RAD RACE Tour de Friends 4 - Colombia - Testride - Day 1
Imagine 150 people show up to ride with you in a strange country. Imagine the police is closing down streets for you. Imagine you’re in cycling heaven.
The plan is simple: organize a stage ride/ race in Colombia in the spring of 2020. After two successful TdF’s from Munich to Venice an all new route will lead us from Augsburg - Feltre in 2019. And for 2020 we wanna do the TdF4 in Colombia. So this is why we’re here: to test 2 possible routes with 5 stages each. Every one starting and ending in Bogota.
So best case: it’s happening. Worst case: 2 weeks of cycling in an unknown country. Well at least for us.
We - that’s Jonas, Jan, Schubu, Oscar, Ingo, Carlos, Hendrik, Tritop and Dex - arrived in Bogota late friday and since we have a local among us - Oscar - he knows where to take us to get some great food. Veggie and Meat. He knows it all. How we met Oscar? Well, we just ran into him in Düsseldorf at another event we organized by accident, we told him about our plan and we became friends. Now he’s working for us parttime to organize TdF4.
Then on saturday Oscar organized a perfect first day for us: a walking tour through the historical part of Bogota. I can truly say that all the nine of us kinda fell in love with this city already. The nicest people, super safe, great food on every corner of the streets, all those colours, all this Narcos history. We loved it.
Then since our two test rides are only starting on tuesday of course we also of course wanted to test our bikes and equipment and mainly get used to the altitude. Bogota is 2500m below sea level and we feel the thin air in every step we take. So we announced on Instagram that we would be out for a ride and asked locals if they wanted to join us for a first ride.
What happened today cannot be described in words. More than 150 (!!!!) riders showed up 7:15 in the morning to ride 80k from Bogota to Choachi and back to Bogota. 80k doesn’t sound much but the ride has more than 2500m of altitude and the climb ends on 3600m. So I can assure you that. We suffered a lot! But then again.
We met the nicest people, we found new friends, we had a perfect lunch with watching the Innsbruck world championships (congrats Valverde, Canyon and Abus!!!!). The military was closing parts of the roads. It was just unreal. Un-real.
After the ride we had lunch with so many great crews and people to mention. In the end I have a simole question. Why are not more euro teams riding in Colombia??? The flight is like 900€ incl. bike transport and then after a 10-hrs flight you are in cycling paradise.
Tomorrow we’ll cruise again with locals and try to acclimatize some more. Then on tuesday the road trip begins. The first day has been one of our top cycling experiences for sure. Thank you Colombia. Thank you Bogota. You treated us more than well on day one.