Horizons Unlimited Virginia 2016 Presenters List

Chip Nelson.

Chip Nelson and Ken Showalter

RTW - East to West

Two longtime adventure junkies highlight their 2014 trip round the world via North America, Northern Asia and Europe on 1100GS bikes.

One quit his job and the other put his business on autopilot to be able to carve out the time for this epic adventure. There are countless approaches to RTW trips – the presenters will inform you of the how(s) and why(s) they did it the way they did. The presentation will take you through bike prep and logistical planning pre-departure, as well as what was experienced throughout the journey to include border, ocean and sea crossings. Although the ride touched 23 countries, much of the discussion, photos and learnings will focus on the monster landscape of northern Asia to include South Korea, Russia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan.

Ken Showalter dodges camels.

Chip Nelson lives in the mountains of Colorado, bought his first motorbike in 2012 and quit his island paradise job in the Caribbean to do this RTW trip.

Ken Showalter, an experienced rider and farmer, lives in rural Virginia. With the support of his awesome wife, he left the business in her capable hands to be able to head off on the trip of his dreams.

Dylan Samarawickrama.

Dylan Wickrama

When the road ends - Beating the Darien Gap on a Boatercycle

Then you arrive at a point where there is no road to continue. Between Panama and Colombia, there is one of the most dense jungles of this planet: The Darien! Stretching from the Pacific coast from the West to the Atlantic coast on the East, the Darien is home to many different groups of guerrilla fighters, drug smugglers and randomly scattered but notorious tribal groups which makes it to one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on Earth.

A perfect challenge for Dylan! As the first man ever he sails, solo, 650km around Darien, on the Pacific Ocean from Panama into Colombia on a self-built raft propelled by a motorcycle and experiences one of a kind adventure! A journey that is not only takes him across country borders but also tests his personal limits.

Click to see a video excerpt of Dylan Samarawickrama crossing the Darien Gap on a boatercycle!

Constant break downs, storms, currents and zero sailing experience were some of the challenges of his incredible journey. When things go from bad to worse, dolphins come to his rescue! Watch the video excerpt of his trip.

Dylan Samarawickrama has travelled around the world for three and half years and modestly says he has 'done some interesting adventures'.

Dylan Samarawickrama.

Dylan's book 'When the Road Ends' has now been published in English! Ask him to autograph your copy at the meeting!

Beth Ann Hinnant.

Beth Ann Hinnant (with David Smith)

Epic Bicycle Ride Across the USA

Beth recently completed an epic 2,700 mile self contained bicycle ride across the USA from San Diego CA to St Augustine FL.

An avid bicyclist, Beth enjoyed endurance riding, racing and century rides before stumbling on bike touring. Once she discovered the exhilarating freedom of travel, adventure and exploring by bike, she was hooked for life. She has done several long distance tours, some self contained and others van supported, but her favorite was the epic ride across the USA in the spring of 2015. After completing this life altering ride, she quit her job and is devoting her life to living the ultimate dream of seeing the world by bike and hike.

Beth Ann Hinnant.

Later this year Beth will be embarking on a tour of New England and Quebec; then she's off to England and the Netherlands. In 2016, Beth Ann's big adventures include France, Spain and Portugal followed by Baja California. After that? Who knows... the world is her oyster!

Cliff Danger.

Cliff Danger

Travels with Lucy - Cuba, SE Asia and the USA

Lucy and I - Cuba

Finding transportation to Cuba. Requirements for registering your motorcycle in Cuba. Meeting with Cubans in and outside Havana. Our route and photos taken on that route. Fun little stories of Communism.

Lucy and I- SE Asia - travels through Vietnam and Cambodia.

Lucy in Cuba. Lucy on a farm road in SE Asia.

Lucy and I- United States - from Oregon to Key west Florida.

Cliff: "My motorcycle Lucy-a 125cc 2-stroke Minsk motorcycle- and I have been traveling together since I Purchased her in Vietnam. After traveling through Vietnam and Cambodia, I shipped Lucy back to the U.S. Since the rebuild we have travelled from Oregon to Key West Florida. We just spent two weeks in Cuba and will be continuing our travels up the east coast of the U.S."

Bill Hooykaas.

Willem (Bill) Hooykaas,

Asia Quest:Infamous Pamir Highway

Traversing the treacherous and volatile frontier between Afghanistan and Tajikistan after a devastatng earthquake

In 2015, four GSs from Canada, Holland, the UK and Italy headed out unsupported from London to Vladivostok through the 'Stans along the northern edge of the Himalaya and China. Only two bikes made it home. Come hear the story from one of the survivors!

Bill Hooykaas Asia Quest.

