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Every year in May or June, we attend one of the premier international mountain biking races in the world: The Inca Avalanche.
Starting at nearly 16,000 feet of altitude on the backside of one of the 7 Wonders of the World - Machu Picchu, the Inca Avalanche is one of the highest races in the world. The race is not broken into different stages but rather one continuous run from the start to the finish line - about 5900 vertical feet of descending over approximately 25 minutes, depending on your level of shred !
Riders from all over the world - from New Zealand to the UK, from Ecuador to Chile, from Canada and the US - descend on Ollantaytambo every year to ride the unbelievable trails, visit Inca ruins, party at Inca festivals and to race the Inca Avalanche. Riders like Chris Van Dine, Aaron Chase, Eric Porter, Rene Wildehaber, Brian Lopes, Cedric Gracia, and many other legends of the sport have all come to Ollantaytambo to rip this ride. You don t have to be a legend of sport to rip this ride though, we have riders as young as 9 participate, we even have a Hard-Tail class!
Click here: http://incaavalanche.com for more info.
With Gravity we offer you the chance to come and ride early to adapt to high altitude, the first week we will offer you some great rides in and around La Paz, Bolivia, and you can check out all the amazing scenery and culture we have to offer all on your bike while practicing for the race – how sick is that!!
During the second week we will take you to Ollantaytambo, Peru from the 11th to the 17th of May where we will do more rides before the race, and give you the option to visit stunning Machu Picchu for the day. During our week in Peru we will make sure you get to ride the highlights of this area while at the same time preparing for the Inca Avalanche race.
Here’s a link to Gravity guiding several pro´s in Peru, watch it and check out some highlights we can offer you:
All this culminating in one of the most epic races known to mankind, the Inca Avalanche!!!
Day 1 – May 4th
• Arrival to La Paz – Transfer from the Airport to Casa Fusion Hotel Boutique
Upon arrival to La Paz, there will be a vehicle waiting for you at the airport, ready to take you straight to the Hotel Casa Fusion in the neighborhood of Sopocachi.
It offers comfortable rooms with chic décor, only 5 blocks from Plaza España in Sopocachi, La Paz’s hip neighbourhood (“Soho-cachi”). A daily breakfast is included.
Casa Fusion Hotel Boutique has bright rooms with carpeted floors equipped with flat-screen cable TV. All of them feature private bathrooms with showers and include safety deposit boxes. Guests can enjoy regional or international cuisine at the on-site restaurant. This non-smoking hotel offers 24-hour front desk assistance.
Your bikes will be brought to our workshop a few blocks away where we can build them up for the some of the best riding in your life!
• Welcome Dinner
We will have a welcome dinner at our favorite pub in town, Oliver’s English Tavern where we can get to know you a bit better and give you an informal briefing of the whole trip. We will offer you some of Bolivia’s most famous dishes such as Sopa de Mani and Pique Macho and finally you get to learn and prepare local cocktails with the bar staff, all in the ambience of this famous local pub in La Paz. Oliver’s also has several Bolivian microbrewery beers on tap.
Day 2 – May 5th
• Secret Single Track
Today you will get to enjoy some great trails in the backyard of La Paz. After an 8:00 am meet-up at Gravity´s Workshop, we will head south to the hills around La Paz that offer stunning views of the city and the valleys and mountains surrounding it.
Secret Single Track is the crème de la crème of technical downhill riding in La Paz, Bolivia. You start high in remote hills and rip down narrow walking trails through spectacular scenery and technical downhill trails. There is not much pedaling; instead it is all jeep shuttles and Gravity Assisted fun, on these narrow and tricky trails. Your guides will provide lots of instruction, and interesting history. Heaps of cool spots to try out jumps, switchbacks, steeps and the rest… you can really push your riding to another level! It is possible you will be acclimatizing to the altitude today, so you can ride as much or as little as you feel like as we are fully supported by our shuttle all day.
DAY 3 & 4 - May 6th & 7th
• Choro 2 Days
What better ride while in the Andes then on an ancient Incan trail? Make sure you set up your bike for EPIC. Starting near glaciers at around 5000m we will make our way down to the high jungle of 1000m. During the ride we will go up and down on Inca paving, steps, and single-track. There is no vehicular support here so for the first day we will need to carry our own lunch.
