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Old 05-15-2008, 11:16 PM   #1
brents347 OP
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Dual sporting a 125F in Costa Rica

I've seen all the great ride reports here, and it is finally my time to contribute.

I recently took a trip to Costa Rica to spend a couple of weeks on the beach with my family and some friends. I had read so much about trail riding in C.R. that I had to take a day and try it. I only had the day, so I wasn't going to be going to one of those all inclusive companies where you get all the riding gear and a new KTM or XR. No. Not me. I was going to rent a bike from the local beach bike rental shop. And the gear? Well, when in Rome...

At the last minute, my buddy Jason (who had a less than memorable stint as a DR650 owner but has little other M/C experience) decided to tag along. So here we are, picking up the bikes. He will be riding the XL200 he is sitting on, while I will be riding the Honda bros(?) 125 in the fore ground. Forgive me for the picture quality on some of these, but most were taken by me whipping the digital camera out of my shorts pocket while riding down the trail when I saw something photo worthy.


As you can see, the riding gear consists of shorts, T-shirts, and tennis shoes. Oh yeah, and the ill fitting helmet provided by the rental shop (de-licing to come at a later date). The riding attitude? Simple. Don't fall.

From downtown Jaco, it took about 2km to find dirt and leave the pavement and the ridiculous driving etiquite behind. Off we go into the wild blue yonder.


Here we are achieving our first peak after about 10km. Most of the roads here climb up very steep grades. I can't even fathom what it's like on these roads in the rainy season.



The town of Jaco is just visible as the white buildings on the coast that you can see between our helmets. This is one of the rare photos with me in it. I am on the left. Check out that helmet fit! I look like I'm about 10 and wearing my Dads helmet. I'm not sure what photo trick he played on me here, but I'm not actually 12" shorter than him like it appears.



It was neat how quickly you could go from an open peak to closed in jungle trail. This was just after the peak, while following the road along the ridgeline.



Another peak, and what was interesting about this one was that when I stepped back to take this picture, I realized I was riding a bike with 19"/16" wheel combo. Just like my CRF back home. I was trail riding a friggin mini-bike! The beach we are staying at is visible as the white area seen just between the two bikes.



Here is a shot of the view looking South. We were traveling along this ridge, headed roughly for the coast in the distance.



It is interesting when you are riding along a road which all of a sudden becomes a trail like this.



And then 50' furthur on it turns into this. We followed the trail (such as it was) a little bit to see if it would open up again, but all I could think was "Costa Rica has the largest population of deadly snakes in the world". Time to turn around and pick another road.



This really is some great riding. You don't get riding like this in California.



We finally followed the ridge down to where it ran back down to the coast. You could feel the difference in climate when you came out in the flats. Here is a lower road with the rare fence-tree forest.



Here is a water crossing down in the flats. What I love about this picutre is the pedestrian crossing on the left. Something about crossing that everyday to get to the store or school is just odd.




And then we found the coast. We stopped at Playa Hermosa, which is a decent beach break surf spot, just to check out the surf. My buddy J shows off his now famous helmet levitation trick. Don't try this at home, it tends to lead to helmet dings.



After a quick re-hydration, it's back into the jungle and uphill once again.



It was amazing to me that 25kms after leaving the coastal pavement, and up some very steep dirt road, all of a sudden the road begins to improve and you come around a corner to see this. An actual town up on the ridge. And there were lots of them! This was the biggest we town saw. 200' or so later, the road degrades a little bit and you're back in the jungle.



This is what a lot of these ridge roads looked like.




One quick stop to check the navigational equipment (anything you can see with the naked eye from a ridge top) and we see this through the trees to the North. Hmmm, looks like we might get wet. Good thing we've got rain gear with us. Not.



At this point we decided not to go back the way we had come because it was definately going to be wet. So on we pushed. Right after this little bridge we stopped to ask a local if we were heading the right way. He spoke absolutely NO english, and all we could say was 'donde le playa' or something like that. We knew that if we could hit the coast, wet or dry, we could make it back to Jaco. I didn't want to be on these ridges in a big rain.



Unfortunately, while he understood that we were asking if this road went to the beach and was able to nod his head that 'se', it did indeed go to the coast what he couldn't convey was that is wasn't much of a road and there were many much, much better ways to get there. Loco Gringos.
Shortly there after, the road turns into this. O.k., this is cool, and were still dry. All is good.



Not too much furthur and the road degrades into two-track. No problem, every road goes somewhere, and the old guy said this one goes to the coast. All is still good.



Well, you can tell where this is going. Next it's a tricky little loose uphill turn. The 125 is absolutely pinned through these sections and I'm having to baby the clutch because I can tell it isn't happy with how I've been riding it. What, this isn't a 2-stroke that I can keep on the pipe?



Cool! For real Costa Rican single track! Turn back now? NO way, this is just getting good!



Then, as we crest the ridge, it turns into this. You can just see J ahead in the grass.



The only problem is we have crested the hill and are beginning to descend. At this point, I am thinking it is time to talk about turning around but J is in front and continuing on. I know if I was riding with one of my regular riding buddies, we would talk and make a decison before dropping in on anything at this point, but...



