Putting The Pieces Back Together

I’ve been set back quite a bit by the breach and thievery that happened either in Turkey or on the WWL ship. But I can’t dwell on it other than sadly note that the only theft that occurred to me on this nearly three year journey happened after I had left the bike for its journey to come home by ocean freight.

Sad.

The good news is that Al Jesse sent me a new set of locks. Though I have to admit that I screwed up installing them back on the bags. I’m sure that he fits these locks into the hinged handles prior to securing the handles to the bags. I just couldn’t get even my smaller hands to get these locks fitted correctly. I hope that when I ride through Arizona later this month he can straighten me out. The bags need a little work too.

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With Anna, Emily and Beanie the cat.

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Jon takes Doc out for a spin in the neighborhood.

Tommy and Elissa from Held USA who import the gloves that I bought back in 2005 and who replaced a pair under warranty that I had worn through after my first 30,000 miles, sent me a pair of their new “Fresh” lightweight glove. I hope that time and energy allows me to visit their offices in North Carolina as I make my way back to California.

Bill Plam and his crew at BMW Santa Cruz County are shipping me a pair of BMW Rallye 2 pans and a new electric vest. Though they’re not giving it to me they are discounting the products by 10 or 15%. And Andy Goldfine of Aerostich, who supported me at the beginning of my trip is sending me a free replacement for my canvas tank panniers and I will have to purchase the lightweight bike cover — the single best protection from theft or tampering you can buy for any trip. I often wonder that if the cover had been on the bike and not in the top box maybe I wouldn’t have been ripped off.

I took the bike to Bob’s BMW in Jessup, Maryland to fit new chain and sprocket, oil change and to examine the bike. Without an appointment, they were slammed and barely fit me in. They told me that the both the wheel and steering head bearings appear to be okay, though I’d rather replace them after nearly 60,000 miles. An ounce of protection. But we’ll see.

One other thing the thieves didn’t take was my AirHawk seat cushion — thank god. But as I was fitting my gear and repacking I noticed that the valve no longer worked. They must have tried to figure out what this crazy looking “mini-mattress” was and in doing so destroyed the valve. Steve at AirHawk was kind enough to send me a replacement.

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Jon checks out the X-series of 650’s offered by BMW – might be time for one Jon?

I’m happy to be back in the states as my good friends at Avon Tyres sent me a spanking new set of Gripsters. Though I still have quite a bit of tread on that amazing Zambian-based Dunlop that I fitted in Cairo. I’ll have to carry these Avon’s until I wear down the Dunlop.

My brother, his wife Maria and my nieces Emily and Anna have a been a joy to be around. With great company, lots of playing with the kids and good food and wine it’s been a great acclimation period to be back in the USA. Plus, the use of his basement and ping-pong table has been instrumental in getting organized and ready for a cross continental ride to California.

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Pulling everything out of my duffel bag and what was left on the bike and in my bags (above)

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After organizing, repacking and sorting by available space. The quadrants of the ping-pong table each represent either the left or right Jesse and Aerostich bag; and the top box. On the floor is the stuff that goes into the Ortlieb dry bags which get strapped atop the Jesses. Then there’s some miscellenay in th emiddle such as the AirHawk and some stuff in back which gts tucked under the seat. Feels like I’m starting all over again.

I was ready for a shake down ride and took off for Michigan to see Angie, Marti, Rick, the boys and more family!

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A quick weekend shakedown ride to Michigan turned out to be a good time to iron out some rough spots in the repacking. I also ended up getting stuck without power. The cables were so corroded that in the rain the whole system shut down. I must’ve not tightened the cables down enough when I replaced the battery at the Port of Baltimore.

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Angie’s niece Francesca Maria and cousin Garret Dean with those legendary twins Grayson and Damian all pose on Doc after I did a shake down ride to Michigan.

1 reply
  1. Eric Jasso
    Eric Jasso says:

    Wow…AK,I’m happy to see you in better shape than Doc, but am sad to see your journey come to an end! I check Worldrider daily, and even my Kids have followed the trip. It’s been a blast! I can’t wait for the book! Cheers, Homeboy…keep in touch!

    Reply

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