Up, Up and Away……!

Or should that be “Away, Up and Up (and then Up some more)”!

Congratulations / Chapeau / Kudos are in order (or ‘Felicitaciones’ if we want to ‘speak the lingo’)!

Club member Christine Thwaite has conquered Alto de Letras in Colombia, the world’s longest and highest road climb, and can well and truly call herself a Mountain Goat!

At 52 miles (79.9km) with the summit at 12,038 ft (3,669m) this is definitely not one for the faint hearted. But the views at the top look like they were worth it.

Christine took on the challenge with support from the cycle touring company Skidadle who organise adventures like this for people who want to challenge themselves.

After a 4am arrival Christine had a day to acclimatise a little, then it was out on the bike everyday in the mountains getting used to the altitude.

We caught up with Christine in Columbia….

“I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it as I haven’t been able to train much – my last time out on a proper ride was Mallorca 4 months ago.

I went up very slowly – no other option – it was grueling. The overall gradient average is not high, but it’s misleading – there are long sections of 9-11%.

It hurt like h*ll, but I just refused to give up thinking I might never get another chance.

I’m happy to share this news with Otley Cycle Club, I wouldn’t be here now, having the chance, if I’d not joined the club.

I might have a rest day today though!”

We think Christine is the first in our club to do this, and we can’t wait to hear more about it when she’s next out for a ride.

We are so proud of what our wonderful members are doing, pushing the boundaries seeking new horizons.

If you have any exciting adventures to tell us about (or if you have conquered this climb too!) please drop a line to otleycycleclub@gmail.com as we love to celebrate all cycling adventures.

If you’re interested in tackling some global climbs check out this list compiled by Cycling Weekly (Christine’s climb is at the #1 spot), or how about Mauna Kea, labelled the “world’ hardest climb’ by Cyclist magazine. This are definitely ones for a ‘to do’ list.

View from the top of Alto de Letras

A smiling Christine at the top