Video: Vaya Bien Episode One - El Salvador

Jan 19, 2015
by SheGNARnigans  
Views: 27,455    Faves: 173    Comments: 17


With no expectations and a keen sense of adventure, we packed our bikes and left Whistler to explore some of the less travelled regions of Central America. We started off in the same place we left off last year, El Salvador. We realized we had only begun to scratch the surface on the previous trip and made the call to come back and get a little more in depth. With only 6 weeks to cover 3 countries we discovered countless trails, competed in 2 races, and met many amazing people.

Vaya Bien - El Salvador
  El Salvador is home to over 20 volcanoes one of which dominates the sky line of San Salvador. El Boqueron is arguably one of the most scenic and has a fun albeit short trail that winds dangerously close to the edge of the crater. Barely enough room for 1 rider at times and a 560 meter vertical drop down a sheer cliff, it's not a place to make mistakes. And according to some locals, the trail has claimed lives.

Vaya Bien - El Salvador
  Just one of the myriad reasons to visit El Salvador during BC's winter. El Cuco, El Salvador

Taking a break from the heat.
  Steve Storey finds one more reason to make the trek.

DH race in El Salvador.
  Ecoparque El Espino sits above the capital city of San Salvador where the local riders have hand built their own bike park. There are 3 unique tracks and it continues to grow. Steve keeping it low through El Camello, some of the new work on their latest trail.

It s a pupusa frenzy The only way to finish off a long day of filming and riding in the El Salvadoran sun.
  Long, hot days in the sun spent filming and riding turn into long, hot dinners in a cage.

It s a fiiiiiiiiire
  And if you weren't hot and sweaty enough, how about a bonfire on the beach? It's a good thing the beer is cheap...

DH race in Ecoparque El Espino.
  Steve shaking out the cobwebs of a bonfire session gone sideways.

Vaya Bien - El Salvador
  On cloudless days, the midday heat usually drove us off the trails until later in the day leaving us to explore the sights, sounds, and colours of El Salvador.

Local market at La Libertad.
  Hey, when you got an itch sometimes you gotta scratch. Zero f's given.

Local women selling produce at the local market.
  Las mujeres del mercado. We found these ladies to be delightful most of the time however something caught their ire. Our money is on their male counterparts above chilling in the shade while they worked hard. That or the guy with the itch that wouldn't quit.

Vaya Bien - El Salvador
  This is the last shot we got of Danny Martins riding on this trip. He had been training hard on the DH course for the race the following day. Moments after this photo he took a big slam on the same feature breaking his elbow. Tough to see a guy crash out that's happy just to work hard behind the scenes on a project like this. We all would've liked to see him charging on course the next day.

Vaya Bien - El Salvador
  It takes a lot to get this guy down. Broken elbow? No problem! And props to the armed security guard for helping our friend feel secure lying in pain while we finished up our shoot (with Danny's permission of course).

Crazy shuttle for the DH race. Videographer Mike Gamble holding on while trying to film.
  Race day in El Salvador! Getting to the top is an event of its own. Jump into the nearest cargo truck, throw as many bikes and people in as you can, and tie the sides together with rope so no one falls out. Oh, and try to film at the same time. Hey Mike Gamble, I think your apprehension is showing.

DH Race in Central America.
  Steve on pace during qualifiers. Unfortunately he flatted on a rock garden during his race run and was a DNF. His qualifier run would've place him 2nd in Elite for the finals. Luck wasn't on our side for the Copa DH Probikes but we did have a killer time regardless. Thanks to all our Salvadoran friends and to ProBikes for showing us a great time and putting on an awesome event!

The shuttle companies were not impressed with our luggage situation. It s not easy to travel with 6 bikes camera gear and a surfboard.
  A selection of the gear we were traveling with. 6 bikes, a surfboard, and camera gear. Not pictured, 6 people and more bags. This was us on our way out of El Salvador to Honduras. We learned a valuable lesson that day. Shuttle companies don't like us. Be prepared to bribe and barter to your destination if you have excess baggage.

Stay tuned to Pinkbike and join us for episode 2 when we explore Honduras and their legendary DH trail Los Elotes.

Thanks to Innate Gear and Ride 100 Percent for equipment support on our trip.

Filming - Michael Sousa, Mike Gamble, and Justa Jeskova

Editing - Michael Sousa

Photography - Justa Jeskova and Steve Storey

Riding - Steve Storey and Denis Courchesne

Sherpa/Mule/Broken Dude - Danny Martins


MENTIONS: @SheGNARnigans @mike-gamble @soose @Justa25 @stevestorey @Royal-Racing @ride100percent @DakineTV



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28 Comments

  • + 9
 This is a trip I would love to take. I was born in El Salvador but my family moved to Canada when I was quite young.
  • + 7
 Anyone else notice the background going weird around the rider on the devinci at 1.35?
  • + 2
 Haha. Definitely! I've looked up videos of how to turn GoPro footage at 30 frames per second into ultra slo mo at 1000 frames per second and that looks like the effect it gives. It's just high slo mo editing software getting tricked by a less than ideal video camera
  • + 1
 the background effect is called ghosting, and you can use twixtor pro with adobe premiere!
  • + 1
 yeah He's doing a Matrix on a Mnt. Bike LOL.!!..
  • + 8
 Fucking awesome!!!!!
  • + 5
 love the starting gate great video you just made my Monday SheGNARnigans
  • + 6
 Noice
  • + 2
 well, it seems to be like magic to ride in S. America; Chile, El Salvador. Good trails, good food, friendly people. Mostly well organised. What else you need?
  • + 2
 good job Steve, Mike, Justa and the team. Whistler production is always top quality! so proud of your work.
  • + 3
 Amazing video.... congrats....

what's the name of the first song?
  • + 3
 Riding down hill in my chanklas
  • + 4
 !Que chevre!
  • + 2
 too many beautiful places to get to!
  • + 1
 Specialized has cornered the market in El Salvador or what? So many demos @ 4:00
  • + 1
 There aren't very many high end bike shops in El Salvador. The main store, ProBikes, is a Specialized dealer soooo....yeah kind of.
  • + 3
 Loved it!
  • + 1
 Espectacular
me gustaría algún día ser parte de ustedes con mi trabajo fotográfico...
fantástico...!!!
  • + 1
 Just a random security guard or your security guard?
  • + 2
 Just a random guard haha
  • + 1
 Muy buen video chavos felicidades. Slds!!
  • + 2
 Real nooiice work guys!
  • + 1
 Fantastico!
  • + 1
 Saludos, El Salvador!
  • + 1
 Buenazo! Cleta y olas!!
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