Bikebox Online

Colombia

Our guide to cycling in Colombia

cycling in Colombia

Wake up and Smell the Coffee 

Colombia to a cyclist only means one thing – mountains. However, beside the truly epic climbing and passion for cycling, there is fabulous scenery and vibrant warm culture. Saddle Skedaddle’s David Hall tells us more:

I love cycling, I love South America and I love mountains – what better country exists than Colombia to tick these boxes? My obsession started a few years ago when I read Matt Rendell’s book ‘Kings of the Mountains: How Colombia’s Cycling Heroes Changed Their Nation’s History’ and I found myself intrigued by the idea of riding in Colombia’s mountains from then on. I’d also been hearing from friends that Colombia was incredibly beautiful and that it was much safer than everyone would have you believe.
8070231953_dcc572ffd4_kI booked a flight, got in touch with a Bogota-based cyclist I’d contacted via the internet and arranged to spend a few days riding with him. Tomás is a great rider with a tremendous knowledge and deep love of his country. As we rode during those few days we discussed the possibility of creating a trip that would be suitable to offer to Skedaddle customers.
Tomás proposed an amazing route but it was really tough! It took him a little while
to understand that the average Colombian rider is probably a little more accomplished in the mountains than your average UK cyclist! We made some adjustments and softened the route slightly. Now, we have a wonderful tour which is dramatic and still very challenging but, I believe, thoroughly manageable. Tomás has since become our Ground Operator, we have a small team of local guides and a great local guy who drives our support vehicle. As with all of our tours we’re very keen to provide an authentic experience and we couldn’t manage that without the local support team. Their knowledge is invaluable.
We’re aware that people still have some apprehensions about travelling in Colombia, and it’s impossible to ignore the country’s difficult past but things have really changed in recent years. I’ve only ever had pleasant and positive experiences there. I travel the world for a living and Colombian people are some of the most welcoming and genuinely friendly people I’ve encountered.
 
cycling in ColombiaWhile the rest of the world has been staying away, Colombians have been developing and enjoying their own country as tourists. It’s surprisingly sophisticated, particularly in the bigger towns and cities. Whilst we do stay in ‘tourist class’ hotels in some destinations, we also try to make use of more typical accommodations in others. We think it’s important to support the local communities and actually the smaller hotels and guesthouses we use in Colombia tend to be the ones that most clients enjoy the most.
 
The country has so much to offer and everything just seems enormous! Obviously I’m referring to the mountains and the natural landscape but it goes beyond
that – even the smiles on faces of the children seem bigger and the personalities of the local people seem bigger. As for the cycling? Well that’s bigger too – where else can you ride one single climb for more than 50 miles!?
Saddle SkedaddleFor more information and/or to book your space, check out our holiday in full: www.skedaddle.co.uk/colombia