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Motorcycle Safety by Accident Scene Management & Road Guardians

  
  
  

Accident Scene ManagementHave you ever taken a course or learned something that made you think, "wow...everyone should know about that"?

That thought is fresh in my mind, having just finished a weekend taking “A Crash Course for the Motorcyclist” & "Advanced Bystander Assistance" programs offered by Road Guardians in Big Bend, WI. Road Guardians is an international organization that I had merely heard about at a few motorcycle rallies previously. As it turns out, they have over 170 instructors worldwide, and have taught over 25,000 people what I'm calling; crucial information that we should all be trained on. Not just motorcycle riders, (although we in particular might be prone to injuries and danger.) I mean it...everyone should learn these "accident scene management" skills as we're all likely to come across a motorcycle rider or other person in need of help someday. Surely some of us already have.

I've had some training in First Aid, CPR, and some of the very basics of handling injuries stemming from motorcycle crashes, including my own. (I suffered a Grade 4 acromioclavicular separation or "separated shoulder" in 2007.) Of course I've also been present at numerous accident scenes now in the past 6 years since getting involved in the motorcycle touring business. Some key points I learned from this course (and there are many more) might seem obvious to some of us, but others who don't deal with these situations regularly might not know:

Recovery Position 3The "Puke & Drool" Position - Sounds funny, but it's actually an excellent position to keep an injured person in (as long as they are breathing) as such injuries can cause random vomiting and secretions that could, in turn, be choked on or inhaled if the victim was instead on their back. At least in this side lying position, the spine is straight and fluids will be out of the way.

Bandages & Gauze - After the initial sterile bandage is applied to an open and bleeding wound, it should not be removed or changed out for fresh ones until the injured person is in the hospital or with professional medical personnel. Why? Pulling away the bandage can also pull away a clot that is forming, thereby allowing blood to continue more freely again.

Eye Injuries - If a severe enough injury to someone eye means it should be covered, actually both the eyes should be covered. A person's eyes tend to move together simultaneously (obviously) and so if they were still using their 1 good eye, the other would continue to move and possibly be further damaged by the eyes moving around in unison. So if both eyes are covered, make a point to act as the injured person's eyes, as they will be frightened and you can help them relax by explaining what's going on around them.

Motorcycle First AidWait 20-30 Minutes! - We've all seen it before, and probably said the same thing ourselves numerous times after a crash: "I'm fine, let's go." Sound familiar? - Nobody wants to crash in the first place, as it can be as physically painful as it is embarrassing. Mistakes like crashes tend to temporarily inflate our egos to the point that we deny real pain and physical injury in the first place, not to mention that a state of shock can only further mask the pain. - What does all this mean? We should stop each other from just riding off just minutes after a crash, and instead make a point to slow down, do a thorough check of our motorcycles, and really wait to see if some delayed effects of a crash might be setting in. Even 20-30 minutes after a serious crash, riders can have changes in heart rate, unstable bleeding, and other physical or mental concerns that might not have been evident in the few minutes after the incident. Riding when we're not in a condition to do so ... well ... I hope I don't need to explain what that can lead to.

Longboard Motorcycle Accident SceneEasy to Remember Acronyms: PACT helps you remember what to do first: Prevent Further Injury, Assess the Situation, Contact the EMS and Treat the injured. The ABCSS of Trauma help to prioritize treatment: Airway (Jaw Thrust), Breathing, Circulation (bleeding you can see), Shock (bleeding you can’t see) and Spinal Immobilization.

Bottom line, folks: Take a course like “A Crash Course for the Motorcyclist” and if you can dedicate two days to training, take "Advanced Bystander Assistance" offered by Road Guardians (AKA: Accident Scene Management) and make sure you're better prepared to deal with these situations when they occur. These courses are now offered worldwide by a team of Certified Instructors who are motorcyclists and not only enjoy teaching, but do so with the understanding that in the end, they’re helping people. Whether it's out riding with friends or just passing by any unfortunate incident where someone was hurt, you'll thank yourself for the time you've invested in such education, and I'll be willing to bet that someone else out there will thank you as well.

Now With Motorcycle Rentals and Tours in Bolivia!

