Swiss long time globetrotter arriving in the U.S.

Discussion in 'The Sandbox - AKA Flatistan' started by Thiery, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. Thiery

    Thiery Thierry

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    102
    Good day fellow american bikers

    My name is Thierry, I’m 59 years old and from Basel, Switzerland. Since January 2008 I am living my dream and ride my motorbike around the world. My epic journey started in Mexico-City and will also end in Mexico-City. The 1st leg was Latin America, the 2nd leg brought me from Europe all the way to Far East following the south route, on the 3rd leg I explored Ozeania and then drove back from Far East back to Europe, this time following on the north route. The 4th leg was the crossing of Africa and now I am on my 5th and last leg riding across North America back to Mexico-City.

    For the first two legs I used a BMW F650 Dakar, the third leg I did on a BMW F800GS. For Africa I rebuilt and modified a Suzuki DR650 because I wanted to have simple and lighter bike for that continent (which proved to be a very good decision!). And now for North America I use again the BMW F800GS…

    If you are interested to see some pics/footage from the previous legs you are welcome to visit my website or check out my Facebook timeline.

    Website: www.worldbiker.ch
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/thierry.wilhelm


    So for the last leg I shipped the bike to Anchorage, Alaska, early June this year and I am now on my way south back to Mexico-City. Currently I am in Vancouver. I think to cross the border to the US in about 1 week from now. My goal is to arrive in Mexico-City approx. by end of next year – end of 2020. So this and next year I want to do the 3-corner loop (skipping the northeast) around the Unites States - including a winter break when I will store the bike somewhere (probably in Florida, depending how far I will get until end of October / beginning of November and I find somebody who is willing to store my bike at his place).

    Why I am writing all this? Well, I would love and was hoping to meet some of you fellow bikers somewhere in the US. I will stay quite a while and cover a decent distance in the US, hence it might be possible that I will pass near your home town. Wouldn’t it be nice to meet, have a few:beer together and exchange stories? That’s all part of the adventure and travels, isn’t it?

    It’s a long time dream of me to visit and travel the US on my motorbike. I’ve read and heard too many great stories of bikers who travelled the US – now it’s my turn and I can’t wait to see all these fantastic places with my own eyes…

    So hopefully I’m going to meet the one or another of you. I wish you all the best, good luck and always safe riding!

    Cheers from Vancouver :wave

    Thierry

    PS: You can follow my trip here: http://worldbiker.ch/index.php/i-m-here-right-now



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    #1
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  2. Buzztail

    Buzztail Buzztopian OG Supporter

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    Pm sent. I would be happy to host your bike for a winter slumber.
    #2
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  3. Mugwest

    Mugwest .

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    I'd ride over to the inner ring of Buzztopia to meet Thierry and supervise the proper storage of his F8GS. Proper storage entails running a few tankfuls of gas through the bike in ANF. Rules are rules in America! :nod

    I think Buzz could find a few square feet for another bike in the Garaj Mahal :clap
    #3
  4. Vico1

    Vico1 The Maestro Supporter

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    Thierry,
    god morgon!

    I live in Johnson City Tennessee and would like to extend you an offer to stay with me and visit discuss your wonderful trip.

    I can also fill you in on BuzzTopia and those guys in Florida. I know them all well.

    Just Let me know when.

    The Maestro.
    #4
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  5. RiderForge

    RiderForge 2014 CRF250L

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    Oct 30, 2017
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    Location:
    Miramar, FL
    I have a storage unit outside of Miami. There's enough room in there to fit another bike.
    #5
  6. jvazquez

    jvazquez Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    57
    Location:
    Was Clearwater, FL, now Hermitage, TN
    Thierry,
    I'm no longer in Florida, but if you're headed through Mid-Tennessee (I now live in Hermitage (Nashville suburb)) I would be happy to join you for part of your ride and/or a couple of beers.
    #6
  7. Thiery

    Thiery Thierry

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    102
    Hi everybody, sorry not having checked in earlier but I was moving around in the North West corner of the U.S. the past month, hence active in the adequate forum. First I'd like to thank you all for your replies and offers. I appreciate it a lot! After touring and enjoying the mountainous area in the North West a lot, meeting nice people, beeing hosted here and there and having lots of fun, I'm now heading east. Currently I am (stuck due to heavy rain) in Brookings, SD, and heading to Milwaukee where I will be hosted by another very kind rider. I guess I will stay a few days there as my host said that there is plenty fun things to do for me :-). After that visit I will start to cut diagonal through Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky. Tennesse, North and Spouth Carolina, Georgia to Florida. I decided to cut the North East as I am not keen to travel through the big cities at the east coast (I visited N.Y. and the Niagara Falls already during an earlier trip, years ago).

