Monday, June 16, 2014

Week two, what a blast…!

As much as the first week had been a rollercoaster, the second week was just all systems go and fast forward! The bikes arrived safely in The Netherlands, which meant we were mobile again! A big thank you to the good people from Seatrade in Costa Rica and the many ratchet straps donated by BMS-Triumph Costa Rica. Thank you both! We managed to get motorcycle insurance for Mike, which was not easy! Motorcycle insurance for under 21 year olds and foreigner seemed nearly impossible. Persistency was the name of the game and in the end we found not just one but two options!

Picking up the bikes was dead easy. I am not kidding, this has been the best shipment ever. The Costa Rica side had been perfect already and Seatrade Costa Rica kept their promise and arrived perfectly on time. The boat was due to arrive on Tuesday, it did and we could pick the bikes up the same day! Last year these guys had a 96% on-time score… They hadn't opened the container when we arrived so we could photograph and film it all, the guys at the harbour were very helpful and interested in what we were doing. It was literally just a matter of removing the straps and ride away… honestly. We rode to Customs who checked the paperwork, asked us about our trip and then we were on the road in Europe! I could hardly believe it. Shipping to New Zealand had been a nightmare thanks to a very dodgy shipping company, shipping from New Zealand had been fine but the Canadian side costed us a week to get the bikes released. But Seatrade has been unbelievable. They normally ship perishable goods like bananas and pineapples for instance, no time for delays here. All the paperwork had already been processed before the ship was in the harbour by Seatrade's Rotterdam office so that when we arrived all was ok. They also use their own containers, which are to coffee standard and are in perfect condition. Below is a movie Mike made about the last ride in Costa Rica, the shipping and release and pickup in Europe.

A lot of work needed to be done now. The bikes needed to be serviced, which we do ourselves, and a couple of temporary fixes needed looking after too. Being used to US and Central American prices, we find Europe very expensive for motorcycle parts…! Motorcycles are clearly seen here as a luxury. Fuel prices are unbelievable too… :-( Meanwhile the paperwork and organising went full steam ahead too. 

The good people from Rukka in Finland replied very enthusiastically on Mike's record attempt and decided after reading my comments on the blog about my current so called 4-season jacket, which failed miserably, that they can do better! A while back I wrote on the blog that my old leather jacket would have worked better in the conditions we have had… Rukka disagrees and put their money where their mouth is by supplying us with Rukka suits! How's that for confidence? So we were off to a Rukka dealer for a fitting session! In the main photo you'll see the jacket Mike tried for size.

Meanwhile I was servicing the bikes, sort of in between all sorts of other jobs, and found my trusty Trumpy needed just a service, a good clean… and nothing else. It's plastered in dirt, I found the electrics under the seat submerged in sand, the airfilter was chockablock full of dirt and yet it all worked fine. After 85.000 km even the valve clearances are as they left the factory! That motorcycle amazes me more every day. 

More good news arrived from Icon Motorsports in the USA. Our helmets are well past their sell-by date and Icon would like us to try their Variant Carbon Cyclic helmet! We tried them for size and they look seriously cool. Look at Mike in the photo, happy as can be!

We also did a medical checkup ourselves and received a clean bill of health, which is nice. Especially since seeing everyday life in The Netherlands, for the past two weeks makes me want to leave asap! They worry about everything here, especially their pension plan… Seriously, quite a few people have asked us 'But what about your pension plan? What about your social security? What about jobs?' We've sold everything to do this and will probably arrive in Australia pretty much broke. If you're worried about it, press the donation on the blog :-) Stop Worrying! Start Living!