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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

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Trail Tip #1...Don't Forget Your Brain

Over the course of my time in the saddles of various colors of dirt bikes, I have come across numerous situations where a little ingenuity and preparation was the difference between a horrible disaster and a sweet adventure. Let’s start with letting the cat out of the bag. There are a million and one ways to fix various issues. However, we can all agree that when the inevitable happens (its dirt biking and you will break things), having a clear and logical fix might be the thing that saves your day and that of your riding partners. Each bike has its weak spots. One that I find is more universal is the clutch cover. I have managed to see holes in every one of my Hondas, Huskies, and KTM’s. Early on in my trail riding days, I discovered this stuff called JB weld (a cold weld epoxy compound). I first used it to connect the foot pegs back to the four stripped out bolt holes in the bottom of the case of my XR 80. I don’t have any pictures as it was a long time ago. However, that stuff was the solution for many a problem over the years. When I started riding in Peru, JB Weld wasn’t available. However, there was another thing that looked really similar. Soldi-Mix. I am guessing it’s even a little better as they can use more toxic and dangerous ingredients in some other parts of the world. This story starts with a couple of bikes, mostly stock, and two anxious fellas in search of a couple of amazing routes. Weston and I had been spending our time ripping all over the areas around the city of Cusco as our goal was to begin to map out trails in the area in order to understand the system for my MotoMission clients. These were the early days. Before I knew any better.   There was an exquisite trail that I had paid good money to hike. It was a five day excursion complete with mules, backpacks, guides, and some good buddies that were not dirt bikers. However, the first time I hiked it, I realized just how fun it would be on a dirt bike and had to come back someday. My someday had come. Weston and I planned to go from Cusco to Santa Teresa over the Salkantay pass. Google Salkantay and you will find millions of pictures and stories from tourist that have done the route on foot. We headed out early in the AM, worked our way through the valley, then down to the base of the route at a little town called Mollepata. We stayed in a nappy little hostel, ate what we could find, and rested for the day to come. This hole was so big we patched it with a coin...   Morning arrived and off we went. The next place to stay was in the jungle on the other side of the pass. We committed to reaching the top and continuing down to Santa Teresa and eventually looping around back to Cusco. Over the course of the morning, we fought a tough battle with wet rock, mud, swollen creeks, ice and snow, and tons of altitude. Little by little we made it to the top. We celebrated and quickly began the descent toward the jungle. Within a couple hundreds of yards from the top, Weston found himself dropping off a rocky ledge and punching his rear brake lever deep into the clutch cover. All the oil was gone in a matter of seconds. As we sat there wondering what to do, I certainly felt a sense of panic as I had not prepared well for the trip.  I had done this before, although it was in the US and not such a ways from civilization. First, we had a hole in the side of the motor. Second, we had no oil to refill the tranny. Third, which we found out later, we had no tow strap. What did we do? We learned a handful of valuable lessons. First, the bike was damaged at 15000ft elevation. Our destination was down in the jungle at 8,000ft. It was mostly downhill. However, there were a number of climbs that proved to be nearly impossible without the motor pushing the bike forward. We chose not to use the motor and coast as much as possible, but when we reached the first section of trail that went uphill, we quickly found ourselves in a bind.  I managed to find an old alpaca herder that had a twisted piece of twine that I bought for a couple of good days wages. It was all worth it. Let that be the first one…BRING A TOW STRAP OR SMALL SECTION OF ROPE. We made it to the town of Santa Teresa well into the night, and found a place to stay. However, we still had a hole in the clutch cover. This is where I discovered the value of a cold weld compound like JB Weld or SoldiMix…Second lesson learned…ALWAYS CARRY COLD WELD. For the equivalent of three bucks, I found a pack with a two-tube epoxy mix. You squeeze together equal amounts, stir it up really well, then apply the toothpaste textured goop over the hole in the clutch cover. Over the course of about 20 minutes, it dried and was ready for use. A scrounge around town to find some motorcycle worthy oil, and Weston and I were back in business. A couple of lessons I learned on this one. Always carry a new pack of Soldimix (cold weld compound). Always carry a small section of rope or tow strap. Had we had those items, we would have fixed the problem on site, rode down the hill and finished our ride as planned.   We may have needed the tow strap later for something else, but with the Soldimix, we could have taken a small bit of the oil from the other bike and made it work. A pack of Soldimix takes up only a tiny little space in a fanny pack. It can be duct taped to the frame somewhere if you don’t want to carry it. The weight/volume vs the benefits is a no brainer. Sure, you can’t take everything, but when it comes to an efficient use of space, bring a cold weld kit. If you forget it, then make sure you have your tow strap. The final thing to never leave at home is your brain. Sometimes people are gifted with being able to make solutions. If that is not you, then read about it. Thumpertalk is full of amazing little trail tricks and creative ways to fix your bike without certain tools. You can fill your mental toolbox up with a couple of good forum threads, then take it with you. If you are good at figuring things out, all the better, but DON’T FORGET YOUR BRAIN.

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

A Thousand Words

Over the course of my time riding dirtbikes, I have snapped thousands of pictures to capture any single moment of one of my adventures. Each picture taken with a purpose, eventually ends up on a hard drive, an old photo album, or gets deleted before anyone else has a chance to see it.
That'll bend out... The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words carries a lot of wisdom. Without a word, a picture can tell a number of stories, reach into the soul of the viewer, and generate every form of emotion. I found myself the other day looking back through some of my pictures. I was digging deep into the recesses of my laptop files and ran across a number of albums that begged me to take a peak. I am glad I did. That's why we ride! What I found was a mixture of albums titles that stretched from locations, dates, titles of events or activities, and the always so exciting “Random Pics” file. As I scrolled through the options, my heart went back to the places and times that the pictures were taken. It spurred a thought…Some of the best times in my life have been in the saddle of a dirtbike. I have taken pictures of many of those adventures. If there was one picture that I could pull out of all of the thousands of options, which would be the one that tells the best story? A helmet full of of joy! So there you have it. We are going to do a Photo Story contest. I have an official MotoMission Peru jersey or T shirt for the winner. I’ll build a panel of judges to determine which picture tells the best story. Send me your favorite picture with any dirt bike theme. That can be pretty wide open as long as the judge can tell it has something to do with dirtbikes or riding. One picture per TT member. It must be your own photo and by submitting, you are giving Thumpertalk.com permission to use it. Make sure it tells the viewer a story. Please submit your entry to Scott@motomissionperu.com or send it via TT message. Entry deadline is the 15th of November and the winner will be announced during next month’s post.   I am looking forward to hearing your stories through a lens.   Until the next one, Scottiedawg

