Cannondale New Road Volume 1: Colombia

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We climbed into the clouds, into the mist; in Colombia, it’s easy to find the mountains. These pathways are seldom used by the people of Bogotá, and that adds to the mystery and appeal. It’s raw and gritty and beautiful. Untouched. If y o u w a n t t o cl i m b, i t ’ s e n d l e s s .

Riders Mauricio Ordóñez, @cheset Camilo Jaramillo, @cjarah Ana Bonilla Paez, @anabonillap Special Thanks Fuga Café, 7 Mesh Clothing, @7meshinc Jorge Franco and Bikexperts Bogotá, @bikexperts_colombia Photographer Matthew Clark, @stirlandraephoto

the high-altitude mountains northeast of Bogotá, there is a small lake, and around the shores of this lake, there are ancient villages, and in one of those villages, there is something new, brought by a foreigner from the north. He’s brought several two-wheeled machines, made not for asphalt roads, where the men of the city ride, and not for the treacherous trails, where the men of the deep mountains ride, but for the dirt roads, where the villagers ride by horse. The foreigner joins with three locals — two men and one woman — and they ready themselves for a trip over a cloud-enshrined high mountain. The rains come. The paths grow slick. Puddles swell. The four riders saddle the new machines and venture on, undeterred by the weather. They climb toward the top of the mountain, into the rain and wind and cold. They ride until they can be seen no more. In the evening, they return from the other side of the mountain, weathered and weary, but very alive. They have seen this country in ways most two-wheeled adventurers never have. The machines have revealed a different face of Colombia; they have made its old roads new.

By Matthew Ankeny










In the long, acclaimed literary career of Gabriel García

former is the predominant form. It is said that for every

Márquez, there is a small but significant footnote: he spent

single road bike sold in Colombia, nine mountain bikes are

part of his writing life as a journalist for El Espectador, cov-

sold. Yet, in the sprawling metropolis of Bogotá, road cy-

ering cycling among other things. And though Márquez’s

clists are most common, rolling out from the city in the ear-

writing about the sport has since been overshadowed

ly mornings, heading to the mountains to stretch their lungs

by his rich stories of the people and history of Colombia,

and legs.

cycling remains core to the country’s national identity. “We say fútbol is our national sport,” said Mauricio

Ordóñez, along with friend and fellow Fuga investor,

Ordóñez, co-owner of the Bogotá café and bike studio, Fuga.

Camilo Jaramillo, guided a cycling adventure with “the for-

“But I think cycling has always been the national sport

eigner,” James LaLonde of Cannondale, and local athlete Ana

of Colombia.”

Bonilla Paez. LaLonde brought with him Cannondale’s SuperX SE and CAADX SE bikes, equipped with 700x37c

Out in the mountains, the landscape’s tangible beauty and

WTB Riddler tires. This style of bike — “gravel,” “all-road,”

the locals’ love of cycling is readily available to encounter in

“cyclocross,” call it what you will — is unfamiliar to many

real life — no magic realism needed. Up at 9,800 to 11,500

Colombians, despite the surplus of ideal territory for gravel

feet, the Andes are all too tactile, you can feel the altitude

exploration. “I believe people in Colombia are content

in your head, heart and lungs. And the favored Colombian

enough to ride the same trails over and over,” Ordóñez said.

way to conquer these mountains is by bicycle.

“The percentage of the population that likes to explore, doing trips like this, is still growing.” Ordóñez is setting the

Cycling culture in Colombia is cleanly split between moun-

pace for change. With his cyclocross bike and his dual-sport

tain bikers and road cyclists. With the Andes mountain

motorcycle, he explores the backroads of his country and

range dominating most of the country’s geography, the

beyond. “I’m a curious person, and I get bored of things















“ The S uperX i s a ro a d b ike t h a t wa nt s t o be a m o u n t a in b ike .




riders took on the rough-hewn roads. “You always find a piece of road that’s not good enough for your road bike,” Jaramillo added. “But if you have this kind of bike, you can

It ’ s a l i ttl e m ore a g g re s s iv e . A l i t t l e m ore a gil e — it re s ponds fa s t er. ”

go anywhere.” They headed into the high altitudes, leaving behind the paved roads that restrict the riders from the city. The Colombians took the off-piste riding in stride. “The Colombians didn’t flinch,” LaLonde said. “Nothing affected them.” Both Ordóñez and Jaramillo have spent extensive time on the paved roads of this area, but unencumbered by the

very quickly,” he said. “That has urged me to go out and

need to remain on asphalt, they were now able to see the

explore; I’m the sort of person that likes new adventures.”

region as an entirely new landscape. At the end of the ride,

In describing the SuperX, Ordóñez drew comparisons from

refueling on Club Colombia and Cerveza Poker, the crew

the familiar frame categories. “The SuperX is a road bike

recounted highlights from the route. “We were like, ‘Man,

that wants to be a mountain bike. It’s a little more aggres-

we were in the middle of the nowhere.’” Jaramillo said. “But

sive. A little more agile — it responds faster.”

when we looked at a map, we were right next to where we’ve been going all year.”

