“We all race cars together (Porsche GT-3’s) and were ready for a trip involving motorcycles. So we flew to Los Angeles from North Carolina and Deon quarterbacked everything from the airport forward.
It was basically a 4−day deal and it was a fantastic experience. The location was at least as important as the riding piece. We were hosted at lodges on original family-owned ranches.
Those cool places where Deon put us up opened the door to that which you can’t get on a more commercial experience. The private, intimate deal that he put together made all the difference in the world.
He set us up with some BMW GS1200’s… and they were nice! I’d never ridden a GS1200 before and so I wasn’t sure how it would perform on the street versus the dirt and all that kind of stuff. But it was a great balance and it exceeded my expectations.
Something that Deon brought to the table was that he checked all the boxes of making sure we had every piece of what I guess an adventure trip should consist of, but it was also very intimate and just low key and private. It was great!
He was very attentive to us on the clients’ side, how we were enjoying it and then he would modify, based on what our needs were. It was good and we had a good plan, but he wasn’t afraid to change it, depending on what everybody wanted to do.
My favorite aspect of the trip was getting off-road into some of the back country of California that I didn’t know even existed. They took us into some really spectacular places.
It makes me want to do it all again… in one of their other locations.”
“On reflection, the whole package was a uniquely amazing experience, with about 8 days on the road. A few guys had the 1200’s and I was on a GS800… so really an exclusively BMW thing. The bikes and the organization were really good.
The mixture of staying in all these different spots was interspersed really well. Roughing it on a few nights, but also staying in really cool places the other nights made the whole thing interesting, Plus, there was certainly enough wine and beautiful food on this trip.
We all live in Australia with work-related connections. Then we had Stuart, in charge of making food and serving drinks and all those kind of things. And Rod, who was in charge of the support vehicle. They followed us in the truck and carried all the bags and provisions. This was really convenient because we didn’t have to hassle with carrying anything on our backs or strapping anything to the bikes.
The riding was pretty good, but I think the great thing for me was all the stops in between. Being in a position to go camping – on the beach and also in Big Sur – was really special, because that’s not something you can do every day.
I live a very stressful existence from day to day. This takes you out of that whole rat race and puts you in a place where you can really just get away from it all. When you’re riding on a motorbike, you don’t have any choice but to be with yourself. And then the environment lets you just get exterior and forget all the other things. I mean, it gives you time to think and reflect on some bigger life issues as well, but it’s just so non−stressful and very relaxing.
So yeah, in addition to being a great adventure, I think it was really very therapeutic as well.”
“I’ve done a number of these sorts of trips all around the world, but this was actually quite exceptional. Deon and the support crew were amazing, with very interesting stories to tell. And the places where we stayed were really phenomenal: whether it was on the ranches, at Big Sur or camping on a beach… Beautiful places. Nice. Very spectacular and the food was unbelievable.
We met some really great people that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to meet in your normal day-to-day living. It gave me a really great insight into the diverse ways Americans think. Interesting to see how people with such different political views could sit together and talk and really enjoy each others company and things like that. The comradeship was excellent and very rewarding.
One very special thing for me was riding into those mountains with those trees covered in snow. I mean, I’ve never seen or been in that kind of environment before. It was absolutely tranquil, quiet, beautiful and it was quite amazing. And then there was this ranch, where they had built the house with this porch all around, overlooking the California desert and the mountains…. He put on an excellent, excellent meal, great wine, beautiful fire, while watching the sunset, etc. That was very, very spectacular.
Deon was consistent and did everything that was important. He’s got that sort of personality where he wants to give you back more than you actually bargained for and makes sure that he’s giving more than you expect… you know what I mean? It was a very memorable trip and it should have been longer, that’s all I can say.
It was exceptionally well organized and I have 100% confidence in joining in on another trip with him. No problem!”
