- Narcos star loves riding bikes – and his discipline of choice is enduro mountain biking
- Colombia’s greatest mountain biker recently took actor Juan Pablo Raba for some mountain bike lessons
- Marcelo Gutierrez has an impressive history in downhill and enduro racing – and helped Raba go much faster
Colombia has a proud history in cycling, with Egan Bernal becoming the first South American to win a Tour de France.
The country has produced some of the most iconic Tour de France climbers. Lean and lethal riders, known for their ability to conquer the Alps with a seemingly infinite pain threshold.
With its naturally mountainous terrain, Colombia is home to a treasure of natural singletrack trails. These are the trails that Marcelo Gutierrez trained on when he was a professional World Cup downhill racer.
Never choosing the easy way down
Juan Pablo Raba might not be Colombia’s most renowned mountain biker, but he is one of the country’s most celebrated actors. And a desperately keen rider.
Raba loves technically challenging descents, preferring to ride enduro mountain bikes. He is so obsessed with enduro mountain biking that he even participated in the Enduro World Series, when it was last hosted in Colombia three years ago.
Many celebrities ride mountain bikes on mild gravel roads for fitness, but Raba is all about rolling down steep and technical trails, the kind of terrain that would see most others dismounting – and walking.
Learning from the best - on some great trails
Wanting to evolve his riding, Raba spent some time being tutored by Marcelo Gutierrez, in the foothills of Tarancipa, close to Bogota.
Using his vast experience of riding at speed on high-risk trails worldwide, Gutierrez advised Raba on making all those minor adjustments that compound to making a huge difference.
Raba felt a lot comfier and in control, after heeding Gutierrez's riding advice.
No acting when the timing is done
How much better of an enduro rider is Juan Pablo Raba after his coaching experience with Colombia’s greatest mountain biker?
The timing sheets never misrepresent progress, and Raba trimmed nearly half a minute off his descending time on a four-minute track. That’s nearly a 15% gain in speed.
Although the Narcos and Wild District star has suffered a left wrist injury, he remains deeply committed to his enduro mountain biking. And his bike of choice? That would be a German YT Jeffsy 29er, with 150mm of suspension travel.