Just Ride Along sponsored and partnered up with RoadStock Brazil in 2015, by offering the app to be the organizing, planning and real-time tracking tool of all registered riders. By itself the partnership has been sensational, but we had to live this experience as well. Then, on Friday, July the 31st, we were there to hit the road.
RoadStock Brazil is a ride throughout 1000 miles that happened in Minas Gerais, Brazil. By the mantra High Milage and Low Drama, the ride was all about the road, not the destinations itself. With great views and landscapes the riders took their bikes for 3 days and 2 nights of friendship, adrenalin, wind and beers.
We had two different experiences and points of views. Kiu by bike and Pedro by support car. Below each one tells a little about this amazing adventure.
Kiu – How was the RoadStock 2015 on a 74 Shovel
The idea came when I started thinking about which bike I would make this trip. The RoadStock was inspired by rides as Gypsy Run and El Diablo Run. Seeing pictures of those American rides I saw several buddies using their bobbers, choppers and original old bikes. So I left the Electra Glide in the garage and chosed to go on Mantuérpia. Don’t get me wrong, but the roads in this part of Brazil are not the best.
Mantuérpia is my 74 Shovel that I customized as a Bar Hopper style bobber, enough comfort to go from bar to bar… needless to say anything more, right? A low, hard bike, almost without fenders with a seat that looks more like a Diaper, no speedometer, no turning lights, no superfluous weight, no sound, no USB input, no mirrors…
I called one of my brothers and invited him to go with me. He has a 77 shovelhead bobber also uncomfortable, it would be my ideal partner for this trip. He agreed on the spot! I thought, “This dude is crazy like me!” And like that we were up to travel onto two shovels and two crazy dudes that really wanted to make the man-machine-road connection. Thanks Charles!
July 31, Friday, we met at a gas station 6 a.m., started the Just Ride Along motorcycle app and headed towards Araxá. The trip has a specific route and this route goes through Franca / São Paulo, adding about 130 miles to the ride, of a total of 500 miles on the first kick. We rode with Easy Rider spirit, no hurry to arrive or anything and unlimited stops. Everything depended on the bikes and body. And the lack or absence of gas in the tiny tanks of the bikes chosen.
From Belo Horizonte to Araxa were about 10 stops and took us 11 and a half hours! There was a shortage of gasoline, exchange of broken brake lamp, lunch at a small town called Capitolio. There we met with two brothers who went a day before to a lake close by. If regret kills…
They monitored us in the Just Ride Along motorcycle app, knowing exactly the time to come out from the lake and find us on the road, thus synchronizing the meeting.
The first day highlight was a road side stop we made that had a greenish and smooth grass shadowed under a big tree! We stopped to lay down on the grass and enjoy the farms view. After some stretching and good laughs we took the road again.
After more than 500 mi of suffering we got to the town of Araxa. There, we were expected by a large crowd that at the sight made a sensational party!
I got to know that bets happened about our arrival. If we would enter the town riding or pulled by the support car.
Quick shower and out to eat and drink a cold one in a pub near the hotel. Good party, rock and roll. At 3 a.m. I was in bed asleep, preparing the body for the next day when we had over 420 mi of road to Diamantina.
A trip to Diamantina was cool, we plan to leave the hotel around 9 a.m., but could only turn on the bikes at 11. I think due to an incredible mix of hang over, little sleep and shakingness… Yes, Mantuérpia was vibrating a lot and I even complained to a friend, who told me it could be loose engine support. Bullseye!
We tighten the bolts that was really loose, the bike looked like it would dismantle under my balls when I got to 55 mi/h. After this adjustment, I could go as far as 70 smoothly. I think because of this excessive vibration, some things happened along the way, as burning lamps, broken coil support and the bike’s headlight that starts blinking and at one point (at night, of course) did not wanted to work anymore.
This is the time you begin to wonder if you made the right choice, if you really had to be there…
But the answer came a few seconds later when a comrade, unknown so far, on a sports bike that by choice wanted to ride with the old bikes, pressed to my bike and came lighting the way for more than 70 miles. Curve after curve, arriving in Diamantina, he helped me and gave me confidence to not lower the pace of the trip. Thanks, Pedro Meijon!
