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About this blog

Ride along with MotoMission Peru on some epic dirtbike adventures through South America. Be part of all the near-death, gut-busting funny, heart-wrenching, and inspiring tales of hard enduro and trail riding in the Andes of Peru

Entries in this blog

scottiedawg

Follow along for a great three day ride!

I often receive the privilege to ride with people from all the corners of the globe. While living in Peru, one thing I notice is that very few Peruvians have ever ridden in the areas around Cusco where I live and ride. So when I get a chance to show some locals(Peruvians) some of the secrets of their country, I try to do it well.

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This is what its like to ride in the Andes of Peru...Check it out!

I met up with the boys in the Sacred Valley on the first day. They told me that they wanted to make another attempt at the trail that we rode two years prior, but never even came close to finishing. It really doesn't matter where you are from, if you are a dirt biker and there is an unknown or impossible trail in front of you,  you want to give it a shot...Maybe not everyone is like that, but most that I run with are.

The First Day-The impossible trail

These guys have seen and heard the stories of countless attempts to reach the end of this particular trail. I took a group of some of the best riders from Lima and they fell quite short from the end. I think somewhere in my language, I may have fostered a bit of competition between the guys from Lima and the guys from Arequipa. Sebastian kept asking me if the guys from Lima made it this far. Regardless, I am the only one that has reached the other end of the trail on a dirt bike and neither group has come close. I do look forward to the day when I can cross over and down the other side with another rider or two. Not sure when that will be, but hopefully soon.

We started up the trail like a herd of deer. The route is super fun with every type of obstacle one could imagine, while taking breaks when someone got hung up. That means it was quite often. The trail was dry at first, then the rain came and put a little bit of extra difficulty in the path. Regardless, we all pounded through hundreds of obstacles in the first couple of hours.
The trail is relatively short in distance, but time is another measure. The entire trail to the other end is 18 km or about 13 miles. My guess is that we completed about half before throwing in the towel. The constant struggle to keep your wheels on the ground and your sanity intact is not easy. Regardless, the day was a huge success. Smiles all around. Nobody with broken bones, only a few bike issues that we managed to deal with on the trail, and a bunch of sore fellas for the next day of riding. Day one...SUCCESS!

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Just getting started...

Day two was also a trail that would challenge each of us. It was a trail that I have done a number of times, but this time was different. We went the reverse direction. I was sure it would make it more difficult, but how much?

As we started up toward the couple of alpine lakes, we found ourselves exerting a lot more energy than we expected. The toll from the previous day may have had something to do with it. Day two was a loop, so the plan was to reach a certain point of no return and keep on going till we reached the place where we started.

The weather was cooperative, the trail was formidable, and the good times were had by all. Little by little we made our way over and down to the valley, then up and over another to reach our destination. Check out the videos to see what it was like. Be careful, you might want to come down and join me for a ride after seeing the video...Here is my contact info- scott@motomissionperu.com.

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The final day on the Cresta overlooking Cusco

With all that said, we finished the day, absolutely smoked. With one more day of riding to go, we made the plan to meet up for the final day. The guys wanted to ride a bit closer to the city of Cusco. I took them to one of my honey holes. The "CRESTA" I call it. The longest ridge ride that one can imagine. Its filled with nearly impossible hill climbs, drop offs, fast rhythmic sections, and views that are mostly missed due to concentrating on the trail in front of your tire. Another perfect day of riding. Finished off with a plate of local cuisine in the small Peruvian town of Ccorrau and said goodbye to my buds. I can't wait until they come back so we can give it another go on that impossible trail.

Make sure to follow the blog to stay tuned for the next ride. Also, for more info about Motomission Peru and riding dirt bikes in the Andes of South America, check out our website at www.motomissionperu.com. Also feel free to reach me through TT at Scottiedawg.

Stay tuned for the next one!

Scottiedawg

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scottiedawg

The official ride video...Make sure to watch in HD

The day started by waking up in a lavish hotel room at the Aranwa Resort in Urubamba, Peru. I had a couple of hours to eat breakfast, gear up, and drive across the valley to another fine hotel to meet up with Imad.

A month prior, I received an email inquiry about running a one day hard enduro tour. I was available for the dates, so I began discussing the options for the tour. What I found out was that Imad, who lives in Dubai, was vacationing with his wife. He had come up with a brilliant plan to offer a full day at the spa for his wife which in turn allowed him to take advantage of another type of "SPA." Brilliant!

Normally, I begin the tours from our headquarters in Cusco, but in this case, I was able to accommodate by starting at Imad's hotel in Urubamba. This gave me an excuse to bring my entire family to the valley, put them up at a nice hotel complete with all the fixings, and combine it with a one day enduro ride that has kept a smile on my face for days. I hung out with my family when I was at the hotel, then snuck out for a ride with Imad, then returned to spend more time with the family. Perfect!

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A couple of happy fellas

I arrived at the Tambo del Inca, one of the finest hotels in Urubamba. I unloaded the bikes, prepped the lunches, warmed everything up, then headed into the lobby to find Imad.
There he was with his happy wife who was about to be pampered for an entire day at the spa. She couldn't have been more happy. Imad was stoked to be able to enjoy Peru on a dirt bike. A win-win in my book!

His wife made sure that I was legitimate. She was a bit concerned about me bringing him back in one piece. She mentioned the fact that there are two young kids who have a special relationship with their dad. I also fit that scenario, so I piped in my story to appease his wife that it was indeed my plan to bring Imad back alive and in good condition.

Within minutes, Imad and I found ourselves mounting up on the two Husqvarna TE 300's. The trail head, just a minute away from the hotel was screaming for us to come try her out.
The trail started out with a daunting strip of tight rock walled single track that resembles a jungle tunnel. It wasn't raining at the time, but it was extremely wet from the rain the night before. Imad pounded out the section with a bit of wonder about whether or not the rest of the day would be similar. I think it scared him a bit. To his pleasant surprise, I explained that it's not all as difficult, but that we would face countless obstacles in the days ride...But not to worry, it would all be worth it.

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Just a little rocky section to play around on

We continued to work our way up the canyon with a goal of reaching the lower lake. I figured it would be a worthy goal to reach the lake, have lunch, then work our way back down the valley.
Along the way up, we encountered numerous switchbacks, rock gardens, open meadows, creeks, and many a wet alpaca poop pile. The ride was just what Imad had hoped for.
As a guide, I never know how people will do with the altitude. It can be a butt-kicker for some, and for others, it hardly makes a difference. With Imad, he struggled with it at first, but somehow caught a second wind as we reached the bottom of the last big obstacle before the lake. It was a rocky staircase climb that typically wreaks havoc when its dry, but this time it was soaking wet. We had  our work cut out for us.

Like two mules, we worked up a good lather climbing up each of the rock steps. I made sure to tell Imad that the view would be worth it. Within a few minutes, he had the opportunity to agree with me. The view was just what Imad needed. In fact, he was so stoked about the view that he told me he wanted to try to reach the upper lake. We had plenty of time, so why not?

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Taking a break!

The stakes go up on the route between the lakes. The terrain we saw below the first lake was only a warm up. Imad confirmed that he was indeed ready to give it a shot. Atta boy!
The coolest part of the section is a waterfall that cascades down the mountain as the trail goes right through it. Check out the video if you want to see what I mean! We worked our way through the water, up a number of tight rocky switchbacks, and finally through a stand of scary red-barked trees where one would expect to find a creepy murderer with an axe. The ride is so fun that you forget the altitude. Just past the forest was the final climb before the upper lake. Imad was feeling his oats at this point. We crested the top to discover a sight to behold; The upper lake.
It's absolute beauty. It was a perfect place to eat our lunch, take a million pictures and get ready to ride around the side of the lake to an untouched area where a dirt bike has never been. That is always a special treat that I can do for my customers. There are hundreds of places like that which can be explored on my tours.

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The upper lake never disappoints...well worth the effort!

A bit of food and drink, then we mounted up and began a fun trials type of terrain complete with granite rock slabs, bright green grass, tons of mud, and views that continued to blow us away. We played around for a good hour until it was time to begin our descent to the bottom of the valley.

Although it is the same trail, it seems like a different valley and route altogether. The downhill is sketchy. It's fast and rhythmic, but there are so many places to find yourself on your face. We experienced a couple of crashes, but coming down provides such a thrill...in fact, it's that type of thrill that keeps me riding. Pure smiles all the way down.

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A little ride through a waterfall

We made it back to the hotel with nothing left in our tanks. No gas, nor energy. Completely smoked, but so satisfied! Another typical ride in the Andes of Peru! Make sure to check out the ride video to see what I am talking about. I can't wait to share another one next time around. Stay tuned and make sure to follow the blog so you can see the next post when it comes out.

Until the next one,
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Scott

Check out more of our hard enduro videos on our Youtube channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures.

 

scottiedawg
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Not sure about you, but for me, there is something refreshing about starting a new year! However, when looking back on 2016, there were tons of great moments! It must be those moments that remind me that the future holds some more incredible adventures and more virgin trails! What's on your riding list for 2017?

 

WARNING: Watching this may cost you a plane ticket to Peru

 


 


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Within walking distance to MotoMission headquarters...

 

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This is rainy season...12 months of great riding conditions

 

Metaphorically speaking, virgin trails are something we all need to seek out. I am not suggesting you rip up any old growth hillside in a national park, but seek out something you have never done before. Stop talking about it and wishing you had made it happen. The world is too full of people that don't "DO."
Whether its racing in the Dakar, Baja 1000, or that ADV ride across Canada, those opportunities will present themselves this year. Don't use safety as an excuse. Don't use money as an excuse. Don't use your job as an excuse. That is what they are...Excuses. People that "DO" don't use excuses.
Practice your "DO" this year. Find something that scares the crap out of you and give it a whirl. In fact, grab your buddies and do it together. Odds are, they are in the same boat.

 

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The area I call the Golf Course...
This past year, I had a group of guys join me on a ride. One of them was a buddy I had grown up with. He rounded up some unsuspecting fellas to join in on a crazy adventure. They came to Peru, one with limited riding experience, and joined me for four days in the back country of Peru. The video(Where the Sidewalk Ends) tells much of the story.

 

 

Where The Sidewalk Ends- OFFICIAL TOUR VIDEO

 

These guys stretched a "DO" muscle. They committed and finished a feat that most would never even try. Now, as they look for another adventure, most likely it will be a bit bigger and more crazy than the first. Start that process of working out your adventure muscle. People don't usually regret adventures.

 

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Bring your cameras!
One option for adventure is to join me in Peru for an exotic ride through the Andes. If you have ever wanted to ride in a cool place that is beyond your usual, this is it. Peru offers virgin trails, no other dirtbikes, and views that never disappoint. I have included a few pics and a video for your viewing pleasure. This is 2017. Make it a good one!

 

Scott is the owner/operator/guide of MotoMission Peru, a social enterprise in Cusco, Peru that supports local children's projects with 100% of the profits from its operations. Hard enduro is our specialty. We have a turnkey tour with everything you need to enjoy Peru on a dirtbike. Contact Scott if you want more information. Scott@motomissionperu.com

 

Follow this blog, our Youtube channel at MotoMission Peru Adventure Dirtbike Tours, Facebook at MotoMission Peru, and our website at www.motomissionperu.com.

 

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Ride motos=Make smiles!

 

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Christmas Party at the Altivas Canas Children's project brought to you by MotoMission Peru and our customers.

scottiedawg
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In my line of work, I run across moto enthusiasts from every corner of the planet. We all share the same passion which helps establish an instant connection. While living in Cusco, Peru, I find that the enduro crowd is quite limited. I can count the number of riders on one hand...That's coming from a city of 600,000 people.

 

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A little trouble getting over the water

 

Sometimes clients come from closer areas. There is a large dirtbike community in Lima, the capital city of Peru. The population of the city is roughly 10 million people. Dirtbiking is big in Lima! In fact, the local dealers have facilities set up at the ride staging area complete with bike storage, maintenance program, lockers, showers, and any part or accessory you may need for your bike. The mechanics are ready to fix anything at moment's notice, and are happy to get to work as you dump off your dirty bike after a long days ride. It is a sweet setup. Not cheap, but sweet!

 

Recently, a group of some of the top riders in Peru connected with me to guide them on a tour. I obliged and began the process of preparing for the ride. They told me they wanted to suffer. They had seen some of my videos that I posted to my Youtube channel and Facebook and wanted to take on my gnarliest route. Perfect!

 

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Suffering in Peru

 

I confirmed that they in fact wanted one of the toughest of my options. I reiterated that I didn't think they would all make it. I explained that it had never been ridden expect by me. I told them it was not very long, but oh so technical. Needless to say it turned them on for the ride! They couldn't wait.
Before they got here, I had the chance to do a little business with the group. As some of you may know, MotoMission Peru is a missional business. Our goal is profit, but with the final focus being on the children's projects we support with 100% of the profits. Because of the nature of how we do things, I made the pricing structure a bit different for this group. The group was large. In fact it was a group of thirteen riders. They each paid a guide fee as well as had another strange requirement.

 

The guys were given the sizes and ages of two children who are part of the Altivas Canas Children's project. Each rider was required to bring pants and a shirt for two kids. The group was making custom shirts already for each of the guys, so they added the sizes for the kids, purchased the pants, and brought an enormous bag of clothes to make sure each kid had something new to wear. In addition, the entire guide fees were thrown into the mix to purchase school supplies and other essential items for the project.

