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  • Writer's pictureJim Clarahan

Goodbye Peoria... HOLA MADRID! (Madrid part 1)

A cold & dreary morning, Tuesday 25 April, is left behind as the Ride 4 Dray Europe '23 takes flight! Onto Madrid for the beginning of what should be an amazing adventure. This is the first blog of the trip from Europe. My goal is to share firsthand impressions and feelings, mostly through pictures and short video clips (invoking the adage "a picture speaks a thousand words"). No editorial team to clean up errors, typos ang inappropriate grammar, here goes nuttin' ...

Making the best of the 7-hour layover at CLT, catching up on emails, deleting old pics / making room for more, and quenching my thirst. Choices - the ORIGINAL rum bar AND GRILL or the Wicked Weed Brewery. The time flew, then so did I - Madrid bound. On time departure and early arrival!

My first stop in Madrid, the Hotel Palacio del Retiro. Too early, 8 am, for my room to be ready, I went for a long walk stopping by Madrid's Makinostra Harley-Davidson dealership. Eventually checked-in and then a 30+ minute taxi ride to AFS | Fernandez de Sola SL (AFdSola) to retrieve my black iron horse beauty: nicknamed the Heller Harley. The AFdSola team led by Guillermo, also included Victor, Dani, Rafael, Angel, Guadalupe and Isaac. AFdSola team gets two thumbs up for the safe uncrating of the bike and getting it ready to roll. Muchas Gracias!

The first "ride" back to Madrid city center was a bit hairy. GPS system was not working yet, so had to go by instinct and the roads I could remember from the taxi ride. A few wrong turns turned into a beautiful experience, eventually safe and sound, back at the hotel 40 km and 1 hour later.

RSM Spain rolled out the red carpet for my first official RSM office visit of the ride. Irene Blasco, marketing director, and the welcoming committee, pictured with the flag L to R, Isabel Marin, me, Nuria Losa Melendez, Irene and Rocio Lorenzo, gave a very warm welcome, which included a tour of the office, a brief presentation of the Ride 4 Dray story, and brainstorm a few ideas for fundraising in Madrid. More to follow on this ...

Madrid day and night, a beautiful city at work and play. Hard not to fall for this beautiful city with wonderful people, sights and sounds. Time for tapas, wine, sightseeing and a bit of nightlife.

Stay tuned for Madrid, part 2...

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