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Old 05-05-2013, 12:16 PM   #1
kuhjunge OP
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Cool2 Sauerkraut & Tofuwurst - Vegan bikers trotting around the globe

Welcome to follow the story of our new life! On May 3rd 2013 we started together with our three dogs our journey around the world by motorbikes.

This is not just another travelogue. More like an open diary, where we tell about anything and everything that affects our lives... Besides motorbiking ethical veganism, fruitarianism, dogs, love of clean nature and sports belong to our everyday life, so for example those are things we will also write about in this blog.

The year 2013 we spent in Europe. The beginning of the year 2014 we were exploring West Africa. Now we are traveling through USA and Canada for (hopefully) over a year! The plans after that are still totally open...

During our journey we are promoting a "cruelty free world". We will do so by helping animal shelters and sanctuaries. More to come on this topic...


We are a German-Finnish couple with dogs as our children. Biking together since 2006! :) We left our home in Lohja/Finland and are without a permanent address as of now. Our home is there where our bikes are.



We already maintained our blog (www.sauerkraut-tofuwurst.com) for about one year before the start. Feel free to read about the preparations and planning as well as more details about the sidecar.

Some of the highlights so far:





























Meet the family
Wolfgang / Wolfi
  • Born in Saarland, Germany and emigrated '93
  • I like good food ("Hauptsach gudd gess") and dark beer
  • My favorite sport is Ju-Jutsu and related weapons
  • Engineer and main mechanic in the family
  • Love to build things (can now spend my energy in the sidecar project and learning to fix our bikes)
  • A topic which is close to my heart reveals in me cheer unlimited amount of energy and enthusiasm (warning: energy level might be hazardous to others)
  • Vegetarian since 2009, vegan since 2010

Ilta a.k.a. Satu, Skippy & mamma
  • Finnish from nationality, but not really a traditional Finn... Fluent in English and German goes rather well
  • Karate is one of my biggest passions and has been basically my lifestyle since 1992! First decade Goyuryu and now Wadoryu
  • Love all sorts of other sports too, like running, swimming and dancing, just can't stay still for too long...
  • Vegetarian/vegan since 1999 and 80/10/10 low fat raw vegan since 03/2013
  • Biking license got on September 2006 and instantly bought my Suzi, which was love at first sit! <3
  • Kind of a hippie, a bit artistic, musical and a real film geek ;)
  • The cook in the family! Love inventing new recipes, especially raw food stuff :)
  • Passionate gardener and will try to invent someways to do it on the road as well...

Hertta
  • Poodle mix
  • born about 2000, rescued to our family in 2011
  • about 11kg
  • half blind and most likely half deaf also, but absolutely adorable!
  • mom's guardian :)
  • loves pillows!
  • snores as hell!
  • loves carrots, turnips, beetroots, apples... A real vegetarian by nature!

Lyra
  • Bichon Frise-Miniature Poodle mix
  • born 2005
  • about 5kg
  • the great 'lumberjack'!
  • loves to hunt leaves
  • indoors only balls are fine toys!
  • apples and pears are great delicacies

Ulpu
  • Toy Poodle
  • born 2008
  • about 1.5kg
  • frisbee geek, the bigger the better!
  • the boss of the gang, eventhough is the smallest!
  • makes cat and chicken noises :)

Our bikes

Suzuki V-Strom DL650
The bike is from year 2004 and has abt. 68.000km on the odometer.

Following extras, modifications & add-ons:
- Lower saddle (came with the bike)
- Jesse luggage Odyssey II (www.jesseluggage.com)
- Givi topcase
- Watercooler protection (Touratech)
- Reusable stainless steel oilfilter (www.scottsonline.com)
- Reusable airfilter (K&N)
- Engine guard (Suzuki)
- Oil cooler guard (Touratech)
- Crash bars


You can find our tracks and downloadable gpb/gpx files here.

We maintain a list of bike and dog friendly accommodations.

Enjoy the reading.

kuhjunge screwed with this post 07-01-2014 at 10:58 AM Reason: new plans
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:24 PM   #2
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What a start

It was 2AM at the third of May 2013. The normally silent night was disturbed by the noise of a Beamer motorbike riding in the dark. It was me – Wolfi, transporting the last pieces of trash to the trash container. There I got my long desired chance (issue on my to-do list) to test the newly installed HID50 Xenon lights (and they are bright!).

