This year will round out a decade of guiding day- and multi-day rides, & teaching off-pavement adventure riding skills as EarthRider. EarthRider was born as VCARS, the Ventura County Adventure Ride Series, a series of increasingly ridiculous and often epic "day" (which is to say, "and some night, as well") rides under the Aegis of BMW Motorcycles of Ventura County. The ride reports (HERE is a sample; probably a more entertaining read than the rest of this post - I'd click on it & come back later, during a hospital lobby wait or a bad movie or something...) - what was I saying? Oh yeah; the ride reports still survive on the defunct web page, to tell the tale.
It became increasingly clear that as a general rule, riders of adventurous spirit enjoy (at least, after the fact) biting off a bit more than they can chew, and the more they actually could chew, the bigger that enjoyable bite could be. This common aspect of adventure-rider nature led to numerous requests for riding classes, and to make a long story short, EarthRider was born. What began as one class designed to appease a small group of riders who wanted to slide the back ends of their bikes around has morphed into what I think is a unique training program in the world of adventure riding; a series of twelve classes, most all of which manage both to serve riders well as solo classes, and to synergize with the rest of the series, each focusing on - basically - one specific skill.
Teaching off-pavement adv skills is apparently a bit like smoking: I tried to quit once, but I started to gain weight, and I couldn't find anything else that satisfied in quite the same way. The manager of BMWVC called me out of a brief retirement in 2010, to help noobs come to find the monthly shop Adventure Day Rides more manageable, and at this point, in loose association with the shop, EarthRider puts on two classes a month, running the twelve-month series twice at the same time, the classes staggered by half a year. I also work with individuals or small private groups on occasion, either as a guide or instructor.
You may have noticed by now that I'm an educator and rider; not an entrepreneur: If you live nearby, EarthRider provides a golden opportunity to put in a solid year of good training and practice into easily manageable (&, I am continually told, inexpensive) monthly steps. If you don't live nearby, well, it's hard to justify, for instance, twelve 3-day weekends during which you spend two days commuting and one day in the middle, learning riding skills. Draw a line from Newport Beach to Barstow to San Luis Obispo and you've boxed in 99% of my client base thus far.
Until I - or someone who wants to do me a big favour! - figure out how to provide the content (&, as far as I can see, the resulting necessary format) of instruction I strive to maintain in a way that makes it available to a wider audience, I thought I might … post a bit on XLADV! A well-designed venue of this focus has been a long-time coming, and how I might most effectively contribute here remains to be seen; for now my aim will be to field questions in the Technique sub-forum, and try to post something useful to you in this blog, now & then. Likewise, if you can teach me a thing or two about riding, I'd really appreciate it - & the chance to pass it along.