Why do we do this? "There is some magic between the thrill of riding and discovery. Its about the ride, discovering yourself, and your passions You know the feeling, when you say: This is so cool!"
How do we do this? We ride motorcycles to discover ourselves, new places and people. We push ourselves to discover our own abilities, our passions and limits. We ride big bikes, little bikes, and everything in between. We ride off road, on road and anywhere we can. Simply, we ride for fun
What do we do? We create new motorcycle adventures. From scenic relaxed adventures to "Tough Guy" dirt bike rides. We use every resource we can find in the world from GPS tracks, to ride stories, to satellite images, old maps, new maps and everything on the internet. But Passion most of all. All rides start from dreams.
About gpsKevin: I call myself a RIDE DESIGNER. I love to dream up and create new adventures. Long ago I went to Cornell and got a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Then I worked for Hewlett Packard for 30 years as an engineer and engineering manager. This is where I learned to dream and create. All of my life I have had a passion for motorcycles and adventures so these skills have come together in my retirement to allow me to create and share new adventures. In the past 20 years I have created several hundred rides and taken countless others on these adventures. It all starts with an idea and a little passion and soon we are having the ride of a lifetime. I also love to share my adventures with others so you can simply join us on an upcoming ride or now, many of my past adventures are available as a self guided ride package.
gpsKevin rides explained
gpsKevin rides are not guided tour rides. Rather they are more like a group of buddies riding together and discovering the adventure for themselves. Riders are given navigation (GPS) tools, connected in small riding groups and advised about the adventure. Riders ride independently and together with your friends or new friends. The ride navigation includes meetup points called Donuts. Riders may ride independently and then meetup and check in with your group at the next Donut. Rides also include "Ride Yodas." These are expert fellow riders that help advise riders having any difficulty and may even be part of your small riding group. These rides are unique in that riders are allowed to experience the adventure in the manner they would like. The rides are all laid out with many suggested options. Riders may choose more difficult routes or more scenic routes; they may even choose shortcuts if the day or bike offers up trouble. Some rides include the lodging and even a support truck to carry gear and aid during difficult times.
How does riding work during a gpsKevin ride?
GPS Navigation tools
Riders are given a custom GPS chip for the ride. These chips work with Garmin and BMW GPS units.. Once installed, your GPS will display the custom route as a bold distinctive line consisting of grouped arrows nicknamed chevrons. This makes navigation easy and clear to see. The custom GPS chip also includes Bold Orange and Black double circles called meetup Donuts. The ride also includes daily printed paper maps. These maps match the electronic version in your gps. The paper maps make it easy to see and understand the overall ride flow for the day. They are very useful in discussing the Meetup Donut point and ride options during the day. They also include information like gas options and ride choices and ride bailout options.
"Ride Yodas" in the gpsKevin sense are expert riding friends that help facilitate the rides. This means that they help riders understand the ride itself and ensure that the riders are prepared for the adventure in which they are about to partake. This includes: ensuring that they have their GPS unit working properly and understand how to use it; that they have united with a small team of buddies for the day's ride; advise them on the routes that they are about to take; observe their equipment and bikes to ensure a successful ride; make sure they are prepared for the possibility of adversity during the day and possibly the night; that they have clothing like rain clothes for the possibility of adversity; that they have extra food and water in any event. Basically, a good Ride Yoda should be a very experienced rider that can observe other riders and perceive any possibilities for difficulty and then help the rider to overcome those difficulties.
"The difference between an adventure and an ordeal is attitude"
These adventures are about riding and discovery. There is not much of the "Too much talking and not enough riding" on these adventures. As such these adventures are packed with both wonderful and tough experiences. At times you will likely have to rely on your team friends to help overcome adversity. Can you find some enjoyment in adversity and muster up some enthusiasm during the adversity yourself?
Are you right for these rides?
When something goes wrong on a ride, would your riding friends say that you are more likely to need help or more likely to give help? If you are in the more likely to offer help camp you are right for these rides. These rides are filled with riders that are more likely to give help, so most of the time the riders never need help. What magic is that?
The old idea for a ride leader or a tour guide was one that the riders would follow behind and the leader would navigate the ride with his great knowledge and familiarity of the routes and terrain. The leader would observe the riders, keep track of the riders and if any had struggles, he would help.
On gpsKevin rides there are no ride leaders in this fashion. Riders ride in small groups of friends and navigate the ride by using their own GPS unit with a custom ride installed. Navigation and the adventure are made easy.
Who are the Ride Yodas?
Master Yoda gpsKevin: Took to motorcycle riding as a baby of 8 years. Extensive exploration of the Northwestern frontiers in known world during the 20th century. Supported the development of the Japanese empire and its motorcycles. Extensive education by elite institutions produced an engineering mind with a passion for discovery. Extensive failures and defeats produced many opportunities and caused many bike changes. Even supported european models for a time. During the 21 century he develop the exploration attitude and lead countless motorcycle adventures to the ends of the known world. Developed new navigation methods. Now just rides and explores for fun
Yoda Roberto: It all started in Mexico City, where I have lived almost all my life. At age 11 my neighbor got for Christmas a 50cc Carabela Ponymatic. He let me rode on it and I instantly got bit by this special virus which I’m sure you know. My quest for adventure and exploring other galaxies started as a young age, but I love to share those adventures with other like minded individuals, so I always invited friends. First I discovered topo maps from some stars in the Universe, so I started planning my adventures based on those maps. Then the technology provided me with gps instruments which I used extensively to build different flight plans. It was time to venture to another Galaxy, and in my search for new routes of the beaten path, I was lucky to meet Master Yoda gpsKevin. Now, still as a young kid at age high 50´s, I live in the SF Bay area, and I’m very excited to share with you endless stories in our next adventure!!!
