We are really going! Just booked the flight to Houston. Departure is set on 11 feb. at 10.50 local time.
Concentrating on the final items of the checklist now and getting our houses ready for the renters. So, Houston it is and after that as soon as possible towards Mexico.
Roel bought a Sanyo video camera. The good thing is, that we can make a 85 hrs documentary of our journey and upload little movies on the website. The bad thing is, that it is a Sanyo and probably will not make it to Houston….
After two days of hard work, we’ve managed to make three wooden multiplex crates with a total of 7,5m3. Three bikes and all our gear that we’ll need the upcoming year is ready for transport.
Bas and Steve headed to the garage in Alkmaar-Noord again today after a short night sleep. 07.15 we were on the road again. “We lijken wel arbeiders” we said to each other.
Because the shipment agency couldn’t tell what time the crates would be picked-up, we had to be ready in the garage at 0800. After a good “bakkie” we finished the final details and waited for the truck.
The truck arrived around 14.00 and 15 minutes later our bikes were on the road….. Hopefully we’ll meet them in a few weeks in the same condition.
The last few months we were investigating the best ways to ship our bikes to the other side of the ocean. In the beginning we wanted to start in Buenos Aires, but in the end that changed into USA. We thought that a shipment to Miami, Jacksonville or Houston would be the best. So we had to find out the best and cheapest ways to get our stuff there. Now, you would say that nowadays it would be quite easy to send your belongings all over the world and that it is just a few mouse clicks away…..using google. Well, it was not that simple. In the end we got a few offers and Houston seemed the most suitable for us. So, Houston it is. What will be transporting method, FCL of LCL. Using a full container load (entire 20ft container) or less than a container load, meaning that we have to put our stuff in crates which will go with other load into a (shared) container. We chose for the last option, because this is cheaper, but then we had to make some crates. No problemo….was what we thought.
We’ve seen the photos on other websites and our friend The Black Elephant shipped a motorbike to the Netherlands in a crate. Easy does it ….. Untill we heard about the ISPM 15 regulations. Why is everything regulated nowadays! This means that our crate had to be made according to regulations. Basicly, this means that we had to use specially treated wood. Our D-day of getting the bikes into a truck to Rotterdam was jan 15th, so we reckoned that 2 days of work would do with some homework in advance. Wednesday 13th we started early and headed to the Praxis to get all the wood needed.
We found out that they didn’t sell the treated wood we wanted. Okay…GAMMA it is. Same story…… In the end we found out that it was not possible to get this material. And after some phonecalls we also heard that the crates also needed the right documentation. With a lot money everything is possible and some company would arrange everything. But we already bought the multiplex for our crates (which can be used according to the regulations). So…if we cannot buy specially treated wood, and multiplex is okay: 100% multiplex it is…..
We had to make a new plan to build 100% multiplex crates. With only a day and a half to go. This means: rev it up! Thursday evening at 23.00 we finished our work, totally knackered.
Crating the bikes…. Is this a Dunglish translation for “inkratten van de motoren”? Sounds good though.
Well, tomorrow it will all going to happen. Us, three bikes a lot of wood and screws. The main idea is to mix these ingredients and at the end of the day we’ll have three bikes with gear in three wooden crates. Friday these crates will be picked up and will be transported to Houston. The crates will be placed in a container and will be shipped by boat to the USA.
Whish us luck and hopefully we can update with a post that everything went well. We’ll take some pictures as well.
A late post from our test ride in july. Let’s say, it’s just to make the story complete….
In july Bas and Steve went for a test ride to Northampton England. We were invited for Dave’s wedding. We know him from the Plymouth-Dakar Challenge. Roel couldn’t join us because he had other plans. For Bas and Steve it was the first time to ride a heavy loaded bike. We could test our custom welded pannier-rack with ammunition boxes . From Amsterdam we drove to Calais to take the ferry to Dover. The moment we kick-started our bikes, it started raining and it didn’t stop for two days….. So besides the cargo testing, we could also test our clothing and the waterproofness of the our waterproof bag. In the end, the only thing that was waterproof, was the content of the ammunition boxes.
We took the ferry to Dover, where we spent a night in a B&B. The next day we drove to Nothampton, trying to avoid the thunder strikes.
On day three, we joined the great wedding. Very interesting to be part of a English wedding. After the ceremony in the Cathedral, we went to the party tent in a open field.
It was here where we met our website designer. When the band was sound checking after diner, we heard the band sound checking: “Scheveningen, scheveningen, één, twee, drie, zijn er nog Hollanders hier?”. So we said: “Ja, hoezo?” And so we met Henk.
As expected the Dutchies were the last to finish the party and we went totally pissed to our tent, which was next to the party tent. The day after, we pretended to be sober and headed south again. Henk, who lives near London planned a nice route for us and he invited us for a cup of coffee. That day we made it to Dover again and next morning we took the ferry back to Calais and drove back to Amsterdam.
A fantastic week it was with a great party. From this trip we learned:
That our gear is not waterproof.
Don’t ride when it’s raining
Don’t ride when you’re barely sober
Our ammo boxes were the best investment so far (traded them for two boxes of beer)
The suspension is great even heavily loaded
That you always meet interesting people….thanks for making our website Henk!