Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Home Stretch

It's bittersweet that our trip is coming to an end.  While it will be nice to get home to the U.S., I'll really miss riding over here and the freedom of not having a set schedule. Today we'll make a short ride from Konstanz back to Niedereschach to drop off the bikes, pack up our luggage, and say our goodbyes to everyone.

The home-stretch went by quickly.  It was our first time on an Autobahn with the bikes during this trip and really doing anything more than 100 km per hour.  You get used to riding slow after a week of 50-80 km/hr through twisty Italian and Swiss roads, so buzzing along at high speed on a wide highway seemed like a big deal at the time.

After arriving at the Touratech HQ, it was now time to un-pack both motorcycles, then re-pack everything into our airline luggage.  This proved to be a lot of work.  All of our riding gear had to be packed carefully and loaded into the bags while trying to keep within the weight allowances.  If we had any more gear packed with us, we would have been over the 50 lb. limit.

We had a nice lunch together with our friends at Touratech then got a ride to Stuttgart.  Our flight is very early in the morning tomorrow, so unfortunately we couldn't spend any more time in Niedereschach.  We have a hotel booked by the airport and plan for a relaxing evening with an early bedtime.  Plans always seem to change with us though...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Laundry on the Road

We learned awhile back that it's a waste of room to bring any more than a couple sets of clothes on our motorcycle trips.  The majority of the day, we're just wearing a base layer and a riding suit, so other clothes don't get much wear time anyway.  Here are a couple tips to keep your bags a bit lighter on any of your trips:

Plan to do laundry on the road every couple days - You can do laundry just about anywhere.  Hotel sinks and bathtubs are great, but if you're camping, any creek or highway rest stop sink will do.  We typically bring pre-made packets of laundry detergent meant for use in a sink, or fill up reusable bottles from the Woolite jug at home.  Doing a small load of laundry is easy.  Below is a video from Helge Pedersen and Globeriders where he describes  his method.  If we are lucky enough to be somewhere with two sinks, one person will wash and the other will rinse.  Then we wring out the wet clothes, roll them in a towel like Helge, and hang the clothes up to dry.  The whole process takes maybe 20 minutes to do all of the laundry between the two of us.  This is a far more sophisticated way than showering with your clothes on.

Buy clothes designed for traveling - Many outdoors clothing companies make clothes with special materials that dry quickly, wash easily, and resist odor and wrinkling.  These garments are great because you can typically wash them and they will dry in about 15 minutes.  They usually pack much smaller than normal clothes, too.  Brayde has a dress made out of the materials and we both have pants, shorts, and shirts.  A small investment in some travel-specific clothes will make a huge difference for your trip wardrobe.