Take The Wrong Way Home, Marocco 2015, South America 2014, RTW 2011

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Harti, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Harti

    Harti Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Berlin
    Hi everyone

    As I have completed my trip around the globe I would like to share some of my impressions, encounters and adventures of this journey.

    I lived and worked for 13 years in Washington, DC, and rather flying home to Berlin, Germany, I decided to take my bike and ride it all the way back through the United States and Canada, than from Korea to Vladivostok, through Siberia and Mongolia, over the Silk Road and South East Europe.

    When I started in May of this year my BMW F 800 GS became my best friend for the next 5 months and 36,500 km's.

    Here are some pics of the trip and there is more, where that came from...

    So have fun for now and until next time,

    Harti

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    #1
  2. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    580
    Location:
    Chicago physically, Colombia en mi mente.
    Now THIS is a trip! Please post more pictures when you get the chance. :clap
    #2
  3. TurkeyChicken

    TurkeyChicken Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    186
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Wow, that's awesome. I'm in for more pics and a nice ride report!
    #3
  4. Harti

    Harti Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Berlin
    I Think I'm Ready

    Until now I've been pretending that my trip around the northern part of the globe from Washington to Berlin lies in the vague future. But since I have an appointment on Monday with my personal box carpenter, who is going to wrap some wood highly professionally around my BMW, one thing is clear: the trip is about to start.

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    This has to go into the crate

    My prep time has reached 3 years now. It all started with counting down the remaining days in my job, the purchase and the upgrade of my bike, some training trips to Poland, Italy, Croatia and South America. This is officially going to end on Monday, when my wheels will vanish in the bulky crate for America.

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    South America 2010

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    Italy 2009

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    Croatia 2010

    I have to hurry now to power spray my bike around the corner, because US officials always anticipate that one would poke in pure mud with the bike and that would mean automatically: quarantine in Baltimore.

    Harti
    #4
  5. Mike955i

    Mike955i Future Escapee

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,092
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    In! More, please.... :clap
    #5
  6. backtodirt

    backtodirt Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    134
    Location:
    Lilyfield, sydney, australia
    Here we go! Ready for this one, subscribed!:clap
    #6
  7. FireDog45

    FireDog45 Mid-life crisis sufferer

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,164
    Location:
    Central, Ohio
    Me too!
    #7
  8. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    61,031
    Looking forward to your adventure report :thumb
    #8
  9. fatman21

    fatman21 n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Wrong side of the pond - England
    Subscribed :clap
    #9
  10. Harti

    Harti Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Berlin
    What does a bike have to look like these days...?

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    In Tunesia 2002

    Well, back in the days we bought a cheap Yamaha XT or a Honda Africa Twin and off we went. Today you can easily spent another 10 grand on accessories and technical upgrade. Here is a list of goodies I have pampered my BMW with:

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    road book, GPS, trip master and bord computer


    heated grips (BMW)
    engine guard plate (BMW)
    crash bars (Wunderlich)
    center stand (BMW)
    xenon head light (Touratech)
    fog light (Touratech)
    foot pegs (Wunderlich)
    seat (Touratech)
    factory bord computer (BMW)
    trip computer (Touratech)
    Scottoiler chain lube system
    higher handle bar (Wunderlich)
    Zega cases (Touratech)
    baggage plate (Touratech)
    tank bags (Touratech)
    knobbies TKC 80 (Continental)
    Front fork protector (Touratech)
    tool kit (Adventure Designs)
    12 V outlet (Louis)
    suspension (Oehlins)
    roadbook holder (Touratech)
    radiator protection (Wunderlich)

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    BMW generously granted me a nice rebate when I bought the bike two years ago. Touratech also chipped in and Continental sponsored the many tires completely. BMW also supported me with the driving gear from helmet to boots and everything in between. Thanks to all of my supporters.

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    Btw, in South America last year my BMW didn't loose even one screw...
    #10
  11. Dansrc51

    Dansrc51 I need a cape....

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
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    2,031
    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    In!

    Oh, and how do you see where you are going with all those farkles? :lol3
    #11
  12. Preacher

    Preacher Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Vancouver Island B.C
    Wow...this looks like another good one, I'm in:lurk

    Preacher
    #12
  13. Harti

    Harti Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Berlin
    Autopilot:rofl
    #13
  14. hvilla

    hvilla Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Aztec, NM, USA
    Looking forward to this one...more please and thanks!! :clap
    #14
  15. djones745

    djones745 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
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    171
    Location:
    Frankfort, IL
    IN LIKE FLYNN :ear
    #15
  16. P@vlos.B

    P@vlos.B Stuck in an Island

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Somewhere in the Mediterranean
    In and waiting!
    #16
  17. Harti

    Harti Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Berlin
    Last preparations and the trip begins

    So my bike was under way from Berlin to Baltimore. I was extremely busy to get all the visas in time. A second passport, my brother in Germany and a professional company for visa applications, especially for ex-USSR countries, were very helpful.