 

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This is the one they coined Scotty's Staircase

 

When it was all said and done, the ride was as much as they could handle. A few made it quite far along the trail. Nobody made it to the end. They all had a blast trying to conquer an almost impossible trail, debilitating altitude, and paralyzing fatigue.

 

They returned home with huge smiles on their faces while leaving behind enough clothes to provide each of the kids a new outfit and a batch of supplies to restock the shelves of the project. Dirtbikers are good folks. It makes no different which part of the world you are from, there is a common theme with riders. They know how to chip in and make a difference. So good to be part of that community!

 

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Misery with a smile

 

So now you can take a look at the ride. It was nothing short of spectacular. A good buttwhoopin' trail that made a few good men cry. Hope you enjoy the video. Stay tuned for the next one.
Scottidawg

 

 

Scott Englund is the owner operator of MotoMission Peru. They offer hard enduro tours through the Andes of Peru. 100% of the profits are used to support local social projects. If you are interested in booking a tour or want information about the mission, please contact us at Scott@motomissionperu.com.

 

Feel free to follow our blog here on Thumpertalk or check out our Youtube channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures or our Facebook page at MotoMission Peru.

scottiedawg
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The ride through the eyes of the camera...

 

I found myself the other day at the base of a trail that quite frankly scared the crap out of me. I straddled my seat, both feet on the ground, motor idling, and my neck looking so far up, the back of my helmet hit the plastic drone case that I had strapped to my body. Video or it didn't happen, right? Well, you're in luck. Keep reading...

 

 


 


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The beginning of a perfect trail

 

I was solo. My buddy Alex was with me for part of the day, but he had a major situation with his business that forced him to peel off. I figured the trail would kick my butt and send me home without reaching the destination. I, however, thought I could at least reach the trailhead, fly the drone up along the side of the mountain to see what I was facing.
Being by myself, I can't take the chances that I would if I were riding with a group. Before you guys give me a hard time about riding solo, let me just say it is a stupid idea. I know that. I do it quite often because I have no other option. I live in a city of 700,000 people and I have one guy that will ride with me when he can. That's my good friend Alex. There are at best, 20 trail worthy dirt bikes in the entire city, and most are only used on an MX track. I ride solo, most of the time. I would rather not, but when I do, I find some crazy things.

 

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Some of the never ending switchbacks

 

This day was no different. Alex and I ripped through an hour and forty-five minutes of the most rhythmic, flowing, and scenic single track that one could imagine. From Cusco to the Sacred Valley via walking routes and animal paths that peak out at 14k feet down to the valley floor at around 9k. Once there, Alex and I parted ways with the assurance that I would continue with caution and care and let him know that I was safe when I got home. Sounds like my mother!

 

The afternoon was fading away. It was 2pm as I peered up the enormous mountainside. I could not see the top. It was thousands of feet in elevation above. There would be glaciers. The trail would pass through a number of climates in the next three and half miles. I would have to push my physical limits much further than I could imagine. I couldn't play it safe. I had to give it a go. With the beginning of the trail right in front of me, I started screaming at myself inside my helmet, "Git it Scotty!"

 

Releasing the clutch and twisting the throttle, I began a journey to a place I should have never gone in the first place. I proceeded. Switchback after switchback, ledge after ledge, I trudged up the side of a monster. Within minutes I was looking down as if from an airplane window, peering onto the valley floor where I had recently commenced.
I was an ace. I was riding like a champ. You guys know what I am talking about. It was my A game I brought with me on this ride. The switchbacks were gnarly, and each one that I railed just boosted my confidence.

 

I kept telling myself, Just another corner and I will take a break.
My goal was to reach the lake that I found on Google Earth that happens to be at 15,400ft and nestled in a glacier riddled alpine area. I was pretty sure that the trail would be impossible.

 

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I stared at this the whole way up the other side of the canyon

 

After 30 or so switchbacks and a relentless climb that never went flat for a second, the trail entered a rocky outcropping and into a chute filled with another batch of switchbacks. I thought, I am pretty sure this is the end of the trail.

 

I came across a sheer downhill section of six switchbacks that I could count by looking almost straight down the hillside. Risky!

 

I got off the bike, hiked down to make sure it was doable on the down, but also possible to get up as I may have to come back the same way. There certainly were no other trails on this mountainside.

 

I pumped myself up with some more screaming in my helmet, "You're a badass Scott! You got this!"

 

Down I lunged with the first tightening of the triceps. Uphill uses other muscles. I was fresh, but scared out of my wits. I had committed and therefore had to continue. Turn after turn, my bike couldn't make the corners without giving me the feeling that the back wheel and fender would push me into the abyss. With not enough space for the front tire to be on the trail below and the back to be on the trail above without a ledge in between, I found myself carefully muscling my aluminum horse down the path. I reached the final turn. The steep rock met me face to face. I managed to wrestle the bike around so it was pointed somewhat in the right direction. Fully committed, I pulled the clutch and began racing down the face of the rock to the dirt trail below. Keep your eyes on the dirt. The ledge that would have swallowed my bike after the 1000 foot tumble would have screwed up my day.

 

I made it. With my heart racing and my confidence boosted like a rocket, I took a drink of water, a few pictures, and pumped myself up for more. I remember looking back and thinking, I hope I can get up that later. Now let's get to the lake.

 

I spent a good two hours navigating a three and a half mile trail. I was thrilled to be there. Alone, I couldn't have done it any other way. I am not sure my buddy could have made it up, nor wanted to. It was high risk.

 

I hammered out another thirty to forty more switchbacks. Exhausted, I reached the height on the side of the mountain that had to be similar to the elevation of the lake. The trail went side hill and relatively the same level for a couple of hundred of yards. The rocks were brutal, but fun. The landscape greeted me with large granite slabs, altitude which turned my 450 into a 250, and a view that one has never seen from the saddle of a dirt bike. I had arrived. The lake stood there waiting for my arrival.

 

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Stoked!

 

As I reached the vista of the lake, my excitement spiked as I could only imagine the drone shots I would capture from that vantage point. The sun is good, no wind, and about 45 minutes of time before I need to get down the mountain. This is going to be amazing. I love shooting video!

 

I quickly set up a time lapse to begin running. I then turned my attention the assembling the drone. While hiding myself and my drone backpack from the field of view of the time lapse camera, I began putting the props on the bird. In the minute or so that it took for assembly of the drone, the sun disappeared, the wind picked up, and the sleet began tapping on the side of my helmet. I couldn't believe how fast the weather changed. I could no longer fly. I put it all back in the pack, sealed it up, and began to freeze. It was time to head down the mountain.

 

I finished up a few things at the top, but couldn't get off the mountain fast enough. With little to no oxygen, a piercing wind, countless small rocks of ice hitting my cheeks through my helmet and goggles, and a bit of fear resurfacing about the gnarly giants I must face on the trail on the return, I began my descent. I still had my confidence. I rode well for a few minutes until I found myself in a sunny and dry calm, just off the high alpine plateau. I don't have much time, but I hauled this drone up here to shoot some vids, I am gonna give it a shot.
I spent the next 15 minutes maximizing my time as a pilot and cinematographer and grabbing some cool images. The task of reaching the bottom before dark was still haunting me, so I packed up things and continued the descent. In what seemed like hundreds of switchbacks, I found myself facing the biggest of the giants. The rock wall that looked at me with daring eyes. It was waiting for me to return.

 

I gandered at the lines available, chose to hit it hard, reach my rear tire up to a high point on the rock, then high side my bike and let it cling the stone by way of a hooked foot peg and or handlebar.

 

Perfectly executed! I wasted little energy, caused no damage, and was ready to tackle the next monster. The ride back down to the trail head greeted me with a couple of falls, mostly because of my fatigue and the angle of the downhill switchbacks. I managed to reach the bottom of the trail with everything intact, hardly a drop of energy left, but a smile as wide as the Pacific Ocean.

 

It was a perfect trail. I could not be more stoked to be able to reach my desired destination. Solo...Yeah, I would have rather shared it with a good riding buddy. I wasn't dealt those cards.

 

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I had this little obstacle in my way...

 

What I was dealt was a winning hand. An amazing day with an amazing ride. I made it to the lake, busted out some new trails, and learned a lot about how to handle difficulty and fear. I made it home to be greeted with a hug from my wife and kids... the makings of a perfect day!

 

The reason for testing out the route is that in one month, a group of some of the best riders in Peru will be joining me on a ride. I believe this is exactly what they want. Something so close to impossible. I cannot wait to share my new riding spot with the guys.

 

Until next time, keep testing the impossible,

 

Scottiedawg

 

If you want to hear about all of the crazy trail tales from South America, follow the blog. You will be notified each time a new story is posted. Also, feel free to like us on Facebook at MotoMission Peru, and watch all of our videos on our YouTube Channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures.

scottiedawg
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The official tour video...feel free to share it with your riding buddies!

 

I have the privilege of surrounding myself with various levels of dirt riders from all corners of the globe. There is one thing that never gets exhausting for me...Pushing people deeper into a passion for dirt biking.

 

Please enjoy this helmet cam riding video full of awesome trails & scenery from a recent tour in the Andes of Peru.

 

 


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A worthy reward!

 

I recently finished up with a two day ride that took us into some incredible places. Curt was the name of my customer. He and I quickly hit it off. We both shared a lots of years of moto stories and crazy experiences. Curt has been around the block with dirtbikes. He has been racing for a lot of years, in a lot of areas, and knows a lot of people in the moto world. I never know what my customers will be like once we hit the trail.

 

I was pleasantly surprised. Curt was no spring chicken. He was one of those guys that appeared to be ten years younger than his actual age. He rode like a beast, had the endurance of a mule, and was always happy as a clam.

 

Curt and I started on a rhythmic ridgeline trail above the city of Cusco which finished a few hours later in Chinchero. We each consumed a half of a pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken-Peruvian style) for lunch , then finished off the day with an epic Inca trail leading down to the Sacred Valley and the Urubamba river below. The ride is just plain fun. With views spread throughout the length of the route, we took plenty of pictures and shared numbers of stories. The first day was perfect.

 

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The landscape behind the Sacred Valley

 

Day two began with a world class trail that leads to an exotic location that only a hand full of people have ever seen from the seat of a motorcycle. All of them have been with me. Nobody else would have ever known to ride this trail. Leave it to MotoMission to take you places like this.

 

The trail is not easy. It has its parts of rhythm and flow, but there are sections of rock stairs, loose bowling ball size rock, and switchbacks that sneak up and try to throw you off the route. Curt pounded through each obstacle with fervor. He impressed the heck out of me.
Our goal was to reach a high mountain lake, eat a snack, then bomb down the same trail we had just climbed an hour before. When we reached the lake, I was surprised by Curts reaction.

 

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No apologies for the views!

 

He glared out over the alpine lake, wind blowing off the water and into his face. With tears welling up and into his eyes, he turned and looked at me. He was in the midst of receiving his reward for the strugglesome ride, the physical exhaustion, and the hoards of fear he had to overcome to reach the prize. He made it.

 

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A couple of content fellas

 

"Scott? Can I have a hug?" Curt asked with his arms spread wide. "I cannot thank you enough."
I must admit, normally I get a high five or a fist bump. This time it was a deep hearted bro hug from an emotionally stirred enduro rider who had just upped the ante on the best riding day of his life. My goal...Reached!

 

To say it was a great ride would be an understatement. Curt was smiling from ear to ear all the way back to headquarters. His deep passion for motos grew as a result of our two days of activities. That is what I call a successful tour.
I cannot wait to do it again.
Scottiedawg

 

Scott Englund is the owner/guide of MotoMission Peru. The goal of Motomission Peru is to share our backyard with other dirtbike enthusiast that want an exotic enduro adventure in the Andes of Peru, South America. Our operation is a social enterprise which gives 100% of its profits back to the community in the form of financial support for a number of projects helping children and families. If you are interested in booking your next riding adventure with MotoMission, please contact Scott at scott@motomissionperu.com

scottiedawg

Pain vs Gain

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Jamie and Scott at the beginning of the adventure...Ready to roll!

 

 

The official tour video...Check out the ride!

