I hope you enjoy the following write up and special interviews produced by my good friend Samantha Kilgore! Its pretty awesome to have your friends share their experiences and spread the DBGA Community Mojo…its like having satellite team… a roving reporter… you get the gist…its pretty darn cool! We are doing good things here and it feels AMAzing! Thanks Samantha – You Rock!
“You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.
Oh! The places you’ll go!”
Where, oh where do I even begin to capture my moto adventures in Costa Rica?! A little back story: 4 years ago, I was a field rider, putting around on a Yamaha TTR125. My husband talked about this dirt bike adventure in Costa Rica since we met nearly 8 years prior, so for his milestone birthday I surprised him by booking a ride package with Costa Rica Unlimited. They put me on a CRF230 and off we went for an epic 70 mile adventure. Long story short- I bit off more than I could chew. I had ridden more that day than I have cumulatively in my entire life. My butt was sore, I was terrified of the hills and rocks, and had -had enough. The day promptly ended when I cooked my front brakes on a ridiculous downhill (with no guardrails!) Needless to say, this was a major turning point in my motorcycle riding career… After we returned home, I was insistent on learning how to ride properly so I could enjoy an epic adventure in Costa Rica in the future.
Fast forward 4 years, 4 bikes, and countless races later I booked with Costa Rica Unlimited again. Husband and I packed our gear and my custom suspension set-up, and headed to the jungle! Our day started at the BEAUTIFUL
CRU Compound; a few houses overlooking some of the most beautiful landscapes you’ll ever see, complete with a moto shop and 2 moto doggies.
We spent our riding day on the trails and roads in the Costa Rican jungle, visiting 2 water falls, having lunch on the beach, and blasting down the black sandy beaches on our motorbikes. The day was EPIC. I couldn’t have imagined anything better. This was my redemption trip. Something that I had made a mission, and looked
forward to for 4 years. I set out to have enough confidence and skills on a bike to enjoy paradise. The riding was amazing. Although we
stuck mainly to fire roads, we did take our adventures on some trails. As you can imagine, the washouts are pretty epic, as are the clay-mud and rocks. We made sure to get nice and dirty throughout the day. Our tour guides, Chris and Miele were fantastic. Despite having a huge trip the following day to go ride in Big Bear, CA, and then race the Baja 500, they agreed to take us out.
The following day, in the middle of town mind you, there is a motocross track where they were holding motocross races. How perfect! Roman and I grabbed the camera and GoPro and headed to the track to see some Costa Rican motocross. The track was very well groomed and looked super fun!
I was lucky enough to interview 2 female racers from the event for DBGA, and despite the slight language barrier (I have a Spanish vocabulary of about a 3 year old), I got some great insights from these amazing women. Thanks to a family member who spoke good English, I was able to have an interview translated for me
Meet Melissa Tencio. A 17 year old factory KTM motocross racer from Frailes, Desamparados Costa Rica. She races on the Pasion MX team, owned, managed (and she even races!) by Marisol Reid aka the Moto Lady Boss of whom I also got to speak with! Here is Melissa’s interview:
When did you first learn to ride a motorcycle?: I was 8 years old.
How long have you been racing?: 6 years
What is your greatest accomplishment in racing?: Top racer on the team and won championships for several years.
What’s the best advice you have been given for riding?: Stay disciplined in order to succeed. Stay focused.
If you could change one thing in the sport for women, what would it be?: The sport really is for men, but women should know that they can do it as well. I wish more women developed a passion and believed they could succeed in the sport.
Melissa is clearly wise beyond her years
Meet Marisol. Where do I even begin to describe this Moto Lady Boss!? I saw her doing her Lady Boss thing in the pits, talking with the ladies, fist bumping before the moto and I knew that she was a force to be reckoned with. After walking around the pits, she stopped me and asked me where I was from and introduced herself. We chatted for a bit and I told her all about DBGA, our trip, and complimented her on the stellar KTM set up she had. She agreed to let me interview her and here’s how it went:
Where are you from and how old are you?: I’m originally from Costa Rica, however, I spent many years living and racing in Florida. I now split my time between Florida and Costa Rica, and between my factory race teams, Pasion MX. I’m 40.
When did you first learn to ride a motorcycle?: I started late. I didn’t learn how to ride until I was 27. From there, I fell in love and knew I wanted to pursue it. I own, manage, and race with Pasion MX, a Factory KTM race team with 21 riders total, 3 of which are women. Next year I plan to start a Pasion MX Kawasaki Factory team. It’s in the works J
How long have you been racing?: 5 years
What’s your greatest accomplishment in racing?: Champion MX for 2017
What’s the best advice you’ve been given for riding?: Be disciplined. Melissa is very disciplined, for instance, which makes her the best female we have on the team. Watch the previous champions, get advice from them. Be disciplined and work hard so that you can make your dreams come true.
If you could change one thing in the sport for women, what would it be?: Nothing. Here you are treated the same, so just compete, be respectful, and everything will be OK.
I am truly humbled to get the opportunity to meet and talk to some moto-women from Central America. While we may not have verbally understood one another perfectly, we are kindred spirits of the sport. Passion is passion, regardless of culture, location, age, gender. So cool to experience that first hand! Pura Vida!