Sunday, June 14, 2015

7 Years Since It Began

Yesterday couldn't have been a better day to mark 7 years since I first closed my garage door in Atlanta and set out to change my life. The way Saturday the 13th of June this year went, it sure feels like I've made a few good moves. (Outside at a friend's house on sunny Oregon springtime day, we played typical yard games, sipped summer drinks, and had a blast surrounded by great folks well into the evening.)

So I should explain that, I've finally "settled down" a bit and signed an actual lease here in beautiful Bend instead of living life on the road so much. Over the previous 7 years, I'm guessing that I averaged 200+ different beds per year, partially because I was seeking adventure, and eventually because my work demanded it. I've slept in hammocks and tents, in vans and on their rooftops, in National Parks, cheap youth hostels, bus stations, trains, international border staff quarters, steamships, cruise ships, airplanes and airports, homes of friends and family, and of course a variety of hotels, ranging from $2 to $800 per night.

How did I choose Bend? Looking back at the last blog post, I eluded to how much this town had charmed me from my first moments arriving in July of 2013. I was able to spend 3 months here then, 3 months again in 2014, and simply couldn't get Bend or the friends I had made here out of my mind. Even when I was away in fascinating countries like Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Turkey and Greece last year, or gorgeous places like Patagonia that I continue to enjoy through RIDE Adventures, Bend is where I've wanted to call "home." (Photo below is on the Oregon coast, hangin' with friends at a vacation rental for Lesley's birthday in October 2013.)

Since my last posting almost 2 years ago now, there has been less and less doubt in my mind about whether my motorcycle travel business, RIDE Adventures would continue. Coming up on the 5-year anniversary since the business launched, it's clear this operation is running well and here to stay. Such success and growth of the business is what has allowed me to slow down a bit, so instead of feeling like I constantly need to live on the road for promotions and business-growth reasons, now I know that I can settle down a bit, take care of myself better, and be in Bend for at least 8-9 months out of the year.

I will definitely still be traveling those other few months though, I still need to guide some of the "Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego & Ushuaia!" motorcycle trips. To help though, I've got 2 great guys that live in Chile, (Ulli and Andres) that are now helping regularly with those trips as I can't do them all and run the business at the same time. Also, I want to do at least 1 major "research trip" each year to keep growing the business outward, internationally. This coming September, a group of friends & customers that I've grown fond of will embark on a 4-country motorcycle trip from Victoria Falls to Cape Town, South Africa, riding through Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa to complete the route. Very much looking forward to this event, I'm sure it will be a fun pseudo-vacation just before I get into the ultra-busy months of October through April (when everyone in the world it seems wants to ride motorcycles in South America.)

With the growth of RIDE Adventures means greater investments in marketing and such have taken place, most notably the 2014 Mercedes Sprinter shown below, that I now use to attend weekend motorcycle rallies and events, trade shows, etc. Oh, and after 7 years of owning a motorcycle only, I can't begin to explain what a convenience it is to have a vehicle like this. More than just a grocery-getter, the Sprinter does SO much I need it to, and is a fun home-type project as I build and add things onto it. Last week, I put solar panels on the roof, and today I'll be installing the 450ah of battery storage beneath the chassis. With all this power, I'll be able to sleep in there with my CPAP machine (yes, I'm on one now) and run a flatscreen TV and other things at events to showcase what RIDE Adventures is doing to help people "Ride the World" via motorcycle. (Nice job to Jason and the gang at Stream Creative for the design work on the van!)

Speaking of which, I need to get out there and get to work on the van and enjoy another beautiful day here. Way, way too much has happened in the past couple of years to really write more about it, and as mentioned in the past 5 years, so much of my time is spent on the computer to begin with, I struggle to add more. Just know that my parents are well in Wisconsin, my brother is well (lives in Atlanta now) and I recently realized that: Each year that passes, I think about how I don't want to get older; yet each year that passes seems to be the best year of my life. Strange fate, it seems.

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.


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!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Finally, an update! 1st RIDE Adventures tour is over, and back in the U.S.

Guilty as charged. I've slacked terribly on this blog.

What is clearly the longest time gap between blog posts exists for reason though. I'm constantly writing and blogging for my business,, 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 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!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Best of the Best and Facts about my 2-Year Motorcycle Adventure

Time to finally post this summary about my 2 years riding through Latin America!

Took me a while to put this together, as so much of my time is dedicated to my work right now. While some of the facts and feelings are still fresh in my mind though, I want to go ahead and answer some of the questions I’ve been asked along the way….


