Friday, March 20, 2009


That's right, I am in Chile.  I am in a hotel about 6,000 ft above Santiago, Chile and am surrounded by 18-22 thousand foot peaks.  I would show you pictures, but I forgot a camera and a picture really wouldn't capture how this place looks.  I did ride my bike for a little over 4 hours today, but hang on, I am ahead of myself.
Let me start from Atlanta because it is where the story really begins.  I was able to fly in first class from Atlanta to Chile and slept very well after gorging myself on ice cream sundays.  After arriving I headed straight for the customs agent so that I could beat the mob and get out quickly.  Little did I know that I was about to get slammed with another fee on top of the $300 bike charge.  For those of you who have never been to Chile,  apparently every American citizen has committed a crime against the Chilean government and therefore must pay $131 in  a "reciprocity" fee before being allowed to enter the country.  I was completely unaware that my birth was a crime against the people of Chile.  At least they didn't charge me a late fee. 
Back to the ride.  I started the ride with tad and had the idea of just doing a kinda easy 2 hour ride.  We started climbing up the road towards the ski resort that was at the end of the paved road.  From there we road around a little bit and then headed out towards this place called Colorado.  After climbing dirt road switchbacks for an hour, Tad said that it was time for him to turn around.  I wanted to go to the top of the ridge and see what was on the other side.  Well once I got to the ridge, it was so amazing that I had to go up to the next little peak.  This continued on and on and I ended up climbing for 4 hours, went above sections of snow (it is the end of summer here) and got up to around 13000 ft before I ran out of water.  To put this into perspective, imagine doing 4 snowbird widowmaker hillclimbs back to back and then have the top of the mountain be 7000 ft above you covered in glaciers.  It was crazy and absolutely beautiful.  I have never seen anything like it.  I was above all plant life.  No bushes, grass, or anything.  I could see glacier covered peaks all around me and not one person.  It was most definitely one of my top five rides of all time.  Yes, I may have fried my legs for Sundays Continental Championships, but I have tomorrow to recover and it was worth it.  I hope you all get in at least one epic ride this year.  It will show those clowns at AIG what life is really about.