Yoda Greg M: I hail from the desert planet Mojave which is where, as a youngling, I began my off-road Jedi training. Due to the vast remoteness of the planet, I became proficient in the navigation and maintenance of various crafts being piloted throughout that region. Because of my youth and elevated level of durability, I developed a strong sense of adventure which quickly exceeded the confines of my known world. Towards the end of my teenage years, my quest for adventure and nomadic lifestyle had exhausted my limited resources and the abilities of my star cruiser - the Hodaka Combat Wombat. I enlisted in the Marine Corps to further my formal training and gain access to exotic new lands. There I learned advanced navigation, survival and mapping skills as well as gaining a sense of leadership. The Jar Head Federation took notice of my skills and appointed me to the position of Instructor where I taught Jedi hopefuls the skills of cold weather and mountain survival. Upon completion of my enlistment I found it necessary to continue my adventures by traveling to the African continent. There, I spent a year riding solo on a strange craft known to me as a BMW. Many rides, vehicles and adventures later, I found myself part of the GPSKevin Federation, where I am known as the “Leave No Man Behind” Yoda.
Young Jedi Jeffrey: My life on 2 wheels began when I was merely a Jedi youngling starting my journey to become a Grand Enduro-E. The path was not easy as mastering the art of the Force and ascending to the High Council of the Jedi Order requires a Jedi to be capable of riding a “speeder bike”. To even begin with this story, we would have to go back to a time long, long ago. This brings me back 20+ years to receiving my first 1996 Yamaha PW-50 underneath a Star Wars bed sheet. Within a year, I became a padawan as I received another bike, a 1974 Honda MR 50, to progress to the next step of the Jedi way, in which I would be able to start the task of clutch drops. Through the following years, I spent time to develop and master these skills and went out looking for people with the passion and desire to join the Jedi Order. These journeys took me to faraway lands such as the Mojave Desert, Moab, and the Grand Canyon. By this point I had moved up to becoming a Jedi Master receiving several new “light sabers” and moved up to the Yamaha WR250R. From this point forward, the Force has led me to a path going on the Trans America Trail at age 16, up to the Arctic Circle on a KLR at 18 and crossing the US on a CT 70 and a scooter at 20 and 21 and hundreds of other memorable experiences of different worlds.The longest battle against the Sith Lords began on a nice 150-mile ride from Ridgecrest, CA to Beatty, NV in which I managed to ride with a group of Jedi Knights, who endured 4 flat tires, the ultimate doing of the Dark Side, with only 2 back up tubes within the group. Throughout the fight, the knights managed to go on 3 separate 40 mile trips, involuntarily leaving a Jedi behind, to obtain the hyper drive generator necessary for defeating the pure evil of flat tires. To do so, not only did the group have to combat the dark side, they also had to go on a pod race against the Sunlight before the sun goes down. In the end, the group managed to make it back, rescue the Jedi that was left behind and change a tube to then have another flat tire a whole 2 miles later. This resulted in leaving a bike behind and making it to the lunch stop at 11pm, half a day later. Another memorable experience was when I had the KLR break down (the cam up and out of its cradle) in a small town of 200. A Jedi Master never gives up in the face of great danger, therefore we towed the bike 200 miles into the town of White Horse to meet with Unkar Plutt, a space scavenger of spare parts to see if there were any options in the local motorcycle shop. Without much success from the shop, the bike was then deemed as space junk, which resulted in towing the bike for another 300+ miles towards Haines, AK. It was around here when I met and left with the notorious Han Solo, a guy from California up there fishing, on his Millennium Falcon on a journey to Seattle. It was through these journeys of hard Enduro obstacles and fights against the dark side that I was able to master the Force of motorcycling and preparing myself towards becoming a Grand Enduro-E
Young Jedi Missy: My sense of exploration, sprouted on December 25th, 1996. I was a youngster; a mere four years old. Under the Christmas tree sat a time machine that little did I know, would allow me to push the limits of an entirely new world. A Yamaha PW50 was the vessel that began my epic journey. Backyard dirt tracks, soft desert sands, red rock trails, green forested roads, lonesome backcountry routes and deserted old highways would become my playground. As I grew, so did my need for a larger machine. My PW 50 turned into an XR80, a TTR 125, a WR 250, a Kawasaki Versys, and a CBX500, just to list a few. I've traversed the entire state of California, most of the southwest United States, a bit of Canada, and even parts of Alaska. But what I've come to realize is that we all come from the soil, although we are not all of the soil. Those of us who are, we children of the earth, must return to it, again and again! And for me, motorcycles have allowed me that freedom! My love for adventure has turned into passion. I implore all those looking for something more; try motorcycles! Join us for the next experience!
Yoda Keith M: Born near the Missouri river in South Dakota, he took to farm equipment at an early age and a discovered small displacement moto wheels for exploring hither and beyond. A millennium transpired with apprenticeships, training, education, biology (family) teaching, and discovery but very few miles during that time and all on Milwaukee iron. An asteroid impact during a trip through Labrador on a GS six years ago resulted in Yoda K getting a severe infection from the species of Adventureridingvirales. These viruses are well known to produce an altered state of mind and body treatable by adventure trips to the ends of the Americas. On one such adventure he discovered a well worn modest star cruiser that provided two key disruptive forces that changed adventure riding for ever. The previous pilot had left clues. The rest is history.
