The adventure riding world will be converging on Flagstaff, Arizona next week as the 2013 Overland Expo once again hosts travel enthusiasts from across the planet. Loaded with a long list of sponsors & exhibitors, instructors, adventure travel experts, authors, and videographers from around the world, this is absolutely the place to be if those words caught your attention!
Chad Berger, our Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail Guide should be in attendance and I (Eric) will be as well. With other adventure riders like Ben Slavin, Ken and Carol Duval, and Austin Vince all in attendance, those with world travel experience or the interest in doing so have plenty of fantastic folks to get aquainted with.
Enjoy the video the Overland Expo folks have published below, and we'll see you there!
Ever heard of the "Tail of the Dragon," the Blue Ridge Parkway, or the Great Smoky Mountains? Of course you have, and all for good reason as each are representative of a motorcycle rider's paradise.
Our promise was and always will be to find the best opportunities possible for you to RIDE. As such, this is an announcement that we now have motorcycle rentals available in the Southeastern U.S, so if you're looking for unique riding experiences this coming riding season, look no further!
Take for starters the Tail of the Dragon, where 318 twists and turns await you in just an 11-mile stretch. At either end, you'll typically find a party of motorcycle riders hanging out and mingling, kicking the tires and getting ready to head back and ride the route all over again. As you're flipping your bike back and forth from one side to the other on curves separated by only a few rotations of your wheels, it might seem laughable that "they intentionally built the road like this?" (Above, is that Ben Slavin, or "Been Scrapin'?)
Surrounding Deal's Gap (a.k.a. U.S. Route 129) is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and even more reason to go riding in this area. With routes cut out through the thick foliage covering 800 square miles, the biodiversity and motorcycle riding diversity are a surprise to any first time rider. Elevation changes, routes carved out beneath tree canopy, and a steady mix of weather changes all make for an energizing riding experience.
Of course the Blue Ridge Mountains (which are part of the larger Appalachian Mountain range) are known by motorcycle riders for the Blue Ridge Parkway, and one amazing set of long sweeping curves and amazing viewpoints over the forests below. With fantastic restaurants in the area, access to cities like Asheville, North Carolina and plenty of Bed & Breakfasts or Hotels and Resorts, riders could easily spend a week between Tennnessee and North Carolina and never get bored with all there is to see and do. Don't forget you can also spend some time off the motorcycles and try the world class rapids of the Ocoee River if your timing is right. The same river used in the 1996 Olympic games held nearby in Atlanta, it's just a different opportunity to RIDE!
Again, the point here is to tell you that there are motorcycle rentals in the Southeastern U.S. available for you. Shipping your own motorcycle can be an enormous hassle, and sometimes the extra 2, 4, or however many days it might take to ride to and from this area might keep you from making the best of your vacation time. SO, why not choose from one of the dual sport bikes already waiting there for you. This fleet of bikes is based just about 45 minutes from the Knoxville (TYS) airport, so you can land and be riding easily within a couple of hours. If you need help figuring out what non-paved, dual sport type routes are worth checking out, we're just waiting for you to contact us so we can help.
CHECK OUT OUR MOTORCYCLE RENTALS for riding the Tail of the Dragon & Smoky Mountains!
Those who have reserved their Patagonia motorcycle rentals for the 2013/14 season are fortunate in that, you won't be stuck begging for motorcycles at the last minute like some people will! As we share more of Mark's comments from their February/March motorcycle trip below, it's obvious why Patagonia bike reservations sell out so far in advance:
"After catching the boat back to the mainland, we continued down the Carreterra Austral. And what a day! Queulat National Park just got more and more spectacular and the views of the glacier-capped mountains and lush forest were astounding. And, then, after hundreds of kms of dirt/gravel roads, the pavement magically reappeared. And it was great pavement, with virtually no traffic of any kind. High-speed runs through forests and Yosemite-like valleys were a blast. Finally, we cruised through Cerro Castillo National Park, where we encountered our first raindrops of the trip. But it never rained hard and only made the environment more mystical. We closed off the day by hitting the shores of Lago General Carrerra just as the sun broke through the clouds. The lake was a stunning color of cerulean blue and altogether beautiful. We arrived at Green Baker Lodge, another very nice place on the banks of the Rio Baker and had a phenomenal meal."
