Video Guide to the Trans Ecuador MTB Route

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In our first-ever video route guide, filmmaker Jay Ritchey and Cass Gilbert offer a stunning and informative look at the Trans Ecuador Mountain Bike Route. If you aren’t familiar with the TEMBR, this is a must-watch feature. And if you’re considering riding the route, this film will surely have you packing your bags…

A lot has been said on this site about the Trans Ecuador Mountain Bike Route (TEMBR), the 850-mile (1,370km) bikepacking route that runs the length of the country’s volcanic corridor. So, we’ll keep it brief and get straight to the video. This is the first of what we hope will be many video guides created to accompany our bikepacking routes, providing a taste of what to expect. Watch below, and find links to related information further down.

  • Trans Ecuador Mountain Bike Route TEMBR
  • Trans Ecuador Mountain Bike Route TEMBR
  • Trans Ecuador Mountain Bike Route TEMBR
  • Trans Ecuador Mountain Bike Route TEMBR

The Video Guide to TEMBR was written and narrated by our own Cass Gilbert and filmed and produced by Jay Ritchey. Support for the film was provided by Porcelain Rocket, makers of excellent bikepacking gear such as the 52hz frame pack seen in the film; WTB, whose Ranger+ tires were ridden while on the route; Roadrunner Bags and their excellent Jumbo Jammer bag; Hyperlite Mountain Gear, whose UltaMid kept the equipment dry; and Voilé, whose infinitely versatile straps held it all together.

As a little peek behind the scenes, Jay carried some 8-10 lbs of filmmaking gear, including a DJI Mavic Pro drone, a Lumix GH5, 8 batteries (4 camera and 4 drone), cables, microphones (a lav mic and Rode shotgun), lenses (Lumix 12-35 2.8, Lumix 35-100 2.8, and a Speedmaster 25mm .95, as well as chargers, filters, cables, solid state storage, lens wipes, and all the rest. You can find out a whole lot more about Jay’s setup on his Rider and Rig feature.

The Trans Ecuador Mountain Bike Route – the Dirt Road Version – runs the length of the country’s volcanic corridor, following jeep tracks and tertiary, low-traffic sealed roads. Meandering a remote course through the Ecuadorian Andes, it connects vibrant, colourful market towns with small mountain settlements. Amongst many highlights, its itinerary includes the volcanic trio of Cotopaxi, Quilotoa, and Chimborazo, as well as the beautiful colonial city of Cuenca. Find out more here. Also, make sure to check out Cass’ recent ride gallery from the same trip.
Jay Ritchey

More info on Jay Ritchey

In case you haven’t seen it, Jay’s observational documentary, Bikepacking the Mongolian Steppe, is highly regarded. For more on Jay’s filmic adventures, follow him on Instagram or at his website.

16 Comments
  • Roman

    Nice one. Definitely on my bucket list. Cheers

  • Jamie

    Fabulous video…It educates and inspires. I find myself wondering how many of us wish for these long adventures. I remember my wife telling me last year right before I decided to join a bikepacking event, “the only thing that is stopping you from going… is you.” I am sharing this because ultimately it is true. I find myself wondering if going away to far off lands with my bike by myself is a good idea. The scenarios start to roll in your mind – what if this happens, what if that happens… Again, I think with this website and the information being shared, it’s a question of getting outside your comfort zone a little bit at a time. Unfortunately, bikepacking isn’t mainstream in my area and I don’t have 2-3 buddies that want to get out there and overnight but that shouldn’t stop me from making my own plans. Thank you for this video. I may not be booking a flight to Ecuador just yet, but I just might plan something in Canada (closer to home) and build from that experience.

    Cheers.

  • Chris Rock

    Fantastic video and well stated comment Jamie. My wife has told me several times just what yours has; that its me who is stopping me from these adventures. I suppose that I should feel lucky to have such a supportive family although the idea of leaving my two young sons for a month is daunting to say the least. Perhaps some adventures closer to my Vancouver home should be on the bucket list this year.

  • Joe

    Are there any guide services available for this ride? I would love to do it but my Spanish is not good and I would need guidance on prep work, what to bring, etc..

  • Beautifully done. Nice job.

  • WOW ! that was incredible ! This. Will. Happen. (and as a sidenote, what shirt are you wearing Cass, i love the colors and looks to be wool?)

  • Kurt Schneider

    Just beautiful.
    Thank you for going, and sharing the experience.

    Maybe the old Krampus needs to go a vacation.

  • Cass Gilbert

    Thanks Charly.

    It’s an awesome pendleton shirt by Kitsbow, called the Icon. Rather expensive… but I wear it almost daily, and it’s as good as new. Details here:

    http://www.bikepacking.com/gear/bikepacking-gear-that-lasts/

  • Cass Gilbert

    It’s a relatively new multi day ride so no guides as such…Honestly though, with details in the post, a phrasebook, and a happiness to give Spanish a go, I think you’ll be just fine.

  • thanks. it is beautiful

  • Robert

    Thank you for sharing this vid…. Really well done!! Perfect balance of scenery, cycling, people and info

  • Milochky

    What a beautiful write up and film. Thank you for making this. I enjoyed it a lot.

  • Derek Endress

    I have been reveling in a dream trip just like this one ever since getting hit on my bike by a distracted driver last September and receiving a broken hip and soft tissue injuries. This is the perfect post recovery trip I have felt called to. Time to start researching and learning a bit of Spanish :)

    Thanks so much for your efforts in putting this film together. Stunning terrain, beautiful culture and it’s people!

  • Skyler

    David…? Is…is that you? David Attenborough?

  • Cass Gilbert

    What can I say… I take my method acting seriously. I’m glad it came across.

  • Such a great video and a stunning ride! It is high on my list!

    Nice mate!