La Paz, Bolivia.
200-300 people killed. Per year.
Why am I here?
They were very professional at the tour agency. ´You get breakfast, snacks, lunch. Your bike has full suspension. You´ll wear elbow and knee padding. You´ll be wearing safety pants and jacket.´
And in between nose and lips they mentioned: ´As long as you don´t fall off of the edge, you´ll be fine…´
Im now halfway through ´Death Road´.
Which at some point in it´s history killed 200-300 people. Per year.
The safety records have been improving ever since (mostly because all the trafic shifted to a newer and safer road). They weren´t very forthcoming with more recent statistics though. The grapevine however informs me that since the new road has opened, at least a handfull of mountainbikers have died here. And almost every trip someone gets more or less seriously hurt.
I´m thundering down a decline, at some points almost flat, at others 10% or more. My hands are getting tired from constantly pressing the breaks.
So, the next trip: Climb Huayna Potosi, reaching up to slightly over 6000 meters. Altitude sickness, here I come!
You´re reading this, so obviously I survived (I do need to go pick up my ´I survived the world´s most dangerous road´ T-shirt). Yet at times I wasn´t so sure I would make it…
Speeds are ridiculous. Safety gear is quite adequate, but if you´re going down a cliff wall no amount of padding is going to help you.
I survived. And after looking death in the eye (I wished I could say I smiled in his face, but at the time I couldn´t manage more than a squimish little smirk), you do truly feel alive!