With the ride itself ending a little over two weeks ago and the final video of the series having been posted earlier today, I figured it was time to share a few thoughts on the 1st ever Wild & Wonderful Weekend and what that means for the possibility of future events.
First, big thanks to Ducati Winchester, 304Made.com, The StrapJacket and Crampbuster for partnering up with the event! The feedback from the demo rides and cookout Ducati Winchester put on was nothing short of outstanding and everyone loved the cool items they received from the sponsors in their swag bags.
When I came up with the idea for the event, my 2 major concerns were: “Would we have enough interest?” and “What do I do if we get some knucklehead on the ride?”
When the announcement video was posted, the channel was sitting around 5,200 subscribers. Of the 1,200+ who watched the video, 40 people signed up to get more information while another dozen+ emailed or contacted me saying those dates didn’t work for them but they were interested in future events. I also had another 5 or 6 email to say they’d love to come but lived overseas or too far away to get their bike to WV. Not only was initial interest higher than I expected but the event sold out in 2 minutes with a waitlist twice as long as the attendee list. FYI, it’s important to get on the waitlist if you miss out; just ask Charlie. He was number 1 on the waitlist and ended up getting to go on the ride due to a scheduling conflict that arose for one of the original attendees.
I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to attend the event. With ages ranging from mid-30s to early-70s, we had people from all over the world. Riders from Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, South Carolina and Belgium made the trek to West Virginia to attend. We ended up with a total of 8 bikes and 11 attendees with 3 bikes being ridden 2-up. Craig was gracious enough to give both Raydene and Kristen rides on the back of his BMW K 1600 GTL, though I think Alain is still a tad disappointed he didn’t get a ride on the back.
If you watched the video series, it was probably pretty easy to tell everyone had a great time. Everyone has continued to stay in contact even after the ride with some of us making plans to get together again at some point. I did send out a quick survey once we returned to get some feedback to make the future events even better. While it was overwhelmingly positive, I promise to stop at a few more scenic overlooks on future trips so ensure everyone has the opportunity to take plenty of pictures.
Also for those who live overseas or in areas where getting your bike to West Virginia will be cost-prohibitive. I now have the 2006 Ducati Multistrada 620, complete with soft bags and a lock top case, available to rent at a VERY fair price.
The Next Wild & Wonderful Weekend
In all likelihood, there will be another Wild & Wonderful Weekend event later this year. I don’t yet have a route picked out but I’m TENTATIVELY looking at October 12-14, 2018 as the dates for the next ride. That time of year should allow us to take in the beauty of the fall foliage. Expect an official announcement sometime during the month of August with all the details including how to get signed up.