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

My Best Shot

I thought it would be interesting to do a write up about getting a particular shot. Seems pretty narrow of a topic, but let me put some perspective to it so you can understand what goes into making a film ready for the screen. The video below is the result of what took place in the story that follows it: Sometimes the camera grabs the right thing I want to tell my story in a way that entertains, inspires, and just makes any person on the planet want to go out and ride a dirtbike. The story includes many of my passions. Dirt Biking, exploring, cinematography, and thrill seeking via whatever comes across my path. In my attempts to bring the story to the screen, I have taken thousands of video clips, sound bites, and photos. I have seen a progression of quality over the course of the film project. I feel a lot more capable of going out and producing something more visually pleasing than when I first started. I don’t want to spill all the beans, but on a recent film shoot, I went out with an idea to get a particular shot. I wanted a majestic “top of the world” shot that would blow minds.  I wanted it to include a motorcycle and a man. My hope was to make the shot tell a specific story. The story was to include reaching a goal, risking much to do so, and receiving an award for the hard work. That’s where I started. In prep the night before the film shoot, I gathered all the equipment needed. Drone batteries charged and firmware all updated. Extra cords and propellers in case something goes wrong. SD card formatted, ND filter kit cleaned up, fuel tank topped off, and the chain lubed. I check the tire pressures and fluids on the Honda CRF 450x. It’s my favorite steed. It always gets me there and back. Sorry for the view! An early morning rise will allow me to reach the film site when the sun is coming up. My hope is that there will be some clouds. I cannot control that, but based on the last few mornings, it looks like it should be good. My head hits the pillow as I go back through my memory bank of perfect picture places. Pachatusan is the location. It’s a huge mountain, 16000ft that sits just behind my house. There are two rock points that I have in mind. I can put my bike on these points, although it’s not an easy ride, but it’s worth the shot. Five in the morning brings first light. I get up, gear up, and head out in short order. I ride smooth and fast for 30 minutes from my house to reach the spot. Yup, it’s pretty. I get all giddy because of the way the scenery holds the colors, the silhouettes, and overwhelming views that just don’t seem real. I begin to set up the drone. My plan is to do a point of interest shot which places the camera on a center area, while the drone does a circle around the point of interest. If I set the angles just right, I capture the portion of the ride up to the rocky point. I prepare the drone for flight, start the camera, and fly it over the point of interest to set the drone flight pattern. I set the camera exposure, shooting in 4k, with a 4mph circling speed. Now it’s time to get the shot. I set the controller on the ground, hop on my bike, and get ready for the drone to pass a spot on its circle. Once it reaches the right spot, I begin to ride up the gnarly rock to reach the point. It’s scary, but I have done it before and know what I am up against. My first attempt was foiled as my impatience and hurry somehow broke my concentration as I crashed out before reaching the top. The batteries are limited and I used a bunch of the time to set up the shot. In the first case, I had to go back and replace the battery and set up the shot again because of my crash. Second times a charm. On the second attempt, I set it all up much faster. This time, I patiently do it right. I ride up the rocky point flawlessly and place my tires on the rock outcropping. It drops off hundreds of feet. I feel a queasy sensation as I look down into the canyon. It’s funny, but the thoughts of my clutch cable snapping at the moment that I roll my tire up to the edge of the cliff give me the heeby jeebies. Dirtbikes are such a mind game. I stay there for a moment, I look around in awe, then I shake my head in disbelief that I can actually exist in a place like that. I forget that I am filming because I am so blown away at what’s in front of me. Regardless, I get the shot. It’s not over. I still have to get back and edit the footage. Opening the file for the first time to watch the raw scene, is always a thrill. It’s like a kid opening a Christmas present. Just a little screenshot! Once I review the whole scene, then I put the raw footage into my editing software and clip and cut it to exactly what I want. I tweak the color if need be and add an effect or size it up to fit like I want. There is something magical when it all comes together. I know its film, but it gives me the same feeling as when I am facing an impossible hill climb. I decide to give it my best and most aggressive shot and I rip all the way to the top. Surprised and thrilled at the same moment, I scream and raise my fist in celebration to the guys down below. Yeah, that is the thrill that has pushed me to reach the end of this film project. I am hoping to have the film released for video on demand after the film festivals. There is always the chance that it might get picked up by a media buyer as well. Not sure where this thing is going to go, but I can sleep well at night knowing that I reached my goal. I finished. Make sure to stay tuned right here as I will keep you TT peeps up to speed on the film. I also will be keeping the official film page on Facebook up to date. It’s called Never Ride Alone Film. Make sure to give it a like and share the heck out of it. I am pretty sure the moto community has never seen a film project quite like this one... A solo movie experience completely created by one hard enduro guy who loves dirtbikes as much as anybody on ThumperTalk. Thanks for following along, but if you're note, tap that "follow" button up top to be notified of when I post new stories. Scottiedawg


scottiedawg

scottiedawg

The Best Cure for Jetlag

Well, here goes my latest ride…I must say it was one of my favorites. Granted, when I started I was dreading it. I was coming off a knee injury that has kept me off a bike for about three months. In addition, I was arriving from the US to Cusco (11000 ft elevation) on the day the tour started. It was a bit different than a normal tour, as the guys were from the southern part of Peru. In fact, one of the riders was training for the 2019 Dakar that will take place in Peru next January.  The fellas knew I would be arriving and had planned on me not being there for the first day.
Cusco Peru - Home Sweet Home!
I hit the ground in Cusco and started feeling the urge to ride, then decided to go for it. The 20 some odd hours of flight that led up to me gearing up and heading out was tough, but I wanted to ride so bad.
Looks like a commercial for Husqvarna 2-strokes, huh? 
  I connected with the fellas and told them I was in and would meet up as soon as I could gear up. They put me in charge of the guiding job as we were in my backyard. I knew exactly what they wanted.   We hit some legendary trails. I got in three of the finest days of hard enduro that one can imagine. I am gonna let the pictures do the talking. When it was all said and done, we had hit every type of weather from sun to snow, altitudes from 8000ft to almost 16000ft and back all in the same day, got stopped with waist deep snow just 200 yds from the top of the pass, broke a few parts on the bikes, and snapped a million pictures. It was just another reminder as to why I love this sport! Riding in this place has been a privilege. I have filled my memory bank with some of the most incredible rides, scenery, and experiences that one can imagine. Enjoy the pictures!   On Another Note… Many of you have been following along with the Never Ride Alone film documentary project that I have been working on over the past few years. I am happy to announce that the film is complete and ready to show. The next step in the process is to enter into the film festival arena before the typical video on demand or DVD sales are available. The reason for this is that most film festivals will not allow you in if you have previously distributed the film. So, just hang in there a bit longer and then it will be available for purchase through various distribution options. Also, if you have not followed the official film page on Facebook, make sure to follow at Never Ride Alone Film. There you will be kept up to speed on the happenings, release dates, and film festival showings. There might just be one in your area. Check out the trailer below to get you excited for the movie.    

