March 28, 2009 GMT
Two Weeks To Go

Two Weeks To Go
I have put the house with an estate agent to find tenants whilst Iím away and finally completed all the work to the house. Strangely there doesnít appear much to do as far as organising the trip goes. The bike and a separate box containing packed panniers, motorcycle clothing and the screen and mirrors removed from the bike for shipping are on there way to Miami by ship. They are scheduled to arrive on 22nd March 2009 and I have my flight booked for 30th March 2009.

I went to the Scottish Motorcycle Show on Sunday 15th March 2009 and had a useful chat with Sam Manicom. Sam has spent eight years travelling round the world on motorbikes and written three books on his adventures. I also met the team. Tom McInally and Gordon Thyne are setting off on their round the world trip in May 2009 in aid of Capability Scotland. David Burdis is accompanying them as far as Berlin on the amazing Martin Conquest trike built for wheelchair use. Dave kindly offered to bring the trike to Newcastle to show my cousin Luke who is in a wheelchair following a motorcycle accident twenty years or so ago. Luke has been aspiring to get a wheelchair friendly trike for a while now.

David, Tom and Gordon at the Scottish Motorcycle Show

Five Days To Go
I keep thinking that I ought to be running round like a headless chicken getting everything in place to leave the UK for anywhere between one and three years. It was hectic two months ago getting the bike and luggage ready and delivered to the shipper but I still think I have done all the preparation I can and Iím calmly waiting for my flight. Iím looking forward to two or three days into the trip when I realise all the things I should have done this week!

I do go onto the shipperís website to check that the bike and luggage has arrived. The site only shows the booking date back in January so I send off an email asking for confirmation that my transportation, house and wardrobe are waiting for me in the Port Of Miami.

Three Days To Go
Strangely no reply from the shipper so I email their American counterpart in Miami and get an immediate response. The bike is due in Miami on the 5th April 2009 but they donít know anything about a second shipment. Iím straight onto the phone to the UK shipper but the guy I need is out to lunch and itís 3pm.

Two Days To Go
The shipper didnít get back to me yesterday so Iím on the phone again. They confirm that the bike was taken to the docks to get the ship due to arrive in Miami on 22nd March 2009 but it hadnít been crated properly by the shippers sub-contractor and was rejected. It had to be repacked and returned to the port for the next ship a fortnight later hence it is due to arrive on the 5th April 2009, six days after I fly in. Iím informed it could take another few days to unpack the container before I can actually get the bike. The second box containing my panniers etc. is missing but believed to be still in England somewhere.

Sometime after 9pm, with my leaving party in full swing I get a phone call from the shipper. The second box has been found. Itís still in England but the shipper will fly it to Miami so that it arrives at the same time as the bike.

I now have nine or ten days in Miami instead of the scheduled two. It is an added expense I could do without and I now have to carry additional clothing on the plane which wonít fit on the bike. Still, if thereís one thing my wardrobe isnít short of itís clothing fit for throwing away! If the worst misfortune to befall me on the trip is being Ďstuckí in Miami for an extra week I wonít have done too badly.

Posted by at March 28, 2009 11:36 PM GMT

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