Ok, this one is for all my motorbike friends out there. Here is the setup: I happen to be one of the six to ten dedicated listeners of a zany motorcycle podcast hosted by two delightfully goofy guys called The Wheelnerds. They produce a wonderful show about once a week from their home(s) in Utah. Without going into too much description for those of you who are unfamiliar with the show, there is an open invitation to all 6-8 of the listeners to be Wheelnerd unpaid field correspondents. (Note: I dropped the listeners down by 2 because I really don’t think they should count their spouses, dogs, daughter…)
So a couple of months ago the Wheelnerds interviewed Paul Guilien, from Touratech USA on the show. Paul, Touratech head honcho Tom Myers, and a small squad of hardcore ADV enthusiasts had just completed riding the the Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route – Wow, that’s a mouthful. Let’s just call it the Co BDR.
The Co BDR was the third in a series of BDR’s. Washington was first. Touratech-USA is based in Seattle, conveniently located just 31.4 miles from my house.
Utah was the next route completed, hence the interest of the Wheelnerds. The Colorado route was ground-truthed last summer and now there is a marvelous map produced by the folks at Butler Maps, and a complete set of GPS waypoints, as well as a stunningly beautiful DVD from award winning film maker Sterling Noren. Before I go on let me just say how awesome it is that all the GPS files for all the BDR’s are available for FREE to anyone in the ADV community. Yep, That’s FREE!
So that brings us to Thursday night. I saw a FaceBook post from the Wheelnerds saying the world premiere for the COBDR was being presented by Touratech at a funky little neighborhood movie theater in Shoreline WA, only 18.7 miles from my house. (Sorry about the precise milage numbers but these guys are, after all, Nerds!) Following a few back and forth FB notes I was booked for the show as the official Wheelnerds, roving, on the scene correspondent. (Insert dramatic theme music here.)
Of course I had every intention of riding my moto down to the premiere so everyone would see how “adventury” I was. But the freezing temperatures and icy roads put the kibosh on that. I wasn’t the only one. As far as I could see, only one brave soul rode a motorbike to the show. These type of events usually draw swarms, hoards, legions of motorcycles.
The turnout was still really good. I spotted Paul in the lobby and we chatted for a bit. Paul recognized me from past events and as a frequent visitor to the Touratech shop. When I mentioned the Wheelnerds, his interview on the podcast, and my un-official (or was it official, I forgot) role as a roving correspondent I watched a smile wash over his face. He said, “oh yeah, those guys were fun”.
After a little more jabbering and a few photos it was time for the show. A word about the photographs. As a photographer myself I want to be clear that the photos I took of the movie screen were the amazing work of one (or more) of the riders. Jon Beck was the official still photographer and his images were magical.
It was an inspiring show full of stunning views, interesting facts, nasty falls, beautiful campsites, and challenging terrain… All followed up by a very informal question and answer session at the end.
Here are a few pics of the pics:
You know what was amazing about this movie? I was sitting in the audience with the movie stars. Just behind me was Bryce Stevens, who rode a KTM on the trip, and just in front of me was Tom Myers, the pilot of a BMW 1200 GS. As the film progressed I was getting the behind the scene details from the rider’s themselves. When was the last time you sat down in a theater next to Bruce Willis and watched Die Hard with him?
Finally here is a “Breaking News Flash” from the post movie Q&A. The next BDR to be mapped will be Arizona, and, wait for it… Round the world motorbike funny man Austin Vince will be joining the BDR crew for that one. Yep, you heard it here first. I for one can’t wait.
Roving reporter signing off.