At first arrival to Overland Expo, I was overwhelmed at how much the event had grown. What felt like an intimate community last year, had turned into a BMW GS rally that I hadn’t received the memo for…
Yet by the last day, and after meeting so many great people, Sandy and Terry Borden (www.adventuretrio.com) said it best, it’s a weekend where “We’re not weird here.” There is a family created away from home. A place where like-minded adventurers, vendors, and enthusiasts come together for a weekend to share ideas, projects, tips, merchandise, and a lot of inspiration whether it’s for the first mile of the journey or the 100,000th.
I spent most of my time in Motorcycle Village, where RawHyde (www.rawhyde.com) had upped the ante in GS culture. Those guys take the 500+lb BMWs anywhere and show everyone else how to do so too. The Rodeo (which I kept finding myself at, yes, to drool a little) was held each day to show off what these big bikes can do. I test rode the R1200GS…and then the F800GS and then the F650GS… and then the R1200GS and didn’t want to give it up (thank you Lance!) but alas, back to my KLR I went.
While I was sitting at Nicole’s booth (www.ruggedrider.com) an older guy pointed to her yellow suzuki DR-Z 400 and stated, “that’s the only reasonable bike here.” Not wanting to start an argument, even though I completely disagree, I responded with, “It sure is a fun bike.” He proceeds to tell me that he doesn’t understand these big adventure bikes… how it is not an adventure if you can’t ride it on narrow single track. It was disappointing to hear his narrow-minded view of discrediting the bulky bikes as being adventuresome just because you can comfortably ride to dirt trails and then proceed into the forest. I don’t want to have to trailer my bike like he does. It’s like saying it’s not an adventure if you take a cruiser (Carla King…you are awesome for riding the only Motoguzzi there) or sportbike (like fellow wanderluster Bill) and spend time on the asphalt. They are just different types. If we all waited for the perfect vehicle, most of us would never have left. Ride what you have. Adventure is where the heart is…the motorcycle just gets you there.