Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's Been an Interesting Year!

After a few attempts at recovering my password, I've opened the squeaky door, and blown the dust off my blog. I started this blog about a year ago, when I thought I had time, and interesting things to comment on. Then, life got busy. Oh so busy.

It all started one day last fall, when Billy called me and said "So what do you think...should we start a motorcycle rental business? I found a great first bike on Craigslist." Well there I was, standing in the middle of the Portland Flower Market, with my co worker, Heather, cell phone in hand, saying "Sure, that sounds great! Buy the bike!" I hung up the phone, turned to Heather and said "We just started a business". It wasn't quite as simple as that. Billy and I had been talking about it....oh, maybe for a week or two, but sometimes if you talk about something too much, you might just talk yourself right out of it. So on that day, Oregon Dual Sport Rental & Adventures was born.

Let the work begin! There are all kinds of things you need to do when starting a new business. We had to apply for an LLC, get a tax ID number, find out about insuring all the bikes, and since the business is located at our house, figure out how to insure our house and property. We had to make business cards, fliers, join the Chamber of Commerce, buy more bikes, set up a website??!! Holy cow! We did all of this through the winter and spring, while working  our "real" jobs in the Portland area.

With the business to be located at our house in Bend, one of us would have to move there full time. Since Billy's real job pays more than my real job, I would be the one to move. So last May, I bid farewell to my co-workers at the flower shop, packed up the cats, and moved to Bend. Billy commutes between Portland and Bend, twice a week on his trusty F800GS "Darth". He should be getting his 200,000 mile patch from BMW very soon!

 We have met some really nice people who work in motorcycle related businesses here. Giant Loop is in Bend. They make travel bags for motorcycles. Atomic Moto is also in Bend. They have some great gear for riding. High Desert Adventures is a dual sport touring business in Prineville. They sometimes rent bikes from us for their tours. Moto Fantasy is a motorcycle rental business near us. They rent street bikes, and also have a great bed and breakfast lodge. All really nice people, and we're starting to feel like part of the community.

 The motorcycle rental business is slowly taking off. We have been getting busier as the summer progresses. Our customers have all been great. We had our first international customers last week. A couple of really nice guys from Nova Scotia. They enjoyed a day of riding, and then went with us to an ADV meet up dinner in Bend. We all had a great time. We have only had one miss hap, so far. A customer from CA went riding alone, and had an unintentional dismount in some deep sand. Five broken ribs, and a bleeding lung; two nights in the hospital. Thank God he's mostly okay, and thank God for the waiver. Every one of our customers signs a waiver saying they take full responsibility for their actions. They acknowledge that what they are about to do is very dangerous, and they cannot sue us, and their spouse, kids, grandkids, future kids, cat, dog, bird, and/or neighbor can't sue us either. Period. Billy and I have found that we work really well together. He has a head for numbers, facts, and figures, while I am creative, and have learned how to manage our website, and make our business visible. We both wrench on the bikes....well, he does most of the wrenching, but I do some too! Together, we make a good team, and at the end of the day I still love him more than ever!

So how has my summer been? Great! I love living in Bend! In June, my parents took the family on a fabulous Alaskan cruise, to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful time, and saw lots of beautiful scenery. (I will try to put up some pictures in a future post.) In July, eight of my childhood girlfriends came to visit. We had fun catching up on each others lives, and did some sightseeing around the Bend area. August brought our 3rd annual Deschutes River Float and party weekend. We had a small group this year, but we all had fun! We all slept on the patio, and watched the Perseid Meteor showers.

My son Cody, lives in Bend now. He works at Izzy's Restaurant, and is planning to go to Central Oregon Community College. We get together and hike, or just hang out. That has been really nice. My daughter Haley, is going to be a senior (how is that possible?) at the U of O. She is involved in the marching band, Gama Phi Beta sorority, and now she is also employed at an Izzy's Restaurant in Springfield.

So that's what's been going on with me this past year. I will try to get more pictures up in future posts. We had a major computer melt down over the summer, and most of my pictures are stored other places, but I should have some on this new computer soon. Stay tuned!


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