  
  
  

Motorcycle rental BoliviaIt was just a matter of time until the right connections were made and research was done. Folks, we're happy to announce that we now have motorcycle rentals & motorcycle touring options in Bolivia!

I'll never forget the first time I rode through Bolivia, as I swore it was the most gorgeous country in the world (as difficult as such a declaration may be.) In fact, some time after my first visit, I declared on my personal blog that the route from Uyuni to Potosi is one of the 3 greatest 1-day rides I had ever seen, and that remains my opinion to this day. Now entirely paved, that route is more like a half-day ride, but that route is absolutely stunning to ride.

So back to the new service offerings! It took a while to get a confirmed plan for Bolivia, as the laws surrounding rentals, border crossings, and everything else are somewhat complicated. Instead of getting into that though, let's just say "we've made it easy for you" through local contracts that you don't have to worry about. This means you can now book:

Motorcycle Trip BoliviaMotorcycle Rentals in Bolivia - Don't even think about shipping your motorcycle to Bolivia, as the complications of doing so will have most sensible riders cancelling their trip plans altogether out of pure frustration. (Not to mention the risk involved with shipping your motorcycle, and one such example shown on this link.)

Instead of shipping your motorcycle, use the Suzuki DR 650 and BMW F800GS Rentals that we offer now, based in the city of Cochabamba (CBB airport.) Just let us know your start/finish dates, which bike you want, and after the reservation process we'll have the motorcycle of your choice ready for when you arrive. Part of the service is making sure you know where you're going and offering some suggested routes. Bolivia is one very large country and there's lots to see, but we'll show you the absolute highlights!

Private Group Motorcycle TourThe "Top 7 Highlights of Bolivia" - If you prefer the convenience of having guides translate for you, show the route, inform you of otherwise unnoticed discoveries, and just be there for riding companionship, a guided group tour like the Top 7 Highlights of Bolivia tour will be an excellent choice. That really is a primary difference to consider when choosing between a guided or self-guided motorcycle trip. These guided experience are just SO much easier to carry out, as we've already made the hotel reservations, we know where to go, and what to do when situations arise with 1 or 2 guides there supporting the group the entire way. Sure, a guided trip usually costs about 25% more by the time you're done, but it's just such a convenience that many riders shouldn't pass up on. (Not to mention, we tend to meet new people and often make great lifelong riding friends after traveling in groups like this.)

READY TO RIDE IN BOLIVIA? Contact Us About Setting Up Your Ideal Motorcycle Adventure!

Custom & Private Group Bolivia Tours - Keep in mind, we'd be happy to host your private group and design the perfect custom tour that includes exactly the type of adventure riding you wish! It starts with a conversation and letting us know things like how many motorcycle riders you will have, which bikes you want to ride, any specific scenic points you want to experience, the duration of your trip, etc. Please keep in mind that private groups can be as small as 1 rider, or up to as many as you wish. The thing is, the more riders you have, the less expensive it is per person as the common costs of running the tour are spread across more people. (Common costs like the guides, support trucks, salaries, etc. have to be divided.)

Whether you want to focus on riding up in the "high and dry" plains region, focus on highlights like the "Road of Death" (the World's Most Dangerous stretch of road) or get down into the jungle where a winter riding getaway sure is more comfortable, your motorcycle trip in Bolivia starts with a conversation! Just use this form to Contact Us and let us know what your wish is. The more information you provide, the more precisely we can help you plan the exact riding adventure you've been craving. I guarantee you'll be amazed at the experience of riding in Bolivia!

Road of Death in Bolivia

Eurotrippin' in Search of the Best Motorcycle Routes

  
  
  

Riding Italy DolomitesIs it too cliche to say, "It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it?"

Hey, it's the truth. This business started by riding and researching motorcycle routes, and it continues to grow partially due to such efforts. Now in eastern Europe this past week, riding the Dolomites of northern Italy and the Alps of Austria and Slovenia, I'd say RIDE Adventures will have more to offer soon!

Steve Atwill, a Repeat Customer of RIDE Adventures joined me for the first 4-5 days of this research project which was just really just a motorcycle & GPS rental starting in Zagreb, Croatia. We're also doing an actual guided motorcycle tour offered by one of the local operators, but that's down through Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro before circling back to Zagreb.

