Monday, October 14, 2013

Yes, it's me. Still here, and loving life...

This has to be a record: The last posting on this blog was June 13th of 2012, a whopping 17 months ago. The "I've been busy" excuse just doesn't cover it though...

Here I am in Bend, Oregon, where I first arrived in July after the BMW MOA rally was held in Salem, Oregon just a few hours away.  I'd heard of Bend before, but never actually been here, and now I wonder why. Turns out that this gorgeous little spot in the world, this "outdoor paradise," and place where I've found myself with great new friends has really got a hold on me. I don't want to leave, but nonetheless, will be forced to in another month as a string of family occasions and motorcycle tours to guide in South America are coming up.  Still, my plans are to enjoy Bend as much as I can in 2014, although my presence will be spotty at best due to more travel needs for work.

That's the funny thing: In some ways, I almost feel "trapped" in travel. This lifestyle that I know many people would kill for and I still definitely do enjoy, sure has it's downsides as well. Like, as I said, wanting to stay here in Bend, maybe settle down a bit (especially if I found the right gal,) and just live a normal life's not entirely possible while so much of my focus is on growing my business, RIDE Adventures, LLC.

Which by the way, is doing great. It's been over 5 years now that I first left my home in Atlanta, and over 3 years since was first launched.  The business did well the 1st full year, doubled revenues the 2nd full year, and is on track to triple revenues here in it's 3rd full calendar year.  Don't go thinking I'm Gordon Gekko yet, as it's still a very small business in the grand scheme of things and it'll take a while longer for RIDE Adventures to really pay me a comfortable amount. But I'm having a ton of fun with it, the list of happy customers is long and growing, and new partnerships around the world are really making me feel like I'm onto something special here. Despite accusations in the past that I don't exhibit much patience, (Mom?) I guess I might possess some of this virtue afterall....albeit on select topics only : )

Here's a few low/highlights from the past year or so:
  • While we lost my grandmother Charlotte last November, our thoughts of her remain and memories of laughs with her just the same. She was a great lady who lived a fantastic, full life, and died peacefully at the age of 94 in her hometown.
  • March 2013 saw a great group of motorcycle industry business owners and professionals get together for the "Patagonia Experience" motorcycle tour being offered by RIDE Adventures. We had Arden Kysely from Rider Magazine come along and write a story about the trip from his perspective. Proud to say, that story was published in the August 2013 issue of the magazine, and has been great for drumming up publicity for the business since then (see the article on this link, and video from the trip below.) This was a monster of a project to pull together, and I will forever be proud of the fact that I/we pulled off something that, as far as we know, hadn't been tried before. Now all the guys involved are telling their contacts about their experience in Patagonia, and it's all tied to RIDE Adventures.
  • June was my 20th High School Reunion, and a great chance to meet up with friends I'd wanted to see for a long time. It was too short of a night, but it I'm truly glad I went, and would do it over again in a heartbeat.
  • In July, my brother, Dad, and I finally had a guy-trip together, and spent a week with a Jeep rental in Northern California. Visiting Dad's/our old family friends like the Usnick's and Bolger's, riding through National Parks like Yosemite and Redwoods, rafting the Trinity River, and seeing America's Cup sailing action up close in the San Francisco Bay. What an incredible trip we all had (see video below)
  • As mentioned above, I arrived and have just about fallen in love with Bend, Oregon. I wish it wasn't so far from my family, or so many other friends; but it seems such will always be the case now, as the world and our lives change. My new friends and roommates like Mitch & Lesley, Casey, Dave, Jessica, Taya....I've had so much fun around Bend, thanks largely to your welcoming me. (Now Lesley, you know I'll have to stop paying to be your friend sometime :)  The thought that Cousin Dave and his wife OraLee could be living out in Portland soon helps convince me that Bend may end up being as much of a "home" as I've had in a long, long time.  (Oh, and yes, I still own the house in Atlanta, and it continues as a rental property with my great tenants, Jim and Sheri.)

As a final thought, I wanted to say something to everyone out there that I know, and all my friends in various cities around the world: Please don't be hurt or bothered if you don't hear from me often, or even if you found out I was in your town, but didn't call or stop by for a visit. Especially with the type of coverage I have of the western hemisphere and the number of people I know over all these states and even countries, it's just very, very difficult to find the time to see everyone. Imagine yourself, returning to your hometown for 1 week, and you know 200 people there. As I'm not the kind of guy to throw a party for myself, you can imagine how tough it is to visit with everyone. Especially as I continue to average around 10-12 hours a day working, making sure RIDE Adventures is up and running fine, my social calendar remains on the back burner.

I guess this thought comes on the heels of a talk I just had with my buddy & neighbor Steve in Atlanta, whom I hadn't done a good job of keeping up with, even once I finally got back to the U.S. in 2011. Now with the heaviest of prognoses from the oncologists before him, this has me thinking a lot. Steve has been living a great life and incredible career and seems to be quite at peace with things; factors that will undoubtedly come into play given his tough battle ahead. I guess I just want everyone to know .... I do care about you, and wish you all the best in happiness and health.

As for predicting the next blog post: Yea, right. I'll post every once in a while on FB, or of course you can see what RIDE Adventures is doing anytime at  I hope we're in touch somehow in the meantime.


1 comment:

  1. Happy trails, dude! Just glad you got to visit while in the N.Ga mtns. Keep the rubber side down!