CLICK HERE TO SEE the same self-guided tour route that these customers were experiencing
"Joe is not as accustomed to riding in dirt as I am and opted to take a rest day. I of course wanted to ride some more and headed down to Caleta Tortel by myself. Once again, world-class views and some very good riding. But, for the first time, I encountered some of the infamous driving habits of Chilenos. Even on what are essentially one-lane roads, some drivers give no heed to vehicles that might be coming in the opposite direction, even if there are blind corners. After one or two close calls, I decided to take an even more defensive approach to riding. But Caleta Tortel was a pretty, very unique place and well worth the effort to visit. Also, I discovered a good restaurant called El Mirador. When I returned to the lodge that evening, Joe and I had another fantastic meal. We have not had a bad meal yet in either Chile or Argentina." DAY 6
"What a day (again)! They simply don't get any better than this. We rode along the south shore of Lago General Carrerra and it was simply spectacular. The weather continues to cooperate and we were awe-struck with every turn in the road. We were rarely out of sight of the lake, surrounded by glacier-capped mountains, for its entire 120+ km length, and the dirt road was in great shape. After crossing the border, we hit the pampas just as large, puffy clouds developed overhead and rain started to fall in the distance. The shadows and rainbows made even the barren hills look amazing. Finally, after another high-speed run down a lengthy stretch of pavement on Ruta 40, a kind of road that we hadn't seen in a while, we checked into Estancia Los Toldos and quickly bonded with the staff. It is not critical to speak Spanish down here, but it sure helps. Now we are preparing for what we are fondly referring to as the "hell day." We'll see if the vaunted winds appear as promised . . . ."
While I hate to make generalizations, Mark addressed an important topic in the middle of Day 5: The driving habits of the people in Latin America are not exactly with "safety" in mind. There seems to be a genuine lack of concern for what lies in the road ahead, although they are not definitely not intentionally trying to hurt anyone. Still, the vast majority of motorcycle riders from all around the world accomplish their riding missions annually in Patagonia, Colombia, and other places without any problem. As in any motorcycle riding situation, "awareness" is key to survival! Upon making your reservation for Patagonia motorcycle rentals, we will certainly be addressing this topic with you again to make sure your trip is completed safely.
As far as guaranteeing you the type of weather Mark and Joe had goes, well.....let's just say we can guarantee you the Patagonia riding will be amazing either way!
CLICK HERE TO SEE the same self-guided tour route that these customers were experiencing
A bit belated, time to share below some of what our self-guided Patagonia tour customers emailed about during their trip in March. This coming from Mark Larson of Arizona, while he and his riding pal Joe made their way from Osorno to Ushuaia in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, entirely self-guided!
"WOW! Unbelievable riding and landscapes. Everything you described and more. We're now halfway through the trip, safely esconced in Estancia los Toldos for the night, and I thought I would give you a quick trip report.
We spent a good night at Hotel Sonesta -- a very nice place -- had dinner right next door at the Italian restaurant. Good food. The following morning, we opted against heading north to Pucon and instead rode due east to the border crossing at Paso del Cardenal Samore. But we also knew that we wanted to ride a lot more than 240 kms the first day (the recommended route to Bariloche). So after completing our first border crossing, we headed north to San Martin de los Andes on the famous Ruta de los Siete Lagos. It was very pretty and there were some nice, high-speed sweepers on the paved portion. The dirt portions were in great shape and we arrived in San Martin in relatively short order (after a large hawk somehow flew into and impaled itself on Joe's crash bar). After a quick lunch, we then headed down route 63 to cross Cordoba Pass, a route I had heard good things about. Amazing scenery and fun dirt roads. After reaching Confluencia, we immediately headed west to Villa Traful along the lovely shores of Lago Traful. We ultimately rejoined La Ruta de los Siete Lagos and headed down, at a good clip, to Villa La Angostura and Bariloche. The hotel was just OK but the food at Nuevo Gaucho was great. We totaled 529 kms for the day. Now we're talking . . . .
