2015 ADVMoto Rally
ADVMoto Rally 2015 kicked off in the brilliant sunshine at a new venue near Romney, West Virginia. The September setting at the Wapocoma Campground offered adventure motorcyclists just about every facility they could ask for, including great camping under the trees along the Potomac River, and hot showers.
Attendees rode in from as far as Canada and Mexico, and at least eight U.S. states. Many tagged extra days onto their rides in order to explore along the way to and from the rally.
Around the campground old friends linked up and new friends were made—while others took advantage of the river for a cooling plunge. I listened to the buzz of advice being swapped and information exchanged. There’s something very special about a bunch of people who have a common passion. I felt as if I was in the midst of a band of brothers—sisters, too—as plenty of women riders were part of the mix.
The location offered a blend of trails that gave riders of every ability level a route to challenge themselves, or simply to ride with a smile. The now-famous Boyer Farm was the hub for several of the trails and home to training sessions led by Bret Tkacs of PSSOR.com fame. What many didn’t realize was just how entertaining his advice-packed sessions would be.
One of the highlights of the ride opportunities was the Poker Run. Participants had to navigate their way to a series of checkpoints where they’d collect playing card hands. And, like last year, the slow bike race gathered a crowd along with a bunch of riders who found out the hard way that being the slowest was a real challenge. Bikes of all sizes entered, but many fell by the wayside. Surprisingly, the size of bike didn’t seem to affect who was going to win. Congratulations to Ed Lyon for being so slow!
Meanwhile, some sat around campfires yarning, while a few worked on their bikes. That Murphy fella had been up to his ol’ tricks again, but if you’re going to break down, there can’t be many better places than at an event where plenty of useful advice and tools were on hand. Having said that, one of the guys got divorced over the weekend—that’s right, his bike had let him down one too many times.
For seminars and talks, a diverse set were in the line-up. On Friday night, top class presentations were kicked off by Bret Tkacs discussing his ride through South America, preparing for such a trip, and a raft of extremely useful tips for being on the road; some of which were hard earned along the way. His off-the-wall style had the audience both enthralled and laughing. Brad Barker from The Ride of My Life (TheRideofMyLife.net) then took the stage to show one of his fine films, this one about riding the Continental Divide with a bunch of guys from the U.S., New Zealand and South Africa. The film represented a perfect example of the possibilities that lay before us on our own doorsteps.
That evening’s presentations were rounded off in two ways by Eric Stephens, from Twisted Throttle (TwistedThrottle.com). His first session covered the different types of auxiliary lights available, including what’s best suited to various riding styles. The second section was his ever-popular “Headlight Shoot Out.” Whose lights were the most powerful, and who failed miserably? The “winner” of the worst lights was Pete West. The evening wrapped with a party complemented by a few cold and frothy kegs from local boutique breweries.
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