 

I picked up Jamie at the airport. He was unfamiliar as I had never seen a picture nor had much else to go on but instinct. I do have some life experience in stereotyping people, so I mustered up my best and started from there.
A new batch of people began pouring out of the airport exit. It must have been his flight. What would he look like? I knew he was Canadian. I knew he was in his twenties. I knew he was an avid dirtbiker. He was traveling alone. I must say that it was not hard to pick out the tall, long haired guy with a Troy Lee Designs moto hat and a backpack with the Canadian flag proudly flopping side to side.blogentry-117626-0-38959700-1467236805.jpg

 

On top of the pass and taking in another view

 

I waved him down, and the journey began. Jamie checked into his hotel, received a little tour of the downtown area of Cusco, then spent a couple of days acclimating to the altitude.
Day one of the ride came. I picked up Jamie and headed to the international headquarters of MotoMission (better known as my house). We carefully packed for a four day journey through the back country of Peru. One certainly does not want to leave anything out, but the pack seems to fill too quickly.blogentry-117626-0-33966900-1467236501.jpg

 

They said we couldn't make it

 

Jamie had taken a hard crash just a few days before his arrival in Peru. He was back home goofing around doing wheelies and forgot to cover his brake and went down hard enough to where he walked with a heavy limp. He must have been in pain as he made mention about lightening up the planned ride from a super hard enduro to something more manageable just so he could see how he could manage the pain.
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Taking a little breather

 

There is something that intrigues me about priorities and pain. I watch the pro motocross series and see those guys ride with major injuries. Four weeks out on broken bones, crushed vertabrae, punctured lungs; I cannot imagine the pain. What I can imagine and relate with, is the absolute thrill that we receive when we throw our leg over a motorcycle. That is what pushes us to keep on going despite the pain. We prioritize the elements of our lives in such a way to receive the most value. Pain lowers the value, but the thrill of ripping through the Andes was enough for Jamie to push forward.
I was able to modify the route a bit. The first day was tough for Jamie and a bit too much foot work. Day two, we ended up riding all the way to the jungle and back into the Andes. It was a lot of dirt road, but it gave Jamie a good break from the hard enduro.
Day three was an exploratory day. Jamie was feeling good, and kept pushing forward while we found and explored numerous virgin trails. We rode for an entire day on new stuff. Even I had not even run the trails. Pure exploration! What a thrill.
Check out the video for a good run down of the tour. I like to put together a video of each adventure. It's a great way to show people about riding in Peru. And if that isn't enough, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube Channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures. There are a ton of cool ride vids on there.
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A happy fella!

 

As we pounded out four full days of riding, I had some solid helmet time to think. That is where the pondering of our ride priorities idea hit me. I began to think about the times that I have ridden with a messed up back, knee, or elbow. I thought about the times in my life where I played baseball with a foot cast or my hand wrapped up for my opening tennis match of the season. We tend to have a little bit more in the "tank" so to speak, when a fun time is at stake.
Riding a dirtbike is certainly one of those activities that many people love to do so much so that we overcome pain and discomfort for the thrill of the ride. I see it every Saturday in the ranks of the pros. I see it when I ride with my buddies. I saw it with Jamie. I know that I am involved in a special kind of sport when people are so willing to throw their leg over a bike. Makes me appreciate the times when the wheels are turning.
Until the next one...
Scottiedawg

scottiedawg
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My Backyard-an official tour video of MotoMission Peru

 

I remember when I first became hooked on dirt bikes. It was during a ride with Barry, one of my growin' up buddies. I rode his brothers Honda XR80 as I did my best to keep up. I recall being so far out of my comfort zone and the blood rushing thrill of that first ride. It didn't take long for the moto fire to start burning. In fact, I bought that bike. I paid $100 of which most was lunch money that I had saved by fasting. Ahhh, that feeling of a new passion...

 


 


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Nacho feeling his inner peace...

 

And so it was with Nacho, my new moto pal. Just six months ago, he took his first lesson. He told himself that he needed to give dirt bikes a try for five lessons. If he liked it after that, he would give himself permission to buy a new bike.

 

Nacho bought his bike and the adventure continued. He lives in Lima, the capital of Peru. They have some great riding there, but it does not compare to the majestic routes through the back country of the Andes. Lima is on the coast. They have amazing dunes and coastal mountains, but it ain't no Cusco! There is a big dirt bike community there. Due to a couple of mutual friends, Nacho found out about MotoMission and decided that he wanted to see some of his country that most from Lima never get a chance to see...The Andes in the Cusco region.

 

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It's always exciting to head out on another adventure

 

We coordinated the dates and the rest of the details. Nacho wanted something fun, but not super extreme. I had just the idea...The Golf Course is what I call it. It's a landscape like dunes, but if you can imagine that the dunes were made of short and smooth grass. Ups and downs, some steep some not. Total freedom to ride without a trail and an area so big you don't do the same line twice. It's a paradise for any dirt bike lover, even the new ones like Nacho.

 

We rode till our arms were ready to fall off. A million smiles and pictures. Nacho was exposed to another world. His passion reached a whole new realm.
I find it a privilege to douse the moto passion flame of another with a bucket of 98 octane fuel. It thrills me to no end. Every time I go out on a tour, one of my goals is to make sure that each client loves dirt bikes more after being out with MotoMission. It's one of the ways I measure success.

 

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The views never stop

 

As you all head out on your next ride, I would like to challenge you to make it a point to build up the passions of others. Share some knowledge with a young rider. Stop and help another rider on the trail. Take out different riders with you to your favorite riding spot. Bring new people into the sport. Make it enjoyable for them and you might find another riding buddy in the near future. I can't wait to see where Nacho's passion takes him in the next year!

 

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A happy camper!

 

If you are interested in taking your passion for adventure to a new level, consider joining me for a mind bending enduro tour through the Andes of Peru. Space is limited, but there are many dates available in the coming months. Message me through Thumpertalk or email me at Scott@motomissionperu.com. I am always looking for another riding partner.
Until next time, stay on the gas!

 

Scottiedawg

scottiedawg
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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Reaching the Pass is always a challenge, but always a thrill.

 

Feel free to follow along with Motomission by "Following" this blog. You will be notified when a new post comes out.

 

Until the next time, keep the wheels down!

 

Scottiedawg

scottiedawg
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I have an upcoming tour in a few days; A guy from southern California coming down for a 4 day hard enduro excursion. This guy sounds like a really good rider. I can feel them out with any number of questions and bike talk. I am not sure what he said that gave me the impression, but I feel pretty confident that he will be able to ride anything I put under his knobbies.

 

Here is a little promo vid to show you what its like to ride here!

 

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Riding in the back country of Peru affords many a view!

 

For me, there is also another element. I need to love what I do. I need to be able to enjoy each customer I take into the back country. I need to have excitement in my riding as well. Having an adventurous client is like riding on a new tire; gripping!

 

I have the route already planned out. Well, sort of. It consists of starting and ending points. However, the options to reach those places are numerous. In fact, there are hundreds of trails that I have not explored. This guy told me that he is down with trying out some new things. He just wants a crazy enduro adventure. The word FREEDOM comes to mind.
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Exploring leads you to places like this!

 

This guy wants to explore. I get so giddy when I have the opportunity to check out new trails. Normally it entails me packing up my gear and heading out alone. There aren't many other riders around or they only have a few hours each week where they can ride. SO, when a customer is willing to explore, I take full advantage. It never disappoints!

 

Some of you may live in areas where a lot of trail restrictions and government regulations limit your riding options. I have lived that life. However, here in Peru, there ain't no stinkin' rules! Riding here is full of freedom. First of all, there is no dirtbike traffic. I have yet to run across another dirtbiker on the trail. We don't have designated areas to ride. We have a few places where riding is not recommended(by me), but the majority of the landscape is open. Of course we have to respect Mama Nature and not tear up her yard, but it is free to roam. 300 miles in any direction and I can find a perfect mix of any type of riding imaginable. The freedom of dunes, single track mountain riding, gnarly ridges on top of everything, woods, golf course like moto playgrounds , challenging water obstacles, and rock gardens all with a billion views that you might find on the Discovery Channel; that's my backyard.

 

Needless to say, I am quite excited to go out on my next excursion. Four days of enduro bliss. The freedom of riding with only two people, the thrill of trying out new trails, the exhilaration of coming over the ridge to find a view that begs one to reach for a camera. That's where I will be next week.
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First ever dirt bike tracks on this one!

 

I will give you a ride report on the next blog post. Stay tuned to see how it goes.
Keep the rubber side down!

 

Scottiedawg

 

By the way, if anyone out there in TT land is interested in riding in Peru, give me a ring or send me a message. Motomission Peru is operating as a social enterprise hard enduro tour operation. All the profits go to support the Altivas Canas Children's project on the outskirts of Cusco. When you ride with us, it supports the kids. Round up your buddy's and come down for an adventure!

scottiedawg
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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.

 

WATCH THE OFFICIAL TOUR VIDEO!!!

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.

 

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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Finishing off the day above the Cusco Valley...all smiles!

If you would like to follow the blog and receive up to the minute post about enduro riding in South America, just click on the follow button. Also, I welcome any feedback about the stories or about potential topics that I could cover. Thanks for taking the time...Scottiedawg

scottiedawg

Somebody Help Me!

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A few years back, I heard about a trail that went from an obscure little draw in the Sacred Valley of the Incas to a place called Lares. If you have ever been to either one of these places, you would know that the description is quite vague. That is how things work here in Peru. In fact, asking for directions is like using a wagging tail on an excited dog to determine your future.

 

 

This is a little taste of Cusco on a dirt bike!

 

My first attempt at this trail was solo. I am really the only guy around that is riding enduro. It may sound crazy to you, but to put it in perspective, let me give you an example. I live in a city with 600,000 people. There are about 50 to 60 that have dirtbikes, and most of those never leave the MX track. The motorcycle dealerships don't carry off-road bikes because there is no market. The Yamaha dealer once told me that it had been 12 years since they sold a YZ250. Basically, there is nobody riding or exploring the hundreds of trail options within minutes from my garage.blogentry-117626-0-12598000-1452698037.jpg
A typical Andean rock garden...Oh so fun!

 

Solo I was. Looking for the trail head to Lares. I was in an area where I thought the trail might begin. I asked the locals about the starting point. I received the common answers over and over. "Mas arriba" while they all pointed in different directions. One thing I have learned is to continue asking until you receive three of the same responses. Only then, do you have a fighting chance.blogentry-117626-0-90460200-1452698084.jpg
Glaciers start at about 19000ft(5790 meters)

 

There are two standard responses here in Peru when inquiring about places and/or directions. The first is always , "mas arriba" which translates to a little further up. It means that the person giving the directions has no clue about what you are asking. However, they always say it with such confidence, it is extremely hard to disregard the information.blogentry-117626-0-74189300-1452698232.jpg
This place is a smile factory

 

The second standard response begins when they look you over as you stand there in your riding gear next to your bike. To the locals, they see that as an 18 wheeler cargo carrying truck. They have no clue what a race ready 450 can do. In the typical Peruvian style finger swag that begins by pointing to the sky and finishes with a side to side waive of the pointer finger, they give you the words , "no hay paso." This translates to, "you ain't makin' it buddy!"blogentry-117626-0-66166100-1452698143.jpg
This is a common view...Only in the Andes!

 

Time and time again, I have experienced this situation. Now, when I get the finger wave and the "no hay paso," I get excited because that means there is a legendary trail in my future.
I finally rounded up enough intel to point me in the right direction. The best information came from a 9 year old boy who was pushing about 20 sheep up the road with a twig and his dog. He told me that the trail started at the end of the road. "Just keep going." He explained. He also told me that he lived in one of the communities up the trail.
Then, the finger wave came to light. After he told me where the trail was, he then proceeded to tell me that the route was not passable. I inquired about why he thought I couldn't make it. The boy pointed out that there were rocks, big climbs, river crossings, and lots of mud. Everything a dirtbiker dreams of, this boy was describing. I verified if it was prohibited to ride on the trail, my regulated American side, I guess. He didn't understand why I was asking as there is hardly anything prohibited in Peru when it comes to life in the mountains.blogentry-117626-0-11043700-1452698196.jpg
Riding up this valley is no walk in the park!

 

I asked for permission to ride the trail. Not sure why I thought the 9 year old was the authority, but I did it anyway. He smiled as if to tell me with his sarcastic grin that I didn't stand a chance. He's challenging me!
I began ripping up the trail. It was five out of five stars. Just like the kid said. Rocks, climbs, mud, water. But the views, he never mentioned. I was in a euphoria of motociclismo! Enduro could not get better than this.blogentry-117626-0-93195900-1452698284.jpg
I made it to the top of one of the many waterfalls

 

I continued for miles. I arrived at a small community of five or six houses where I was sure the little boy lived. There was a man working near the trail as I entered the area. I stopped and chatted with him. He was surprised to see a motorcycle. He told me that he had never seen a moto near his house. Most likely, I was the first. That is how things work in Peru. There is no dirtbike competition for the thousands of miles of trails. The man also confirmed that the trail would lead me to Lares.
After my short chat, I shook his hand and headed up the canyon ledge toward my destination. The trail was not easy. In fact, it was as much as I could handle. Riding solo is not a good idea. Without another rider to help through the rough spots, one is limited. I managed to work my way up past a couple of waterfalls, enormous rocky stair step sections, and through pristine valleys.
I reached the point where I was exhausted. I had a tiny bit of energy left, but only enough to get home. I came up to another grueling climb next to a waterfall. The traction looked good, but the switchbacks on the rock ledge were so tight I didn't want to risk it alone. I parked the bike and hiked to the top of the waterfall to take in the view of a lush high valley filled with grazing alpacas and glacier capped Andes.
Not today...I promised my wife I wouldn't take unnecessary risks when I am exploring alone. I will get it another day!
I made my way back down the trail to the Sacred Valley. I passed the little boy just below the community where he lived. I talked a bit and explained how far I went. He knew exactly where I turned back. He told me that the trail from the top of the waterfall to Lares is all flat or downhill. If I could make it to the top of the waterfall, I could make it to Lares.blogentry-117626-0-51517200-1452697904.jpg
I never get tired of the views...
I enjoyed every bit of the trail. Up and back...it was perfect. The views, the terrain, the single track were more than I expected. I failed to reach Lares, but I reached something. I left a little bit of meat on the bone, so to speak. I have to come back here to finish this route! Somebody come down here and join me. I have too many trails to explore!

