
    The friends we are visiting were at that game. They are dual Peruvian-Australian citizens, and Australia and Peru are in the same group at the World Cup. But being Peruvian natives I have no doubt who theyíll be supporting.

    What standard do you need to be for these trails? Are there any that stood out as being particularly more or less technical/dangerous than the others? Are your photos generally representative of the terrain? (Are you the sort of rider who pulls out the camera for the gnarliest features, or is photography the last thing youíre thinking about when the trail gets steep?)

    Iím a 45yo man, and have ridden my 2017 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 for 2000km (1300m) of primarily single track in past 12 months, which is more mountain biking than Iíve ever done before. Iíve never ridden a bigger bike (although the Fuel is generally considered a Ďbigí 130mm bike). On popular trails in Victoria, Australia I tend to be top 5Ė20% on Strava, but that falls away to 30% on the most technical trails (and I donít ride the few local double black trails).

    Iím relatively comfortable with most terrain, including rock gardens, switchbacks, etc but having mostly ridden road bikes jumping is still a mystery to me. Iím assuming that the rider in red jumping in the Lima DH photos was your guide. Heís clearly much, much better than me. ;-) Iím keen to get better/more confident at jumping, but not when Iím a long way from hospitals, in a second world country, on the other side of the world!

    Iím trying to balance the adrenaline rush we all love with personal safety, and with limited time to ride in Peru I canít particularly ease my way in. I donít want to injure myself/walk around every feature, but I donít want to Ďwasteí a day on a trail thatís not challenging.

    Thanks!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by puffmoike View Post
    The friends we are visiting were at that game. They are dual Peruvian-Australian citizens, and Australia and Peru are in the same group at the World Cup. But being Peruvian natives I have no doubt who theyíll be supporting.

    What standard do you need to be for these trails? Are there any that stood out as being particularly more or less technical/dangerous than the others? Are your photos generally representative of the terrain? (Are you the sort of rider who pulls out the camera for the gnarliest features, or is photography the last thing youíre thinking about when the trail gets steep?)

    Iím a 45yo man, and have ridden my 2017 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 for 2000km (1300m) of primarily single track in past 12 months, which is more mountain biking than Iíve ever done before. Iíve never ridden a bigger bike (although the Fuel is generally considered a Ďbigí 130mm bike). On popular trails in Victoria, Australia I tend to be top 5Ė20% on Strava, but that falls away to 30% on the most technical trails (and I donít ride the few local double black trails).

    Iím relatively comfortable with most terrain, including rock gardens, switchbacks, etc but having mostly ridden road bikes jumping is still a mystery to me. Iím assuming that the rider in red jumping in the Lima DH photos was your guide. Heís clearly much, much better than me. ;-) Iím keen to get better/more confident at jumping, but not when Iím a long way from hospitals, in a second world country, on the other side of the world!

    Iím trying to balance the adrenaline rush we all love with personal safety, and with limited time to ride in Peru I canít particularly ease my way in. I donít want to injure myself/walk around every feature, but I donít want to Ďwasteí a day on a trail thatís not challenging.

    Thanks!
    Puff

    The trails are generally as depicted. There are easier. There are harder.

    I was coming off a pretty bad high ankle sprain and was still injured going into the trip. Diego and the tail guide made sure to watch for me and to check stop me at more difficult parts. My wife was in top form and rode most everything but she's a former Whistler Bike Park patroller so had decent judgment so could chase down the leader. Ie they had a leader and a tail

    The Fuel will be on the short side of travel if only because the descents can be long so they'll also recommend things like thicker tubeless tires, metallic discbrake pads etc. Its more your conditioning that may be a factor tbh.

    Having said that I found Diego to be really good at tailoring speed and trails to ability. At the start of the trip while I was still basically onelegged he really kept it dialled down so I could see his lines to keep up. Towards the end when I had healed up more he let it loose a bit. If you're honest with him as I was I'd imagine you'll have a pretty good time

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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    Puff

    The trails are generally as depicted. There are easier. There are harder.
    Lee,

    Thanks so much.