CLICK HERE TO SEE the same self-guided tour route that these customers were experiencing
We immediately headed west to complete the "Circuito Chico" to the lookout overlooking Llao Llao Resort. A fun, albeit short, run through the forest and some great views. We then headed south on Ruta 40. And what a surprise! Eric never mentioned the fantastic, high-speed sweepers along the route. Brilliant road and a blast to ride. We had lunch at Rotiseria Pao in Epuyen -- the only restaurant in the entire town -- and got to spend quality time with the owner and her very charming, very outgoing 10-year-old daughter. She wanted to demonstrate for us her command of English and proceeded to name off every color of the pallete. We then headed through Parque Los Alerces and thorougly enjoyed it. Unfortunately, we then had to take the gravel road from Trevelin to the border crossing at Futaleufu. Lots of new gravel, lots of washboards and, worst of all, lots of dust with no wind of any kind to blow if off the road. Bit of a pain, but asi es la vida. We checked into Posada Ely in Futaleufu. It is a very basic, modest B&B, but I hit it off with Ely and she made the stay worthwhile. She recommended Restaurant Martin Pescador, right down the street. Great food. We logged a solid 500+ kms.
Great ride from Futaleufu to Puyuhuapi, but for some reason, it took us much longer than we anticipated. Joe had a close call with a camper van that refused to yield any ground and I had an interesting encounter with a local family that asked for a "donation" after helping with the bike. But we found a great place to eat lunch in La Junta -- the restaurant at the Hotel Espacio y Tiempo (just south of the gas station). Afterwards, we raced down to the dock to catch the 5:30 boat to Puyuhuapi Lodge. What a place! Eric had told us we had to experience it and, yet, it was much better than we expected. We arrived after the last weekend of summer vacation and the hotel only had 10 guests on the premises. It only added to the mystery of the place. Unbelievable location, unbelievable views from our rooms and altogether amazing. We had the hot springs to ourselves and topped the night off with a great meal and a game of pool on their antique table."
Stay tuned as we'll reveal how the rest of Mark and Joe's motorcycle tour in Patagonia turned out. You can do this route yourself as a self-guided tour and choose what level of hotel accommodations you want. Click here to see more about the "Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego & Ushuaia!" tour!
CLICK HERE TO SEE the same self-guided tour route that these customers were experiencing
If you enjoy surprises as much as I do, then a “thanks” goes out to BMW Motorrad for what they’ve done with the new liquid cooled 2013 R1200GS.
When Iron Horse Motorcycles of Tucson offered me a test ride earlier this week, I admit, I didn’t really jump at the opportunity. The way I figured, BMW added liquid cooling, a wet clutch, some electronic gizmos and a few ponies more, so what would the big deal be? At first glance the bike looked pretty much the same as it has since it became the “1200” back in model year 2005, and I had no major expectations for improvement.
Once I sat on the bike though, it was clear that BMW addressed a key issue riders have had with the famous BMW boxer engine: Leg room. Whereas previous models offered up a mere inch or 2 of clearance for longer legged riders, repositioning of the throttle bodies to the top of the cylinders has added about 4 times as much space to help us avoid banging our shins on the backside of the engine.
Legroom wasn’t only improved upon moving forward, but between the knees as well. Previously known as bike of considerable girth, the water cooled version of the R1200GS now feels taller with a more narrow “dirt-bike-like” physique, inviting us to attempt some more aggressive riding techniques and terrains. - Interesting to note is how BMW has moved their flagship bike more toward being “dirt worthy,” while early reports of the upcoming KTM 1190 Adventure have that bike stepping away from being recognized as the “King of the Dirt” amongst the big adventure bikes.
Aside from the overall feeling of the liquid cooled BMW, consider these other changes BMW made, both good and bad:
- Air Intake: Finally, an adventure bike fit to handle real river crossings! Now instead of having to think twice about axle-height puddles and streams, we should be able to charge through water much deeper with air intakes that are almost headlight-high. It would make sense that the ram-air style intakes both left and right will assist in horsepower and fuel economy, as the boxer engine can breathe more freely from up there.
