some info for the cyclist visiting Bogotá

My return to the UK is nigh so I have been occupied with packing my bike… as a result of this morning’s ‘search’ I have some useful tips for you should you find yourself in Bogotá either needing to pack a bike, buy a bike or buy parts and cycling gear…

1. On the west side of Carrera 14, a couple of blocks north of Avenida Jimenez (Calle 13) there are a bunch of shops selling bubble plastic and corrugated cardboard off the roll.The rolls are very wide and prices per metre are cheap (around US$1) so it’s pretty economical whether you need to pack a bike or that piece of artwork you bought as a souvenir….. They also sell heavy duty packing tape.

2. Colombia’s biggest bikeshop (website http://www.ciclocross.com.co) is on Avenida Jimenez about 100m west of Carrera 14, on the south side of the street (Calle 13 No.16-63). It is close by a couple of smaller ‘local’ bikeshops but you can’t really miss it.. at time of writing it has a Trek sign outside and a bunch of tasty imported bikes (Orbea, Wilier etc) in the window. The manager is called Luis, super helpful guy. He sorted me out with a bloody great big cardboard box (“caja de carton” if you need to know) for my bike in return for an hour or so of chat about cycling in Colombia and the UK. This is the place to go as well if you want to buy a bike (I may do this on my next visit to Colombia), buy Colombian team kit or just about any parts you need… he has both Shimano and Campagnolo road and MTB kit.

This morning’s chat didn’t really help my state of mind about returning to the UK, it just sowed the seeds for another adventure possibility, one I had thought of before but talking about it with someone just makes it more real… cycling north and west from Bogotá to the Carribean coast at Cartegena and Santa Marta from where it is possible to cach a boat via the islands to Panama… and hence on through Central America… damn!

Like bike nuts everywhere Luis was keen to show me his new race machine, a rather tasty new carbon Wilier with Campagnolo Record kit and Mavic’s new R-Sys wheels…. looked fantastic and weighed around 6kg by the feel of it… so I suppose it’s a reminder that I do have spring and summer on my Storck (amongst others…) to look forward to when I get home……

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