My date of departure was Friday, June 13th, 2008

Days gone from my home in Atlanta: 944

Days outside of the U.S., in Latin America: 773

Number of Motorcycles ridden: 10 (In addition to my KTM, I had a fleet of 7 BMW motorcycles at my disposal when I worked for Moto Rider. Plus a few others I rode…)

Number of Countries ridden through: 15 – Canada, The U.S., Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.

Greatest Number of Days in Same Underwear: 3.5 (That’s right. Hey, Peter and I had just gotten into a situation where we didn’t find camping with showers for a few days, and I didn’t have any freshies to wear. I must say, the Under Armour Boxer Briefs hold up extremely well through all that!

Distances traveled: Grouped together in the most major “segments” of my travel, here’s the breakdown:

· Atlanta to Santa Rosa: 3,749 miles (motorcycle)

· Suntrek training: 1,719 miles (van)

· Suntrek - Pacific Coast Tour: 1,281 miles (van)

· Suntrek - Canadian Rockies: 1,870 miles (van)

· Suntrek - Flight to NYC: 2,911 miles (airplane)

· Suntrek - Trans-Canada: 4,257 miles (van)

· Suntrek - California Dreamin’: 1,996 miles (van)

· Suntrek - Western Sun: 1,868 miles (van)

· My West Coast Ride: 2,409 miles (motorcycle)

· Thru Arizona, Mexico, and Central America: 6,168 miles (motorcycle)

· Thru the Panama Canal to Chile: 7,300 miles (steamship)

· Random group rides in Chile/Argentina: 12,545 miles (motorcycle)

· Random work flights with Moto Rider: 1,400 miles (airplane)

· Bolivia Scouting Mission with Moto Rider: 3,764 miles (motorcycle)

· Random truck trips with Moto Rider: 6,562 miles (company truck)

· Random scouting trips with Moto Rider: 8,560 miles (motorcycle)

· Personal Moving trips with Moto Rider: 2,555 miles (bus)

· Patagonia/Ushuaia research mission: 6,696 miles (motorcycle)

· Santiago to Cartagena, Colombia: 7,855 miles (motorcycle)

· Flight back to Miami: 2,200 miles (airplane)


· Motorcycle – 49,337 miles (enough to ride around the earth’s equator 1.98 times)

· Driving Passenger Van – 12,991 miles

· Steamship – 7,300 miles

· Airplane – 6,511 miles

· Company Truck – 6,562 miles

· Public Bus – 2,555 miles

GRAND TOTAL: 85,256 miles (enough to travel 35% of the way to the moon – on its average elliptical distance from earth)

More Crucial Motorcycle Figures: (for the gearheads out there)

I averaged 3,800 rpms and about 40 mph across all my motorcycle riding, so that’s:

· 49,337 miles

· 1,233 hours of riding

· 74,000 minutes of riding

· 140,610,450 ignitions in the engines (all bikes ridden were 4-stroke, 2-cylinder engines)

· 281,220,900 revolutions of those engines

Blog posts written from Day 1 until I returned to the U.S.: 52

Pictures taken with digital cameras: Approximately 7,300

Sunglasses worn: 1 pair

Bribes paid to corrupt police: Zero - But wow, was it close a couple of times. I’ve honed my skills in dealing with these situations now. (Attempts by them to extort money only really only took place in Nicaragua, Panama, Bolivia, and Peru.)

Magazine articles written about me: 1 (nicely done, Hazzard)

THE "BEST of the BEST"

OKAY, enough with the numbers! Now let’s dive into the experiences that make travel so much fun. Which country was the most beautiful? Which had the prettiest girls? Read on…

Best Food: With some possibly surprising results, let’s keep in mind that most of the time I was traveling, I was doing so on a budget tight enough to allow my trip to continue. That being said, be it for “value or flavor,” the countries with the best food are:

1) *Peru

2) Mexico

3) Argentina

4) Guatemala

5) Panama

(Peru as the winner…..the competition is not even really close! Their creativity, effort, and value are absolutely fantastic. Anyone who appreciates the cuisine as being a major part of their vacation will love the experience of dining in Peru.)

Most beautiful countries: After 1st place, this is a very difficult ranking to give. Each of the countries I traveled in exhibited moments and scenery that are absolutely breathtaking, but of course, equal time and travel was not spent across all countries. Still though from 15 countries, here’s my Top 6:

1) Chile (southern, Patagonia)

2) Colombia

3) Bolivia

4) Argentina (northern, Andean)

5) Ecuador

6) Peru

(Notice, nothing from Central or North America made the Top 6?)