- Handlebar controls have changed, but not all for the better. While some might appreciate typical 1-button turn signal operation, the flashing dual hazard lights are now more difficult to initiate. As a motorcycle tour guide, I use the hazard lights quite frequently to alert riders of situations ahead, so this is a change for the worse. (Please note: Even non-guiding riders can surely benefit from quick-access hazard lights.) - Also, I had noticed the blue high beam light was flashing on and off quite a bit as I was riding. As it turned out, the squeegee on the forefinger of my glove had been activating it inadvertently, suggesting that the switch is too close to the left hand.
- An Ex-KTM rider myself, the new liquid cooled R1200GS makes me realize how much I’ve missed having a wet clutch. (I’ve been exclusively on the 2012 R1200GS Adventure the past year.) The stink of burning clutch plates is a thing of the past now, and nothing but smooth, buttery clutch engagement awaits us on the new BMW. Of course with the wet clutch comes a rather “clunky” engagement from Neutral to 1st, but provided the transmission will hold up, it’s not too bad.
- BMW is boasting 125 horsepower on the first version of the liquid cooled GS, but that felt like that was a bit of an understatement. Still pulling with that torquey, low-end power we all love and then roaring to life with incredible new zeal over 4000 rpms, the bike is now feels smoother and stronger.
- With custom fitting options for the windshield, seat, and suspension coming standard, riders can really fine-tune the new R1200GS with the list of electronic suspension, traction control, and other high-tech functions available as well. Too many to list here, let’s just these “options” end up being “safety features” for those moments of rider error.
- The liquid R1200GS holds itself 8mm higher in terms of ground clearance, but at least by the specs, the seat position is not any higher. While 8mm might not sound like a huge deal, it sure could be when ground swells or obstacles are grazing your skidplate! This is something BMW needed to change in my opinion, so at least they moved the bike in the right direction.
Something to watch with the new liquid cooled R1200GS is that the compression ratio is now up at 12.5 : 1. A change that is undoubtedly part of the horsepower increase, it’ll be interesting to see how the engine will handle mid and low octane fuels. While the liquid cooling system will help control cylinder head temperatures, the connection between compression ratios, octane, and pre-ignition is a slightly different story. BMW intends for this to be the ‘world traveler’ of adventure bikes and as such it will be depended upon by riders from Bolivia to Mongolia where the octane ratings of fuel are a bit, shall we say...”lacking.” Will such a high compression ratio be an issue?
From this first test ride though, I’d like to reiterate that I was quite impressed with the evolution of the BMW and it’s new liquid cooled engine. As the 2011 and ’12 BMW’s are phased out of the motorcycle rental fleets, the new 2013 R1200GS should take over where the others left off. In fact, if your local dealer doesn’t let you take the test drive you want to take, please keep in mind you’ll be able to rent BMW motorcycles through us and put them to a real test in places like Patagonia!
CHECK OUT OUR MOTORCYCLE RENTALS and see where you can ride the BMW R1200GS
Dawn just cracked a smile upon us in the valley of the Futaleufu River on the Chilean side of beautiful Patagonia. Riders are still sleeping here at the lodge, there’s a bit of frost on the seats of the bikes, and some of the most fantastic motorcycle in the world still lies ahead.
The riders in the photos have been looking forward this trip for quite some time, as plans started taking shape for it back in July of 2012. The idea was to get a bunch of us from the motorcycle industry together for something other than the typical motorcycle rally, and Patagonia was the first suggestion brought to the idea table.
We all met up in Osorno, Chile on Monday, and since then have been riding through the national parks, Andes Mountains, ski villages and faces of northern Patagonia. Time as tight for this writer, as there’s so much to do on these tours, but enjoy a few pics for now. Internet connectivity won’t be available again until Friday night at a lodge on the shores of Lago General Carrera in Chile.
CHECK OUT UPCOMING DATES to join a "Patagonia Experience" Motorcycle Tour in the Andes
Along the shores of Lago Nahuel Haupi above, we had a chance to visit with “Che” and a new puppy for a quick photo opp. His handlers say Che is now at 100kg/220lbs, and his head makes our motorcycle helmets all look like XS’s.