    I'd like to accept the hosting offer of Vico1 and jvazquez as it lies on my intended way. Thank you very much for it! I will inform you more precisely of my approaching when I leave Milwaukee. But a wild guess suggest that I should arrive in about 2 to 3 weeks. Would that suit you? Should we communicate via pm for more details?

    I'd like also thank a lot for the offers for a bike storage during winter. As I will fly home over winter and most probably fly from Miami it would make sense if I could store the bike nearby Miami...

    @Buzztail: Where is your location?

    Last question: What or where is Buzztopia??? :-)

    Have a great day and safe rides!
    Thierry

    DSC_0398a (Copy).jpg
    #7
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  8. Vico1

    Vico1 The Maestro Supporter

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    PM sent on staying in East TN.
    Buzz is in Tallahassee Fl and Buzztopia is of course a state of mind. No better place for a weary rider to be than Buzztopia.
    You wont find a better host than Buzz...
    #8
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  9. Buzztail

    Buzztail Buzztopian OG Supporter

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    Vic pretty much nailed it. I’m about 30min South of Tallahassee I sent a PM with a more postal format to locating me:rofl
    #9
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  10. jvazquez

    jvazquez Adventurer

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    Was Clearwater, FL, now Hermitage, TN
    Thiery,
    I sent you a PM (I think) with my contact info.
    #10
  11. Thiery

    Thiery Thierry

    Joined:
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    I'd like to inform you all that I will attend the Overlandexpo in Arrington, Virginia, which takes place October 11-13. I just sent my application for overland travellers to the management. I seems to be huge show with lots of presentations and special events. Check out the website www.overlandexpo.com and see for yourself. Should the one or another also go then it would be a chance to meet each other...
    #11
  12. Thiery

    Thiery Thierry

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    102
    Hello everybody,

    I just want to tell you that I safely made it to Miami. What a great trip it was! Are you guys actually aware in what a beautiful and diversified country you are living? I don’t even start to list all the highlights I have seen along the way, that list would become too long :-). I recommend you to visit my website and/or Facebook to see my pictures and then you’ll know what I mean…

    I was really lucky during the trip that I didn’t experience any breakdown or crash, not even a single flat tire! And thanks to various friendly hosts (you know who you are!) I got to see even more awesome, hidden roads, which are only known to locals, breathtaking landscapes and american hospitality…

    My bike is now holding its winter sleep in the garage of a friend of mine in Pompano Beach (next to Fort Lauderdale) and I have already arrived safely back home in Basel/Switzerland. It’s fantastic to be on the road, but every time I come back home I also realize how important family, friends and home is. So I now enjoy a 4 months break at home and will resume the trip by end of February. I’m very much looking forward to ride across the southern states of the U.S. next year and see again a different face of the U.S. (and also some of you fellow riders :-)). That’s gonna be very exciting and interesting again… :-)

    And this upcoming trip will be the very last stretch of my rtw-trip, too! I guess it will be a strange feeling when I’ll start to realize that I’m on my last miles after 12 years and more than 300’000 km (186’000 miles)…

    I wish you a merry x-mas and a very happy new year with lots and lots of ridden happy miles, but most of all I wish you a good health – the base of everything…

    Warm regards and good luck
    Thierry

    055 otr - Missoula to Cut Bank  042 (Copy).jpg
    068 otr - Cut Bank to Helena  061 (Copy).jpg
    122 otr - Yellowstone to Cody  082 (Copy).jpg
    123otr - Yellowstone to Cody  092 (Copy).jpg
    153 otr - Gillette to Keystone  017 (Copy).jpg
    270 Daytrip - Cheholala + Tail of the Dragon  056 (Copy).jpg
    #12
  13. Thiery

    Thiery Thierry

    Joined:
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    102
    Dear friends,

    to my bitter disappointment I have to suspend the continuation of my rtw-trip. The killer fact is that today the US closed the borders due to the Corona-Virus for European citizens. At least for the next 30 days, hence I cannot fly back to Miami as planned…

    But the most annoying fact is that I should have flown back the 28th of February but couldn’t catch the flight because I didn’t receive the exemption (a kind of temporary import permit) for my motorbike in time (I still didn’t get it!). And in the meanwhile the borders are closed!

