This past weekend I felt like I was arriving home, even though I was hanging with 150+ motorcycle adventurers, most of whom I’d never met. This was the fifth Horizons Unlimited USA meeting that I’ve gone to in the past four years. Those regular TRT readers will remember that it was the 2008 HU meeting in Silverton, Colorado that started this whole “we gotta get out of here” thing for KR and me. This s a meeting of, for and by serious adventure bikers.
For those of us who dream of adventure travel on a motorcycle, there isn’t a more interesting group of people to hang with. For those who don’t have such dreams, this might be a painful weekend. I was even smiling while watching Grant Johnson (the founder of HU) give his “how to change a tire” seminar for the fifth time. Knowing the right wrench to break “the bead” during a tire change is interesting:) Over a two day period, there were about 50 presentations on everything from trip reports to how-to-tune your suspension. This is heaven, beaten only by actually taking a trip on a m/c.
I counted no fewer than ten people/couples who had or were in the process of traveling around the world on their motorcycle. That’s a pretty high concentration even among a group of 100+hardcore adventure bikers. These meetings become destinations for people in the middle of their trip. There “local” travelers from North America on their way to South America and points East and West. There were lots of accents around the dinner table too with bikers from Wales, Australia, France, and Spain, among others. This year’s crew was noticeably different than past years’, as the age mix was broader and there were a lot of families with children.
I felt a bit like a charlatan amongst this crew as we’ve not taken a serious bike trip since South America, almost 18 months ago. Yet, I was asked to give two presentations this year. One was the “2 Up, 9000 Miles in 90 Days” presentation on our South America trip that I’d given last year. For some reason, this year’s presentation was given to a standing-room-only crowd and got lots of laughs and questions. It was a lot better feeling than giving an LACI presentation to a group of politicians in LA.
I had to write a new presentation for this meeting, “Rewiring Your Life for Travel: A Work in Progress” which I was pretty apprehensive about because I didn’t feel much like a real expert in Rewiring. I wondered if anyone would come as it wasn’t about the fun stuff of travel, but the more mundane part of getting your act together so you can travel. I was really surprised with a standing room only crowd and lots of applause again. I even picked up a new consulting client for TPG from the audience!