Arden Kysely is with us from Rider Magazine and will be documenting his first trip into Patagonia by motorcycle. A well-known, written, and experienced motorcycle traveler, surely you’ve seen his other work in the magazine itself or their blog online. See his first posting from the trip here on this link.
More below, the Parque Nacional Los Alerces leads us into Futaleafu, where Erik from Twisted Throttle is admiring the early signs of what’s ahead!
With so many motorcycle tour companies and potential tour packages to choose from, how are you going to choose which one is right for you, and right for your money? This article is meant to help you think through the shopping process and make sure you pick the best provider for your long-awaited riding vacation.
The Cost/Value Question: Of course, cost is a factor for everyone. Even those who can afford the most expensive motorcycle tour would rather not overpay, and those who are "stretching it" a bit to make these trips happen financially…well…obviously, they're looking for the best value as well. Consider some points about the cost of each tour package you see:
- Look carefully at the "Included" items on each tour, and how they might affect your eventual overall cost of the trip. For example, whether you pay for all your meals up front through Company A, or eventually while you're on tour meal-by-meal while touring with Company B, the overall cost is probably about the same. Don't forget also, if motorcycle tours seem expensive, take a look at how much will be spent on food, either as part of your package or separately. You're probably going to eat every day whether on a vacation or not, and the difference in food costs while traveling might not be that much different from what you're accustomed to in daily life (for those who tend to dine out a lot.) Also, are things like fuel, airport pickup, and other items included in both tour options? What might seem like an enormous price difference in tour packages might not be when you look closely.
- Consider how much money Company A spends on advertising as compared to Company B. All those magazine ads, DVD's, and exhibits at motorcycle shows can be very, very expensive (trust us, we do it too!) and just like with many other things we buy, part your tour price goes toward covering those marketing costs. Certainly, our marketing is part of your entertainment in magazines and at motorcycle rallies, but wouldn't it be better if that money were being spent on the motorcycle tour you're taking? Better hotels? Maybe nicer meals and more qualified staff? Newer bikes?
- Along similar topics, consider things like the quality of hotels, conveniences and qualities of meals, and of course, the condition of the motorcycles you'll be riding on your tour. Some companies will cut corners in these categories, and in doing so could miss out on some truly great experiences on your trip. When you're comparing tour packages, make sure you consider all of the possible price/cost variances.
The Guides: If you're paying for a guided motorcycle tour, you shouldn't have to think much about how to accomplish the tasks of any given day or how to get to where you're going, right? Be careful with this one, because such will not always be the case and you could end up with a "guide" that is experiencing the tour route for the first time themselves.
- Sometimes this is disclosed ahead of time because, for example, a touring company might be doing a "research trip" to plan a new tour route (or portions of a route.) In that case, it's probably fine as long as they inform you ahead of time and give the "tour" at a reduced rate over what they or other companies might typically charge.
- In other cases though, you might be getting a "first timer" as your guide because that's all the time, effort, or money a tour operator chose to put into your trip. Instead of having experienced staff members attend and properly train their new guides on the route and tour operations, they figure "ahhhh...they'll figure it out and the customers won't know the difference." Training is after all, an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. But how will that factor into your overall experience when you finally get to do one of these trips?
- A third possibility is that a tour was originally planned to have an experienced, trained professional guide or guides, and something happened at the last minute that kept them from leading your group. This is after all "motorcycle touring," and accidents do happen. Still there's a clear distinction to be made between touring companies who intended to set you up with a proper guide, and those who never had such plans in the first place. (For example, some companies "promise the owner will be there himself!" when, ha, ha…we guarantee you there were never such plans in place to begin with. Maybe this is not important to some of you, but if it is, please be sure of what you're being promised.)
Which Company is Really Running the Tour? Along those lines of "who will be guiding your tour" comes the question of "which motorcycle touring company actually designed and organized the tour to begin with?" Just because Company A puts their name on a trip and takes your money for it doesn't necessarily mean they really had anything to do with making it a unique experience that they created for you.
In the world of travel and tourism, companies rely on "local operators" all the time to carry out the guiding and organizing needs of the tours they've sold. This is okay, but consider which company actually put the time and effort into creating your travel experience then. If you're buying a tour from "Company A," are they really doing anything more than taking your money, telling you where to go and giving the local tour operator a hat with a Company A logo to wear for the trip?
