Ron Ayres Rides On

Ron Ayres, founder of Ayres Adventures, passed away on August 26, 2015, at his home in Galveston, Texas. Ron had been diagnosed with cancer early last year.

Ron went from a successful career in the corporate world to start one of the biggest motorcycle touring companies in the world, with a tour catalog of more than 90 pages. While an expert in the development of corporate strategies including product development, sales and marketing, Ron’s real passion was global motorcycle travel. A nationally recognized motorcycle endurance rider and a member of MERA and the Iron Butt Association, Ron is the author of Against the Wind, a book about the 1995 Iron Butt Rally, Against the Clock, about his record-breaking ride through 49 states in 7 days, and Going the Extra Mile, with tips for long-distance riding. He has lived, worked and ridden in Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and traveled extensively throughout the Pacific Rim. While living abroad as a senior business executive, he explored the world by motorcycle. In Africa, he purchased a safari-equipped Land Rover Defender and extended his travels into the bush, spending several months on safari with his wife, Barbara, in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

Rider had the unique pleasure of participating in several Ayres Adventures in Brazil, Alaska and the Yukon and South Africa with Ron, and on one occasion his charming wife Barbara. Even at more than 70 years of age Ron rode non-stop, often using tour rest days to lead clients to far-flung places not on the regular tour, and sneaking off by himself or with Barbara on side trips that would multiply the day’s mileage. He was smart, witty, polite to a fault and a jovial, friendly, bear of a man who was also humble and positive, often saying “Life is great!” and meaning it. He will be sorely missed by Rider and the many people whose lives he touched.

Rider received the following letter from John Jesson, President and CEO, who will be carrying on Ron’s legacy and Ayres Adventures:

August 28, 2015

It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the passing of Ron Ayres, founder of Ayres Adventures. He passed away peacefully at his beach house in Galveston, Texas on August 26, 2015. Ron had been diagnosed with cancer early last year. He leaves behind his wife Barbara, mother Marian, sister Carolyn, and three sons Brad, Chris and David.

Ron was a very special man who touched the lives of many people. He will be remembered for his kindness and generosity to all, easy humble manner, remarkable positive attitude, unsurpassed personal integrity, and most commonly uttered phrase, “Life is great!”

For me personally, Ron was like a second father. I have had the privilege of knowing and working with him at Ayres Adventures for 11 years. Over the years, I enjoyed every social and professional moment we had together. Never a word of complaint or negativity—only endless optimism! He was the best life mentor I could have asked for.

It is my intention to carry on Ron’s legacy and ensure that Ayres Adventures continues to be the world’s leading premium motorcycle touring company, along with contributions from the handpicked team of whom Ron was extremely proud.

Our sincerest condolences to Ron’s family and many friends. Plans for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.


John Jesson
President and CEO
Ayres Adventures




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