Bill is a: "Die hard BMW rider, over 1 million km ridden over the past 45 years. Discovered dual sport riding and the HU world 10 years ago and it opened up a whole new realm of adventure for me. Since then rode tip to tip in the western hemisphere and this past summer across Asia and back completing my RTW after 40 years of trying."

Curtis Nugent.

Curtis Nugent

Do I Really Want to Do This?

Find out if adventure travel by motorcycle is for you by heading to Alaska! Have you watched "Long Way Round" every winter since 2005? Still don't know if a RTW is the right thing for you to do? How about a shakedown trip to Alaska? Riding to Alaska will provide you with experiences that will give you a feel for long distance motorcycle travel! A typical ride to Alaska from the lower 48 will give you 4 border crossings, experiences in dealing with foreign currency and you will be able to do it all in your native language of English (unless you choose to ride through Quebec)!

Curtis Nugent - solo to the Arctic Circle.

This presentation of my first real long, long distance trip (10,248 miles). I made a lot of mistakes (most of them laughable) and I want to help you make your first long distance ride memorable!

Curtis says 'I am living proof that you don't have to be a rich movie star (or have one as a friend) to travel the world on a motorcycle. As a lowly teacher of children I have ridden extensively in Europe and the US.'

Mark Carrera.

Mark Carrera and Luisa Scott

Kazakhstan and Life Choices - Not the Land of Borat AND
Two Newbies in Costa Rica on a 650GS - Sealing the 'Deal'

Kazakhstan and Life Choices - Not the Land of Borat

In fact, it's much better and more of an adventure. Mark Carrera, a world traveler, will give a presentation on adventures in Kazakhstan where he lived throughout the 1990's. His presentation will cover a little history, his travels from the Tien Shan Mountains to the Aral Sea, and what's currently going on in Kazakhstan's moto-adventure world. Mark will close his presentation with a very brief introduction to the GS Giants and a question and answer session. Lastly, as an average-Joe rider and adventurer, Mark has maintained that no adventure is without risk but the media sours the pool with too much fear mongering. Plan on attending his Round Table discussion on safety and security while traveling abroad, or at home!

Mark Carrera before.

Two Newbies in Costa Rica on a 650GS - Sealing the 'Deal'

Mark and Luisa spent two weeks on a 650GS rental, and they had only been together as a couple, less than a year when Mark asked Luisa is she wanted to ride a moto in June in Costa Rica. A beginning to a long lasting relationship, the two enjoyed the ride, the company, and the adventure of riding through nearly all geographic regions. Their adventure together as 'two up newbies' sewed the seeds for the adventure spirit. Since Costa Rica, Mark and 'Lu' have ridden together all over New England, down into Virgina, and as far north as Newfoundland and the top of Lake Superior. Come and share some memories and get familiar with Costa Rica as a destination for your first time two up or solo moto-adventure.

Mark and Luisa in Costa Rica.

Lastly, as an average-Joe rider and adventurer, Mark has maintained that no adventure is without risk but the media sours the pool with too much fear mongering. Plan on attending his Round Table discussion on safety and security while traveling abroad, or at home!

Michael Jordan.

Michael Jordan

Riding the Alps - An introduction to riding the Alps geared to the novice international rider

The basic information needed when considering your first foreign ride that involves transoceanic travel. Topics covered are the options for getting a motorcycle and basic differences between European and North American customs and practices.

Michael Jordan.

Michael says: "Riding since around 1961 (details fuzzy at this distance). 20+ years in the Air Force and 25+ in the private sector. Now a 'Gentleman of Leisure'. I've been riding the Alps for 13 years and the list of places to visit keeps getting longer, not shorter."

Greg Powell.

Greg Powell and Bill Hooykaas,

Two Ways Down

Tip to tip in the Americas. Two friends head out to Ushuaia in 2011, one rode solo, one with GlobeBusters. We'll discuss the pros and cons of each method, so bring your questions!

Bill Hooykas

Greg Powell's fish story!

Greg Powell

Weekend Warrior – After the Big trip - How to satisfy my quest for aventure, after the Big adventure

After returning home from an epic 11 month, 14 country, 65,000 kilometer solo motorcycle journey I found that my wanderlust had not subsided. The realities of work, bills, and money kept me from leaving on another big trip, but it did not prevent me from becoming a weekend warrior, planning rides through the Northern Ontario forests, road side attractions and three Iron Butt rides in under 36 hours!

Grant and Susan Johnson.

Grant and Susan Johnson, Horizons Unlimited

How it all began. The story of Grant and Susan's 11-year trip around the world, without a plan or a clue!

