Nach Deutschland!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by kickstandsup, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    It's time to take the plunge and ship the F800GT to Germany, thereby setting the stage for annual extended European wandering! She needed to be at the shipper in Gardena, CA on Friday, 15 February.

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    Easy peasy, right? Ride to Riverside on Thursday, a quick 460 miles, brave the LA traffic Friday morning for a not so quick 60 additional miles, sign the papers, a Lyft to LAX and a flight home. That was the plan.

    What promised to be biblical rainfall, with an accompanying flash flood watch for Thursday suggested an alternate strategy, especially because one of my goals was to ship my riding gear along with the bike. Stuffing a wet Aerostich and helmet into a dry bag to be opened six months later seemed like a less than compelling idea. If it wasn't dry, my plan was to take the gear home with me, then schlep it to Germany in August. I could certainly live with that, but shipping would be better. All of my wife's gear could ship, staying dry in the panniers and her Aerostich in its own dry bag.

    As of Tuesday evening, there looked to be a window, maybe. Wednesday was forecasted cloudy but mostly dry, with rain starting in the evening. Thursday was to be the epic rain, with Friday again cloudy. An extra night at the Thunderbird Lodge in Riverside was sounding better and better with each passing minute. At least that gave me a chance.

    Here's what Wednesday and Thursday looked like in Riverside as of Tuesday evening:

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    Friday was back to cloudy:

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    Also cloudy Friday to Gardena:

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    That's it then; Wednesday is Departure Day! It's not like the bike isn't mostly packed already...anyone who knows me knows it has been sitting in the garage like that for a week. A quick call to the Thunderbird to extend the reservation and the countdown begins.
    #1
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  2. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    Packed and ready for the 460 mile blast to Riverside.

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    It would be cloudy and cool most of the way. The last 40 miles or so the temps dropped into the mid-40s and it had clearly just rained. The road was dry, however, and I made it to the Thunderbird Lodge just in time!

    Hunkered down under the eves awaiting the rain and, boy, would it rain.


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    Time for a quick stroll to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner. Met this little guy along the way:


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    #2
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  3. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    Downtown Riverside is going through some redevelopment; rehabbed houses, new lofts. Love the colors.

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    Ya think???

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    Not quite raining on the stroll back to the motel...but it was coming.

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  4. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    They were calling it "an atmospheric river." That seems right; and it started dropping out of the sky in sheets. This was some of the hardest sustained rain I've ever seen, basically it rained hard all day long on Thursday. All Day. Radar tells the story.

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    The GT hid under the eves and I watched reruns of Friends. Pretty sure at this point that Ross really does love Rachel, but am surprised (and grateful) they were able to get all the nipples thru the prime time censors.

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    My phone kept blowing up with these helpful messages:

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  5. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    Finally, finally, finally, it started to taper off, then ended early evening. Time to poke my head out of the room and explore Riverside a bit. There's an interesting historic part of town but a fair amount of flooding on the way.

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    #5
  6. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    Not a bad IPA

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    Brightening sky, yippie!!

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    #6
  7. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    Friday was go time, rolled out of the hotel around 9 am, some, but not terrible, traffic, dry roads, low 50s. Aside from a GPS frolic and detour, an uneventful run to the shipper in Gardena. All my riding gear was dry, so I was able to pack that away and ship it with the bike. Disconnected the battery, signed the paperwork and strapped everything down.

    Their warehouse is a sight to behold. Cars and bikes all staged for shipment, many drool worthy.

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    Ducati content...bikes back from the Mecum Auction.


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    #7
  8. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    A very tasty Honda

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    And a BMW R90S...I could have wandered around there all day.


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    Very professional operation, it all went very smoothly. A quick Lyft to LAX, and I'm back home for dinner.

