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!
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.