Wednesday, June 13, 2012

4 years ago today, it began...

Gotta be kidding me.  It was 4 years ago today that I left my home in Atlanta and headed north/west on my KTM motorcycle.  My house was emptied and rented out, everything I depended on to live was there on the motorcycle with me, and as I just blathered about on Facebook, what has happened to me since then has been absolutely incredible.

In what could be described as an "excited state of exhaustion," my days and nights now revolve around RIDE Adventures, LLC and making this motorcycle touring and renting business grow and prosper.  When I'm not out of the U.S. guiding or researching tours, I'm traveling around the U.S. promoting the business.  An endless string of bike nights, races, rallies, shows, and events will fill out the summer months for me before heading back out of the country for tours (looks like it'll be Colombia in November.)  What might sound like work is actually a TON of fun, as I get to hang out with and meet new motorcycle enthusiasts all the time.  If it were not for this, and the fact that RIDE Adventures is definitely prospering....I don't know how I could keep up with this travel.

Sad/Glad News:

That KTM 950 Adventure S, (the bike that I ended up riding across the U.S., down to South America, and living with for the last 4 years) had to be retired just a couple of weeks ago.  Existing electrical issues and upcoming non-routine expenses reassured me that it was time to sell "Julius" before having to sink major money into a bike that was worth so little.   I had always envisioned keeping that incredible motorcycle in storage or somewhere, as we'd been through so much together, but with my home rented out and no practical place to keep the KTM, it was sold recently at auction.  What an absolutely incredible motorcycle it was...

The upside to that change is that the new "company vehicle" for RIDE Adventures, LLC is shown above:  The 2012 BMW R1200GS Adventure.  What a great machine this is, with all the suspension, carrying ability, power, and handling I could ever ask for.  The "Swiss Army" of motorcycles in many ways.

The BMW is actually not that "new" to me though, as I managed a fleet of these and use them all the time on different tours throughout South America.  Instead of continuing with another KTM, this bike was chosen for that reason:  BMW is still the rental/touring bike the world is relying on.  In fact, we don't even have a KTM Adventure bike for rent/tour anywhere on

So as you can see in the photo, the BMW named "Cosmo" is being adorned with all the marketing pieces possible, as he'll be at rallies, races, and motorcycle events all summer long (the majority of them being BMW-based events.)  Aside from materials to promote RIDE Adventures, I'm also working with a handful of manufacturers to promote their businesses.  Little add-on parts, protection pieces, and accessories are constantly being added in trade for publicity.  This, I might one fine part of working in the motorcycle travel business : )

Anyway, thanks if you tuned into this, and I hope it's not so long again before I update with more news.  Back to the other mountain of writing projects I have to keep up with....

Friday, January 20, 2012

Time for an update, because.....

.....because life could not be more fun!

It's been quite a whirlwind though, balancing work, travel, and living on bikes, around hotels, and in coffee shops. The year of 2011 saw my business, RIDE Adventures LLC get off to a great start, multiple opportunities to visit with friends I hadn't seen in years, and plenty of time to visit with family.

The previous post showed the 1st tour run by RIDE Adventures, and customers that were so happy they're returning for another tour soon (somewhere else in South America) and they've referred me to friends of theirs.

I spent much of the 2011 summertime traveling to motorcycle shops, rallies, shows, and events with the idea of finally networking a bit with American motorcycle riders. Up to 2011, the majority of my "motorcycle life" had been in South America. For my work, it's important that I get to know who will be eventual customers in the travel business, so making the rounds at such events is key.

Up north on the east coast, time was spent visiting with my cousin Dave in the NYC area and getting to know who would become a great new addition to our family: His new wife OraLee! They had met earlier in the year and actually asked me to be the officiant at their wedding. So, I registered online to become an official ordained minister in the State of Texas before performing their wedding ceremony on a beautiful September day with both of our families present. So much fun to have us all together again, and it was quite an honor to be asked to carry this out for them. (An honor I admittedly didn't feel or appreciate fully until I stood there, leading them to repeat their vows to each other. That got to me, and still does.) - So it's official: You can all call me "Reverend Eric" for now. Well, just until my Reverendhood expires next year : )

Not long after that in October, our geographically separated family, who had all been together once again in September for the wedding, was struck by the most unfortunately and early loss of Dave's brother and my cousin, Brian. The kind of guy that was more than just "family," it's tough imagine being separated from Brian so early in life. Having heard eulogies that reminded us what type of person he was and just seeing his sweet kids' faces....part of me still thinks this can't be for real.

Miss you, Brian. I miss you alot.

After spending quite a bit of time around my hometown of Milwaukee August through October, November and December were spent down in Chile and Argentina again, as I was hired to do a Patagonia tour and see what is still some of my favorite riding anywhere. Got to meet more great guys from the U.S., Canada, and the British Virgin is my life fun. It's work for sure, but I absolutely love showing people places like Patagonia and witnessing their reactions to this magnificent area.

Xmas was spent with most of the family in Northwest Arkansas (where Brian's kids and parents still live) and now I'm writing this from Atlanta, where I've just spent a couple of weeks cleaning out 2 storage units that I emptied my house into (see the very beginning of this blog, almost 4 years ago!) Needless to say, the $200 per month in storage is getting quite unattractive... so I've been Craigslisting and Ebaying my things away lately.
After this, I'll ride down to Miami where Mom, Dad, and brother Andy and I will hang out and enjoy some good winter weather. We've booked a weekend cruise to the Bahamas while we're there, and at the end of that trip on March 7th, I'm going to the Dominican Republic finally!

A place that's been on my list of places to see for quite a while, my upcoming D.R. trip is happening thanks to an invite from one of the motorcycle tour operators down there. Much of what I'm doing with RIDE Adventures is serving as a travel agent, referring travelers to touring opportunities with tour operators I know and trust. So, as this tour operator wants me to promote their tours....we decided it was best for me to come down and experience their tours first in person first. Great!

Naturally, I won't just hustle in and out of there. Some plans/tours I had for Feb/March have been cancelled, so I'll actually stay down in the Dominican Republic for a full month. Since I work remotely....constantly "mobile," all I really need is my Mac and good internet.

So like I was saying, life is pretty good. My KTM 950 Adventure is still running strong, my business is up and running quite nicely, and I don't have much to complain about. Yea, it'd be nice to have someone to enjoy this all with, and I'm asked about that all the time ("why don't you have a girlfriend?") Thinking about it though, I'm not sure who would be able to travel along with me all the time like this. So......stuck single still.

As I started this post saying is absolutely fantastic.....but writing this has to be put on the back burner!!