RIDE Adventures take pride in this particular arena in that, "yes," in addition to running our own tours we also sell the tours of our local operators in each country; however, we always make this clear to you from the beginning of our conversation about your trip. Furthermore, some of the premier tour operators through Latin America and Australia have named RIDE Adventures to be their official "USA Office," as we have such a strong history of working together to please customers. Most of the tours listed on our site are indeed actually the tours of our partners, but there are also some that are our tours. We designed them. We put the time and care into creating them, and we will be there personally to show you the time of your life on a motorcycle trip (most tours in Patagonia and Wisconsin are designed and will be led by either Chad or Eric.)
As always, we hope you find this information useful in choosing the your next great motorcycle adventure tour. Go back and reconsider factors like food, fuel, hotel qualities and who your actual guides will be, and your choice might change!
CONTACT US So We Can Help You Make The Right Decision On Which Motorcycle Trip Is Next For You!
We've taken a moment to do a few Q&A's with some of the well-known personalities in the motorcycle world. First up, we have Rachael of the famed FuzzyGalore.com - Girlie Motorcycle Blog who constantly amazes us with stories about quirky things she encounters on the road. She’s a busy lady but we’re glad she finds the time to share moto photos and news of her adventures on her blog and Facebook page. Because, as Fuzzy says, "sharing is sexy."
Well, let’s get started…
RIDE: First of all, the "About Me" section on your Facebook page says "I'm really not that interesting." Wanna bet?!?
FuzzyG: My daughter isn’t embarrassed to be seen with me, so I guess maybe I’m doing okay.
RIDE: So, Paul, Jr.? Really? (To explain: Paul Teutul of Paul Jr. Designs, and formerly Orange County Choppers, has been spotted commenting on Fuzzy's blog recently.)
FuzzyG: Crazy, huh? Believe me; no one is more surprised than me that anyone reads 'the little pink motorcycle blog that could.' But to think that someone whose face you see on TV would leave a comment here and there - it’s kind of cool. I keep thinking that maybe someone is just messing with me and it wasn’t really him.
It has to be said that someone on TV isn’t any more important than anyone else that reads my blog. I love all of my awesome readers - the folks who regularly take time out of their day to stop by and see what’s going on. Those folks are the coolest.
RIDE: Current bikes in your garage?
FuzzyG: I’m in a good place, bike-wise. I’ve thinned my personal herd recently and am left with a nice suite. Now, if only I could find more time to ride them.
On an impulse this fall, I bought myself a 2012 Ural Patrol sidecar rig in a lovely shade of orange. One day on my way to work the idea just came to me as clear as a bell that it was something that I should do. So I did. It is a sweet, funky machine that I love more than I ever imagined I would.
Then I’ve got my all-rounder a ’11 Triumph Tiger 1050. It can go far, go fast and carry luggage comfortably. That’s a win. Prior to the Tiger I did all of my sporty-touring on a Speed Triple so to me this feels very “grown up,” roomy and upright. The Tiger is at home on a long highway slog or hustling through the mountains. It’s perfect for me.
My Husqvarna TE 310 steps up for dual sport duty. It has really done wonders for my confidence off road. I’m kind of a chicken, so I’ll take all the help I can get. She’s tall, sexy and lean just like a Swedish model should be.
And finally, I have a very dusty and seldom seen ’01 Ducati 996 which I received as a gift a decade ago. Some girls like diamonds – I like motorcycles and diamonds.
The Ducati was my daily rider for a couple years until I could no longer deal with being folded up on it. As much as I loved it, it was just too focused for what I realistically needed.
The 996 represented the realization of a dream. I suppose that is why I feel so sentimental about keeping it, even though I rarely ride it. A part of me holds on to the hope that maybe one day my daughter will want it ~ like a family heirloom.
RIDE: Best motorcycling tip anyone has given you?
FuzzyG: “If you can eat it one sitting, you can ride over it,” with regard to animals that dart into the road.
RIDE: Favorite superhero and why?