The 3 greatest 1-day rides I did: Be they “great” for their beauty, remoteness or variety, these 3 rides are simply unforgettable:

1) Patagonia, The Carretera Austral, and lapping around Lago General Carrera in Chile. This could be credited as the ride that changed my life forever. It's as if mother nature was throwing a party, and really wanted to make the world look its best before guests arrived.

2) Bolivia: Uyuni to Potosi, finishing as the sun is setting during the final 50 miles. Simply ridiculous how beautiful this is. Incredible variety through natural settings so perfect that they almost appear man made.

3) Cachi to San Antonio de Los Cobres, Argentina. I never thought the road would keep going up the mountains like that!

Friendliest People: Generally speaking, folks everywhere were very welcoming to a weary motorcycle traveler. But who stands out in my mind as the “sweetest of the sweethearts?”

1) *Mexico

2) Colombia

3) Costa Rica

4) Panama

5) Chile

(*Having been maybe the greatest surprise of my trip, the Mexican people won my heart over in a way I can’t explain. I’m urging Americans (everyone really) to ignore the crap you see on T.V., the news stories…the movies, etc., and please understand that there are many many fantastic and sweet-hearted people just across the border from us in the U.S.!)

Prettiest Girls:

Yes, it was quite a difficult trip for me: A guy who’s always been a bit “partial” toward dark-eyed, dark-haired beautiful girls just spent 2 years riding through Latin America. I was living on a planet full of my type! Being such an important category, I’m extending the list to reach 10 places.

1) * ** Mexico

2) ____________

3) ____________

4) ____________

5) Colombia

6) Panama

7) Argentina

8) Chile

9) Costa Rica

10) Nicaragua

*It seems inappropriate to even list Mexico amongst such amateurs; therefore, ample space surrounding them is given out of respect.

**Led by Lorena Vasquez of Durango, the nation of Mexico will control this category for years to come.

“Missed the Most” about home: No doubt, there were moments I didn’t want to be traveling. Not by motorcycle. Not out of my home country. Not in the nasty weather and wicked conditions I sometimes had to deal with. So what were the most recurring homesickness thoughts that raced through my mind when it was getting dark, pouring rain and freezing cold, miles from civilization, and all I could think about was how badly I wished I was at home?

· Breakfast and German Pancakes with my family. In some of the great old German restaurants we had in Milwaukee, I just wanted pancakes and family…and to be done with this stupid motorcycle trip!

· Sitting around a fireplace….Brandy Old Fashioned in-hand with my best of friends. (Thinking Pioneer Inn in Oshkosh.) But really, any fireplace…..any of my friends……just get me off this motorcycle and into some warmth.

· The thought of having a great girl curled up on the couch next to me, head on my shoulder, settling into a movie. Maybe there’s a pooch with his head on my lap, and the fireplace is lit. That'll do.

Okay...that's a long blog post. My first tour for RIDE Adventures starts in two days, so back to work I go...... : )

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What's going on now that I'm in the U.S....I mean "Chile?"

The duration between these blog posts might suggest nothing is going on or that life has been boring. Just to clarify: That certainly isn’t the case. Since I arrived back in the U.S. I went from Miami to Atlanta, New York, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Chicago, Indianapolis…..the list goes on. My RIDE Adventures, LLC project is running strong, I’m busy traveling, seeing people I want to see, and having fun (almost) all the time it seems. (And I finally got to see my parents and grandmothers after 2 years of not doing so!)

I’m back here in Chile staying with old roommates and friends for a week. Running into old friends and faces I said goodbye to half a year ago……seeing the neighborhood pooches that run the streets in this section of town (a few of them recognize and remember me) and getting ready to run my first tour with my own company.

That’s right! I just got back here to Santiago this week to start preparing for a 10-day tour with a private group in Patagonia. Getting to ride again in my favorite riding area of the world….and saying it’s “my career” and “my company” allowing me to do so!

We’ll be renting motorcycles from some partners of mine in the south of Chile, and spending 10 days riding through some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. April should bring some pretty ferocious weather that far south, so I expect this trip to be quite an adventure in every way. This group has elected to stay in some of the “finer” accommodations available, and I’m excited to also see some of these fantastic hotels I had scouted out once again (I was last there a year ago.)

Updates about the progress of this tour will be tough, but I’ll post about it when I can. For now though, I’ll just come right out and say it: “Life is so damn good...!!!”

Next post will be a fun one: The “Best Of” and some numbers with regards to my 2-year adventure through Latin America. It’s going to be fun finally writing this!