How to be Grateful for Your Next Flat Tire
I am spoiled! There is no other way to explain it. A few weeks ago, I took out a young fella on a dirtbike adventure through the Andes of Peru; Four days of enduro bliss. We took a million pictures, played around with different video angles, and rode our butts off. Did I mention it was a legendary ride? I consider it a privilege to take out clients on tours. I "get" to come along. Of course, I am the guide and have some responsibilities, but really, it's just a
couple of buddies going on a ride.
Ready for four days of enduro bliss
Here is the official tour video of our four day enduro adventure
Daniel and I connected right away. He 's a super cool dude that loves dirtbikes. Nothing else needs to be in common to enjoy the heck out of each other. I had a four day schedule loosely lined up. At least the end points for each day.
I never know how people are going to respond to the altitude. I also never know the level of each rider. I have had the whole spectrum of riders. Some claim their professional status and ride like they have had a couple of months under their belts. I have also had the bashful ones that timidly tell me that they are "an OK rider" and then rip out of sight as I mess my pants trying to catch up. I have a test hill just behind my house that connects to thousands of miles of trails. I use it as a filter. Those that make it up without any problems have an open slate as to what trails we can ride. Daniel made it up without any trouble. Sweet. No limits!
So many photo ops!
Our first day was mostly a ridgeline above the city of Cusco. It's hard to imagine a ridge that goes for so long and with such a fun single track running along the crest, but this is one of my favorite trails. This trail alone is sufficient for a day's ride. It's challenging, the views are ridiculous, and it's as fun as riding dirtbikes can be. We finished the day, smoked tired, in a little town called Ollantaytambo.
Epic Trails for Days!
Day two took us through an incredible couple of valleys. One going up to the pass, the other from the pass to our destination. The route was filled with rhythmic windy single track, mud bogs, rock gardens, and views forever. We also met up with a local family and hung out for a bit. The first part of the day was perfect. One cannot enjoy dirtbikes much more than we did.
We arrived at our destination in the afternoon. We grabbed a bite to eat, rested a bit, then went out to explore a new trail. When I say a new trail, it needs to be understood that it has never had a motorcycle on it before. That is part of the thrill of riding here in Peru. There are hundreds of trails that have never been crossed by a motorcycle.
Daniel and I found another honey hole. This trail took us deep into a picturesque valley. We ended up near a small group of homes with a number of curious kids to help guide us through the maze of rock fences and farms. These kids were so fun. Their faces showed their excitement to have a couple of crazy Gringos doing trials over any obstacle they suggested we try to conquer. They ran alongside at breakneck speed trying to help us at the next turn in the trail. Daniel and I had a blast with these kids. Daniel brought along a handful of pens to give out. They certainly enjoyed the pens, but also enjoyed the moto show as we traped up the gnarly goat trails behind their houses. It was fun for all!
A happy fella and a great place to take a break
We returned back to the Lares Hot Springs for dinner and a good couple of hours of soaking our tired bodies before calling it a night. We had so much fun exploring the new trail with the kids, that we decided that we would go back the next day.
Day three was something out of a dirtbike fantasy movie. We headed back up the valley, found the main route that continued to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and began our way up toward the top edge of the valley. The route was a mule trail. Supplies are packed in via mules to provide the necessary items for the families that live along the way. This takes the definition of rural to a new level.
The trail was a challenging mix of single track anywhere from 10-20 inches wide. The ledges one either side went from a gradual slope to a sheer cliff. The obstacles that lay in the middle of the trail were a combination of steep climbs, VW sized boulders, gardens of granite, creeks, mud, and sometimes all of these obstacles were fused together in the same location to create an almost impossible crossing. It was so good. We gladly suffered. The views were worth every bit of soreness we would feel for the week following.
We reached our limit. Our energy tanks were empty, and we headed back to the hot springs for dinner and a soaking. Day three was epic!
We headed out in the morning on the fourth day towards the town of Yanahuara in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The length of the ride was not too long, but that does not mean it wasn't a long ride. To reach the pass, we found ourselves lifting up fallen bikes, picking gravel out of our gear from the numerous get-offs, and upon reaching the highest point in the day, found ourselves getting pelted by large hailstones finding any bare skin we might have had showing. The views were incredible up to the point where we entered the clouds. We spent only a brief moment on top of the pass, then headed down to warmer and dryer ground. From the pass at 15000 feet and some change, we headed down to the valley at about 8000 feet with no uphill. With our triceps burning and grinning from ear to ear, we reached the valley, ate a hearty lunch, then geared up for the final part of the route that would take us back to Cusco.
From Yanahuara, we climbed up a technical downhill mountain bike path. That brought us to the town of Maras, where we crossed over some beautiful farmland near Chinchero and then onto the last section before dropping into the Cusco valley. We made it almost all the way back before either of us had a notable get off. Daniel looped out on a steep climb and tested out the strength of his helmet. He was fine, just a little shaken up. We arrived back in Cusco just before dark, thrilled to have finished the route.
Life Lesson-Be grateful for your next flat tire...
There were a ton of details that I left out. There is no way to describe the thrill of ripping up a virgin trail in the Andes of South America. There is no way to explain the vividness of the colors as we gazed across the valley. There is no way to share the feelings that we experienced as we stretched our moto limits on the edge of the canyon. I can just say that doing it is the best option. Daniel joined the club of the few that will ever have the opportunity to ride hard enduro here in the Cusco region of Peru.
We managed to take a ton of video and pictures while on our ride. The final video, called Pure Grin is complete and will give you a good idea of what it's like to ride in Peru. Please feel free to watch and share with your buddies. If you want to join the club with Daniel and I and the few others that have experienced MotoMission Peru, just me a message. I would love to put together a life altering moto adventure for you and your buddies. You can message me through Thumpertalk or via Scott@motomissionperu.com. You can also visit the website at www.motomissionperu.com. There are also a bunch more MotoMission tour videos out on the YouTube channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures.
Reaching the Pass is always a challenge, but always a thrill.
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Until the next time, keep the wheels down!