Germany, 2008: First Annual HU Travellers Meeting

Horizons Unlimited Travellers Meetings

First Annual Deutschland Travellers Meeting

Thursday May 22-25, 2008

Why Come to a Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Travellers Meeting?

You can meet people who don't think you're crazy for wanting to ride your bike to South America or Africa or across Asia, or even around the world! Admit it, all your 'normal' friends and most of your family fears for your sanity! So, this is your opportunity to meet the people who will encourage you in that craziness, share their experiences and advice on how to do it, and maybe you'll meet them again in Mongolia or Timbuktu!

Camping area.

The meeting was held in wonderful weather - though the very heavy rain early Sunday morning made us all think the ride home wasn't going to be much fun - but it cleared up and turned into a beautiful day to finish off the meeting.

We had well over 100 people for the first HU Meeting in Germany, and all the reports I heard said everyone thought it was a great event. The weather cooperated, and we had some tremendous presentations, including excellent tech clinics on tire changing and GPS tips and tricks.

If you haven't been to the area before, it's well worth a ride, loads of excellent, twisty little roads in the area to explore.

I hope to see you there next year!


(2009 date is May 21-24!)

Meeting Location - Where WAS it?

Short History of HU Meetings

Meeting Report from Jens Ruprecht, lead organiser

After years of using the Horizons Unlimited Forum I got in contact with Grant and told him now it is the time to give something back to other travellers. Let us do the 1st HU Meeting in Germany. Grant liked the idea and after a couple of weeks I found a nice spot and we set the first meeting date, it was held the 22.5. – 25.5. 2008.

The location was not so easy to find… sometimes you think about a nice spot, but the owner doesn´t like your idea! Or you find a nice campground, but the area is very boring for motorcycles, or the owner likes you, but they are booked out, so, a lot of things to think about.

Okay, finally I got a spot, the owners are great and very helpful, the place for camping is very nice, no traffic, fireplace is possible and they have a local restaurant and some simple washing facilities – and the best – lots of very nice motorcycle roads are around - what else do we need?

So the date was set, but what do we offer to the people? What do I need on the spot? Tents, toilets, Screen for the slide shows, material for the workshops(which workshops?)fire wood, showers, road signs, projector, beamer etc. People who want to do the slideshows, workshops, helpers for registration, day rides etc. Flyers, Stickers, T-Shirts…

Aaaaaahhhhh?? Why me?

Okay, after some phone calls I felt more relaxed, but till the first motorcycle showed up at the meeting, to tell you the truth, I was a little nervous… tent


But then, the weather was perfect – thank god! When the first people arrived, I felt a lot better; everybody liked the area, the camp ground, and the German beer. Everybody was very friendly and helpful, I liked very much that we got around 20 people from other countries, not only Germans. I thought it was also very nice that some of us brought their children to the meeting. Everybody liked the idea of the 4 days meeting, it was like a real holiday!

schedule posted

(schedule – to give you an idea what to expect)

So everybody had plenty of choices: Stay in bed all day long or take part in some of our interesting workshops: - Why to go on a trip? - Photo workshop - bike transport - flat tyres - GPS - Girls only - Ride outs - Etc… And at night, lots of different slide shows and a wonderful atmosphere at our fireplace. The whole weekend we had around 150 fantastic people! Here are some pictures, maybe you know them:

Tire Changing lessons!

gsp seminar

GPS Seminar

gps seminar

GPS Seminar

Travellers Meeting!

Seminar, by Vaufi

camping area

British travellers

British travellers

Angela Brandl

Angela Brandl

Werner and Katharina

Werner Zwick and Katharina Eberl


(Sponsors: KEDO and Mitsubishi Trucks)

Lots of good food!


TEch seminar

Jens, Tech seminar

Tire changing demo


2008 Speakers and Tech Seminars were:

Presentations were in English or German.

  • The Achievable Dream
    • Grant and Susan Johnson, Canada, R80G/S
      Learn from Horizons Unlimited's founder and 11 year round-the-world veteran everything you need to know to ride to the next country or the next continent. Sound scary? Get the inspiration and information so YOU can hit the road! In two TWO-hour parts.
  • A woman alone through Asia
    • Katharina Eberl, Germany
      How to travel alone as a woman – why not? Why should it be more dangerous – just do it! Katharina travelled alone on her Suzuki DR 350 through Asia. She wants to tell you her story and maybe to discuss with other girls about their experiences to travel alone somewhere on planet earth – join her!
  • North to Alaska
    • Werner Zwick, Germany
      Mit der Transalp zum Eismeer. Werner Zwick fuhr mit dem Motorrad von Vancouver in Kanada solange nach Norden, bis es an den Ölfeldern von Prudhoe Bay am Eismeer nicht mehr weiter ging. Auf dem Weg dorthin besuchte er Skagway und Dawson City, den Denali Nationalpark mit seiner faszinierenden Tierwelt und dem mächtigen Mt. McKinley, sowie die vergletscherten Fjorde der Küste im Fjordlands Nationalpark und bei Cordova.
    • Alaska Highway
      Werner Zwick

  • Madeira - Motorradparadies im Atlantik.
    • Werner Zwick, Germany
      Die kleine, grüne Insel ist ein kleines Hochgebirge mit unzähligen kurvenreichen Straßen die auf 10km Luftlinie bis zu 1600m Höhe erreichen. Während an der feuchten Nordküste Wasserfälle auf die alte Küstenstraße fallen, begleiten grüne Bananenplantagen die Straßen an der trockeneren Südküste. Die Insel des ewigen Frühlings ist ein perfekter Ort, dem Winter für eine Zeit zu entfliehen. Mit einer gemieteten BMW F650GS befuhr Werner fast alle Bergstraßen auf der Insel.