I’m quite partial to the Adam West Batman from the 60’s television series. I used to watch reruns of the show with my dad after school. What’s not to love about a regular - albeit filthy rich - guy who is a hero? Don’t we all want to kick a little ass in our everyday lives?
Since I’m a huge fan of silliness the hokey Bat-gadgets, the sheer absurdity, the overly dramatic acting and of course… BIFF! POW! are right up my alley.
But, you know? When Christian Bale as Batman says “Rachael” in the movie The Dark Knight, I get a little tingly. hubba hubba.
RIDE: Most curious roadside oddity you've ever come across?
FuzzyG: One summer night 7 or 8 years ago, I was headed home on my bike after hanging out with some friends in town. It was around 11pm and there was almost no other traffic on the road. As I slowly pulled up to a red traffic light, a scene unfolded that has left me puzzled.
The entire four-way intersection where I sat was covered in… pancakes. There were no boxes, cartons, wrappers or papers anywhere, just pancakes. Thousands of them.
How did they get there without leaving any evidence of where they came from? Did they fall out of the sky? I fear that these are questions that will remain unanswered all the days of my life.
RIDE: What do you do when you're not riding or blogging?
FuzzyG: Laundry, dishes and vacuuming.
I’m a wife and mom so most of my non-work, non-moto time is spent with my family doing “stuff.” Since I love being outside I am always looking for things to do that will get us out - walks in the park, riding my longboard, playing tourist in our own town. We’re always running around on day trips, going to the beach, riding bicycles.
I have a difficulty with being idle or doing something called “relaxing.”
RIDE: Motorcycle adventure of your dreams?
FuzzyG: When I close my eyes and let my imagination do its thing, the motorcycle trip that I fantasize about most isn’t a specific place though it does revolve largely around the U.S. The adventure is one that just keeps going and going and going… My dream is a whim-driven ride that has little plan beyond where I feel like going that morning.
I just want to ride and see the States, visit all of our National Parks and wake up in a place where I don’t live. I want to know what the freedom of being able to truly wander is like, to not be fettered by a schedule or timetable for as long as I feel like it.
RIDE: Favorite motorcycle accessory?
FuzzyG: It’s probably cliché but, I would have to say that my Gerbing’s heated gear is my favorite accessory. It is absolutely true that the first time you turn up the temperature dial on a cold day you will ask yourself why you waited so long to finally buy the damned thing. It is worth the money.
RIDE: Strangest item you've ever carried on your bike?
FuzzyG: Hmm… A turkey shaped cake, I guess. Now, the act of bringing a cake home on your motorcycle itself isn’t so weird, but the cake on the other hand… was strange indeed.
Right before Thanksgiving this year, I stopped off at the supermarket to pick up a couple small things. While I was there I happened to see a cake in the bakery department that was shaped like the body of a turkey that is about to be roasted. The merengue-like icing was a strange pinkish-tan color that looked a little too much like the color of an uncooked bird. It was so weird that I had to buy it. Isn’t my family lucky?
I managed to cart it home without destroying it or even disturbing the creepy colored frosting. Come to think of it I never did have a piece of that cake.
Again, we want to sincerely thank Rachael for taking time to entertain us with answers to the deepest questions our inquiring minds could muster up on a cold winter day in Wisconsin. In addition to www.fuzzygalore.com you can also find her at www.facebook.com/Fuzzygalore.com.GirlieMotorcycleBlog
Please keep an eye on our website for other moto-celeb interviews in the near future – but for now, it's time for me to find a way to get closer to the Equator!
RIDE Adventures, LLC
(Above, a postcard from Jan and Remi from Canada, who spent 1 month on BMW motorcycle rentals we provided about a year ago. Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Bolivia, all in 1 amazing trip! Shown here in the Uyuni Salt Flats of Bolivia. - Below, Emily and Johann from Michigan, overlooking the Perito Moreno Glacier near El Calafate, Argentina.)
Another fantastic year has come and gone in the motorcycle travel business!
RIDE Adventures had substantial growth in 2012 and many happy customers to show for it. My personal thanks go out to everyone who relied on the free motorcycle travel information we provide and our reservation services for their riding vacation needs. Just as a reminder, you're now qualified for our Repeat Customer Discount program which will help you get your motorcycle rentals at reduced rates.