The dirt roads around Guatavita, seldom used by anyone other than the farmers and rural residents, are pristine

This is the freedom of the all-road machine, and while the

proving grounds for the SE line. “With this bike, you don’t

trend may only be beginning to catch on in Colombia, the

have to go to the middle of nowhere to have fun,” Jaramillo

locals were an easy sell. “I’m going to get one,” Jaramillo

noted. “Just go to the place that you always go, but take

noted. “And I am going to make sure a friend of mine gets

a small detour.” Splitting from the path well trodden, the

one, too.”










5 4 3



OutFront Steering Geometry pairs a slack head angle and long front center for super stability at speed and on high-altitude mountain descents.


Dramatically shaped and flattened seat stays and chainstays absorb shock for better control, traction and comfort on rocky roads.


Short chainstays for traction and agility when you flip on the afterburners.


Ultra capable wide range 40t x 11-42 gearing.


Room for up to 40mm (measured) tires for every adventurous variety of road surface.










I N T E R V I E W How are people in Bogotá drinking coffee?

We want to teach people to try different methods and then realize

It’s been changing. Even though we are one of the biggest pro-

what they like best. We want to teach them that Colombian coffee

ducers of coffee in the world, we were not as big of consumers as

is better served using the pour-over methods. Drip coffee actually

you would expect. This has to do with the fact that the best beans

brings out the best characteristics of the Colombian coffee.

would always be exported. We only got the pasilla — the grains that don’t meet international standards to be exported — and so

What are traditional characteristics of Colombian beans?

we kept beans that were not that good. So the coffee that my

One of the distinct properties is acidity. It’s not bad acidity, but it’s

parents were used to drinking was coffee that was very bitter. It

like tangerine or a lemon or green tea — that kind of good acidity.

had to be served very hot, and you had to put a lot of sugar in it. And that isn’t ideal for espresso? It’s been really tough to change the mentality of the people

Espresso with Colombian coffee is tough. The espresso machine,

here, but it has been changing. We now have ten to twelve spe-

with high pressure and high temperatures, makes a very acidic

cialty coffee shops in Bogotá. We’ve been joining forces to teach

drink, so it’s very complicated to make a good espresso shot with

people to drink better coffee.

Colombian coffee. If you’re not careful with the espresso machine, you actually bring out more of the acidity. So it’s tough to prepare

And how are these shops making better coffee?

that. We use a blend from two regions; one is very sweet, and one

We are taking better care of the beans. We’re selecting the good

is a more traditional-tasting Colombian coffee.

coffee, and it is staying here in Colombia. As producers of some of How does coffee complement cycling?

the best coffee in the world, we deserve to drink it as well.

Coffee and bicycles have always been tied together. At Fuga, we How do you prepare your coffee?

have three different business: we have the boutique retail shop,

I really like pour-over coffee. Even at my house, I have a few

we have the coffee and we also have a workshop — a place to

different methods that I use. Obviously, I enjoy an espresso; be-

repair your bike. It’s a place to share your experiences on the bike,

ing a cyclist, there’s nothing I want more in the morning than an

have a good cup of coffee and enjoy your day. We wanted this for

espresso. Normally, I go directly to the ride when I go out, but I

ourselves. We wanted a good cup of coffee and a place where we

finish at Fuga and have a coffee here. V60 is one of my favorite

can play with our bicycles.

pour-over methods and the one that I use the most. Mauricio Ordóñez is co-owner of Fuga Café + Bike Studio in Bogotá, Colombia, which began serving Colombian-grown, sustainably-sourced specialty coffee in August 2016.

What do most customers drink? Our most popular drinks are cappuccinos and macchiatos, but

Fuga Café + Bike Studio Calle 81 # 11-55 L1, Bogotá, Colombia

this year, we’re seeing a progression of people moving to the drip coffee more and more. That is part of our objective as a business.









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