From Costa Rica to Peru...This guy loves dirtbikes!
His eyes came alive as he scooted over next to me to show me a video on his phone. The broken screen made it a bit hard to see, but as the video played, I realized the deep rooted passion that Gabriel has for motorcycles.
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It was a short video of Gabriel straddling his KTM 2 stroke, his two year old boy in front with arms stretched out as far as they could go, gripping the throttle. With each twist of the grip, the motor wound up to a speaker blowing volume while the little guy grinned a face filled with joy. The video was certainly something you might see on a viral video thread. The little guys face was something to see. However, there was another element that made itself known to me.
Celebrating as we made it to the top...
The passion that Gabriel has for motorcycles is being passed on to his little boy. Gabriel continued to show me pics and other vids that had his little guy in every form of two wheeled bliss. From a strider bike in a skateboard park to the little tyke making moto sound effects as he worked with his dad in the shop, this little boy was all about motos.
One of the many photos...
Gabriel's eyes lit up as he talked about his little man. As I spent more time with this fellow, his passion for motos came right out into the clear. The reason his boy is so into bikes is because his father breathes it.
I received a Facebook message a few weeks back. It was a message from Gabriel. He had found our FB page and wanted to find out about the details of a hard enduro tour. He had already purchased his airfare. He came across one of those super good plane fares and decided to bring the family down to Peru for a vacation. While in Peru, he thought, he ought to ride dirtbikes. He was able to get away for a one day ride, although he would have done more if he could.
I worked through the details with him. He brought a bunch of his own gear. I outfitted him with the rest. We got an early start as he wanted to ride till he had no more in his tank(Energy, that is). Outfitted with four GoPros and enough batteries for a week, Camelbacks, and rain gear, we headed out from the house. I happen to have the Andes literally in my backyard. We rode from the house and out through some trails to get Gabriel used to the bike before we hit the gnarly fun stuff.
It didn't take long. This guy was comfortable on a bike. I am pretty sure that any bike would have been fine as long as it had two wheels and a motor that worked. In this case, we had a couple of Honda CRF 450x's.
A couple of happy riders
As I kept checking behind to see if Gabriel was there, he was often found right on my back wheel. I love it when I have a tour with a good rider. It makes for a thrilling day for me. It was just the two of us so we had nothing but flexibility. I have a plethora of trail options that would satisfy any rider. From super hard enduro, to rhythmic single track, to open grass mountain freeride, we hit it all.
Gabriel is from Costa Rica. He doesn't exactly live high up in the mountains. Riding in the Andes was a challenge, but he handled it quite well. We played around on the bikes until lunch was calling. We headed back down the mountain to a nice restaurant to fill our bellies with some fine Peruvian cuisine. There, we discussed the afternoon. He wanted to see more.
I have a "honey hole" of a trail that consists of a long ridge ride above the city of Cusco. On one side is the Cusco valley. On the other side, the Andes go down and up hundreds of time all the way to the Amazon Jungle. The views are breathtaking, but then again, that might be the altitude talking. Regardless, it is what enduro riders dream of. Gabriel was no exception. We took turns leading. That way I was able to get some great video shots in order to put together a cool ride movie for him to show his friends back in Costa Rica.
The day came to an end. We were both smoked tired, the sun was beginning to settle behind the mountains, and dinner was beckoning a call. The ride was over.
On the edge of the Sacred Valley of the Inkas
We made it back to the house, grinning from ear to ear. I took Gabriel back to his hotel, we copied each others photos and videos, and gave each other a big handshake and bro hug. It was a mutual feeling of satisfaction. He had just experienced an enduro ride of a lifetime. I wouldn't be surprised if Gabriel comes back with a couple of his buddies. For me, I get a special thrill firming up the moto passion of a fellow rider. I cannot wait till the next one!
Finishing off the day above the Cusco Valley...all smiles!
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