Way back in 1987, before the Internet, two young and naive Canadians set out from Vancouver to ride around the world on a motorcycle. The plan (and budget) was for 3 years, but it didn't quite work out that way!

Grant Johnson on pipe bridge in Peru.

Grant crossing a river on a pipe bridge in Peru

11+ years later, they finally made it, through 50 countries - Europe, Africa, New Zealand, Australia, North and South America, with a side trip to Antarctica! Hundreds of great pics and some amazing stories!

Workshops and Tech Sessions

...because Horizons Unlimited meetings are about information, not just inspiration!

Henry Yampolsky.

Henry Yampolsky

Dynamic Stillness - A Moto Yoga Journey and
Freedom from Within

Dynamic Stillness - A Moto Yoga Journey

A yoga class unlike any others! Specifically designed for adventure and long-distance motorcyclists and utilizing a BMW F650GS twin, this yoga journey will introduce special breathing techniques, yoga postures and energetic movements to increase stamina and help one feel more relaxed, focused and present on and off the bike. This yoga journey will also explore what it means to go beyond our comfort zones and to travel and to live with a soft heart and a strong spine.

Freedom from Within

This is a yoga journey designed to explore the meaning of freedom. Through yoga postures, breath work, moving meditations and free movement this yoga class explores what it means to be absolutely present in this moment and thus absolutely free.

Henry Yampolsky with Annette Birkmann in India.

Henry Yampolsky with Annette Birkmann and Anand Mehrotra in India

Henry Yampolsky (E-RYT 200) is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based adventurer, yogi, collaborative lawyer, mediator and conflict coach. Along with Annette Birkmann, he is the co-creator of Dis-Solving Conflict from Within, a unique 4-step process of shifting our focus from outside inward in conflict situations.

Liz Jansen.

Liz Jansen, Author, Speaker, Adventurer

Changing Roads - Unexpected events don't have to mean the end of a dream

Three weeks into what was to be a 12-18 solo month trip through the Americas, Liz crashed. Although she was injured and her motorcycle totaled, her spirit was intact. Aside from the adventure, the purpose of her trip was to understand the role of culture in shaping us by exploring her own roots and family migration, and studying Indigenous Wisdom.

Intentionally she'd made only loose plans, wanting to be open to serendipity and what the road would deliver. The change in direction from that remote Alberta ditch wasn't what she expected; not even close. But the road that continues to unfold has taken her to opportunities, experiences, and destinations she couldn't have dreamt of, or arrived at any other way.

Liz Jansen with her Triumph.

Liz Jansen is a writer, inveterate traveler, motorcycle instructor, and facilitator. She's also the author of women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment. While she's traveled around the world, her motorcycle travels have been in Canada and the United States.

Dawn and Paul Miller.

Paul and Dawn Miller (with Matt Hamlet)

The Divide and Conquer Approach - Riding around the world, one vacation at a time.

The Divide and Conquer Approach - Riding around the world, one vacation at a time.

The two common approaches to riding around the world are the "sell everything and go" approach and the "guided tour" approach. Both have their pros and cons. Another option was what the presenters did: lump their annual vacation time with some begged-for, unpaid vacation, and rode around the world in six to eight week blocks. The total trip took four years through 39 countries and nearly 40,000 miles. This presentation will inform you of the trade-offs, options and opportunities of the approach, combined with a bit of travelogue about the trip.

Dawn and Paul are a fairly normal, middle-aged, scientist & engineer couple who like to ride motorcycles, sail small boats and fly antique airplanes. Capitalizing on their vacation time they rode the TAT, Trans-Labrador and Newfoundland T-Rail trails and then, during the summers of 2012-2015, rode around the world!

Dawn and Paul Miller.

Preparation for a Total Newbie – Lessons learned from a newbie and his mentors

Some folks decide to take a long ride after many years of short trips. A few decide to take a long motorcycle trip and then learn how to ride. This presentation follows the lessons learned by a new rider taking the second approach. The main presenter rode across Europe, Russia and Mongolia for his first trip and will talk about the lessons he learned as a new rider. His two main mentors, who helped him through his early learning and were his companions on the trip, will share their lessons learned as mentors.

Matt Hamlet.

Matt is a young engineer and naval officer who made the mistake of reading the adventure books on Dawn and Paul's coffee table. Suitably hooked, he learned how to ride, bought a bike and for his first trip of over a hundred miles, crossed Europe, Russia and Mongolia.

Andrew Pain.

Andrew Pain, the Minimal Motorcyclist

Anatomy of Cheap and Take Control of your Packing

Practical Minimalism - What to Pack

Know what to pack, how to pack it, and what to leave behind. It's easy to become overloaded, but not having the correct gear and supplies while traveling only increases costs, adds stress, and makes it hard to relax while traveling. Andrew Pain reviews not just the things he packs while traveling on his 250, but how to establish a packing plan and make your own good packing decisions.

