April 03 2020 Friday at 03:00 PM

Costa Rica

The trip didn't start with me sliding meters on a gravely road upside down into a ditch, but this story does. The inevitable and unfortunate merging of an evening glare, swarms of gnats, recently placed gravel, a sharp turn that I didn’t make, and the poor front end of a recently rebuilt RX400 happened ... and it happened in a rather painful way. The front end and rotor were mangled. The brand new BELL helmet was blown out. I was able to walk away from it, but I maintained an uneasy upside down feeling. The front end of the bike was strapped onto the back of the SUV and Forrest hung on to the back of the car making sure the bike didn’t fall off as we limped the last 30 miles into town. Luckily we had a few days of big surf under our belt already. A big swell had been pummelling the pacific side of Costa Rica and we had been lucky enough to catch it. Harrison Roach pulled into thick barrel after barrel with the local tips from Forrest Minchinton. Forrest has been setting up shop with House of Somos hotels down there and they were kind enough to get us sorted with some places to put our tired heads after nonstop surf. After a few days of the larger stuff, we saw the swell shrinking a bit and decided to head up the coast in search of some longer and cleaner lines. The scenery riding bikes or 4 wheeling from location to location was surreal. The continual need for a 4x4 vehicle could not have been more apparent. Upon landing at the airport, we checked our pockets and credit cards to see if the 4x4 vehicle was in the budget. Two days into the trip we realized we could never have afforded to not have one. Multiple rivers were crossed with water nearly covering the entire front end of the vehicle. Various stops made us jealous of those engine snorkels, especially as we were warned that some of these deeper crossings housed large crocodiles. As we rolled to one of the deepest of these crossings, we saw a car smoking and stuck in a pretty deep spot. We watched from the shore for a bit and tried to figure out which European language they were shouting at each other. After seeing they were in good hands with the local river crossing guy we continued on up the coast. We found the pretty peelers. Harrison and Forrest jumped in on their logs and kept trading long, clean ones. It was tough to sit on the shore with a camera watching how much fun they were having. A busted up shoulder and a few cuts reminded me that maybe behind the camera was a better spot for me. Words - Monti Smith (@mounce) Pics - Monti Smith (@mounce) & Harry Mark (@harrymarkphoto) Riders: Harrison Roach & Forrest Minchinton