Another thanks goes out to the growing list of motorcycle touring and renting operators who have not only supported RIDE Adventures and our customers, but who have actually arranged for RIDE Adventures, LLC to be their "U.S.A. Office." While we still do run our own motorcycle tours, we've also formed alliances with select touring and rental companies in South America, The Caribbean, and Australia to coordinate their bookings. Most motorcycle travelers seem to enjoy having a local contact here in North America, and don't want to have to deal with international calls, timezones, etc., so acting as a "motorcycle travel agency" has been working very well.
All signs point to 2013 being a better year still with the motorcycle travel community growing all the time. In particular, female riders from all around the world are making their debut on the riding scene, and reports from the United Kingdom and other countries are that "adventure bikes" are now surpassing sport bike sales for the first time! Undoubtedly, folks are realizing that if you're going to have just 1 motorcycle, we might as well have the 1 motorcycle that does everything.
Please be sure to stay in touch with us, write a testimonial about the service we've provided you or share some stories or pictures for our RIDE Adventures Facebook page. While this company was founded on the notion that "more people need to see this," the connections we make with riders like Jan, Remi, Emily, and Johann are the motivating force behind this motorcycle travel and reservations service!
Best wishes in 2013,
RIDE Adventures, LLC
With our first overland travel / 4x4 tour now up on the website, RIDE Adventures continues with our promise of always finding you great opportunities to RIDE. What's more, this 1st listing happens to be a chance to see the Dakar Rally up close!
While we've been entirely focused on motorcycle adventures until now, this Dakar Rally overland travel tour opens the door to adventure-minded travelers that aren't ready or interested in motorcycle travel. Without a doubt, the motorcycle "thing" isn't for everyone, but that shouldn't stop you from getting the same types of active, outdoor adventures we continue bringing to travelers.
This Dakar tour is quite unique, if for no other reason than its price is so good. Any other overland adventure you'll find following the Dakar will typically be an open seat within one of the Dakar team support vehicles. Sure, riding along with the team might be a fantastic experience as part of the Dakar teams, but for $20,000+ per spot on the trip, most people would sooner pay off their car loans or do something more practical.
How does it work? Be sure to see our tour page devoted to this Dakar Rally Trip and learn more about what's included, the dates, etc. Important to note is that it won't fall under the category of "luxury" tours. Aside from the first and last nights where hotels are used, we'll be camping out each night under the stars, cooking for ourselves around the campfire, and showering within the facilities of the 6x6 Overland Truck we'll use to chase the Dakar race each day. While there are some who might be turned off at the thought of all this "outdoorsy" travel, those who are chained to your desks right now might be salivating at the thought of it.
By camping out each night as close to the official bivouac as possible and finding the best possible viewing points to interact with the tour each day, the ultimate goal here is to experience the Dakar Rally as up-close and personally as possible. If our movement to stay ahead of things seems somewhat "abrupt" at times, or wake-up is earlier than you might want it to be, just imagine what a typical privateer Dakar racer is feeling like? Some of them will have mechanical issues under the hot sun during the day, end up "limping" back to the bivouac at 2am, working some more on their bikes, and then getting up at 6am to ride all day again. Dubbed the "ultimate" of all rally races, few will dispute such this as the Dakar Rally official title, and those who do might need to witness the event up in person themselves. (And to think: "Those in the know" will remind you that it was even tougher while it was still in North Africa!)
An important distinction to make when you see the tour page is that there are 3 options available to join: The 1st half, the 2nd half, or you can just sign-up for the entire overland tour and enjoy to the fullest. Keep in mind that there are great South American motorcycle touring and renting options to enjoy outside of this specific trip, and countless fantastic sites, scenery, and cultural experiences to enjoy in Peru, Argentina, and Chile. For overland truck travelers though, this opportunity to travel in such a 6x6 truck, and enjoy and adventure along with seeing the Dakar Rally makes this trip a sure sellout. In fact, between the posting of the tour 4 days ago and the writing of this blog post, 2 of the 4 spots have already done exactly that: Sold out!
CHECK OUT THE DAKAR RALLY TRIP in this unique Overland Travel 6x6 opportunity!