2017 BDR Annual Report
At the end of May, nearly 50 adventure riders gathered in the remote Arizona backcountry, for the Fourth Annual BDR Fundraiser, the Mojave Desert Ride.
The picturesque Western-themed grounds of the Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch, a working dude ranch in Yucca, AZ, served as the gathering place.
The group bonded over daily rides in the pristine desert and mountain backcountry, and enjoyed the ranch’s fine amenities, like the Old West Saloon, a plush swimming pool, and even horseback riding.
The very warm welcome from our hosts, JP and Tricia McCormick, who treated the group to home made meals and desserts, and the Wine Maker Dinner with Mt. Beautiful Wines were memorable additions to the weekend.
The Nightly program included reports from the BDR staff, Board members and Ambassadors, as well as discussions and presentations about the upcoming routes, future initiatives, opportunities and challenges facing the BDR organization.
During the final night, BDR presented three Annual BDR Awards:
1. The Backbone Award - to Tim James, BDR Ambassador and Owner of James Howard Creative Group.
Volunteers are the backbone of the BDR and Tim James’ tireless contributions to the organization have been indispensable in 2016/17.
(Inna Thorn, BDR Director of Operations with BDR Ambassador Tim James of James Howard Creative Group)
2. Money Where Your Mouth is Award – to American Honda Motor Co. Inc.
Many companies talk about adventure motorcycles, but a precious few make the investments to preserve riding opportunities in the way that Honda has done with support of the BDR Organization for 2016/17.
3. Leap of Faith Award – to Sterling Noren of Noren Films.
Founding Board Member Sterling Noren took a risk with a crazy idea in 2010, and through his determination and gift for storytelling, helped shape the BDR story into something legendary.
(Filmmaker and founding BDR Member Sterling Noren of Noren Films with BDR President Paul Guillien)
(Left to right: BDR supporters and fundraiser attendees for four consecutive years : David Ow, Kevin Woody, Tracy Jeffries, Bill Whitacre, Eric Hougen, Chris Poland)
(Left to right: BDR supporters Bill Whitacre, Paul Guillien, Ron West, Francisco Chavez and Stephen O'Connell)
Prior to the awards ceremony, BDR Ambassador and IDBDR Route Boss, Bill Whitacre, got down to some serious BDR business. Bill MC’ed the fundraising effort for the BDR Matching Fund Program, and as a result, the group raised $40,000 that will be used to double donations from the BDR community during the July BDR Fundraiser.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will directly support the development of future BDR routes, specifically the MABDR (Mid-Atlantic BDR, and CABDR-South), and will help fund future trail access and preservation initiatives.
Below you will find a record of BDR staff reports and discussions that took place at the Annual BDR Meeting/Fundraiser.
1. BDR Launches Seventh Route - In 2017 the BDR organization released the NVBDR, its seventh route for dual sport and adventure motorcycle travel. The release included a waterproof NVBDR Butler Motorcycle Map, free GPS tracks and online travel resources for the community, and a 20-city tour of the feature-length documentary movie.
2. Major Supporters - The NVBDR project was sponsored by the American Honda Motor Corporation, the first OEM to commit to a 2-year title sponsorship of the BDR. In addition, Nevada Office on Tourism Nevada Division of Tourism awarded the BDR organization a marketing grant to underwrite its efforts to promote tourism in rural Nevada communities.
3. Preservation through Economic Impact - With an estimated 1,000-2,000 riders passing through each route every year, the BDR community has made a positive economic impact to small communities along the routes. Keeping the small stores and gas stations open helps preserve access to these remote areas and turns the small communities into advocates for keeping small roads open as this adventure motorcycycle tourism becomes an indispensible part of their local economy.
4. AMA Award - In 2017 BDR received the AMA Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award from the American Motorcyclist Association. BDR was recognized for making outstanding contributions to the motorcycling community, and for creating good publicity for motorcyclists.
5. New 'RideBDR' Handle - We have recently switched to a much shorter and easier url handle - www.RideBDR.com - (changed from www.BackcountryDiscoveryRoutes.com, which is still active). This was another genius idea from the BDR Ambassador/Marketing Guru, Tim James and his talented team at the James Howard Creative Group.
6. Enhanced Resources - We’ve streamlined the look of the BDR website, and continue populating online travel resources for each route. Soon, all downloadable BDR GPX files will include GPS coordinates for lodging, restaurants and gas stations along the routes.
The web pages and tracks will also include Discovery Waypoints on each BDR. These are not-to-be-missed places along or near each BDR, selected for their natural beauty, historical significance, and high photo opp value.
7. More Ways to Watch - All BDR movies are now conveniently available for online viewing or download (in addition to dvds), and located under "Watch the Documentary" on each route page.
8. Measuring BDR Impact - We have long wanted to have a more accurate measure of how many riders ride the BDRs each year. In the upcoming months, with the help of experienced university professors, BDR will be conducting an Economic Impact Study. The study will be based on a carefully put together online questionnaire that will be solicited from the BDR community.
9. Safety Initiative - BDR has launched the Ride Right Initiative to bring attention to the inherent risk on mototrcycle travel in the left lane, and to promote safe riding on trails. BDR launched the Ride Right Initiative to remind riders to always STAY on the RIGHT side of the road to avoid head-on collisions. Request your FREE Ride Right stickers by emailing BDR.
10. Harnessing the Power of Community - The BDR Annual Membership Program will be in its fourth year in November, and we anticipate more ADV brands joining the program. Currently, BDR has over 150 Bronze, 60 Silver and 50 Gold members, who enjoy perks and discounts from over 30 adv brands. The Membership Program is one of the main sources of income for the BDR, and helps fund the creation of new routes and resources for the adv community.
11. Finally, a Dedicated Resource for BDR Riders - At the request of the BDR community, we have launched the BDR Forum. Get the most up-to-date, first-person information on the routes, ask/answer questions, connect for BDR rides and events, post photos and ride reports, share tracks, learn about adv related activities, products and initiatives.
Login to the forum now, join the BDR community, and let us know how we can help.
12. Get Involved - The BDR Ambassadors Program that started last year, now has 35 ambassadors. The program works well for some Ambassadors, and not so much for others. Being somewhat dicentralized, and often without an opportunity for the BDR team to actually meet the Ambassadors in person, there are challenges to taking the full advantage of volunteer opportunities and support available for the individuals and the organization.
Curtis Cummings, BDR Ambassador, the NVBDR Route Boss, owner of Great Southwest Moto Adventures, and genrally known as "the guy who gets things done," is taking the reins of the program this year. We look forward to improving the experience and working more closely with our Ambassadors.
13. BDR Wine Deal - BDR Exclusive Wine Sponsor Mt. Beautiful Wines is offering BDR supporters 35% off on 12 or more bottles of Mt. Beautiful wines when they use code RIDEON35 on the winery's website. We had a chance to taste these wines at the Fundrasier, and particularly loved their Pinot Noir, Riesling, Rose and Sauvignon Blanc. This promotion is good until July 15, 2017.
The BDR Team would like to thank our supporters, donors, sponsors, volunteers and BDR riders for infusing their passion, enthusiasm, knowledge and resources to help build this incredible ADV Resource that is By the Community For the Community.
Ride Safe and Happy Travels!
- The BDR Team
(After helping others on the advanced ride, BDR Board Member Kevin Woody cools himself off)
(Photo courtesy of Great Southwest Moto Adventures)