What a ride though through the Dolomites and Alps though! Unseasonably heavy rains hampered things a bit, but didn't stop us from crossing EU borders without a problem, whizzing along through beautiful valley settings, and staying at, dare I say, some of the "charming" Gastof's typical in this region.

Gasthaus AustriaWhile I'm obviously a proponent of the guided motorcycle tour format, there's something to be said about the self-guided experiences we offer as well. In this central/eastern European region, you can have so much fun if you just arrange good bike (I'm riding the BMW R1200GS,) a Garmin Zumo or similar GPS, and set the "Avoidances" to keep you off main Interstates, Highways, and Toll-Roads. These tiny villages in Austria and Slovenia are just picture-perfect, with a "Gasthaus" or Bed & Breakfast-type option available on nearly every road. It's really easy to travel here, guided or self-guided.

A real highlight (fortunately as the weather cleared for us a bit was the "Nockalm Road" or "Nockalmstrasse" named for the Nockbergs, or uniquely shaped small mountains that line the National Park here. Like they say, it's motorcycle paradise! There's a small fee of about 10 Euros to enter the 34km stretch of twisties, and as such, we could tell some riders were essentially "lapping it" by going back and forth without leaving the road. It never gets terribly high in altitude, or even in the busy season here did the road seem Nockalmstrasseover-packed. Well, if it was packed with anything, it was great scenery and fun twisties.

More on this region soon....we'll have self-guided motorcycle trip or guided tour service to offer you soon. Actually started this blog post a few days ago back in Croatia, and now we're in Sarajevo, Bosnia. What a site, and city rich with history!

Patagonia Riding Season Over, More Great Memories Behind

  
  
  

Jesus Patagonia Motorcycle TripAnother incredible Southern Patagonia season has just about come to an end, and with a smile, our list of happy customers has grown quite a bit more. Things couldn't be better for RIDE Adventures, now in its 4th year of operation.

Please note, I said "Southern Patagonia." There's still some time to enjoy the Northern Patagonia region though! In fact, we're working on a new Patagonia trip itinerary that should be announced within a couple of weeks, so stay tuned and make sure you sign up for our eNewsletter if you haven't already. This new route should be plenty accessible through April, and even into May by typical Patagonia weather statistics (see link here for Temuco statistics, althought you can see that May's weather typically means a lot of rain.)

Patagonia has changed more this season as we knew would be the case, but suddenly it starts to seem like the incoming pavement is for the better, not for worse. Many of our customers are seeking as much dirt riding as possible on their motorcycle trips, and we've supported them in finding it. Truth is though, there's a fairly small percentage of the riders out there in the world that really handle our "Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego & Ushuaia!" route on any first attempt. The terrain alone is a factor, but a full-blast of Patagonia wind is a complete gamechanger for riders who don't have much experience in such conditions.

Sheep Patagonia TripWe still offer these Patagonia trips as publicly available tours, so don't worry if you don't have a group to bring...just bring yourself! The shown itinerary and calendar dates will pretty much have to stay as they are, unless again, you want to form your own group. The other possibility is that you do have a group formed, and we can custom-fit an itinerary to your exact wishes. A day of rafting on the Futaleufu River? No problem. Fly-fishing excursions for a rest day from the bikes? You'll be in a fly-fishing paradise in Patagonia, so why not enjoy? Tell us what the best motorcycle trip ever would be like for you, and I bet we'll still surprise you about how great the overall Patagonia riding experience is.

Perhaps the best example of what I'm talking about came from one of the riders in our February group. For me as the guide, and the guy who designed the tour for this private group, it's both extremely fun and extremely satisfying when riders reveal how impressed they are with the trip. In particular, one rider, who was otherwise one of the most reserved and quiet of the group eventually lost composure in one of the National Parks and muttered out in his Latin accent but perfect English: "this is fucking incredible." If this had come from any other guy, it wouldn't have been so special perhaps. But coming from a guy who mostly kept to himself, it's extra special to hear and see the impression Patagonia makes on a rider!

