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Old 07-01-2014, 08:23 AM   #1
MoodyBlues OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Belton, Texas
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From Texas to the Isle of Man TT and back.

Well, where do we start? I guess how all this come about? What started it? Hmm?

While stationed in Germany back in the mid-90s for several years, I started watching and following real European road racing. It’s known as “real road racing” due to the fact that takes place on public roads and not purpose built racetracks. I was surprised how much of this was covered on the European sports channel Eurosport and had almost no coverage back in the states. Races such as the Cooks Town 100, the Southern 100, and the mid-Antrim 150 are very popular in Ireland and throughout the UK.

And then of course, the most widely known granddaddy of them all is the Isle of Man TT race.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Man_TT

Flash forward 15 years and I had just retired from the Army after 23 years and too many tours to Iraq. Oddly, after all those nights of sleeping on the ground as a Forward Observer, I still loved camping and being outdoors, just not getting shot at and wearing the same under wear for three weeks. I had always had some form of motorcycle since I was five or six years old, and had a couple of street bikes in the garage when I bought a 2012 BMW F 800 GS to get out in the good camp sites and trails; and, of course, had to get on ADV to find out where all the good places to ride were, what not to buy, and how to do it. And with both kids just out of the house to college and nothing but me, the wife, and three dogs sitting around, we had plenty room at the house so we posted info on the tent space thread offering up a place to sleep and a place to work on the bikes to any travelers coming through the area.
Since then we’ve had a few people stop by and pitch tents while passing through, even though my wife was always worried that they were serial killers on motorcycles riding around the US and killing everybody on the thread. And then one day in October I got this message…

“Hello. Were sorry to bother you. We are In America at the moment ,Riding our Yamaha 660 Tenere around the world. Were in the New Mexico at the moment. our plan was to head into Montana but due to the bad weather there we have changed our plans and are heading south. We would like to ask if you have room for us to pitch our tent sometime in the next few days ? We will get wifi again at McDonald's and check our messages . If you would like to see our Blog of the route we have taken since we left England . Here is a link.
With Kind Regards Darren and Leigh
http://www.bmwgs.co.uk/viewforum.php?f=10”

hmmm. European serial killers with their own blog? Nice. Documenting their terrors abroad.

Well, while my photo bucket down loads the 3000 some photos I will let you read a little bit of their blog to get idea what the serial killers had in mind.

I hope to do one good entry a day on this ride report, depending on how PO’ed I get at Photobucket. More to follow...
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'11 BMW F800GS lava orange, '08 Kawasaki Concours, '06 ZX-10R track bike
'13 KTM 500 XC-W

MoodyBlues screwed with this post 07-01-2014 at 04:37 PM
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:06 PM   #2
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And we're off...

Well, as you can see if you read the blog, Darren and Leigh are some very interesting travelers. RTW 2 up on a 660?!?!? They stayed with us for a couple weeks while waiting on a new wheel for the 660 10 Tenere to post from Berlin. And then they would be off to Central America. Darrin noticed an Isle of Man TT flag I had hanging in my shop while we’re working on his bike and asked if I’d ever been to the Isle. As a lot of you know, this not particularly easy place to visit from the states due to shortage of accommodations transportation, etc. Darren, to show his appreciation for the help with his bike, lodging, and shooting up several tons of ammunition while visiting gave us an invite to come visit him sometime and go to the TT with them. What? The TT! An invite? You didn’t have to ask me twice. But that would be at least another year and a half away due to their continuation of travels and a good bit of coordination required on our part.

They also stayed for short visit on their way back from Central America while headed over towards Florida, then on to South Africa. Once I finally returned to England we stayed in touch via email and messages. Finally, towards the end of 2013 we all made the decision to try to get to the TT in the summer of 2014. My wife, who is civil-service with the U.S. Army, was able to save up a good bit of vacation time and may/June was a good time frame for her to get away from work.

Accommodations. Darren lives in Keighley, which is generally north of Manchester just outside of Skipton. He has a house which he was in the process of remodeling and expanding when he returned from his round the world trip and said he would have plenty of room for me and wife. Okay, well that’s a significant chunk of expenses taken care of there, as we all know lodging can get pretty expensive in Europe. Not for me really, but I didn’t think the wife would crash in a hostel with a bunch young hippies. Especially since she was already describing this vacation as “going to see motorcycle racing” which she is not a huge fan of.