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

I CAN SEE THE CHECKERED FLAG

Thumpertalk member Mark McMillan sporting a cool new jersey Congrats to Mark McMillan on the cool new Motomission Peru jersey! Mark submitted his opinion on our latest Never Ride Alone film contest and he was picked as the winner. Thanks to all of those that sent in their opinions and votes for the official movie poster. Here is the poster with the most votes! THE WINNING POSTER The Never Ride Alone film is moving forward toward the finish line. I am excited as ever to finally see this thing on a big screen. The final touches are being completed and this thing should be ready to hit the film festival circuit. Make sure to stay connected via the official Never Ride Alone film page on Facebook. Also, I will continue to post information and distribution dates on this blog as it comes available. Below is a self interview about the film. My hope is that you can gain a bit of insight into whats to come on the screen. Hope you enjoy. Also, make sure to watch the official trailer if you want to see what the film might be like. THE OFFICIAL NEVER RIDE ALONE FILM TRAILER   What motivated me to make this movie? Originally, the idea was to take a group of guys( and dear friends)  that raced in the 2007 Baja 1000 and do a ten year reunion ride from the Amazon Jungle, from one side of the Andes to the other, and reach the beach of the Pacific Ocean on the western coast of Peru. For various reasons, that project had to be postponed. The current Never Ride Alone project is actually the backup project that was mostly filmed during the time that was set aside for the original project. I love making film. It started back when I was in grade school decades ago. I had a media class where we experimented with video equipment and I just got hooked. I also love to tell stories. What better way to match up my passions for film, storytelling, exploring, and dirtbike riding?   A COMMON BACKDROP IN THE ANDES OF PERU How long have you been working on this project? It began with an idea about three years ago. From there, the dream never stopped. It sure brought out the naysayers. When you dream big, it draws negativity like a magnet. I had to decide if I wanted to listen to it or make my dream a reality. I am still up to my neck in this thing. ANOTHER PERFECT TRAIL   What have you learned along the process of making the film? Most of all, I learned about Scott Englund. It was like a gym. Each day I would work out to make myself stronger, faster, and better. Not just in physical strength, but in mental endurance, technical riding ability, filmmaking, and problem solving.  When you watch the film, there is a profound theme that follows a "never give up" attitude that one must have to reach a goal. There have been hundreds of valid reasons to give up. The value of finishing the project is more than throwing in the towel. Why is Peru the stage for the film? I live here. I ride these mountains daily. I know what a treasure and privilege it is to do what I do. I am like a kid that just received the coolest present for Christmas and has nobody with whom to share. Of the hundreds of thousands of hard core dirtbikers in the world, only a fraction ever have the opportunity to ride in these mountains. I love showing off my back yard to other riders. I am hoping that you come and ride with me some day. It's perfectly beautiful. Don't get me wrong, there are other beautiful places in the world, but this is as exotic as it gets. Millions of acres to myself. Its hard to wrap your mind around, but literally millions of acres without another dirtbike out there. They don't make rules to keep dirtbikes out. They would have to make the law just for me.  The trails are endless. I have hundreds of routes that I have yet to tackle. No way in my lifetime will be able to explore each one. There are hundreds of trails that have never seen the tires of a dirtbike.  When you put the landscape and the mystique of the Andes together with trails that  dirtbikers can only dream about, you get a perfect stage for a film. What's the theme of the movie? The perfect movie stage It's a solo project. I chose to build a film without the help of a crew to see if it was possible. I carried all the equipment in my pockets and backpack, I set up each shot, rode through many of them,  and edited and developed the story along the way. My goal was to create a visually pleasing film that would trick the viewer into thinking that there was a crew that helped in the process, but it was just me(with the exception of a few parts outside of my riding story). It's a dirtbiking film. The riding is real... no stunt people, no special effects, just me and my bike. However the story is universal. It's about choosing and challenging oneself with an impossible journey, preparing to tackle it, and then stacking up a bunch of obstacles on top of the impossible just to push myself even further. My goal is to show an ordinary dude in a real life dirtbike story facing eminent failure, but giving 100% anyways.  If I can motivate one person to think differently and go a bit further without giving up, then the film was a success. I also wanted to create a film that makes you want to ride. I am pretty sure this will do it. MY TRAINING GROUND When will the film be ready for purchase by the general public? I am currently finishing up the final editing touches in order to be ready to enter a number of film festivals. Generally, films become available for distribution at the end of the festival circuit.  There are a number of variables in the mix. If it is well received by the festival world, then the distribution will have a much wider spread. That is my hope.   Make sure to follow along by liking the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/neverridealonemovie/   Big things to come, Scottiedawg Scott Englund and his family run a high end dirtbike adventure operation in Cusco, Peru called MotoMission Peru. They operate the business as a social enterprise and donate 100% of the profits from the business to support local social projects in the Cusco area. Check it out at www.MotoMissionperu.com. .

C'mon Dad!

Over the course of my time operating MotoMission Peru, I have had various opportunities to host/guide dirt bike adventures with other riders. I have a special place in my heart for father/son adventures. I guess it must have something to do with the sentiment I have with my dad.   Official MotoMission Tour Video...Check the others on our Youtube Channel   Dirtbikes and Dads go together When Tony and Joran contacted me about doing a tour, my excitement level rose. A father/son combo with limited dirt bike experience would be a challenge, but a welcome one. I normally cater to seasoned riders, but his one would put a different pressure on me as the guide. I needed to push these guys to their limits, while completing a route within our time frame of four days. The terrain needed to fit both the skill level and the distance we needed to cover each day. The fellas wanted to roll their tires over some amazing parts of Peru, get some mind blowing pics,  and live to tell about it. A face with a smile tells a story My work was cut out for me. I put Joran on a crf 230 because of his size and experience. Dad, Tony, was on the Husky 300, I rode a Honda 450x. I figured I could swap out with one of them if I needed. Bike selection worked out perfectly. The route itself was ideal. It was a mix of single track, some rough two track, and some free ride(go where ever you want) type of stuff. It was perfect to try a hand at hill climbs, scare oneself silly on rock fixtures, and put the tires on the edge of mountain ledges to make the heart flutter a bit. The ride was fantastic. Tony and Joran both expanded their riding level to new heights. In fact, I was able to coach the guys on various little riding tricks that someone showed me along my journey.  Stand up more, focus eyes on where you want to go,  as well as some mechanics of body positioning and how it relates to traction and control. It was a bit of a seminar/riding school/test day. No doubt that the guys are better riders now. I thoroughly enjoyed that part of the tour.

