Preparing for the road

Medical dramas behind us, we can focus on preparing for our departure to Canada on the 13th. This last week has seen us re-united with Streak and Storm in their winter retreat and us ride them up to North Oxford Garage for their preparation for travel. The BMW Motorrad service department led by Matt have been wonderful in dealing with our various ‘needs’ as Streak and Storm were prepared for a RTW journey. We cannot thank Matt enough for helping us with getting Anne’s bike fully fit again. Matt you are a legend!

Matt from BMW Motorrad at North Oxford with a rejuvinated Streak and Storm

We were reminded that we need to be more vigilant in our inspections as ‘Streak’, Anne’s bike, was found to have dirty brown dishwater for coolant. We have no idea how this happened as the coolant system of the BMW F700GS is pressurised and we have not touched it. A mystery. As I was smugly standing back thinking my bike ‘Storm’ was fine, it was pointed out that ‘Storm’ had suffered overheating to the point where the surface coating of the side of the radiator had blistered off! I never got a dashboard warning! Note to selves, check bikes more carefully in future. Luckily neither problem appears to have caused any damage to the engines, which were examined carefully during the valve clearance check.

Fortuitously, it was found that the tyres, chains and sprockets on both ‘Streak’ and ‘Storm’ appear to have enough life remaining to see us across the USA and Canada. We will now replace them in Vancouver before departing for Asia. This should see us through back to Europe on the second set. An earlier replacement would have increased the chance of a remote location change, not our preferred option!

Packing has proved more challenging than I thought, with everything we used last time stored with the bikes, it should have been a breeze. However when we travelled in 2014/5 we had an endless summer as our hemisphere moves synced with the seasons. We are now starting mid April in Montreal, possibly heading to Alaska, so a little warmer clothing is required to be packed, although looking at the temperature, we may be wearing it all at once! We have also noticed the visible wear on panniers and other items that we will need to watch on the journey, which is starting almost three years since the beginning of our first adventure. We and the bikes are a little bit older, greyer and more frayed around the edges.

This reminded me that three years ago, this blog started as a way of communicating with friends and family when we decided to undertake our first long distance motorcycle journey from London down to Singapore. This was meant to be a one off for the duration of our 2014/5 RTW trip. Our desire to travel again in 2016 both on motorbike and in a 4×4 saw the blog revived, recording our experiences travelling in Spain and Southern Africa. Now, as we undertake preparations for our next adventure, I realised that the “2slowspeeds” blog not only celebrated its third birthday, but saw its 250th entry posted around the same time! Who would have thought, especially with my limited English grammar and both our limited motorcycling skills?

Since we left home in Brisbane, we have also enjoyed the opportunity to spend quality time with both family and friends between our bike servicing, visa applications and packing. While we were unable to see everyone in our time here, we enjoyed catching up but we are now ready to go. Panniers and bikes loaded, we leave from Hampshire heading towards Heathrow. We will overnight near Heathrow and deliver ‘Streak’ and ‘Storm’ to Air Canada tomorrow for customs processing so they can join us on the same flight on Thursday 13th to Montreal.

No more planning, we are off. What adventures await?

We have been so busy that we seem to have had little time to think. This morning as I headed for breakfast, I felt the first stirrings of excitement. The adventure is underway…..

– Anthony

36 comments on “Preparing for the road

  1. Your excitement is tangible! Wishing you many happy, safe hours if boking and adventures. Take care and may the wind be in your backs.Have fun and look forward to the blogs. Lots of love as you throttle on.❤❤🛫🛬🏍🏍


  2. You are off!! Awesome!! We are about 5 1/2 weeks away from flying to Sth Korea. Will be following your journey with interest. Maybe we will meet on the road.


    • We have different starting points, we are ahead for now but by the time we reach Korea you will be ahead in Russia by a couple of weeks. I am sure our paths will cross on the road somewhere. Safe travels and looking forward to following your blog.


  3. Fabulous that my arm chair adventure begins soon! Good on Matt for ensuring the bikes are tip top so you can travel safely. Take care and much love to you both xx


  4. Following your advice I’ve had my armchair serviced; just needed a few springs ‘tweaking’ and I’m ready to go too. Looking forward to some informative blogs, a host of new friends, and lots of wonderful pictures (no pressure then !).
    Stay safe.


    • Glad to hear the service has been done. Have you obtained your cirt’air for the couch? Hate for you to be caught out. Hope we can provide some good new material or we will do what all producers do ‘reruns’ of old blog entries.


  5. Hi fellow “Manly-ites”…..feeling the tangible excitement back here ! Looking up at your Unit as we swing by the Village (with smart lights going on and off all over the place ), I have stirrings for the potential adventures ahead for you. Hanging out for the first “on the road” trip blog….Stay upright. All the best ! Glenn and Cathy xoxo


  6. With an army of guardian angels all lined up, excitedly awaiting the word “Go!”, I can sit back and enjoy improving my scant (nay, mostly inexistant) knowledge of faraway places. Godspeed. xx


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