Yoda Keith: Age 55, Married w 4 kids and 3 grandsons, Been riding since age 10Raced MX, SX (once was enough), enduros, hare scrambles, drag races, dirt drags, hill climbs
Always wanted to try flat track but I gets all dizzy 😵
Some rides I’ve been fortunate enough to do: NC to Alaska, TAT, tour of Idaho. NC to Nova Scotia, many Roulettes.
Height 5’7”, Eyes blue, Hair ?, Sign Cancer
Turn ons: shiny happy people,The Rolling Stones, Whirled peas, Sun rises, Fire arms!
Turn offs: War, Cancer, Global warming, Dirty fuckin’ hippies,
Favorite pass times: Curling up by the fireplace with a good book, Meditation, Planting daisies along the interstate, Waxing the steps at the old folks home.
Favorite quotes: I’ve spent most of my money on dirt bikes, beer and chasing women. The rest I pissed away
Words to live by: Never sweat the petty stuff, Always pet the sweaty stuff . Happy trails
Yoda Gil: Let me start with the fact that I hate science fiction and have never seen any of the star wars movies so there’s that. I started riding a honda mini trail when I was 12 years old and advanced through several cz’s 125, 250 and 400 during my teen years never actually mastering any of them. From my early 20’s til I turned 40 I stayed away from two wheelers and migrated to baja bugs, sand rails and off road desert race cars and jet skis. During this time I raised 2 daughters and spent extraordinary amounts of times on soccer and softball fields coaching refereeing and umpiring. In 2000 I returned to motorcycling and embraced dualsport in the form of a plated xr600 which I rode til the frame started failing. About the same time my friend broke his femur on his newer ktm and I picked up a 520 mxc in a firesale of a deal. I rode the 2001 ktm 520 mxc for approximately 60,000 miles over the next 10 years riding dualsport events and invitational rides. I got involved with the Big Bear trail riders club and became an officer of d37 dualsport and started creating the courses of the LA Barstow 2 Vegas ride. Along the way I realized that my riding pursuits needed a proper transport ship and the Gillousine was created. The Gillousine is a ford one ton extended cargo van with a 7.3 powerstroke diesel set up for hauling 4 bikes 4 riders and gear without towing a trailer all while knocking off 18 mpg on various petro chemicals and lubricants.
I have become an experienced adventurer with a calm demeanor. I have performed many trailside repairs and have been referred to as rocky, lone rocky, captain, seargent, mguyver, trailboss, sweetcheeks, yoda and a#@%&*!.
This past fall I even got to try out my camping without camping gear skills and survived 2 days and 1 night in the wild and was rewarded with a great story to tell.
Yoda Miller: "Yoda" Miller is Greek for Yo Dude!! Lol. I'm not a real serious person. I enjoy riding and even going to the dark side!! Sharing my experiences which other like minded riders is alway a pleasure. I ride almost anything but my preference is off road. My 990 is a little bit bulky and my 500 is to tubby. It's like me, I need to lose a little weight. Im active in the off-road racing seen so you can tell I have not grown up yet. I mostly enjoy meeting new people, eating taco's, riding bikes and most of all, heading out on a new adventure. I promise to make your adventure fun an exciting. I can't wait to meet you at our next adventure. Jeff (Yo Dude) Miller
Yoda Hugo: BIO TBD
Yoda Joe: Joe has not really told us much of his history: He just sent this one photo:
Yoda Dan: and I’m a motorcycle addict. I have had this problem since age 11. I’m sure you know the symptoms. The uncontrollable urge to ride motorized two wheelers. This urge brings questions like. Where does this trail go? Can I climb that hill? How fast can this bike go?
At age 14 I moved on to motocross bikes and with the help of other addicts I started racing in SW Michigan. By age 18, I admitted my addiction was chronic. Attempted to give up bikes and joined the military. It didn’t work and I was back racing motocross on weekends within a year.
After 4 years of active duty I turned civilian and worked a bunch of different jobs while taking college night classes. One of those jobs brought me to California where I finally completed my mechanical engineering degree. Living in CA changed my motorcycling from motocross to trail riding. Trail riding led me to Dual Sport riding and the Big Bear Trail Riders where I met Kevin 20 years ago. I had just started providing GPS downloads for the club’s events and Kevin was one of the early adopters of GPS navigation and gave me feedback on my GPS work. This GPS work was taken to the folks running the LA Barstow to Vegas dual sport event where I met Gil. In the 20 years since there have been many rides with these guys. This includes the rides when Gil broke the frame on his XR600 and his neighbor broke his leg riding the 520 MXC.
Yoda Jake: Motorcycling came to me late in life. After a combined, and still continuing, 40 plus year career of playing and coaching rugby it was time to find a safer recreational pursuit. Swatting a dimpled ball along a manicured lawn- with every other swat followed by a $#%*@!%*!* verbal outcry- simply wasn’t in the cards.
Only after I left the alternate reality of a universe called “workplace” did I discover the GPSKEVIN galactic universe; and what a galaxy GPSKEVIN is.
Galactic travels have taken me on border-to-border travels from Mexico to Canada along the Continental Divide, the back roads of the desert southwest, the wooded backroads of the northeast with many more adventures to come.
On an annual basis, determined by when the temperatures drop too low and the crankcase oil turns too viscous, I transport to the galaxy called South America to explore the backroads and culture of the indigenous people of South America.
