A small and cozy company…. we loved to show you around
Loved, past tense, because I retired. No more tour guiding, unless with friends ;-)
But still providing services to travelers……. now for free
On the internet every mom-and-pop enterprise can pretend to be, and often is made to do so, a multi-billion international corporation. Well, I’ll give it to you straight: The ‘About Us’ in EuropeRides is about François and Nina Dumas, where Nina mentally supports me in my endeavors …. and makes me my sandwiches! So basically EuropeRides is a one-man company, pure and simple !
The advantage: you deal with ME personally, always. And you, as a customer, always get my full attention. There is nobody else to delegate you to ! The disadvantage: if I am not there for any reason, the business sorta stops! I started this venture back in February of 2006, after getting multiple inquiries from folks over in the US about helping them set up a European riding tour. Either by just providing information, or by actually riding with them. Although there are a lot of possibilities for getting on a (semi)organized tour in Europe, most if not all of them are with larger groups of riders and with pretty ‘fixed’ routes. EuropeRides was and is doing things different there…. but you can read all about it in ‘What we do’.
But who is this man !?
I am François A. ‘Navman’ Dumas, born in 1952 in Hoorn, The Netherlands, and married to Nina (Elena) Cinca after visiting Romania on an adventurous holiday driving a rambling old minivan! I battled the Communists for 18 months to get her out ! We have one daughter, Vivian, who left the nest already and travels as much as her father used to do.
I speak 6 languages more or less fluently, with English being my primary language for the past 30 years, Dutch, German, French, Romanian and now Italian added to it. And I get along in Spain and Scandinavia. All that really helps in getting local contacts and help solve any problems !
My father worked internationally, and my parents took me along on business trips ever since I was 3 years old. I have been traveling ever since, and that makes way more than half a century of travel now !
We currently have our main residence in the Green Heart of Italy, in Umbria. We also owned a small apartment in the French Alps for over 16 years. In 2017 we sold all our possessions in The Netherlands. Some of our relatives live in Romania, others in Switzerland and the US and we have many friends all over the world !
I worked in Information Technology for over 30 years, the last 16 of them in international executive positions, and was ‘made redundant’ after 20 years of loyal service to my last employer. I then decided I would NOT work as an employee FOR anyone ever again. So Silver Cloud Publishing was born and I went back to my roots; flight simulation! Silver Cloud Publishing covered all of my very different activities, including the EuropeRides services!
We also have connections to other Touring Guides
Almost as soon as I started my plans for this company, I ran into other enthusiastic riders who were willing to do Freelance Guiding. And since this seems to be a growing ‘hype’, I found many other companies doing similar things as well. Some of them we have good contacts with.
You can find them under the ‘Partners’ (see the Page in the side column!).
What else do I do (mostly in non-riding season)
Well, I turned 65 in 2017 and am now officially RETIRED ! But…… why stop !!??
– Still my MAIN activity: I run (and own) FSAddon.com Publishing, a company that produces Flight Simulator add-on products of high quality, with freelance authors spread all over the world.
– I am a regular contributor to various blogs, sites and magazines, used to be a writer for the former Computer Pilot Magazine, but also in PC Pilot and others.
– I publish a number of eMagazines, on motorcycling of course, but also on Scale Modelling, World War 2 topics, Aviation, Flight Simulation and other topics.
– I still design, host and maintain web sites for small companies and individuals, basically using my writing skills to make attractive sites that tell a story about the company they represent.
– I manage and co-own WhyFly.aero, a site dedicated to bringing the joys of flight to the masses.
– I manage and own AVClassic.com, a site trying to collect and display as many aviation museums, clubs and related organizations.
– Last but not least I combine all of the above with photography, displaying my photos on my special web site, selling them there too, and using them for my web sites and web design activities.
With all that going on, do I still have time to ride my BMW motorcycles!?
YOU BET I have… I just MAKE the time for that !!