Patagonia Pavement RidingAnyway, it's with tremendous satisfaction that we say this Patagonia season ended on a high note, and as mentioned earlier, more research has been done on a Northern Patagonia tour route that will be announced soon. The Lakes Region around Pucon and San Martin de Los Andes has been an overlooked area for far too long, so it's quite exciting to have something new to start offering. (Plus it will open up September and April as travel months for Patagonia.)

It's all part of the job here...finding the best reasons and excuses for you to get out and RIDE! Just contact us anytime you're ready for what might be the best motorcycle trip you've ever taken.

KTM Adventure Riders, Did You Meet Pete?

  
  
  

KTM Riders in the northeastern U.S., have you met Pete Manzoli yet? Keep an eye out for him…this rider practcially bleeds Orange, and gets around the riding scene.

Pete Manzoli KTM Rider1I first met Pete at the 2011 KTM Adventure Rally in Mill Hall, Pennsylvania. KTM had pulled together a group of about 30 adventure riders in combination with the few-hundred “Durty Dabbers,” a local dual sport riding club known for riding in the Pocanoas. With only 30 of us on the bigger adventure bikes, it was pretty easy to meet the other big-bike riders, and guys like Pete.

What I didn’t know about Pete at first glance was just how far back his passion for the ‘big orange brand’ goes. Truth be told, he looks more like a guy that just got off his Harley and is about to walk into a bar than someone who has been out grinding away through the rocks, mud, and dirt. He’ll be the first to admit this, saying  “I know I don’t look the part.” Maybe that’s part of what’s so neat about this slice of humble pie… he is who he is, and isn’t afraid to be.

KTM Adventure Rider Pete Back when I was in high school and we joked about the virtually unknown KTM brand as standing for “Kick Twenty Minutes,” Pete was out riding the hills of New Jersey and the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest, with thousands of miles and smiles forever imprinted in the wilderness. For many of us, brand loyalty stems from memorable experiences where a brand far exceeded expectations. The motorcycle that kept running a few kicks after being submerged in water, the bike that you got lost in the woods with but somehow kept running on what seemed like an impossible amount fuel, or the bike you were riding when you met someone you’re still friends with 20 years later.  Whatever the reasons, Pete has his and you probably have yours.

By conversation at the 2011 Rally, I already knew Pete loved the brand; however, it was an invite to his home in New Jersey that truly unveiled his level of devotion. I was due for a valve adjustment on my 2004 950 Adventure S at the time, but still lived on the road promoting and growing www.rideadv.com, and didn’t keep all the proper tools, carb-sync meters and such with me. Gladly accepting the offer for a proper workshop (instead of my usual hotel parking lot or campground) I found that Pete’s garage, all the spec sheets, and everything I could have possibly needed were all set up specifically for KTM work. As if it was a shop dedicated to Marc Coma, Taddy Blazusiak, or another top-level KTM sponsored rider, we enjoyed the weekend hanging out talking bikes, and getting mine back to tip-top shape.

Pete KTM Rider 2 Walking through the lower level of his house, “Orange” decor is splattered all over the walls. Covered with original posters from the 80’s, news articles about bike releases from the 90’s, and every bit of brand history makes this area almost a “KTM History Museum.” If it happened to the Austrian brand, Pete knew about it and saved the article or press release. Simply awesome to see such a passion for a brand.

While Pete’s appearance, his garage, and his bikes may be donning Orange and Black, don’t mistake him for a typical Harley rider; he is a true adventure rider that will seemingly have nothing to do with a bike or brand that doesn’t boast the KTM logo. Say hi to him when you have the chance to at the next rally or race, though. His new 1190 KTM Adventure is on the way, and once he gets that, I don’t imagine you’ll be able to catch him!

 

Year 2013: Incredible for RIDE Adventures!

  
  
  

Friends and fellow motorcycle riders, a huge thanks goes out to all of you for making 2013 such an incredible year for RIDE Adventures, LLC! The business saw fantastic growth in its 3rd year since opening, and we'll proudly continue with more plans for making more happy customers in 2014 and beyond.