Yoda Larry: TBD
Yoda Thane: TBD
Dirt Bike riding is my #1 fav, but this ADVENTURE bike riding thing is pretty sweet as well. Let's ride !
Yoda Allen: My riding started on my dad's 1972 Honda SL100 WAY before I could reach the ground. I remember riding in circles till someone could grab the bike so I wouldn't crash. Little did I know crashing skills would become handy later on. I have been riding for 45 years now and it is still awesome to throw a leg over a bike and ride somewhere new, or old, doesn't matter as long as I am riding. Racing was a big part of my life for a while but that appears to be over with and the only racing I do now is to race to the restroom before something unfortunate happens. I am certainly always happy to help in any situation but remember that I may not have parts to fix your bike or my bike for that matter !
Yoda Larry: My mother hated motorcycles! I learned to ride my friends, older brothers bike a 1969 Honda 90 SS. I bought my first bike at 16 and kept it at my friends house for a month before I told my mom. Weekends in the mountains (Nordegg Alberta Canada) with my cousins riding everything we could find cemented my love for motorcycles. I met my wife to be at be at 17and would drag her and her younger brother to the mountains. I managed to turn my future brother-in-law into a bike lover. My life was dirt bikes, skiing ( we live and play near the Rocky Mountains) and football. As a young adult I switched to street bikes (GPZ 750s) . When the kids came along the bikes were gone and skiing, hockey and horses dominated my life through my kids. What do you know my son bought a bike at 16 and I made the mistake of riding it. This led to the purchase of a KTM450exc , a truck and a trailer. My son liked to race and went to Baja to race the 500 in 2005. He also loved Ice racing in the winter so I chased him for awhile. I connected with a fellow hockey player and got into dual sport biking with many riding trips including Nevada and Moab. I retired after 35 years, my wife stayed working and suggested I needed a hobby. This led to buying a GS and new adventures! Rode to Florida for a Supercross race in Daytona , a ride across Canada, an adventure to Deadhorse Alaska, WABDR/ UTBDR some COBDR and down the west coast to Santa Barbara. My wife decided that I was having too much fun and decided retire get in on the action. She wanted to try the “snowbird” thing in Palm Springs . I had to figure out how to include bikes as part this new chapter. Research on the net led to a ride organized by a guy called GPS Kevin( an excuse to bring a bike with us)! My first ride with Kevin was on the Spotlight 29 to Parker DS ride . After that a ride in Death Valley , 15 day Baja ride, Pacific Divide ride, Continental Divide ride and Copper Canyon. Life is short! Don’t Sip
Yoda Kirley: From the 951, I am. Midnight, my star fighter’s name, and loyal she is. I consider myself a Padawan learner at best. Know near nothing, I do. From so many, so much I have learned. Tips & tricks, these fellow yodas have shared. Them many they have, and grateful I am. Goal, I have one: “To have lots o’ fun. Always pass on what you have learned.” This is my theme, you know what I mean? Ambassador of the 2-wheel realm is what I’m about. For my allies, The Force, and powerful it is.
Other training I have: Put out fires, I can. Plus, broken people, I tend
Forward looking to traveling with you, am I.
Quotes I like:
“Do or do not, there is no try” OY (Original Yoda)
“ If my answers frighten you, you should cease asking frightening questions.” Jules Winnfield
“…like Kane in Kung Fu, “Walk the earth, meet people, get in adventures.” Jules Winnfield
Yoda Turu: TBD
Yoda Tracy:I started riding motorcycles in 2003 as a hobby to do with our kids. We rode dirt bikes, dual sport bikes and adventure bikes. We rode all over the western US, Canada and Baja, MX. I retired in February 2010 after 31 years in the same profession. To fill the work void, I starting riding more and more. Our goal was to ride at least one motorcycle trip a month with friends of the same passion. Soon I recognized it was becoming an obsession. With help from friends and family, I checked myself into a 12 step intervention program. I still try to attend the meetings when they don’t get in the way of riding. The coffee and donuts aren’t too bad either.
Yoda Kip: I have 40 plus years of riding experience and have worked in the aircraft and aerospace industry for 35 years so I am disciplined to get things correct, take responsibility serious and attempt to understand how things work. I’ve raced Desert, Grand Prix’s and Enduros, but have most miles riding Dual Sport events. A full dress street bike was my primary ride during the 80’s and 90’s, since then its been offroad, but an adventure bike is very possible. As a ride Yoda my goal is to help each participant be prepared to enjoy the event the way they want to. In short, decisions must be made by each rider and a Yoda’s objective is to provide insight about the event so the “Rider” can take on his adventure the way they want. I so enjoy motorcycle riding and the companionship of my riding buddies, being a Yoda is a great way of adding memories and adventure with other riders. I welcome the opportunity to share your ride adventure with me.