The night went away and dawn was coming. Still plenty of hassling at this idyllic place which we called home. It was 3AM now and finally I was able to finish packing SilberWolf. With three extra roll bags, I was able to stuff all those things on the bike. It looked like we had far too much stuff with. On the other hand, some of the building work needed to be postponed to later when we anyway do changes to the sidecar. Therefore a few extra parts and components found their way into our luggage.

It felt very cold outside and the meter showed -2C. Ice started to form on the roll bags. It was a bit after 4AM. At 6AM we must wake up to catch our ferry which departed 0915. Better sleep fast if this was possible at all with this amount of adrenalin in our systems. The alarm clock on my mobile was ringing at 6AM sharp and we got out of our sleeping place. Half in trance, we packed the remaining items and moved some stuff nicely away (remember, we sell our house and it should be tidy enough). The last bag of trash was put on the bike, it was 0715, we closed the door to our (soon to be ex-) house and we were ready to GO-GO.

Then Skippy asked me to give her her bike keys (those for the side cases and top case) back. Mmmmhh – which bike keys please?? I did not have any bike keys! Taking a deeeeep breath. OK - they were either inside the house in case of which, our real estate agent would need to ship them to us. In worst case, they were in some of the clothes which went to trash last night. Great! None could do and since we still had another set of keys somewhere, we would use those. Let's go now – the ferry was waiting.

Skippy asked me then where I had put the dog leashes. I said, that I did not have them as I thought she had them. A quick look inside the house and ... Oh NOOOOOO – ALL leashes, I mean ALL of them were inside the house. The three which were adjustable in length and the two with a fixed length. Per**** Saa**** V**** Sch****!!!!! I rushed to my shed and found some 8m of polyester rope. That must do until we will find a better solution. Let's go now – the ferry was waiting.

Since we were in a real hurry, I decided not to fix the trash bag (it was a big 240l one) on my bike and ... of course ... it did indeed fell down when I drove up the steep hill. ENOUGHHHH of this nonsense, I wanted to GO-GO and instead, now I needed to go back to get another one in order to collect our items away from the street. And BTW, where was Skippy? I thought she kept a little bit too big distance as we were in a hurry. Anyway I went back home, passed the trash pile and there she was standing: Her bike did not start. AAAAAAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!

We tried to push it – no help. We had no car anymore neither a single extra battery to jump-start the bike. Neither do we have a jumper cable anymore (we gave all those things away). I changed the original battery on the SilberWolf to a car battery. This one is well hidden, which would mean that if I want to get there, I needed to take two rolls down, the two huge Zarges boxes and all the other stuff which was now hanging there in between. No way. Thinking hard what to do as one can expect that at 7AM in the morning without breakfast and only 2 hours sleep.

I did not have any kind of thicker cable anymore in the shed since I threw away all cables a few hours ago (I did a thorough cleaning!). Frustration came up. Inhale ... exhale! The clock was ticking and the time to catch our ferry was getting less and less. Then I though I could use the connection cable which was meant for my winch. Lucky me it was in one of the rolls, therefore easy to get and not deeply buried in the sidecar. So I took the part which you connect to the battery and connected the cable to the battery. Good attempt. I then realized that since I have three cables connected to minus, the screw is too short to reach the bolt at the battery. Exactly for this purpose I installed the small emergency tool box. It has easier access instead of digging tools from my huge tool box within the sidecar. So I took a small allen key to lift the nut a little and the bolt could reach again.


My emergency tool box for quick fixes (operation manual container for tractor)


Then I took out my Leatherman, connected the cable ends. I cut the winch connection cable and un-isolated both ends. Where does one get fastest access to +12V high-power connection point? Right – at the starter motor. One tiny screw and the starter motor cover was removed and BINGO.


The mutilated cable

When holding one cable end on the plus and the other on chassis, I said to Skippy: try to start now and brummmm, the Suzi went on like nothing was ever wrong in this world (I think this SAITO battery does not like cold and freezing weather, it seems to loose its capacity to such an extend that it becomes useless). Now quickly the cover back, put tools away, got another trashbag, collected the trash from our street, brought it away and hit the road. The ferry was waiting.

