John arrived home on Friday, safe and exhausted from his week-long motorcycle trip in the cascades. John apparently met some great people and saw some beautiful sights, but was also really frustrated by the ride organizer (a guy who owns a motorcycle shop). Apparently, he is an incompetent idiot who:
- Didn’t stick to the itinerary he wrote.
- Didn’t make sure all riders were present and accounted for when starting/ ending daily rides.
- Provided poor directions/ GPS tracking.
- Did not assign lead riders familiar with the route to the subgroups.
A lot of the riders were camping, because, you know, dual-sport adventure tour in the Cascade mountains. The ride leader stayed in hotels and didn’t bother to scout out affordable or accessible campgrounds. To add insult to injury, he dined with other riders who stayed in town and made on-the-fly changes to the itinerary at those dinners, which the campers were often not notified of until after he left the next day. Oh, yes, and he started the morning ride before everyone had checked in, leaving his wife behind to update the abandoned riders on the updated itinerary.
In addition to these issues, there were unnecessary expenses: The ride was billed as an “international, interstate tour of the cascades.” In actuality, they met up in Canada, camped overnight (just barely over the border) and then popped back into Washington the next morning. The next 5 days were spent in Washington, with a 15 minute (tolled) crossing of the Hudson river into Oregon at the very end of the ride. So … in other words, two unnecessary tolls, and one unnecessary EDL, just so the ride organizer could say, “Ohhh, we went on an international interstate tour of the cascades.”
John was also irritated because the ride organizer arranged for them to eat at fine, 5-star dining establishments along the route for their noon meal, despite the fact that they were completely out-of-place in such establishments. These were men who had been riding off-road through desert heat — they were sweaty, tired, filthy, probably smelly, and shedding dirt from their riding gear as they walked.
In other words, they were not dressed appropriately for a fine dining establishment, and had a difficult time enjoying the experience when they stuck out like a sore thumb. Plus, they wanted large, filling, and inexpensive meals — not exactly a defining feature of 5 star restaurants. Apparently these restaurants were chosen because the ride organizer featured them in one of his guidebooks.
At least he got two stickers and a bracelet. For $150 a pop, apparently the ride organizer couldn’t be bothered with commemorative shirts, or (for that matter) basic manners. Summed up, John’s account of the adventure is that he enjoyed it despite the ride organizer, and the behavior of the ride organizer lost him several previously loyal customers.
During the time John was gone, meanwhile, Kidling and I managed to amuse and distract ourselves. I kept the t.v. off for pretty much the entire week — it was on about 1 hour a day, if that. It was so quiet and lovely. We went on motorcycle rides, out to parks, and out to eat. We saw the film How to Train Your Dragon II. I briefly flirted with the idea of riding out to Yelm to see if Kidling’s uncle and cousins were available for a visit, but decided it wasn’t my place to initiate contact.
We also cleaned the entire house, from top to bottom, tidied up the yard and garage, and then I sort of completely reorganized our bedroom. Quite a bit. It’s somewhat unrecognizable, just a tad. I, uh, started cleaning and got irritated at the piles (I’m a bit of packrat, like my dad), and I sort of … went mad. I turned my closet into a tiny little writing nook/ mini office, then completely organized John’s closet (which now not only serves two, but also holds all our holiday item storage). Oh, and I buzzed my hair off. I also finally arranged to get my laptop fixed, so I’ll be laptop-less for about a week or so.