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01 Apr / 2016
Author: Matthew Tags: , , , Comments: 0

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IMG_1228This past year, I moved my family from the Central American city of Tegucigalpa, back to San Diego, California. By most standards, this would appear to be a huge upgrade. After all, San Diego is America’s finest city, with spectacular weather all year round, beaches, mountains, more sunny days than nearly any other U.S. city, and a cosmopolitan flavor that’s second to none.
The infrastructure as far as highways, parks, etc. doesn’t even compare to Honduras. But for those of us who are mountain bikers, San Diego leaves a lot to be desired. To be sure, SoCal is famous for epic single track, trail advocacy, and hundreds of miles of trails like Nobel Canyon, Mission Trails, and many regional parks that are “mountain bike friendly”. But after years of living in Honduras, San Diego has one huge drawback.
These trails, like the highways, schools, and malls…are over-crowded. Sure, there are beautiful places to take your bike and camp, but you have to use the California State Park’s on-line reservation system and book a camp site about a year in advance because of all the other campers one must contend with. And of course, if you fortunate enough to score a camp site, you’ll need to plan on sneaking out off work early to avoid spending hours sitting in traffic to get to your long-planned camping/riding adventure. Upon arrival, the camp site will leave you sleeping only feet away from your nearest neighbor and the ruckus they’ve planned for their weekend. Hey, isn’t that the guy who lives in the condo down the street?
The spirit of this blog is not to complain, but rather to celebrate that there are still off the grid venues like Honduras to hit the dirt without hitting traffic. Although it’s a tad tougher to find manicured networks of singletrack, you can ride for an entire day without a single “on your left” tough guy passing you on his brand new $6,000 bike, or encountering the veritable jogger running with her three labra-doodles, sporting headphones, absolutely oblivious of your desire to run her over with your 2.35”tires as she blocks the entire trail! In fact, on a good ride, I could ride for an entire day and exchange friendly country greetings with only handful of children playing in front of their simple homes or with a farmer on horseback.  Imagine a 5 hour back-country adventure through the mountains without seeing anyone else? Solitude.
So, if you feel the need to have an adventure without buying your “Adventure pass” and want to hit a trailhead that’s not full of BMW X5s and Mercedes SUVs, think about escaping to Honduras. I know I am.
20 Aug / 2014
Author: Matthew Tags: Comments: 0

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So, we here at Cabra Rides are really excited about the  partnership we are exploring with 2nd Mile Adventures. I have had the opportunity to meet David Wildman, a fellow mountain biker and adventurous soul. It turns out we share many passions in common, and to that end, we are looking at ways for Cabra Rides and 2nd Mile Adventures to support each other in fulfilling our vision and mission.

One key step in evaluating ways to partner together is to have some face time to discuss. Sure, some relationships can be worked out via conference calls or over coffee, but David and I agree that only time together in the saddle with suffice for forging this relationship. We missed the chance to ride together this summer in Indiana, so that means Cabra Rides gets the opportunity to host our riding time together here in beautiful Honduras.

But since our shared philosophy on biking is summarized by “Go big or go home”, our ride time together will include riding the annual Trifinio Montecristo race together. 3 countries: Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. And climbing over 28,000 feet together should give ample time to get acquainted, don’t you think?

I am really excited about the time together. I invite you to check out 2nd Mile Adventures @ http://goanewdistance.com and see what they do as adventure missionaries. Also, take a look at the attached flyer if you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to help fund the December 2014 exploratory trip. 

02 Mar / 2014
Author: Matthew Tags: , Comments: 0

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While we at Cabra Rides are fiscal conservatives, we do believe in investing in great equipment to ensure that our clients have the best possible time exploring these rugged mountains. At our core, we love XC riding with long days in the saddle. No doubt, for the rugged roads and trails of rural Honduras, a good hard tail with a Fox Terralogic fork is just the ticket. But for the enduro crowd, sometimes the right tool to tackle to rock-strewn single track is a nice plush full-suspension bike. This winter, with the help of Adam at R-bikes.com, we put together our first 650 full-suspenion bike.

Our goal was to put together a long-lasting high-performance bike. We wanted a top-shelf aluminum frame and had a hankering to see if 650 is all its cracked up to be. After shopping some options like Santa Cruz, Foes, Turner, and other boutique bikes, we decided on the Intense Tracer 275. Adam did a great job working with us on getting just the right spec, including custom Chris King wheels (all Cabra Rides bike feature King headsets and hubs- talk about commitment to quality rental bikes, ey?) and XT components. While it took a few weeks to get the custom FLO orange paint job and then ship the rig down to Honduras, we’re glad to add this steed to our barn.

