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South American Epic Staff Profile: Luiz Morais
Hometown: Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Stats: Certified ABETA (Brazilian Association for Adventure Tourism) Guide, Professional Driver First Aid/CPR, Graphic Designer, Cross Country MTB/BMX Racer, Intermediate PARK Tool mechanic
On this trip: Driver, Mechanic, and Bossa Nova Master
“How did you end up working with TDA?”
“I’ve been friends for a long time with Cristiano, who has been leading trips with TDA for a long time now and always tells me about his crazy adventures when gets back to Brazil. But even before that, I was looking online like crazy for bicycle tour companies because that’s what I do as a side project and I had heard of TDA. Cris and I had always talked about working together and since his first tour, he has been trying to recruit me but it hasn’t been until now that I was actually able do it. He knew I was in love with everything bike-related (driving, riding, mechanic, etc.) and I now I get to share that with everyone on the tour, which is a huge privilege for me.”
“Why bike touring? Why are you passionate about it?”
“My entire life has revolved around bikes, in one form or another. From BMX to mountain bike racing, I have been here since the sport arrived to my city. Since motocross culture was already really strong here, we all fell in love with mountain biking immediately and since then we’ve created a community obsessed with building trails and riding. And now, one of the most significant MTB races in the world takes place here, the Iron Biker. Eventually, I lost interest in racing and began Magrela’s because I loved the idea of using my bike to explore. Of all the work I do, this is my favorite. It makes me incredibly happy. This trip is like a reward for me since Magrela’s has been going for 10 years now – an amazing opportunity that I have sacrificed a lot for but it means enough to me that it’s worth it.”
“Does biking have the power to make changes in a world where cars dominate?”
“Definitely. Through Magrela’s, I started a bicycling activism program that aims to provide resources for local people through cycling-related activities. We do work to promote these things pretty much every week. It takes a lot of extra time but it’s something I think is very important. In a country like Brazil, where more and more people are moving to the big cities and congesting them, I really think that bikes can at least reduce a LOT of the problems associated with unsustainable urban living.”
“What do you like to do for fun?”
“I used to work as a DJ for awhile and although I don’t get paid for it anymore, I still love putting together playlists and mixing music for my friends. Music has been a huge source of inspiration for me and this stuff is a lot of fun. I also do a lot of downhill and enduro riding, which is great considering that I live in the California of mountain biking in Brazil.”
“Who’s your favourite artist?”
“Brazilian: Gilberto Gil. Otherwise, I could dance all night to Jamiroquai. But honestly, my absolute favorite is punk rock. It’s in my blood.”
“What about family?”
“Oh, I miss them! My wife’s name is Carolina and my little boy’s name is Ivo. We go for a ride pretty much every night I’m home so I’m definitely planning on making up for lost time when I get back.”
2 Comments for "South American Epic Staff Profile: Luiz Morais"
Luiz has been a star on this southamerican epic ride.He is a tireless worker who helps keep the tour rolling along daily…he drives the lunch truck, helps with lunch, keeps us motivated, fixes bikes and 100 other tasks. We are so lucky to have him as a member of the super devoted tda staff on this epic ride across south america. Muchas gracias Luiz!!!
Chris, as I said a few times during the trip, it is very pleasant when we work with what we like and dream. They were difficult but wonderful days. All cyclists dedicating their best to overcome their own challenges with the unknown, the SAE, was for me a great school which I was one of the conductors. Crazy? So, the 100 tasks of day-to-day were easy, complicated was the flat tire task 100 times … Take care Chris, you are the monster of the ANDES!!!!