I love HU events. They are large enough for there to be a good mix of motorcycles, people, and ideas, and small enough you feel like you can meet everyone. You can’t see everything, the weekends are just too full for that, but you can get a good chunk.
First step is registration, of course. There are waivers to sign and maps to look at (and promptly forget). Some swag to buy, of course. Some times authors brings books, and you should buy those since they help pay for the authors gas. Just saying.
Once the paperwork is done, you go and set up your camp. Most of the time there are options – tents or bunkhouses, sometimes cabins – but I like tenting. There was a time I was the only guy around with a hammock, but the fact they are awesome is getting around.
I guess “Are there trees?” will have to be added to the event FAQs.
Once your camp is all set, it’s time to “relax.” Get some food and start taking in some presentations. I know HU events are held in really amazing areas with awesome riding, but the events are intense concentrations of travel knowledge, stories, and experience. The roads are there all the time, but the chance to talk to the people is only there for the weekend.
Since it’s a motorcycle event, you also have to look at the motorcycles. For the first time I saw another RX3 (Roxie).
This one a 2016 with a lot of the upgrades. And, yes, a BMW rondel. Funniest moments of the weekend were when people asked me if his bike was the euro beemer the Chinese copied for the Roxxie. There was only a BMW rondel on one side, though, so the illusion was imperfect.
This, though, was my favorite bike of the weekend –
He had to lean it against the tree because the side stand broke. And this wasn’t the first motorcycle he’d used this system on. He worked as a plumber (if I remember correctly) in NYC, so the motorcycle made dealing with traffic easier, and the custom luggage gave him room for all his tools. He was glad to point out to anyone who asked (we had a long chat about it) that none of the bags were full. I don’t want to think about the weight, but liked the idea and cost. He said when a bag wore out he just went to a second hand store and bought another one, usually for around nine bucks.
And it is the first and only motorcycle I’ve ever seen with a seatbelt.
The weekend flew by, and then it was time for the group photo.
There were, as you might expect, several group photos and people wandered up wondering what was going on. I was in a couple of them myself.
Saturday night severe weather threatened and many of the tent campers moved into cabins or bunkhouses. I did too, so I didn’t have to pack up a went hammock in the morning. It’s actually not that big of a deal, but it meant everything was packed expect my sleeping bag when Sunday morning rolled around. I could spend my time chatting and saying goodbyes.
Then it was time time get back on the road. I hadn’t left myself as much time to get home, and took a slightly different route. Despite the slight rush (I was getting tired of rushing places) I still stopped when things caught my eye.
Once home it was time to service the bike and get ready for the next trip – this one to Arizona and the Overland Expo West.