 

For information about riding with Scott and MotoMission Peru, email to Scott@motomissionperu.com or message me through TT. Tours are private, high class, and extremely exotic. Contact MotoMission for your next international riding excursion. You won't be disappointed!

scottiedawg

Mangos at the Bottom

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Tough ride, but the view was worth it
I try to explain the grandeur of the Andes in various forms of writing and I still feel inadequate to accurately describe what these mountains do to my mind. Prospective customers ask all sorts of questions. How will the altitude affect me? or what will the weather be like on the tour? It doesn't really work like that. Predicting the weather here is like taking as stab at who's going to win the Supercross series in 2027.

 



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This is Peru!
When one deals with altitudes like we have here in Peru, all bets are off. The weather system at the bottom of the mountain is one thing. The climate at the top is another. Two valleys over and the same altitude might produce even yet another microclimate. Cloud cover can bring bitter cold temperatures in an instant, while the sun shining on your helmet will nearly cook your skull. As the altitude plays tricks on your body, so does the weather and climate. Is it possibly for summer to be the cold months and winter to have the best weather? Yup! As we say here, "This is Peru!"

 


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The rock was this big!
Valleys of 8,000 feet rise up to 16,000. Growing mangos at the bottom and potatoes at the top. Well, maybe not at the top...nothing grows there! From jungle to treeline and beyond, the landscape of the Andes intrigues.
As for planning a hard enduro adventure in Peru, come prepared for everything under the sun. But then again, isn't that what the term enduro adventure is about? Tackling whatever comes your way and making sure you get to the end of the trail.

 


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Only 4600 meters(that's about 15,300ft)
On a recent tour with a couple of fellas from Europe, we enjoyed it all. Dry to wet, low to high, rocky to smooth, steep to flat. The Andes have it all within minutes. That's why I ride here. If I ever start taking this for granted, somebody punch me!

 


 


Here is an idea of what its like to ride in the Andes
Check out some of these pics and videos from past rides. They will give you an idea what Peru is like.
Let us know when you are ready to ride the Andes, If you are interested in joining MotoMission on an enduro adventure in these incredible mountains, send us an email at scott@motomissionperu.com or message me through TT. Feel free to check out our YouTube Channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures and our website at www.motomissionperu.com.

 

Also, make sure to follow this blog if you want to receive the latest posts. Stay tuned for more and keep the wheels down!
Scott

scottiedawg
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People often ask me about what I do. I find myself explaining the process over and over again. To this point, telling the story hasn't gotten old or boring, it just energizes me and reaffirms my passions and focus. This truly is a motorcycle blog. My goal for this post is to share a business model that uses my favorite hobbie, dirtbikes, to make a difference in the life of a child. Bear with me as I give you the details. You can watch the video and get a full rundown if you are the type that wants the visual, but the business model will certainly inspire those that like that kind of thing.

 

 

A commercial about how we combine motos with a great social project

 

At about 1:30 each afternoon, a gaggle of kids begin to show up at the "club." School has just finished and before they go home, they have a daily appointment with Quintina.
About 13 years ago, the Altivas Canas Children's Project started. Quintina was a single mother with 3 kids at home. She couldn't work outside the home because she had to raise her children. It's a common struggle with single mothers. No different in Peru.

 

 

A little video highlighting the mission of Altivas Canas

 

She found herself waking up each morning dealing with the familial dilemma. However, there is something different about Quintina. She began to develop a way out of her predicament. She started knocking on doors in her neighborhood and found a bunch of other single moms, just like her, that were in the same situation. She came up with the concept of an afterschool program where she would open her home to the neighborhood kids with single moms. The kids would come to her house and before they would return to their respective homes in the evening, Quintina would make sure the kids finish all of their homework, burn out some energy in a healthy and loving environment, and eat a nutritious meal, most likely the only decent food they would eat all day.blogentry-117626-0-33059100-1445372971.jpg
Hangin' with some of my little buddies on the roof of the project
While the kids are off at school in the beginning of the day and at the club in the afternoon, the mothers are free to find full time work. Not only can the mothers earn a living to support their families, they also get the emotional satisfaction and esteem boost of being able to meet the needs of their kids. Quintina put this whole project together. She gets things done...That is why I work with her. I love the grass roots nature of her project. I love her heart and passion for each kid that passes through her doors. I love the humble and meek person that she is to work so hard for so many years just to make a difference in others.
If you want to win, you need to have a good team. I chose Quintina because she is a winner. I am an entrepreneur and business guy. I look at things through the eyes of an investor. I see Quintina as a sound and profitable place to invest resources. She is transparent, works hard, and is a good steward with whatever she has to work with.
MotoMission is a social enterprise that is designed to operate like any business, to provide a product or service to generate a profit. We operate high end dirtbike tours through the Andes of Peru. It's the most incredible place to ride, the trails are endless, and the experience is mind-blowing. We use well maintained professional equipment. We provide an exotic tour just exactly as I would want as a hard core enduro rider.blogentry-117626-0-43357100-1445430637.jpg
Kids working on homework
The platform of the business is to use 100% of the profits to fund an endowment that will pay for the monthly expenses of the children's project indefinitely into the future. Up to a few months ago, my family has been operating another social enterprise called The Meeting Place Cafe restaurant in downtown Cusco, Peru. The cafe has been providing the monthly needs for The Altivas Canas Project for a number of years now. While it sounds like a great program, the restaurant is not sustainable. It could potentially go out of business. Having an endowment is the long term sustainable solution to provide the needed resources 20 or 50 or more years into the future.blogentry-117626-0-26506300-1445430727.jpg
Enjoying a meal with the little ones
MotoMission is at the starting gate of funding the endowment. Through the generosity of many people, the fleet is ready for business. People like Craig at Western Power Sports/Fly Racing have been instrumental in making this business work. The customers that have paid for tours up to this point have all contributed to the mission as well. So many thanks to so many people.
I know this is not a high energy write up about a motorcycle tour in Peru. However, it is a wild motorcycle business adventure. The reason that this blog exists is to tell dirtbike related stories about Peru. If you want to be part of one of our stories, join up with us on a ride. You will see firsthand what I am talking about. The riding is world class. Then, to top it all off, you are contributing to an amazing project that supports the lives of a number of children and single mothers.
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Yovana, one of the staff, and her little one at the project

 

I am going to put it out there that in order to fully fund the endowment, we need to book more tours. If you have ever thought about getting your riding buddies together for that "big" ride, this is it. Also, there are many of you out there with products or gear that we may be able to use. We put our bikes and gear through a lot of abuse. If you have a good connection to a product or gear that we could potentially use, please let me know. This whole business model is a team effort. We would love to have you on team. Follow this blog, share it to your Facebook pages, pass the word. It all helps to expand our reach.
I look forward to joining you on a ride in Peru!
Scott Englund
MotoMission Peru
If you want to see some of our ride videos, check out our Youtube page at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures. Also visit our website at www.motomissionperu.com to find more information about our tours and mission.

scottiedawg

Step Into My Office

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The Andes mountains of South America are my workplace. There is no better area in the world to ride dirtbikes. I have been operating tours and exploring the areas around the city for a number of years, and to no avail, am nowhere near reaching the end of each trail that has been discovered. I build a new list each time I operate a tour. In fact, the last tour included a number of brand new trails that had never been explored. While riding those newly charted routes, gazing across the canyon produced another five or six new trail options. I cannot imagine ever being able to put my tires on all of the potential trails. Don't get me wrong, I will certainly give it a go.

 

Step into my "office." Its good therapy!

 

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The "Office"

 

I would consider myself a therapist. My medicine is what many people need. You leave my "office" with a whole new attitude, feeling content, and a renewed passion for the sport. My "office" is inviting. The mountains are enormous. From my house in Cusco at 11,000 feet, I can reach the closest mountain top at 14,300 feet in only 15 minutes. Life is full of ups and downs, but in my office, being in the deepest of valley produces the same enjoyment as the highest peaks. Its all good! I am trying to sound like a therapist here... Ridge to valley and back. Single track for days. You will never see another moto on these routes. That's my office! Is this the type of therapy you need?
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A happy customer

 

If you are interested in a moto-therapy session,come to Peru. Joining MotoMission for an enduro ride will leave you feeling like a new person, This place is incredible. I would love you show you around. Also, keep in mind, that 100% of the proceeds from Motomission go to charity. I don't keep a penny of it. I do this as a volunteer entrepreneur. If you want to hear more about that, stay tuned for future blog posts. I will explain our business model in the future.
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Ryan enjoying a good therapy session

 

Let the video do the talking. This tour just took place about a week ago. This guy was a solid rider. He jumped on and within a short time, he was ripping up the trail with a huge smile on his face. "Best views I have ever seen on a trail" is what Ryan had to say about the experience...therapeutic!

 

It was a spoiler...How will he ever go back and look at mountains the same way again? How will he ever ride a trail with government restrictions now that he has experienced the freedom that Peru offers? How will he ever be able to share a trail with other riders again? Completely spoiled...my office awaits.
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Crossing a 15K foot pass

 

Make sure to watch the video above, then be sure to schedule an appointment ...

 

Scott Englund, CLMT(Certified Licensed MotoTherapist)

 

Scott Englund, along with his family, operates MotoMission Peru, a high end enduro tour operation in Cusco, Peru, South America. He and his family are volunteers who operate businesses that give 100% of the profits to local social projects in the area. They are a dirtbike family doing what they love. For more information about our mission, check out our website at www.motomissionperu.com.

scottiedawg
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To be the first dirtbike on a trail, ever, provides one with a thrill that is hard for many to experience. However, there are circumstances in life that we create that put us in places to do so."Would you be interested in riding on a totally new, unridden trail?" That is a question that I love to present to the people I ride with here in Peru. I grew up in California and the Pacific Northwest of the United States and had some amazing places to ride, but I cannot recall ever riding on a virgin trail. There had always been someone there before me and would always be someone behind.

 



Around the Mountain...watch this tour video to see what its like to be the first dirtbike on the route

 

Exotic riding has somehow reared its presence in my life. I ride the Andes of Peru. These daunting behemoths of dirt and rock rising up from the sea are a constant view through my lenses. I wake up, exit my bedroom and on my way to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, I look through the wall of windows each morning to see a 15,000 foot mountain.
Recently, I tackled a new area that I had been dreaming about. The Nevado Ausangate. This mountain sits about a 2 hour drive from my house. There have been many a day that I look down the end of the valley only to be teased by this glacier topped 21,000 foot monster. I had read that there are trails for hikers and mountaineers to circumnavigate the skirt of the nevado.
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Just a typical view...near Nevado Ausangate

 


I have, up to this point, experienced a problem; I have not been able to find a capable and willing partner to tackle the task. For one, I am kind of a loner when it comes to hard enduro riding in Cusco Peru. There are a few other guys that ride, but most stay on an MX track and never really experience the heavenly landscape that their Andean world has to offer.
Some might say that the stars aligned for me. I recently met Luigi, a fellow enduro fanatic from Lima, the capital of Peru. He is a solid rider and loves a crazy adventure as much as I do. He mentioned that he would be in town and would love to do a tour. We had one day available. I needed two days, but I certainly couldn't let this opportunity pass.
I suggested the Ausangate route as a possibility. He perked up with that excitement that a young kid might experience the first time hearing about Disneyland. There were so many unknowns that we made the plans based on what we knew, and prepared for the worst.
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Luigi and I ready to head out...That's a nice shirt!