The view they wanted to see!
  When it all boils down, we had a fantastic four days of riding. Each were pushed to the limit various times each day. When the heads hit the pillows each night, it took no time for the sleep to begin.  Smiles were abundant, and there were no shortages of whoops, hollars, and high fives.

Certainly another successful tour!   MotoMission Peru is a social enterprise operated by Scott Englund. If you want to see the Andes via dirtbike, this is how to do it. High quality in every aspect. Service, guide, routes, equipment, and overall experience cannot be beat. Contact Scott via Thumpertalk messaging or at scott@motomissionperu.com for more information.
 

Don't Ride Naked

Want one of these cool jerseys? We need your help picking out the best film poster. My last post highlighted a moto documentary film that will be coming out soon. Its called Never Ride Alone. Make sure to follow the official Facebook movie page at Never Ride Alone Film https://www.facebook.com/neverridealonemovie/ to stay up to speed on the release dates and film festival showings.#neverridealonefilm s   As I am in the final stages of putting the finishing touches on the film project. I find myself in a spot where I need some help. So, I thought I would find some good old Thumpertalk advice. Instead of asking for opinions on which is the best oil, guaranteed to bring a thousand opinions,  I thought I would ask opinions on movie poster options. What better way to prod you for a response than to make it a contest. Here goes. I have an official MotoMission Peru jersey to give away to one of the TT members that cast their vote for the movie poster. All of the votes will be taken into account, a list will be made of each person that provides a vote, and one of the names will be randomly drawn. The winner gets a sweet jersey out of the deal, just like the one in the picture above.
  Option 1, 2 or 3...Pick your favorite and message me for a chance to win an official MotoMission jersey
  The Official Never Ride Alone Film Trailer I am not sure if you caught my last post, but I shared the official movie trailer with the TT community. Here it is again in case you missed it. It should get you excited for the film. The film is about exploring the Andes mountains of Peru on a dirtbike, and its filmed, directed, and produced by a dirtbiker.  I will let the trailer do the rest of the teasing. As for the film, many have asked about release dates. The film should be finished during the summer of 2018. It will be released in the film festival scene first. From there, it can take a few different paths, but it will be available for purchase after the film festival circuit is complete. Again, make sure to follow the official Facebook movie page at Never Ride Alone Film to stay tuned to festival schedule and showings near you. I am looking forward to tallying up your votes. Also, stay on the lookout for a sweet movie coming soon. Until the next one, Scottiedawg   Scott Englund is the owner/operator of MotoMission Peru, a social enterprise hard enduro operation nestled in the Andes Mountains of Cusco, Peru. Check out our website at www.motomissionperu.com or find us on Facebook at MotoMission Peru.  Feel free to follow along this blog for ride adventures in exotic places, with amazing people, and with some incredible experiences along the way. www.motomissionperu.com
https://www.facebook.com/neverridealonemovie/
 

Organic Dirtbike Film coming soon

The official Never Ride Alone film trailer   A couple of years ago, a big dream of mine began manifesting itself into a huge film project. The story has been there since our group of buddies took on the 2007  Baja 1000. We put together a hodge podge team of riders/friends to take on one of the coolest races on the planet. One that we had all dreamed about as kids...some day. The idea of the story was to bring the same team of riders together, ten years later,  to take on another impossible. Ride from the Peruvian Amazon Jungle through the entire Andes Mountain range, and end up at the beach on the Pacific Coast of Peru. No route, just overland enduro. Navigating however we could manage to reach our destination.  The plan was being put together by a professional film producer and director. The film and support crews were being built, the logistics plan was developing, and the excitement from the riders was explosive. At the finish line 2007 Baja 1000 Our project took a tough turn. With a number of obstacles in our way, we postponed the project until the right pieces lined up. In the meantime, there was a section of two months that I had blocked out for filming and doing the ride. I had arranged to keep that time free and not schedule any tours or travel. Capturing stories on film... During the months leading up to our original film date, a backup film project reared its head. I could see things unraveling with our original project and didn't want to lose two months without anything planned.  I developed the idea of doing a solo film project. This one would be all on my shoulders. Nobody to count on but me. No film crews. No other riders...just my bike, my backpack, and my camera. The Andes are a special place I am now at the final stages of completing the project. It's been a couple of years in the making. I thought I would share the trailer with the Thumpertalk community and let the cat out of the bag so to speak.  I still have a lot of finish work to do, but the end is near. I am currently building the promotion and marketing side of the distribution effort. Make sure to like and follow our Facebook movie page at Never Ride Alone Film. From there, all the updates and release information will be available. Some alone time... As with everything we do at MotoMission, the film project is another one of our endeavors to help support social projects in the area of Cusco, Peru.  Our hope is that the proceeds from the film will help support our partners at the Altivas Canas Children's Project for many years into the future.. Enjoy the trailer...And be on the lookout for an exciting film journey through the Andes by another Thumpertalk member gearhead and budding filmmaker.   Scott Englund Owner/Operator MotoMission Peru    

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

Ready! Camera! Action! Making Your Ride Video POP!

