Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cerro San Cristobal

Well today I discoverred the Cerro San Cristobal, which is a park nearby to my Hotel. I was told that I could run there so since I wanted to get in a nice run, I ran there. First I on my way I had to pass the River Mapochio which is near my Hotel.

Its a brown muddy looking river that Moves FAST. I was told it originates from the mountains and during the winter it swells up to reach the top of the river banks. The river also has a park that runs along the river. Its pretty nice except that there is so much construction that it gets broken up with work areas and such.

One thing tho I have to say I have never seen so many couples in one place. I mean Santiago must be on the world register of places of Romance or something. Couples both young and old seemed to be everywhere!

Anyhow to get to the park I had to cross over the river using the "Puente de los Leones" The Lions Bridge. Named after the Lions guarding the bridge.

About a mile further on I finally got to the park entrance and what should I see yonder but a place that advertises BIKE RENTAL! there is gold in yonder hills!!

So I mosey on over to see how much they are and what the options are. Road? Mountain? Maybe have to settle for a comfort bike?


They had as we will call functional and not functional. They were old Mt Bikes that had seen better days. I paid up for about an hour since I was suspicious of the bike quality. The guy selected a bike for me saying it was the one in best shape. So I took that one. The tires were low on air and I asked if they could fill them up. He did not have the pump with him, the guy who puts the bikes out has it.

OK, the tires were still full enough I could ride, tho a bit "swishy". So I take a few minutes, to give it a spin. I have to get used to rideing with Push pedals again. I have become so accustomed to my clipless pedals.

After a few minutes I head up the road to the crest of Serro San Cristobel, which is nasically a small mountain. It was a great 30 minute ride up...up..and up some more. The bike sucked, but the ride itself was awesome. What spectacular views!

Santiago is a beautiful city that is surrounded by mountains. Those are the Andes in the background. On the ride up I encountered dozens of cyclists and riders. Obviously this is a popular riding spot I have come across. The ride was a little hard but not just because of the incline but due to not having my normal pedals, I just kept slipping off teh pedals.

When I finally got to the top I just had to stop and enjoy the views. The top has some little shops up there offering empanadas along with Power gels and gatoraide, clearly my assumtion was correct.

Riders were sitting around chatting all over the place as well as dozens of tourists. It was great.

I then rode back down and added a little detour around a different road. I dropped the bike off determined to ride again tommorow and then started my run up the same hill I just came down. It was a great run and a great day.

Tommorow more of the same. Not too bad.

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