On we go. Which quickly leads to this. Keep in mind that the pictures never do the slope justice. And that were riding play bikes with shit for tires. And my clutch will never get me back up his slope. I have to admit though, at this point I'm laughing kinda hard.



And it only got funnier. On this second drop, J managed to break the mirror and scratch the shroud/graphics.



And then we hit this bramble, which at first we didn't think there was any chance of getting through but lo and behold someone has cut a hole through it. As we clear the bramble and stop, there is another steep slippery descent of about 100'. We are sitting there and I say to J, 'Hey do you hear that? It sounds like a tractor.' Sure enough, we have found the bottom of the valley.


A quick scouting of the valley where we came out (in a town of about 80 but with it's own bull ring) shows that we are only about 3-4kms from where we talked to the local man, and about 10kms of dirt road from the coast. Another 15kms North on the coast road, and we were back in Jaco.

We returned the bikes to find that the broken mirror and slight scratches will cost $60. Even though I had asked about the cost 'of a mirror for example' before the ride and had been told $10. Oh well.

A couple pictures of the trip.
My daughter thinking, 'Hmmm, I wonder if Dad will get out of this one...'



Me and my boy at the beach.



The obligatory shot of the wife in a bikini. Note the boy trying to remove said bikini top.



And lastly, here is a picture of me and my other friend Jason with our kids in front of the shelter we built in about an hour on our last day at the beach. I could rule that survivor show!


It's amazing how much fun you can have with about 8 hours and a play bike in Costa Rica. All told, we did about 155km (~120 of which was dirt) in about 6 1/2 hours of riding.

I am going to try to rent a bike on every vacation from now on, even for just the day, to check out the local riding.

Brent
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:22 PM   #2
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Thanks, that was cool.

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Old 05-16-2008, 05:44 AM   #3
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I went to MAL PAIS, COSTA RICA, the most isolated beach in the country...
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:54 AM   #4
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good stuff. do you mind me asking, how much was the cost for the rental?
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:55 AM   #5
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Excellent ride... looks like the whole family's having fun Thanks for the report and pics... Your little girl is a cutie.
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Old 05-16-2008, 07:40 AM   #6
brents347 OP
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Originally Posted by cyberdos
good stuff. do you mind me asking, how much was the cost for the rental?
As I recall it cost about $55 for the 125 for the day and $65 for the 200. I thought it was really reasonable till I found out what a mirror cost!
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brents347
As I recall it cost about $55 for the 125 for the day and $65 for the 200. I thought it was really reasonable till I found out what a mirror cost!
Can you tell me the name of the rental outfit you used and location? I am flying into Liberia in a few weeks and it sounds like it may be close. Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:22 AM   #8
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Thanks for the great ride report. My best friend is building a house just north of Jaco, so I'm always looking at ride reports in CR. Hopefully, I'll be able to crash at his place and do a little riding...when I'm not on the beach.

Hopewellz - check the other ride reports on here for CR. Someone rented a 450 in Liberia, so if you can find that report you should be all set.
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:59 AM   #9
brents347 OP
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Originally Posted by hopewellz
Can you tell me the name of the rental outfit you used and location? I am flying into Liberia in a few weeks and it sounds like it may be close. Thanks in advance!

hopewellz,

The Liberia area (Playa Grande) is North on the Pacific coast. Jaco is South and on the West coast of the Gulf of Nicoya. Travel time between Liberia and Jaco on Costa Rican roads is in the neighborhood of 4 hours.

Let me know if you still need info on the bike palce in Jaco and I can dig it up.

Also, just South of Jaco at Playa Hermosa we found a little shop (after our ride of course) which was uncrating what looked to be new Yamaha 250F's for their rental fleet.
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:02 PM   #10
brents347 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwistySV650
Thanks for the great ride report. My best friend is building a house just north of Jaco, so I'm always looking at ride reports in CR. Hopefully, I'll be able to crash at his place and do a little riding...when I'm not on the beach.

Hopewellz - check the other ride reports on here for CR. Someone rented a 450 in Liberia, so if you can find that report you should be all set.
Where at North of Jaco? We were staying in the Playa Heradura/Los Suenos area about 3kms North of Jaco.
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Old 02-15-2015, 02:20 PM   #11
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what happened to the images?
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brents347 View Post
hopewellz,

The Liberia area (Playa Grande) is North on the Pacific coast. Jaco is South and on the West coast of the Gulf of Nicoya. Travel time between Liberia and Jaco on Costa Rican roads is in the neighborhood of 4 hours.

Let me know if you still need info on the bike palce in Jaco and I can dig it up.

Also, just South of Jaco at Playa Hermosa we found a little shop (after our ride of course) which was uncrating what looked to be new Yamaha 250F's for their rental fleet.

i'm heading to CR in about two weeks and going to be staying near Quepos (about 1hr from Jaco). If you have any information about rentals on the Pacific Coast it would be a huge help since this would be so much better than renting from San Jose
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