Scene Report:Otovalo & Quito,Ecuador

Feb 03 2013

By:Sterling Couriers
Photos by Nomi

Otovalo is higher in the Andes then the capital Quito and is a center of commerce known for its Saturday market. Way more people pushing goods on these rigged 3 wheel jawners. These things were tricked out, loaded up and rolling all over the town. They have a lever on the down tubed that you press and it rubs the rear wheel to stop, crazy. Did I mention the altitude??? Go uphill with 20 crates of glass bottles full of Quitig, have your chain fall off and sit in a intersection and fix it. Do not complain about a copy box bro!

On the way out of town back to Quito we saw roadies in full kits mobbing up and down the mountains with traffic flying by them. Bomb a mountain in the Andes with a diesel truck blasting fumes in your face stylee. It was not till we got to the outskirts of Quito that we realized this was a race. These guys were doing a road race in traffic, no escorts, no roads closed and no support. This is the real deal not some whiner being “forced to dope” in their cushy Spanish condo going to bed on a pile of Euros or some shit.





I have been visiting Quito since I was a kid since half of my family still lives in Quito
Quito is a city of over 2 million nestled in the Andes of Ecuador, . Same weather as SF but with more extreme hills and you are gasping for air because you are going from 9 to 12,000 feet depending on where you are in the city. You have your typical crazy ass south american driving with buses trucks, motorcycles all fighting for space on twisting hilly cobbled streets. The city is making a conscious effort to increase bikes in the streets. There are new dedicated bike lanes, bike share stands and every Sunday major avenues are closed to cars. Imagine if Philly closed all of Broad St and you get the idea. There is a velodrome in Quito but we could not get in because it is closed to the public most of the time but imagine T Town dropped in a neighborhood. With all the crazy traffic, driving restrictions (depending on your license # you cant drive in the city at certain times and days) and the govt push to get more people riding Quito is going the right way.