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D-Day -1 : start of a trip


Francois_Dumas

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Francois_Dumas

D-Day -1

 

Today is Saturday, July 14th (THE French national holiday too).

Almost all is packed and we have twice as much luggage as I had hoped for, but only half as much a initially laid out. Oh well, we'll learn one day.

 

I booked an Ibis hotel in Colmar, some 724 km's from here. We'll head down through Belgium, Luxembourg and France, after all. Petrol is cheaper and I am NOT going to do over 140 km/hr anyway, so German Autobahn would add nothing.

 

Oh, and it is forecasted to be HOT ! Oh well, better than rain I s'pose.

 

Things to do:

- get the tires inflated to 2.5-2.9

- check oil

- km now: 24.800

- load up the luggage

- make pictures

- sleep !

 

Update to the above..

got some time left thanks to careful and meticulous planning and executing said plan *cough*. (Would you believe: I just gave up, threw everything in a corner - to heck with it - and decided to call it a 'packing' day ?).

 

Today was pretty stressful in the end. I still had to make some backups of my computer systems, port my emails over to the notebook (and like every time, this gives me troubles).

Since there is no way I can take everything from two major work PC's with me on the notebook, I just gave up and will hope we don't get burglars again. There's nothing left in the house... but my office and its data.

 

First I headed out to the petrol station to check to my tires. I knew they were LOW..... but wow ! Now I am wondering if my Michelin digital pressure meter is better or worse than the thing at the station there!

Perhaps I am riding with correct pressure... or is it really 46 now !!?? Will check at another station tomorrow.

 

I rode down there in my jeans and BMW jacket. Only 5 minites. I returned all wet, sweating like a p.. ! Uhoh !

 

Upon return, checked the oil (too low too) and then started panicking slightly.

I saw the weather forecast.... It will be way over 30 C tomorrow (that's in the 90's !). Melting Point for this ol' Dutchie ! And the only clothes I have are my old leather jacket (which I already packed) and my BMW ATGATT (which is 'all-season and hence WARM!).

 

After some heated (darn.. sweating even more) discussion with Nina, we decide to hop in the car and visit a motor shop, looking for summer riding gear. Yes, the stuff I wanted to buy last summer, but postponed for saving money. 8-)

 

I get lucky! They have some French mesh gear (jacket and trouser) for less than 180 Euros. It looks good because I can see THROUGH it (is this 'mesh gear'?), unlike all my other stuff.

 

Now... will I be COLD the coming weeks !? Time will tell.

 

By now it was 3 p.m. and I am behind (my) schedule). I started putting the cases and bags on the bike, after having 'pushed' Nina to stop adding things to the 'oh yes, and there is this'-pile.

 

And guess what? My 'system' that I tested 2 days before, whereby I would use two short tie-ups to prevent the bags from sliding backwards (tied between the front of the bag and the wire frame of the bike, through the holes in the plastic side covers)...... DOESN'T WORK ANYMORE!

 

I tested with a half full bag.... the full one puts the tie-up point so high that the velcro tiewrap can't reach it !

DRATS!

 

Hop in the Jeep once again, airco on FULL, to find new tie-ups. Took me another hour, going from shop to shop. They only have 15 feet long ones everywhere.... I need 2 feet !

I found 8 feet long and used those to tie the bags with, then used a few others for the forward point.

 

AND I put two elastic binders around the back.

 

I probably can't even get those bikes off anymore even if I WANT to ! :-)

 

Alright, enough blabbering.. here are some pictures of the adventure that hasn't even started yet.

 

Our planned route for tomorrow:

 

172833328-L.jpg

 

We'll ride down the length of the country (that sounds worse than it actually is), then cross Belgium from north to south (that too sounds worse than it is, they fixed some of the roads), will try and pop off to Luxembourg near Bastogne, to get some cheap gas, then cross Luxembourg and into France.

Heading south towards Metz, then to Nancy, and from there we'll head eastward towards Colmar, where I booked a cheap Ibis hotel !

 

 

But before we're there..... here is the first trial with the bags.

NOT very successful at first...

 

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And no, it's not your eyes !

The picture is out of focus.. I was trembling at the sight of what Nina planned to take along......

 

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Oh, here is the 'naked' RT before I went to the petrol station.

 

172829066-L.jpg

 

Actually, I had put the saddle at highest position, rode it, and put it back to middle. The height was fine, but it also tilted forward more, or so it seems to me, and I didn't like that !

 

Side cases and two bags had to wait in the shed last night. The top case sat in my office, awaiting my notebook.

 

172829184-L.jpg

 

More trembling.

All the stuff on my desk needs to find a place too.

It's the problem if you can't leave work more than a day or two. How I would LOVE to leave all computers behind for 3 weeks.. but alas....

 

172829206-L.jpg

 

My newly acquired summer outfit...... I'll report on how it works (or doesn't)...

 

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Sorry, no fancy bag liners..... I am glad I have my summer suit. Can't have it all ! ;-)

 

172829291-L.jpg

 

 

It's DONE.

ALL fits IN and ON.

Even Nina manages to 'climb aboard' (we tested).

But..... I'll be glad when we arrive at the appartment and I can take those bags off and tour with only the cases the remainder of the trip!

 

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Look from behind.

The red strings attach to the case supports.

 

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The Benetton bag is an ancient thing, from our daughter. It has seen much of our world already.

 

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So.... we're ready...... I guess. Tomorrow morning just get a coffee, get dressed, close the door behind us and be OFF !!

 

Tomorrow night I'll be too tired to report. If we make it in time to Méribel on Monday, then I MIGHT log in Monday night !

 

Cheers all !!

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Francois ,

Have fun , and please take care ....oh , and don't forget to disconnect that yellow thing attached to your front wheel before you set off .

I hope the heat does not overwhelm you and spoil the trip .

 

Looking forward to a report and some photos .

 

Best regards

Steve

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Great work!!!

 

I have a suggestion.

 

You don't need those extra straps for the bags that are on top of the sidecases. The one in the middle is plenty, besides Nina is gonna have her arms resting on them.

 

Have fun!!!!

 

Whip

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Francois_Dumas

Oops, good thing you spotted that Steve !!! thumbsup.gif I am never at my best at 6 a.m. grin.gif

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Francois_Dumas

 

You don't need those extra straps for the bags that are on top of the sidecases. The one in the middle is plenty, besides Nina is gonna have her arms resting on them.

 

Hah !! You've never seen me take off when the lights turn green !!! lmao.gif

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I am sure you will leave your worries behind once on the road. Your own "Tour de France" I guess, oh they are on the road now also. Enjoy! thumbsup.gif

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You don't need those extra straps for the bags that are on top of the sidecases. The one in the middle is plenty, besides Nina is gonna have her arms resting on them.

 

Hah !! You've never seen me take off when the lights turn green !!! lmao.gif

 

Maybe not, but I don't think you want Nina to hit ya up side your helmet either.

 

Besides those final drive are delicate enough....

lmao.giflmao.giflmao.gif

 

 

Whip

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ericfoerster

Next year can I come and stay at your home while you are away? That is a beautiful home and your yard looks like a botanical garden...awesome thumbsup.gif

 

You two have a safe trip and take some more great pictures.

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Look from behind.

 

- looks pretty tidy to me.

 

- but, I fear you are only about one more T-shirt or some spare socks away from a posting with this subject line <g>:

 

"WTB: Used motorcycle trailer and hitch for late model RT"

 

- will look foward to the pictures as always.

 

- ebill

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Francois_Dumas

Thanks all! We;ve arrived... working on posting new reports now.... stay tuned!

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