Andrew Danyluk

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Andrew Danyluk

Rider

In January 2015 I flew down to Colombia with my mountain bike, lured to the Southern Hemisphere by tales of shredding 500-year-old Spanish footpaths that descend out of the Andes Mountains for thousands of vertical feet…every riders dream. Outside of this promise of epic singletrack riding I knew very little about Colombia, except for what I saw in television shows and movies. Once I arrived I realized that this stereotype could not be father from the truth. Everywhere I went I felt safe and was always greeted by warm and friendly people.

As for the riding…Colombia does not disappoint. Most days started out with a shuttle bump up into the mountains to get us riding the good stuff right away. But don’t misunderstand, these weren’t straight up DH trails, these were LONG stretches of trail that slowly descend over 20 or 30 kilometers, the kind of trails that 5 and 6 inch travel trail bikes are perfect for. The trails themselves are a great mixture of old stone footpaths, horse packing trails and purpose built singletrack that are all interconnected. One of my favorite parts about the riding in Colombia was that just about the time I started to get hot and in need of a break, the trail would conveniently pop out a small village with a roadside stand that sold ice cold beer and fresh fruit to re-energize me for the next leg of the ride.

Part way through the trip I realized how impossible this would be without our exceptional Colombian guides Selim and Alex. First off, I do not speak Spanish at all, and outside the bigger cities most Colombians do not speak English. Secondly, none of the trails we rode are signed in anyway, nor could you find them on any map. Having local guides like Selim and Alex (both of whom speak Spanish and English) taking us to the best trails and taking care of all the transportation and accommodation details meant that we could focus on riding and enjoying Colombia’s rich and diverse culture. Apart from being our guides, translators and mechanics, Selim and Alex are two very accomplished riders with a deep passion for mountain biking.

What else can I say? My trip had everything a mountain biker can ask for: amazing trails in exotic locations, great people, amazing culture and a real sense of adventure. I can honestly say that mountain biking in Colombia was one of my life’s greatest adventures!

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