I’m a fan of stuff on 2 wheels. Bicycles and motorcycles. Of course, with the driver’s age being 18 here, I do not own a motorcycle, but we do have 2 terribly cheap mountain bikes that have been a real pain, falling apart when you least expect it (I don’t call $200 each cheap, but in Chile, that gets you a bike that’s well below Walmart quality).

Even so, I have ridden many places on these. Usually early on a Saturday morning or on a Sunday afternoon I will go on a large bike ride. Riding to the eastern mountains of Santiago takes around 45 minutes when I’m riding hard. Most of it is flat, and the distance is only around 7 miles, but the last mile gets steep. I saw one hill so steep a descending bus’ brakes were smoking, and an ascending car spun it’s wheels for loss of traction. Going up, I had to ride in first gear standing up. I ended that ride having gained approximately 900 feet in altitude.

The largest ride I have done here was 25 miles total, to the far northern end of La Dehesa.

Back in the United States, during the last 2 months we were in Chattanooga, I would get up every morning (including Sunday) at 5:30 and ride up a ~1,200 foot mountain a couple of miles behind our house. I would always come back down super fast (40+mph). Often I would catch up to a car and have to slow down. That bike was bought for $100, and it perfectly went through 4 years of hard riding.

Now, before coming back down the hills I climb, I very carefully check that both wheels and both pedals are solidly attached.

I have explored most of the north-east end of Santiago. Out of the city, there are almost no roads. It goes from metropolis to unoccupied mountain very quickly. As far as I know, there is only one public road leaving Santiago out of the city’s north-east quarter.

A common place to ride bikes is on the Cerro San Cristobal. It is around 1000 feet tall, has roads going up it, and would be a big pile of dirt just like all the other cerros if the city government wasn’t watering the whole thing. The lame thing about riding there is that you can’t ride on it until 8am!