I don't know how many times you know that it's the last time you'll ride a motorcycle that you really love. This is the story of my last ride on my 1998 R1100RT. I knew from the day I bought it that I'd never be able to bring it back to the US. Everything I've read and heard discouraged that frame of mind. I'd been out of motorcycling for 15 years and how I got back in to it began two years before my RT rolled off the production line.
In March of 1996, I found myself in bed, with my wife Jill, and between us lay our first child, our newborn son Nick who recently co-starred, with the RT, in my post where he took his first tour, his choice, to Normandy. Chances are you may be reading this on June 6, if so, it is D-Day so if you want to take a moment to review what those places are like:
So, I know a few of the people that I'm "cyber-acquaintences" with, are expecting children. When you do, you'll understand the following scene. My wife and I are in bed, between us is this precious new baby boy. Our capacity for love has just jumped 3 fold. She's laying there and softly coos, " What do you think you'd be doing right now if we'd never met".
Without hesitation I replied, " Riding a big BMW road bike".
"I'll buy you one someday" , she replied.
Well that day came about 5 years later. My wife called me and told me to come up to her work, she had something to show me. What she had was a high tech engineer that was selling his R100RS. Absolutely beautiful, perfectly maintained, my dream bike.
I couldn't believe it, this could be mine, it was a fair price, and a bike I would love to own. But a strange thing happens once you're a Dad, without spending too much time trying to pick a clever analogy, I'll just say, "you evolve". I told the engineer I"d like to think about it, but even then, I knew I couldn't have it. 18 months after our first son was born, we were blessed with another. I quit my corporate job and became a full time stay home Dad. Greatest job ever if you're cut out for it.
Flash forward to 2004, a third child joined our family, a daughter. Things got crazier and crazier. I knew it was time to start doing something for myself. I"d put everything into supporting my kids and wife. One night I told her that I was ready to get the BMW, on my 50th birthday, 2006. In 2005 we moved to Switzerland for her work and after about 2 months I knew I HAD TO HAVE THAT BIKE!
So, this report is about my last ride on that bike. I know some people read for the "goo" like the above paragraphs, some like the pictures, and others, want numbers and stats, prices, etc. Everything opposite of "goo". I will do my best to balance these three.
My sig line is an Eisenhower quote" Plans are meaningless, planning is everything" This report will show you why. Originally, the title of this would have been, " Last Ride- Spain". It turns out that my last ride would be come, by the good grace of my wife who was going to double up and do her job, and my job, if " I got everything done to move home" This means a lot when you are moving internationally. There's 6 piles. Stuff going in the ocean container (6-8 week deliverry) stuff going in the air freight ( two weeks) stuff going on the airplane with you, stuff you are selling, stuff you are giving away, and stuff you are throwing away. For me, this wasn't so bad as I spent 25 years in the moving business and I had contracted quite a few international relocations so I had a good background on what I needed to do to get some riding time. It all turned out that I had a week window to ride and that window coincided with when the AZBeemers were going to be riding the Pyrenees. That was my goal, meet my first forum member at a hotel bar in the Pyrenees. Unfortunately, mother nature rained on that parade. The weather for that week, in Spain, looked horrible. The day I left, I took all my Spain maps out of the tank bag and put in my Alpine Countries map.
When I pulled out of the drive way last Friday, my goal was to hit as many countries as I could. It was 10:45 am.
I live in the eastern end of Switzerland, near Geneva in a small village called Grens, very close to the French border.
Enter France at La Cure, 19.7 km, 11:03
A nice ride along the north side of the Jura mountains and then it's back into CH
Enter CH 31.8 km, 11:16
Back into France at 63.2 km, 11:54
Ok, believe me, it gets better. I'm sure anyone that reads this entire report, will remember it for a few years, it does get better.