Dinner was always memorable
Sometimes it got a little cold
All set for the new adventure
Ready to go. Just before the bike was freighted
did it all begin
Ever since Dianne and I have known each other (nearly 35
years now) we've been interested in travel. Shortly after we were
married in Rhodesia, we went to the UK for our first adventure.
The day after we arrived, we bought a Yamaha XT 500. In Rhodesia,
because of sanctions, We had been limited to 125cc dirt bikes, so
the prospect of a big bore single was too good to pass up. Besides
it was cheaper than a proper road bike.
We toured England, Wales and Scotland before embarking on Europe
and all up did about 10,000 miles on that XT. We were young and
naive and rugged too I suppose. Also we didn't know any better.
Our riding gear was, in hindesite, totally inappropriate and at
least half our traveling was in the rain and cold, despite it apparently
On returning to England, we worked through the winter and come
spring we sold the XT and bought a Yamaha XS 750, a proper road
bike, and embarked on our second trip around Europe, enjoying places
we had been the first time and exploring new horizons too.
Whilst we were working and traveling, it became obvious that Rhodesia
was a lost cause and we had to look for a new country to live in.
The UK was not an option. After growing up and enjoying life in
Rhodesia, the UK was so totally different, especially the weather,
which for motorcyclists like us, was a major consideration. Now
when you get down to it, there actually aren't that many places
in the world a young Rhodesian couple would choose to live. As we
said the UK was out, the USA was almost impossible to get into,
Canada had a problem with not enough Celsius, but Australia, well
it had it all. Trouble was the Australian immigration officials
didn't want just anyone populating their wonderful country, only
those who passed strict requirements could get in. Meeting those
requirements or at least proving that we met them, took us about
3 years, which we spent in the UK working through the winters and
traveling on the bike in the summers.
1980, and acceptance to Australia was close. But for me, I had to
see the USA before finally settling down, as I knew I must when
we eventually did get to Australia. We had one more trip in us,
and so we flew out on a discounted Freddy Laker flight (who can
remember those) for New York City. I'd done better research on an
appropriate bike and our gear was also more suitable now and the
day after we arrived in NY City we rode out on our Yamaha XS1100.
We had a wonderful and memorable 6 months touring the USA, Canada
and a small bit of Mexico, before learning that our application
to migrate to Australia had been accepted.
Before leaving the USA we decided to ship the XS to Australia.
Having owned a motorcycle ever since I was 14 and ridden almost
every day to work, sometimes taking the long way, I feared there
would be other more important things to deal with in our adopted
country and I would have a hard time justifying buying and riding
a motorcycle when there were other priorities.
The next 15 years or so we worked hard and raised two kids, but
did very little riding. I still rode to work every day and enjoyed
dirt bike riding , but one day a strange thing happened and I remember
it well. I was 39, nothing significant about that, and had gone
down to one of the local bike shops to look for a suitable dirt
bike for the young bloke. While waiting I sat on one of those Harley
things the dealer had in the showroom! That was it, the moment and
the instant that rekindled our need for motorcycling adventures.
We sold the aging XS and Dianne bought me a Harley for my 40th birthday.
That bike and the HOG fraternity, that is a part of Harley ownership,
changed our lives and put us back on course.
Almost 10 years later, and as I write this, I'm looking at our
3rd Harley in the garage. Dianne now has her open bike licence and
collectively our Harleys have carried us well over 200 000km and
rekindled our love for travel. Dianne and I have just finished packing
and protectively taping this one. She's got 60 000km on the clock
and already taken us around Australia, and many other places in
the two years we've owned her, and in 5 days time 16/04/2004, she'll
be air freighted out to Los Angeles to begin a 12 month adventure
that will take the three of us up to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, south
and east to the New England states, then south again to Mexico,
through Central and South America to join other RTWs in Ushuaia
for Xmas and to welcome in the New Year 2005.
This trip has been more than two years in the planning, and the
hoping. We think we've got all bases covered, and those we haven't
we'll sort out on the way. We've had our doubters, particularly
regarding our choice of bike, but after enjoying Peter and Kay Forwood's
company for a few days late last year as well as Ken and Carol Duval
and grilling both of them on their adventures, we believe the Harley
is the right choice for the two of us on a trip such as this. We
attended the Horizons Unlimited Australian meeting last year and
there were a few sniggers about the Harley. We know it has certain
limitations but it also has several significant advantages for us.
We aim to vindicate our choice.
We plan on maintaining a web site to not only keep up with family
and friends but also to offer what we hope will be useful information
for other travelers. Updates will be every couple of weeks and we
seek feedback and information from other travelers. We also hope
our postings are informative and useful and we encourage feedback.
If you'd like to see what we're up to click the HOME button now
and go to dairy update.