Reflections on an Epic Journey
April 21, 2016
Everyone has their own #RoadToImagine. Ours included 4 motorcycles, 9 days, 3,100 miles, 5 states, 100+ hours of riding, 14 amazing sponsors, 3 selfies on stage, a few bumps & bruises, and a lifetime of memories.
Here are a few memories that are special to each of us.
Brendan's Favorite Memory
Motorcycling is a solitary activity, and that's how I got into it. There aren't that many of us and eventually you'll need to work out a problem on your own. Even riding with a group, you're all moving in the same direction but your thoughts are the only thing to listen to. It's a great escape if that's what you're looking for.
This trip was something very different for me. Each of us wore Sena intercoms in our helmets, and for the first time I could hear and respond to my group. The technology is far from perfect. They get disconnected. They inexplicably fail to reconnect until the suddenly do. Honestly we only managed to get all four of us online for 25% of the trip—but when it worked it made riding together totally different.
It shifted my perspective from riding solo to traveling as a unit, and relying on the team when things went wrong. We found problems that were easier to solve together: nearly running out of gas in a cellular dead zone, dismantling two bikes to jumpstart a dead battery, monitoring a rapidly deteriorating tire, and crashing into a cliffside guard rail.
There's a lot of value in self-reliance and trekking by motorcycle will teach you that. But I got a taste of the motorcycle gang. Not the skulls and chains trope, but as a support network. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Bret's Favorite Memory
There's nothing more rewarding than sharing an epic adventure with a community. Our #roadtoimagine trip turned into just that. The community started out small, with four of us dreaming big about how to take a most amazing route to Magento Imagine 2016 on motorcycles.
I had previously ridden the PCH 1 on a motorcycle a few years ago. With that experience, I had a different perspective on what and where to ride. There really is nothing like carving up, or down, a twisty mountain road on a motorcycle. The endorphin rush alone makes you feel alive. But, when you start pushing your machine to the limits (in my case, it's more like pushing my own skills to the limits), you start to feel alive.
And, that's probably my biggest memory from our epic #roadtoimagine. The feeling of being alive, every day, as we traversed various climes, terrains, temperatures and more. Each day brought something unique.
One day stands out in my mind: Day 4, riding from Cave Junction to Graberville was stacked with the most amazing set of hairpin turns, sweepers and more. As we climbed through the forested mountain roads of Shasta-Trinity National Forest just east of Eureka, CA, we were rewarded with beautiful vistas.
Man synched with machine, machine holding ever tighter to the asphalt as the rubber heated, increasing its grip and transmitting confidence back to rider. This route commanded total attention and laser focus. I had to feel my way through each turn. It is days and rides like this that force you to become a better, more confident rider. But this day, it never stopped. Sure, there are a handful of excellent, albeit shorter, canyon roads nearby KURU Shoes' headquarters in Salt Lake City. But, on Day 4 of #roadtoimagine, it was hundreds of twisty miles.
The best part...we not only shared this moment together. We got to share it with the whole Magento Community through #roadtoimagine. We made it out the other side in one piece. With no accidents. And no speeding tickets!
Kuba's Favorite Memory
For me this trip was not one special memory, but rather a kaleidoscope of different memories that all blend together into one story.
I enjoyed riding the winding roads up to Crater Lake flanked by 15 foot snow enbankments. I enjoyed the empty Death Valley winding roads that we had all to ourselves. I even enjoyed riding through the fog that was so thick I couldn't see further than my lights.
But it was also the small memories that I liked too.
I enjoyed stopping in tiny Sumpter, Oregon which felt like it was right out of the Wild West. They have a small bar there called Mad Dog Bar which has an amazing burger. I enjoyed having a beer around the campfire, with the bikes right beside us in the campfire's light.
I even enjoyed the low moments like when a bike broke down in literally the middle of nowhere.
There wasn't one moment that was the best because the journey was just as important as the destination.
Steve's Favorite Memory
One of the reasons I really wanted to do this trip was to get an item off my bucket list; to ride a motorcycle along the Pacific coast. My favorite memory is when I saw the Pacific coast for the first time on a motorcycle.
We had woken up early after camping the night in Oregon. Our goal was to make it pretty far into Northern California. After crossing over into California and navigating some canyon roads, we were met with something I had never seen before: a Redwood forest. Seeing these massive trees is amazing; seeing them 10 feet away from you as you wiz by at 60 miles per hour is even more amazing. These are the biggest trees I've ever seen. Wider than cars, and so tall that the forest would block out most of the daylight.
After spending an hour riding through these incredible giants, the darkness suddenly broke into light and I saw the Pacific Ocean. We rode around a bend, and as we came down a hill we were right beside massive Pacific waves breaking on the beach.
In that moment I thought to myself: I dreamed about this for years and now it was reality. It's a moment I'll never forget. And I couldn’t have done it without everyone who supported this trip.
Thank you to everyone who supported us in any way: sponsors, the Magento community, everyone on social media, and the Magento team who made this happen. No matter how long or hard our days were, they were always instantly worth it as soon as we saw all of your retweets, support, favorites, follows, shout-outs, and sharing your own stories. Like Magento, we couldn't have done this without the support of this amazing community.
Thank you. We can't wait until next year.