LEXINGTON – In the midst of of races, swap meets and stunt shows, fans took a break from the hustle and bustle of Mid-Ohio’s AMA Vintage Motorcycles Days on Saturday afternoon to listen to an adventurer tell her story.
Danell Lynn, a 34-year-old fashion designer/author/humanitarian/motorcyclist, hosted a seminar titled “1 woman, 1 bike, 1 year” at the Goodyear Tower, recounting her record-breaking, 50-state motorcycle journey in 2014-15 and encouraging others to try and embark on their own adventures.
“I think the best advice I gave in my presentation was give yourself a date and just make sure you go,” Lynn said after her seminar.
Lynn first came up with the idea for her adventure when she met two Australian riders at a hostel in Peru who were driving from Alaska to Argentina.
“So we started talking about their trip and we shared pictures like my bike back home,” Lynn said. “Then I met them again at the end of their trip in Argentina for two weeks, and just hearing them talk about that I was like, ‘I need a big adventure like that on my bike.'”
Lynn started saving and mapping out her solo trip two years in advance, which would include traveling to all 50 states and Canada, covering 53,800 miles. It was only after her planning stage that she learned her journey through the lower 48 states (48,600 miles) would shatter the Guinness World Record for longest journey by motorcycle in a single country.
During her seminar, Lynn recounted the ins and outs of her adventure, from the interesting people she met to the rough terrain and nearly-disastrous weather conditions she faced. But throughout her journey she never broke stride, successfully completing the trip under a year while raking in four Iron Butt awards (given to riders for traveling a large number of miles in a small amount of time), an AMA LongRider award and the Guinness World Record. She became the first woman to break that record.
To complete a challenge like this takes an incredible amount of drive and inspiration. Lynn’s drive is simple; to live her life to its absolute fullest.
“I think the biggest drive in my life is that we only get one go-round,” Lynn said. “I’ve been told a lot that I’ve done a lot of things in 34 years that most people haven’t done in a full lifetime.”
Her accomplishment quickly made headlines, including earning her the cover story of American Motorcyclist’s June 2016 issue. Lynn said she gets monthly emails from people who learned of her journey and were inspired to create their own. She even had one approach her after the seminar.
“There was a young lady who was (sitting) at the front, and I think she’s on the verge of making a decision,” Lynn said. “So I told her to just personally email me with any questions you have.”
And while her first adventure is behind her, it certainly won’t be her last. Lynn sets off in a couple of weeks to ride with a group from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, in an eight-month, 25,000-mile journey on electric motorcycles.
“I want to establish a career in speaking on a level that I’m not at yet, because I’ve only had one large journey under my belt,” Lynn said. “It will only grow from here.”
Lynn will host a second seminar at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the Goodyear Tower. All visitors of the Vintage Motorcycle Days are welcome to attend free of charge.