After an “accelerated” ride to Helsinki and with a big relief we entered the harbor area early enough to check-in in time.

World we are coming.
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:14 PM   #3
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Good luck!



Sounds like you will have an awesome journey.

Do you expect many problems crossing borders with your dogs?

JM.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:43 PM   #4
slowbike smallpenis
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Safe riding .. Just wondering, are you taking the 'family' and if so what is your understanding of Quarantine requirements of various countries you indicate you will be visiting ...?
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:56 PM   #5
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Looking forward to following your adventure. The BMW looks rugged enough for the trip, that's for sure. I like what you did with it.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:08 AM   #6
kuhjunge OP
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Traveling with dogs

Our dogs did get all sorts of vaccinations, blood tests were done and results were certified by officials. This will allow us easier travel and if the border officers know their own rules well enough, then we should be also avoiding Quarantine. However, if this is not possible and we have a possibility to take another route, then we will do so e.g. we wanted to visit Ukraine; traveling back from there to EU would have been some additional headaches so we avoid Ukraine completely for now.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:16 AM   #7
kuhjunge OP
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Loaded bikes ready to go

Here are a few pictures from the morning of our departure. In the last minute, we figured out that three extra rolls were not enough
So we needed to stuff the rest in one extra bag and strip it on top of another roll ...
One reason why we are so "full" is that we had quite some amount of food for us and for the dogs which we did not want to throw away.



Frozen bikes in the morning of departure.




The umbrella already proofed itself useful



We try to keep the Suzi as light as possible. It is already a heavy bike for offroad riding and each kilo saved is a good one. SilberWolf can carry a total weight of up to 800kg and it seemed that we are volume-limited and not weight-limited.



∼ Wolfi
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:05 AM   #8
enduro0125
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Great post!

Thanks for the honest description of what you guys are thinking and feeling.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enduro0125 View Post
great post!

Thanks for the honest description of what you guys are thinking and feeling.
+1
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:08 AM   #10
flei
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Still following you and enjoying your posts and pictures. I have travelled some (not by bike) in "under-developed/Third World" countries and have had similar reactions to the trash, poverty, begging, lack of infrastructure (elect., water, waste), difficulties at borders, being an "attraction", etc., yet still feel I have grown and benefitted greatly from visiting these places. I continue to desire to visit tham. However, I too would not chose to live in most of them. That said, even here in the USA there is plenty of poverty and other issues similar to the above (excluding lack of infrastructure and being an attraction) if you want to find it.

What I have done to ease my time when traveling in "difficult" places becomes too stressful, is to "take a break" from whatever is oppressing me and briefly go somewhere peaceful and/or beautiful (eg., a beach or mountain area, a nice hotel for a night, etc). I find that even a day away revitalizes my will to engage in more adventurous traveling. I do know you cannot do this easily on bikes, with dogs, etc!!

My earlier offer of a place to stay (dog and vegan friendly) in the USA is still available when you get here.

I salute your spirit of adventure and continue to wish you both well on your journey.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:02 AM   #11
kuhjunge OP
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invitation

Howdy flei,

great to hear you enjoy our writings. Honestly, Ghana is rather "overpopulated" in such a way that we had troubles to find solitude even for a day.

and you have a PM.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:45 PM   #12
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Very entertaining ride report. Riding with your dogs through some of the world's most primitive areas is probably a challenge that no other RTW rider has encountered.

When you get to North America you should take advantage of the "tent space" offerings in order to reduce your costs and to meet interesting people.

Hyva matka.
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nofate screwed with this post 04-07-2014 at 06:41 PM Reason: spelling
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:57 AM   #13
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Wonderful ride report, your journey is exciting! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:13 AM   #14
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Cool2 Catskill, NY - Gifford Woods, VT

We got our gear together, left NYC and headed towards North-West into the Catskill Park. There was a camp ground marked in the map. In case it would be closed, it might be tolerated to stay there for one or two nights before the season opens. We arrived at Kenneth L. Wilson campground (which is listed in the OSM maps but not in Garmin maps!) and it was closed. There were a few cars parked at the parking lot and the gate towards the actual campground was closed.


