Transporting Motorbike to Anchorage in Alaska

Transporting Motorbike to Anchorage in Alaska

Sending the Motorbike to Alaska by Air Freight.

At last the moment has come!

23rd May 2011 –  The first leg of the journey begins as we take the BMW GS Adventure to James Cargo in Slough.

This weekend has all been about triple checking all the gear:

  • Camping gear, spares, clothing, gadgets, bike check, loading and unloading the bike, intercom testing…
  • Plus – Is  there still space in the panniers so we can insert our day to day clothing onto the bike as we will be taking this with us on the flight?

Leaving the motorbike with James Cargo Air Freight. Heathrow to Anchorage

Today’s experience has been quite a straight forward one really.

James Cargo specialise in motorcycle transportation and we met Giles, Steve and Roddy on our arrival at their depot in Slough. Giles was the details man and sorted out all the admin stuff and payment. Steve was responsible for warehousing and packaging – then Roddy was just super informative and had lots of handy travel tips.

All in all a good couple of days. Here is a short video we filmed yesterday which shows you round the bike.

Camping with Chefs – A sign of things to come?

Camping with Chefs

Eating like Kings and Queens – Motorcycle Indulgence.

Last week we were very very lucky because Ivanka and I went camping with friends and we were treated to one of the best BBQ’s possibly ever…! It was a busy bank holiday weekend in East Sussex, close to Bodian near to Camber Sands. It was a sun kissed weekend and just what we needed… A break from work and a chance to try out all of our kit!

Equipped with our new Trangia stove, a fully loaded GS Adventure and everything we would be taking on the Alaska trip, we sat as spectators as our ‘chef friends’ entertained us with some culinary delights as we picked up camp fire cooking ‘top tips’ from one of the leading restaurants on the South Coast.

A big thank you to Rob and Vic Shenton from Due South and Chris Williams from Brighton City College and Brighton’s Pop Up Restaurant. Here is what was on the menu – very different to the usual sausages!

Day 1

Black Sea Breem, Lobster cocktail, garlic bread

Day 2

Shoulder of lamb and baked Camembert.

Now we feel totally prepared for camping on an open fire, improvising with the ingredients we have available and making more of all the different types of ingredients we will come across along the way.

This weekend was also a landmark one for Nick as he picked his motorbike up off the ground for the first time.

In the past there was always the can I/ can’t i lift my bike up off the ground as it is 250kg without luggage? Anyway, having listened to a few opinions and watched a few You Tube videos I managed to lift it up unassisted – which means that should I need to on the big trip then I am fully prepared.

Much easier than I thought – Phew!

Watch this space as we look to talk about all the food we will be eating along the way and posting them on this Brighton website – RestaurantsBrighton.co.uk

Taking some time out by the sea

Taking some time out by the sea

On 19th March Ivanka and I will be getting married and I cannot wait.

Here are some really great photos from a day we spent together planning our special day. It was a beautiful sunny day that we took off together where we put together those final touches to the wedding day and we had a lot of fun doing it…

First it was the registry office to fill in all the paper work and answer a few questions. Next, we met Trevor Love from the Brighton registry office and we had a look at the venue from which we will make our vows to eachother.

Next we visited the gorgeous Due South on Brighton seafront where we will be having our wedding breakfast. Here we spoke with Michael Bremner the head chef and we put together a menu for our wedding lunch with all the trimmings. A big thank you to Rob and Adam from the venue for looking after us and for making this day a very special one! Rib Eye Steak, Champagne, and chocolate deserts are all on the menu!

The photos you see are courtesy of Paul Fletcher from Paul Fletcher Photography. Paul is a great Brighton event and wedding photographer and he has supported me with a number of different work related photo shoots to date. The photos look great and will make our site look fantastic! Thanks again Paul.

After the photo shoot we were off to Bar 106 where we met Katja from their events team as we planned our party night at the Hilton Brighton Metropole. We have a Brighton Breeze cocktail for our guests on arrival followed by a bit of partying, fish and chips to soak up a bit of alcohol, then dancing late into the night.

