Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Art of a Ride Report.

Every Picture Tells A Story don't it?
Hungry Horse Montana
The other day a ride report came into my mail box. Now I get my fair share of unsolicited mail from fellow riders, but seldom do I get anything of quality.

The quality of a ride report is not necessarily tied to the rider's destination but in his/her ability to spin a story, with words and pictures. I have a link on the right side bar labeled the Best Damn Ride Report ever, if you've not clicked on it - don't! Unless you are prepared to have 3-4 hours of your life sucked up in the best tale of adventure ever.

I am too polite to put in links to the worse ride reports, and of course that is entirely subjective. But diary accounts of a trip, with little or no pictures are just deathly. "I was going to leave at 7 AM, but the cat yacked on the rug, so I was delayed. I put on my glove, I put on my boots...I left the house ..." You know what I'm talking about. And if the bad reports don't drone on in detail, they are short precise and boring. "Rode 562 miles today, put in 1/2 quart of oil. It was a hot, long day". Uh yeah, that kind of report can make the Rocky Mountains seem boring.

What an interesting ride report...not
Mom I'm Tired 2

So back to my inbox..Dan from PA took a trip to AK. It's been done before, I yawned as I clicked on the link. And then I spent the next 45 minutes enjoying the pictures and solid simple language he used to support those pictures. Ah yes, pictures...that is the way to tell a story. Draw your reader into your adventure. Leave your reader thinking, "I'd like to do that". "No way I'd go there!". A picture of the 756 miles for the day on your GPS won't do that. Thanks for the great story Dan!

9 comments:

Bryce said...

Angola, a cross between the refined English language and the language of South Africans. Often wonder how the camera used maintained the batteries for so long?
The pictures tell the story amd also amazed there was actual time to take photographs, probably easier to do so than writing of all ofthe activities.

Makes me wish I was much younger, and in better physical and mental shape.

George F said...

You are so right, I had read the "Angola" ride report and I didn't stop reading until I had read it from start to end, what an amazing story and I have tried to stick to that formula, lots of pictures, they certainly help tell the story.
I enjoy reading adventure reports and spend a lot of time on ADV, maybe too much time.
I have been writing my 22 day adventure cross country and a stop at the BMW event in Redmond, time to put it all together is the problem :-(
Did you go to Redmond since you ride a bimmer? My brother has a GS Adventure, I went with him, there were over 5000 people there.

SheRidesABeemer said...

George, I'm quite involved with the MOA...I just completed a 3 year term on the Board of Directors. I did not have enough time to do Redmond right this summer. So I'll have to wait till next year.

Dave Gill said...

I agree about Metaljockey's report. But, have you seen KTMInduro's at http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=585918 .

Borneo, now that's a place I've read about so I don't have to go there :)

irondad said...

I have not yet read the reports. Have to come back later and do so. We all need some reminders and a mirror for our writing, don't we? I find food for thought here. Thank you!

Bryce said...

Gail:

My friend Holly Ralph did not make it to Redmond either, due to the passing of her mother, in Ottawa, Ontario. Holly was about 75 miles west of Denver CO when she had a dizzyl attack rendering her unable to ride. She ended up in a hospital then a Holiday Inn where her sister rang her about her mother, who was slowly failing, then. Holly didn't make it there in time. As I write this her motorcycle is still in Denver at her son's home. Holly hopes to ride back to Canada sometime in the few weeks after visiting her son.

And your commentary about losing a riding partner, can well understand. It is difficult to continue of any sort, where motorcycling is the singular adhesive.

Anonymous said...

Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.

Dan Diego said...

You were spot-on with your description of the ADV Angola RR. That truly was the "Best Damn Ride Report Ever." Stayed up late last night going through the posts (even though it was old) and loved every minute of it. The dunes on the beach part was facsinating. What an epic.

SheRidesABeemer said...

nice to see someone looking through the archives. The Angola report still holds its own, and I agree, the pictures of the bikes in the dunes...amazing!