 

First, we had a two hour drive. We hired a car and driver. Ruben, an old friend of mine and capable driver, joined us on the excursion. It was an early morning, but we managed to load up the two bikes, all of our gear, and a couple of ecstatic boys into a Toyota 4wd.
We didn't know where the trail began. We only knew the name of the pueblo or community, but the trail was a hiking trail. It may be hard to understand, but when you pull up with a truck full of motos, and you ask where the trekking trail starts, the locals look at you with strange faces while thinking stranger things.
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We had to stop and take some pictures

 

They had never seen nor heard of anyone riding a dirtbike on the "camino" that goes around the mountain. You can use a mule or a horse, but a moto, that was a laughable image. I have learned a couple of methods of communicating in these instances. I laugh right along. I also use phrases like, "mi caballo tiene fuerza!" ...My horse is strong... They usually giggle and give me the "well, if you think you can, the trail starts over there" talk. I oblige, and take off. That happened a number of times on this trip.
We started at the turnoff to the trail head. We asked about the route and where it began. We had a truck of cool Japanese motos which continuously stirred up curiosity amongst the local men and boys. Yep, they laughed as we told them we wanted to ride the route around the mountain. They asked about our arrangements of where we would be spending the night and how to fill our tanks. They made sure we knew there were no "grifos" or gas stations out there. I had done my homework and knew the distance was not an issue as much as the difficulty of the terrain. We had about a 50 mile loop to tackle.
Many of the folks pointed out how dangerous it would be. They would say things that created a bit of fear and unknowns. I could have been wrong on my prep work. What if it really did take 7 days to hike and the trail was impassible on a moto?
I talked with Luigi and Ruben. We developed a meet up plan at the end of the route. We figured it would take 4 hours if we had no problems. On the other side of the equation, we figured that at the 8 hour mark, They need to come in and get us. There was one point on the mountain where a cell signal could be found. We would give Ruben an update from there. It was about half way around.
We reached the starting point for the ride and unloaded the bikes. We anxiously geared up, tanked up on water and food, and said goodbye to our rescue coordinator, Ruben. With our bikes warmed up, we turned on the Gopros and ripped down the nasty two track road that lead us to the final community before the trail began. Upon our arrival, we found a group of young men and a soccer field.
They were not playing when we arrived. They stared at us like we were aliens. I have gotten used to it. I noticed that they were not playing soccer. That was odd. I also noticed that there was one guy that was standing on an embankment. The others were staring at him. I pulled up and realized that the ball had gotten stuck in the mud below the embankment and the guy that kicked it was the guy that had to retrieve it. Nobody wanted to get their shoes muddy.
This was an opportunity to make a good connection with the locals. I hopped off my bike, jumped into the mud which nearly went up to top of my boots, grabbed the ball, and received an applause from my new group of friends. They would be really helpful from that point on.
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Our lunch spot

 

We asked about where the trail was located that took us around the mountain. They, with much curiosity, asked a million questions, laughed as many do when they hear such ridiculousness, and all corporately pointed in the same manner as to the direction of the trail. They wished us luck and we headed off.
The single track started flowing under our tires. The ups and downs, along the riverbank was smooth sandy soil that was fenced in with tall golden grass. The mountains that flowed up to the sky became our target. We headed up the water flow, closer and closer to the base of the first mountain. The trail went from smooth and rhythmic to grassy and marshy over the course of a couple of miles. Luigi and I were in heaven. The further we rode, the more content we were to be called enduro riders. This was perfect. The trail continued to change. It was like going through seasons. Very distinct and different types of trail at various stages of the route. The rocks started small and evolved into a trials course. We could see the daunting pass quite a distance and elevation above. The trail turned to into a free for all "find a way to the top" type of ride.
The rock provided some decent traction, but the there were areas where the stream was the only passable option and thus had to get a little wet. It was in the rock section that we realized that we may not get through. Luigi and I found ourselves, manhandling one bike at a time to only arrive at another nearly insurmountable obstacle. We suffered through the rock. While reaching the final section, a young local man came out of the valley and hiked down to see what we were doing. Apparently he lives up there year round. One tough hombre! The altitude at his house was about 14,000 feet. The chill of the glacial air that pours off the mountain creates a harsh environment. A beautiful one , but a difficult way of life. This man, guided us up through the rest of the rock, and pointed out that there was a much more passable trail up high on the mountain behind his house. We must have missed the turnoff. It was a mute point. We were at the top of the rock.
We expended a bunch of our energy on the early part of the ride so we found a nice place to take a break and eat a sandwich under a cloud covered peak. It would try to sneak out from the captivity of the clouds every now and then to dazzle us with its radiance. Impressive!
We were having a blast. We suffered a bit in the rocks, but it was all worth it. However, we had a lot of unknowns on the route in front of us, so we mounted up our aluminum horses and headed on.

 

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On the high pass before dropping down

 

The trail continued to change. One landscape after the next. Luigi and I found ourselves on the top of the world in an eerie and most beautiful moonscape. No life, just rock, sand, and dirt. The trail was easy to follow. It meandered with the curves and contour of the mountain pass.
While taking in the scenery, the trail continued to impress. At one point, Luigi and I were heading toward an enormous hill while the single track meandered around the side. He turned left with the trail and I realized it was a do-able climb and went for it. Luigi quickly joined in the fun. It was, more or less, a dune at 15,000 feet that went up another 1000. The thickness of the dirt and sand kept us from reaching the top. We climbed as high as we could, made a lot of whoops and hollars, and enjoyed a few special minutes of bliss in the high country. This ride couldn't get any better!
The section on top was surreal. The landscape was a palette of colors, brushed on the barren sand and rock. The peaks rose out of the earth and stretched up to the heavens and beyond. The sky, grey with clouds, had a speckle of sun poking through. The path was just as spectacular. Ups and downs, back and forth through the gulleys and waterways. The moss would rear its head and lay down in the path for hundreds of yards at a time. The trail continued through a gauntlet of terrain. Every enduro riders dream!
Luigi and I took a number of photos. However, time was a resource that was diminishing. The unknowns were still in front of us. We were able to reach that point, but to go all the way back, would have us returning in the dark. That was not a preferable option. We continued on in our search for the end of the trail.
We reached the third abra, or pass. This was the location that the locals told us we might be able to make a call. Luigi and I agreed to send a message to Ruben to let him know our status. The call didn't work, but we sent a text and it apparently got through during our descent.
The drop down to the starting point was a triceps burning smile maker. The trail was "buenazo" as they say in Spanish. Just like the early part of the day, the trail changed like classes in school. From one type of riding to the next. Water, then sand, then rock, then tight switchbacks to high speed freeflow, it was all there. We grinned the whole way down.
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The landscape at 15000 feet

 

After a good long drop, we ended up arriving at a community where we found some people and a horse camp. Unsure of our exact location, we asked one of the locals. We found out that we were in the location where Ruben was supposed to be soaking in the hot springs. We had made it. Ruben wasn't there, but we had made it.
The loop was complete. We still had a few miles to go to hook up with Ruben, but we completed the loop. In the process we found a bunch of other future trail options as well.
We made it back to Ruben, loaded up the bikes while the hoards of men from the town wanted to hear about our adventure. Luigi and I told our stories and impressed the locals. They hadn't heard of anyone riding motos through there. It was a silly idea. Kind of like doing a backflip on a dirtbike never existed when I was a kid. Who does that?
This story has a million directions I can go. One thing that I can pull from this adventure is that experiencing something new is one of the most exciting things I have ever experienced. Being the first to reach a particular place on a dirtbike is a thrill. Most of the hard enduro trails that I ride have never seen a motorcycle, expect mine. I could never say that about any other place I have ever ridden. Peru is different. I am blessed to be able to share this with a fortunate few. In the process, our riders go home completely satisfied and with an incredible moto adventure that will not soon be forgotten.
Whether it's on a moto, or just in life, seek out those firsts. Go after that crazy idea that people tell you is impossible. Scare yourself. Do the unknown. Experience a first. That is where the thrill really begins.

 

Scottiedawg

 

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We made it back...another incredible ride!

 

Scott is an avid lover of the motorcycle, a thrill seeker, explorer, and a social entrepreneur and founder of MotoMission Peru, a high end dirtbike tour operation located in Cusco, Peru. 100% of the profits from MM are used to support the Altivas Canas Children's project on the outskirts of Cusco. If you are interested in joining MotoMission Peru on an dirtbike adventure, contact us via Thumpertalk or through our website at www.motomissionperu.com. Also, follow us on our Youtube channel at Motomission Peru Dirtbike Adventures. If you would like to follow along with our adventures via our blog, make sure you click above to follow us. There will certainly be more crazy stories to tell.

scottiedawg
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In my world, things always happen for a reason. Sometimes the reason makes no sense other than the fact that it gives us a crazy unbelievable story. That might be the case here.
I was the guide, and normally, I would have some sort of a plan. In this particular case, the customers wanted something spontaneous. I believe the words were, "Scott, just give us a good time. We just want an adventure." I put a few possibilities together. One being a journey to the deepest canyon in the world, Cotahuasi. Grasp, if you dare to imagine two Grand Canyons on top of each other, it would get you close. Our plan was to reach the canyon, spend a day or two exploring, then head back to Cusco to fly home. We had some flexibility in our number of days.


Watch this tour video to see the action

 

Phil and Henry were repeat customers. In fact, they were my first customers. They came back a year and a half after their first ride. I was honored. I put a tentative tour together to meet their request for a "good time."
We left Cusco on a couple of KLR 650's(these guys rode their own bikes from the US) and a CRF 450x. We wound our way through some legendary country. The Andes Mountains are big. They are beautiful. They are daunting. But Supercool! We had a decent map and some idea of places that may have gas, food, and shelter. Up and down through the mountains is a simplification. The bottoms of the canyons lay about 7000 to 8000 foot elevation. The tops run up to about 15,000. High jungle at the bottom, where they can grow papayas. So cold and desolate at the high points, that only the toughest of alpaca herders dare to live.

 

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Henry and Phil after a great breakfast at the best place in Peru to have a great meal...and all the profits go to support a local children's project

 


In order to reach the Cotihuasi Canyon, we had to pass over a number of these high spots. We call them altiplanos=high plains. It is usually hot when the sun is out, and freezing when it's not. The altiplano ain't for sissies.
Phil, Henry, and I found ourselves on day 3 working our way through the altiplano heading south towards the Valley of the Volcanoes. We were a bit behind the flexible schedule, but the grins on their faces led me to believe that it was irrelevant. We pounded out the route towards a small community where we found gas. We topped off the tanks, grabbed a quick snack, and created a big stir with the locals. Not sure when the last tourist passed through, but the curious town folk seemed to have forgotten. We asked for directions to the next town with amenities.

 

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Peru is a paradise for motorcyclists

 

This is where the story turned. The locals giggled when they realized we were heading up to the altiplano. They knew something that we didn't.
The locals clarified their concern for us by pointing out that the lighting would soon be arriving. We had a small window of opportunity. We geared up and took off to beat the storm that was somehow going to replace the cloudless sky in a short matter of time(sarcasm noted).
We were tough. We had good gear. No worries...The boys told me they wanted an adventure...We were headed straight there. We climbed for what seemed like days. Back and forth on the switchbacks to finally come over the top of the canyon. There it was...The altiplano. A desolate and cold eternity that lay between us and our destination.
Within moments, little white balls of ice began pelting us. How did those little boogers get through to my cheeks? With icy misery challenging us, the second wave began; the thunder. Not to worry as it was a ways off in the horizon. We rode in its direction. Within a few minutes, the length of time from the lightning flash to the crack of the thunder decreased to hardly anything. We were in the eye of the storm.
The day had been long. We had covered a lot of miles. According to the locals, we had about 2 hours to our destination from where we filled our tanks. We had to be close. We trudged on through the storm. It sucked. There wasn't a tree in a hundred miles. No shelter...just a slimy two track road heading toward the next town. We battled the storm for a solid hour. We were certain that our destination would be around the next bend. We kept on.
We finally hit our limit. Our bodies had no more to give. The miserable cold had taken its toll on our balance. Phil had a couple of close calls. Henry and I were beginning to think we would have to figure out some sort of shelter. There was no town anywhere near. In fact, we had gone many a mile without seeing any sign of life; houses, herds, or people.
We stopped, huddled around our exhaust pipes in some sort of heat worship ceremony, then discussed our options. Phil was done. Henry and I were about out of juice as well. We talked about heading back to the last civilization that we could remember. It was a long way back...not a great option.
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Henry looking like a thug...but well prepared

 


It was at that moment that Henry piped in about a rock hut a ways back that sat off the road and down the hill. Phil and I didn't see it. We both kind of thought Henry was having hypothermic hallucinations. Regardless, it was our best option. I agreed to head back and hopefully find some sign of life, while Henry and Phil would follow at a safe pace.
I finally found what Henry was talking about. What I found was not much, but I would say it was better than nothing. I rode down to the decrepit rock structure and found life. It was an older Quechua(native to the area and spoke Quechua as well as a little bit of Spanish) lady down below her house, rounding up a small herd of alpacas for the night. It was almost dark.
I asked her about the town that we were looking for. She chuckled and told me there was no town by that name. It was actually a spot in the road where that alpaca herders would bring their pelts , pile them on the truck, and send them to market. Certainly no town, no food, no gas, and a long way away from any kind of place to spend the night.
With a long pause after I asked about anyplace close to stay, I gave my best puppy dog eyes. I glanced around at the lack of options. She hesitated a moment, then gave me an offer that felt like a gift from heaven. She had a four walled structure with a couple of tin metal sheets laid on top. It had an opening about 4 feet tall to enter. Inside, well, let's just say it looked like something from a biology lab mixed with a pantry and a morgue.
I accepted the offer with a smile. By that time, Phil and Henry had arrived and were anxious for a hot shower and comfy bed. This lady lived off grid and my guess, may have never had a hot shower in her entire life. A comfy bed, well, let's just say, the amenities were primitive.
I did my best to translate for the guys. We were all so thankful to have something around us to get us out of the weather and the mess that we were in.
We brought our wet and frozen stuff to the door. There was no light except that which entered through the holes in the walls. We had a small flashlight. We each entered through the troll door that stood at best, 4 feet high.
One by one, we entered to find ourselves face to face with a couple of strings stretched from one side of the shack to the other. Draped over the strings were a variety of animal parts. It could have been the last motorcycle guys that stayed there, but it felt better to believe it was just some type of animal meat for food.