The crew behind said that was one of the most beautiful scenes of the trip. Me in Mantuérpia and Pedro in a BMW F800 lighting the way, making synchronized curves, like a dance, side by side running at over 65 mi/h on a winding and dangerous road. Things like this only happen when we decide to do different things in life.
We arrived in Diamantina after eight o’clock at night. Tired, but in the mood to party. We headed to the restaurant where he had sponsored giveaways and cold beer for everyone. After this it was: bed and prepare pro third and final day.
On the last day of RoadStock 2015 the nostalgic feeling that was ending hitted. And we wanted more.
Yes, even in this rough bike the will was to run for another destination and enjoy it all over again!
We left diamantina around noon. Smooth ride, thinking about life and thinking about how it was nice to enjoy the roads of Minas Gerais with a super blue sky and a great crowd, who is joined by a passion: motorcycle. No matter the brand, style, year or color.
I got home about 6 pm, tired, in pain but happy. With a sense of accomplishment for having done a difficult road trip with an old bike I customized in my own garage. It was the tits!
Already waiting for RoadStock 2016!
In one of the support cars was Pedro “Coop”, our brother and head of technology at Just Ride Along, to whom I pass the keyboard (with oil stains).
Pedro – Field test and life experience
The week before hitting the road has been agitated. We had a lot to do. We found some flaws in the application that could disturb the experience of the riders, and following the whole tour of the planning process, we found some improvements that needed to be made to the interface.
The devil is on the details, we know. We talked to users and gather feedbacks at the event briefing, which took place in the cozy MeetMe. 3 days before we were releasing a version with adjustments to provide a better browsing experience on the ride and hoping that Apple would release a version for use at the event. Close call. On Thursday night a new version was released.
We helped some users with their questions and listen to interesting feedback. We were all sick for adventure and the will to do more.
I rode with three great friends, Juliano and Leca, from @tomandorumo, photographers with a passionate view of the road, and Lucas, from @blackbootsbrasil, a sponsor who always supports us. The car, supported by @westcoast would cover the event, photographing and filming the road and stops. We were on a X-Terra prepared by Juliano, starting with style, another passion of mine are trucks from 90s and early 2000s.
The ride was opened in Just Ride along motorcycle app at 6 a.m., when Kiu began to roll. Around 7:30 a.m. I got in, following Kiu’s riding almost to Diamantina. Some other blue spots were also beginning to move around the city toward the meeting point, BH Harley-Davidson.
The store prepared for RoadStock a full breakfast, with sandwiches, cheese breads and cakes. I ate too much, knowing we had a lot of work before the first stop, but not just for that, right? We talked to a few users, and they gradually began to pop up on the map, ready for ride out. Henrique stayed here in Belo Horizonte, following all the movement on the App and showed up to talk to the participants and wish us good trip.
We left, I was very happy to see the balls moving on the map of the App. In the first moments they got me a camera, and as the tests took place in a passive manner, without taking up too much time, I was contributing in the car with what I could, photographing and filming along the way.
On the road, sometimes it was a bit difficult to follow the bikes, some narrow passages prevented overtaking of several trucks. We were hoping in Juliano’s skill and the car strength, which in no way disappointed; the entire travel time, we were close to the groups, we pulled the car to the side, and took pictures whenever was a safe stretch.
In the first moments, between clicks, I was with the notebook on your lap, testing the performance of the App, as the use of memory, connection requirements, and testing the functionality offline.
Ran okay, the battery was being consumed at an acceptable level for the features required. Memory consumption was minimal, but the use disk worried because the constant data updates made by the phone, demanding a lot.
We followed nicely by the first 200 mi, stopping at toll booths and gas stations to meet the bikers.
Kiu, as was mentioned above, appeared on the map with other 2 participants close to a lake, where they awaited the first rider to pass by to get together on the road. With Just Ride Along I could see them going for Kiu, where everyone stopped for lunch in the restaurant, indicated by the production of RoadStock.
The car arrived when they were leaving, the restaurant was on the edge of Furnas lagoon with a beautiful view. Lucas, Juliano and Leca, rushed to take pictures of the group, and I checked the notebook to inspect application errors. I made some adjustments and tests to improve the offline data saving system from ride information. Without the field test with the long distance and the various users we wouldn’t be able to test and improve it properly.
We split a delicious and well served lunch among car members and got back on the road.
