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California Motorsports Adventours Thrills From the Seat Of an ATV

By Pamela Sosnowski

There are hiking tours, biking tours, horseback riding tours, and skydiving tours. But for Markuz, a tour organizer and guide at California Motorsports Adventours (CMA), riding on an ATV or motorbike is the only way to travel.

"On an ATV you really are part of the vehicle; shifting your weight to maneuver around turns, pulling up on the handlebars to get over some obstacles, shifting the gears and punching the gas when you need a little extra boost to get over a hill," he explains. "And just seeing landscape flying by you in a blur gives you a feeling of freedom that you can't get with any other sport. It's an addictive feeling that none of us can get enough of and want to show everyone what its like to ride."

Since 1997 the tour group has been leading both ATV enthusiasts and travelers that have never sat in one on guided tours through the California landscape and beyond and has been featured on television programs such as VH-1's Rock of Love with Bret Michaels. According to Markuz, the company's founders were champion Quad and motocross racers that wanted more people to experience the thrill of exploring the local scenery and attractions by off-roading through it.

"After a time of offering four-day and longer trips exclusively on only ATVs, they decided to offer shorter trips and add dirt bikes to accommodate everyone from families looking for a new adventure to the experienced rider a chance to see off-road with the same love and passion as they do," he says.

There's no age limit for the rides as long as an individual can safely control and operate the vehicle; children as young as five have participated in rides. Guides instruct each rider on how to safely operate their vehicle and riders may rent a helmet, goggles, gloves, and other accessories for their tour. Most of the tours operate in southern California and Mexico, usually between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. The basic tour is a three-hour ATV or dirt bike tour in San Diego's mountainous areas.

For the even more adventurous, CMA offers excursions up to nine days long that include traversing challenging terrain, local cuisine, and staying overnight at secluded haciendas. The Americas tour even involves driving off-road on the bottom of the Grand Canyon and several packages incorporate other activities such as jet skiing, white water rafting, wine tastings and more. Bachelor, bachelorette, and corporate party tours are also popular options.

The tour company's unique offering gives everyone a chance to see the beauty of Southern California and Mexico from a unique point of view. "I believe that it's different for everybody," says Markuz. "For some it's the adrenaline, for others, it's the adventure. For me, it's all of that and more. It is also a sense of freedom because it is not like driving a car at all."

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