 

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This little church could not be passed up without taking a picture

 

Along the back wall was a makeshift shelving system with some staple items such as rice, noodles, and flour. Dispersed with the clutter and food items were countless decaying skulls from a variety of animals. Some of the skulls still had remnants of meat for some reason. It was a bit creepy. We were grown men. We could handle this lady if she tried anything funny. We remained open minded...There wasn't much choice.
In the corner, was our saving grace; A shoulder high stack of bloody alpaca pelts. With not much room left for the dirt floor, the three of us decided on the sleeping arrangements. There was a flat spot, more like a table than a bed, with a few soft items laying on top. There were a number of unidentifiable items that made up the "bed." We were better off not knowing what was underneath.
There was one real blanket to share. Certainly, it was not enough. Henry and I cuddled up on the table structure with the blanket and as many alpaca pelts as we could stand. Phil resorted to the dirt floor. Phil, like any survivalist would do, made a nice alpaca mattress, covered it with alpaca sheets, then draped a fresh alpaca comforter on top of that. He looked like a human sandwich with nasty alpaca pelts being the bread. We also placed anything and everything else on top of us to help retain any kind of heat. We wore everything we had in our possession with the exception of our helmets.
It was bedtime. Exhausted, frozen, creeped out, and unable to breath because of the sheer weight of the makeshift covers, or possibly the 14k plus altitude, we called it a night.
Our goal was to sleep. It was a failure in every way. The howling wind that worked its way through the rocks that were stacked up to make the walls, insulated nothing. My nose stopped running, not because of my heat index, but rather, the snot was frozen. For countless hours, we all struggled to maintain any type of comfort; absolutely miserable. I was like a kid looking forward to Christmas morning...our present to receive; some sort of heat from the sun. It couldn't happen fast enough.
The dreaded night finally ceased its torture on us. The rays of light somehow snuck through the holes in the side of the rock. There was no wind. The air was moist, but like dew, not rain. Another day, blessed to be alive.
We couldn't wait to get outside and take in some radiant heat from the Andean sun. With no pollution, being that close to the equator, and at an elevation as close to the sun as many will ever get a chance to be, the sun was strong. We got up, shared our harrowing tales of suffering , laughed at each other, and went outside to enjoy the heat.
The little lady invited us over for breakfast. We gladly accepted. We were a bit concerned what it might be, but any type of hospitality while we were in a situation like that was a welcomed blessing. We brought our food to share as well.
As we climbed into another small rock hut, the door even smaller this time, it opened into a one room studio complete with a fireplace, and some wooden furniture that was built for people that stood no more than 4 foot tall. We were offered the best seats in the house, given a rusty tin cup full of tea, and were told that breakfast was served. Perfect!
We had a great cultural exchange. The husband and son had arrived in the middle of the night. The whole family was there. I did my best to translate, but with the Quechua and Spanish mix, it was hard to understand much. We shared stories, laughed, and gave the kids their first ever raisins to try. The little girl couldn't eat them fast enough. Phil picked through his trail mix bag and extracted every single raisin for the little girl.
It was a nice time. We had good weather outside, and so had to get going. We confirmed our directions with the mister, gathered up our things, left the family with a nice donation for their incredible hospitality, and said goodbye. As miserable as it was, it turned out to be one of the highlights of the ride.
Riding through the Altiplano and subsequently up and down more Andes mountains, we came across countless scenic valleys, small communities(3-5 houses), and many a herd of alpacas. It was just what these guys wanted to see; Peru... in all its natural state.
The ride for the day concluded with a little get off. Phil was on a tight switchback, grabbed a little too much brake on the loose corner and went down breaking his foot. We were close to the next town, which is where we would be able to get some help, hopefully.
Henry stayed with Phil while I went for help. As I arrived in town, the first thing I came across was a government health clinic, complete with an ambulance. I couldn't have dreamed of a better situation.

 

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Notice the blood from the previous patient...Phil was not so impressed with the Peruvian medical standards

 

I went inside to begin the rescue process and quickly found out that the ambulance had not been moved in over 5 years. Besides, there was no key to the gate. I asked for options and also found out that there were no taxis, and the three people that owned cars in the town were all wasted drunk because of the carnival festivities. I found one of the drunks, offered to pay to use his truck, but he insisted on driving himself. I've done some stupid things in my life, but even I have limits.
Our best bet was to flag down a truck from the mine traffic that would be coming down the hill. The doctor told me that we were running out of time. I quickly returned back to the crash site. Upon my arrival, Henry had managed to flag down a large truck, heading into town. We loaded up the bike and Phil and headed to the clinic where the doctor was ready to put Phil back together.

 

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The doctor and staff were great...

 

Our ride was over. We spent the night at the clinic to stabilize Phil and make a plan to get back to Cusco. A truck was hired, we loaded the bikes and headed back to where we started.
These guys wanted an adventure. They got everything they bargained for. What I find so satisfying is that the part that will forever be talked about is the bloody alpaca pelts. The tales of suffering, together, a group of guys, all sharing the same moto adventure. We have a common bond...Motos. It doesn't matter what color you ride, what size of motor, two stroke or four. That is a community of which I am proud to be a part...Scott

 

 

A little about Motomission...We are the only enduro tour operator in Cusco, Peru, South America. We are also a social enterprise where all of the profits from the operation go to support the Altivas Canas Children's Project. Our backyard is the Andes Mountains. We specialize in hard enduro, tight and technical singletrack rides through untouched areas. Our fleet of Honda CRF 450X bikes as well as a couple of other options are ready to be put to the test. We focus on private groups of 1 to a 4 riders(we can handle other groups as well). We can also do lighter trails for those that want to see Peru on a moto. Young and old, intermediate to advanced riders are welcome to join us. Please message us if you would like more information or visit our website at www.motomissionperu.com or check out our videos on our Youtube channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures.

scottiedawg
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I have a friend here in Peru that continues to gather my respect each time I spend another moment with him. His name is Nico. He stands about 5ft 2 inches and is every bit a moto fanatic. What makes Nico so special is his deep rooted passion of motorcycles. Let me explain.

 

I am privileged. I have never, in my life, gone without. Yeah, I don't have a yacht on the Italian coast, but I have everything I need. I even have a nice motorcycle to ride. If it breaks down, I have the resources to get it fixed.

 

In comes Nico. I have grown to respect this man's passion. It runs deep. Just yesterday, I was dropping off a trailer at Nico's shop. He is a welder by trade. He offered to get it painted and do a couple of things to improve its utility.

 

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Nico the welder, proud moto dad, and a man that can make anything work...Hardly in any pictures because he is the one taking all the pics

 

While talking to Nico, he told me that his dad used to race motocross some 20 to 30 years ago. It was in the old Honda XL 185 days. His eyes lit up as he told me about watching his father bounce around the tracks when he was a little boy. Somewhere in the scope of his life, a fire began to burn deep. He is now passing on a legacy and passion to his kids.

 

Nico, materially, has hardly anything. Every bike this guy has is a hodge podge of parts and pieces. He recently bought an old beat up Rm85 for his daughter, Sami. It worked when he bought it, but now its sitting in his shop without a soul. He has ordered a fresh motor from Ebay, but the taxing authorities in Peru will not allow the motor to be brought into the country. He is in the process of having the tax authorities return it back to the seller to be dismantled, so that the parts themselves can be reshipped in different packages, to skirt the system.

 

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RM 85 waiting for a new soul...Hard to get parts in Peru!

 

A few weeks ago, he borrowed a motorcycle for his daughter to use so she could race in the local MX series to continue accumulating points. Little did Nico know, the bike he borrowed was on its last leg. During the race, the crank went out causing a bunch of damage. He was held responsible for getting it back to running condition. I happened to have an old box of parts for that same type of bike. He was able to get it all fixed up fairly cheap.

 

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Nico and Sami doing what they love!

 

I am still getting to know Nico and his family. He is at every race I have ever been to. With his smiling face, he watches his young daughter rip around the track. He also puts his time and effort into his boy that is so small he has to start the races with his dad holding the back fender to keep the bike upright. His wife is there at every moment. It's a beautiful thing to see a moto family like that. In fact, Nico brought his family over to our house one afternoon to ask me to be the Padrino for his daughter. He didn't pick a longtime family friend. He didn't pick a neighbor, or a member of his church. He picked me. I asked him why he chose me. Nico told me that he wanted to have a Padrino for his daughter that loved motorcycles as much as he did. Being a Padrino(a godfather) here in Peru is a major responsibility and a privilege. I was quite surprised that he wanted me to take the position. My flattered face must have shown.

 

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The gang and I...A little celebration after a good day of racing

 

I had seen Nico at a race a couple of weeks ago. He had purchased, yet another bike. This time, I thought he may have rounded up a good deal. The bike worked for his daughter to race. Then, I also saw Nico trudging through the mud on the same bike. It was a Honda CRF 150. He made it to the finish line. Good for him.

 

While I was at his shop dropping off the trailer, we ended up talking bikes. I asked about the CRF 150 and how he liked it. He told me he bought it for a good price. I quickly found out that it came with no wheels, and much of the important stuff was not included. Not sure if it was a good deal, but it got him another day of racing. He managed to take the triple clamps, forks, front brakes, and wheel off the RM and place it on the chassis of the CRF. He did the same with the rear wheel. I got a chance to take a close look at the artwork of Nico(in Peru, mechanic=artist=creative genius). This guy did whatever it took to get to the track with a functional bike. I dig that kind of passion. Mad respect for Nico!

 

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A bike put together with passion and genius...It's a miracle that it works

 

If each of us had a "Nico" passion in our lives, the sun would shine a bit brighter. I am glad to have a common passion with my friend. We can talk motos until we are out of breath. Don't let a few mishaps and misfortunes take you out of the race. Sometimes a bit of creativity and drive will get you to the finish line. Your gear may not match and your tires may be wired to the rims. The cracks in your plastics may have been stitched together with zipties. The point I am trying to make is that passion wins a lot more races than pretty.

 

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These are Nico's kids...Sami and Carlo...Champions!

scottiedawg
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In my line of business, I come across all types of people. However, they all share a common passion... riding dirtbikes! I was afforded the opportunity to guide a father and son duo on a five day hard enduro tour through the Andes of Peru. The son, Brian, had been in the Amazon jungle working on a conservation project. He discovered a social enterprise company called MotoMission Peru ( www.motomissionperu.com) that offers hard enduro tours in the Cusco area of Peru. He inquired, asked a number of questions, laid his eyes on many a video, and mentioned that he would be back.

 

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Los Tres Guapos...Ready to begin the adventure

 

I began communicating with Brian about the trail possibilities, the lengths of rides, and the equipment. Within a few days it was all set up. Brian and his father would be joining me for an excursion. Brian wanted to spend time with his father doing something they both love to do.

 

What I liked about this particular story, was the fact that it was a father and a son. I'm blessed to have a great relationship with my father. I am who I am as a result of the loving, caring, teaching, and more often than not, the disciplinary hand of my father. I needed a few corrections to keep me on a good life trail. I could not have asked for a better dad.

 

Having a dad that shares a common passion...divine. In the case of Pete and Brian, they both love motorcycles. Pete's the kind of dad that gets a thrill out of watching his boy rip around the track. Not only that, Pete will join in on the fun. In the case of their Peru adventure, this was a perfect opportunity to have an exotic father/son enduro adventure.

 

The route was a well known path. In fact, Brian hiked a large portion of it on foot while he was first visiting Cusco. It was the Salkantay pass. He told me that as he trudged up and down the trail, his mind kept riding his KTM through each obstacle. I set up the tour to ride that mind blowing section of single track. The only other motorcycles to ever run that route was a previous client and myself.

 

The ride went down just as planned. We left Cusco, then rode to Mollepata on a mix of single track, two track, and a bit of pavement to get us to the start point of the Salkantay. We had some nice digs all to ourselves at a comfortable hacienda.

 

Day two was the hard enduro part of the trip. From 7500 ft elevation to 15,500 all before eight in the morning, our bodies had experienced the full effect of altitude. We made it to the top of the pass to celebrate an accomplishment that few can claim.

 


The official ride video of Pete and Brian's excursion

 

As I observed the interaction between Pete and Brian, I couldn't help but notice the shared characteristics in their personalities. These guys were not quitters. They both had a solid sense that to make it to the top, there would need to be some effort. They each had to dig deep and pull out the reserves that rarely get tapped. I watched and listened to their interaction. When Brian was struggling, I saw Pete, give encouragement. When Pete was laying down on the trail too tired to pick up his bike, Brian rode it through the hard spot. They pushed each other with words and actions like that of a great coach and player.

 

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Brian pondering his purpose in life...with a scenic Andean view in the background

 

We made it through some challenging obstacles. From the top of the pass, we made our way to the jungle on the downside. Again, it was riddled with every difficulty and treacherous terrain that one could imagine. Reaching the destination was the goal. Doing it with a smile on our face, even better.

 

Day three, four, and five were similar. The riding was filled with challenge. From the ice and snow hitting us in the face on Malaga Pass, to the rocky downhill drops that produced white knuckles and gritting of the teeth, we took on each as if it was a welcomed test.

 

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Pete and Brian celebrating a triumphant climb to the top of Picol Mtn.

 

The tour was perfect. Pete and Brian were great guys to hang out with for a few days. They were capable riders. They also helped me understand an important life lesson.

 

Our world is in need of more passion. I saw a lot of it in Pete and Brian. Pete was able to instill in Brian a passion for adventure, and more specifically, motorcycles. Brian was able to keep the passion alive in his father by encouraging his participation in the moto tour. In life, we often substitute material gifts for time or energy. How refreshing it is to see a father and son creating memories by experience. Yeah, it's easy to buy your kids a new bike, or a video game, but what type of memory experience is created by that?

 

As we have just celebrated another Father's day, I want to challenge you to look for innovative ways to create positive experiences with those around you. Whether it's a hiking trip, fishing excursion, or a hard enduro ride in Peru, there are numerous opportunities to pass on your passions through enjoyable experiences. You only have so many days on this planet, make them count.

