Cotopaxi Eastside: Bikepacking the Trans-Ecuador Mountain Bike Route Part 1

I’ve been looking forward to meet the Ellises, bikepackers from Alaska, since they landed in Colombia. But they ride past the country while we, as expected, went west to east and back again. Eventually, we did go south but not until after renewing our visa and realizing we’re still halfway to the Ecuadorian border. A hurried ride to Ecuador will make it possible but then that’s not how we travel in general. The possibility became slim to meet these folks who’ve been our virtual friends, chatting over the internet sharing bits and pieces of our respective rides.

Fast forward three months after, we are all carefully examining the same map planning our route around Volcan Cotopaxi. The goal is to get our feet wet so to speak with the TEMBR route created by the Dammer brothers(more on them on my next post). We rarely meet bikepackers so when their plan to go around Cotopaxi coincide with our plan to ride/push on the eastern side, we jump at the opportunity to share the trail with these folks albeit just for several days.

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Morning brings a cloudy but benign weather on our first day together
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Benign weather means awesome riding
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Until the road disappear and petered out to nothing
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Some route finding ensued. Four heads are better than two definitely in this case.
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We found the trail
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And a stream
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And it eventually became wider again trying to recover some lost time
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With cows slowing us further down. Not that we’re fast to begin with anyway
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Late afternoon found us looking for a campsite. Local intel beats any detailed map
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We were sent to a nearby abandoned house
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Onward we go the next day on a traffic-less road after a clear chilly night
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And soon we had a view of Cotopaxi hidden from clouds
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Earning our morning keep
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No filter needed.

 

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Flora along the trail
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It was a bumpy ride in some stretch
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But sublime nonetheless. But no view of the volcano still.
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Candy-colored bikepackers. Yum.

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Elizabeth pedaling onward
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Dang struggling on the cushy grass
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Double-track riding in wide-open space.
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We were slowly making our way up 4000 meters
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That’s more like it!

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We took a shortcut all the way to El Tambo
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Once we’re in El Tambo, cowboy hospitality commenced
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And was shown to a flat campsite sheltered from the prairie wind

 

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. john says:

    why photos are not clickable?

    Like

  2. Francisco says:

    Hi, my name is Francisco, do you have the route in GPS? Im from Ecuador (sorry, my english is very bad jeje)

    Like

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