UK 2005: Fifth Annual HU Travellers Meeting

Horizons Unlimited UK 2005 Travellers Meeting Report

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!

Ripley, Derbyshire, UK, June 24-26, 2005

300 people had a great time at the meeting, with lots happening all weekend.

Report below...

already in from Brian Coles:

"Hi Grant,

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to give something back to the Horizons community by presenting my trip.

Since attending the 2003 meeting a month before I set out to 'do the Americas.' I feel that I have now come full circle by presenting a slideshow of my trip on Friday at Derby.

It was an incredible feeling to have achieved my first public presentation. The thanks I received afterwards made it extra special. The HU meetings are unique in it's size and atmosphere.  Everyone is friendly and more than willing to help, whatever the question. I felt that when I started the trip in 2003, and I felt that this weekend when I then presented it. I can recommend presenting your 'trip of a lifetime' to anyone that has been out there and done it.

I rode home last night from Derby to London...smiling all the way. For that journey home in the early hours it felt like I was out there again, living the dream.

Thanks to you, Susan and all the organisers,


and on the HUBB, from David Lomax:

"Just a quick note to say thanks for a great weekend. For me the new format was inspired genius. It meant I could take or leave stuff as I wanted and everyone got loads of time to hang around and chat. As ever a great job by the organising team.
All the best, great to see so many familiar faces again, see you all next year, Dave"

Also on the HUBB, from "Shells"

"It was my first meeting, and I think it is safe to say I walked around with a giddy grin on my face all weekend!
Thank you all for making the weekend a memorable one. Fantastic organisation and brilliant venue. Thank you to Nick who took a very big group of us on an amazing ride out. (I think my eyes were like saucers the whole time! And yes, it was nervous laughter). A huge thank you to all of you in Nick's ride-out group. I was happy to provide entertainment by finding the biggest puddles I could to throw myself into. Thank you all for getting me upright. A great weekend! Well done!"

Also on the HUBB, from "Bal"

"Hi all, Great. Yet another HU meeting where I have come away all inspired & eager to go places. Big thanks to the community & of course the organisers and the rideout people. Cheers to all - see you next year. All the best, Bal."

Also on the HUBB, from "Twit!"

"Just to agree with all that has been said above! Jo and I had a great weekend and it is making us wish the next 4 weeks before we leave away even quicker!!! We won't be around for 2006 as hopefully we'll have got to the other side of the world but 2007... Who knows?
Huge thanks to the organisors and the venue staff did amazingly, they seemed to work round the clock and were always friendly and helpful, brilliant!"

Okay Twit! and Jo, you're down for a 2007 presentation on your RTW tour! :)

Also on the HUBB, from "DaveGibson"

"A great weekend and some great speakers and company. Motivational advice. Good selection of traders. I'm glad to know you don't need to be a super-hero to ride the world, but I still love tarmac for my RT!"


The first 100 people to arrive and sign in received a FREE Globebusters video, compliments of Kevin and Julia Sanders, 'Round the World' and 'Alaska to Ushuaia' world record holders! These went fast and were a hot item.

2005 speakers:

  • Ted Simon, the story of his second RTW for the first time in the UK! Don't miss it!
  • Brian Coles, 'Trails of the Unexpected - New York to Bariloche'
  • Chris Bright, UK, will babble on about Enfield Bulleting around the Indian Himalayas...
  • Grant and Susan on 'How to do the long trip' - Saturday afternoon
  • Dani Silvian, USA/Romania, 'Trans-Siberian / Mongolia East to West.
  • Tiffany Coates, 'Tiffany goes to Timbuctoo'
  • Lois Pryce, 'Lois on the Loose - The Americas'
  • Austin Vince, 'The army-surplus-poncho king of expedition motorcycling accessories!
  • Harvey Sawyers, 'Vindalo - the directors cut' - 15 minute video of Indian traffic chaos

Tech Sessions:

  • Sam Manicom - 'Travel Articles from the Road.' How to? Does the work pay? What are the side benefits?
  • John Green and Annette Taylor, 'Confessions of a Motorbike Couple (how to keep you and your relationship healthy on the road)'
  • Karim Hussain, 'How to Prep a Desert / Rally bike'
  • Chris Stone/Karl Wandle - BMW Mechanics (Airhead only)
  • Ian Bradshaw - GPS for beginners/map reading
  • Ernie from Overland Solutions - 'Bike Preparation'
  • Mark Manly - 'What to take and how to pack it'
  • Grant Johnson, Photo Composition for Travellers - the one everyone SHOULD take, but no one does...
  • Peter Smith - 'The 2 dollar rallyist... or 80p if you're that way inclined'
  • Simon and Georgie McCarthy - 'Getting visas, border crossings, paperwork'
  • Sam Davidson, 'Tyre changing and maintenance.' There was also a Tyre-changing competition - tubeless tyre on and off again, won by Simon Dorotich in the amazing time of only 44 seconds!.
  • Michael Wadsworth, 'First Aid for travellers'
  • Steve Mercer, UK accountant, 'How to claim your tax refund before you head off on that trip'
  • Matt O'Neill - Laptops, uploads, files, communications on the road


Lots of great reports from the participants, including one that had three participants - and all FOUR fell'll guess that included the ride leader... and came back with big grins plastered on their faces - a perfect ride!

Seminars, breakout sessions etc.

Fortunately we never QUITE had to institute the green / yellow / red rule, as everyone managed to squeeze in to their seminar of choice.


Awesome - Angela did a terrific job, the plates were heaping - Susan and I finally decided we could split a plate and it was still plenty! (Did have to leave a LITTLE room for some great desserts!)


The camping area was almost but not quite full - next year we will have access to another whole field, so no problems for camping space.

Equipment for Sale

Pin board was well used for bike and equipment notices.


I want to thank all the vendors for coming and displaying their goodies! All the riders I spoke to were pleased they came, and the vendors said they were very happy with the response, so plan to be back next year!

Touratech UK
Ernie - Overland Solutions, custom fitting and equipment
Traveldri-Plus, motorcycle clothing specialists
Core Racing Imports, off-road equipment specialists
Metal Mule, overland luggage systems
Ultraseal, Tire sealant - get your tires sealed at the Meeting.

Ted Simon had copies of his books available, and signed them for happy buyers. Due to a shipping problem he had limited supplies so soon sold out. His presentations Saturday and Sunday drew some 200 people each time.

Chris Scott was also there, with the new edition of his "Adventure Motorcycling Handbook" available at the special price of only £10, just for HU people. :)

Jump to top
Photos by Andy Miller. Copyright 2005.

Also, check out Video1 and Video2 (from Marc Davies: "one of a sensible BMW rider who's going to South America in near future, and one our guide Nick, who's also BMW shod but a little more competitive - guess which is which")

More photos here.

Important: For more information on what World Nomad's policies cover, read this Prices & Benefits page for residents of various countries.
Grant says: ALWAYS read the policy CAREFULLY to be SURE you are covered on your motorcycle, there are exceptions and variations depending on home country and where you're going and a whole lot of other things. READ THE POLICY!

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