Now that the Rally Raid Products section in the Vendors forum is live, I thought I might introduce myself more formally and tell you about the plans I have for this spring and summer, which ought to be of interest to those of you in the United States and Canada particularly - although equally for anyone who is interested in seeing how bike is going to perform and endure over many thousands of miles of cross-continental all-terrain riding.
I first met John (the founder and Managing Director of Rally Raid Products)
when we were both competing in the Tuareg Rallye in Morocco in 2008, and over the years have developed a strong friendship based on a shared passion for engineering, rally racing and adventure/travel riding.
I started to work more closely with John during the development of the CB500X Adventure bike project in 2014 - initially as the test and development rider, and then more recently as an ongoing ambassador for the company's products - real world testing and providing valuable feedback during my personal travels and adventures. When I'm not out riding somewhere, I also continue to support the company by answering technical and general product enquires on their behalf, typically via social media and in the press.
These days I tend to divide my time equally between the United Kingdom and the United States, and in recent years have travelled extensively all over North America - including Canada for the first time last summer. Over the years I have written & photographed extensively for both the printed press and online regarding my modest adventures, and more recently presented a series of AV seminars that hopefully inspire and inform in equal measure...
Plans for North America in 2018
In that regard, I'll be over in the USA again during the summer, and am currently putting together a series of 'challenges' that will be interspersed with my attendance at various off-road and overland travel events, where I'll be presenting a couple of AV seminars about my previous travels; plus of course having my own G310GS with a Rally Raid kit fitted, for anyone interested to have a proper look at.
I'll be listing more details of this North American 'tour' in the coming weeks as the schedule is firmed up, but as an outline - these are the events I've already committed to attending in the US and Canada during 2018.
- Horizons Unlimited Virginia (Appomattox VA) 26-29th April 2018
. This will be the US debut of my new AV presentation: Northern eXposure
that covers my extended trip through Canada and the northern/centre United States on my CB500X last year. It will also be the official* 'launch' event for the Rally Raid G310GS kit in the US.
*note. the dealer I've bought my bike from in Virginia is also planning on holding an open-day [Saturday April 21st - TBC] to coincide with my building the bike up at their premises a few days prior to Horizons' - and again I'll be available with a slightly more informal presentation about the bike, packing light, and what North America has to offer the dual-sport adventure rider.
- Overland Expo West (Flagstaff AZ) 18-20th May 2018
. Yep, less than a month later, I'll endeavour to be over at Overland Expo in Arizona, and you know what that means - another huge cross-country trip in between!
- Overland Adventure Rally (venue TBC. Ontario, Canada) 6-8th July 2018
. The North American 'tour' will continue with my return to the Toronto area, and the Canadian debut of my Northern eXposure presentation. In addition, by then I'll have plenty of miles on board the G310GS, so will be able to offer a preview [presentation] of my travels with the bike so far...
- BMW MOA Rally (Des Moines IA) 12-15th July 2018
. A week later is the annual MOA rally - this year being held in the middle of Iowa. The presentation schedule is still TBC at this stage, but you can expect to see Northern eXposure, plus a combined Q&A style seminar about the development of the Rally Raid GS kit, and my adventures with it so far...
- Horizons Unlimited Canada West (Nakusp BC) 23-26th August 2018
. I'm really looking forward to revisiting and exploring more of British Columbia again this year - plus the opportunity to present at the Horizons weekend too of course! By the time I arrive in BC I will also have racked up a few more thousand miles on the little GS, and hope to have some entertaining video of my further exploration of Montana and Idaho - in conjunction with my good friend and esteemed YouTube videographer Blancolirio (Juan Browne).
- Horizons Unlimited California (Mariposa CA) 27-30th September 2018
. Currently this is my last scheduled [presentation] event in 2018 - that is not including any additional dealer events, or the possibility I might head down to Baja with the GS in October... by now I hope to be able to debut a brand new AV presentation about this summer spent on board the new GS, piecing together the series of challenges together with some hopefully inspiration travel and adventuring.
photo. dark blue where events are already confirmed... I also have potential events in North Carolina, Idaho and Oregon pencilled in too.
I really hope to be able to meet up with some of you along the way - as this year is all about getting out there and showing you what this little bike can do!