Transportation. Well, from our end we would book tickets get into Manchester, England where Darren can pick us up at the airport. How to get to the Isle? Well Darren being quite the bike collector offered up the use of his Honda Transalp he had bought new before he left on the RTW trip and was setting at his house with no miles on. Hmmm. A dual sport motorcycle that most Americans don’t get to ride, in England, during the summer, and to the Isle of Man? How could I say no!

Darren got to work on getting tickets for the ferry (http://www.steam-packet.com/) to take us and the bikes from England across Irish Sea to the Isle of Man. This is actually pretty difficult as most visitors buy the tickets for the next year upon returning from this year’s TT races. And it is very common to not have seats available during this time. Luckily, he was able to find some tickets for four passengers and two bikes that headed over the first day or so of race week.


I started pricing tickets from Dallas-Fort Worth to Manchester England. Ouch! But I guess you got to pay to play.
Actually ended being a little cheaper to fly to Copenhagen Denmark for a 24-hour layover and then on to Manchester. The lower price more than covered a hotel and meals. We’ve never been the Copenhagen, so why not? We found the best price through kayak.com traveling with Air Canada. Dallas-Fort Worth, Toronto, Copenhagen, Manchester England was the itinerary. Being able to travel 2 up on a motorcycle once we got there required a little special packing of the bags here before we left. Helmets, jackets, pants, gloves, and boots take up a good chunk of your suitcase. About a week out we started doing practice rounds with the suitcases to ensure it would all fit and we would make the 50 pound per bag limit. We actually ended up having more room than we thought once we packed our helmets full of socks and shirts and packed everything tightly. Wednesday, May 28 was our flight date to leave DFW. Also with kayak.com was able to schedule the minimum time for layovers, as I absolutely hate running to catch a connection especially international. So I was able to schedule an eight hour layover in Toronto, another place we had never been. This would hopefully help with the jet-lag as it would put us arriving in Copenhagen at 730 local time. Our flight left Dallas at 6 AM so we drove up late the night before.

This couldn’t have been easier. Air Canada is in terminal E on the south side airport, late-night no traffic, front row long-term parking. Wheels up was on time and by 10:30 AM we were in Toronto and cleared customs. A quick visit to the bank for money exchange and then to the information booth got us a map and advice on where to visit. Out front and on the bus we go headed for downtown and the central waterfront.

That's an impressive stack of bricks. CN Tower of Toronto. 1815 ft tall.


Me with some liquid vitamins at the Amsterdam Brewhouse. Excellant food and brew. Great location right on the waterfront.
http://www.amsterdambrewhouse.com/



My partner in crime and wife of 25 years come December with a brew.



Still amazed at the engineering of these. Toronto Railway Museum.



Used the good stuff back then...

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Copper Canyon Mex http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=783027

'11 BMW F800GS lava orange, '08 Kawasaki Concours, '06 ZX-10R track bike
'13 KTM 500 XC-W

MoodyBlues screwed with this post 07-01-2014 at 12:32 PM
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:29 PM   #3
TXjames
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Dood, IN! FB pics were great but I gotta hear the whole thing.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:34 PM   #4
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Yes, some much good stuff is left out on FB. It was amazing.
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Copper Canyon Mex http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=783027

'11 BMW F800GS lava orange, '08 Kawasaki Concours, '06 ZX-10R track bike
'13 KTM 500 XC-W
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:36 PM   #5
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You luckys FFs are in for one hell of a good read...
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:37 PM   #6
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In. That Timken cover is cool... wore the housing out on a supercharger long before the Timken bearing went out.

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Old 07-01-2014, 12:46 PM   #7
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This looks like it's going to be good!! I get bad news on the link to Darren and Leigh's adventure though.
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:01 PM   #8
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Thanks for the heads up. Let me ask him where the good stuff is..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blader54 View Post
This looks like it's going to be good!! I get bad news on the link to Darren and Leigh's adventure though.
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Copper Canyon Mex http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=783027

'11 BMW F800GS lava orange, '08 Kawasaki Concours, '06 ZX-10R track bike
'13 KTM 500 XC-W
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:04 PM   #9
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Guy stuff...

still in Toronto...

