I hate that feeling in the pit of your stomach as it turns over and over with nerves. I usually get that feeling just before I travel. “What have I forgotten?” “I don’t have enough time to get that important thing done!” “Is the bike ready for another long trip?” “Do I have the paperwork I need done?” Just writing this paragraph is making it come back!
This years nerves were way worse than I have ever felt. Shipping the bike overseas to ride around Europe has added another element to the trip. In the last couple of weeks I have had to arrange for shipping the bike with Air Canada Cargo, get European Insurance for the bike, obtain dangerous goods documents and deal with a Freight Forwarder in London so that the bike can be let into the UK. Much of this was also happening as I tried to finish up the school year and get report cards written. Simply put a week and half of feeling that I had forgotten some vital piece of paper had me worried for the last week and a half.
But the bike and I are here!
In the end it all worked out and the people who did the different elements were very efficient. I arrived at Air Canada Cargo to find the bike waiting in the warehouse still strapped down to the plate (Skid?) that it was shipped on. I was given a hi visibility vest (I always forget to take the appropriate selfie) and after a kind dock worker had retrieved my motorbike boots from the panniers (apparently sandals are not appropriate dock footwear) I was ushered over to get the bike ready to leave. The process was as easy as re packing to accommodate the stuff I brought on the plane and reconnecting the battery. After that it was back to the office to do the last little bit of paperwork, pay the last little bit of fee and I was off….. straight to a petrol station.
The ride for today was super short… just to a hotel for the day so I can get over this Jet Lag before I tackle many of the roads of the UK but first impressions are that I wonder if I am aggressive enough for either UK or London traffic. Lane splitting is very illegal in Canada and most of the U.S. but it isn’t here and I get the feeling that it is very expected that everyone will squeeze into the littlest gap to keep the traffic flowing. It is something I will have to get used to. I also have to figure out addresses over here. My Garmin GPS is amazing but it seems to want to know street numbers but on the website for this hotel there didn’t seem to be one. Everyone gives directions relative to landmarks which isn’t helpful to a GPS. I had a quick look at the address of the hotel in Amsterdam and I have no idea of what I was looking at!
Well other than trying to stay up for as long as I can that is it for today. Tomorrow I am off for Harwich which is a short ride for the day but the goal is a night ferry to the Netherlands. Enjoy your day, I’m probably off to sleep :)!