Yoda Ed: Apparently I demonstrated an aptitude for adventuring at an early age. At age six while on vacation on planet Saratoga FL my parents woke-up to find me missing. They assumed (and hoped) that I had been abducted by aliens, but found me dog-paddling 100 meters off-shore in the Gulf. Later in the week I tried to "Git me a bear" with my store bought tomahawk. As an adult I now have to ask myself were those actions the result of courage or stupidity. I suspect what you suspect; stupidity. However, numerous red asses later and through the support of the Force I managed to grow older, develop some smarts, and discovered that a bicycle could take me far, far away to planets undiscovered. I lived near a like-minded adventurer named Luke and we often went on road trips and camping overnight with parents assuming we were at the other guy's house for a sleep-over. We discovered abandoned shaft mines, cabins, remote swimming holes and a girl scout campground (different story!). We made numerous flying contraptions together and developed our marksmanship skills
with a Daisy. Was he Luke Skywalker? - don't know, but given that he flunked 5th grade, suspect not. At age 15 I discovered that bicycles could have an engine and purchased a well used Montgomery Ward Riverside moped. Yes, my horizons expanded and suddenly I could reach not just other planets but galaxies even farther and farther away; particularly late at night because the Jedi Master refused to let me ride the Riverside off planet. Jump ahead a light-year or so and I acquired my first speeder, a Kawasaki H2 which flew near light-speed. Having now developed the need for speed and I joined the USAF Space Federation. Eventually the Federation noticed my Jedi skills and light-speed plus in a F-106 or F-15 were a common occurrence. You know Top Gun? - been there, done that. My use of the Jedi mind trick was limited (yep, weak mind, but strong kidneys) but I once thought "Will you marry me?" and she said yes. Forty-three years later I still think it was my physical assets that forced her to my will, not my mind. Eventually the Fed said your light sabre is growing dim, retire, become a Yoda and teach Aerospace Science to other up and coming Jedis. A second retirement 18 years later and the need for adventure led once again to the desire to ride anything with two wheels and an engine. Now I find myself at age 66 with seven completely different bikes on deck, capable of traveling under, over or through any and all galaxies, living the dream, adventuring with Kevin, Keith, Gary and other like-minded adventurers. The Force is with me, life could not be better. In closing; the Fed chose to give me the call sign "Easy Ed". That alone should explain my attitude and how I will approach Yoda duties.
Yoda Tony: Hobbie wise; I’ve been riding street bikes for 38 years, dirt bikes 28 years. I’m into adrenaline sports and enjoy skiing and downhill mountain biking. I just purchased my adventure bike and will lose the FJR that I really enjoyed. Perspective base; I retired from the fire service after 35 years of duty. Promotions allowed to grasp the wise notion of being prepared and organized, especially when others are counting on you. I believe relationships can make and break most things we do. So as a leader of men, I think one needs to value feedback by those you are responsible for leading. If one knows you have their best interests at heart, then they are more apt to adapt to change when needed(which we all hate). I think my career has also made me more time conscious, and therefore impatient at times. I’ve found that leading groups of men requires knowledge based leadership skills. If you don’t have the knowledge they’ll find someone else to follow. So, as one of the Yoda’s, I will try to keep us organized, on time and have answers to the questions that may arise. Im really looking forward to serving you on the Route 66 Ride! ........Tony
Yode Marco: Tijuana Team:
Yoda Brian: A long long time ago (the 1960s) in a place far far away (Pennsylvania) I received a primitive two-wheeled device called a Schwinn Stingray. Thus began my first experiences of putting my faith in the gyroscopic effect of the wheel. A Taco minibike ushered in a new era and my complete lack of mechanical aptitude became apparent as I squirted oil into the centrifigul clutch and tightened the chain so tight that it completely stripped the teeth off the front sprocket by the end of the afternoon. Next came a Yamaha 90 enduro that required a minimum 30 kicks to restart after I dropped it, which happened a lot. The Suzuki TM250 that came next was a rocketship with a tailend that swung around through whoops like a dog chasing a ball across a frozen pond. It's a miracle I survived that one. The 125 Elsinore that followed was much improved, but college put an end to my teenage moto ventures and I didn't ride a motorbike again for 30 years. Fast forward to 2007 and burned out on bicycling 7k miles/year but loving the explorations that occurred I got my M1 and bought a VStrom 650. The next month I convinced a friend to ride and camp around the Sierras with me, then the month after that a solo trip north to the Trinity Alps for more camping and exploring. 10 years and 14 motorcycles later I've now ridden close to 100k miles through 6 of the western states on some variation of sport-touring, adventure or dual-sport bikes. Did my first GPSKevin ride around the Grand Canyon in April 2017 and had a blast making new friends and seeing new places. I'm a confessed mapaholic and I love to travel to new places and see new things. Nothing I have ever done compares to two-wheeled travel and I look forward to doing more of it with those of you who share the adventure spirit...
Yoda Mike: My journey to the force was a different path than most. I started in the water with jet skis in the early 80’s for my time behind bars. Many of the racers and riders were recovering off road and mx racers that got tired of the only females they met being nurses. Crashing in water has less injuries than dirt and rocks. In our off season they introduced me to motorcycles and my transition began. I was always a better tuner and wrench than rider and that helped when I started a family. Most of our vacations started with loading the motorhome and a trailer full of bikes. When my son started college and the BLM closed my favorite riding area, I bought my first dual sport. Moving from two stroke enduro bikes to a KTM 525 was an awakening. The force latched on at that point. What an incredible galaxy that has unlocked. I am grateful that Kevin continues to share his navigation computer and towers with us to help guide our journeys. I now have no need, only desire for a light speed engine or hyperspace. I am enjoying the star cruisers and seeing the galaxy. The best way to share an adventure is to first finish it. Then go to the next one.
Yoda Super Dave: When I was a young Jedi I was always interested in mechanical things especially with 2 wheels. I started to compete professionally at 17, and at 19, I went to far away constellations. My search for fame in the universe ended after 5 years when I realized it was dangerous and hard. I returned to my home world in northern California and opened several motor racing businesses. Over the next 37 years I achieved a memorable and enjoyable working life around motor sports. I am now retired and enjoying many GPS Kevin rides and the people involved with them. I am reasonably good at keeping the 2 wheel transporters functioning and can usually solve most issues somehow. As Yoda master said : Always pass on what you have learned, Do or do not, there is no try.