“My fear of riding my BMW GS800 on unpaved roads has been pretty deep seated. As an excellent dirt and street bike rider but a woman of smaller stature, I had yet to take my large GS800 off-road. To combat these fears, I made a date to ride with Adventure Riding Tour Guide Deon de Wet.
I was actually so nervous I showed up for our appointment on a much smaller motorcycle, a Suzuki DRZ400 Enduro hoping perhaps he wouldn’t notice. He not only noticed, but sent me packing home to park the DRZ and come back on the GS800.
After showing up on the “right bike”, Deon simply said, “Let’s go.” No fanfare, no problem. Our adventure ride twisted and turned through such beautiful countryside that I did not notice the progression: pavement, then broken up pavement with cracks, hard-pack gravel, and finally true dirt roads.
Deon had no doubt in my skills. He somehow sensed that my issues had nothing to do with my physical skills, but instead more to do with what was going on inside my head, including fear and a simple lack of experience with this type of riding. We rode much of the 8 hours standing up, putting one leg on the opposite side of the bike and maneuvering in and among various obstacles.
Our ride culminated with Deon revealing that he had obtained a permit to ride some of Ojai’s most sought after fire roads. A technical uphill ride over rocks including creek crossings brought us to a Top of The World view of Ojai and its surrounding beauty.
Deon’s guiding style combines his intuitive nature with his love of adventure. The day out riding with Moto Eco Adventures was transformational for me, both as a rider and a person. ”
“He did a good job putting the whole package together. And it required very little effort on our part. All we had to do was enjoy it. He was really good about getting feedback and accommodating our interests. So that made the trip a lot more enjoyable.
We had several days of riding overall and Deon mixed it up very well with some road travel, some travel through small towns and then a good balance of dirt and trail riding.
The way he had it laid out it was comfortable for me on the street and then I thoroughly enjoyed the dirt side of things. Deon was very helpful getting me acclimated to it quickly, giving me tips and I was able to start enjoying it very quickly.
What made the trip great was that you’re out there with a good group of guys; everyone’s got similar interests; the hosts of the accommodation each night are just great people, with lots of good stories, about people’s backgrounds or where they come from and other nice stories.
And every time we would be riding during the day, we would stop at some places for either fuel or lunch and we’d meet more interesting people. And that, of course, made the trip a lot more valuable than just riding a bike through the desert, you know.
We had a great time! It was just well thought out, properly done and very relaxing. A lot of great riding through plains, valleys, mountains… Great sightseeing.
We had great dinners, great breakfasts, all well prepared. Stayed at different ranches, hundreds of acres. We even went to check out the San Andreas Fault and there was a Bluegrass Festival in a little town there. Fantastic!”
“At the time that we took the ride, I was actually the President of the Iron Souls Motorcycle Club. The four of us, all on Harley Davidsons, met in Ojai and then we took off riding into the hinterlands of Southern California. I wouldn’t call it off−roading. I mean there was paved road, but they were curvy and loops and they were not like a freeway ride.
I enjoyed it immensely. As long as I kept my nerves intact, yes… in trying to keep up with those bikes like Deon rides. It was a very enjoyable challenge. We just had one heck of a time together. It was a nice bonding and brotherhood kind of experience.
We went to Deon’s place in Ojai the first night and had a very beautiful dinner because he has a friend from South Africa who fixed us a glorious meal. And then we took off next morning and we stayed on this adventure for several days. We stayed overnight in hotels for about 3 nights. Deon had some favorite places that we would stop that he had been to before and they were kind of unusual, but very nice and comfortable.
The highlight for me is the camaraderie and the spirit of brotherhood that you feel after a day’s ride, getting a chance to sit down and be with good people, hearing their stories, learning more about them and what they’ve experienced in their lives.
Deon is quite the tour guide, that’s for sure. He knows where he’s going and he doesn’t take any time trying to get there.
We went uphill once and it looked like we were right up next to God’s Throne in Heaven. Then we had to come down the other side and it was just exciting for us… something that the big Harleys aren’t so used to.”