During the workday, Tegra Medical employee Mauricio Rodriguez is a development and sustaining engineer at the company’s location in Costa Rica. Off the job, he’s a driven athlete who sets nearly-impossible goals for himself. Last November the company sponsored the 44-year-old Mauricio in La Ruta De Los Conquistadores, which is considered one of the most difficult mountain bike races in the entire world. Mauricio was among the strong, motivated riders who managed to finish the entire race – in fact this was his second time.
Originally following the route taken by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, the three-day race traverses about 135 miles from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica. But it’s the conditions that are so grueling: mountain ranges with trails so steep riders must carry their bikes, volcanoes, knee-deep mud on jungle trails, river crossings (potentially with crocodiles), a rickety and slippery railroad trestle, high humidity, and rain forests teeming with insects, poison dart frogs, jaguars, and boa constrictors.
Mauricio made it a personal goal to compete in the race. He trained with three-hour weekday and eight-hour weekend rides. “The inclines are usually the hardest part, but downhill also requires great stamina and technique,” he noted. “The best part is finishing on the third day – you feel like a professional rider!”
Two punishing races have not dampened the spirit of this intrepid rider; in fact, they have invigorated him. He’s already planning to ride it for a third time this year.