Well, as I am sitting, preparing this years tour, in my thoughts I am reminiscing on the past 12 years and the beginning of the KITE AND BIKE DREAMTOURS.
Back in 1995 I was sitting in my kiteshop, restless as always, thinking of some new adventures and I had this “vision” of a kite and bike tour.
Immediately I wrote Harley Davidson, Milwaukee for sponsoring in a fashion, that Harley could improve the image of their bikes, by putting a bit of lifestyle into their marketing, e.g. riding bikes, flying kites, enjoying nature, being one with mother earth and all this groovy stuff. It did not take long for an answer.
They simply stated : No interest … we are not into this flower power movement.
But I was determined to put this thing into action , because in my dreams it was already happening, so I wrote new exposes, explaining the backround of the story, the fantastic marketing benefits , they would gain and one day in 1998 came a fax with the go, to do the first tour. I think, they had it, with all my inquiries and just wanted peace.
Summer 1998 came up and I hit the road for a 4000 mile trip from L.A. to San Francisco, Yosemite, Death Valley, Las Vegas and Grand Canyon.
This trip was the fullfillment of all my dreams. Flying kites at the Golden Gate, in Death Valley, at Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, feeling the spirit of the road, riding along beautiful scenerys and breathtaking roadpictures, was beyond belief.
I travelled the US many times, but the ride on a Harley is an experience above any other experience, that I made on my trips around the world.
They call it the American dream.
Due to the documentation in 4 magazines in 1998, Harley Davidson decided to make the Kite and Bike Tour an ongoing story for 5 years.
That way I came to the U.S. every year and my stories took me all over the West U.S. and all the way up to Canada.
I visited friends like Terry Yuncker of Windborne Kites in Monterey, Reza in Denver, who gave his Eagle of Paradox, that I have flown all over the world, Kathy Goodwind and her Seattle Kite Festval and many others. Some of them are gone to the other side, but I have always taken their spirit of kiteflying with me.
I flew their kites at mindblowing spots, in Galisteo/New Mexico, Custer Battlefield in Montana, in Big Sur California and so many more spots, that I can recall in my memory.
I travelled the highways from L.A. to Calgary, through the Rockies to Vancouver and back on PCH to L.A., with some tours that came to 8000 miles within 4 weeks, looking at the wonders of the world.
I experienced 110 degrees in the Death Valley and snowfall at Lake Tahoe, thunderstorm in Montana and ice rain in Canada, but after all I would not want to miss one second of all these trips, these wonderful people I met and the outstanding beauty of mother Earth.
And above all, we always managed to do something good with every tour. All income was donated to charity, e.g. Seattle Kite Festival with a donation to a M/S Clinic in Seattle, support of clinics for abused children, support of the Native Americans etc.
Its been a lifetime experience … and the reason, why I am writing this for Kitelife.com is, that another tour is taking place in 2010.
This year I will ride Pacific Coast Highway from San Diego to San Francisco, starting the 22nd of June, visiting many kite enthusiasts along the way, stopping over at some great places like www.postranchinn.com, flying kites with my friends in San Diego, remembering the old days, 20 years ago, with John Perrusse, Richard van Machllan from Action Kites and Joe Hadzicki, when the Revolution Kite was invented. I can’t wait, to be on the road again and if you want to fly kites with me on the way, look out for a Harleyrider with a kitebag on his back.
Kite and Bike Tour sponsors:
http://www.hamptoninn.com (Paso Robles)
This years income will be donated to a worldwide climate research project of the www.aldebaran.org, who is intensely involved in saving the marine underwaterworld of this planet and to start initiatives to stop the climate change.