 

Thanks for following along on our moto adventures. If you have not already signed up to follow the blog, please click on the "follow blog" button on the right side of the blog page. Many more great stories to come...Until next time, keep the wheels down!

 

Scott
WWW.MotoMissionPeru.com

scottiedawg
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Disaster and dirtbikes go hand in hand. If you are around motos long enough, you will experience some sort of catastrophe. This story will take you with us as we rip through the Andes of South America. You will be there when it happens. You'll see the destruction and hear the screams. Cinch up your kidney belt...The ride starts here!

 

The written story is full of the gritty details and some great pics of the adventure. However, I understand that many of you may not want to read the entire story and would rather watch it. I have provided both. There is also a movie trailer to get your senses aroused. If I were you, I'd start with the trailer and go from there.

 

Here is the trailer:

 

It started years ago while I was in college. I met Scott, a super cool fella that loved to play hard. He somehow convinced me to buy a 1985 Honda CR500 so I could learn how to ride dirtbikes. A few wrecks later, I finally got the hang of it and thus started my love for the machine.
Fast forward 15 years. I found myself crossing the finish line in Cabo San Lucas as the final member of our 2007 Baja 1000 12x moto team. It was a cool experience; my first race. I still find myself talking about it quite often.
That experience brought our team together in a way that only a psychologist could understand. We created a family. It was all conceived with a common dream of racing in the Baja.

 

Here is the full movie:

 

Well, that is how I got to know Ben. He is the hotshot younger brother of my good friend Scott. Ben is Solid...I don't say hotshot because I am a sarcastic sort. I really mean it. This guy does everything extremely well. He has the finest of character. He gives without expectation. He pours his life into hundreds of people on a daily basis. He is a great family man, a loving brother, a constant friend, and profound mentor.blogentry-117626-0-76641100-1429884955.jpg
Four guys enjoying the Andes(left to right...Garret, Ben, James, Scott)

 

Ben and his older brother, who run an organization called Nevada County Campus Life, brought a group of 60 youth and adults from northern California to Peru to hike to Macchu Pichu, one of the UNESCO seven wonders of the world. Before the group arrived, Ben and two of the adult sponsors, James and Garret, joined me for a four day, super hard enduro tour through the Andes Mountains.

 

The Written Report:blogentry-117626-0-93352900-1431359431.jpg
Our first pass at about 13,500 elevation

 

The guys had been in Cusco a couple of days before the ride began. One of those days, Ben, Garret, and James were out at the house getting the bikes all wrenched down and ready for the ride. We added some accessories, adjusted levers and bars, and went through the gear for the journey that was to begin on the following day.
The first day was incredible. I picked up the guys, we ate a hearty breakfast, then hit the trail which began just behind my house. The single track climbs up a good 2000 feet in the first little section. I use the trail to compare what customers tell me about their riding level to their actual riding level. Its a good barometer.
We took a bunch of single track ridge along the top of the valley looking down into Cusco. We worked our way to the quaint little town of Chinchero to grab a bite to eat. From there, we rode down through some epic downhill singletrack to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We fueled up and headed toward our final destination for the night, Lares.
Before we reached Lares, the boys got a chance to see what I have been forever bragging about. The riding in this area is as good as it gets. I've ridden in some great places, but this tops them all. This is some great area for riding...I will leave it at that.blogentry-117626-0-52391700-1431359795.jpg
Ben at the waterfall dropping into Qhuisharani

 

The boys got a chance to see what riding technical trails at 14000+ elevation was like. We had a blast. The sun was going down which pushed us to keep going. We had been on the bikes all day, with the exception of the lunch breaks and a handful of oxygen rejuvenation stops. The fatigue was starting to set in. The excuse to take a photo was a good reason to stop for a sec to catch ones breath. We may have all used that one once or twice. It's hard to keep riding when the photo value is so high. We took pictures when we could, but had to get rolling as our plan was to arrive before dark.
Dark came and found us still riding and smiling. We had gotten through the super difficult trail and were really enjoying the fun, wide, single track route that dropped us into the Huacahuasi valley via headlight. Four bikes, tire to tire, ripping down the side of the canyon. It was a nice added bit of excitement for the ride. A little nighttime adventure!
We arrived at our destination for the night. It was complete with good food, bed, and hot springs. We soaked till our skin looked like prunes, then called it a night. The next day would prove to be a challenge. I warned the fellas that it would be a technical day of riding...all day long...lights out...good night.
We awoke to a hearty breakfast, served up at the table next to the windows looking down into the river hundreds of feet below. The Lares hot springs are a great little spot to start and end a good day of riding. The breakfast was served by a little Peruvian couple who didn't have much of a handle on how a group of young enduro riders would eat. I had to reiterate the quantities over and over again to make sure we had a good dose of energy before heading out.
We finished breakfast and began getting the bikes and gear all prepared for the day. The day's distance would be short, but nothing less than a gauntlet of obstacles. We would see it all on this day; hill climbs with large rock steps, ledges without anything below, water, elevation over 15000ft, and fatigue screaming at us like a drill sergeant. We would certainly see it all.
Within a few minutes, we found ourselves ready to take off. We said goodbye to the innkeepers, fired up the bikes, and headed into town for gas and a bit of supplies.
Gas is always a fun experience. First, you have to find the lady that runs the grifo(gas station). Her grifo consists of a 55 gallon drum of fuel in her living room. She manages to scoop out about a half gallon per plastic pitcher, then pours it into the official gallon pitcher to make sure the accuracy is spot on. She carries it out and dumps it in your tank, somehow remembering how much gas she has already "pumped." It always seems to work.
After the fueling process, some snacks and drinks were purchased, then we hit the trail. A short bit of dirt road to get outside of the community, then, the fun began.blogentry-117626-0-51651800-1431373380.jpg
The scenery...

 

The trail was one that was first explored on dirtbike a year or so earlier. Ben's older brother, Scott, came down to do some scouting work for the large group of hikers that they were planning on bringing down. I took Scott and another buddy over this section. We struggled, but made it. It was one of those rides that I told myself I would never do again. In fact, we coined the name of the final ascent to the pass, Misery Hill. The constant use of the tow strap created a memorable experience for Scott, Weston, and I. Scott somehow convinced me to consider the route again for his brother. If anyone could do it, it would be these guys. They ride like beasts.
On that particular sunny morning, we found ourselves throttling through some of the most scenic terrain the world has to offer. The trail was so gnarly that one could hardly take their eyes off of it. However, every time you stalled, it was an award winning photo opp. The trail was a perfect 10; a mix of rock, smooth sections of rolling single track, drops, steps, mud, and a rogue alpaca every now and then. It was fun to say the least.blogentry-117626-0-19131900-1431377230.jpg
Overlooking another one of the valleys

 

We reached an area that was about a third of the way to the top. Ben and I had made it to a good stopping point where we could watch the other two guys grappling with the enduro rock demons below. One of those rocks happened to find its way to the motor of Garrets bike. The old "hole in the clutch cover fix" was staring us in the eyes.
We got it done, enjoyed the forced break, then pounded our way up the rest of the world class trail. The climb took a lot out of us. There were quite a few tow strap moments, where we found ourselves with a team of one puller, one pusher, and a rider. Those were the tough spots.
We made it to the top of Misery Hill. It was a satisfying climb to the pass; The abra is what we call it here in Peru. We struggled, and managed to not lose our religion on the climb. A celebration picture or two, a high five, and a good whoop and hollar ensued. We took a break, ate a snack, and then mentally prepared for the long drop into the valley on the downside of the abra. Little did the boys know what was in store.
We worked our way across the mountain heights to reach the top of the valley with which we needed to descend. We had reached the clouds at the top which gave us an eerie fog to ride through. It had the appearance of a moonscape.There is not much vegetation at that altitude. It was cold and the air was as thin as a valve shim.
As we reached the drop down spot that would eventually connect us to the Sacred Valley, we found ourselves in awe of the view. The clouds had parted in such a way to expose a glacier faced peak which had the light of the sun gracing its glory.
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My Favorite Picture Ever

 

We took over a hundred pictures, then off the edge we rode. The upper section was a blissful free ride through countless grassy chutes. The ground was smooth. It was like riding on a golf course. It provided freedom; like riding in dunes. Each descent brought us to another epic view.
Within a few minutes we found ourselves at the end of the smooth grass. In fact, we had come to the part of the trail where the tow straps needed to be retrieved. The canyon below was deep. We could see a lake at the bottom; hundreds of feet down.
We came up to a rugged drop that stirred up a bit of fear in each of us. Ben arrived at the edge and began to wonder if the trail in front of him was actually the one we were going to use. I confirmed with him that it was. I remember going through that spot once before. It seemed a lot worse this time.
I walked down to check it out. Ben followed. It looked better once we had climbed down. It was doable. I returned to my bike to give it the first go. Ben spotted me. No trouble. We made it. It wasn't without some tugging and pushing, but we all made it. One by one.
The sun was trying to escape us. We had about an hour of light left. I was a bit concerned as I knew just how difficult it would be to come down that trail in the dark. I kept the guys rolling.blogentry-117626-0-95953400-1431435776.jpg
The trail is a challenge, but oh so worth it!

 

We managed to make it a bit further around the edge of the canyon where we encountered another challenging section of trail. However, it was similar to many of the sketchy areas we had managed to cross earlier that day. I began to work my way down the rocky ledge. My front brake chirped with each squeeze. My left boot, planting itself along the rock wall every few inches to my left, while my other boot was on my right foot peg. Little by little, I made my way down through the gauntlet of treachery. I made it. Ben was following.
I realized just how epic the video shot would be to have Ben passing by with the camera above him as he passed in front of the crystal clear lake, hundreds of feet below. I stopped, and began to whip my leg off my bike. I pivoted around just enough to catch a glimpse of terror. Ben was in mid fall.
Time went to superslowmo. A million thoughts began racing through my mind. One of the first was a thought of realization that Ben was in big trouble. Then the thought of screaming came to mind. Useless, but I let out a huge, "NO!" as if it would stop the event. My thoughts continued to how I might intervene. Again, useless. It was happening faster than my reaction would allow. I was 30 feet away, watching things unfold. I saw the last part of Ben's fall. He had already exited the bike, and was in mid journey down the cliff. He stopped twenty feet below the starting point of the incident. I was not sure how, but he was stopped, sitting, overlooking the canyon below. Garret and James, above Ben, looking down off the edge, could not tell the outcome, at least from their angle. A bunch of screaming, and Ben and I watching a brand new 2014 Honda CRF 450x tumble down the ledge, picking up speed, roll after roll, till the bike launched off the final cliff into the abyss and out of sight. Then, the wait for the thunderous clash finally hit us, seconds later, as the fate of the motorcycle was dreadfully heard. The sound rang through the canyon. It was over.
The whole moment was wrought with every emotion possible. Ben put his hands on his helmet, elbows to his knees as he sat there on the hillside; totally emptied. Garret came charging down the hill, thinking that Ben would not be there. The apologies began to ring out from Ben about the bike. "I'm so sorry Scott!"
I am sure that was a beautiful sound to Garret and James. Ben was alive. I began to work my way towards Ben, letting him know that the bike was just a bike and that it can be replaced. The relief I began to feel overwhelmed me to tears. In a matter of seconds, I went through the scenario of having to tell Ben's wife, who was back in Cusco along with their little boy, about how Ben had a terrible accident and would not be coming back. Elijah, not even talking yet, would have to grow up to be able to understand what happened. In my thoughts, I was tortured by the daily thought of having to explain to Elijah what had happened to his father. I couldn't bear it. The tears rolled. Ben was a friend and I was so thankful that he was alive. I was so thankful, that my fear filled thought was not actually happening. I continued to cry.
By that time, I had reached the spot where Ben was perched. Garret and James had made it down to Ben's location. There, on the mountainside, sat four grown men, with not a dry eye amongst us.blogentry-117626-0-56205500-1431373000.jpg
Somewhere up there is where the bike began to tumble

 

The bike was gone. We needed to get off the mountain. It was a dangerous place to be in the daylight, but with night closing its curtain on us, we were in another dilemma. I pulled out every leadership ability within me and directed our group by sternly pointed out that we could grieve later, but we had to get off the mountain immediately.
We gathered ourselves as much as we could, derived a plan to have Garret and I ride solo, while Ben and James would ride two up on any spot that was doable. That meant Ben walked quite a distance down the nasty section of the ledge that led to the bottom of the canyon. Darkness wrapped its arms around us within a short time.
We made it off the mountainside, although we were not out of danger. We had a long and treacherous 6 miles of trail, river crossings, and darkness. Little by little, we forged our way out. In what seemed like an eternity, we reached the end of the single track. The trail turned to a 4 wheel drive two track, then to a dirt road, then to the little town of Huaran, which was our hint that we had made it to the Sacred Valley. Cold, wet, tired, and emotionally withered, we made our way down the highway a few miles to Urubamba where we called it a night. Hotel and a late dinner was a blessing.blogentry-117626-0-09146600-1431359084.jpg
Dinner after a long day...