Your reply is likely to the same as mine. "....I'll be damned."



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Copper Canyon Mex http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=783027

'11 BMW F800GS lava orange, '08 Kawasaki Concours, '06 ZX-10R track bike
'13 KTM 500 XC-W

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Old 07-01-2014, 01:05 PM   #10
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All I got to sayWrite on
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:09 PM   #11
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Before Dan left, I gave him some sound advice....."Eat every pie, drink every pint." He listened.

Can''t wait to read this!
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:41 PM   #12
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u suck

Trip of my dreams bro::: u suck-----so jealous!!!!!

good on ya for a report.

Monte
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:20 PM   #13
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Danny Boy - I think you need to change your name to "Texas TT" not to be confused with another famous phrase..."Texas Titties"

I smell another Mexico ride in our future.

John

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Old 07-01-2014, 05:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Danny Boy - I think you need to change your name to "Texas TT" not to be confused with another famous phrase..."Texas Titties"

I smell another Mexico ride in our future.

John
Yep. Was digging through maps the other day of down south. Baja?
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Copper Canyon Mex http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=783027

'11 BMW F800GS lava orange, '08 Kawasaki Concours, '06 ZX-10R track bike
'13 KTM 500 XC-W
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:03 PM   #15
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After doing the waterfront thing in Toronto we jump the bus back to the airport, back through customs, and to our flight to Copenhagen, Denmark via Air Canada. Online booking allowed me to get a window seat where we (me) could stretch out a little bit. Flight time was just under eight hours and about 4000 miles.

As soon as we took off they served an actually not too bad chicken pasta dish. We were sitting beside an older gentleman who was a farmer in Ontario but originally from just north of the Copenhagen area. He was really nice guy and you could tell from his rock hard leather handshake he wasn’t a hobby farmer. I washed dinner down with two big glasses of Merlot , kicked the shoes off, stuck iPod on with some soothing Motorhead playing, and commenced to snore for the remaining seven hours.



Bing! The seatbelt on alarm woke me up and to my surprise we were getting ready to land Copenhagen. Local time was 8:30 AM. Perfect. It took less than 30 minutes to get off the plane, get our luggage, and clear customs. American airports should take some lessons here!

Again a quick trip to the ATM for some local money (Kroner) and grab a map from the information desk. I’d already booked a hotel online and had address printed off. Outside, grab a cab, and off we went. At the hotel we were able to do an early check in with no problems. https://www.nordicchoicehotels.com/q...ort-hotel-dan/

We quickly washed up and went downstairs where the receptionist explained the easiest way to get to the downtown area. The subway was about a five minute walk from the hotel and you can buy your tickets from the vending machine at the station. It was a little different than most European sub ticket systems, but a nice local guy help us out with the tickets. Interestingly, most Danes speak very good English. We both felt really bad because we didn’t know any of the greetings in their language. And only being there for 24 hours didn’t justify a lot of research of the Danish language. But I still hate being that person!

About eight stops later and we are downtown Copenhagen by 10:30 AM. It is a very beautiful city with unique architecture and a very distinct culture. Map in hand, off we went.

I'm not sure why I always wanted to see it, boobies maybe? but here it is. The Little Mermaid. She was a gift from the owner of Carlsberg brewery to the city back in 1913.
http://www.visitcopenhagen.com/copen...maid-gdk586951



Being a old and very important sea port, there is lot of vessels and old warehouses along the old waterfront.



Nyhavn.

http://www.visitcopenhagen.com/copen...havn-gdk474735



The easiest way to learn about a place is to eat their food, drink their drink, and listen to their music. Done! Smorrebrod is a open face sandwich usually served on dark rye with pickled herring. And it was damn good! Very fresh.



The local lawdog rocking the FJR. Man these guys are some great riders. Small cobblestone streets with cars on both sides, splitting traffic like James Bond.

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Copper Canyon Mex http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=783027

'11 BMW F800GS lava orange, '08 Kawasaki Concours, '06 ZX-10R track bike
'13 KTM 500 XC-W

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