So the biggest question I normally get asked about traveling for a living is ‘do you get to see all the sites of the places you are visiting?’ And the answer is……no…or not usually.. or probably most likely not ever. And normally the answer given after that, at least in my current profession in motorsports, is a racetrack is a racetrack is a racetrack, no matter what city, state or country you are in. But, and there is a but, there is that one-off chance that you are able to make it work, to see some sites, or at least a site, and normally it is a restaurant that someone usually drags you to, when you rather be sleeping on the few hours you get free, but then afterward you are glad you did it.
So when it is more than a restaurant with your co-workers or an After Party that is part of the event that you probably planned, it is something to write about. And so on my last trip to Barbados, for work, I got the chance to see the island in a way that was not expected or planned, but turned out to be amazing.
So the story goes like this. Round 11 of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Series was held at a great permanent track called Bushy Park on the island of Barbados. I was lucky enough to have been here once before in 2014 for the Top Gear Festival with RBGRC, but that year I was sick, it was a new venue, which both equaled to I saw nothing but an airport, a racetrack and the house we rented to stay in. Let me tell you the house is awesome and made the trip great and I appreciated it. So luckily we rented the same house in 2015, I was not sick, RBGRC was the event headliner, and I was lucky enough to be booked on a flight departing 1 day later than normal.
This leads me to my adventure, which was led by Randy, the owner of Travel Seekers Barbados. I met Randy because he was the vendor we used to rent scooter and bicycle at the track for our series and the teams. Randy and I became fast friends, as I was dubbed and became the bike and scooter nazi, all weekend, to make sure we returned all the items we rented. And to those in racing, know this is was a feat in itself.
After spending a substantial amount of time with Randy learning about his life, his wife and kids and understanding about 50%, of it due to his very Bajan accent, I thought I agreed to spend my last morning on the island with him giving me a mountain biking tour.
This I was super excited about, because there was a phase in my life that I was a very avid mountain biker. Now these were the days when I lived in Elkhart Lake, WI bartending, and spent my mornings and afternoons riding the Kettle Moraine trails before my bartending shifts. AKA, I was young and spry, and even with a Jager hangover, I could pull it off with minimal damage.
Then again in 2013, my love of mountain biking returned and I spent time with my buddy Kyle learning the trails of Indianapolis, IN, or more often, the side of the trails on my ass, gaining bruises like you have never seen. So I must admit, I was a bit leery to take on the trails of Barbados with Randy, but I was ready to get back in the game.
So as a good student, I was up and ready waiting for Randy to meet me at the gates of Sam Lords Castle, at 6 AM, to hit the trails before my afternoon flight back to LA. About 6:25 AM, island time ‘mon’, Randy showed up on a scooter. And the scooter still had the label I put on it days before for one of the teams, classic. At this moment I assumed that Randy, was picking me up to take me to the trail to get on the bike. So I kept quiet, put on my helmet, hopped on the back of the scooter and let Randy continue to tell me all about his country Barbados, as we cruised the not wide enough streets.
Occasionally, we would stop at a breathtaking spot, where Randy would boast about his selfie photo taking skills, and how he was the best at taking pictures of others. So I freely gave him rights to my iPhone, which by the way, I smashed the night before, so pretty sure in all his artistic I phone photo taking moves, he was cutting his fingers, and pretending it wasn’t happening. But let me tell you something, Randy had mad photo skills, after reviewing the shots when I returned back to our rented house. It was impressive.
But let me get back to the real story, which is this, we never went mountain biking. Somewhere around hour 2 I realized I must have missed understood him, and I was clearly on a one-man show, tour of Barbados, on the back of a scooter. And right on the mark of 3 hours, I was dropped off at the Dreamaway house right on cue. In front of my housemates, who seemed a little perplexed why Randy was doing a photo shoot of me on the scooter and there was no mountain bike to be seen.
So there you have it, I got to see the sites on a work trip, not the way I expected, but a way that turned out to be even better, because I didn’t end up injured, made my flight on time, and have a wonderful I phone filled of amazing photos of my morning touring the countryside of Barbados with a Bajan Tour Guide named Randy and his scooter.