A few highlights from 2013:

Patagonia Experience Motorcycle TourRider Magazine Article: March 2013 saw a group of highly respected motorcycle industry owners and managers get together for the "Industry Invitational 2013," and Arden Kysely from Rider Magazine came along to cover our Patagonia Experience motorcycle tour. That article from August has helped promote the service we offer, helping riders see the incredible Andes Mountains of Chile and Argentina.

Motorcycle Rallies and Events: Always looking forward to getting out and meeting you in person, we had booths at the MSTA Star 2013 in Lexington, Kentucky, the BMW RA at the Biltmore in North Carolina, the BMW MOA Rally in Salem, Oregon, and the Curve Cowboy Reunion 2013 in Bend, Oregon. So great meeting you all in person! We look forward to more events in 2014.BMW MOA Rally

Expansion of Partners Network: It's no secret, we depend heavily on our trusted Partners and fellow tour & rental operators around the world. Anyone in the travel business who tells you otherwise, just isn't telling the truth. As such, we've taken our relationships with existing Partners to new levels, allowing you to communicate directly with them through our website. So you still get the comfort of dealing with the U.S.-based RIDE Adventures, LLC, and you still get the reassurance that we're connecting you only the best providers in each region, and you still get the benefits of the Repeat Customer Discount program; but now, you can communicate directly with the best providers in each country for arranging your motorcycle trip! This year we added motorcycle rentals in South Africa and New Zealand to make sure you're taken care of when winter rolls in up north.

The list could honestly go on forever, but as you can tell by the gaps of time in between recent blog posts, things are VERY busy right now, and time is tight. I personally am off to Colombia in the morning to help with the last "Discover Colombia" guided tour for 2013. Then off to Chile and Argentina for Patagonia tours through March.

My best wishes go to all of you for similar travel plans and a safe and healthy 2014. Perhaps I'll be seeing you on one of these tours, if not in 2014, sometime soon!

RIDE on!

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Motorcycle Fly & Ride Peru: Self-Guided or With Friends

  
  
  

Fly & Ride Peru Motorcycle TripIn case you hadn't noticed, the 14 Day Self-Guided "Fly & Ride Peru" tour is now available! 

As the overwhelming majority of riders out there still prefer to "go it alone," we've got great options like this one that make it easy for you to experience Peru without blowing any budgets out of control. Now you can arrange a trip with a group of friends or by yourself, and with a pacakge like this one:

  • Simply Contact Us to reserve the trip with RIDE Adventures
  • Show up on your scheduled date in Arequipa, Peru
  • The Peru motorcycle rental you've reserved will be waiting for you
  • Follow the GPS or map instructions we've provided
  • Enjoy the route highlights that simply cannot be overlooked (especially in Peru. With the Nazca Lines, Colca Canyon, and Machu Picchu, it's impossible not to be amazed!)
  • Stay at the nice, reputable hotels we've pre-reserved for you
  • Have the time of your life on a motorcycle trip that costs about half of what most guided tours cost!
LARS IS READY TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS Contact Him About Riding In Peru!

motorcycling in PeruA vacation package like this one comes after many requests to have both a) lower priced options for our customers, and b) tour routes that focus on paved riding, more than off-pavement. On our "Pavement Only" tour page, you'll find a number of options, including this one in Peru, that allow you to ride an entire trip and never see more than about 5% off-pavement. (Sometimes it's just unavoidable due to construction, preserved National Parks, etc.) Still, even those small gravel or packed-dirt sections you'll encounter are simple enough that even the most "amateur" motorcycles handle them without a problem. Keep in mind folks: Nothing says you need to blaze through a motorcycle trip at "Dakar-like" speeds. Take it slow and easy, and you'll arrive just fine!

The only months you should avoid in Peru are about late December through March, as the rainy season in the Alti-Plano (High Plains) region of the Andes Mountains is in full effect. We've had groups do this trip in February, and they've enjoyed thoroughly...it's mostly a matter of whether you mind riding what could be quite a bit of rain.  (With the right motorcycle gear, rain riding isn't much of an issue and can actually be a pleasure.)

So it's up to you: Are you going to wonder forever what it's like to ride motorcycle in Peru or Contact Us and reserve your trip now?

LARS IS READY TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS Contact Him About Riding In Peru!