Leo and Mateo rocking the color that all the cool kids want. Getting ready to bomb down El Pedrero.

Leo and Mateo rocking the color that all the cool kids want. Getting ready to bomb down El Pedrero.

When tackling a ride like Cimmarón, which is one of the Cabra Rides’ favorite singletracks, the Tracer is amazing! La Vaquita and El Pedrero trails are littered with loose rocks, some slick rock, and roots so the WTB 2.3 tires we ordered are money! The Tracer sports Fox CTD technology, and the “Climb” setting is great as Cimmarón is a bit demanding on the climb at first. Once you arrive at the “piedra”, just set the rear shock and fork to “Trail” (or “Descend”, or through we seem to prefer “Trail”) and point the Orange Crush down the trail. You just get a bit more daring on this thing as it instills confidence and holds a line like no one’s business.

Since the Intense is a bit beefy, it’s not one for just any rider to do a metric century with, but we’re glad to have it for serving up a nice technical Honduran singletrack. Looking forward to taking it to Valle de Angeles sometime soon. Or maybe you want to come down and show us how to fly this thing? Book an epic cycling vacation with Cabra Rides today!

17 Jul / 2013
Author: Matthew Tags: , , , , Comments: 0

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My name is Joaquin Rosales. My undergraduate degree is in Tourism Business Management, and I recently graduated with a Masters Degree in tourism from Universidad de Las Islas Baleares, Mallorca, Spain. I am very grateful to CabraRides for giving me the opportunity to join the team, working and developing this project. I had the chance to work on my final Master thesis project on a business plan for Cabra Rides and through this process, I fell in love with the idea. My thesis is based upon recommendations & strategies that Cabra might employ to succeed in offering cyclists, hikers, and outdoorsmen adventure and enjoyment of all that Honduras has to offer. My country has amazing geography and culture for the adventurous traveler.

When I left Honduras in order to pursue my master’s degree, a desire arose inside me to do something when I didn’t see the international tour operators mention my beloved country. My ultimate motivation for Cabra Rides is the well being of Honduras, helping my people and its environment; I also would like for the world to recognize Honduras as a new destination with touristic potential. In entrepreneurial hands, this project can be a significant step in order for the global community to recognize what Honduras has to offer in terms of nature and culture.

This week, I did my first guiding gig which I will tell you about in an upcoming blog.

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28 Apr / 2013
Author: Matthew Tags: , , , Comments: 0

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This week I had a chance to catch a “halón” (aka bum a ride) with a friend out to the Valle de Zamorano. This gave me a chance to throw my favorite XC rig in the back of his truck until arriving where the black top ends. Of course here in Honduras, it’s hard to tell where there even is blacktop, but nevertheless, the road turned rather rugged, and this is where I climbed out of the truck and got onto the bike.

I’ve been wanted to try this new route out for a while, and today gave that golden opportunity. The rides is to climb up out of the Zamorano Valley and towards the mountains of the El Paraiso departmento. On this ride, I am debuting my newly installed STRAVA app on my iPhone. Before the pedaling started, I made sure the satellite had me locked on and checked my CamelBak for sufficient food and tools. Onward and upward. And upward. And upward.

The climb is only just beginning. The lower elevations resemble Colorodo or Southern California with the dry pines and cactus, getting ever greeners with every pedal stroke.

Talk about climb. If you check out my STRAVA page, you see than in a short afternoon ride, I climbed over 2,700 feet. And I did this, for some reason, and mid-day. It was a bit hotter than I would have liked, but in a few weeks when rainy season begins to cool things down and greens things up, this will be a stellar ride. Lots of loamy, reddish soil, pine trees, and scenic farms. In two hours of riding, I saw zero cars, 2 people, and a handful of large farm animals. It was a cleansing ride.

The colors of the Napoleon tree starkly contrast with the earth tones of Los Lavenderos.

The ride plateaus just above the town of Guinope, allowing for a ripping switchback descent down into this picturesque little town. The town, famous for the annual orange festival and its unique orange wine, has a population of about 10,000. The town square is typical, and the environment is cool, breezy, and tranquilo. I did a quick cool down roll through the town square, and ended my ride with an ice cold bottle (glass, of course) of Coca-Cola to celebrate a great little ride.

I learned the options for getting lost up here are endless, and that the cool of the morning might be best for starting out the climb. Next time, I hope to have some company. Care to join me?


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