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Swiss long time globetrotter arriving in the U.S.

Discussion in 'Tejas and the Gulf States' 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
    GSAragazzi and phreakingeek like this.
  2. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    12,842
    Location:
    Tulsa... it's OK
    Welcome to the states and we hope you enjoy your adventures in our country.

    If you happen to pass through Oklahoma, please know that we have an active group of ADV riders of all type in Tulsa and we have met every Tuesday for a decade. We’ve had world-traveling visitors from numerous countries stop in and visit with us over cold beer and we would definitely extend the same invitation to you. Tulsa is on Route 66 and the city has a rich history with plenty of sites to see.

    You can find more information in our Tulsa Tuesday Pub Crawl thread in the regional forum where you posted his thread.

    Hope to see you and ride safe.
    #2
  3. Grestil

    Grestil Burly

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    667
    Location:
    Farmersville, Texas
    I'm watching!
    #3
  4. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,635
    Location:
    northern Arkansas
    Tent space can be your friend. We had two riders from the Netherlands stay with us a couple of years ago (partly at the same time. They didn't know each other in Holland but ran into each other (figuratively speaking) in this country).
    #4
  5. Thiery

    Thiery Thierry

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    102
    Thank you very much for your kind replies and offers! Very much appreciated! I'll keep in touch and inform you in time when I'll approach your region. Coming wednesday I'll set my foot on american spoil (coming from Vancouver Island) and I am very excited to explore the U.S. - finally!

    Thanks again, take care and always safe riding!
    Cheers
    Thierry
    #5
  6. Just Cliff

    Just Cliff Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2018
    Oddometer:
    200
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Looks like a trip most of us only dream about, congratulations for getting it done.

    I just made my 1st trip to Europe & it was amazing. It want be my last either, I loved it over there. If you make it to Arkansas feel free to look me up, I'm own tent space. Place to stay, service bike if needed & beer to drink. If you don't make it to Florida I have plenty of inside locked storage space also.
    #6
  7. phreakingeek

    phreakingeek Big Ear Inc - Virginia Provider Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,049
    Location:
    VA
    Thierry,

    If you decide to come and ride through northern Virginia, I have a room for you.

    I also have some fun routes to ride that are not too far away and will be happy to share them or take you on a guided ride through the mountain roads.

    take care and enjoy the ride!
    jeff
    #7
  8. Thiery

    Thiery Thierry

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    102
    @ Just Cliff: Thanks a lot for your reply. Yes I know and I am aware that I am fortunate to be able to live my dream. I organized my life for this and I am so happy that everything worked out! I'm glad that you liked it in the good old world. It offers indeed very nice places and tons of history if you are interested in. Thank for your offer. I don't know yet where my upcoming route will bring me but if I cross Arkansas I will get in touch with you for sure. Take care and have fun!

    @ Jeff: Same here - thank you very much for your reply and offer. It would be great to meet. I will lel you know If and when I'll approach northern Virginia. I don't know exactly where I will continue. As for now I am exploring Washington State and part of Oregon. First week of September I want to be in the Yellowstone Park and there I will make future plans. I am quite spontanious and don't like to "overplan" the trip. I also listen to the locals which brings me somethimes to complete different routes (which are normaly much better :-) ) Ok, I'll keep in touch. Take care and safe riding...
    #8
  9. 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
    #9
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  10. Boulder Ed

    Boulder Ed Bin Ridin

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,241
    Location:
    Little farm in Thorndale ,Tx
    I've ridden Glacier and Bear tooth many times over the years and was lucky enough to have a spring/summer home in Missoula for a few years, which facilitated many rides through the park and into Alberta and BC to Waterton, Banff /Jasper etc. Your pics reminded me of the Chief Joseph scenic byway another favorite warm and sunny day ride in WY. If you come though TX, look us up on the farm in Thorndale, outside of Austin.
    #10
  11. Thiery

    Thiery Thierry

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    102
    @ Boulder Ed: Thank you very much for your reply. Yes, all these roads and parks were (and still are :-)) just fantastic. I really enjoyed very much. I stayed in Missoula with a rider who hosted me. Great area! Thank you very much for your invitation. I'm not sure yet which way I will take but there is a high chance that I might pass through there. I want for sure see New Orleans and when I check the map I realize that Austin is almost on my way to the west and to New Mexico (where I want to go). So there is a good chance that I will contact and visit you. Thanks again, I really appreciate your offer! I'll get back to you as soon as I see more clear about the timing and route, ok? Take care and happy ridin'... :-)
    #11
  12. Sportsbud

    Sportsbud Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Oddometer:
    367
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Let me know when you roll through New Orleans it is carnival season so up until Mardis Gras (25 Feb) there are parades every weekend sadly the actual riding sucks but the food is oh so good... (Know a place that brings in Kegs of German Beer if interested)
    #12
  13. 11motos

    11motos Feral Rider

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1,850
    Location:
    On the Road
    Wonderful pics. Those places are in my todo list too.
    Keep them coming brother.
    #13
  14. Thiery

    Thiery Thierry

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    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
    #14
  15. Sportsbud

    Sportsbud Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Oddometer:
    367
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Sorry to hear about that! The EPA has been on a power Trip lately. They have been going after "Tuners" conducted sting operations and have been looking to look important lately and going crazy over small things. They have been punishing the little man lately...
    #15
  16. Thiery

    Thiery Thierry

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    102
    It looks like that - I experience the arrogant behaviour on first hand... :puke2
    #16
  17. ReadyorNot

    ReadyorNot professional olde phart Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    938
    Location:
    northeast tejas plus cloudcroft NM!
    sad to learn of your problems with petty government regulations - hope there is a quick resolution.
    when the stars align, and you get back to the new world, and head toward new mexico....let me know.
    wife & i have a house in the sacramento mountains, about 90 miles north of el paso texas.
    we would be pleased to have you stop over, and can offer directions to various sights in nm.
    best regards
    :ricky
    #17
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  18. Thiery

    Thiery Thierry

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    102
    Thank you very much for your kind words and your invitation to visit you. I will try to make it possible and will keep you informed. I will take the definitive decision about middle of May. If I still cannot travel by then it will not make sense to push it through this year. Fortunately it is not a problem for me to postpone to next year. I only loose an useless year of my life (like we all do) if this madness continues for a longer period. Today several european countries even closed their borders and in two countries (Austria and Italy) there is a even general curfew now. Here in Switzerland ALL shops and offices are closed from today on, only groceries, doctors. pharmacies and postoffices stay open. Well, the only thing you can do now is ride your bike in the surroundings instead of staying at home all day - good to be at the fresh air and its safe... :-)

    Take good care and stay healthy!
    Cheers
    Thierry
    #18