Andrew Pain demonstrates his inimitable packing technique at HU Virginia 2015.

Andrew Pain demonstrates his inimitable packing technique

Building and Using an Overland Budget

It's one of the most common questions asked of overlanders - how to pay for it? Andrew Pain breaks down what needs to be planned for to build an overlanding budget, how to find the money, and how much you actually need for a long overland journey.?

Finding the Time

Perhaps the biggest hurdle that prevents people from taking long journey of their dreams. Leaving work, home, and loved ones to travel is a huge change, and Andrew Pain works on how to approach finding the time to travel, dealing the obstacles and delays, and how to come home and start again after the trip is over.?

Medical and Trauma Preparedness

A few simple tips for dealing with the things that go wrong. No one wants it to happen, but injuries and illness happen? while on the road. Packing all the gear and medications to face every possible scenario is impractical at best and impossible at worse. Andrew Pain has worked as a paramedic in Milwaukee for 17 years, and traveled around North, Central, and South America on a small motorcycle. He explains what you don't need, what you should have, and where you should get it, as well as a few simple tips for dealing with the things that go wrong.

Bruce and Dana Beisner.

Bruce and Dana Beisner

Garmin's BaseCamp® - Basics and Problem Solving

Garmin's Basecamp Basics - Introductory discussion for mapping using Garmin's Basecamp

Have you ever gazed into that black box (e.g GPS) that sits perched on your handle bars wondering what it might be capable of? Do you find the most magnificent roads by mistake, then want to follow a bread crumb back? Are you a descendant of a famous cartographer, Magellan, with a zeal for mapping the known/unknown?

Garmin BaseCamp is an interface designed for Garmin devices and mapping products. The software allows users to plan and manage trips between the computer and compatible devices.

This introductory discussion will familiarize new users with the basics to successfully begin planning their next adventure. You will hear about differences between routes and tracks, view some common navigation icons and learn the pitfalls to avoid. Non-Garmin users will also benefit as the cornerstone principles apply to all common formats (e.g .GPX, .KML, etc).

Dana Beisner (left) tutors Dave Despain (center) on Garmin's BaseCamp mapping software at HU Virginia 2015.

Dana Beisner (left) tutors Dave Despain (center) on Garmin's BaseCamp mapping software

Garmin's Basecamp Problem Solving - Hands-on session using Garmin's Basecamp

This session is intended to continue the building blocks from 'Garmin's Basecamp Basics'. Users bring their own laptop and try hands on. There will be no formal discussion, rather we will rotate around the room assisting users. New users can try their hand at a few practices exercises, or bring any issues you'd like help with.

Please note, we are PC based and have little experience with the Mac version. I am happy to assist Mac users, but it will be more hunting and pecking, as the menu locations are distinctly different.

Grant and Susan Johnson.

Grant and Susan Johnson, Horizons Unlimited

4 Easy Steps to Overland Travel! You can do it - we can help! Finding your way around Horizons Unlimited, other resources. Lots of great pics and video clips.

"Grant and Susan Johnson are icons in the round-the-world (RTW) motorcycling community. The Johnsons host - or more appropriately write, edit, produce, manage and coordinate Horizons Unlimited - a global network of motorcycle travelers... and a bona fide adventure motorcycling phenomenon." Dan Hilton, Rider Magazine

This seminar will be an overview of 'How To' travel overland topics. Includes content from the Achievable Dream series and great pics from HU Photo Contest winners!

Get Inspired on Horizons Unlimited.

Grant Johnson showing tire changing.

Grant Johnson, Horizons Unlimited

Fix that flat! How to change a tire anytime, anywhere!

Grant's tyre changing seminars are always well attended and appreciated. This seminar covers: how to prevent flats in the first place, and fix them when you get one; the best tools and how to use them for tube and tubeless tires; hands-on practical for beginners to experts, optional tyre changing contest.

Grant Johnson's audience for Tire Changing at HU California meeting.

Grant's tire changing seminar at HU California meeting.

Grant Johnson.

Grant Johnson, Horizons Unlimited

Bike mods and ergonomics!

Grant will host a bike 'Show and Tell' - bring your bike and show us your favorite travel mods - homemade saddle bags, toolbox mounts, GPS mounts, seats, side stands, tank panniers, cup holders, etc. Critique and discussion.

Ergonomics: When you picked up your new bike, did they take the time to make it fit you? You'll learn the amazing difference a properly setup bike makes to your riding fun.

Grant's ergonomics session is always popular!

Grant Johnson's ergonomics session is always popular!