What is clearly the longest time gap between blog posts exists for reason though. I'm constantly writing and blogging for my business, www.rideadv.com, answering emails, writing articles for magazines and soon to be launched eBooks, and obviously, this blog has been neglected. (Article will be printed in BMW's Owners News magazine later this year, and 1st eBook about motorcycle travel will be up on Amazon and the iTunes Store soon!)
My business, RIDE Adventures, is going absolutely great. The first 6 months have been tough to grind through at times, working so much and seeing such minimal results. But as of July, reservations for rentals and tours have really started to soar and a slew of new opportunities seems to be steadily coming in. The website is doing well statistically (thanks again www.streamcreative.com) and very clear examples of what I envisioned this company doing are starting to happen. Still just me working on it, but I think that will have to change within a year.
Speaking of work...
Back in April, I met up with RIDE Adventures' first tour group in Patagonia and took them through the best parts of Patagonia the weather would allow that time of year. Last minute cancellations from 3 of the riders left us with only 3, but Jeff, Ian, and Jeremy (from the U.S., Canada, and U.K.) all raved about their first Patagonia experience, and have actually referred me to other groups that appear to be booking tours soon for the 2012 season! Ahh, networking...
This trip in April almost didn't happen though, as Ian gave us the ultimate scare by crumbling to the ground on the very first morning while attempting to mount his motorcycle. The 3rd kick of his leg turned into a dislocated knee, howling pain I don't care to recall, and an ambulance trip to the nearby hospital. Fortunately, a bit of morphine and other factors eventually allowed his knee to relax and move back into position, just in time that day to make a late start and finish the entire tour according to schedule. It all happened on my April 7th birthday (I would tell the guys later) and in these years where birthdays don't seem to matter much, my 36th was one I'll never forget.
Here's some highlight photos from that tour:
(Above, just overlooking the Llao Llao Hotel & Resort outside of San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina, "Che" the St. Bernard was glad to help with a photo. Below, even the gas station attendants can be cute in southern Chile. Jeff's dance moves were pretty impressive for that early in the morning.)
Above, our private cordero (lamb) barbeque with Jeff aside, and the drink of choice, "Pisco Sours" being enjoyed by all in the thermal baths at Puyuhaupi Lodge & Spa. Susi from Germany joined us for a late night dip at this fascinating and totally secluded resort, accessible only by boat. The guys likened our moments arriving to the movie "Shutter Island" and pretty much agreed it was a highlight of the trip. Something you just have to see...
Above, Ian deftly handles his first major river crossing on the BMW R1200GS with the skill of a pro, and below, a photo we agreed might have been the funniest from the trip. Jeremy merely offered a friendly ride to this traveling Israeli Army officer, but if that isn't a flash of love on her face, then I guess I just don't know what love is : )
After Jeff negotiated (with my translation) a good deal on some goat leggings from a roadside barbeque party, Ian gave us another scare by not making it across this bridge. The photo was snapped because we knew he was okay, but with a 500+ lb motorcycle, the chances for disaster certainly exist.
So I've been back in the U.S. since May, spending most of my time along the east coast and working plenty. Motorcycle events and rallies are pretty common this time of year in the U.S., and each presents a great opportunity for me to network with a crowd I enjoy very much.
I was out in New Jersey for about a month with my cousin Dave, who will be married in Texas this September. I've been asked to conduct the ceremony in this non-religious wedding, so from here on, folks can refer to me as "Reverend" with some degree of accuracy : )
My first tour back in Patagonia appears to be in line for October, so as I wished for, the "eternal summer" might be in line for this guy for a while! I'll try to write more before then...
Oh, enjoy the video from the April tour:
The latest video from RIDE Adventures is up on YouTube!