Yoda Steve A: Discovered the force early in life, I did. Not just its power. Its ability to reveal amazing new worlds, challenges, and enable connection with other unusual beings.
Hello all! I've ridden on & off for 25 years. Mostly street but some dirt. I'm also an avid cyclist. The world is more interesting on 2 wheels. I discovered adventure touring in 2012 and can't imagine going back to strictly street or dirt bikes. Having passed up countless dirt roads touring on street and never going very far on dirt, I think adventure bikes are the best idea since sliced bread. I've heard a saying, "It's not an adventure until something goes wrong." It always does! Adventure touring, always brings surprises. That's when it gets interesting. I'm inspired when I see riders supporting each other. Whether it be hoisting a bike out of a ravine, re-engineering a part to make it "work better", or sorting out an alternate route, the comradery is remarkable. I always look forward to the recap at the end of each day as the ride groups share the day's challenges. Or, the missing riders roll in with tall tales of mud, road closures, flat tires, mechanicals, or being towed by a horse! Every ride is a life experience. Adv-Jedi notes...
Accept the force and know that it will carry you. Know, without the force you will fight gravity alone.
Avoid the dark. Have light.
Bring rain gear, dry we will all be.
You will need the tool you are sure you will not need.
The force, pick up your bike, it will not. Friends you will be glad to have.
Tired, you will be. The darkside will stir inside you. Have a snack to ward it off.
Yoda Brad: For me my love of motorcycles started when my Dad brought home a Vespa that didn't run and continues on today. I've mostly ridden and competed off road, earning several District 36 top plates for enduro competition. I was never the fastest rider, but I don't quit, am easy on machinery and I’m usually able to MacGyver something to keep a bike running. The only enduro I ever earned an overall win at was one where it snowed so bad I was the only one to make it to the gas stop! Man was it a cold ride down the highway to the start area!
These days the Force seems to have turned into the Schwartz for me, as I no longer feel the need for ludicrous speed or competition. Going on an adventure ride to admire the view, take a photo and share a laugh is what I really enjoy. That and watching my 7 grandchildren discover motorcycling.
Hope to see you on a GPS Kevin ride.
Yoda Dakota: I’m an adventure addict, but you would never know it based on my day job (Finance) until you hear about my adventures. I have backpacked through Europe, raced cars, and competed in off-road competitions in my Jeep, but I always wanted a dirtbike or motorcycle. My family said no when I was younger. When I grew older there was nothing stopping me except my own risk tolerance based on the narrative from everyone else saying it was too dangerous. After a couple chances at realizing life is too short, I decided I would go buy my first motorcycle- a KLR and ride the TAT after 2-3 shakedown rides in the Blue Ridge Mountains. After the TAT I was in search of bigger adventures which led me to Baja, then Monkey on a Cannonball- both GPS Kevin trips. I quickly realized that I didn’t want a big bike- I wanted to go light, go far, and go fast. Now I ride a Husqvarna FE450 built for ultra-lightweight adventure riding. You can usually spot me by the fact that I don’t use a normal GPS- I’ll be the one running a phone, tablet, or both. My home riding turf is George Washington National Forest and Monongahela National Forest. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you’re ever in the area and I’ll show you all the fun riding. May the Force be with you!
Yoda Guillermo : “My story begins a long time ago (1983) in a galaxy far, far away called Mexico City….. the force is strong in my family so this crazy passion for motorcycles is in my blood.
This Feeling of power begins with my cousin’s Pony Carabela when I was 9-year-old, still remember the delicious smell of that burnt motorcycle oil. Since then, that became an addiction, and to this day I have tried all kinds of street bikes.
When I thought that this addiction could not be bigger, 3 years ago I tried my first dirt bike (Husky TE 250), in that moment I discovered that I didn’t know how to drive a motorcycle. After hurting me a little bit, I decided it was time to learn hard enduro, and later learned Trial techniques.
I’m a proud father of 3 kids, husband, businessman in my spare time and amateur enduro and trial pilot training 3 times a week.”
Yoda Joe: Born and raised in Minnesota. Grew up dreaming of riding a dirt bike. But had to settle for 4-wheelers. Started riding motorcycles in 2002 after high school. I will never forget the first time riding my first dirt bike. It was a Honda Moto 450 bike on a trail ride. I absolutely sucked! I was crushed. I had dreamed of this moment all my life and quickly learned riding off road on a bike is not that easy! I stuck with it and fell in love with motorcycles. My riding style is slow and controlled. I am not a fast rider. I think my next bike I buy may be a trials bike. Later in life my wife and I moved from Minnesota to Utah seeking other adventures. My wife, myself and our two dogs spend Most weekends in the summer exploring Utah BLM land with our toy hauler and either “BIG Bikes” or “Little Bikes”. Other hobbies include; Beer League hockey, Crossfit, snowboarding, snowmobiling, Hiking, Camping, Jeeping and Just being outside. I love the motorcycle community. It’s a weird thing that you can meet total strangers and have an immediate friendship. I love a hard day of riding and a cold beer and sharing stories at the end of the day!
Yoda Kristi: My story starts in Minnesota where I was born and raised. I grew up in the country with two older brothers. We had 3-wheelers and an 80cc dirt bike. As the youngest, and the only girl, I wanted to prove that I could do what they could do, but better!
