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All about heart

Mountain bike downhill freerider Chris Van Dine has found his passion in helping kids in Latin America learn how to ride a bike, and keep bikes close to their souls.

EL SALVADOR, CENTRAL AMERICA’S smallest country, lies by the warm Pacific Ocean coast squeezed between Guatemala and Nicaragua. Small in size, it sits at the top of many negative lists, with one of the highest homicide rates in the world, over a third of its population living below the poverty line, and with many of the country’s youth turning to gangs to survive. Right here, in a small town called El Tunco, legendary downhill mountain biker Chris Van Dine has thrown his skills, energy, passion and heart into a bike project together with the local orphanage Remar.

Chris has always had a huge heart for grassroots efforts that focus on sustainability and social engagement, and the El Tunco project has shown how using local passion to drive these efforts can really engage and help people. With the support of Thule and the award winning production company (and fellow Thule Crew members) Sherpas Cinema, Chris‘s El Tunco project was captured in a beautiful short film, called Bikes of El Salvador.

Traveling with a bicycle opens doors in ways you can’t imagine. It’s a passport to new places you otherwise couldn’t access or wouldn’t go, and an automatic connection with people from around theglobe. This trip sent us into the high alpine of the Chilcotin mountains where we slept under the stars on a lake beach, took a float plane 35 miles into the backcountry, and then rode back home through wild untrammeled terrain. #Thule RoundTrip ProMy years of racing have certainly given me the opportunities to experience an interesting life, and more importantly, allowed me to be where I am today. But it’s these days riding with friends, taking in the views, and finding joy on a bike again that really makes this sport special.


Athletes in this article

Chris Van Dine

Chris’s favorite moments are the vicarious ones. Standing on podiums and stages is wonderful, but the sheer amazement and joy that sweeps over the face of a child riding on two wheels for the first time is something else.


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