Recap…this blog has been a bit sleepy because well? I haven’t been doing much since October 17th, 2015 except trying to heal from my crash.
I appreciate a company who can take their gear out on a real life test and come back with their own constructive criticism to make improvements. Keeping my eye on these bags and their tank bag as well.
March 11, 2016
Josh and I returned from Africa last week. I started a ride report on advrider.com – click here – which I’ll be updating over the next few weeks. It’s trippy to go from riding a motorcycle in Africa one day, to my normal home routine the next. Already evaluating destinations for next winter’s trip.
Andrew and I laid out the two Reckless 80’s from Africa and inspected them for issues. We put these two prototypes through a lot of abuse on this trip and they held up great. There was one minor issue on a drybag (known issue, fixed in the new version), and a few other things on the harness that we can address in production.
You can see where the heat shield was pushing against the bag on the left side of the pic. There’s always going to be some hot spots on the underside of these bags…
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One thing I find interesting? ADV riders seem to have in common is the love for their pets and life. I have no real tangible evidence but I would say many of us who ride have dogs. Having said that want to find my soft spot? Loving my dogs and then having to say good bye. I work in an industry where death and dying happens everyday. Human beings I mean. I cope with that professionally but I feel that perhaps witnessing all that pain and suffering comes out in me when I lose a dog.
Over the last 3 years I find myself grieving the loss of a dog I cherished. In June 2014 it was my crazy Beagle, Cruizer. Continue reading “A DOGS love & the pain saying good bye”
February 17 2016
I just heard yesterday that Charley Boorman was in a motorcycle accident in Portugal. He broke his left tibia, fibula and right ankle requiring surgery.
Here is a tweet:
CB had accident today in Portugal @ Global launch of Triumph Explorer
I bet he’s home by now and beginning his road to recovery. I can relate as my road to recovery just got longer even though my cast was removed on Feb. 12.
After 3 months of complying to the strict “rules” set out by my orthopedist-no weight bearing, continue full length cast “prison” therapy I was told on January 12th, 2015 that my leg needs at least another month. Same therapy. I will continue to comply but it’s tough when you’re not able to drive, have no income because I can’t work and still completely dependent on others. Momentary lapse in my life. Only 4 months plus rehab I should be feeling lucky. I do in some regards but can’t help to feel frustrated. Continue reading “Taking longer than I thought”
On October 17th,2015 I did this
I have gone through 3 months of refection
We all need more employers like Revzilla. Read this article. Their philosophy rocks and it shows when you speak to the employees who at times even relocate to work at Revzilla’s state of the art facility in Philadelphia.
There’s $1,500 on the line. All Adam Ponzek has to do is keep his hairstyle decidedly mullet for one year.
“It is pretty ridiculous,” said Ponzek, remarking on the challenge — and his look.
The wager — and possible payout from management — speaks to the larger culture at RevZilla. A rapidly growing e-commerce company, RevZilla sells motorcycle gear and parts from its South Philadelphia headquarters.
The “gear geeks,” including Ponzek, serve as customer support, answering hundreds of daily calls and emails from bike enthusiasts. And they appear to have fun doing it.
From RevZilla’s earliest days as an e-commerce startup in 2007, customer service has been the priority.
“We were just starting out, with people getting on the phone saying, ‘I can’t believe you exist, I can’t believe how intelligent you are, and I can’t believe how much you knew, and the fact that you’d spend that much time with me,'” said co-founder and CEO Anthony Bucci.
“A heckuva foundation to build a brand on.”
Today, RevZilla has about 200 employees, nearly $100 million in annual sales, and 50 gear geeks working the phone lines.
And these are hard jobs to get: The call center staff earns 20 to 30 percent more in wages and benefits than the industry average.
“I am investing that dollar in making sure that every person who is potentially at the point of purchase, their expectations are beaten by talking to somebody that they wouldn’t expect to talk to,” said Bucci.
Decent salaries and a pipeline for promotion keep turnover low and morale high for the geeks, even during the holiday rush when phones are ringing nonstop.
“Right now, it is beginning to wane, but yeah, kinda nuts,” said Bucci. “All hands on deck for those guys, probably been for the past six weeks … and gals.”
Zen and the art of call centers
Occupying a brightly lit back corner of RevZilla’s offices in the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the call center looks more Silicon Valley startup than cubicle farm. Everyone sits at open desks; the furniture is modern and clear of clutter.
“The design of our facility … is very non-traditional,” said Patrick Roscoe, RevZilla’s director of customer experience. “We’ve gotten away from the historically small 4-by-4 cubes that you’d see in any other contact center environment.”
Other startup touches are evident, including a gong to celebrate good online reviews, scooters to race around the hallways, and free lunch on Tuesdays.
To get a gear geek job, you need more than phone skills and endless patience. You’ve got to know the merchandise inside and out, and that means knowing bikes.
“Every gear geek here that supports customers rides a motorcycle. They know it, they are passionate about it, they are following forums, they are researching all the new products,” said Roscoe. “They geek out on everything new within the industry.”
The staff also gets to try out everything. RevZilla has a room full of gear staff members can use on weekend rides. It’s part of the culture here that separates this call center from some other area companies that don’t necessarily sport sterling reputations.
“Selling cable service all day long … I don’t know how passionate people truly are supporting cable box needs,” said Roscoe.
Heather Jarjisian, six months into the job as a geek, has a sticky note attached to her screen that reads “Be Annoyingly Thorough.”
“The people are awesome, the customers are awesome, it is just an excellent place to be,” she said. “Way better than any other job I’ve had.”
Life for the gear geeks calms down in mid-January, after all the holiday returns and exchanges are figured out. Then, in the spring, when bikers come out of hibernation, the phones will start ringing again.
By then, Adam Ponzek’s mullet will be even more ridiculous.
PS…any time anyone buys from Revzilla if you mention my blog, name or anything to do with FB page etc…it helps off set some of the costs running this hobby. 👍
Most pics can be enlarged! Updated from a previous post
I have been asked many times “how can you ride such a tall bikes”? So, I have put together some pics to try to show as close as I can with the specs I know what I might look like on all the recent bikes I have owned or “borrowed”. My height is 5’5″, well almost 5’5″ 😉 with an in seam of 30.5 inches.
Riding “tall” bikes within reason is doable for any rider who can ride. All about your own comfort and instincts. Trust them and learn. Continue reading “How tall is too tall?”
I feel like I am always saying good bye to something…this time it’s my brand new 2015 BMW 1200GS. Totaled on October 17, 2015 only after owning her for 3 months. Welcoming back will be my loaded 2013 BMW F800GS.
Great post for those who have been traveling on the roads less ridden. I hope Rolf Lange, a traveler from Munich, has an easy adjustment.
Amazing…Sint Maarten is my 218th country to stop by the blog. I am learning every day about all the different countries that exist in this world. I have to be honest…never knew there were so many that have gotten their own country status…geography 101! Continue reading “Welcome Sint Maarten Population: 39,689-# 218th Country”