As an adult, I had a strong desire to ride motorcycles, so I took a riding class and got my motorcycle endorsement. I was lucky enough to marry someone with the same passion. My husband Joe and I now live in Utah where we are living our best lives with our two dogs. We enjoy camping, dirt biking, adventure riding, Jeeping, downhill skiing, hiking and paddle boarding.
As my riding skills continue to improve, I am always looking forward to my next adventure!
Yoda Francois: "I come from the Basque Country, (the French side). My father before me was an adventurous spirit and embraced the Basque proverb that says, "You know much if you know how to live.” On the day I was born my father crashed his military-issue Harley Davidson on the way to the hospital. His spirit for adventure has been passed on to me, but unfortunately crashing seems to be in my DNA, too. Please keep an eye out for me on our journey, as I might need your help! And rest assured I will extend the courtesy to you. The end of childhood was difficult for me, so I decided to return to it as quickly as possible by staying active with water sport and adventure riding. I love food and can always find a proper rock or log to prepare a spread of cheese and salami. We are going to have a great time and I look forward to meeting you and learning something new. Ride your age 😁
Yoda Ralph: Ride Scout: Who’s to say, I can’t do everything. Well I can try”. At the age of five my family fled a remote island swamp, located just 90 miles from Key West, Florida. Father said, the island turned to the dark side, which is why he brought us to “God bless America”, democracy and to living the American dream.
As a free range boy I never lacked in motorized transportation from around the age of six on. I recall riding with friends around a nameless little Havana Miami ‘hood, hooligan style, on lawn mower powered mini bikes and not one adult made a fuss. Life for a kid was an adventure in the 60’s as there were no cell phones, or the internet, kids interacted face to face and spent all daylight hours outdoors.
By age fifteen I wanted a Harley but, my father and the salesman decided a new Honda CB 100 would better improve my outgoing personality; you meet the nicest people on a Honda, he said.
Soon after, friends and I motocamped on mosquito infested islands in the Everglades or the Florida keys and non of us got malaria or cavities. We used to race each other on the original 7 mile bridge to Key West; the highest elevation on earth known to us.
Washing dishes for $1.60 an hour at a Holiday Inn taught me the value of hard work but, more importantly the value of an education. History he has. Know it, do you?
My parents wouldn’t sign enlistment papers for the Army but, they did so for the USAF, on account of a little war in a far, far, away land. After basic training I soon started but, washed out of Pararescue training but, landed a job in the 3636 CCTW Survival Instructor school in Washington state. I was now commuting on a Yamaha twin 650 with a wild looking Jetta like Windjammer III fairing.
An “early out” program got me out of the USAF and into Gonzaga U and the Army ROTC program. I saw missions in Thailand and a Bosnia deployment serving as a mission commander in Civil Affairs, SOF. I served in training units until the rank of Major guarding our universe against what we perceived as the evil Russian empire. I retired 32 years later as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Thru hiking the Pacific crest trail after retirement taught me about my lack of immortality and so did riding with my high immune system Bike Bros. Every Gpskevin ride I go on always improves my riding skills, my force within and my friend count. There are a lot of things about being a new Yoda recruit that are still wrapped up in mystery.
A Honda CB450 and a CB750 later followed my teenage years of motorcycle ownership. Today I ride a 2022 BMW GSA 1250 Adventure.
By 1991, I arrived in LA California as a newly appointed federal crime fighter to help tackle staged auto accidents, stolen US Treasury checks and robberies on the federal side. My Spanish language got me on protection details to Mexico City and allot more.
An ex-wife, wild LA traffic and smog put a stop to motorcycle riding for twenty years so, I turned my attention instead to riding and racing jet skis. My claim to fame for admission into the prestigious LA Adventurer’s club came to me as a result of in 2011 I rode a Seadoo over 1,000 sea miles in Alaskan waters, down the Kenai, across to Kodiak and onwards towards the Aleutians. I became the first in the lower 48 to do so.
If you love to also write then you already know that story telling is great at documenting just enough of what will likely stay with you, until possibly our dying breaths. My ride stories, like all stories I write on my blog on Trawlercat.com are always meant to enrich a ride experience. My stories are meant to be for fun and try to POINT and PUT you there.
This world of ours is still full of endless possibilities for my mind to contemplate, and so my brain continues-to work overtime at where to put them all. The moment I get on my BMW motorcycle – the lottery balls in motion all begin to settle right back down.
There’s still dangers out there that deserve our almost attention before others go out of their way to shield us from them. Yes, in a recent mind melt sort of way all the ride Yodas I know are always thinking of future things to come, of adventurous things worthy of our time and attention. It’s not just me I say to my Logistician spouse; all my ride friends have this same affliction.
Yoda Ralph was chosen by the “great one” whose quote resonates with all of us like minded riders; “Every day you say no to a ride that is one less ride in life”. – Gpskevin.
And with this chosen honor to join the house of Gpskevin’s Yodas I also leave you with a quote.
“Do the difficult things while they are still easy to do and do the great things while they are also small. And also don’t forget to do them if you can while you are still young of mind, body and soul. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
And may the force also be with you. - Yoda Ralph
Are you interested in becoming a Ride Yoda and helping out on these rides?
The best way is to come on one of my rides so we can get to know each other and then let's discuss the possibilities
Next, have you already been on one of my rides, or do I know you already? Then send me an email and let's start the discussion.
Or if I don't know you, then send me an email and tell me about yourself, your skill and what ride ideas interest you.
Ride Passion and Enthusiasm
Good "Ride Yodas" will have a certain magic about them that inspires people around them to enjoy the ride.
Are you passionate about the ride itself? Can you spread that to others?
Are you social after the day's ride? and do you enjoy all those long parking lot stories about the big fish?
Can you empathize with the poor rider and maybe look beyond the riding skills and still see an amazing person behind the helmet?
When the going gets tough can you still look for the good in a person and find it?
Proactive versus Reactive
Can you see difficulty brewing, are you perceptive and can you figure out what may happen?
Can you look at a bike and spot trouble before it arrives?
Can you talk with a rider and observe his actions or riding and then spot possible trouble?
Are you able to then tactfully steer the boat in a different direction?
Ride Yoda Deal
Ride Yodas come and work their magic on the ride. They are given all the normal gpsKevin tools, maps and ride packets etc. In return, their ride expenses are typically paid. This means that their hotel and ride fees are covered and some expenses.
What is cool about this Ride Yoda thing?
After I retired I set a goal for myself that all the work I put into these rides would finance and enable me to do these rides.
This goal has come true for me and now I find that I can share it with others. Like me, Ride Yodas can now come and facilitate one of these rides and it will finance and enable the ride for them too. And they get to go home with a little money to maintain their bike. Not a career, but mostly done out of passion.
Perspective from Yoda Keith M:
What is fundamentally different about a gpsK adventure? It is not just one thing but an integrated set of tested methods, techniques, and routes in collaboration with like minded riders and a ride 'yoda'. Read the FAQs below for more detail, but first ask yourself what limits you from going on the grand adventure rides you dream about? Planning? Cost? Don't like group riding? Don't have an expensive Adventure motorcycle?
1) Identifying and researching the route/location/planning/hotels/gas/food/service stops? gpsK has that taken care of.
2) High cost of an adventure ride? Many companies provide outstanding adventure rides for a premium price. gpsK rides cost a fraction of commercial adventure rides.
3) Don't care to ride in a herd of twenty other rides eating dust and waiting for the slowest member to get going? gpsK rides are organized around a new simple group ride concept.
4) Don't have the right adventure motorcycle? You don't need a twenty thousand dollar adventure bike. A $5000 bike will serve you well.
Why do we ride?
We ride for a variety of reasons. Some are obvious, readily identified and verbalized. Some reasons are more difficult to identify or explain. Perhaps you need to experience ‘it’ to understand it. Clearly riding has a strong pull for many folks across ages, cultures and geographic boundaries. Some say riding allows us to be open to new experiences, ideas and ways of seeing our world. Many find themselves experiencing adventure and meeting new folks simply because they are riding a bike and not driving a truck or car. Why do you ride?
What limits our riding opportunities?
Many different answers can be imagined. For some it is not having a motorcycle. For others it is not having a riding buddy, a place to go or the opportunity to join like-minded riders on a planned ride that fits the schedule and doesn’t cost a fortune.
What is the hardest part about an adventure ride?
Some very experienced riders say the hardest part about doing an adventure ride is getting out the front door of the house. That may be true for a variety of reasons. Time, money, wheels, planning, maps, a defined route, like minded friends to ride with, safety concerns, limited awareness of great rides, destinations, places to eat, overnight stops, gas stops, places of interest along the way, lack of knowledge about weather, roads, time of year, some way of support should difficulties be encountered and more……
Would you ride more often if adventure riding was made easier and more accessible? If the planning, routes, lodging, gas, safety and support elements were already in place? If you could you focus on enjoying the ride and riding with a few like minded riders willing to share the experience, challenges, difficulties and joys of the adventure ride?
What makes a ride memorable?
Many say beautiful scenery, exotic places and magnificent routes make a ride memorable. Some say overcoming adversity helps make for a memorable ride. Some would say the adventure begins when the unexpected happens. A bridge washed out or a river too deep to cross or simply a flat tire. We expect some adversity and unexpected things happen in many adventure rides but we do our best to reduce and eliminate them ahead of time in a variety of ways. We implement tools, resources, planning and safety nets wherever possible. We still have challenges and unanticipated difficulties. Meeting these and overcoming them with our riding buddies is expected and a given. We depend on our riding buddies and they depend on us.
What are the resources, tools and safety nets gpsKevin provides/has for an adventure ride?
gpsKevin has researched, tested, developed and implemented a number of elements that help make each ride a worthwhile memorable and truly enjoyable adventure. Most rides include all or most of these ten elements.
1) A well planned and researched set of routes that take you on some of the most beautiful roads, byways, with scenery and points of interest within a designated geographical region.
2) Many days have choices of options for riding, green (easy), blue (intermediate) and red (difficulty) routes, (much like a ski map and choosing a route from the top to the bottom). You create/join a group of 2-4 for each day's ride.
3) An ever present ride Yoda who provides knowledge, discussion and experience for each day’s adventure.
4) A unique gps file created by gpsK that readily identifies turns, directions, donuts and resources (gas/food/stops).
5) A set of designated locations that function as safety check in spots aka donuts or rider meet up points along the day’s adventure ride.
6) A select group of experienced, like minded riders prepared, open and motivated to share the adventure.
7) Riding in groups of 2-4 riders at your pace with appropriate stops and expectations.
8) very evening you have a shared reserved hotel/motel room that has been planned and researched with appropriate food/drink near by and almost always in an interesting setting or town.
9) Pre and post ride photos, maps, files, and videos available to all participants.
10) Support vehicle for many rides for backup and safety.