Werner Zwick

  • Rocky Mountains
    • Werner Zwick, Germany
      Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Canyonlands, Mesa Verde, Durango, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Peonia BMW-Rallye, Vail, Rocky Mountains Nationalpark, Flaming Gorge.

Monument Valley
Werner Zwick

  • Landscapes of the Oman
    • Giancarlo Albrecht, Germany
      With a Transalp through the Wahiba Sands and the Rub al Khali.
  • Fernweh - RTW Trip
    • Patrick Schweizer, Germany
      Germany to Korea by bike with a visit to Mongolia and South America (Chile, Argentina, Uruguay)
  • Bohlsen, Germany to Bangkok, Thailand
    • Florian and Iris Schröder on 2 Yamaha XT 500s, Germany
      Two years and 70000 km around the Indian Ocean
  • Heart of Steel
    • Stefan Thiel, Germany
      India to Germany on a Royal Enfield
  • Dodging Potholes
    • Dave Barrett, Germany
      Motorcycling in Eastern Europe, with a visit to the orphanage in Calarasi, Moldova.
      NOTE: Dave will have his new book there too - JUST released, you'll be the first to see it!
  • Panel - volunteers please!
    • How to get someone of the opposite sex to go travelling with you - panel and discussion. Why is it so hard? What are you doing wrong - or right? All viewpoints please!
  • Women only
    • a very popular session - I'm told it's a must for the ladies, so be sure to plan on being there! A chance to talk to Katharina Eberl and other experienced travelling women without the men around!
  • Fix that flat! How to change a tire anytime, anywhere
    • Jens Ruprecht,
      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. Hand's on practical and tire changing contest for beginners to experts!
  • Changing a tire.
    Changing a tyre tech sesssion

  • Around the world in only 3 months!
    • Michael Müller, Germany
      Nearly 30,000 km on a Yamaha XT 660 R
  • Photo Composition for Travellers
    • Grant Johnson, Canada
      The one everyone SHOULD take, but no one does... We all want to take great photos of our trip - so why don't we? This easy clinic will transform your motorcycle travel photos from boring to fabulous! BRING your photos on a CD or Flash Drive, max 10, and we'll critique and discuss YOUR photos - what's good, and what's not - and how they could be improved.
  • GPS Tech clinic

    GPS Tech session

    Matthias at the GPS session

Travel Equipment Vendors

We're looking for Travel Equipment vendors to come and display your products, and sell as well. Please contact Grant in London or Jens Ruprecht in Germany.

Touratech - not confirmed but probable
Kedo Performance Products "Heroes Legend Race to Dakar" support, travel goodies and more/
Petra Friedrich from OutdoorFieber will be there with motorcycle and outdoor products.

Books -Signed copies were available direct from the Author!

Patrick Schweizer, (onkelkarle) with his book and DVD "Fernweh - RTW Trip"

Torsten Schopbach, "Der Weg war das Ziel" 56.000 km, 14 Länder, 4 Kontinente – ein Abenteuer! 56.000 km, 14 countries, 4 continents – one adventure!

Dave Barrett, Germany, "Dodging Potholes," Motorcycling in Eastern Europe, proceeds from the book go to the orphanage in Calarasi, Moldova.

Membership - Show you're proud to be a Horizons Unlimited Traveller!

Just to clarify the membership situation: Currently there is no requirement to be a member to access the website, the HUBB or to receive the monthly e-zine. For now, what you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive.

We will also upgrade your status in the HUBB to Member. In addition to recognising your contribution through your status, this will allow you to upload a custom profile picture and custom avatar, store up to 50 private messages, upload more pictures (10 MB maximum storage) and create polls.

Another benefit we can provide is if you decide you want a t-shirt, mug, fleece jacket or other Horizons logo product from the Souk, you can purchase Member logo products at the basic price. Just let us know and we can arrange access to the Members Private Store.

T-Shirt Deal

Top quality heavy cotton t-shirts in black, or grey if pre-ordered. We will have a range of sizes available, but quantities will be very limited, so if you wait till the day, there might be none left in your size.

The new Synthetic t-shirts are in a beautifully made wicking material, and make great travel / riding t-shirts as well as all-round wear t-shirts. Available in black or grey at most meetings. MUST be pre-ordered.

Note that we will hve a few black cotton t-shirts extra at each meeting, but anything else must be pre-ordered and paid in advance.

You can help!

If you have a few minutes, please download the poster (Adobe pdf format) and print off a few and hand them round your club or your local bike shop or anywhere seems like a good place.

(You may need to right click and choose "save target as...")

Poster in pdf format, English (886kb) full colour 2008 poster.

Poster in pdf format, Deutsche (886kb) full colour 2008 poster.

Thanks for the help!

The Meeting Location for 2008

Gasthaus „Zur Schneeburg“
69509 Ober-Liebersbach
(30 min. north of Heidelberg)

Getting There - GPS, Maps

GPS-Koordinaten „Zur Schneeburg“
N49 36.422
E8 42.421

Restaurant/Farm website, with details on getting there:

Map to the Meeting, click for more details.
Map to the Meeting - click for more details.

If you have any links or details for the area please let us know.

Local Hosts

Jens Ruprecht is the lead organizer of this event. Thanks for volunteering to bring Horizons Unlimited Travellers Meetings to Germany!


Christina and Jens

If you have any questions, contact with rideout registration, vendor, venue and speakers questions.

See you at a meeting this year!

Grant and Susan


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