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I'm Influential I Am

Blog Date - Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Last September I went to the Adventure Overland Show(Adventure Overland Show Sep 18). While there to earn my free access I did 2 talks that weren't, well, erm,  weren't exactly well attended. But still...

The talk was aimed at those of us who cannot take 6 months off work or leave our families or even aren't brave enough to go travelling for a year. I wanted to encourage people to still have adventures. To stop thinking exploring requires travel around the globe. To see the beauty and wonder in the things that may only be an hour or two from your home.

Rolling hills, green fields and tall grasses looking out over the Bowland area of Lancashire
Between the mills and the terraces, street urchins and cloth caps there are nice places even in Lancashire.

At one of my talks were a young couple, their hands filled with 2 very young children. One a baby, the other just at the toddling stage. As you'd expect chaos reigned supreme for them. The reason they wanted to hear my talk was they've both travelled extensively, far far more than I have. Their burgeoning family had put a stop to this and while I'm sure they love their small folk dearly they did not want to abandon their joy of exploring. I spent a short while talking to them after the presentation too.

Fast forward to this weekend. This weekend being the spring Adventure Overland Show. I'm in attendance once more and I'm doing 2 more talks, this time on getting the most from Scotland. Or so I thought. Due to a clerical error only my second talk is about Scotland, it seems my first talk is to be a repeat of my Micro Adventures talk. Ho well.

Toyota Hilux with roof tent, Ren's small teepee tent is hiding behind the adventure car
No, no, regrettably my tent is BEHIND the very nice adventure car Toyota thingy. 

As I prepare to do a talk about which I can remember little there's a chap with a double buggy. He looks at me, he looks familiar but I can't think why. He introduces himself and it all makes sense. The double buggy, the face, his presence in this scenario, of course it's the chap from my talk last Autumn. He's come to this talk as my last talk had inspired his wife and himself.

What? With such low attendance last time I barely thought anyone noticed I existed. It seems however they'd discussed my ideas and added their own. With the small people in the campervan they'd explored Essex, his wife had taken a one day off-roading course which she'd thoroughly enjoyed and they were planning to head for Scotland later this year. 

He said they'd been struggling without adventures, things to look forward too and the sense of making the most of life. They had indeed fallen into the rut of believing they had to be in Mongolia or The Andes to be really exploring. Scotland and Essex might not have the same kudos but exploring is exploring be it your local town or The Arctic Circle. Now things are looking up, new adventures that also involve nappies.

This really perked me up. I might not be leading a revolution in mini and micro adventures but to think that 2 people have done something positive and fun in their lives because of something I once said is really quite pleasing to me. To then see the room fill with 20 or so people for my talk this time around is even better!

Ren is pointing to a screen in a room with about 20 or so people watching as he does his presentation
No-one is asleep. Yet. Image courtesy of Bernard Smith.

Attendance is up for all the talks due to better organisation and promotion rather than me being a "big draw". And yet I feel my Micro Adventures talk went down acceptably well, my Scotland talk too. There was that heckler at the back that pointed out "It's cold outside!!" Thanks Andy... pfffft!

Ren will do a talk in exchange for food and lodging. Times are hard. Contact ren@bikesandtravels.com.

Reader's Comments

bernardsmith said :-

Ren will do a talk in exchange for food and lodging. Times are hard. Contact ren@bikesandtravels.com
1/5/2019 10:47:58 AM UTC
Mark said :-
Or Bacon Sarnies And Lashings Of Hot Tea And The CornishCoast!
3/5/2019 1:17:20 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Mmmmmmm... Bacon butties n brews. Fabulous. I take it this is Mark who provided me with a whistlestop winter tour around Cornwall?
3/5/2019 1:36:23 PM UTC
Hammo said :-
I had a similar epiphany
Did an organised tour to Germany back in 2007 to the BMW Motorrad Days festival in Garmisch Partenkirchen and came back with the 'I could do that myself and better' feeling & more important for less cash.
So for 2008 we decided to go back on own terms, digs out the map, plots a route books the Guest houses and places of interest to visit en route.
When I got back did a write up for a forum with photos in the hope it may encourage others and thought nothing more about it.

Anyway 2009 comes around and everything was lined up for another return. We lands in Garmisch and are having a walk around next thing is a couple come upto to us like long lost friends and how much they enjoyed all the planning and the ride down. Turned out they had read the post and it kicked them into doing some thing themselves.

Its a strange feeling when you find out that from something you have done has been the spark for some else to decide they want to do the same..

Now 12 years later, the planning for the following year starts in August and is normally finished by Christmas

Doesn't matter if it's a trip into Wales, Scotland, Europe or a major RTW trip like Sam Manicom or Austin Vince. Like Ren I encourage you to have your own adventures.

In a similar vein the attached link I found years ago on YouTube demonstrates what's possible in a limited time

Good luck with your own planning & touring


7/5/2019 9:10:09 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Hammo. It is a most peculiar sensation to imagine there's someone out there reading this and being stirred into action. It may be as simple as thinking "I'll take the bike to Skeggy this weekend and take a different route." That's enough for me, that's an adventure that is.

My talk was not quite so entertaining or comprehensive as the one in the video but the ethos is similar. As Adventure Overland is mostly cars and trucks with some bikes I targeted the talk to generally getting out there rather than on bikes specifically.

I also deal with the ego. All too often we find ourselves saying things like "I'm ONLY going to Scotland" rather than "I'm going to Scotland". Because we know people who've travelled the world we measure ourselves against them and fail miserably. It's not helpful. It's like measuring our riding skills against Rossi and Marquez, the bar is way too high.

We must get into Germany properly, I particularly fancy the Alps again and the Black Forest.
7/5/2019 8:38:55 PM UTC
Hammo said :-
Agree with you totally.
Adeventures have to be our own, not everyone has endless funds. I've been fortunate to have ridden for a long time & adventures thru the years have been related to the money available. Now I'm getting older the aches and pains are becoming the limiting factor.
My recommendation is do what you can while you can

Ride long and safe

15/5/2019 11:27:04 PM UTC

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