Epic Ride: A Little History

Epic Ride 2015 is in the books! Gotta say it was an incredible time. There’s really something cool about hanging with other guys and exploring the world on motorcycles.

Lots of people have started asking me how many Epic Rides there have been and how we got started so I thought I’d do a little post to explain the history and what it’s all about.

My brother and I started Epic Ride back in 2007 when him, a buddy of his, and I rode to Death Valley. Although back then, they weren’t called “Epic Ride”. After the first two, my brother couldn’t find the time to go anymore so I continued them and started giving them formal names. Here are the Epic Rides that have taken place so far:

Epic Ride 2007: Death Valley
Epic Ride 2008: Medford Oregon & North California Coast
Epic Ride 2009: Grand Canyon & Southern Utah
Epic Ride 2010: Cross Country
Epic Ride 2011: Canada, Eh!
Epic Ride 2012: Eureka!
Epic Ride 2013: Razing Arizona
Epic Ride 2014: Sturgis Edition
Epic Ride 2015: Portlandia

Each of the rides have generally just been 2 to 4 guys and in 2011 I rode solo and my daughter joined me for the leg into Canada. Since 2012, however, the rides have been growing each year with 2015 being the biggest group at 10 guys!

So how do I plan the rides? Well, my job is to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have a good time (whether they actually do or not is up to them!). So I plan the rides around the number of miles per day we have to ride (usually around 250-300), and then whatever happens between breakfast and bedtime is figured out on the road. I will usually make mental notes of some places I think will be fun for everyone to stop, based on what I know about the guys. But I find that having a destination and no other schedule keeps everyone moving but also allows for spontaneity. If you over plan, the ride becomes tedious, and nobody wants that.

So what tools do I use to plan the rides? Well, for discovery I use Roadtrippers.com and RoadsideAmerica.com primarily, but I also use TripAdvisor.com,  and I occasionally use the various state and city tourism web sites. For mapping I use Google Maps for planning the routes and then I recreate them in my Garmin Zumo 550 GPS for use on the road. I book all my rooms on Expedia exclusively because their phone support on the road is fantastic.

Are there rules for Epic ride? We’ve come up with just three simple rules for the rides because rules suck, but you gotta at least set the tone for the ride. Those rules are:

  1. Guys only. Guys need time away, just to be guys, and the road is the perfect venue for that.
  2. The ride must be at least 1000 miles. If you’re not doing that, you can’t really call it “Epic” now can you?
  3. No talking about work. The whole point of riding is to escape and nothing screws up a vacation like work talk.

There’s a few other traditions we’ve developed on Epic Ride as well. At the end of each day, we chill out with a beer and cigar. It’s a great way to wind down a long day of riding and exchange a bunch of laughs. We also like to seek out the craziest, off the wall crap to see while out on the road. Any Thing, Bigfoot museum, or Muffler Man is considered a must see.

Epic Ride has become a fantastic annual event; one I hope to continue until the day I die. Next year we’re considering a few options for the ride. We might go explore Montana. But if things line up just right, we’d like to do the entire Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica. We’ll see what happens.

Well, enjoy these pics from Epic Ride 2015. It was certainly one for the books.