Ecuador – Avenue of Volcanoes, Inca Trails and a burgeoning mountain bike scene.
Overview ||Day 1-Ilalo and Lumbisi || Day 2-Pululahua || Day 3-Chota Trails || Day 4-Rucu Pichincha || Day 5-Quilotoa || Day 6-Chimborazo || Day 7-Mama Rumi || Day 8-Camino Del Rey || Day 10-La Paz || Cuyabeno Lodge
Day 9 – Iline near Alausi
In Chimborazo and Cañar province, the Cañari people were fierce fighters resisting the Incans for a great length of time. Their network of trails and roads above the Panamerican towns of Chunchi, Guasanto and Alausi gives some hint of their determination and fortitude. On our ride our guide for today, Alexander “Soto” Sotomayor is a DH racer and local in Cuenca who has been exploring and pioneering routes in the area for years. Soto and Mateo are friends (Ecuador’s bike community is small, tight and everyone knows everyone and helps everyone else out) and share knowledge. Soto is also a somewhat competent rider having raced on the World DH circuit in the early 2000s. Soto has invested lots of time in building relationships with the communities, ensuring that bikers respect local trails and traditions and the land. We were fortunate to have been among the first few riders to have done the 20km I-Line route.
The route started at 3613m at Pacchamama Bajo, crossed to Shusilcon and then descended to Nizag before ending at Pistishi at 1884m, descending a total of 1882m. What’s amazing is the linkup of trails to minimize the amount of roads, maximze the amount of singletrack and yet achieve stupendous mindblowing views. This is among the most aesthetic lines that we’ve had the privilege of riding – ever.
We load the trusty Land Cruiser in Chunchi where we met Soto
Pano from the drive up, down to the East is the Jungle, to the West is the Coast.
Top of the descent, a small community is here tending to their animals and fields.
Life goes on.
As we ride down.
Rock and Roll!
We rail through the harvested fields.
Down the road as the Inca’s did.
Did the Inca’s put these berms here?
Black Pigs, they’re common here, not sure why…
We’ll be riding to the Nizag or Nose in the center of the Pano
We have a long ways to go!
You can see where we started.
The Pan American runs through the north-south spine of Ecuador.
After crossing the Panamerican there is a short hike a bike to get more downhilling in.
Soto in his natural element looking far far down to where we will eventually end up.
Entertaining the locals as we ride through this small community.
We end up at a train station that is now a tourist attraction – the terminus of Nizag del DiabloNose of the Devil.
Elevation Profile. for I-Line
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