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Thread: Hello and Thanks from Australia

  1. #1
    Registered User Mark H's Avatar
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    Cool Hello and Thanks from Australia

    Hi all,

    First off I want to say hello to everyone and then to say thank you to the team at BMW MOA for allowing us to join and indeed being so inviting to foreigners.
    This organisation and the associated forum, web site and general community is fantastic. To have this made available to foreigners is much appreciated.

    My wife and I live in Sydney Australia, and are planning our "big trip" to the US and Canada in May/June next year.
    35 days and 11,200 km (7,000 miles or so) through 2 countries, 9 states/provinces, overnight stays in 35 cities/towns and countless little towns, pit stops and characterful moments along the way.
    We are shipping our bikes to the US from Australia (2012 model F800R and R1200R). Much nicer to ride our own bikes and it will cost less in total than hiring for that period. It's not easy but it's not that difficult either and as I say, we like riding our bikes, set up the way we like them.

    We chose a route that would give us variety, challenging roads (where possible), overnight stays in cities and towns that matched our day stage limits/miles. So it's Long Beach California to the south, almost to Billings Montana to the east, Jasper Alberta to the north, Tofino BC to the West and then hug the coast most of the way until we're back down to Long Beach. A short day may be 300 km and a long day 500 km. Between 3 and 6 hours of "bum on bike" time each day with two or three layover days if needed (but also as a buffer if required). Some stops were a case of "that's as far as we can go today" and others were "really want to stop here". We started by mapping out a rough route, then added some "must ride this road" sections and finally played connect the dots.

    This has been three years in the planning with a couple of false starts - life conspiring against us.
    But now we are bursting at the seams with excitement to get into your backyard and play on our bikes for 5 weeks.
    With the background support offered by BMW MOA and its Roadside Assistance (not that our BMW's are going to have any problems :-) and the collective knowledge of all of the forum members, we feel like we're in good company.

    If anyone is interested in a more detailed description of the route, I'm happy to share my Google Maps in the appropriate part of the forum - and certainly if anyone had comments or suggestions I'm always happy to get local knowledge input.

    Anyway - Thanks again for letting us join BMW MOA and I look forward to reading more on the site and the forum.


    Regards


    Mark

  2. #2
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    "No worries mate" Welcome to the forum! Sounds like you have a great trip planned. Any questions, just ask.
    Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

  3. #3
    Prefers to play martinph's Avatar
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    Check your PM's
    Martin. BMW MOA Ambassador.17748
    BMW MOA Charter, Life member.
    Valley BMW Riders. British Columbia.

  4. #4
    Registered User Mark H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinph View Post
    Check your PM's
    Nothing in my PM's - may have got lost when my user name was changed.
    Regards

    Mark H
    2012 - R1200R White Aluminium Metallic

  5. #5
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Mark -

    Did you change usernames on your own or did you work through the office? The system still shows both user accounts, so I suspect you could login to the first account and retrieve your PMs.

    If you did this on your own, we probably need to consolidate the accounts to avoid too much stuff running around the system.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  6. #6
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    There are some very nice areas in the USA and some very bad areas with bad people. So be concerned about your security to some extent.
    As a general rule, the rural areas seem to be more friendly and less crime than some of the urban areas, even with fairly small towns.
    I would recommend getting out of Los Angeles and Long Beach particularly asap.
    And for the rural areas, check in advance where you will get gas. It's easy to run out in some places out there.
    Also there are a number of other forums to look at, some geared to BMW also.
    dc

  7. #7
    Registered User Mark H's Avatar
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    David,

    Thanks for the tip regarding security and safety.
    We had been thinking about this and are a little concerned about it all.

    Because we are going to be so tightly linked to our bikes for this holiday - if anything was to happen to them it would bring the whole trip to its knees. We have some alarmed disc locks and cables to tie the bikes to each other or to a post, but at the end of the day if someone is going to take a serious go at our bikes it will be difficult to stop them.
    We are looking to stay in motel style accommodation where the bikes can be out front of our rooms whenever possible.
    We had discussed using bike covers to put over the bikes at night so they are less obvious but I'm not certain if this is a good or bad thing. Perhaps people have some local ideas on this?

    Personal safety is also an issue. Not that the US or Canada are inherently dangerous places but it's different to Australia and being Australian may be a plus or a minus. Sometimes being the stupid tourist is a blessing or a curse. In Australia bike riders tend to get a wider berth when it comes to the general public. They tend to see you as a little fringe BUT this can also be a great attractor to people who have or would have loved to ride a motorcycle. It is what can make for some of the best chance meetings when riding.

    All of this is part and parcel of the bigger experience but we will try to be safe and cautious.

    I must admit however to moving to the west side of Bakersfield rather than the east for our overnight stay there after reading a rather scary description on WikiTravel - this is what they had to say .....

    Bakersfield is a relatively safe city with a murder rate that has been on the decline since 2005. However, property theft and drug activity have seen a sharp increase within the city and there are certain parts of the city that are dangerous even during the daytime. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive (formerly named Lakeview Ave, and turns into Cottonwood Rd), parts of East Bakersfield and areas surrounding the Kern County fairgrounds and South High School are plagued by gang violence and can be very dangerous.
    Regards

    Mark H
    2012 - R1200R White Aluminium Metallic

  8. #8
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    Yes, those are the areas that are best avoided, just passed thru' in the daylight hours when necessary.
    And they are the most unsightly areas. You can see that it looks bad.
    However there can be crime anywhere.
    I don't think the cover helps. Nor the locks. Usually no one messes with the bikes. But it is nice to be able to look out the window to be sure. There is a rule here. They don't steal BMWs.
    And probably you will have no problem whatsoever. The biggest problem may simply be not having much fun in places like east Bakersfield, or north Long Beach.
    If it doesn't look pretty, it doesn't feel good.
    But there are so many locations, small towns, not fancy, but ordinary, yet there is a good feeling visiting. And you will probably find 50 such locations.
    dc

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