WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT LAOS?
MTB-LAO is a very special experience and the trip has received some great coverage in just the first few years. Check out the videos from past trips and read the media coverage below.
WHAT IS MTBLAO?
MTBLAO is for the adventurer who thrives on viewing the world from a bike saddle, loves to experience a culture with some dirt on their shoes, and understands that sometimes saying "yes" to a ride can feed one's soul...because pedaling into the unknown can yield much more than just another Instagram post; it may prove profoundly life-altering.
During a month riding the Ho Chi Minh Trail for her film, Blood Road, Rebecca got to know the people, terrain, and living history within Laos. She was also exposed to the lingering issue of unexploded ordinance (UXO) that still devastates the lives of local families. A newfound purpose emerged: to support the UXO cleanup while sharing the extraordinary experience with her closest cycling friends. It all adds up to a mind-bending, body-shaping, life-expanding expedition.
While the routes and riders vary with each trip, what remains constant is the world-renowned friendship of the Lao people, the beauty of this amazing country and the continuing need to expedite the UXO clearance so that villagers can live in greater peace and security.
OH THE FOOD!
We'll go native with fresh healthy, simple food. Nutrition-focused meals will keep riders' bodies fueled and palates satiated. Yes, you'll eat like a local, but don't worry, there'll be something for everyone. Expect rice, fish, eggs, fruit and amazing spices. Food is fuel, but it's also an adventure and communal celebration. No one will go hungry!
During MTB-LAO you'll experience parts of the country that most visitors never get to see. Meet local villagers, learn about their daily lives and begin to see the world through their eyes. It will be among the most memorable elements of the trip.
Join professional adventure athlete Rebecca Rusch and a team of expert guides for purpose-driven travel on the historic Ho Chi Minh trail. Seize this opportunity to explore, learn, and actively contribute to a legacy of healing, hope and resilience in this vibrant part of Southeast Asia.
DECEMBER 1-18, 2019
We are no longer accepting applications for MTB-LAO 4.
Check back for 2020 dates and details soon!
"I've spent a career adventuring around the globe in search of personal discovery, challenge, and finding the best version of myself. It's my turn to give back. I want to share what I've learned through decades of first-evers, world records, championships, and insanely ambitious expeditions that have pushed me to my limits and beyond.
As part of this trip, you'll not only experience the ride of a lifetime, you'll also be part of the healing work of clearing Laos of dangerous debris still left from the Vietnam War. You will truly be using your bicycle as a vehicle for change and recovery.
Sounds great? Consider this a personal invitation to join us on this hero's journey."
DURATION EXPERIENCE LEVEL
10 trail days, 4 town days Adventurous
MTB SKILL RATING
STRONG INTERMEDIATE, 5/8
You're confident riding intermediate trails and willing to try out some advanced trails. You know when to walk if terrain is over your skill level but stay confident when you get back in the saddle. Switchbacks, rocky sections, descents and climbs don't scare you. You're down to try out some steep sections and even lift your wheel occasionally.
You can execute:
Controlled front braking independent from rear braking and vice versa
Anticipating changes in terrain and shifting smoothly and often.
Letting go of the brakes and standing on 50/50 pedals on descents, and maintaining speed as long as you can see what's ahead of you.
Trail scanning and cornering techniques such as looking through turns.
STRONG INTERMEDIATE, 5/8
You can ride easy/medium trails multiple days in a row at a moderate pace for an average of 3-4 hours, and could add a 5-6 hour ride into the mix.
You could do a few days of riding for 5-6 hours in a row; you might be exhausted at the end of day 3.
You like climbing (don't have to love it) and can handle 1,500' of elevation gain in a single ride.
You mountain bike or do some activity of similar exertion three or more times per week.
You exercise an average of five to six hours a week.
You would get your butt into shape for this and be ready for multiple hours of adventure riding for 10 days in a row.
Any questions about whether the trip is right for you? Just ask!
While this trip is appropriate for a wide range of riders from intermediate to expert, for optimal fun and safety, we recommend a minimum baseline of bike handling skill and physical readiness. The 1-8 scale is roughly 1 = total newbie and 8 = elite athlete.
26 mile - 56 mile days