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June 25, 2013

Status Update

The KTM 990 Adventure showed up at FedEx on Friday, June 21, as promised. But I couldn't find the FedEx cargo office at the Jackson International Airport before they closed for the day on Friday. Finally found them, and went in Monday Morning to liberate the bike - was told it hadn't cleared customs. Big surprise, right? No one at FedEx had a clue about how to get a bike through customs, but they were willing to figure it out. So, I was patient. They sent me to the customs office, which I found by the UPS office. Customs wasn't sure what to do either, but finally just had me fill out a little form. Took this back to FedEx, they called back to customs to verify the release, and then they gave me my bike.

Brought it out back in the heat of the day on a forklift. I cut apart the "shipping crate", mainly cardboard and packing tape with a knife. Then, I had a bike with flat tires and empty gas tank. Poured in about a gallon of gas. Aired up the tires as best I could with a small compressor. Then, the bike was essentially mobile.

Called Web and had him follow me back to Molly's in Sarah's car, while I drove the bike. We drove through a pretty good rainstorm on the way. Took Web back in Sarah's car. Finally got Sarah's car home. Return Will's air compressor.

Today, Lily said she wanted to go for a ride, so I reinstalled the fairing, and put a California plate on the bike. Then I realized the tires were still too low, so I bought an air gauge and went to a service station. Asked her to turn on the air, and she laughed at me.

"You gotta have quarters," she explained.

"Well, in California, they just turn the air on for you. It's a state law. They have to," I offered.

"Well, this is the dirty South. You got to pay for everything here. How's it feel?" she asks, snidely.

So, I paid a dollar and filled up the tires.

Then, I borrowed a helmet from Will and took Lilly for a ride. She's never been on a motorcycle, so I took her for a little ride through the country. She liked it, I think. We didn't go very fast...maybe about 95 mph I think, at the most. But it handles a lot differently with two people on it. I didn't want to push it.

I made her wear a helmet, gloves, leather jacket, pants, and close-toed shoes. Somehow, we survived the trip.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 25, 2013 at 11:15 PM



Terrific. I returned from New Hampshire recently where I was wi-fi challenged in Lumberjack Land. Now back in New York where it is the equivalent of 104 degrees I spent most of the day transfixed on reading your travelogue. Being 68 years of age, I say to all who followed your exploits - do it now before it is too late. As Rob knows, I spent 9 months traveling by bicycle and other forms of transportation in Europe and northern Africa(Egypt and Morocco primarily) in 1971-1972- age 26. Most memorable experience was in Madrid at youth hostel (always stayed at youth hostels) during the Franco era ( at that time the citizens of Spain used the "seig heil" arm extended salute with the palm down to differentiate themselves from Nazi Germany - still doing it 1971 when I was travelling). Someone had written "Franco is a sh_t" on the wall and the Guardia Civil, local police, where interrogating a very worried husband and wife managers of the hostel. I thought we were next. At the time, I did think that a motorized vehicle (Vespas were the rage) would have made more sense but we live and learn - way to go, Rob.
My other travel experience in the same amount off time as Rob journey (my retirement gift to myself in 2004) was a one month walk about England-again staying at youth hostels - walked daily with a backpack (about the same amount of stuff as Rob - but included a tie to get into the theater)- in Cornwall overlooking the cliffs, Cotswold and the Lake District. Unlike, Rob, I had an understanding wife whose idea of travel does not include youth hostels.
So thank you Rob - I enjoyed every word in the comfort of my man cave having a cup of tea, naturally. Way to go Rob and might I add you owe your mother a bouquet of flowers.

Posted by: James Sutton on July 18, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Thanks Jim. Glad to hear about your adventures. :)

Posted by: Rob Kiser Author Profile Page on July 18, 2013 at 6:55 PM

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