A regional event created by local Texas businesses to serve Texas riders and bring the motorcycle and camping communities together.
The Motorcycle Camping and Adventure Touring show was born to fulfill a need within the motorcycle riding community in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Looking to help spark more interest in local motorcycling, Audrey Menarik owner of Moto Liberty decided to create an event that combined two compatible activities: camping and adventure motorcycle riding. The result is the Motorcycle Camping and Adventure Touring Show with the inaugural event taking place over the weekend of December 15–16 in Lewisville, Texas. The show offered two days of presentations, information, fun, and inspiration to those in attendance. We reached out to Audrey for details about the inaugural show.
Tucker Powersports: Audrey, how did it go at your first-ever Motorcycle Camping and Adventure Touring show? Are you happy with the turnout and how the event was received?
Audrey Menarik: This truly was a “first ever” show. We demonstrated that the concept works because the show was very well received by the local dealers and vendors, as well as by attendees. Maybe I set the bar a little high in my expectations on attendance, but the vendors were all very happy with the traffic, especially on Saturday. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen so many smiling faces at a trade show, from vendors and attendees alike, and that’s why I consider the show a success.
TP: How does a business owner such as yourself find the time to plan an event with so many details? It had to have been difficult.
AM: I’ve never worked so hard to make so little money and still be happy about doing it! It wasn’t all me though. I did have a partner, Red Roberts, who has been doing swap meets, races and shows for over 25 years. His expertise helped a lot in the logistics of the show, as well as getting consumers there. I thought the hardest part of my job would be getting local dealers to participate, but that was not the case. Dealers were quick to jump on board to show motorcycles. It was the aftermarket vendors that were more hesitant. But that’s OK because the whole concept of the show was to drive traffic into local dealerships to buy bikes. When dealers sell new bikes, then the rest of us will sell the PG&A. I’ve been in the motorcycle business in Dallas since 1987. If I didn’t have a good reputation and personal relationships with the local dealer community, it could not have been done in less than four months, period.
TP: Adventure motorcycle riding and camping are two very complementary activities. Was the intent of the show and its presentations to expose those with camping experience to the endless possibilities when combined with motorcycle riding?
AM: The intent of the show was to give all motorcyclists, of any brand and any style of riding ideas on how to get out of the city and find their next riding adventure, whether that be on road, off road, or dual sport. Sometimes that includes camping. We used the ADV segment for inspiration but tried to broaden the horizon with a variety of presentations from experts so attendees that may not be that experienced could maybe learn something to make their trip less intimidating.
TP: A lot of people may be intimidated by the thought of motorcycle camping. In the mission statement on the show’s website, you make an excellent point when you say, “adventure touring doesn’t necessarily mean you have to ride to Alaska, it can be about strapping a tent to the back of whatever bike you already have and ride to a nearby campground or State Park.”
AM: That statement was aimed at the under 25 years of age crowd, who by the way, were admitted into the show for free. We wanted to show you don’t have to spend a lot of money to go have a good time. And unlike before, there are now brand-new models from various manufacturers that are affordable for first-time buyers. About time!
TP: Speaking of camping, on Saturday after the show closed, there was a ride to Lake Lewisville Campgrounds for free hot dogs and where some even stayed overnight. Tell us about that.
AM: In a nutshell, the perfect mix of people showed up. Some stayed for the hot dogs, but enough campers stayed overnight to be exactly what the camping event was supposed to be for. Let old friends catch up on years gone by and at the same time make new ones.
TP: Back to the actual show, what were some of the presentations throughout the day? It looked like you had some great guest speakers on hand.
AM: I did have extremely good speakers, but that was the easiest thing to arrange for the show. These guys (and gal) are experienced riders, passionate, and want to share their experiences with new riders; they just need the venue. To have the chance to engage one on one is the whole spirit behind the show. You don’t make real friends online, but you do make them on the open road.
TP: If there is one thing you hoped those that attended walked away with, what would that be?
AM: Simple. A smile and feeling of comradery. This was as much a social event as it was a show.
TP: Thank you, Audrey, for going above and beyond to help the motorcycle community by creating such a great event, we were happy to a part of it. Will you be back again next year with another Motorcycle Camping and Adventure Touring show?
AM: Back by popular demand! And by the way, Tucker stepped up to make the scholarship to the Cedar Valley Community College mechanics course happen. Thank you!
[Editor’s note: As part of the inaugural Motorcycle Camping and Adventure Touring Show, one lucky recipient received a scholarship to the Cedar Valley Community College engine technology program. The winner was announced at the show on Sunday, and 17-year-old Matt Herling was the recipient of the scholarship.]
More Info: https://www.motorcycleadvshow.com/
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