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Serious adventure on not so serious bikes

Monkey Bikes may not be the most serious of motor vehicles, but their lack of physical stature is what makes them the ideal mode of transport for real adventure, as Monkey Run Peru provides in bucket loads.

Photo: Richard Brandon-Cox

Monkey Run Peru takes you through some of the country’s most isolated areas and is not for the faint hearted. Starting in Atalaya in the Amazon and finishing off in Ayacucho in the Andes, the where the organisers, The Adventurists, have had to negotiate with tribal chiefs to allow access, before negotiating dizzying mountain tracks alongside volcanoes and glaciers.

Three years ago the original Monkey Run was launched, which saw participants dropped in the Sahara and tasked with crossing the Atlas Mountains and reaching the Moroccan coast on 50cc Monkey Bikes. After just the right mix of thrills, spills and camels, the success of the ride led to the creation of Monkey Run Peru which is taking place for the second time this September.

Photo: The Adventurists

It might seem odd (read ‘stupid’) to have picked Monkey Bikes, over more powerful off road bikes, for this kind of trip, but The Adventurists feel they’re perfect for the Peru ride.

Monkey Bikes are a whole lot of fun and it’s hard to take a serious fall. Because they’re low to the ground they also feel much faster than they are, but in reality they’re slow enough for you to truly appreciate the landscape you’re travelling through. They’re also small enough to wind around giant tree roots in the jungle and dodge snakes on dusty mountain roads. What’s more, the bikes are always a talking point and put a smile on people’s faces wherever they go, helping break down language barriers and facilitating engagement with different cultures; and the culture and people of Peru are what any trip there should really be about”

Adding to the sense of exploration is the fact there is no set route, rather pointers on areas you shouldn’t miss or ‘avoid at all costs’.  This isn’t a result of The Adventurists lacking a good road map, it’s at the heart of what they’re all about and they actively promote getting lost and heading off the beaten track.

Photo: Marcus Deglos

“There’s no set route, no backup and no support. That’s the whole point. You could just rock up, enjoy the launch party, team up with another rider and ride in tandem the length of the country to the finish line and you’d have an amazing time. However, there’s nothing like a little mishap in the back end of nowhere if you want to experience something truly memorable that forces you to embrace your surroundings and the people in it. These are the moments that modern life is missing. We believe the world is far too safe and organised, that we’ve come to live in ever decreasing circles of freedom. Fear of litigation, greed and a spineless refusal to take responsibility for ourselves have robbed us of one of the most interesting things in life: the unexpected. The Monkey Run rails against this. It forces you to be lost, to not know what’s around the next corner, to embrace the unknown.”

Get involved:

If this sounds like your cup of Pisco Sour…

Monkey Run Peru runs from the 6th to the 15th of September and you can sign up and find out more at theadventurists.com


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