As I sit here and write this it is two weeks today until the wedding.. then about 2 months 25 days until we depart for the Top to the Bottom of the World.

Life is really good. :)

Motorcycle Accessories – Why we like Touratech

Motorcycle Accessories

The Wish List Continues to Grow – 3 months and 28 days to go

While we are away we need to have thought about everything. Anything could go wrong and we need to be thinking about everything we need to offer that added functionality and perhaps comfort – Planning is so important. Only this week my throttle cable needed replacing as it was frayed so I found my self with my throttle stuck at about 5,000 rpm for a couple of days until I could get it sorted..Fantastic that this has happened before the big trip, otherwise it would have been a different story! So it just shows you that you cannot prepare for everything and you do need an element of look to see you through certain situations.

Anyway back on track with this post. This week I have spent a bit of time on the phone with the team from Touratech and discussing what I need to take and I am now waiting for a great parcel of goodies to arrive! In the past I have bought a windshield extension, stand/ engine cover, oil sump plug, steering restrictors, waterproof bags, tank protector, toureg stickers and I’m sure a few more bits and bobs.  In the new Touratech parcel I have a pair of Zega panniers and mounting brackets; a very wise investment considering that Ivanka and I will be living off the bike for a year. This means the BMW black plastic touring panniers that I got with the bike are now redundant.

The Love of Big Boys  Toys

Touratech is based around ‘New Ideas For Motorbikes’ and it definitely inspires you to abandon the daily grind and just ride off into the distance. I am a big fan of Touratech because they seem to have thought of everything for the adventure motorcyclist and they are so knowledgeable about it. On the numerous occasions I have seen them at the UK bike shows and meets they have always had great looking stands, informative and friendly staff and their interest in all the top endurance events just shows you that their kit is tried and tested. You know you aren’t dealing with a tinpot outfit with shoddy substandard gear!

The next decisions I have to make are – Do I need the following?:

  • BMW Cruz Tool kit and GS multitool – Have tool kit already but how good is it?
  • Ceramic Clutch
  • Waterproof inner bags for panniers – essential, don’t want any wet kit. Or is there an alternative. Ortleib kit is great.
  • GPS – I have Ivanka so I dont know if I need this?
  • Fuel siphoning adapter line. Have Trangia set already. Still need multi fuel burner too.
  • Zega Table – not essential
  • Rukka jacket – Or will my leather Dianese do the job?
  • Goggles, Alpine Star Boots, Gore Tex socks
  • Straps/ more tie downs
  • Money belt. Need to keep money hidden and safe.
  • Document bag – For duplicate liscences, paper work etc
  • Compression bags, travel pillow, sewing kit, mosquito net
  • Mess kit, coffee press, pocket knife, water purification, torches, quick metal repair, puncture repair kit

I have now been through the whole of the Touratech 2010 catalogue.. Just too much to chose from. Feeling more prepared already.

First Video – Starting a Motorbike trip

First Video

‘Adventure Motorcycling’ – What to take.

‘Adventure Motorcycling’ – What to take.

This is an ‘Adventure Touring’ Motorcycle Wish List featuring all the essentials and desirables that we need for the ‘Big Trip’.

This basically means that, with four months to go we need to start ticking things off the list and decide which kit it is worth taking and which isn’t. On an adventure motorcycling trip like this, space is everything and we have been told so many times that ‘less is more’. Here are the items which still need reviewing. The list incorporates everything from technology to cooking equipment and first aid kits and guide books. I researched most of the items through the Horizons Unlimited website.

