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The Road Back To Port-Au-Prince

posted Nov 13, 2013
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April 23, 2012 / Steve Z 

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After a short stay at Auberge La Visite and a day riding mountain bikes in La Visite National Park, it was time to return back on the same road from Port-Au-Prince to La Visite. This was one of those days where you envision a mostly downhill run back into town, only to realize that you have 4,000 feet of climbing before you reach that final descent.

There is a lot of story in the image below. You can see the road climb all the way into the far left portion of the frame. In the foreground there are the typical two clean lines through the rocks that are worn in by foot and motorcycle traffic. The bike is indicative of the usual motorcycles on the route, although they typically have more people on them. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about the man versus beast battle taking place.

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Here we encountered another rider on a mountain bike, the only one of the trip. He was pushing his way up a steep and rocky section, so we didn’t get a chance to shred together.

 

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There is one ridiculously steep section of the road that is paved with cobbles and has steps along the side. We rode down this two days earlier, and I wasn’t really sure if it was going to be ridable on the way back or not.

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This pitch was pretty much as steep as you can really ride. Lifting over the ridges was brutal. I made it literally to the last one that I had to clear and ran out of power. Ahhh! So close! With a little better fitness I could have definitely made it up.

 

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I’m including this last shot of Michel driving our support mule. I think it gives a good perspective of the steepness of the grade.

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After this point we put our heads down and rode out the rest of the route. I didn’t take any pictures of the downhill as we were shooting with GoPro helmet cam footage. I will hopefully add a link to that if and when the video gets edited. We did enjoy 9,000 feet of altitude loss on this day to compensate for the 4,000 feet of climbing. The last descent into Port-au-Prince was long, fast, and fun!


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