Cycling and Mountain Biking in Ecuador
is just a huge amount to see, but also a few things to remember.
Firstly, if you are cycling in the Andes you can spend a lot
of your time at considerable altitude -cycling uphill at 10,000
ft is not a task to undertake lightly, you will need to be fit
and to acclimatise. There are extensive tracks over the mountains
left by the Incas, the traditional cobbled roads can be uncomfortable
at best, and in rural areas you will have to put up with occasionally
being chased by dogs (carry a stick if this troubles you). Avoid
the Panamericana and other major highways where traffic is fast,
noisy and not used to bicycles.
- Prepare well and you can have
some amazing rides -if visiting both highlands and the coast
or the rainforest, it goes without saying that you should start
at the top in the high Andes. There are some ear-popping descents
down through the cloud forest. For mountain bikers there are
noted routes down some of the major volcanoes -Cotopaxi, Pichincha
etc. For an idea of the sort of scenery you can expect, visit
the destination360 page on mountain biking in
- Do get good maps from the Instituto Geografico
Militar in Quito -available online from Omnimaps.
- Local bike rental is possible
in Quito and Baños, but if you are travelling long distances
you will want to be sure your bike is up to dealing with the
terrain. Either view before booking or get references if booking
from overseas. If you bring your own bike be mindful of security
and bring a strong lock and all the spare parts you will need.
- Prepare well, and don't forget
the weather -rain in the high andes can be very cold, while it
can be very hot in the steamy tropical lowlands.
The Ciclopaseo in Quito
Every other Sunday in Quito,
roads are closed along a 10km route on the north south axis,
from 9.00 to 15.00, for cyclists of all ages and abilities to
reclaim the streets. As well as cyclists, you will also see people
on roller blades, skateboards, scooters as well as joggers -in
all about 40,000 people take part each time, and the Municipality
also organises various free events -concerts, open-air aerobics
etc -in squares and parks along the route.
The Ciclopolis foundation, which
organizes the event, has combined forces with the FONSAL (Cultural
Safe-Guarding Fund) to offer tours to churches and sights of
the Old Town by bike. It also organises an annual mountain bike
race through the historic centre.
If you want to take part part,
you can hire bikes and helmets from Ciclopolis -you will need
a copy of your passport and one other ID document:
Equinoccio N17 -171 y Queseras del Medio
00 593-2-3226502 / 2234475
- Arie's Bike Company
-bike tours from Quito for 1-6 days.
-US tour operator offering biking/hiking tour to Ecuador.
- Bike Tours Ecuador
-bike tours in Ecuador for over eight years from their base in
- Biking Dutchman
-the mountain biking specialist in Ecuador.
Spirit -mountain biking
division of Alta Montaña -offer rides including downhill
from 4,800m on Chimborazo and two day mountain bike tours from
Riobamba to Chimborazo and Baños.
- Down the Road -the Ecuador pages of Tim and Cindie Travis' account
of their seven year bicycle trip around the world starting from
the USA in 2002 (Ecuador came early on in the programme!).
- International Bicycle Fund's tour of Ecuador -iBF are a non-governmental,
nonprofit, advocacy organization, promoting sustainable transport
and international understanding.
Bici -mountain biking
in the Chimborazo province.
-Ine and Robert Tenback's account of their cycle tour to Ecuador.
- Search this site with Google: