A Facebook ride to St. Tropez

Some may reject social networks like Facebook, others do embrace it blindly, my position is somewhere in-between, positive and proactive, but aware of the dangers and the non-erasable implications.

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Riding actively a Harley-Davidson with my Hogsback Chapter, the season 2013 is pretty much planed. Myself now a “Road Marshal”, entitled to lead rides, the fun continues on a different level.

But being active on Facebook and blogs, resulted me in also making completely different friends over the last 3 years, Facebook “friend”, riders sharing a passion, but never meeting in real life.

On all continents Facebook “friends” pop up, and with some, the dialogue intensifies, the hyphen on “friends” disappears and communication moves out of the public space into the private, and eventually we actually meet.

One such virtual person was Gary France, who rode 21.000 miles coast to coast in the US, and while travelling published a brilliant daily blog, for all of us to follow him and participate in his adventure. I wrote about him a couple of times here, just search for Gary France, and some posts will come up, like this one on Betty Boop.

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On Gary’s blog, first called Gary’s USA Tour, now sensibly called “Flies In Your Teeth“, my comments lead to replies, private messages and then many missed efforts to meet at international HOG rallies. Gary actually lives just 50 miles away from me, and we tried to meet in Croatia and Portugal, but finally meet on a Guildford HD-dealership event back in 2011. And again in 2012 at SOFER. Not really intensive, but continuous. I am very much looking forward to the book he wrote on his epic trip.

FranceInAmericaBookCover

Now, Gary has a friend, for me he is still a “friend” in hyphen, Ian Solley, who builds bikes in his free time. Beautiful bikes, his blog is called 7 Ages Custom Motorcycles, worthwhile to check it out. But we never got closer then a short shake of hands while I was riding away, and a blurry GoPro picture. Ian is the one on the right with the striped helmet… I hope.

DCIM100GOPRO

This will all change now, and I am back to the title of this post: A Facebook ride to St. Tropez.

Ian posted the plan for a 8 day ride to St.Tropez, in Facebook they call it “event”, and mentioned they still had space for more participants. I typed into Facebook: “On your St. Tropez trip: one space left for a fluent french speaking German from Guildford?”, hit the ENTER key and the rest is history, we leave end of April 2013.

Until now the whole trip to St. Tropez and back is organised via Facebook. We are a group of 13, and to find out individual preferences, a question with votes is posted. Quickly we know how the cookie should crumble.

votingquestion

Tasks are assigned, routes and destinations discussed, all online, all via Facebook. I think the first time we will meet as a group is right before we board the ferry. But until then, all main points will have been raised, discussed and agreed in principle. Or not.

Going on a ride with chapter buddies, you know what you are in for. After some rides, we know our strength and weaknesses, and which button better not to push. But this is a whole new experience, as we are just Facebook “friends of friends”, and the online person, the personae acting out on Facebook, will never be 100% to the real life person with whom you are going to share your time, fun and farts for 8 days, 24/7. A real adventure, powered by Facebook.

I am very excited about my first Facebook ride, leaving in 4 month with 12 Facebook “friend”, confident to come back with 12 real life friends.

To be continued…

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4 Responses to “A Facebook ride to St. Tropez”

  1. i used to go on organised bike tours – like Route66 with Eaglerider, and one of the best things was that you met likeminded people, many are now still friends of mine. Like you I ride with a HOG Chapter (well 3 actually 1066, C&F and Meridian) and whilst I enjoy the organisation of them – which is a necessity – I alos truly enjoy the freedom of riding with your mates. We are really looking forwards to you being with us to St Tropez and its going to be a great time!

  2. What social media is all about. Sounds like a great ride!

  3. I am certainly looking forward to riding with you Axel. It is about time too! I appreciate the book advertisement.

  4. Very cool Axel. Can’t wait to meet all the riders I “only” know here on FB.

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