BUSINESS DESIGNATION and TOUR CALENDAR, Possible Cancellations
As Wheel Tales continues to evaluate existing and future adventures, the proposition of making it a legitimate business looms. As of now we basically are just an extended friendship network that joins me on adventures of my desire. But there always lies that cloud of 'what if...'. In my ideal perspective, everyone would continue to realize the benefit of assuming their own liability and culpability in this dynamic situation, thereby forgoing any need for requiring things like a business or insurance. But the real world can set your ideals aside and force you to plan for the possibility of the 'what ifs' becoming 'oh sh*ts'.
Currently the big idea is to form a 'social club' that is focused on adventure bike touring. This would require a limited membership and that is a sticking point. Trying to think about what requirements would keep tours open to everyone. Maybe you must have a member sponsor, referral? Other things to reconcile is how to deal with equipment acquisition. One of the larger reasons to form a club is to keep Wheel Tales out of the touring BUSINESS which would require us to register as tour operators in states. Since these operate as a co-op and patrons contribute to the success and logistics, we don't want to complicate these adventures. Lots of considerations.
Those of you that have done a tour and would continue to support Wheel Tales, I would love to know your thoughts and ideas.
Numbers Matter, Get Registered
There's quite a bit of planning that goes into setting these tours but the source of deeper concern is when I have to start making reservations on the assumption of attendance. Most hotels are easy enough to cancel these days with a slight service fee. Campgrounds generally up the ante on cancelling. But AirBnB is a tough pill to swallow with a 50% charge of complete reservation. To give you an example a 2 night stay in Lake Placid being cancelled would result in a $800 cancellation fee. I have no way of making that up and would come out of my pocket. That's not happening. Hence, why it's imperative that I get people committed asap. I'd prefer to keep the planned tour calendar intact but have no hesitation in cancelling if I feel the minimum numbers might not materialize.
The best thing we can all do is register, even without the deposit, so I can get a sense of interest. Second, get the word out! I have flyers I can send out to you so you can share at your local bike shop, just shoot me an email. If you are in California, Arizona or Nevada and have a setting in which I can present to a decent size group, I'd might be willing to travel for a Q&A about Wheel Tales. Please have an audience that is open to participating in this type of touring.
One of the big adds coming to the 2018 adventures is live GPS tracking. We will be testing the system this month hoping to work out any bugs. The system will allow you to upload all the courses onto your smartphone using Google Maps. Then participants will share their location with the driver and any other riders to allow live location to be tracked. It is suggested that riders have a phone mount and a external battery to allow for ease and reliability. There will be lots of details in your Rider Packet for the tour you are participating in.