    The problem is that this exemption is valid for 1 year and is not extendable. My exemption which I received last year, is expiring in May and I needed to extend it as my trip is not over yet. As you may recall, I interrupted my trip when I had arrived in Miami last October. I wanted to make a break at home for winter time, celebrate Christmas together with my family and return be end of February. In December I wrote to the EPA (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and asked them for an extension of the exemption. Unfortunately I told them that I had stored my bike in a friend’s garage and went home for Christmas. They didn’t like that! Apparently I was not allowed to leave the US without my bike (which was written somewhere in the fine prints of the regulations and which I wasn’t aware). Within minutes I got the mail from them, saying that my exemption is void immediately and that I had to transport my bike back to the home country without delay! And that I had to send them prove that the bike is not in the US anymore (customs papers and the AWB). Only then they would be capable to close the dossier and only then I could apply for a new exemption. What the f***??? So I had to organize to pick up the bike at my friend’s place, put it in a crate (which had first be done by a carpenter) and send it back to Switzerland. It took them until 26th of February, the day when the bike arrived in Zurich, Switzerland, where it sits until now in a warehouse. Remember, I gave the order to fetch and ship the bike by middle of December! Unbelievable how slow they worked! Remember, my flight back was scheduled for the 28th of February. So no chance to catch that flight!

    Anyway, I mailed all the required documents along with an application for a new exemption Friday, the 28th of February, to the EPA. Until today I heard nothing! Not even a confirmation mail that said that they had received my mail and the documents! Simply nothing! And now the borders were closed in the meanwhile! I can’t believe it! Plus this whole exercise cost me us$ 8’700 plus the postponed flight, which would be around 780 us$ more expensive. So I have to pay around 9’500 us$ only to get this new exemption! Isn’t that crazy? And we haven’t talked about the ecological footprint, which is an absolute nonsense!

    So now I’m sitting at home and wait a) for the new exemption letter and b) for the borders to re-open. But if it takes too long I will be forced to cancel the trip for this year and postpone it to next year, because I would not have enough time to cross the US to California and further to Mexico-City. Well, at least at my slow pace. I don’t want to rush through the country, no, I want to enjoy the trip, visit as much as possible, meet people and stay as long as I want at particular places.

    This is a complete disaster. I hope within the next month life is getting slowly back to normal, but it will probably not. I fear for the worst and this year there will be no more travelling. I will keep you updated as soon as I know more. It’s unbelievable, on my last stretch, on the last few thousand kilometers, so shortly before the finish line, I experience the biggest problems. Who would have thought that…?

    In the meanwhile stay safe and don’t get infected…
    Cheers
    Thierry
    #13
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  14. Vico1

    Vico1 The Maestro Supporter

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    Thanks for the update and sorry for the issues.
    Similar to other international travel stories.

    I alway thought the issue would be some third world border bandits but most complain about US customs.

    good luck and keep us posted.

    sakra resor
    #14
  15. bigblueboy

    bigblueboy Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Please continue on that wonderful journey (sometime)! We adventurers love your story and are so envious that you were living our dreams to take on such a life changing trip.
    Be safe
    Rich.
    #15
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  16. Thiery

    Thiery Thierry

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    I can confirm your words: I had less problems in the 3rd world. Africa border crossings worked all like a charme...:-)
    #16
  17. Thiery

    Thiery Thierry

    Joined:
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    Thank you very much, Rich! I will surely not give up so shortly before the finnish line of that trip. That's for sure! If it would become necessary I will just postpone the trip to next year. I assure you that I want to see Mexico-City again, after I started the trip 12 years ago there... Question of honor! :-)
    #17
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