I had planned to write a post as the weekend progressed, sort of a timeline format, but it was far too much of a whirlwind for that, so I’ll do my best to recap the weekend without getting into too much detail and making this way too long.
On Friday morning Dwayne dropped me off at the Indianapolis airport and I flew to Newark, New Jersey. The plan was for me to arrive at 9:15 and my teammate Erika was supposed to arrive from Arizona at 9:45 and another teammate, Amelia, was to pick us up. Unfortunately, Erika’s flight got delayed and she missed her connection, so she had to take a flight 2 hours later. Amelia decided to pick me up at 9:15 and she and I went to IKEA across the street to hang out in their cafe so Amelia could do some work until Erika arrived.
Once we had Erika, we made the 3.5 hour drive to Woodward, PA to meet up with Amelia’s husband, Steve, who had already taken the bikes and camping gear over. That night consisted mostly of meeting tons of new people. Amelia and Steve are best friends with Spurgeon from RevZilla, so we camped with the RevZilla crew and met all of those guys, and we met Jeremy, the CEO of AltRider, as well as many other people who I’d known from Instagram but had never met in person.
Steve and his infamous Tiger (it’s had a rough life):
Jeremy, AltRider CEO giving riders meeting:
On Saturday morning we all got up early and had coffee and breakfast before gearing up for the ride. It should be mentioned that the food at Conserve The Ride is gourmet. I would gladly pay good money for the food they serve at this event, it is incredible.
The REV’IT! 95 bike:
I was riding Amelia and Steve’s friends Husqvarna 650 Terra, and Erika was riding their DR200. The way CTR works is that there is one large loop that can be ridden as a scenic ride, where you would skip all of the “options”, or there are 10 advanced options that you can choose to take.
My bike for the day:
The plan was that we would hit the first option and see how we did, and we would decide from there how much advanced riding we wanted to do. The first technical section was a rocky downhill, and it was unlike any riding I’ve ever done. The bike I was riding is 75 pounds lighter than my Tiger, so it is still a very big dual sport bike, but it was more manageable than my Tiger would have been, I’m sure. I was smiling from ear to ear, nervous as hell, but having an absolute blast.
Erika, Amelia, and I:
Amelia was our leader, Erika followed her most of the day, and I followed Erika. Riding with us was Steve and Spurgeon, as well as a few of their other friends. Throughout the day we also had Jeremy from AltRider, who was riding a KTM 1090, and Tyler from Triumph of Harrisonburg, who was a complete badass on a new Tiger XC popping in and out of our group.
My funniest crash (Klaser is the owner of the bike, Spurg posted this on IG):
I did have a handful of crashes, but they were mostly just silly mistakes, and each time I would laugh it off and continue on. On one crash, Erika and I were synchronized as we both had the exact same kind of crash at the exact same time.
Spurg working on my bike’s faulty killswitch while I “supervised”:
In the end, we finished all 10 of the options, and we had an amazing time doing it. Erika and I were beyond proud of ourselves, as neither of us have ever done that aggressive of off-roading, and we were on bikes we had never ridden before. Steve, Spurgeon, and Amelia all told us how proud they were of us and how great we did, which was a huge boost of confidence, and made us feel even better about what we had accomplished. We both agreed that we were going to go home and buy smaller bikes so we could do more of this aggressive riding, because it was the most fun we’ve ever had on 2 wheels. Part of that was due to the awesome group of people we were riding with, but it was also just the fact that that type of riding is just so much fun.
Steve and Spurg working on Erika’s bike:
After we got back to camp Saturday night, we got showered up and went and had dinner with everyone, which consisted of even more amazing food, and then we all hung out while Jeremy auctioned off some items that REV’IT! and RevZilla had donated to raise money for the SMCC who works tirelessly to maintain those awesome trails, and to ensure that Pennsylvania continues to allow those trails to be used for motorcyclists.
After that Erika and I got all of our bags packed up into Amelia’s car so that we could make a quick getaway in the morning, since we were 3 hours from NYC and we needed to get there and get cleaned up by 1 o’clock. As it turned out, that was a good decision because it was pouring rain when we woke up that morning. We packed up our bedding so Steve wouldn’t have to do it later, but we had to leave the tents and things for him to take care of later so that we could get on the road.
We stopped at Amelia and Steve’s house on the way so that the three of us could shower and get cleaned up, and then we drove on into the city to go to the hotel and meet up with Anna, another one of our teammates who was unable to join us for the ride. We got our stuff put away into our hotel rooms, and then the 4 of us took a Juno from Manhatten down to Brooklyn to the REV’IT! office to have a meeting with Tracy Motz. She had lunch waiting for us, and we spent a couple of hours going over product and company details, which was so eye opening and educational for us. It was a great meeting, and Tracy is just wonderful, we all adore her.
View from the rooftop of REV’IT!’s office building”
From the meeting, we went back to the hotel with Tracy to get ready for the rooftop cocktail party with the different dealers from around the country who were invited. We were introduced at the beginning of the party, and we spend the rest of the evening mingling with people and getting to know everyone.
When the rooftop party ended, anyone who was willing was invited out on a bar crawl, which ended at midnight in Times Square. The four of us went, but didn’t drink, and by the time midnight rolled around, we were wore out and ready for bed.
Breakfast was at 7:30, and then after breakfast we attended a presentation before everyone broke off to go do individual showings of the different gear offerings for 2019. During that time, the four of us went into a meeting room and had a 2 hour Skype session with one of the lead product designers at the Netherlands headquarters. That was one of the highlights for us, because it was so great to give our individual input and to see how receptive he was to what we had to say. We actually would have went longer, but we ended up having to stop so that we could sit in on the last presentation of the ADV collection. He requested additional meetings with us in the future, though, so there will be more opportunities for us to discuss things with him in the future.
Anna, Amelia, Myself, and Erika:
After lunch, we spent time talking to more dealers and REV’IT! personnel before it was finally time for Erika and I to say our goodbyes and head for Newark to catch our flights.
The plan was for Erika to get us into the lounge at the airport, where I would hang out after she left at 6 until my flight at 9:20. Unfortunately it turned out that she and I were flying out of different sections of the airport and we couldn’t be together once we got through security, so I was on my own. That would have been fine, except my flight ended up being delayed by 3 hours due to weather, so I ended up spending over 8 hours at the airport since we had gotten there 2 hours before her flight. It was 1am before my flight actually left Newark, and it was after 4am before I actually got home.
So as crazy as the weekend was, it was one of the best I’ve had, and I won’t soon forget any of it. I can’t wait to see those girls again, and I can’t wait to see what else REV’IT! will have in store for us.