The night spent prior of watching a great Denzel Washington movie whilst gauging into a twin bar, milkshake and tube of Pringles proved the ideal preparation for what lied ahead.
Had the bag pre-packed and alarm set for a painful 6am start.
Me and Matze strolled out of the hostel with time to spare and went to the meeting point for breakfast. We did mention jokingly that there was a possibility that this could be our last ever meal but having heard stories of others misfortune on the death road we were quietly taking it serious.
Piled into the bus and met our main guide chello. Chello had been working with barracuda for a while and his confident swagger assured me that he knew what he was doing on a bike.
Dozed off during the 45min ride to the start point. Starting at 4700m above sea level and then descending to 1100m. We got the equipment: gloves, jackets, pants, helmets and were fitted with our appropriate bike. They were quality. It seemed like we were lingering around the top for a while but I'm sure it was just Matze and I getting anxious.
Once kitted out chello gave us the safety run through and described in detail the first leg. The start is Potentially the most dangerous of the day. A main free way winding down the mountain for 20km with traffic going both ways. Few deep breaths and a high 5 to chello and Matze and we were off. I'd already decided that if I was going to do this ride I was going to give it everything.
Flying down the freeway tucked in an aero dynamic speed position which chello taught us I was leading the pack. Reaching speeds of close to 70km/h. What a rush! 20km worth flying down hill and around long sweep bends on the perfectly tarred road.
I knew this wasn't yet the real deal. After our first few check points we stopped for a quick bite and rehydrate before driving up hill to the infamous death road!
Thousands of people have died journeying on this road. There has even been victims that were doing similar tours to myself. I was determined to stick with chello or at least lead the pack. Took me a couple of minutes to get my confidence up but once I had I hammering. Flying into blind corners, hair pins with 100m drop offs. You have to concentrate so much but at the same time you want to take in the absolutely amazing scenery. I remember once coming out of a corner and slightly losing control of my back tyre that was flirting with the edge.
We would only really ride in 20min intervals and stop for photographs. Got some intense snaps!
By some of the final legs I was arriving half an hour before the last person.
Pedaling hard along the flat parts I was determined to burn any competition. I literally adopted the mentality that it was a race.
Finishing late afternoon by a small village with a river we drank victory beers. What an awesome exhilarating day. We were now at the destination where you could choose to do the jungle zip line. Chello had mentioned earlier in the day that if you did it naked you got it for free..
Apparently nobody had done so in 2 years so why would he expect any different...