So many of us have one. We drag it around each ride. Some mount it to our helmets, some put it on a chest, and yet some use it with a tripod. The action camera has been a catalyst in the world of sports to bring all of its excitement to a screen near you. I remember back in college duct taping a big VHS camera around our bodies as we leapt off bridges. We loved to revisit the adventure later on. There is something captivating about sharing experiences with others. It's part of a visual storytelling phenomenon in which many have become addicted. I am one of them. Have you ever sat through a treacherous three minute ride video that your buddy put together? He was so stoked about it, but as you reached the 20 second mark you wanted to do something else? Was it all taken from the latest GoPro mounted on his helmet? The sound consisted of a wound out two stroke at blaring levels? Yeah, I've been there. In fact, that may have been one of my earlier videos. I ride dirtbikes in one of the coolest places on the planet. As I have been exploring the backcountry of Peru over the years, I have picked up some great ride shots via my handy little GoPro. Times have changed a bit with technology. Now, I capture 4k footage straight onto my phone, I can fly a drone above and beyond to bring even better footage back home to show the audience. The mount options are infinite as well as the gadgets for taking different shots. All of this technology has opened up a new passion for me. I have combined my longing to lay my tires on new tracks with the thrill of capturing the right shot. I also love to write and tell stories. Over the past decade, I have developed a pet peeve with bad videos. I certainly cannot claim to be top drawer when it comes to talent, but there are a few things that I have learned along the way that can help you put better videos together. I have included my latest ride video of a group of three guys and myself that hammered our way through some great riding in the Andes of Peru. It is more of a ride video and not much of a story video. My plan is to use it as an example. Whether you think it's good or bad is your opinion.  My hope is that you can improve the viewability of your videos with just a couple of practical and simple to use techniques. Besides, you want people to enjoy your work.
  Keep the camera still Whenever possible, use a tripod, a rock, a prop up device to keep the camera from moving while taking the shot. This goes for those that are using basic stuff. If you don't have a gimbal (most riders don't carry one around in their tool pouch) use creativity to figure out a way to place your camera on a solid spot. Personally I almost always use a flexible, three legged tripod to mount my Samsung S7. I can place it anywhere, I keep it in my pocket on my riding pants, and can set it up before the guys come around the corner and into the shot. Take short clips If you have ever spent much time editing, you understand. Large files have to be processed by your computer even if you only want a three second clip of a 45 minute file. Another reason to keep them short is for entertainment purposes. Mainstream movies change camera views and angles each few seconds. Its so you don't get bored with the film. Same thing goes for your ride video. Mix it up where possible. Many Points of View As I mentioned above, changing camera angles will make your video easier to watch. If you watch a 5 minute video of the same helmet mounted GoPro footage, you might die. It's boring for most everybody that wasn't on the bike. Its OK to use helmet mounts, but change the scene. Stop and film your buddies zipping by as they bang through the rocks. Pan around and take in some pretty scenes. Follow along on that gnarly section of trail. Get in your buddy's face and ask him about how he crashed. Film a high five or fist bump. Mix those in with your video and you will make it much more enjoyable to watch. Length of Video Keep your edits between two and three minutes preferably, and under five minutes for best audience gain. Many of the professionals on social media talk about how important it is to keep things short. People have little windows of time that they can sneak in a Youtube video. If you have a 45 minute movie, they probably won't be able to check it out while on their coffee break. They also won't run over to Charlie and say, "Hey, check this one out!"  In my experience, it's like pricing...Keep it under the minute markers...do a 2:59 second video instead of a 3:02 video. In general, the shorter the better. I try to keep ride videos to the three to four minute mark per day. Pack the best stuff in there and get rid of the rest. People will watch your videos much more often. In addition, there are limits on social media for file size and video quality. Last thing you want to do is make a cool video to find out the file is too big for your Facebook page. Keep Edits Simple You don't need to add a million crazy transitions or graphics. Unless it is done well, its more of a distraction. Transition from shot to shot with basic cuts. Is easier and works well with ride videos. The Rule of Thirds This is a time tested film and photo basic...Take your screen and divide it into thirds, up and down and side to side. Basically make a tic tac toe board on your screen. Place your subject in one of the corners of the middle square. If you have a full length subject that takes most of the height of the screen, place the subject on one of the up and down lines. It creates perspective and makes a better shot. Same goes with horizons and mountain backgrounds. Place them on one of the horizontal thirds to make your image more pleasing.

Subject is not centered in the middle of the frame...but rather on one of the 1/3 lines.   Sound If you don't record good sound with your video, don't put it in there. If you are making a sandwich and the bread is bad, it will make your whole sandwich bad, even if you have the best cheese and meat. Cover up with clear voice over or music. Smart phones usually have good sound recording for videos. Use the best you have available, and if you have little to work with, put in more music. Story You are trying to tell as story each time you make a video. Keep an eye out for things that stand out to make your story interesting. A wreck, funny things people say, beautiful scenery, obstacles and struggles, and anything else that stands out in your story. Highlight it with clips that you have taken and your video will be better for it. As for the video that I included in the post, look it over. I have put many of these principles into practice. It's not perfect, but imagine what it would be like to have only on point of view, or mumbled GoPro sound? Do yourself and your friends a favor and make those videos more entertaining to watch. Until the next time...keep the wheels down. Scottiedawg   Scott Englund is a social entrepreneur living in Cusco Peru. Scott operates MotoMission Peru, which offers super exotic hard enduro tours through the Andes. You can check out MotoMission Peru by visiting the website at www.Motomissionperu.com or find them on Facebook or check out other ride videos and media on the MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures YouTube Channel. Feel free to contact Scott right here through TT if you have any questions about MotoMission Peru.
 

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

Cheers to Cusco

Peter Weiss is a name in the Hard Enduro world that you have most likely heard of. This is the guy that gets contracted by race organizations to build hard enduro race tracks. Look him up sometime...He has a long list of great race courses under his belt. In addition he does enduro schools and exhibitions that usually accompany his travels to various parts of the world. While Peter was in Peru laying out the route for the El Inka Hard Enduro, he wanted to come out to Cusco and do some tourism stuff as well as pack a couple of good days of riding into his
schedule. It was ON! This is what its like to ride the Andes with a pro!

I don't always have the chance to ride with pro level riders like Peter. What I like about it most is that I get a chance to stretch my ability by trying new things. I can't take big risks when riding solo, which is what I do most of the time. So Peter shows up and my buddy Alex and I decide to show him some of what the Andes are all about. Big mountains that stretch up to the 16,000 ft mark just behind my house. He was stoked to give it a go. We rode for two days, covered a bunch of types of terrain, and returned home with huge smiles on our faces.  I will let the video do the talking. This guy likes the routes tight and crazy...He got what he wanted!   Keep your eyes out for Peter Weiss. He puts down some killer GPS tracks for a number of races in South America and other parts of the world.  Check out The El Inka Hard Enduro(ZICK is the race organization) in Peru which takes place around the beginning of December. Peter's route this past race left only a small handful to reach the finish line... Mario Roman took home the prize. I always look forward to riding with Peter.  If you get a chance to take part in an enduro school of his, you won't be disappointed. Enjoy the video and make sure to follow this blog so you can stay tuned to what's happening in the enduro world of Peru...   Wheels down,

Scottiedawg Scott Englund of MotoMission Peru is a social entrepreneur who puts together hard enduro tours in the Andes of Peru. Feel free to contact Scott via this blog, or catch up with him on Facebook at MotoMission Peru. Also, you can see all of his tour videos and more on the official MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures channel on Youtube.
     