Near the border of Minas Gerais and São Paulo states, we reached Kiu’s crowd again. It was a blast for the car crue to photograph the bobbers. The aggressiveness of them on the road gave another vibe for the images.
Together we rode to Araxa. We stopped with a bunch of riders to see the moon, which impressively appeared beside the road. The rear lights of Juliano’s X-Terra had gone out for some electrical problem. Quickly he replaced a new fuse that solved the problem.
Even without being on bikes, I believe that everyone in the car felt a being part of the trip, sharing an experience that we would never have had stuck here in the city.
We arrived in Araxa, took a nice shower and went for a Pub. My roommate was Carlos, from the support car team. From him and from Daniela, another support car crew I got many feedbacks. There have been many suggestions and was very nice to know that the app was useful to them accompany the riders, increasing the information if any bike stop.
Beer and bed. Bed, but with notebook on my lap. At night I also made some adjustments to test on the next day. Things that had an impact on the second day. I woke up early and went to find the staff that was already photographing the bikes.
We left around 9 a.m., checking out the bikers on the App who were already riding. I saw that some had left early, around 7 a.m. and were already far up the road. Riders were in small groups, but we could know where they were and get a sense of what to expect.
Throughout the day we passed several riders. We stopped to see the eucalyptus plantation and one cool bridge to photograph the riders. At 3 p.m. I could see that there were people that had already got to Diamantina and some others still were far from there.
We started to go up the mountains close to Datas just as the sun began to go down. The trees formed a tunnel on the road and the rocks mixed the landscape in one beautiful scenery. These things always activate my “sense of wonder”.
As the App showed we could know we had some riders behind us. We stop and waited for them in a fantastic scenery near a wind farm. Many pictures and lots of fun. Then we rode in a large crowd to Diamantina.
Hostel, bath, and hunger. We met around 7 p.m. to go eating. Around every corner downtown we could see a RoadStock rider. The city was taken.
The food took forever meanwhile we shared the stories about the trip. @jooliano, mate who also has written on this blog before, has given us some great feedback that I wrote down on my green notebook.
The restaurant was packed, everyone happy, playing, eating, drinking. Several sponsored itens were gave away and the crowd applauded.
Diamantina is a charming little town, cheerful and festive. We took a picture with all the riders in front os the church and it was a fun deal.
On the third day many returned to São Paulo, and left early. Warriors. Since we went out till late at night we woke up late as well. Around 12 p.m. everyone was starting their bikes. From a gas station the riders splitted in small groups and took off.
Road was packed, end of Brazilian summer. We drove slowly after few new pictures and let the bikes go. I followed from the App, and saw that some were already far away, almost in Belo Horizonte.
After passing by Curvelo, we found some riders parked on the side of the road and a fallen bike. A HD Iron 883, slipped on spilled milk from a truck that passed there. Nothing happened to the rider, thankfully, but the bike unfortunately had several damages.
Looking through the App I knew that the support car was not far away. I called them and explained what had happened in about 20 minutes help arrived.
Problem solved we hitted home, we changed our route, passing through Pedro Leopoldo to avoid traffic jams on the road, but still was very slow. Gradually saw users arriving at their destinations, some staying in nearby cities, others going down town, to take a well deserved beer after the last day.
I came home with a feeling of freedom and accomplishment. To have actually taken part in something very cool, to have taken the opportunity to make some great tests and gather feedbacks, knowing that we are on the right track. From now on is adjustments and put the improvements into practice. We made the app for that, so it can be used to cool initiatives such as RoadStock and for bikers who every day leave their homes in search of meaningful experiences.
I would like to thank immensely Juliano, Leca, Lucas, Bruno, Gustavo, Marcelo, Pateo, and yours initiatives @tomandorumo @blackbootsbrasil @blackbulletcc @underdogbrasil was you who made us feel at home. We felt that we are gathering great partnerships that is contributing to the local and global motorcycle community, towards our goal of accelerating the evolution of the motorcycle world through fellowships formed like this. I am eagerly waiting for the next, but this time with the App in your pocket and me on two wheels.
If you are using the App on any trip, share your experiences with us, tell us what was good and what else can be useful!
@blackbulletcc released three videos that capture the feeling of the days of RoadStock. We left for last to you acknowledge the vibe and waits for the registration of RoadStock 2016.