Story by Jim Witters
Danell Lynn, a Guinness World Record Holder, stood before a rapt audience at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days on Sunday, July 10, and offered one word of advice for those in the crowd who harbored thoughts of a motorcycling adventure: GO!
Lynn set the Guinness World Record for Longest Journey by Motorcycle in Single Country (48,600 miles), and she is the first woman to hold that title. She surpassed the previous record of 23,761 miles, set by Manigandan Manjunathan of India.
Addressing a group of about 40 gathered in a room at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, Lynn explained how her year-long trip came about and answered a few questions.
When she planned and started her journey, Lynn had no support team and no corporate backing.
Instead, she bought a bike that she loved, a 2006 Triumph Thunderbird she found on Craigslist for $4,900. She built up her savings. And, perhaps most important, she set a date to leave on her trip.
When the launch date arrived, Lynn said, she didn’t have quite as much money saved as she hoped.
“But I went anyway,” she told the audience. “I knew that, if I didn’t leave then, I might never go. Don’t wait for that perfect bike or the perfect kit or enough money.”
For Lynn the decision coalesced to: Would I regret it if I went? Would I regret it if I didn’t go?
“If this was my last day of life, I could go fulfilled, not because I did this ride,” Lynn said, “but because I have lived my life this way for a long time.”
Other seminars during the 2016 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days included:
- Tony Prust of Analog Motorcycles in Gurnee, Ill., a custom bike builder who combines skills from past careers and interests, such as audio engineering and carpentry, to create motorcycles and components that are complex in thought and design, yet simple in execution.
- Long-distance rider Paul Pelland, who gave two presentations: "Tips, tricks and hilarious repair tales from a rider now documenting a million miles for Multiple Sclerosis," and "What do an Iron Butt veteran’s saddlebags and Granny’s purse have in common?”
- Kraig Schultz, who talked about the Vetter Fuel-Economy Challenge.
- Hoagy Carmichael, who discussed long distance riding for children's charities.
- T.J. Tennent, who discussed the right tires for different bikes, how to repair a motorcycle tire, how many miles you can get out of a tire and more during "Motorcycle Tires 101."
- Elizabeth Allen, AMA racer and adventure riding school instructor, who spoke about essential accessories and gear for adventure travel.
- Dallas-based motorsport analyst, rider and strategic communications leader Griff Allen, whose address, “The Introvert and the motorcycle,” attempted to identify which people are fascinated by motorcycles for the excitement, action and applause they create or for the tranquility, curiosity and reflection they inspire.