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

Alpacas in the Crosswalk

Guiding groups of dirtbikers through the Andes of Peru is surreal. First of all, it is a huge privilege to be able to do what I do. I love riding dirtbikes as much as anybody possibly can. Combine that with serving others by leading groups on various trails, providing communication support such as translating a menu, or taking a picture or video to help recall the memory at a later date, these are the things that I do. There are many other tasks as well, but to simplify things, my job isn't much of a job. It's pure joy!
    I always love it when people take a daring step towards something adventurous; Quitting a job to travel, starting a business, becoming a volunteer, adopting a child. This seems to be where life really gets exciting. Most of the people that join me on dirt bike tours are just that...They take the steps that most won't.  I love hanging out with these kinds of peeps.
Recently, a couple of guys got in touch with me about doing a three day ride. One of the guys had a lot of dirtbike experience, but it was a couple of years back. The other, had experience, but it was 25 years back. This poses a challenge for a guy like me who has a duty to my customers to provide a legendary motorcycle experience. How can I mix these two friends up, show them some amazing back country of Peru, and somehow keep them safe, cover the necessary ground to complete the route, and assure them a plethora of smiles? It was a tall order, but I was willing to give it a go.

I asked a lot of questions in order to get to know these guys a bit. Each customer is different and will respond to risk, thrill, fatigue, and stress in various ways. I put a plan together to cover a route that had all the elements to satisfy the more experienced rider, but also have easier options in case anyone was overwhelmed with the trail level. These guys put it all out there. We made it. I pushed their limits, gave them the thrill they were looking for, and had an amazing time getting to know a couple of great fellas.

The whole experience is one that I give to my customers, but I also reap the benefit of the adventure. I often receive the privilege of lighting a flame of dirtbike passion in someone who may have lost it a while back. A few days after the trip, one of the guys let me know he was in the market for a new dirtbike...That's music to my ears.

It's always a tough one to match skills in a group so that everyone can ride at the same level. In fact, it is almost impossible. However, I often deal with the differences. In this case, I used a smaller bike, had various route options, allowed the faster rider the freedom to freeride, and used a lot of flexibility in the plan. By the end of the first day, the lack of the past 25 years of riding became a non issue. A few tips, some verbal encouragement, and a reassurance that our team will make it to the other side was all that was needed. What a thrill it is for me to assist a customer to overcome obstacles on the trail!

Do yourself and another rider a favor by opening up and being that mentor to help a newbie learn what someone taught you. We are all recipients of someone else's experiences. It costs little to share, but opens up a world to those who want to experience what we have.

Make sure to check out the video to see what it's like to ride in the Andes of Peru! Until the next time, keep the wheels down!

Scottiedawg Scott Englund is a seasoned hard enduro guide, explorer, and social entrepreneur living and operating MotoMission Peru in the heart of the Andes of Peru. MotoMission puts together a high end hard enduro tour filled with every kind of amazing you can think of. Contact Scott at Scott@motomissionperu.com to find out more about riding in the Andes.    

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

Anybody wanna race hard enduro in Peru?

Hard enduro has really developed rapidly here in Peru. In fact, it was just a few years ago when the first, what I would call legit race was held. The El Inka Hard Enduro entered the stage with a bang. After Jorge Nieto and Branko Bozovich of Lima, spent some time traveling around the world to participate in some of the hard enduro favorites like Romaniacs, Sea to Sky, Avandarocks, Ukupacha and so on, they decided to take a shot and organize the first hard enduro race in Peru under the umbrella of ZICK, a company founded with the purpose of developing hard enduro in Peru. This is the 2016 Race Video...Check it out!   The courage to chase down the idea came after some big names like Cyril Despres, Gio Sala, Chris Birch and Martin Freinademetz came to Peru and stated what Jorge and Branko had known for a while: Peru has some of the most amazing terrain for hard enduro in the world.

In order to obtain a world class track for El Inka Hard Enduro they contacted Peter Weiss, a popular name in Hard Enduro, he came out and developed the route along with the local knowledge provided by Zick. This guy knows how to build a race course! The race was held in San Bartolo, which is a cool desert riding area just south of Peru's capital city of Lima. The race brought in some good talent. An entourage of riders from Lima wanted to give it a go. In addition, a handful of guys from Mexico came down and if I recall, a rider from Equator. A Spaniard living in Peru, throw me in there to represent the US, and there you have it...the birth of an amazing international hard enduro race event. There were about 85 racers if I recall. The race was as organized as anything I have ever seen in Peru. I was pleasantly surprised as it exceeded my expectations. The prologue was a fun obstacle riddled course on the beach in Lima. Great for the spectators to enjoy, a challenge for the riders to make it around especially as the tide came in, and a convenient place for an event to bring the new sport to light. Fast forward one year to the second El Inka and we found the likes of Kyle Redmond and Cory Graffunder. The reigning champ from Mexico, Didier "Frodo" Goirand also came back to defend his title. This time Jorge and Branko developed a track that was basically drawn out in Google Earth and supported by their "weekend warrior" knowledge of the area. For year two, they brought Peter Weiss and his buddy Mike Skinner to put the final touches on the route. They spent countless hours marking trails and figuring out ways to destroy the riders...It was perfect. Just what we were all wanting...another impossible route with a super slim chance of making it to the finish.
The prologue was bigger, better, and devoured a few more riders this time. Each rider got to take two separate laps to qualify for the semi, then the top eight of the sixteen in the semis raced for a cash prize and choice of starting position for the following day.  Again, the prologue was a fantastic spectator event that is just fun for anyone to watch, let alone someone that likes motorcycles.
The second day was a three lap time trial. The course was intermediate in level and about 15 miles. Each rider took at least one lap. If satisfied with their time, they could bow out. If not, there were two more chances to better their position. Day two's results determined the starting line-up for the final day.
Day three was the big race. The first dozen positions started seconds apart, then paired up two at a time until all the riders were on the course. The course was laid out in four sections. The first was Iron/Acero which was the easiest level. Some of the riders had it in mind to reach the end of the Iron/Acero section and that would be a success. Then came the Bronze/Bronce section. The technical level went up and began to create some traffic and chaos on the course. After the Bronze/Bronce section was the Silver/Plata section. This was the part that took out most of the field. Many good riders threw in the towel during this phase or at the final silver checkpoint. Gold/Oro, was a hideous mix of obstacles intended to test the best of the riders. Only a handful made it into this section. An even smaller number made it to the end. Of course, the winner was the one who reached the finish line first after completing all the stages. Cory Graffunder came out on top. It was another successful year for the El Inka Hard Enduro.   Year three is coming up. December 1-2 will be the 3rd annual El Inka Hard Enduro. Sounds like Kyle Redmond is coming back, Cory Graffunder will be defending his title and another name from the States will show up: Mitch Carvolth. Mario Roman will take a shot at the El Inka Hard Enduro if Sherco manages to get a bike in Peru. Still waiting on some other big names, but I am sure this race is here to stay. The World Hard Enduro Series has put the El Inka as their final race of the series this year. That alone, should draw some more riders from around the world. Peter Weiss will be managing the course once again. He also puts on a great enduro school during the few weeks prior to the race.
The whole thing seems to be building a lot of momentum. The riders in Peru are moving up in the ranks of hard enduro. Nine riders from Peru went to Romaniacs this year. Thats a huge number! It's really cool to see the sport taking off like it is in a place like Peru. I am convinced there is no better place to ride than the Andes. Keep your eyes out for more big news from Peru...It's certainly worthy of being put on the international enduro map. If you are interested in the El Inka Hard Enduro, check out the organization  ZICK on Facebook as well as the El Enka Hard Enduro Facebook page. I can't wait to tackle this beast again!   Now I gotta go out and train! Scottiedawg
  About Scottie
Scott Englund is a social entrepreneur operating hard enduro tours in the Andes of Peru. All of the profits from the business are used to support a number of social projects in the Cusco region of the country. You can best find him on the MotoMission Peru Facebook page or email at Scott@motomissionperu.com. Also, check out the Youtube channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures to see what  tour in the Andes looks like.    

