Daylight arrived as the sun was now shining brightly on our first Pura Vida day in Costa Rica. What was in store for us on day one; only the battle hardened Yoda Heiner knew for certain. Ten Enduro riders plus Yoda Roberto from GPSkevin adventure riders met up with Yoda Heiner from Ultimate Rides Costa Rica to begin our enduro riding adventures in Costa Rica. Half enduro and half street riding on various motorcycles.
We were transported from possibly the most beautiful boutique hotel available for possibly two countries; the Studio Hotel, not far from the San Jose International Airport.
If you come to Costa Rica and you end up here know full well that the million dollars worth of beautiful and fine artwork throughout the hotel was made by Ticos throughout the country.
Once we arrived by taxis and a pickup truck at a million dollar gated community of fine homes we met other Yodas like Daniel aka “Rastafa Man” and Louis aka “Cyclops the Mechanic”.
Picture ten gringos in mismatched outfits like Colorado wearing his orange hunting jacket and Hawaii wearing a quilted motocross shirt and me in my Tyedye Keith T shirt. Nearly every color of the rainbow was now represented.
The enduro riding bikes were all lined up on display for us to see. Just like girls waiting on a blind date for Mr. Right to come along and take them out for a “ride”.
Only to us the bikes at first mostly resemble ugly Betties. These Betties looked like they had been recently ridden hard and put away wet. But, I’ll be honest, on closer inspection everything began to make sense. The fact that we were in a nurturing environment, a culdesac with a park for kids playing and people being in the Pura Vida lifestyle.
That’s until we fired up those little dirty bastards; the smoke from the two strokers and the constant revving from Johanns. I thought oh oh, there goes the neighborhood.
But no, no one so much as came out of their Pura Vida multi million dollar gated and guarded homes with the electric wires running around the entire property. And to top it all off, it was a Sunday! My god I thought, and back home an overgrown lawn or a barking dog could get you thrown in jail, if your neighbor complained. These are the most tolerant of noise people you may come in contact with but, just don’t leave anything lying around because it’ll be gone faster than this group on any Road surface.
The Betties on display were purpose built machines, capable of clawing their way up any type of terrain Costa Rica has to offer except for that orange clay mud; slicker than snot, that magically appears anytime it comes in contact with water. And did I not already mention that Costa Rica is mostly a rainforest and it rains allot? We’ve been lucky thus far.
The line up of bikes to choose from included two strokers followed up by two French models named Sherco 450, a design similar to the Husqvarna. Husqvarna’s, a Honda, one called Gas Gas, no KTMs yet, those arrived on day; some of the group like me switched to 250’s on day two.
One of those bikes on day one soon caught my eye. But the selection wasn’t over that quickly. The guys walked by each other with the most verile in our group declaring that this was his choice and no one was to touch her. Little did I know that my little Swedish sounding roommate for the past two nights was going to be so possessive about his two stroker.
For those not yet familiar, Gpskevin uses something similar to a ouija board or a matrix to select our ride dates. He then carefully analyzes everything on three monitors like the weather girl on live television, only he does it in enduro attire.
Gpskevin carefully analyzes things like the awakening of the molecules from about the time the sun hits the earth and rises up and over our planned destination like say Costa Rica; then he gradually backtracks it all down to the earth’s now warmed grasslands, forests, lakes, and rivers, essentially the earth’s soul. I could hear him now saying to Yoda Jane; that’s what he calls her; come quick!! I’ve found dates where it will not rain on our Costa Rica ride group! And so far, it really hasn’t. Honest.
To fully embody our first day it became very, mucho, grande, important to Yoda Heiner that us riders pass the first of four stages of riding Costa Rica. I’ll label the first stage as the apprenticeship stage, you stay there until you prove yourself worthy.
It didn’t matter if you are an extremely capable rider back home like Johanns, Mike and maybe two others. This is Costa Rica.
Now that we’ve sorted that out let’s start with the technical level tracks that you will need to ride up, over and down and on occasions through (rivers). Some of what we experienced on day one could only be described as landslides, some so steep, and so deeply rutted; that you could easily lose a dog, a small child or a rider in the gaps and never again find them.
When my turn came to climb the first of several obstacles imposed on us newly arrived technical enduro riders there was a near vertical hill climb up ahead. I hit that hill nicely before encountering two fallen riders that also took me down; we looked like a stack of fallen cards. And the Yodas knew it; they were there to help us back up, so we wouldn’t lose faith in our riding abilities. That’s what a real Yoda does, work at always making you a better rider.
Chris from Petaluma was already on the ground to my left and another rider was down near him. The Yodas made quick work of sorting out the bikes up and coaxing us to continue up the embankment with no end in sight. I nursed my Shenco Italian made 450 enduro bike and surprised myself by riding the ruts up and making it up, up and over.
This morning at the hotel I started a conversation with Paolo who tells me he runs a tour group of mountain bikers. More info here: Costaricamtv.com Paulo said this is their first run of the season. He usually only takes three others on a tour and these three are now from Canada. And he also informed me that this is the dry season. It started two days ago and I’ll just bet that crafty master Yoda back home knew it.
Once this first test was over for us we proceeded on something like a cell tower road to the very top. By that point, the riders that considered themselves red route riders would climb up an endless and pitted 25-40 degree grade to us. The group then fell something like four red riders, two perpetually green riders (that be you Colorado and Hawaii just in case we’re unclear here) and the rest of us fitted out the blue route group.
In the second stage we move up to the apprentice level, that occurred today. Then there’s the journeyman, and the master stage’s which we’ll save for our three days of riding on streets and forest service type roads, still to come.
Coca Cola waitress girl
There’s so much more that could make it into this story but, I am now exhausted from that awesome massage. Half the group opted for massages on day two after a swim in the beautiful pool nearby.
Pura Vida baby
Trawlercat 12/6/2022 where our weather is still Pura Vida