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We were washing the bus and preparing for our next tour and our laconic, monolithic guide, Joshua stops working, stands up tall ( quite tall in his case ) looks at me. “We’re 50.” he proclaims.

“What” I rudely replied while washing the tailgate.

“Our last tour was number 50.  Pretty cool, hey?”

“Really? Wow !” I said without thinking about it too much.

I’ve had time to think about it now and its pretty bloody amazing.

I remember talking to my riding buddies about how a Mountain Bike Tour that would appeal to us would probably appeal to a lot of other people.

I remember Josh doing a business plan for his Business Studies project. Looking at cash flow projections and how we could make a squillion dollars if only we could find and fill a 1000 seat bus, 100 times a day.

I remember getting up before work to write operation manuals, risk management plans and checklists..

I remember applying for permits and registrations and licenses.  It never seemed to end.

I remember flying to Canberra to get my Mountain Bike Instructors certification.

I remember buying the education department disabled transport vehicle for more than I could afford and then spending even more to turn it into our bus, the Sir David.

I remember buying 2 tailgate pads and turning our box trailer into a bike trailer.

I remember feeling sick to my stomach with worry leading up to our first tour.

And I remember clipping my feet into the pedals on our first tour, calling out “Lets ride” and every worry slipped away as I started doing what I really wanted to do, take people riding.

Our friends Roaring Forties Kayaking just won the gold award at the Tasmanian Tourism Awards.  These guys are my inspiration for starting Hobart Mountain Bike Tours.  They are a great outfit run by an amazing couple Jenny and Mark Grundy. Roaring Forties probably do 50 tours a fortnight and every single one will be run like clockwork by happy caring staff. I used to look at businesses like these and think “Wow, they are so amazing. We’re just a Dad, a son and a couple of mates. We could never be that good.”  But with 50 tours under our belt Im thinking, maybe we can.  Maybe we will still be here after another 50 tours.  Maybe we can learn and grow and improve.  Maybe we can be confident enough to commit to hiring staff and be able to offer meaningful work with a reliable income stream so they commit to us.  And maybe we can infuse them with our ethos of caring, passion and fun. And maybe, just maybe one day we might win an award and inspire someone who is just thinking about starting a tourism business.  Maybe.

Happy birthday to us

Happy birthday to us

we smell like sweaty bike shorts

and we drive an old bus

HIP HIP HOORAY and thank you to everyone who help us achieve this milestone.

Categories: Why I ride