Sometimes there is a truly scary, death-defying activity and sometimes there is great marketing…
The Death Road had been a scene of carnage for many years, with its single track dirt road, winding turns, slippery water covered surface and sheer drops – it had witnessed Bolivia’s worst road accident (2 buses collided and went over the edge killing nearly 100) and saw about 25 fatal accidents every year.
But then they opened a new road, and left the 65km of dirt track to the enthusiastic gringo, and marketed the “Death Road”!!!!
So good was the hype, only 6 of us signed up. Being fitted with body suits, knee pads, elbow pads and crash helmets not to mention having to provide full details of our travel insurance did nothing to help us sleep the night before…
Morning broke, 6 became 5 as we lost Amy to her pet parasite. 7am saw us hop on the bus out of town to a cloud filled start just below the snowline, we shivered with nerves and the cold and then started….
…what turned out to be a lovely bike ride through cloud filled valleys….
The first 23km was on tarmac road and while the trucks could kill, most were doing 10km/hr for safety, and we could whizz around them, their contribution to death was mainly the dark black clouds of fumes they pumped out with choking regularity. The next 45km on the actual track were spectacular, to be fair the drops were less scary filled with clouds and most of the track we felt like we were cycling round the set of Avatar.
The team from Extreme bikes, lead by Javier, were excellent, and the boys could happily race ahead while Jess and I pootled along at the back. I have to confess I used the breaks the whole way down and Wayne swears my back wheel never turned… but I enjoyed it. Victor, from Extreme was in charge of the photographs posted here which despite the cloudy conditions aren’t too bad – but not up to Wayne’s normal standard (although he may have edited them a bit).