(Picking up a hire bike from Hispania Tours in Malaga)
So where do I begin?
I guess I should start when I was 55 years.
Friends said I was having a midlife crisis when I told them I wanted to learn to ride a motorcycle and I wanted to get a full motorcycle license.
￼Well, that wasn’t going to stop me, it was much harder than I thought and I failed the first time, but that wasn’t going to stop me either.
Eventually, I passed and got some money to by a motorcycle, then I went on the hunt for groups I could join and didn’t find the type of people I was looking for, so I created my own; Hampstead motorcyclists, it’s on FaceBook and already has about 100 members. Actually, I set up a page and a group, so combine there are about 250 members.
Here are the links:
I also went in on the hunt for motorcycle tours but all we could find was trips where, at best, we had to share a room and trips that were camping based, neither of those suited us.
We wanted to tour on our motorcycle and stay in nice hotels where we could safely and securely park up, have the bike cleaned, have a super nice room, amazing food in amazing restaurants and live it up a bit on our holiday.
"Roughing it" was not our bag.
So that’s what we did, we took the bike over to Spain on the ferry and did all of the above. It costs a lot more money of course, but I recognised that there could be a market for other people to enjoy the same thing and for people who are almost certainly looking for the same things.
Now to my idea/project:
(This is me riding my old F700GS in Spain with Anna on the back)
First off, I have no experience running motorcycle tours, so this is going to be a massive learning curve, to say the least, neither do I know if it will work or not, but I believe it will and I’ll get to that in a bit.
The theory is simple, to take groups of 8ish people at a time for a guided motorcycle tour of the whole of the coast of Spain and Portugal over about 16 days, stating in Spain in Santander, after a ferry crossing from Portsmouth, then heading down to just south of Barcelona via Zaragoza and Vinoros, down to Alicante, Malaga, Gibraltar, up to Saville, into Portugal following the Atlantic all the way up and back into Spain.
￼Of course, there are also opportunities for people to drop into and out of the route, if they want to fly into Spain and hire a motorcycle, there are a couple of motorcycle hire companies in Maliga, I’ve already used one myself.
Having said all that, there’s also plenty of opportunity for the same type of tour anywhere else in the world.
I was in Costa Rica last year and that would be an awesome trip as it has boarders both the Pacific Caribbean coasts.
There’s also a massive amount of scope to also do tours in the south of England and Wales and I want to aim that at the American market, which would have to be a fly, key and ride tour, so I’d have to find a UK based hire company to team up with that hires adventure bikes.
In addition, there are a lot of disabled people who would never get an opportunity to do something like this, and there are a lot of riders who would be more than willing to buddy up with a disabled person and I'd very much like to explore the possibility of that. It is another part of my idea and will take an awful lot of planning and pre-trip practice for both the rider and passenger, but this could come in time.
I digress, let me get back on track...
Why do I think this will work and why is it unique?
Most motorcycle riders that have spent a reasonable amount of money on their motorcycles want to tour on them, there are a lot of them and like me are in their 50's and want to have some of the creature comforts when on holiday.
I have years of experience with getting websites listed high on Google with my SEO knowledge, I have already done this with two other sites of my own and I’m currently working on another large clients site. In addition, I already own www.coastandcountryriders.com, although you can’t get to it yet because I’ve have the site offline.
I said earlier that I didn’t have any proof that it’s going to work, how can I, it's a new concept and very niche.
However, with my web site skills (I make a living from it), enthusiasm and belief in a service that’s so far not been done yet, I believe that this is a massive market waiting to take off, I’m very excited about the opportunity to try with your help.
Speaking of your help and not being able to tell you exactly what will happen. Until I literally get on my bike and go and rekki a trip, nothing is going to happen, and that’s what I need the first round of funding for, the second round of funding will be for advertising, public liability insurances and some additional equipment. Having said that, I am hoping to do it all in the first funding.
I intend on taking my laptop and doing a daily vlog to my YouTube channel which will help with raising awareness, I have also planned on contacting local radio stations before I leave to ask them if any local riders would like to join me.
Ultimately, I’d love to be in a position to have other people taking clients on trips for me and also having a support vehicle, but that takes more money and is a little premature right now.
I’m sorry this has been long, but I wanted to tell you as much as I can to give you the best picture. Perhaps if you're a motorcyclist too, you could even join me for the rekki trip, even if it’s in part, it's a long way to go on my own...
Ok, that's it. I hope you are able to donate in any way you can.