As smartphones now appear to play a significant role in the human experience, more motorcycle riders than ever before are depending on these handheld devices as their primary GPS navigation tool. After all, why fumble around with a dedicated GPS device, when our phones, these tools that do so much more than just GPS routing, can do the same. Often better, and more reliably.
As was announced on January 1st this year, this new motorcycle rental fleet based in our hometown of Bend, Oregon has been launched at least partially because of the "incredible bounty of great riding to enjoy just here at home" that I referred to in that article.
After taking our new bikes down to Baja in April, my focus turned to finally creating a shorter-length riding package. Years of offering these 2-3 week trips has unfortunately kept some folks from being able to partake, and it has been a goal to create a raw, rugged adventure ride that hits all the highlights in a timeframe more riders can take advantage of. The result of hours of research and some long riding days is a route we're calling The Best Week in Oregon, and if Damon's Trip Advisor review below is any indication, I'd say we're off to a good start:
Quite a year 2019 has been, folks.
We started on New Year's Day with the announcement of our newest motorcycle rental fleet based here in Bend, Oregon and our inboxes and schedules have been full ever since. The decision to not build the fleet around the BMW brand was an interesting one that I explained a few blog posts ago, but with these extremely popular Africa Twins and other bikes being reserved by riders from around the world, it's clear that 'word is out' about just how many great options are out on the market right now. Thankful for that.
Having finished another successful Guided Group trip in Patagonia last month with a great group of fun riders, the bulk of March has been focused on one thing: Buying the new bikes for our Oregon-based motorcycle fleet, and getting ready for our first trip into Baja in April. Plus, a research trip for the CABDR South (California Backcountry Discovery Route) has just been announced for May!
Who wants to join?
What a fantastic response we've gotten from the announcement made a few weeks ago, that we've started buying bikes and building a new rental fleet here in beautiful Bend, Oregon. Thanks again to all our Customers over the years that are part of making this business possible!
Questions have been coming in as folks have wondered about some of the decisions I'll explain below. Overall reaction has been great, and I'm pleased to see that a few of you have already booked for the March 31st & April 16th "Baja on Down" scouting trips we just announced earlier this week. There are still 2 spots available going southbound and 3 going north, so contact me ASAP through that page if you want to grab a bike for these trips. Peak season underway now and with a full month in Patagonia coming up, I'll be ready to sip a beer on a beach in Baja with any fun dual sport riders looking to join.
Why aren't we offering BMW rentals in Oregon?
What a start to 2019, this is the official announcement of our motorcycle rental fleet here in beautiful Bend, Oregon in the U.S.!
My sincere thanks goes out to the Customers of RIDE Adventures, who over the past 8+ years have allowed the now Team of this small business to accomplish so much. Along with our partners in Chile, we've built a 26-motorcycle fleet for tours in the Andes, and we're now into the thousands of Customers who have relied on us for Guided Group and Self-Guided tour packages. Riders are appreciating our services in Europe, South America, southern Africa, and Asia was added in 2018, and to think ... this is all based around the simple notion of helping people ride and have fun.
This new "What's it really like" video series Garrett got us started on seems long overdue, although it's quite a challenge putting these riding opportunities into words. Such is true with all forms of travel in that no words ... no photos ... or videos ... can possibly recreate the experience of actually being there.
This latest video about our Self-Guided, Truck Supported Full Patagonia Adventure package explains a motorcycle trip format that came into existence for few simple reasons:
a) RIDE Adventures got started as a result of my own Self-Guided riding and exploration, and the spirit and challenge that comes with solo travel is something I will forever cherish.
b) Add a bit of my own cautious nature, recognizing that in the most remote places, it's safer to be riding with someone instead of completely alone.
c) Consider feedback we've received from Customers over the years that "I don't want to be stuck in a group in Patagonia, but I also don't want to be out there completely alone."
Combine all these thoughts, and this unique Self-Guided, Truck Supported motorcycle trip format has been the perfect response to such a combination of hopes & needs. Bonus is, because we've removed the Lead Guide from the services offered in this package, it helps cut-down the cost per rider. Per these points from our latest video:
Well here it is, another of my best attempts to share with you "What's it Really Like" has been posted on YouTube, this time, for our Northern Thailand Experience route. If it weren't for Garrett's prowess at video production, I'm not sure how else we would get such sentiment out. Folks, no matter what ... neither words nor video will ever do a riding experience like this any justice.
So there I was, getting off the plane in Chiang Mai, Thailand, admittedly skeptical about just how great the riding ahead would be. With so many other incredible routes ridden through over 30 countries on 4 continents this past decade, I actually had very low expectations for how much fun and variety could be realized on a 5th. What I would soon find out, however, was that Thailand isn't only full of OUTSTANDING riding opportunities, but that the year-round possibilities for riding weather (albeit wet sometimes) would fit perfectly into our model of giving Riders plenty of opportunities to twist throttles even in their coldest months back home.
So, "what's it really like," riding the big adventure bikes in Thailand and Laos? This new video series will be placed on each tour page in the coming weeks (although it's definitely a situation where putting the experience into words & photos ... just doesn't seem possible.)
DISCLOSURE: To begin with, I whole-heartedly admit that I was skeptical about whether the "big bikes" would be right for southeast Asia. Friends had told me that simply renting a scooter and scrambling about the cities and countryside was the most fun, (and least expensive) way to explore. That thought, along with images of just how traffic-dense and congested the region may end up being had me wondering the same thing. This, all based on images and movies and such over the years. (Further disclosure: I was actually skeptical about how good the riding would really be, anyway, and given what else I've seen around this world.)
I picked up the Klim Krios Karbon Adventure helmet just before our recent scouting trip to Thailand and Laos, and in doing so, went against a very obvious and basic rule I've said before: Always take the time to actually ride with a helmet and check fitting before any big trip. Waiting until you're a couple of days into an international adventure to discover that the fitting is wrong may result in a headache worse than that time you said "I'll take the cheapest tequila you've got." Once you're in the destination country, finding a replacement helmet will be an unnecessary and expensive challenge, and since the non-fitting helmet will definitely "used" by then, it'll be worth very little in terms of possible exchange or sale to another rider.