Telluride Moto

The new business of ski instructors Frankie Zampini Davies and Cristina Dickson, Telluride Moto, located at 230 Front Street in Placerville, offers motorcycle rentals, tours, lessons and adventure. (Courtesy photo)

Frankie Zampini Davies is passionate about motorcycles and, well, anything with an engine.

Growing up in Argentina, he raced cars and motorcycles with his dad. When he was 10 years old, his mother told him he couldn’t have his own motor scooter until he learned how to fix them.

That night, he took apart her scooter’s engine. His mother was not impressed.

“It took a full week to put it back together, with my dad’s help of course,” Zampini Davies recalled, laughing. “But, a month later, I was at dirt bike school with my first Honda 70cc.”

And Mom’s scooter? It ran for more than 20 years after Zampini Davies fixed it.

Fast forward to the 2000s when Zampini Davies began working as a ski instructor at the Telluride Ski and Snowboard School.

It’s a role he has held for 15 years and one that he said he enjoys because of the satisfaction that comes from teaching clients while introducing them to new and exciting outdoor adventures.

Zampini Davies’ wife, Cristina Dickson, also a ski instructor who grew up in Argentina, said she feels the same.

“I have a degree in tourism and I am passionate about outdoor sports like skiing, kayaking, mountain biking and, of course, motorcycles,” she explained. “I’m also a lifetime learner who can’t wait to discover new places.”

Now, the pair have combined these shared loves and have opened Telluride Moto, a motorcycle rental, custom tour provider and adventure school based on Front Street in Placerville.

Their motto: Enjoy the ride.

Zampini Davies said the new business seeks to connect people of all levels and objectives with motorcycles and the thrill of exploring new places by motorbike.

He and Dickson offer a variety of services ranging from lessons to rentals to tours.

The tours themselves are highly customized and involve places of scenic or historic interest that run the gamut from regional locations like the West End, the San Juan Skyway, the West Elk Loop and Unaweep Canyon to destinations farther afield, including Arizona and New Mexico.

Zampini Davies added that, so far, clients have appreciated the range of options.

“Everyone who has stopped by or called us has had different interests, it was a real mix,” he said of Telluride Moto’s first summer in operation. “We rented motorcycles to more experienced customers that just wanted to know where to ride according to their ability. Other customers rode suggested routes after half- or full-day off-road training sessions with our certified instructors. In these sessions, riders get instruction and tips while doing drills that allow them to bond with their bike, and they get ready to enjoy the surrounding environment on two wheels.”

Dickson explained that every option is designed to be a memory maker for the client.

“We enjoy providing life experiences,” she said. “All of our packages are designed to keep you talking about your time with us and our motorcycles.”

It was, ironically, the pandemic that motivated Zampini Davies and Dickson to open their “dream business”.

The pair has spent much of the last 15 years dividing their time between Argentina and Telluride. Then the pandemic struck.

“For the last 15 years, as ski instructors we’ve been travelling from Patagonia to Telluride,” Dickson said. “We fell in love with Telluride and this amazing community. Telluride Moto will allow us to stay here, enjoy the four seasons and provide one more way for visitors and locals to enjoy Telluride.”

Added Zampini Davies, “Our winter jobs in Argentina were badly affected like so many others. Investing in a new business in the States was our way to recreate our lives in a country that we love.”

The couple have two children, ages 15 and 12, who inspired their parents to start Telluride Moto, according to Dickson.

“Our motivation was also our kids,” she said. “In the middle of the pandemic, we wanted to show them how to keep doing what we love, despite the adversity, with effort, honesty and respect. Now, our family will keep having unique opportunities to learn and grow. As a small family business, we want to say thank you for the support that the local community has given us.”


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