The grand beginnings

Trip Start Jun 13, 2009
Trip End Jul 18, 2009

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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Thursday, June 4, 2009

Trip exercise in self-beating? the stress of planning a vacation really warranted?  Do we really think it's worth all the work before you leave, all the planning, the inevitable pile of work when you return?

Hell yeah!

We started thinking about this trip back in 2000 when Connie got her first big bike for her 40th birthday, a BMW R1100RS.  At the time I had a BMW R1100RT.  Both of us had lived in Europe before with the Canadian Military.  I had spent 5 years there in the '80s and traveled all over Europe by motorcycle.  Connie however was only there for 1 year as an adult, and didn't have the opportunity to travel much at all, let alone by motorcycle.  This trip would change all that.

So, here we are nine years later.  What the hell happened you ask?  Two house moves, a son's marriage, a trip to Germany for a family wedding, a trip to Japan to see friends who were only going to be there for a short time, and oh  Life has a way of throwing obstacles at you that make it seem like the dream will never really happen.

Connie's worsening health issues, courtesy of 20 years of military service, now force us to make a decision...go now or forever hold our peace.  Not to mention that we still need time until retirement to pay for all this expensive frivolity.  So go we will.  Let the fun begin...

Preparations have been going on for over 6 months now.  Much time has been spent researching the best and most inexpensive way of getting our steeds over to Europe.  Options included renting motorcycles in Europe or shipping our own via air or sea.  We finally decided on shipping via air.  Renting was a more economical route if the trip was 3 weeks or less, but as we were planning a 5 week trip, shipping ended up being cheaper by almost $1000 CAN.  Not to mention the ability to ride our own bikes the way they were meant to be ridden...on the twisty roads of Europe and the high speeds of the autobahn.  The final advantage was the ability to have a different arrival departure point, which would enable us to travel across a wider area, as we wouldn't need to circle back.

The air freight of choice, surprisingly, is Air Transat.  Our motorcycles will actually be shipped on the very same aircraft that we'll be flying on.  All the details were taken care of through Gail, a representative with Motorcycle Experience.  Gail is a wonderful person who's been helpful both in taking care of the details, as well as our concerns.  We'll see how that works out next week when we drop our bikes off at the airport.

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