    I wonít be taking my bike Ė way too much hassle for at most 2 or 3 days riding, and as you point out itís not the right bike for the terrain (but now youíve inspired me Iíll probably take shorts, jerseys, base layers, shoes and SPDs, etc).

    Iíll contact Holy Trails and see what happens. Thereís another operator Iíve found that have Santa Cruz Nomads and YT Capras, so seems like there will be options.

    Now Iíll just have to get my head around riding in the rain (Melbourne is pretty dry, so I tend to be a fair weather rider. January in Peru is going to be wet.)

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by puffmoike View Post
    Lee,

    Thanks so much.

    I wonít be taking my bike Ė way too much hassle for at most 2 or 3 days riding, and as you point out itís not the right bike for the terrain (but now youíve inspired me Iíll probably take shorts, jerseys, base layers, shoes and SPDs, etc).

    Iíll contact Holy Trails and see what happens. Thereís another operator Iíve found that have Santa Cruz Nomads and YT Capras, so seems like there will be options.

    Now Iíll just have to get my head around riding in the rain (Melbourne is pretty dry, so I tend to be a fair weather rider. January in Peru is going to be wet.)
    Hmmm. There are trails there on the quasidesert/dry side eg Lima/Olleros. I forgot to mention that a bunch of the Sacred Valley stuff we rode was right after it rained. They were perfect the day after

    Neither Shar or I are super experienced at desert riding so the evening showers wetting down trails and keeping dust down was appreciated

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  33. #33
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    I thought Peru had blown my mind with its massive vertical, immense diversity and grandeur of terrain and technicality of trails. Then we rode Huchuy Qosqo. "Little Cusco" is perched on a ledge above the Sacred Valley. The home of the "gentleman" Inca Wiraqucha (https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huiracocha_Inca); it was hidden from the genocidal Spanish colonialists.

    I mentioned before that the archaeological ruins are omnipresent. There's simply so many of them and the Inka were such outstanding stonemasons/architects that their trails, highways, and structures have withstood the test of centuries. Huchuy Qosqo was like riding through a museum. But a museum of stairs, intricate stonework and tech-gnar trails.

    We rode from 4400m to 2800m via Lamay through history, culture and Inca highways.
































    At the Huchuy Qosqo site

















    Descending to valley floor





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  34. #34
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    We finished riding with Holy Trails MTB Peru and Peru Outdoor Experiences by taking another 1650m truck assisted ride from alpine to Sacred Valley. True singletrack in paramo, high elevation forest and then brake-burning descent awaited us. Finished of course with Inca sites.

    First had to deal with traffic jams







    Synclines/anticlines in Peru























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  35. #35
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    All the pic links are broken wtf?

    Here's some shots from being published on Singletrack

    https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mt...g-lima-part-1/
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  36. #36
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    Finally got to check this out. Awesome trip and great write-up!

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  37. #37
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    Part2 because its got the pictures

    https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mt...h-side-part-2/
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  38. #38
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    I got back earliar this month from a mountain biking trip in Peru with KB Tours. Was fortunate to be able to ride many trails around Ollantaytambo/Cusco and also perfect timing to be able to participate in the 2018 Inca Avalanche race. Riding in Peru was absolutely amazing. As described in this thread, the riding is incredible with the sheer magnitude of the Andes mountains, variety of terrain and the ability to ride right through the history (ruins and terraces). To top it all off, got to race in the Inca Avalanche. I can't describe the energy at the start of the race... there is only one other mass start race I know of and that's the Megavalanche. I'm not a race and did it for fun and definitely an experience I'll never forget. Here are some videos I put together of my trip:

    Racing to see Peru - starts with some cultural video and ends with riding
    https://youtu.be/2Wc-TMx9o0I

    Carnage and Crashes Galore on the Inca Avalanche Trail
    https://youtu.be/v-we4VsQ1Hw

    Calca Pass - started at 14,600 feet and escended approximately 4,600 feet
    https://youtu.be/34IOg_l2vCs

    Anyone that can make it to Peru will not be disappointed by the riding!

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