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Riding with Chicas - Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Aug 19, 2015
by Raven Eye Photography  
As an intermediate level mountain biker at best, with a little trepidation and a lot of excitement, I signed up for an all-women's bike and yoga retreat with Sacred Rides down in Costa Rica last winter. Leaving the early December ice storm and -30 C temperatures far behind, I found myself quite suddenly under blue skies on a beautiful beach resort. The inestimable Johanna Weintrager presented us with some new challenges right off the bat, at one of her custom-made bike clinics for women.

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

We headed out to the trails that afternoon. We found them buffed and immaculate, with epic views of a tantalizingly cool ocean below.

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

What a striking transition from the Canadian winter!

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

We cruised through the Costa Rican jungle behind our guide down bermy, winding singletrack, the leafy canopy overhead providing some blessed shade from the mid-day tropical sun

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring the extensive and scenic trail system of the Pura Vida Mountain Bike Park was definitely one of the highlights of the entire trip.

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Back at the beach, we aimed straight for the cool outdoor shower. It would take a few days to adjust from Canadian winter temperatures to the humid tropical climate.

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Delicious tropical fruit smoothies followed by a hearty meal featuring local Costa Rican fare.

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

A quick swim in the warm ocean waves was irresistible before returning to the singletrack.

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

The bike maintenance clinic went through all the basics for us, including yes, fixing a flat. Something I'd always embarrassingly relied on the guys I ride with to fix for me.

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

The trails and the scenery continued to impress as the trip went on.

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Johanna is all smiles riding high above the Pacific with the Catalina Islands scattered in the background.

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

The evening outdoor yoga sessions were a godsend to tired legs and bodies in need of a little quiet stretching and meditation

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

The trails here were perfectly suited to beginner to intermediate level riders, with easy climbs and fantastic downhill flow.

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

OK seriously, is there any better way to shuttle up the mountain than on horseback?

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

At the top we change up beast for bike...


Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Some muddy, rooty and rocky trails with the odd creek crossing thrown in provide some fun challenges for our small group.


Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

We pick up a random trail dog that's all drool and wagging tail, stoked to tag along for the ride.


Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

We dart under rainbows with the summit of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano shielded in shifting mists behind us


Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Hot and sweaty from the ride? Jump into a deliciously fresh pool that flows down from the flanks of the volcano above.


Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

If you're feeling adventurous you can traverse in behind the rushing waterfall and then dive off the mossy rocks on the far side.


Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Volcanic mud facials...


Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

A visit to the El Bosque Nuevo Butterfly Farm has us all playing and chasing butterflies for an hour while giggling like schoolgirls


Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Riding through the countryside we get a feel for the local culture and lifestyle as we wind through small villages and farms.

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

We bike up and over the mountain in the rain soaking up the sights as well as the monsoon downpour.


Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

I guess one mud facial wasn't enough for us

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

The final day was spent relaxing on the coastline. Morning Yoga - a perfect way to start the day - and then swimming in the sea. Here's the exact millisecond before Johanna accidentally dives straight into a small school of jellyfish... ouch.


Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Perfectly suited to watch when the school of dolphins suddenly started popping up and playing all around our boat.


Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Sailing into the sunset on our last evening in Costa Rica


Exploring Costa Rica by Mountain Bike

Stoke factor high and already dreaming of a return trip. Yours truly far left.


Visit Sacred Rides for more info!

Words & Photos by Martina Halik.


MENTIONS: @sacredridesmtb / @RavenEyePhoto



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11 Comments

  • + 2
 Can't wait for a new season! Big Grin
  • + 1
 Don't tell me you're going to miss our kayaking sessions?! Razz
  • + 2
 Look who's on the top bestkayak.guide/sit-on-top
  • + 2
 Pura Vida.. That's it I am moving
  • + 2
 Pura Vida Ride rocks! Top notch crew, shop and trail network.
  • + 2
 My wife would love this. Make it a prize please!
  • + 1
 We may just do that, bishopsmike! Join our mailing list and we'll notify you when that happens: sacredrides.com/join

Cheers!
  • + 1
 Done! Smile
  • + 1
 looks amazing! ON the list!!
  • + 1
 Man that looks awesome! And you got chris kovarik fixing flats?
  • + 2
 Awesome!

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