Riding high, not that kind of high.

T – We were up early today so we could get a good start. We knew that the next 90kms was going to be all uphill. So it would be a slow ride. We snuck out of Coroico and set our sights on the town of Oruro about 330 kms to the south of us.

We were soon sitting in third and second gear as we climbed and climbed. The bikes again working hard for us. Flat out we were sitting at around 35km/hr. They just wouldn’t go any faster. Up and up we went. Slowly slowly.

We entered tunnels and still we climbed. Third gear all the way.

C – As we reached the last of the uphill, we pulled into a mirador and actually got the girls up to 4654mtrs! It was amazing, and windy, and very cold. Neither of us can really believe that these little bikes have taken so much punishment, particularly lately with the massive climbs, where they are working so hard in third, or second gear. We are so proud of them!

T – Finally we crested over the top and shot our way down into the melee of La Paz, again. For some reason our GPS took us a weird ‘shortcut’ way across the city, which actually ended up with us having to scream our bikes in first gear for kilometer after kilometer up some insanely steep hills, with me even having to paddle with my feet to keep Mabel moving as she nearly stopped several times. Oh the poor bikes. They were hot, they were tired, they were rattly and they were very unhappy. We both know that these engines are getting tired now and we really dont enjoy treating them like this.

C – These steep climbs in traffic are quite stressful. Not only is it difficult for the bikes, but we just can not stop. The postie brakes are not great and it is very difficult to get them to stop still on a steep incline, then tend to start to slide backwards and there is just nothing you can do to stop it. On top of that, once stopped, we would never get them going again. Being in a long line of traffic, where you can not control how fast the other traffic is going, or whether they will stop halfway up is terrifying. I was very pleased when we finally reached the top!

T – Eventually we tore free of the city and we were then sat on the main highway, which was flatish and straightish for the next 200 kms. We knew it would be boring, but the bikes needed to take a breather from all the climbing.

We cruised along for quite some time and many hours later we reached our destination for the night. What a last few days of riding. Next up is the salt flats at Uyuni. Cant bloody wait! Tomorrow the girls will get a fresh dose of oil and Rosie needs a new chain. We have some timing chains to fit over the next day or two and we will treat the girls to some new spark plugs. They deserve some pampering don’t you think?

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6 thoughts on “Riding high, not that kind of high.

  1. Karen

    What are those sculptures that look like UFOs? Did aliens land in Bolivia as well?

    • tncpowell

      Hahaha! Maybe! That would be cool. Not sure what they are. Just funky designs I think

  2. Dar

    Do you think you are going to have to replace the engines from the work-outs you’ve been giving them? I saw your other post about the tank crack, does that mean a new tank too? These are good little badass bikes.

    • tncpowell

      Oh yes, the engines will definitely need replacing at some point. They only cost us $300 each! Mabel has 45 000 kms on hers and Rosie has 30 000. So we are pretty happy with that. We will probably have to replace the tanks on both bikes at some point. Mabels cracked way back in Arizona and has a patch on it, and now Rosies is the same. We love our bikes!

      • Dar

        These little bikes are amazing the really do work hard. What an epic journey they’ve been on. Do you ever think you would change out the bikes for something a little bigger after what you learned from all this riding?

        • tncpowell

          Haha. Well, we have loved travelling slowly on our bikes, and for us they have been the perfect bike so far. By being forced to be slow on the road we have been forced to learn patience and to slow down ourselves. Which is what we really both needed. There are days that we wish for 1200cc’s for sure though. We still will ride the posties all the way home.

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