Two ladies came by and I asked them foradvice on where to stay. One of them – Catherine – was very kind and told us two places, one of them was what she called “The Secret Spot”. The weather forecast did not look promising for camping, thunderstorms and rain... What the heck, when did the weather guys ever got their forecasts right- right? So we went to this spot and it was absolutely beautiful there. We pitched the tent on the meadow and the river was just some tens of meters away to provide us with water. Excellent place! Thank you very much Catherine!
Catherine's secret spot in Catskill Park.

Smoothie time with wild herbs/veggies :)


A man got to have a nap once in a while.


Beautiful fresh water river.

Since we did a major shopping along the road we had enough supplies to stay two nights. The weather was sunny and warm, and all of us enjoyed this little paradise. What a relief after Ghana! Here we had green grass, trees, bushes and fresh water :)


Summer is coming here as well.


Plenty of wildlife. First chipmunk...

... a snake...


"Gigantic" grasshopper on Hertta's paw


First real repair at the BMW. The tail light bulb was strangely melted into the plastic (already in Ghana but it was too hot to fix it).


Our next accommodation was already planned in advance. Steven – one of our eager followers – had invited us already a long time ago to stay at his place and so we did. It was absolutely deluxe place as we got the bedroom of one of his daughters and could be around the house where ever we wanted. Thank you very much Steven, Liz, Teagan, Molly, Toddy and the Cats to let us stay at your great home!



Steven and Liz.


The house was in the middle of a forest and a walking path started right away from the backyard. That almost felt like home :) I fixed the windscreen of Skippy's bike somehow (I think this original design is totally screwed). We did some further planning and research on route planning, accommodation and so on.
David, Francine and Steven recommended us to ride the Puppy Dog Trail and that sounded like a great idea. Riding gravel roads and avoiding the busy highways was just perfect for our tastes.


Getting things organized and eating delicious organic apples.

We had a great time at Steven and Liz. Skippy made one day raw vegan dinner for all of us, and since we were so hungry we forgot to take any pictures We took it somewhat easy, tried to learn the local habits and cought up on our list of internet-to-do things.


Forest walks.


Leaves are coming. A few more weeks and have to make a vihta for sauna

From wikipedia: Finnish vihta (vasta in Eastern Finland), made of birch. It is used in traditional sauna-bathing for massage and stimulation of the skin.





Some special flower.

Little waterfall where a mill used to be.


Hertta started to worry us more and more. She stopped eating, drinking and was extremely dizzy. She could barely walk and her tail was constantly all in. That was not good.Even though Skippy fed her and made her drink water it did not get any better and we decided to go to the vet nearby. After some initial tests, Hertta was kept there and received IV and blood transfusion.
Since we didn't want her to be there overnight we agreed with the vet
that we pick her up as soon as she is done, which would be around one o'clock in the night.


Voivoi Hertta - what is the problem???


Well, Skippy called at 2AM and Hertta was still not ready. At 4AM the vet called and told us that we can pick her up. We jumped on the bike and besides the misery, the ride in the morning hour was very lovely. The air felt unbelievable clean and the streets were empty. Hertta was doing visibly better and she was happy to be back with Skippy. We rode back to Steven's place and had a good sleep for a few hours. One advice to others. Do not
get sick when being in America. The health costs are sky high and our bill was really heavy. There is – to our knowledge – no travel insurance for pets and even then Hertta would be too old anyway for that. Anyway, Hertta got better and better in the following days and that was the important thing here. We hoped that was it on medical stuff for some time now.

We really enjoyed our stay at Steven and Liz, nevertheless the road was calling us and we headed towards the Puppy Dog Trail.

On our first day we rode along stunning rivers, through most beautiful landscapes of grass, lakes and forests. I had hard times to describe our sensation in words. Both of us were inhaling this beauty of nature. A few times it was difficult to focus on the road when the scenery was exceptionally great ;)

Along Puppy Dog Trail - beautiful day, beautiful scenery.

More along Puppy Dog Trail - still beautiful day and different beautiful scenery.


Skippy made another great travelogue.






Click here if you have trouble to watch the video.

~ Wolfi
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:54 AM   #15
nofate
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"Leaves are coming. A few more weeks and have to make a vihta for sauna "

Vihta or vasta? The fresh birch branches in late spring are the best.

How to make one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2KVlDPamJI
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