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

Stairway To Heaven

THE OFFICIAL TOUR VIDEO...Enjoy!   The day started early. We wanted to get going early as the route was formidible and there was a high likelihood that we couldn't all make it to the other side. In fact, I didn't even call ahead and get hotel reservations. I was pretty certain we stood no chance.

The day's ride was not long in distance, but in difficulty, it was overload. I had done the route once before as I rode it solo. Looking back on it, I realize I am an idiot. I am working on a solo documentary project and this route was the culmination of the film. So I rode it solo, filmed it solo, and suffered all by myself. The film is in post production at the moment and will be coming out in the next few months, at least that is the plan.

As for the four of us, we had a plan to reach the pass at no later than 3pm. Any later and we would have to come back the way we came, defeated. All gassed up and ready to ride hard, we headed up the canyon to the trailhead.   The anticipation was high. Fernando Puga, who I just call Puga, told me that there is no option other than to reach the other side. He's a tough fella and a good rider. To put it in perspective, he is a bronze finisher in the 2017 Redbull Romaniacs. He is one of the top riders in Peru. He was determined.

His buddy, Duilio, who stands at about 6ft 4inches give or take a few inches, is a beast. He, also, had no intention to give up. We either made it or we made it. No other options.
In addition, there is Alex. He is my riding buddy from Cusco. This guy has a story to tell. I won't give it all away now, but he is as short as they come. I call him Chatito. That means "Shorty" in Spanish. He is starting the inning with a couple outs. His feet hardly can touch the ground when he mounts up on his KTM 300. However, the boy can ride.

The plan was to ride steady. No long stops. I was the only one who knew just how tough it would be. Alex had seen parts, but not very much of the trail. We began pounding through obstacle after obstacle. They just kept coming. Relentless, gut wrenching, head exploding obstacles that scream at you to quit. One by one, we conquered. I am not sure how many times the guys asked me if we were close, but it made me chuckle each time.

There were a number of "filters" that we would face on the climb to the 15,800ft pass. Each one posed its own set of problems. The technical part was enough to make one give up. However, add the altitude to that, and the will to continue dwindled to hardly anything.

It was a privilege to watch these guys battle the mental part of this journey. None of us had it in us to finish. However, there was something about the makeup of the team, that compounded the energy we had left, and turned it into a reserve for each other when we needed a little bit more boost. Somehow, we pushed through each obstacle to get closer to the top. One of the obstacles, that is properly named for the biblical scripture painted in graffiti on the rock, is the Stairway to Heaven. The words say that the day of God is soon.  Pretty much spot on. We spent an hour climbing 100 feet of elevation. There are 13 switchbacks, and enough rocks to build a quarry. Literally a one foot lunge forward on your bike was all one could do in most parts. It was a war. Each in their own battle, working their way to the top. The arrival at the top was met with a view of the upper valley, a long break to recover from the chaos, and a bunch of fluids and protein which would lead us to the next set of filters that would certainly break us down some more.

It seemed like forever, but we finally pushed through all of the obstacles to the pass with exception of the pass itself; a 15,300ft rock garden with an incline that makes me want to cry just thinking about it. One by one, we arrived at the top. Somehow, everyone made it.
  I remember Puga asking about the downside of the mountain. He had this idea that it would be "just" a downhill. I chuckled again and informed him that we were not done with the filters. Just because its downhill, doesn't mean it's easy. After a short celebration on the top, our heads were ready to explode from the altitude. Air was light and nothing could get us off that mountain fast enough. Down we went.

The highest altitude area is full of rock. We had to navigate hundreds of steps and drops to bring us down toward the Cuncani Valley. With our tongues hanging out, we pounded down the edge of the canyon. Little by little, the air began to provide more oxygen as we reached the 14,000ft range. It's crazy to think that one would be happy to breath the thin air at that altitude, but when you compare to the pass, we were happy with 14k.

Before long,  the hot springs that awaited our arrival was on the forefront of each of our minds. Cramping arms, legs that no longer wanted to properly stand on the pegs, and minds that were exhausted from the 7 hours of intense concentration were beginning to let each of us know that the day was just about over.

We reached the little community of Cuncani and found a new dirt road that had been cut, which we were happy to use to reach the hot springs. It wasn't long before we found ourselves pulling into the hotel and pool area, ditching our gear and plunging into the steaming mineral water to soothe our hammered bodies.
The ride was something only one could dream about, with the exception of the four of us. It's a privilege to be able to do this. Finishing a day of riding in this manner should always feel this good. I am so stoked to have shared and fought the trail with these guys. I can't wait to try the next impossible!
Stay tuned for the next adventure! Scott

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

The Eighth Wonder

"While at Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world, Ryan was counting down the days for our dirtbike tour." Todd explained just moments before heading out on the trail.
It's hard to look down upon the Andes as you fly into the Cusco valley, and not have your mind blown with the enormity and vastness of the terrain below the wings. If you are crazy passionate about dirtbikes, it's even more mind blowing to imagine riding it on two wheels. Todd and Ryan joined up with Scott Englund of MotoMission Peru for a custom three day hard enduro ride. The ride catered to their skill levels, journeyed across the type of terrain that the boys wanted to ride, and filled their minds with hundreds of unforgettable images of Peru. Each teetered on the edge of comfort as Scott managed to push them beyond their norms of riding in Colorado. The official tour video...Check it out!   Toothbrush anyone? "There is something special about leading a father son duo into the back country." Englund said as he explained how his own father bred a bit of adventure in his own heart. "I get people from every corner of the planet. They are all awesome peeps, but to share this experience with Todd and Ryan, that's a thrill."