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    Where exacktly is Santa Fe again?


    In the last days before my wife Martina and I started, we had to get rid of enormous amounts of stuff, that accumulated over the years in our apartment. Boxes and crates went either into the huge 40 foot container or were thrown away or sold or given away or else...

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    The spot tracker is a GPS device that tells everyone where you are (if you want) and also if you need help


    And we had to put some thoughts into our route which we intended to take.

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    A few days before we took off my bike arrived in Baltimore. The guys in Berlin did a great job. I assume they were 5 people with power nailer and power screwdriver. I was alone, it was 90 degrees and I only had one lousy screwdriver to unpack my bike. After one hour and a few blisters in the palms of my hands the lady from the shipping company finally gave me a crow bar and then nothing could stop me any more...

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    On May 3rd, we closed the door of what was our home for 13 years for the last time, left the keys on the kitchen counter and wiped away a few tears that ran down our cheeks. A last visit at my former office to honor the nice plate I got as a fare-well present and the voyage of our lifetime began.

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    For this trip I had to quit my job for good...


    On our way out we took some pictures of the nations capital with us in 'em and Martina checked the gravity of her bike for the first time.

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    First stop after Washington was the border to Virginia not even 10 miles later. And before we knew it we found ourselves on the Skyline Drive riding south west towards the Smokey Mountains and Tennessee.

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    Until next time,

    Harti
    #17
  18. Harti

    Harti Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Berlin
    Blue Ridge Parkway

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    I knew it always: mankind wants to go back to nature. Or explain to me why there are soo many trailer parks in Virginia with bar-b-q grills on the porches? The camping idea lives...

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    On our way to Jellico, TN, where the TransAmericaTrail starts, we passed the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Although the vegetation is 4 weeks behind due to the altitude and the temperatures are still way below 50 degrees, the views are stunning and overwhelming.

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    Former hippie town Asheville, NC, welcomed us warmly with coffee and quite some people wanted to know where we were from, because my tag didn't fit in anything they had seen before.

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    My idea of retirement is to camp out, devour a huge steak, relax on a captain's chair by the fire and enjoy a Corona.

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    We changed today our tires from regular street tires to tires for rough terrain. And the TAT promised some mud and dirt.

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    Harti
    #18
  19. Harti

    Harti Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    161
    Location:
    Berlin
    Tennessee, Elvis and the Mighty Mississippi

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    Today came the moment of truth. A first excursion off road should reveal wheather we are made of sugar or not. After about an hour on the Trans-America-Trail we discussed over ice cream and apple pie how to deal with it. We wanted to increase the off road stretches every day to get accustomed to the rougher terrain.

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    now that's what I call balance...

    What iPad, Starbucks or Banana Republic for young people in Washington, Chicago or San Francisco is for this part of the country the quad. This high speed and yet made-for-mud-and-dirt-roads vehicle replaces first bicycles and mopeds, later even horses. It also keeps young kids busy and strengthens their sense for community activities while roaming the local forests. Only once in a while one lonely bike rider gets scared when these quad hordes cut left curves coming towards you...

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    We found another KOA, our preferred campground. We always know, what we get, because the standard is always the same. An hour ago we witnessed even a show fly fishing contest. Nice to see, that the carps got thrown back into the pond after suffering for a minute or so. Just another way of air boarding...

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    Those of you, who know, how I like classic cars of all kind will understand, that I can hardly control my desire to stop for every car wreck along the road to take a picture... Jesus, a lot of value is going to rot there. But I can't take them all with me, can I...?

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    This neck of the woods seems to have a great density of population. Or a lot of people with a guilty conscience. Anyway... it feels like there are 1 million churches around here, but definitely 10 believers for each house of God. That's probably why the streets were empty on Mother's Day like it was the Superbowl afternoon...

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    In Nashville, TN, our bikes were responsible for quite a crowd coming together. Next to all the Harleys our BMW's looked like from another planet and when people asked us where we came from and where we were going to and I told them about my trip around the world, we sometimes saw them think, how in Gods name one can go from their beloved America to any other continent...

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    Many times we saw memorials to honor those, who made their ultimate sacrifice for this country. Something you would not find in Germany very often...

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    Today we passed a crime scene with a dozen patrol cars. Judging by the sheer number a mass murder took place.

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    Riding off road works better every day. While enjoying the nice flora, I couldn't get rid of a nagging thought about how to cross the mighty Mississippi. Interstates were closed, minor roads also. The flood occupied the people here since a week and my former TV colleagues found it also worth to report about the high waters. So maybe I will meet up with them tomorrow...

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    Now we want to say hello to Elvis. He started a revolution and ended up a king... Since we have seen the grave of the King of Rock 'n Roll I believe, he is really dead. Who else would be buried in that lovely garden at Graceland?

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    Harti
    #19
  20. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,887
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Nice, looking forward to the rest of the story. And Harti if you ever get back to DC would be great to hear your stories firsthand over a beer or two, my treat :D
    #20