April 08, 2005 GMT
Vancouver, BC - Ready to cross the pond

The ride from San Francisco to Vancouver went smoothly, amazingly enough no rain until the last leg from Seattle to Vancouver. Not what I expected in an area sometimes referred to as the "Pacific Northwet".

Not surprisingly, the Transalp has performed very well. The custom Wilbers rear shock and the progressive front fork springs that were installed prior to departure transform the bike when fully loaded. I figure I have at least 100 lbs of luggage and gear and Erika is not even on the bike yet. But the new suspension allows me to cruise at speeds of 75-80mph with complete confidence. I would highly recommend these modifications to any rider contemplating any extended touring.

Riding in the rain is much easier when one has the proper rain gear. On the advice of Jake, a rider I met a couple of days ago at Mike and Lori's home, I purchased a "Fog City" shield from Ride West BMW in Seattle yesterday. This is a strip of plastic which adheres to the inside of the helmet face shield and prevents the inside of the shield from fogging. It works kind of like a double paned window, trapping a small layer of air between the shield and the plastic strip. It rained all day today, I kept the shield down the whole time and my face shield never fogged up. Incredible!

A huge thanks to my friends Reina and Blake in Seattle and Michael and Lori in Washogal, WA (outside of Portland) for extending some wonderful hospitality. Michael took this cool photo of me leaving his home in the morning.

Riding away from Michael's place.jpg

The big task of today was dropping off the bike at Worldwide Animal Travel at the Vancouver Airport. The folks there were very helpful and getting the bike ready was a breeze. I just had to have less than 1/4 tank of gas remaining, the battery cables disconnected and taped, and the dirt and grime on the bike wiped down. They even helped me clean the bike! The bike will be shipped out on Monday, it needs to be delivered to the shipper at least 48 hours prior to departure. I will give everyone a full shipping report in Paris after the bike arrives.

Tomorrow morning I will be boarding a flight to Paris where I will meet up with Erika and our friends Tony and Caroline. The bike arrives 4 days later at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on Wednesday morning, April 13. In the meantime, we will have some quality time to explore Paris!

Posted by David McMillan at April 08, 2005 01:24 AM GMT
 


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