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Old 05-29-2014, 07:25 AM   #1
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XC Rider 'round the world, one piece at a time.

And so it begins; a dream in the making for many years now. How does one start such a ride report? Having read many of these, it seems like the usual thing to do is to give a little bit of background info, so here goes. I've been riding motorcycles for almost 20 years now. I started with street bikes and stuck with that for a little more than 10 years, gravitating towards cruisers and Harleys since what I enjoyed was long distance/cross-country riding. I know, I know……I can hear some of you saying Harley!? I don't want to get into a whole which bike is the best debacle; personally I believe that every bike brings something to the table ( and hence why I own more than 1 ). That being said, around 2008, a co-worker and riding buddy of mine came up to me one day and said, "Hey, you need to go online and check out this site called! While you're there, check out this thing called the TAT, and by the way, we need to buy some dual sport bikes!" And that's where it all went downhill for me! :loll Thanks Lou! To make a long story short, that's when I really embraced the idea of riding any and all types of bikes; however, dual sport type riding has without a doubt become my favorite. It was the perfect transition, as I had criss-crossed the US multiple times via paved routes. Now I would be able to start exploring all those little roads that I had previously been apprehensive about trying on an 800lb. cruiser. I won't go through the details of all the trips I've done, but if you're curious and haven't come across one of my ride reports in the past, you can check out any and all of my ride reports via the link in my signature line of my posts. Over the last several years I've toured all over North America and dreamed about one day riding around the world. At the end of 2011/beginning of 2012 I started to seriously plan such a trip. My plan was to work for one and a half to two years to save enough money to do so, at the same time plan out the trip and put together a suitable bike, and then just quit my job, put all my stuff in storage and ride around for however long the finances held out. All was going according to plan until late in 2012/early 2013 when I was back in touch with a friend and previous employer who started hinting at the idea of rehiring me. On the one hand I was not interested because I had already invested a whole year's worth of time planning this new trip and was very excited at the fact that I was right on schedule with my planning/saving and that my departure date was less than one year away. However, on the other hand this was a job that I had truly enjoyed, paid well, had good benefits, AND still provided me with ample vacation time for travel. The job in question is teaching, and hence the ample vacation time comes in the form of summer vacations. Well one thing led to another, and the adult in me decided that it would be smarter for me to take this job and break up my 'Round the world trip in to multiple summer vacation trips. This way I would keep gainful employment, maintain retirement and health benefits, and not have to worry as much about my budget. And so for the past year I've been continuing my planning. With the changes in my budget constraints, I have made ONE BIG change…………and that is that I've changed which bike I am taking on this adventure. At first I was planning on taking a KLR650. However, I will now be traveling on an XC Adventure V649HP v2.0!

It's basically a Kawasaki Versys with a modified suspension set up, bigger front wheel, and some other tie-bits here and there. You can check out the whole build thread HERE.

This summer for the first portion of my trip, I'll be concentrating on western Europe. I've been pouring over maps to create an interesting route. I've also been updating some of my gear, including a new Garmin Montana GPS. At this point in time I'm frantically trying to tie up all the loose ends having to do with work, the upcoming trip, and everything that has to do with leaving your house and everyday life behind for 3 months! However I'm also super excited and can't wait to start. I shipped the bike earlier in the year by sea cargo and it's already in Southampton, UK waiting on me. I'll be flying over there in just over a week (I leave June 8th and land in the UK on June 9th).

Well that I think gets us caught up to where I stand today. If you've read everything above I applaud you. I promise that my future posts with contain a lot more pictures and a lot less verbiage. Thank you for checking in and I hope you enjoy the rest of this ride report.

JUMP TO PART 2 OF MY RTW; June-August, 2015

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XC Rider screwed with this post 06-08-2015 at 09:37 AM
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:40 AM   #2
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I figured I'd post up a brief over view of the trip as I've got it routed.