At night we meet the porter who will have camp set up for us and a hearty locally cooked meal and beers waiting for us. Tonight we camp out under the incredible Andean stars in a small village called San Francisco, at 2,000 meters above sea level. We will provide you with sleeping bag, tent, and sleeping pads so you can rest up for our next day on this amazing trail.
After a fresh cooked breakfast, we will head back out to the trails, wrapping up the second day with single track, hanging wire bridges, and steep steps sculpted by Incan hands hundreds of years ago. Some sections will require you to carry your bike uphill as they are too steep to negotiate. No matter what your level of experience is, the Choro Trail is sure to challenge you and push your physical boundaries, even as your mind is filled with the wonders of a life lived by people hundreds of years before you.
Day 5 & 6 – May 8th & 9th
The hills and mountains surrounding Sorata, Bolivia, quite simply have some of the best downhill single-track mountain bike riding in the world. Gravity has been riding in this area for more than 15 years and continues to find new trails and tracks of world-class quality. If you are an experienced single-track rider you will LOVE the riding around Sorata.
Sorata is a 3 hour drive to the North of La Paz. On our early morning drive you can rest up, and take in the incredible views of the Altiplano, the world’s highest plain, which on one side is dotted with the giant peaks of the Cordillera Real mountain range and on the other the world’s higest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca, which is where the Incans believed the Sun was born.
The idyllic mountain town of Sorata lies in the center of a myriad of fantastic mountain-biking trails for the intermediate-and-above rider, as well as a variety of challenging dirt roads. The huge number of trails means we can pick and choose the best trails based on the riding experience and desires of the group. All the rides feature incredible mountain scenery of the Illampu and Jancahuma massifs, as well as passing through authentic Bolivian rural life, fields and villages.
The rides in the area feature unbelievably long stretches of flowing downhill single-track as well as a variety of natural and man-made stunts of varying levels. We will explore the different riding options and stop to practice and repeat various sections in order to push our skills under the guidance and coaching of the Gravity guides as well as using this as an opportunity to get some great photos.
At the end of our first day, we go back to the Altai Oasis, a beautiful eco-lodge where you can have dinner and relax before a good night’s sleep in preparation for the second day of spectacular riding in the area.
Today we will be up early, have breakfast at the hotel and head to the trails again.
All of the rides feature 2000m or so of vertical altitude loss and of course each run is shuttled by jeep. Where the riders are more experienced, fit and acclimatized we can often hit 3500m or more of vertical descent in a day. There are harder options, including big jumps and gnarly near-vertical skree slopes, as well as options to bomb down rough dirt roads with occasional short cuts onto easier single-track.
At the end of the day we will drive you back to your hotel in La Paz, order a pizza for dinner and get set for a good night´s sleep.
Here is a video link for you to have a look at the phenomenal riding in this area:http://vimeo.com/25153076
Day 7 – May 10th
• Drive to Ollantaytambo
We will pick you up from your hotel very early and begin our drive to Ollantaytambo, Peru.
The drive will be approximately 10-12 hours, we will offer you breakfast and lunch along the way and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Altiplano and Lake Titicaca. Once we arrive we will take you to the Hostel Janaxpacha located right in front of centuries old Inca ruins.
Janaxpacha Backpackers is our favourite hotel in Ollantaytambo. Close to everything in this small Incan village, it has all the beauty of the traditionaly built houses in the village with all the amenities and comforts you look for after a long day of riding. Such as free WIFI and nice private bathrooms, with spectacular mountain views in all the rooms. Set up. And make yourself at home. This will be our base camp for the next week of riding throughout Peru.
DAY 8 – May 11th
• Bike Assault
After breakfast we will drive you up near Moray, this incredibly scenic ride starts in the area around Moray (3550m) and ends beside the Urubamba River in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, we cycle amid traditional Andean communities where the way of life has changed very little since the Spanish arrived nearly 500 years ago.