 

We called back to base as soon as we got into cell range. Ben needed to talk with his wife. I, as well, just wanted to hear the voices of my family. We hadn't come up with a plan, but I told my wife that I would call her back after dinner after we had a chance to devise a plan for the rest of our tour.
We found a pizza place open. We crammed down an enormous amount of food, discussed the day's events, worked out a couple of recovery options, and headed back to the hotel to get some needed rest.
We came up with a plan to go back into the crash site the following day. I called my wife, who was a good 2 hour drive from where we were staying. The plan was for her to bring hiking boots, tools, bigger backpacks, more food, and a number of other items to make the recovery as simple as possible. She would leave early in the morning to arrive at about 8am the following morning. I said goodnight and went to bed. It was good to hear her voice.
Ben and I had a good pillow talk session before quietness swept over us. We rehashed the whole ordeal many times over. How amazed we were to still have Ben with us and not in a body bag. I, still to this day, cannot figure out why he didn't keep going down the ledge. It just wasn't Ben's time...We both laid there quietly thinking to ourselves for hours, wide awake.
As I laid there trying to make sense of the day's events, I found myself sobbing. In order to keep my manliness confined to me, I did the best to sniffle, cough, and whatever else I could do to mask my sappiness. Ben was in the same room. I didn't know what was going through his mind, but it really shouldn't have surprised me that he was awake at 2am. As tired as we were, there wasn't much sleep to be had. We talked through it some more. Every emotion came through. The joy that Ben was still alive, the thrill of the epic day of riding, the fatigue and pushing ourselves through much more than we could ever expect from our bodies; it was heavy.
Finally, my eyes closed. Not sure if Ben's ever did, but morning came all too quickly. My wife had arrived with everything we needed. She even brought one of my daughters. I couldn't stop hugging her. Any one of us could have been in Ben's boots. It gives a different type of appreciation for life when you tease it like that.
We finished our planning over the food that my wife, Teri, had brought for us. James and I would ride in to the crash site. We would all leave at about the same time, but because of the difficult and slow route for the Landcruiser to reach the trailhead, James and I would be far ahead of the others. Our goal was to arrive and assess the situation. If there was nothing to salvage, then we would satellite message the rest of the crew to stay put, while James and I returned to the trail head. If no news was received, Ben and Garret, on foot, would begin the 4000 foot elevation hike which covered just over 6 miles. They would be carrying large empty packs to bring anything salvageable back to base.blogentry-117626-0-93249000-1431436007.jpg
Scott and James on the way to recover a downed moto

 

James and I were loaded down with the necessary tools to dismantle any part of the bike that was worth keeping. We packed our hiking boots as well as we were not sure just where the bike ended up from the fall.
We began the journey. James and I headed out a few minutes before the rest of the crew. We retraced our steps of the night before, but this time, we could see. The morning sun was forcefully strong.
Within a half hour, James and I found ourselves at the beginning of a trail that one would wonder if it could even be used for a motorcycle. It was gnarly. The elevation gain was relentless. Section after section of steep rocky stairs, tight switches designed for foot travelers, and enough water to satisfy a million ducks. FUN! It was a challenge for sure, but it was a grin factory for James and I.
We managed to get through the rocky steps while only losing a little bit of antifreeze. The valley opened up into the area of Cancha Cancha and provided us with an incredible view of the box canyon where the beautiful glacier lake lay nestled.
We could see the spot where Ben had discarded the bike. However, we could only see it from a long distance and the final resting point of the bike was not in view. We rode the same trail that we descended the night before, at least up to the point where we needed to peel off to reach the area where we assumed the bike would be.
James and I looked over the landscape which was riddled with rock tailings. Over the years, they had fallen from the canyon's rocky ledges. The riding was a difficult mix of trials as loose bowling ball sized boulders covered the ground. We could see the area we needed to reach. We trudged through until we felt like it would be easier to walk than to ride. We ditched the bikes, traded motoboots for our hiking boots and began the hike up toward the lake. We couldn't actually see the lake as it sat on the valley floor, still hundreds of feet in elevation above us. There was even a possibility that the bike was in the lake.
After a 30 minute walk or so, James and I reached the vicinity of the crash site. We knew that over any one of the next little knolls, we'd find what we were looking for. For me, it was like tracking an animal during a hunt. The shot had been made, and now it was a search to find the downed animal. The bike was our trophy buck.
We passed over many a spot where we thought the bike would be. It seemed like forever, to reach a place where we found anything. But, we pressed on.blogentry-117626-0-81671700-1431436549.jpg
The Field of Shrapnel

 

We came over the top of a little rise and there in the middle of the rock, laid a bright red Honda seat. As we came up to the seat, the view opened up to exhibit an array of shrapnel. It was bad. Shining in the light of the sun were nickel sized anodized pieces of aluminum from the front shocks. The plastic of the fenders, air box, side number plates, and shrouds were spread around like fertilizer on a lawn. Up and down the path of destruction, the parts and pieces laid.
James and I began looking for the biggest parts. The chassis, if there was one. We both followed the aluminum and plastic trail. James yelled out, "I got it!" Referring to the main section of the bike, or at least the largest section of our treasure. It was the chassis. Parts of the motor still connected. I followed.blogentry-117626-0-36722300-1431374508.jpg
I think we can pound that out...

 

Within a few minutes, we assessed the damages and realized that there were some salvageable parts that would be nice to have. We had an unspoken agreement to strip off anything valuable. We did it in a way to prioritize the value and make the most of the limited space we had. Handguards, Thanks Cycra, those made it. Plastics covers were broken, but hand guards and the bars were OK. The air filter, the chain and sprockets, the front wheel hub, the rear wheel, the rear brake caliper and master cylinder, the carb, cables and electronics...We stripped it down.
Ben and Garret arrived shortly thereafter. They looked around at the crash site and then began picking the rest of the bike clean. We created many piles of parts. The small parts and corresponding items were batched together in Ziplock bags. Each us working on a specific section of the bike. It only took us an hour or so to dismantle enough parts to fill Garret's and Ben's packs. They had a long haul to get out of the canyon, so as soon as they were loaded, they began the long walk back to the trailhead where the Landcruiser waited to haul the remains back to base.blogentry-117626-0-46991700-1431437239.jpg
Ben and Garret heading back with full packs

 

James and I stayed until we stripped everything we wanted. We stayed until just before dark. We couldn't carry everything. The trash, we left. The chassis, we left. The motor, we left. It was broken. The cases broken, the head, broken, only the internal parts may have been protected. We were not sure, so we left it. We did take out the clutch and water pump.blogentry-117626-0-54653000-1431437386.jpg
"Can you believe this?"

 

James and I stuffed our packs with more than we could really carry. We had parts tied to the outside of our packs, hanging off our shoulders, and attached to anything and everything we could manage. We hiked back to our bikes. The light was gone by the time we reached the motos. We realized that we had left some stuff at the bikes and forgot about how we might need some additional space.
We had a repacking party when we arrived. Our motoboots replaced our hiking boots. We mounted a few things to our bikes with bungees and parachute cord. Our packs reworked as best as we could to make it possible to ride with such a burden to carry.blogentry-117626-0-66028100-1431437749.jpg
Stripping it clean...

 

We had little choice. We were bringing this stuff back. With much difficulty, James and I began our return through the treacherous rock. This time, loaded down with more weight than either of our bikes had ever carried. It was a slow descent back down the trail. With numerous tipovers, and crashes, we somehow made it back to the trailhead, well after dark, just in time to find Ben and Garret geared up to come rescue us.
It was a good feeling to be back at the truck. My wife and daughter were there with food, water, and dry clothes. James and I had soaked ourselves getting down the trail. The crisp mountain air had made it impossible to stay warm. The torture was over. The most valuable parts of the bike had been recovered, and dinner was calling our names in the town of Urubamba. James and I loaded up on warm gear and finished the ride back to town, while the rest of the crew followed in the truck.
We still had three bikes to ride return to Cusco. We made a plan for Ben to go back with my wife and daughter, while James, Garret and I would do a night ride back to Cusco via some really fun single track. It was night, but we had enough gear to outfit us for the chilly ride. We ate dinner, and then headed out.
About a couple of hours later, we arrived at the house to find the rest of the crew. Absolutely beat tired, we all managed to retain some sort of smiles. The ride was over, for the moment. It was time to take a break from the motorcycles.
We still had two important tasks to complete. The first was to get Ben back on a bike; the old, "get back on the horse" concept. After an event like Ben experienced, it was imperative to give Ben a good moto experience to keep the passion alive. The second was to recover the rest of the bike and clean up the mess at the crash site. We managed both.
The following day, while Garret was under the weather, Ben, James, and I went for a ride to the cross on Cerro Picol. The cross sits at 13,400ft elevation and is a super fun single track ride to the top. It overlooks the city of Cusco. This is a great place to finish a ride as it culminates an enduro experience by leaving an unforgettable picture in your mind of just how incredible the Andes truly are.
We made it back to base, all intact. The riding part of the trip was complete. Filled with as much as any of us could handle. Bucket list riding in the Andes, obstacles beyond measure, and spending time with some of the best young men on the planet. It was a wild ride.
As I eluded earlier, we still had a task to complete. The pristine place where Ben's crash took place, was a mess. We still had piles of plastic, aluminum, and rubber to clean up. We concocted a plan to have a number of the guys from the Campus Life group hike back into the crash site and help with the clean up. It proved to be a miserable day. However, we accomplished the task.
A group of six of us hiked on foot, up the 4000ft elevation gain to the crash site. A couple of us lagged behind as we had to deal with some food borne bacteria. We did our best to keep the pace, but it proved almost impossible. We watered the trailside shrubbery with explosive diarrhea, and pushed each other through the misery of cramps and fever.
At the crash site, the shrapnel from the destructed bike was gathered and placed in backpacks. The chassis, which contained the remains of the motor, was lashed to a couple of two meter eucalyptus poles which we had packed in. With one man on each corner, the procession began back down the daunting route from which we had just come. Over and through the tailings of loose rock, the corpse of the motorcycle swung back and forth as the blisters began wearing on the hands of the pallbearers.blogentry-117626-0-12576100-1431372817.jpg
The Funeral...

 

It was grueling process. We managed to reach the community of Cancha Cancha where someone had the brilliant idea of hiring somebody to haul the bike the rest of the way.
Cancha Cancha is not a typical town. No electricity and no roads to get there. However, what we found were a group of three grown men building a rock wall. I happened to be the translator for the group. I mustered up all of my negotiation skills and went a round with the fellows as I made them an offer they couldn't refuse; to drop what they were doing, pick up our bike and get it to the trailhead...I'll pay the equivalent of 3 weeks wages for a couple of hours of work...and throw in all the granola bars and extra food we had between the group. They agreed and off they ran with the chassis, down the trail.
As we watched in amazement, the gap increased between the porters and our group, we quickly realized just how manly those little Peruvian men really were. We couldn't keep up. We laughed about it, but it made each of us feel like less than real men. They made it to the bottom, dumped the bike at the trail head, and began walking back up the trail to finish off their rock wall. We met them on the trail, gave them a good amount of pay, lavished our food supply on them, and began the final section of the trail. Our driver was waiting to load up the chassis, and carry us back to Cusco to end the crazy adventure.

 

Feel free to follow this blog as there will certainly be more adventures in the future. Click on the "Follow Blog" button on the middle right of your screen. Until next time...Keep the wheels down...Scott

scottiedawg
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I have never hurled at the starting gate of a race, but that moment before the gate falls is about as electrifying as anything. I am thrilled to be at the starting line of a sweet new adventure...a new ride, so to speak. I would like to invite you along. By joining me in the coming posts, you are going to experience enduro like you have never seen or heard before. We are going to take you to riding spots that have never heard the sound of a motor. We are going to reach altitudes where bikes don't run so well. We are going to explore new trails that have never been explored except on foot. We are going to cover some ground. All of the ruggedness of the Andes of South America, combined with high caliber riders, great bikes, and a pile of stories to share. It's all right here!

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Other than MotoMission, no other dirtbikes have been to this place.

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The views don't suck! That's a couple of fellas looking up at the BIG mountain while laying low at 15,000 feet.

I look forward to sharing some great material with you. Pictures, vids, stories...Everything enduro! However, I want to take this journey with you. In fact, I would love to hear some of your stories as well. Your best enduro pics...of course! In our world of enduro, I know there are some crazy things that happen. So, for next time, feel free to send me your best pic of your mangled and crashed bikes. I want to see your piles of metal. The totally destroyed bike that you wish hadn't hit the rock. I want to see destruction...send one my way. On that note, you won't want to miss the next issue. The theme: Destruction...and do I have a story to tell.

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I think I can buff that out!!! The story will be revealed next issue...Stay tuned.

I invite you to follow along for a bunch of crazy enduro stories, pics, and vids that will make you proud to be part of the club. See you next time!

Keep the wheels down!

To follow this blog, please click http://www.thumpertalk.com/blog/9/entry-126-have-you-ever-hurled-at-the-starting-gate/#or on the "follow blog" button on the upper right of the page. Thanks for following along.

Yeah, I thought I would throw in a little video of a recent ride in Cusco...a little taste of some of the action to come...enjoy!

Scott

Scott Englund owns and operates MotoMission Peru, a high end, hard enduro, social enterprise in Cusco, Peru, South America. Dirtbikes and enduro riders are paired together for hard enduro adventures through the Andes of Peru. For more information, check out the official website of MotoMission Peru at www.motomissionperu.com

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