- June 9th, land in Southampton, UK
- From Southampton, travel clockwise to Liverpool
- Ferry over to Isle of Man and enjoy a loop of the island
- Ferry over to Dublin and enjoy a clockwise loop of the emerald isle to Belfast
- Ferry over to either Caimryan or Troon and continue a clockwise loop around the UK, ending up in Dover to take the chunnel

Here is where I've been debating back and forth on which way to go, but this is my current thinking.

- From northern France, go across Belgium & Netherlands to Denmark
- Onto Sweden to the North Cape in Norway
- Back down the west coast of Norway
- Back into Denmark and south through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and down into Italy
- Not sure how far into Italy I'll go, but at least to Rome
- Then back up and across the southern coast of France to Spain
- Do a clockwise loop of Spain and Portugal
- And finally back north to Belgium where I'll be flying out from Brussels on August 30th.

Here are some screen shots of my routing.

Ambitious!?!? You betcha! While I have a route laid out, I don't have a set itinerary; this is the way that I prefer to travel. I don't like to rush through things, but instead allow the trip to take whatever time it takes. The good thing about this portion of the trip is that even though I have a fixed return date, regardless of where in Europe I find myself, I can get back to Belgium in a matter of a few days to get on the plane.

Also, even though I have a planned out route, I am very open to suggestions and detours to see cool stuff or meet cool people. If you have suggestions of places to go, awesome roads/trails to ride, or if you're feeling generous and have a couch I can crash on for the night, feel free to post up here or send me a PM!
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:14 AM   #3
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Subscribed! Looks like a fun trip! Just went through your bike build, looks like a fun machine you have there. I wouldn't mind doing something like this, what did the shipping to the UK set you back?
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lukeman View Post
Subscribed! Looks like a fun trip! Just went through your bike build, looks like a fun machine you have there. I wouldn't mind doing something like this, what did the shipping to the UK set you back?
For shipping I decided to ship by sea. My reasons were: 1) I was not rushed for time and would be able to deliver the bike for shipping prior to my departure, and 2) $$$ (it's cheaper than air freight). After some research, I decided to use the Norwegian/Swedish company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics. The bike shipped out of Baltimore, MD and was received in Southampton, UK. Costs so far have been as follows:

- Wallenius Wilhelmsen shipping - $750.00
- Seabridge International (freigh forwarded to help with paperwork) - $150.00
- Security escort when delivering the bike on the port premises - $50.00

So the total so far has been roughly $950.00 US. I anticipate have some charges and fees to pay when retrieving the bike from customs in the UK and will post those up once I've done so.

Glad you enjoyed my build thread and thank you for checking in here.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:52 AM   #5
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Have a great trip buddy!
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:58 AM   #6
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Great trip! I'd advice you to change your route through Holland: go north from Amsterdam to ride the Afsluitdijk, a 30km long dike which separates salt from fresh water.

When do you plan to do the Dutch section of your trip?
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wimj screwed with this post 05-29-2014 at 10:36 AM
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:08 AM   #7
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See you in California in....what.....about 4 years?
You're gonna have a lot of fun getting here, and we're gonna have a lot of fun watching you get here.

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Old 05-29-2014, 10:05 AM   #8
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GO MAN GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO friggin jealous!

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Old 05-29-2014, 11:53 AM   #9
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Rock on Dennis!
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I'd be cranky too if I had to blow 500 horses!
You can bet your sweet ass and half a titty...
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:55 AM   #10
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:18 PM   #11
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I'm in!
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:23 PM   #12
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:30 PM   #13
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hey Denis,

contact this rider if you get to Sweden, you'll have something in common right off the bat. i sent him some adapters this spring.

hope to get out to Orange for the send off.
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:41 PM   #14
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OUTSTANDING! I've enjoyed your previous trips and can't wait to watch this one unfold.

Ride safe Dennis.

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Old 05-29-2014, 01:12 PM   #15
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