Around-The-World Motorcycle Adventure Becomes Adventure in Publishing

  
  
  

As you've noticed by now, we at RIDE Adventures also support the individual riders, the "Lone Wolves" if you will, who head out and Ride the World on their own motorcycles. While we hope to bring more of you into our service offering, we're not just supporting those who purchase our guided tours & motorcycle rentals.

In the same spirit, we've noticed a unique story about a unique motorcycle rider named Allan Karl, how his leap of faith led to him amazing cultural discoveries and experiences from around the world, and a new project that has evolved from this in the form of a book. Enjoy Allan's comments and photos below, and you can be part of his fun publishing project (photos by WorldRider or Allan Karl)

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cover FORKStheBook Allan Karl 600pxFORKS, the new book by WorldRider Allan Karl debuts on Kickstarter

What inspires us to wander and wonder, to pursuit our passion or to push our minds and bodies beyond the limits? The more I travel, the more I learn how important travel is to growing personally and learning.

Unlike those who are happy traveling afar only to cocoon themselves in an all-inclusive resort buffered from culture beyond the resort walls, I believe those of us who prefer to travel overland by motorcycle or 4x4 are motivated by an insatiable curiosity to explore and discover.

Several years ago I woke up to the fact that I was jobless and my marriage had ended.  I had come to another fork in my life. At first, I started another business. It didn’t take long for me to realize that my work was unfulfilling. That’s when I decided to travel around the world—alone on my motorcycle.

For two years I planned my adventure, poring over books, maps and internet sites. I searched for the best modifications I could make to my BMW dual-sport motorcycle, spending hours in the garage getting it ready. 

allan karl worldrider boliviaI winded down my business, sold almost everything I owned and headed to the Arctic Ocean. The journey north from California was an adventure and a test ride. I would have a chance to tweak my bike and load, which I did, before crossing into Mexico and heading south to Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and beyond.

Along the way, I traveled 62,000 miles through 35 countries on five continents. At first, I traveled too fast, buzzing through British Colombia, Yukon and  Alaska. I quickly learned that the goal of travel is not to check destinations of lists, but rather to experience culture and connect with people.

There were challenges along my journey. I broke my leg badly in Bolivia. I was marched into the Colombian jungle at gunpoint, and I had to plead with the governments of Syria and Sudan to let me into their countries.

My journey lasted three years. Most people don’t have the time, resources or will to travel for so long. For me, travel is the one thing on which I spend my money that nobody can ever take away from me. Travel is an investment in both time and money, and its return is immeasurable.

worldrider allan karl white desert sahara egyptAfter returning from this adventure, I’d come to yet another fork in the road. What do I do next? I decided to write a book—another journey that took me nearly as long as my around the world motorcycle ride.

At first I planned to write a traditional travelog or memoir, but I realized the best way to share this adventure would be beyond words. That is, to see it with photos, to feel it through stories of culture and connection and to taste it with flavors of local food.

Agents and publishers asked me to simplify the idea, take out the food and photos. Rather than compromise, I decided to turn to the crowdfunding site, Kickstarter. After three years of work, my book is ready to print. FORKS, A Quest for Culture, Cuisine and Connection, is a 270 page hardcover book with 500 color photos and 40 recipes from all over the world.

worldrider andes southamerica allan karlI hope that my Kickstarter campaign will succeed in generating enough preorders to fund the expense of first-edition printing.

The book, along with collector-edition postcards, photographic prints, coaching sessions and keynote speeches are some of the rewards that interested backers can expect from pledging on Kickstarter. Rewards start at $10, and books can be pre-ordered for as little as $45.

Websites:

Kickstarter: http://worldri.de/r-kickstarter

FORKS The Book: www.ForksTheBook.com

Original WorldRider blog: www.worldrider.com

Winter Vacation Motorcycle Rentals, Now in Big Bend National Park!

  
  
  

Motorcycle Trip Dual Sport TexasThe kids are back in school, and you noticed it's getting colder out again, right? We can tell, because of the number of inquiries and reservations that have been pouring in the past couple of weeks. Winter vacation motorcycle rentals are on your minds!!!