During the ride we have phenomenal views of the Urubamba mountain range including the Chiclon glacier and the snowcapped peak of Mount Veronica (5682m). We have lunch near the other worldly Moray ruins with the option of visiting (entrance not included). After our tasty boxed lunch, we ride to the town of Maras, famous in Incan Times for its spies.
From here we have an awesome downhill to the pre Incan Salineras (salt mines) and then to the valley floor. We finish the ride in a bar on the banks of the Urubamba River, where our van will be waiting to take you back to Urubamba and on to Ollantaytambo. Depending on rider levels, we will probably have time to shuttle back up and try one of the many other trails that descend from this area to the valley floor. Many of the trails are challenging and provide out of this world scenery.
Once back to your hostel we will get ready for the Inca Avalanche Trail Festival Welcome dinner where you will get to meet the other riders taking part and hang with the pros who will be racing with you in the Inca Avalanche this year.
Day 9 – May 12th
Today we drive and will begin our ride from Pumamarca which offers great views along the top edge of a massive, Incanterraced mountain side. If you wish to get in a workout and there is enough time, it is a very pleasant climb from town up to the site via first a dirt road and then a steep, mountain double track about nine kilometers up to the site which takes around an hour or so. We will visit the Pumamarca site first, which is a pre-Incan ruin dating back to the 1200’s. Sitting atop a high, strategically located mountain ridge, it has lines of sight into all the nearby valleys, and it also protects Ollantaytambo from approaches from the Amazon jungle, which lies just on the other side of the upper reaches of the Cordillera Urubamba mountain range above this site which is also the Continental Divide.
After visiting the site, we begin the seven kilometer single-track descent back down to Ollantaytambo. The track is rocky, with some long smooth sections mixed in, and is one of our favorite local rides in Peru. It also has the bonus of passing by 3 different Incan sites that have only recently been uncovered – Choquebamba, Media Luna, and Muscapuquio. No pedaling needed from the top, as we rock down the single-track to the main road, then follow a local trail along the river back into town which takes a little less than one hour. Depending on rider skills, energy levels and enthusiasm some or all of the riders may choose to repeat this trail, or hit another trail.
Day 10 – May 13th
First day to look at the Inca Avalanche Trail, or (other rides in to cusco optional)
On this day we could go riding for the first time on what will be the race course of the Inca Avalanche race, where you can get to know what you will be facing, or alternatively we could drive up to Cusco and do loads of downhill riding which offers a chance for you to jump on a bike from the ridges above Cusco and explore a variety of different routes all of which end up back in town. The routes that will be taken will depend upon the abilities and enthusiasm of the group. Our guide will assess the riders before making a decision as to which of the 40 plus routes would be most suitable to ensure maximum satisfaction and enjoyment for all of the participants.
The routes vary from several technical downhill routes used as race courses to more sedate and scenic walking tracks passing through ruins. Whatever the route chosen, there are always sections where riders can choose between taking more technical options and trying to push their riding ability or cruise through the easier lines. Today we will have lunch in Cusco. And then hit the trails for more!
Day 11 – May 14th
• Machu Picchu Or More Riding
On this day we have the option for you to visit the wonders of Machu Picchu, we would take you by train, with a meal included and a local guide to show you around one of the greatest wonders in the world, this option would have an extra cost of $210 USD Per Person. No trip to Peru is complete without a visit to this ancient holy site, probably on almost everyone’s bucket list! If you would rather ride now, we can also offer this trip as an extension after the end of the race and our services.
Alternatively we could do some more practice and coaching rides around Ollayntaytambo, with our guides for you to prepare even more for the weekend’s race.
Or you could take the day off and just spend some alone time enjoying the sights. Later on in the evening the Inca Avalanche race organizers will throw a party at a local disco in Cusco with all other riders and the pros, it is optional to attend, but we would recommend a night out!
Day 12 – May 15th
Inca Avalanche Course
Today we have the opportunity to train again on the world famous Inca Avalanche course.
We ride down this 20 km trail as often as our bodies can handle it, maximizing our preparation for the race… this includes stopping to check out lines, options, and techniques.
This ride will push you to the limits, and get you into shape for the race.
