Saturday, 30 May 2009
We have arrived in New York. The flight was very straight forward - if not a little long - and i was most surprised that Lufthansa didn't even bat an eye lid when i checked in with my 35kg of luggage! Got a couple of days here in NY site seeing :-) Bikes should come out of customs on Monday pm or Tuesday am. We are both ready to ride!
Friday, 29 May 2009
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Well... a quiet week as far as this blog goes! I've spent a very enjoyable extended weekend away with my wife and youngest daughter - having some quality family time - before disappearing for a month! So... two days left in the UK and SO MUCH to do. I will be burning the midnight oil for the next few nights to get everything ready.
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
The final leg of our journey is to continue north from San Francisco, along Highway 1, following the Pacific coast line all the way to the Canadian boarder and our exit point Vancouver (1,666km). Although - if we are getting short on time we can always hop on the Interstate and 'ride hard'.
Monday, 18 May 2009
Traveling along historic Route 66 is only part of our 'Trans America' trip. Whilst we have a defined route for 66, the rest of the journey until now has remained fairly loose. So... with only a 12 days left before we go, we thought it would be a good time to plan some of the loose parts!
We have found an interesting route from Niagra to Sheboygan (1481km). First traveling north into Canada, following the shore line of Lake Hutton / Georgian Bay, turning West and riding along the North shore of the North Channel, dropping back into the USA and heading South along the West shore of Lake Michigan and finally into Sheboygan. Most of the roads should be quiet as we've tried to to avoid the Interstates and Freeways.
We had a quick look on Google earth and it looks like there will be plenty of photographic opportunities on this route.
Friday, 15 May 2009
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
A big thank you to Jenny (the Chief MAD Hatter) at Mad Maps Inc for emailing me a turn-by-turn guide for Historic Route 66 for my Garmin :-) As some of you may know - the original Route 66 is not indicated on maps nowadays and many parts of it are in disrepair. So a good guide is essential if you are to accurately travel 'Historic 66'.
Saturday, 9 May 2009
Trying to navigate in a foreign country can be hard enough at the best of times, but on a bike it's not like you can just ask the passenger "which way next" nor keep a street atlas open on your lap! So... I have invested in a bike GPS - a Garmin Zumo 550. Fully waterproof and with all the main finger controls on the left - perfect for mounting above the main instrument cluster. Powered from the bike and plugged into the bike's coms system - I'll even hear the turn by turn directions in my helmet. And just to top it all - my iPhone even bluetooths with it, so I can make phone calls whilst riding. NOTE TO OFFICE: That does not mean you can call me everyday :-)
Thursday, 7 May 2009
Touring for 4 weeks with only a couple of panniers and a roll bag to store everything does create some logistical issues. We will have to be minimalist packers, only taking the essential items. Not only that, we aren't allowed to ship any personal possessions with the bike - like tents, bike gear, clothes etc (some silly customs rules). Everything we want to take has to fly out with us and we don't wanna be paying and 'excess baggage charges'. So... size and weight is VERY important. Queue the sleeping bag... and yes it does roll out to be full! Small is most definitely beautiful.
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
What a day! The weather was VERY changeable (rain / sun / mist / wind) so we managed to try out a variety of equipment. The BMW jackets are nice and snug and DON'T let the rain in. The heated handle bar grips are perfect for those chilly moments and the extra driving lamps let people know you are coming when the mist and fog decends over the Brecon Beacons. We had to cut the route short so we didn't make it to the Elan Valley, but the ride back was a blast. A quick mileage check shows 610 miles completed - bike run in and ready for it's first service - mission accomplished :-)
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Saturday, 2 May 2009
We were told by Danny at Bahnstomer to get between 600 and 1,000 miles on the bikes before their first services. Sadly, with work pressure both Andy and I have struggled to get any where close to that many miles done. So... here's the plan. The weather for Tuesday is looking fair to good - and that calls for a day trip out. Going to head off to Touratech in South Wales (to buy those last minute essentials), over the Brecon Beacons to Aberystwyth, turning back to home and hopefully (weather permitting) have a glorious ride back through the Elan Valley. That should stick another 500 miles on the bikes :-)
Friday, 1 May 2009
Hummmm... we've had a few problems getting our bikes shipped back from the west coast - so we are moving to plan B. Instead of shipping out of San Francisco, we are gonna keep heading north along highway 1 - all the way to Vancouver! Yes... Vancouver Canada! It adds about 1,000 miles to the trip but we found a cracking deal on air freight back from Vancouver to London, Gatwick. So... to all our friends in Vancouver (you know who you are) see you at the end of June!
So... With one month to go untill we are off, the blog is now active. Panic has just started to set in as we realize how much we have left to do. And squeezing it around work time is gonna be tough.
Don't forget to visit our charity fund raising page and make a donation for a very worthwhile cause. Thank you.