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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.
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.
Checkout the latest HD video riding adventure from TT's own @scottiedawg of MotoMission Peru! If you want to be inspired about riding, tap the "follow" link on his blog to be notified when he posts new videos. Trust me, he posts good stuff! Take me to the video!
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.