  • Larger touring paniers – either Touratech of Metal Mule hard luggage. Possible other soft luggage options.
  • Carnets, IDP (International Diving Permit), Freight Fowarding assistance – Perhaps James Cargo.
  • Health Insurance and Motorcycle Insurance.
  • Medical kit.
  • Route planning guide books – Central, South, North America. Plus Spanish phrase book.
  • Camping Equipment. Already have great Taranaja kit. Need better fuel burner which burns petrol.
  • Need to review what type of food we will use and carry.
  • UHF radio?
  • Vaccinations
  • Spares so I can carry out my own servicing: oil/ fuel and air filters. Spare cables. Wire and duct tape.
  • Extras like bulbs, fuses, puncture repair, jubilee clips, bungees
  • A full motorcycle service
  • A wider foot for my side stand
  • More durable riding attire: boots, jacket, all season gloves
  • Waterproof bags

Top to the Bottom of the World on a Motorbike

Top to the Bottom of the World on a Motorbike

‘A dream that millions dream of and  never make. The story of  a couple in their mid 30’s who leave it all behind and set off from a journey from the top to the bottom of the world.  ‘

It doesn’t get any bigger or better than this. These are a list of the countries which we will probably encounter on our route.

9 months, riding 24,000 miles from the top of the world to the bottom. It is the ultimate adventure through diverse terrain, cultures and peoples, bringing you the best balance of spectacular and challenging riding, with time to explore the countries that you are traveling through. Quite literally, it will change our lives.

This is our proposed itinerary:

ALASKA

Anchorage. Sweat Lodge Ceremony. Fairbanks. Dalton Highway to the Arctic Circle. Coldfoot Camp, Prudhoe Bay and the chance to swim in the Arctic Ocean. Return through Delta Junction, furthest point north on the Alaskan Highway.

CANADA

Alaskan Highway to Watson Lake. Stewart Cassiar Highway to Bear Glacier, Stewart and Hyder (the most southern point of Alaska). Watch the bears at Fish Creek. Prince George, Jasper National Park, Lake Louise, Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump. Enter the USA through the Glacier National Park and “Going to the Sun” Road.

USA

Flathead Lake. Yellowstone National Park. Cody, home of Buffalo Bill. Arches National Park, Canyonlands, Monument Valley, Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon (North Rim). Tucson.

MEXICO

Naco border crossing Nuevo Casa Grandes. Creel. Colonial heartland to Zacatecas, the centre of silver mining production and San Miguel de Allende. Mountain riding to Caribbean coast. Ruins of Palenque and the village of San Cristobal.

CENTRAL AMERICA

Guatemala – Lake Atitlan, Chichicastenango market, Antigua. Border town of Esquipalas. Honduras – Copan ruins. Nicaragua – Granada, San Juan del Sur. Costa Rica – Arenal volcano and hot springs. Northern Caribbean Coast. Panama – Bridge of the Americas and the Panama Canal. Visit to SOS Children’s Villages. Air freight of bikes.

COLOMBIA & ECUADOR

Ride the great Colombian roads to Medellin. See the odd Botero Sculptures. On to Ecuador and cross the Equator, the local Indian market town of Otavalo and experience your first riding in the Andes.

PERU

Chiclayo, Lord of Sipan Museum, Huanchaco, adobe ruins of Chan Chan, Paracas, Nasca Lines, Cusco (days with many optional excursions – Machu Picchu, Pisac market, Sacsayhuaman), Lake Titicaca, Arequipa & Colca Canyon to watch condors.

CHILE

Arica, the Atacama Desert, The Hand, Tropic of Capricorn, Pacific Coast villages, Pisco Elqui, Santiago, Chilean Lake District, Andes crossing to Bariloche and Esquel (Argentina). Cross back to Chile to ride the Carretera Austral. Puyuhuapi Thermas.

ARGENTINA

Ruta 40, the infamous gravel road through Patagonia. El Calafate & Perito Moreno Glacier. Cross back to Chile to Torres del Paine National Park, Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas. Argentinian Tierra del Fuego, Rio Grande, Ushuaia (the most southern city in the world), Tierra del Fuego National Park – the end of the road.

ARGENTINA

The final part of the expedition will involve riding back north along the South Atlantic coast to Buenos Aires for air freight back to the UK.