    Next stop...Deutschland!
    #8
  9. black 8

    black 8 coddiwompling motographer

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    I'm in... :lurk
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  10. Oldschoolrocker

    Oldschoolrocker a.k.a. EZE Supporter

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    Yeah for sure!:beer
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  11. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    Well...the container ship is currently off the coast of Mexico, on its way to the Panama Canal, then to Bremerhaven, Germany. The bike will be stored in Heidelberg for, hopefully, the next 7-10 years. I'm flying in this summer, will pick up the bike, then "wander" around for about a month before my wife flies in. The idea is to press the repeat button each year for about 2-3 months, funds permitting.

    Here's the ship:

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    #11
  12. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    Kinda cool to track the progress:

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  13. Oldschoolrocker

    Oldschoolrocker a.k.a. EZE Supporter

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    So I take it you have been to Germany before hence wanting to ride there etc? BTW...lucky skunk!
    #13
  14. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    Lucky...no question! :photog

    I've ridden in Europe 3 times...2005 for an Edelweiss Alps tour, 2014 with my wife on our own in Scotland, and last Sept 2-up thru Tuscany on another Edelweiss tour.

    This last trip again confirmed for me that I want to spend more time in Europe, and more time riding in Europe. When we got home, I continued to research ways to keep a bike there so fly and ride vacations could be easier, less expensive than renting a bike, and longer. Also, as good as the Edelweiss tours are, I want to explore on my own...wander around a bit and get lost...see what happens. Meet more locals.

    I discovered what amounts to a "motorcycle B&B" in Heidelberg, Germany. They will arrange shipment of your US plated bike from LA, store it in their heated warehouse, have an on-site workshop for minor maintenance, and adjacent rooms to rent for arrival and departure. All for less than you might expect, about $1400 to ship and $350/year to store. Plus, you can purchase "green card" insurance in 30 day increments to ride around the EU for about $300. You can ship your motorcycle gear with the bike and store it there as well, letting us travel light. Because my state does not require motorcycle inspections, the bike never has to come back to keep it registered.

    We thought about shipping our current 2011 BMW 1200GS over, but decided that it is really bigger than we need for the little roads in Europe we want to explore. I wanted something lighter, that I could flat foot, but still would travel well. I found a very lightly used BMW F800GT in California, did a fly and ride to pick it up and rode it home. This is the exact bike we rented in Scotland and liked. It has "enough" of everything...enough power, handling, luggage...to make it a good choice for about 7-10 years of riding Europe.

    My first Alps trip

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    Scotland

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    #14
  15. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    And to your point about Germany, that's not really the destination, just the storage point. It is central, with easy flight access. The plan, such as it is, is to target different destinations each year.

    I'm truly lucky in that my wife is a terrific pillion, and love bike travel as much as I do, and she's our back seat photo documentarian. We'll do this year, and maybe next, in the Alps and northern Italy, but she really wants to go back to Scotland. Me, I could ride the Alps, Dolomites and Tuscany until I die... :lol3

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    Her skills at work

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    Yup, lucky...:clap
    #15
  16. Oldschoolrocker

    Oldschoolrocker a.k.a. EZE Supporter

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    Really awesome!! Europe is a special place for me too. Grew up in Germany and we traveled alot. Totally understand your thinking. I too have a great pillion rider and would be great to one day go back on a M/C. Well i’ll be following along!! Machts gut!! Tchuss!
    #16
  17. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    Entering the Panama Canal...woo hoo! Looks like there is a bit of traffic... :lol3

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  18. nordicbiker

    nordicbiker Been here awhile

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    When are you planning to start your riding over here? In any case: welcome to my birth country Germany! Maybe you want to start heading north right away? If you'd show up a the 2nd Horizons Unlimited Meeting 6.-8.July at my home of choice Sweden you'd for sure win the grand prize for the longest trip! ;-)
    #18
  19. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    Cleared the Canal today, next stop: Barcelona, Spain, due 29 March. Getting there!! :clap

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  20. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks so much...it's 2 of my bikes' birth country as well... :photog This year, I'm heading into the Alps and Northern Italy, exact dates TBD but likely late summer. Going north is "on this list" for a future year, for sure. :lol3
    #20
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