Most assuredly, the majority of the motorcycle trip options we're advertising on our website are neither in the price range nor duration of what many riders have available. For this reason, we're pleased to announce yet another winter motorcycle riding option with our rental motorcycles: Big Bend National Park in the South of Texas.

The bulk of the dual sport rental fleet in eastern Tennessee will be moved to the town of Terlingua, Texas for the months of January thru March.  Through the Interstate system, the Alpine, Texas airport (ALE), or other means, riders can pre-reserve their dual sport bikes and have all the fantastic off-road riding terrain they could ever ask for just waiting for the twist of their wrist. Kawasaki KLR 650's and Suzuki DR200's will be there for those who reserve in advance. Should anyone request an R1200GS or other big-type adventure bike, we can bring those, too. We need to know now though which bikes you want to ride this winter!

Motorcycle Rentals Big BendYou can consult with us about routes, types of riding terrain, and the best highlights to see around Big Bend National Park. Interested in riding into Mexico? That's an option as well, and we'll help you with getting all the necessary papers & insurance arranged. If you're interested in having an experienced local guide show you the way, that option rests amongst the list of possibilities.

So please be sure to Contact Us about riding in Big Bend National Park. Again though, there'll be a limited number of bikes available, and plenty of interested riders, so don't wait long to reserve!

USE THE FORM ON THIS PAGE To Contact Us or Reserve Your Dual Sport Motorcycle Rental in Texas

Motorcycle Gear: Best Helmet Camera Company Shut Down?

  
  
  

Best helmet Camera Contour"An agonizing feeling, that tele-tubby box of a camera haunted my dreams. The more I saw it the more I wanted to scream inside. Not out of anger, but out of disbelief that something so ugly could take over the market like a tidal wave." - Marc Barros - Co-Founder of Contour Inc. (Source: marcbarros.com)

Folks, I can't believe it happened, but the best helmet camera company out there just shut down last month. A classic example of how big money and huge marketing budgets can propel an inferior product to the front of the market and squash the best camera companies into oblivion, this is quite a shame.  Equally shameful is that this kind of thing happens in many other industries, including the motorcycle touring & renting business. Big money and advertising has many customers "running to the biggest" company, instead of getting the most value out of their dollar with others who don't spend as much on advertising.  Oh well, such is business for now I guess. 

Still, I thought it was important for you to know about these great Contour HD cameras, as there are still some out there you can grab for cheap.

Along the lines of my other motorcycle gear review about neck braces, another frequently asked question I get when standing in line with my motorcycle helmet is about the camera mounted on the side.

Helmet Camera in PatagoniaPeople often ask "is that a flashlight?" (which I suppose, it could look like.)  Also funny is that many even ask "is that a GoPro?"  When in fact, the Contour HD that I have mounted looks nothing like the hideous glob of plastic that lops off to the side of helmets of many other riders. Hey...I'm being honest here, and clearly in agreement with Marc Barros as shown above.  One on hand, aesthetics are hardly important; but at the same time...that GoPro looks ridiculous.

I'm on my 2nd Contour HD camera at this point, after the 1st one lasted a solid couple of years through a half-dozen countries, about 100,000 miles, many hours of footage, rain, sleet, snow, and dust.  It was neither in a waterproof case, nor claimed to be waterproof, yet still lasted a long time in such and recorded some great video footage for RIDE Adventures.

This latest version I'm using, the Contour ROAM2 took their already great camera design just a few steps further:

  • Waterproof without the need of an external plastic case
  • "Instant-On," allowing you to record/stop in a split second (previous version needed +/- 5 seconds to power-up)
  • 60 Frames Per Second video recording capability, which helps smooth the scenes and for slow-motion editing

What good does this information do for you now that Contour is closed for business?  Again, there are still a bunch of Contour HD Video cameras out there on the market that you can grab for cheap, so you might want to take advantage. Maybe Contour will even reorganize with some new funding, and pickup where they left off. In the meantime though, hopefully you'll seek out the best helmet camera from some smaller online or store front retailers, and recognize the underlying purpose of this article.

SEE VIDEO FROM OUR "PATAGONIA EXPERIENCE" Motorcycle Trip on This Tour Page
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