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Old 01-10-2013, 12:21 PM   #1
ShawnWorks OP
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Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Prunedale, and to a lesser extent, Santa Cruz CA
Oddometer: 242
Thumb The New BMW R1200GS Press Launch - My "EPIC" Journey to South Africa

Adventure Log 1

Word of the day: Shellshock


So, recently I received a call from one of the executives at BMW Motorrad USA. I’ve known this individual for several years, though it is not often that we talk on the phone. Seeing his name on the caller ID certainly raised an eyebrow.

In general, this is the meat and potatoes of our conversation:
Him: “So… What are you doing the weekend of January 18th?”

Me: “I can’t say there’s anything special happening, I am scheduled to be in the office. What’s up?”

Him: “I want you to attend the Press Release of the new BMW R 1200 GS Motorcycle.”

Me: “…Err—Ok… Where is it?”

Him: “South Africa.”

Me: …

Him: “…From the US we’re sending 5 professional journalists, and you. Just ride the bike and write about the experience. What do you think?”

Me: …

Him: “…Hello?”

Me: “No. Friggin. Way.”
Suffice to say, the subsequent conversation included a lot of drooling and squealing. Then there was the running around and fist-pounding, yelling, and explaining of said gesticulations to a befuddled wife.

The goal—or so I have come to understand it—is for me to join the fray and offer a differed perspective to the usual BMW “Press Launch” experience. In other words, tell the tale of the new R 1200 GS from the viewpoint of an unworthy slob who gets to take the trip of a lifetime…!!!!

So there you have it. In about a week I will be heading off to George, South Africa, to experience first-hand the epic awesomeness that is the newest BMW GS machine. And since the role I will play is a bit unusual in the first place, I figure it's appropriate to share more of the tale than simply ‘riding the GS.’ I see this as a story with telling, hence the words in front of you… After all, it’s not every day you get invited for an event like this!

Perhaps a quick Bio is in order. For the record, my name is Shawn Thomas, and I perform training and Tours for RawHyde Adventures (www.rawhyde-offroad.com). RawHyde is a cornerstone of the Adventure riding lifestyle, and where I first learned to ride a GS beyond the asphalt. I am also a part of the “BMW Community” team; I have spent the last 2 years traveling around the country with my brother, Lance, putting together groups of riding communities. We offer free clinics teaching the art of managing “big” Adventure bikes on the dirt (perhaps we’ve met?). Together, Lance and I have taught upwards of 2,000 Adventure riders around the country how to handle these machines off-pavement. In addition, I have spent a good 10 years in the world of motorcycles, beginning with a job in sales at a BMW Motorcycle dealer on the California Coast. Good times!

Suffice to say--like you, riding is a passion for me. And for me, nothing compares to riding a GS. I love the power, and handling, the sheer diversity of the machine. In my humble opinion, it’s the best bike ever conceived.

I also very much enjoy storytelling and photography, two helpful assets in this upcoming experience…!

So, it seemed a good idea to start a thread about this experience. I do not know how it will evolve; but, I figure that some good can come from putting pen to paper (fingers to laptop) and telling my fellow Adventurers how this whole experience unfolds. Thanks for reading, I appreciate your feedback!

To be continued…
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"I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it."

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