After breakfast, we drive up to the top of the course and will get there around 10am; our guides will brief you on the course, so you know what to expect along the way, we will take breaks for snacks, lunch and photos. We can session different parts of the trail and work out race lines as we go. We should be back in Ollayntaytambo later in the evening, and can guarantee you’ll have a big smile on your face (even though you’ll be knackered!).
Day 13 and 14 - May 16th & 17th
• Qualifying and the big race
And now, the two days of the Inca Avalanche Downhill Enduro race in Ollantaytambo, Peru, off the backside of Machu Picchu. This is what you have been waiting for!!
Set in the midst of the stunning Andean mountains, in an ancient Incan village, this will be one of the top BIKE events of the year! Far off the beaten path of typical downhill courses, the Inca Avalanche starts out at an elevation of nearly 15,000 feet above sea level and descends an outstanding course over traditional Incan roads and paths to the finish line five thousand feet below!
The Inca Avalanche is a mass start enduro style downhill mountain bike race. It is not broken down into different stages but rather is one continuous run from the start to the finish line – about 5900 vertical feet of descending over approximately 25-40 minutes depending on your level of shred.
Videos of the race and the festival can be seen here:
On Saturday the 16th of May are the Qualifiers – there are 2 runs, The First is Mandatory and the Second is Optional, your best run from these will determine your starting position on the race grid for the Finals on Sunday 17th May. One hundred and fifty+ racers are expected and are typically lined up in 10 rows of racers 15 riders wide.
The race is run using an “Open Course” which means that the entire mountain is available to the riders in their quest to take the fastest line down to the finish line. This includes any and all road sections that may exist during the descent.
After the trophy ceremony we all have an after party in Ollantaytambo to celebrate our adventures and say our goodbyes, it will be one of those stories to tell the grandchildren.
Day 15 – May 18th
• Check out
From here you are free to make your own adventures. We can help you set up anything else you would like to do in your time here in South America, just let us know!
If you are flying out today, your transfer out is included.
The price for this amazing tour is $1995 USD per rider, for a group of 5 or more riders. That´s less then $140 USD per rider per day! If the group is only 4 then it is just $300 USD more per person for the trip.
We can happily book the tour for smaller groups or private groups. Contact us for pricing for smaller groups. If you book the tour with just 1 or 2 people and more book on we would refund you the difference.
What Is Included In The Price
The price for this trip includes 14 nights of accommodation, guides, daily transport on the rides, food as shown above and some of the most amazing riding life can afford in 2 incredible countries. Even some alcoholic drinks are included, but knowing a rider and his beer, we can’t include them all!
The trip price does not include your flights TO La Paz, Bolivia, nor your flights FROM Cusco, Peru. You MUST purchase a comprehensive adventure travel/mountain biking medical insurance for the duration of your trip, please provide the details of your policy to us so we can review and check it will fully cover you through out the trip. Depending on your country you may have to pay visa fees, this is not covered, but we will help you sort them.
BIKE AND EQUIPMENT RENTAL:
As mentioned before we can rent out a top quality Kona Entourage for you, at a cost of $35 USD per day.
The accommodation prices are based on sharing a twin room, if you prefer a single room for the duration of your stay, there is an aditional cost of $180 USD.
CUSCO FLIGHT AND CITY TOUR:
Other additional costs include a chance to fly out to Cusco instead of driving there at a cost of $299 USD including accommodation, and a city tour.
MACHU PICCHU TOUR:
We also offer you the chance to visit Machu Picchu for an additional $210 USD, including a return train ticket, tour guide and entrance fee.
At Gravity we are proud to have a lifetime deposit guarantee. If for any reason you are not able to join the tour, we keep your deposit on the books and you are welcome to use it at any point in the future on any of our amazing rides. (Any cancelations must be made with a week’s notice).
To book your spot on this amazing tour, we need a deposit of 50% of the cost of the trip based on the number of bookings we have at the time of your booking. This payment can be done by Bank Transfer or Credit Card. If more people book on, then you only pay the remainder of the costs to our staff in Bolivia based on the amount of riders we have at the start of the trip.
Bring a buddy! The more people you are, the cheaper the ride, plus if you are a group we can give group discounts!
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