APRIL 2020 NEWSLETTER
So how are we all coping with the new normal? Staying indoors may be the right thing to do but being ordered to slob around at home isn’t as fun as you might think. Hopefully by now the bike has been fully serviced, the garage totally cleaned and organised, the lawn mowed within an inch of its life and you’ve managed to avoid too much bickering with your loved ones.
With an extremely strict lockdown in place in South Africa, complete with old school prohibition laws, Toby and the rest of the South African team are throwing themselves into work and planning ahead for the future with new tours and new destinations on the cards. In the UK Julian is still slowly freshening up his beloved 2001 EXC250 and, while waiting for mail order parts, has resorted to cleaning and reorganising the kitchen cupboards – even the messy one under the sink! Ian is still locked down on a caravan site near Bolton and has almost finished rewatching every single episode of Coronation Street ever filmed – not much different to his former life in Cambodia really. The rest of the local teams spread across the globe are all raring to go as soon as the gate drops… never have we wanted to get out on the bikes this much! Who knows when that might be…
On with the news for this month…
BIG LOVE TO OUR RIDERS
We’ll start off with a big thanks to all our customers who had tours booked with us that have had to be postponed or cancelled. It’s been a difficult time for the team here at Ride Expeditions to see a host of our well-crafted tours be put on hold, but it’s fantastic to hear from so many customers that have been happy to simply postpone their adventures until later in the year or roll over to 2021, rather than cancel their bookings. It really means so much to us that you have chosen to rebook with us on a future ride (no hard to feelings those who have cancelled, we totally understand that the current situation has made things extremely difficult!).
To help with those mulling over whether or not to book a ride, we’re offering flexible bookings during these dark days. This means that for any bookings made during the Corona lockdown, you will be able to book onto any tour with us – from the wonders of India to the jungles of Colombia – and you can cancel or reschedule any time up to six weeks before the tour is due to start. Hopefully this takes the worry out for you and the bookings can continue rolling in. We can’t wait to ride with you all again and let’s be honest, we’re all going to need a getaway after this is all over!
If you’ve already watched the video for our incredible Colombian Trailblazer tour, you’ll have noticed the bikes used were the beautifully light and agile Honda CRF250F. The lil’ Hondas were great to tackle the wonderful terrain, but we’re delighted to announce that we’ve been able to add in an off-season upgrade to make the going just that bit better – we’re going to be using KTMs all-conquering and totally awesome 350 EXC-F. The 350 motor is a complete peach and when used in MXGP by Antonio Cairoli, it’s totally unbeatable – now that’s the kind of bike we like. In the EXC chassis it’s perfectly at home tackling the twisty trails and tracks of rural Colombia or blasting the dirt roads that slice through the amazing countryside.
You can check out our recent review of the KTM 350 EXC-F here.
And while we’re on the subject of Colombia, aside from the existing Colombian Trailblazer tour – a stunning thirteen-day adventure, we’re also working on a shorter itinerary for those looking for a different and less expensive way of exploring this fascinating destination. It’s not ready for release yet, but it’s a work in progress and details will be released soon!
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
So, before he was marooned inside a mobile home in downtown Bolton, video guy Ian had just finished another of his epic visual creations. This time the film is of the Cambo Quest, a rambling and life-affirming tour through the incredible trails of Cambodia. Starting in the bustling city of Phnom Penh, this is fifteen action-packed days of motorcycling adventure that takes a sweeping route right over to Laos and through Siem reap to end 2000 km later in the riverside town of Kampot. It’s one hell of a tour!
Roll the tape Ian …
INTRODUCING CHEAPER PACKAGES
After the madness is eased a little, we know that for many of our potential customers funds might be a little tight. So, we’re developing new tour packages that are hosted and operated solely by our partners in the various locations across the world. We’ll still tell you exactly what the tour includes and what to expect when you are there, but you will be left in the trusted hands of our local teams whilst on tour but the usual Ride Expeditions tour leaders won’t actually be running the tours on the ground. The locals are, and always will be, the real stars of the show in all of our operations, so you can be sure you’ll still have an incredible adventure in their capable hands!
This will mean the tours will be appreciably cheaper, but inevitably will not have the same inclusions or you’d receive on a full Ride Expeditions tour. We hope it will offer another option to allow our experiences and destinations to reach a wider audience and provide much needed business for our partners at the end of this crisis.
We’re building a new website tailored for this purpose and once done will include all of our destinations as well as others, but if you are interested in the meantime, then check out the first new option for Cambodia’s ‘Jungle & Mountain Explorer’ here, temporarily held on our current website.
Watch this space – we’ll release more details in every newsletter! Many good things will come out of this crisis and Ride Expeditions will emerge from lockdown stronger than ever!
What have we got for you this month? Well it’s a look at the 2020 Royal Enfield Himalayan that Julian has lovingly prepared for you from his trusty word processor. The Himalayan is all new but is it better, or is it much the same (or worse!)? Better have a read to find out. If you have time to kill and want to delve back into the archives, maybe check out whether you should be running mousses, tubes or something else …
With no extreme events going on this year (unless you count the consumption of Toby’s pineapple flavour moonshine), we thought we’d have a look back to last year’s Erzberg Enduro. If you can conquer this one, you’re damn good!
Stay fit, healthy & safe folks! This too shall pass – perhaps like a kidney stone – but it shall pass.