EagleRider Wild West Guided Motorcycle Tour Review
(This past May 2012, a customer of ours named Andy went on the EagleRider Wild West Guided Tour. We asked him to tell us what he thought about the ride and the things he saw, and this is what he sent us. All the photos in this post were taken by Andy on his tour – Hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did. Cheers, Tim & Jim)
Wild West Experience
This may seem an odd way to start on a review, but towards the end, of this 15 days on the road epic with Eaglerider, a fellow rider asked me. “Has this trip been everything you expected ?”
“No” I replied, “it has been more than I could have ever dreamed.”
“How do you describe this journey to people?” he asked and that is a very good question.
You can tell of all the marvellous things you have seen, show the photographs and video, but you can only truly share the experience with those that have taken part on this sort of trip.Friends say when I talk about it, a passion and joy that comes over me as the descriptions flow.
So what can you expect, well within 5 minutes of leaving Eaglerider LA, you are on a 70KM dash down the Freeway, this is a necessary evil and is over in about hour, believe me it is worth it, a quick break for refreshments, you start to leave population behind as you climb into the San Jancito Mountain Range, heading for Elsinore, Hemet then onto Scenic Highway 74 on your way to Palm Springs, the curves come thick and fast and the smile gets wider on your face, enjoyable roads and stunning scenery as you pass by, sets the tone for this trip, warming you up for what is to come.
Tim (Managing Director of The Lost Adventure), when I was booking this trip remarked, “ how best to describe your trip? Well one day you see the Grand Canyon, the next you have forgotten about it.” It’s true, the scenery assaults you on different levels, even wide open space has its own beauty and a sense of freedom, where roads disappear to a vanishing point on a far off horizon.
Joshua Tree National Park, passing through the Mojave Desert where the heat was relentless for hours all the way to Laughlin. Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley to name a few, unbelievable memories. Route 66: the section from Oatman to a small garage at Cool Springs, while the condition of the road wasn’t great for sheer enjoyment of the scenery curves and switch backs was tremendous. I could go on, the first week in particular it is like sensory overload, its hard to take in, between the “I am actually doing this” and the constant “Wow”.
But although this is a “Scenic” trip, the road journey becomes as much a part of the experience, riding in group when all is ordered is a majestic sight, sitting at the back looking at the columns, the group moving as one…..The camaraderie that is built up between the group as well, riders and pillions from all over the world with one thought, to have one of the most memorable experiences of their lives.
The tour guides are very good as well as the support drivers, I experienced all three guides on this trip as I got to be part of all 3 groups that set off from LA, 42 bikes in all for the first half of the tour, all have their own strengths and all have different styles.
You quickly realise that it may be quite different from other riding that you do, there is a schedule, in that on the whole you end the day at a reasonable hour, so that you may relax, but the over riding thing is to “go with the flow”, the guides have a hard job balancing photo stops and the ride and inevitably some people will take the view, that there isn’t enough of a balance, there are opportunities that you may have liked but time may not allow. I took 1200 pictures and 18 hours of video, I gathered another 3000 pictures, as some pillions became very adept with the camera when on the move for some great shots.
Stops, inevitably these were always longer than the 15 minutes allotted….but it was all chilled, obviously this will have a knock on effect through the day. More than once we dumped our bags in a hotel room and dived to a restaurant to relive the day.
The second half takes you through Death Valley heading North to be treated to some of the most majestic sights in the coming days as you climb into the mountains again Tioga and Yosimite stunning. Highway to San Francisco ends with a great ride over the Bay Bridge and down into Fishermans Wharf. The trip takes on a different feel now, the beginning of the end, as a gentle wind down occurs as you head down Highway one and the Big Sur, with the road challenging with its sweeps and turns especially from Monterey to Pismo Beach.
It is with mixed emotions when you roll back up at Eaglerider, the elation of having completed the trip as well as a sadness that it is suddenly finished. There was not one day where I woke up and thought can’t face another day on the bike, often we had to be reminded what day it was, time except for the guides, became irrelevant except in the mornings, a great seduction in the moving on every day to something new. Niggles and annoyances faded away as you realise it doesn’t matter, the trip is what counts and what you take away from the experience, my head is full, trying even now to take it all in as I look back at pictures and video and can’t quite believe it was real.
Sometimes it is not even the big things that stand out as well, some of the people you meet along the way, as in stopping for water in Palm Desert at a petrol station and getting the local Sheriff to agree to a couple of group shots including the car. The most common expression used was “Living the Dream”, it became a like a toast amongst us, I made some new firm friends where the likes of social media sites allow us to keep in touch.
As to why, this trip for me it was mixed, it seemed to offer a bit of everything, desert, mountains forest and ocean, wide open spaces over vast empty landscapes of different textures and sights, it was also the time was right for an adventure, yes it is different as you only carry what you need for the day and you have back up all the way through, but at the end of the day it is you and a bike on what must be one of the most stunning trips you can imagine. America is a vast and varied country with what it has to offer, I only saw a small portion, but what a portion. It has changed my perspective on a few things and feel pretty overwhelmed by the whole experience.
Thanks to The Lost Adventure and to EaglRrider, courteous, professional and more importantly bikers, they know and understand what is required.
Live the dream and keep it rubber side down.