Three days of exotic dirtbiking. Beginning at Englund's home, the trail begins just minutes from the garage. "No trailers, you'll see what I am talking about. You won't even have time to warm up before we hit the trail." Englund explained.

What goes on inside of Motomission is nothing short of a dream. Scott has been running MotoMission Peru for a number of years. He is a social entrepreneur who gives 100% of the profits of the business to charity. His family is supported by a number of people and/or businesses who believe in his mission. Sponsors have supported MotoMission with equipment and gear. The marketing arm of the business are happy customers that tell others about the experience and share the included tour video via social media.

Scott does what he loves to do. Riding dirtbikes, exploring new areas, cinematography, adventure, travel, serving others, business...It all fits his lifestyle. You can see it in his smile when he hands over the bike to you at the beginning of the tour. So many views! "I've got the coolest gig on the planet!" Englund states. "In my wildest of thoughts, I couldn't have dreamt up a better situation. I live here with my amazing family, all who ride, and I get to do what I love to do, while giving it all away."

It's not all happy and easy.  "It really sucks when you have to haul a bike out of a canyon in backpacks."  recalled Englund of a time when a customer launched a bike off a ledge so steep and deep he couldn't see where the bike had landed. Good times with Dad! Todd and Ryan got the full package. Englund was able to lead the men into an unforgettable riding experience like they had never imagined. Beyond tired, they had to make it to the next town for the night. They rode a section that is typically a two day ride, all in the scope of one day and a little bit of night. "My hand is so tired I can't squeeze the clutch anymore."  Ryan said as the cramping in his forearm curled up his hand.

When it comes to an exotic dirt bike adventure, MotoMission Peru has the holeshot.  With countless untouched routes, an epic landscape, and a personable and capable guide, you owe it to yourself to check out this little gem in the Andes. You can reach Scott at Scott@motomissionperu.com to find out more about tours and riding in the Andes. He is always ready to talk shop! Also, don't forget to "FOLLOW" this blog if you want to have access to MotoMission Peru's new posts and videos. 

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

romainiacs Trainiacs...A Red Bull Romaniacs training session in Peru

Peru, has an astounding number of riders that will participate in the 2017 Red Bull Romaniacs hard enduro race. The final count is nine riders. Each has a training regimen that consists of various modes of mental and physical preparation as well as a keen focus on building the technical wherewithal that will increase the odds of reaching the finish. Two days of Romaniacs training on video...Check it out!   One of the hazards... One of those riders, Joso Fatule, will be a contending force in Romania. Joso is the top hard enduro rider in Peru. He has participated in a Romaniacs before. He knows what he is up against.
Joso asked me if he could come out and do a two day training ride in the Andes around Cusco, Peru. I obliged, as it sounded like a good time, with the exception of the suffering that might come as a result of pushing ourselves beyond our limits. We scheduled a date. It was on!

Just another view... Joso arrived from Lima on one of the first flights in the morning on day one. We returned to the house, geared up, and headed out with no time to spare. The days ride would take us over a section of trail that has only been crossed on one motorcycle; mine. I knew just how the trail would beat us down.

Yup, we're going down there! It certainly did. The trail is not impassible. However, after one's body is spent, there will be another 500 more obstacles to overcome. Relentless, physically exhausting, and seemingly no end in sight...It breaks down every bit of will to keep going.

We forced ourselves into finishing. With no overnight gear, we either made it all the way, or chicken out and come back. Onward we pounded up the trail to reach the pass, or abra as we say in Spanish. The drop dead goal of reaching the abra was 3pm. If we couldn't reach it by 3, we would have to head back the way we came to return to the valley floor by nightfall. We arrived with 15 minutes to spare. 

On top of the pass...the view is usually better, trust me! Over the top and down into the valley on the other side. The views were incredible, and the ride was legendary. Not easy, but memorably fun. Our goal for the night was the Lares Hot Springs. It is a perfect place to finish a hard ride. Hotel, food, gas, and the sweetest hot springs to soak in after a tough ride. Rest for the weary.

The second day would carry us up through another valley via a high speed ride filled with plenty of technical climbs, steep down hills, waterfalls, and views that would blow anyone's mind. We managed to play around in numerous areas where training could be had. Joso attempted to climb a moss covered section of rocks where the water cascaded down, attempted numerous short and technical climbs, side hill turning practice, and dropping off and down various obstacles. The day was very productive in being able to practice a number of varying types of terrain and obstacles that would be faced while in Romania. That was the point...TRAIN!

Sweet! When it was all said and done, Joso, got on his plane exhausted and a bit more prepared to face a giant. I am honored to be able to help him prepare. Besides, it was a sweet couple of days of riding.

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

Can Dakar racers ride hard enduro...These ones can!

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.   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! 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.
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

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

motomission peru Turning Stones vol 1

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!


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.


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?
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.


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.


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,

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

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

Where the Sidewalk Ends

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  
 
  Within walking distance to MotoMission headquarters...  
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.     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.     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.     Ride motos=Make smiles!     Christmas Party at the Altivas Canas Children's project brought to you by MotoMission Peru and our customers.

scottiedawg

scottiedawg

 

Uncle Scotty's Little Secret

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.  
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!  
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.  
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!  
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

scottiedawg

 

A Day's Work...So Close to Impossible

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...    
 

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.  
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.  
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.  
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.  
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

scottiedawg

 

Bro Hug at Trail's End

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.
   

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.  
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.  
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.  
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

scottiedawg

 

Pain vs Gain

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.   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.   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.
  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.
  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

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scottiedawg

 

The Passion of Nachos

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...  
 

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.  
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.  
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!  
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

scottiedawg

 

How to be Grateful for Your Next Flat Tire

I am spoiled! There is no other way to explain it. A few weeks ago, I took out a young fella on a dirtbike adventure through the Andes of Peru; Four days of enduro bliss. We took a million pictures, played around with different video angles, and rode our butts off. Did I mention it was a legendary ride? I consider it a privilege to take out clients on tours. I "get" to come along. Of course, I am the guide and have some responsibilities, but really, it's just a
couple of buddies going on a ride.  
Ready for four days of enduro bliss  

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

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scottiedawg

 

Ain't no stinkin' rules!

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!
 
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.

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.

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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