I lead two classes, one about motorcycle packing for long trips, the other, tips and travel advice about Patagonia. I also participated in a third, a panel of very well-traveled Overland Vagabonds in a great discussion about South America as a whole.
The Patagonia talk was well received with plenty of travelers gathering as much info and advice as possible before heading into the unknow. As I have written before, Patagonia has a lot of things that are simply not inside the Google machine. So, it was nice to give folks a little more info about routes, places to see and things to look out for. Some lessons don’t need to be learned the hard way. Getting a little knowledge to help avoid things like running out of gas or taking a more challenging route than you wanted is always good. I truly hope all that attended that class reach out to us if they end up by the shop and need anything, even if just to stop by and say hi to tell us all bout their adventure thus far.
The motorcycle packing class was quite good, I think. The riders there were very interactive, and we had a lot of back and forth about what works, and what small details can help keep your gear safe and help keep the bike as light as possible. As I stated in the class, I have seen riders show up for long rides with a t-shirt and toothbrush and others pack for literally every contingency. Its good to discuss ways to keep the balance between comfort and weight. You don’t want to be uncomfortable, but you don’t want to be picking up a 700 machine all day if you plan to take a more challenging route. Which led us to talk about picking the best route given the bike, your ability and external factors like weather, time and if you’re alone or riding with friends. I really liked this class and teaching it helped me to reassess what and how I pack for my own long rides.
The panel discussion about South America was very interesting. I was there with 5 others who are all full-time travelers, and they were able to add genuine details about how South America treated them from a perspective I wasn’t, since I live their full time. Spoiler, they all had positive experiences and overall good vibes. I was able to add small details about culture and customs for Latin America in general. It was also good to discus and listen to others talk about how they managed the ups and downs of the different countries and affects long-term travel has in foreign lands like South America. I feel that these classes at Overland Expo really help people gain confidence and real-world information to get out and travel.
Overall, it was a first class even and one of the better venues I have been for Overland Expo. We were excited to be a part of it and look forward to more of those opportunities in the future.