October 3, 2015
Just back from a two week road trip to Colorado and California, the latest in a series of long road trips this year. Here’s a long post – with lots of pics – on a long road trip!
Because we only sell direct, we want to attend as many retail events as we can. The in-person shows are an important way to get our name out, because we don’t have a network of dealers promoting our products all over the country. It’s not only the sales and face-to-face connections we make at the shows, it’s also the web inquiries, follow-on orders, and word-of-mouth promotion that happens immediately after. We get a big spike in orders lasting about 2 weeks after each show. When we first started out, most people were only finding out about us online, mostly through advrider.com. Now, two years later, the retail shows are becoming a significant part of our business as well, and we’re attending a lot more of them.
On a personal note, the long solo drives and extended time away from home are a noteworthy development. On this trip I spent 7 days driving for 6 days of actual work/selling, with 3 days off for riding in the middle. A lot of the last few weeks was spent sitting in my truck, listening to audiobooks and music, and shuttling the Mosko show trailer from one spot to another, when I might otherwise have been in the office working on other productive Mosko stuff. Then, between road trips, when I’m finally home, I’ve been in a continual state of either recovering and unpacking from the last trip or preparing for the next. Soon I’ll be on the road again, headed south for the IMS shows in Sacramento and Long Beach. I’m single and don’t have kids, so it’s not like there’s anyone giving me crap for being gone, but it still takes some getting used to.
On this trip I stopped earlier in the day than I normally would, read books and wrote in my journal a lot, worked out at the gym (using day-passes at local gyms), and looked for opportunities to run, mountain bike, or moto wherever I happened to be. I ate healthy – cooking instead of stopping at restaurants – and resisted the urge to cork the whiskey every night. The goal was to continue ‘ normal life,’ even though I was on the road, and it totally worked. I came home feeling great.
Day 1: picking up inventory at the warehouse in Portland.
Awesome to connect with so many riders in Crested Butte! And to meet a ton of friendly locals as well.
Got to test a couple of unique fitments. Here, a rider was mounting the Mosko wedge on SW Motech racks on a KTM 1190. There wasn’t enough space for our mounting brackets between the rack and the muffler.
He used an angle grinder to make the brackets thinner, which worked great.
We also tested our BMW adapters on several different “curvy” pannier racks. I can confirm that the BMW 1200 WC Adapter also fits:
I was happy to see the adapters work on so many different kinds of racks. We speculated they might, but this was the first time we’d been able to test it.
There’s a big network of mountain bike trails launching right from the parking lot in Crested Butte, so I went riding everyday either before or after the show.
After the show, a group of us went riding on the Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route. The Horizons Unlimited Travelers Meeting in California was starting on Thursday, so I could only join the group for a couple of nights, but I had a total blast. Kurt, Dusty, Brandon, Matt, Mark, John, JP, Brian: thanks for letting me tag along!!
I took the Backcountry 25L Panniers, the Backcountry 30L Duffle, and an MSR Hubba Nx one person tent. Love the thinner profile of this smaller luggage kit on my KTM 950SE. We sell more of the bigger sizes, but in my opinion the 25/30L pannier/duffle kit is perfect for BDR-style camping.
Back on the Road
Returning to Crested Butte, I headed west toward Yosemite. This is a beautiful drive through some remote parts of Nevada. I stopped for a night on the “Extraterrestrial Highway,” literally just pulling off the road in the dark at a totally random spot, and suddenly realized I was on a large dry lakebed, kind of like the Alvord and Black Rock Deserts. That night I went out for a midnight walk in the moonlight, and the next morning, went for a pre-dawn run.
Spotted this alien… you know… ’cause it’s the “extraterrestrial highway” and all
Breakfast on the roof
Then… back on the road.
Horizons Unlimited Travelers Meeting
This was my second time at the HU meeting in Mariposa and I really appreciate the culture of this event and the people who attend. Many world travelers and lots of great stories about foreign countries and solo trips and all kinds of other interesting stuff. We had a great response to our bags, and it was fun to reconnect with so many riders who had kitted out their bikes at HU last year.
Setup this Ducati Scrambler with a Reckless 80. Love the versatility of this bag system.
Sky Pantic’s BMW got a Reckless 80 with a Scout 30 Duffle. Again, nice clean fit on this bike.
Our neighbor, Curtis Cummings from Great SW Moto Adventures, was using his KLR with Scout 25L panniers for some bike-lifting instruction.
The Reckless 80 was really popular with the HU crowd! We’re completely sold out of these now. The last ones we had were the ones I took on the road. We have the R40s still in stock. R80s will be back in stock for spring, with a redesign.
A little glimpse of my solo camper evenings on the road: healthy dinner… business reports…
On the way home I got this gnarly rear flat and almost lost control of the truck, nearly flipping the camper, and barely avoiding a head-on with traffic in the other lane. For this rig, a dually would be nice. Gotta sell a lot of bags to afford a new truck tho haha
And finally, to chill out for a bit on the way home, I stopped at Summer Lake Hot Springs in Oregon. Love this spot. It was the night of the supermoon and lunar eclipse, a neat coincidence.
I went for a run several miles straight out into the Summer Lake dry lakebed, something I’ve always wanted to do, just to see what’s out there. Answer: a plank. And a rock
There’s something awesome and totally enchanting about these dry lakebeds in eastern Oregon and Nevada. Can’t quite put my finger on it, but every time I see one, I just want to be in the middle of it.
Concluded the road trip with a sunrise soak in the hot springs. And from there, home to the Gorge!
Back in the office, Andrew and I immediately dug into a whole bunch of new product development work on the Reckless, apparel, tank bags, connection straps, and all kinds of other fun stuff. More on that next post!