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Pre Trip Preparations

We have made it to Canada and finally have some time to recap the last couple weeks. It has been a mad rush of finishing school jobs, trip planning, making bikes work,moving out etc...I could write a small novel on the last few weeks alone, but I'll try and keep it short. Hopefully in the near future we can write up some specifics on everything that we needed for the trip, but for now here is the overview

Bike Preparation

Until the week before we left our bikes were still sans luggage and James' bike was dismantled throughout the garage with half of the engine missing. This was all worth it though because we had scored a last minute sponsorship from GIVI for some awesome luggage and James rebuilt the top end of his engine so it was good to go for the next 15~20,000 miles.

James' bike with the top half of the engine missing

Our Outback Trekkers, the rest of James engine, and assorted other goodies from GIVI arrived exactly a week before our departure and we could not have been more excited. James spent a few late nights putting his engine all together, and she runs better than ever now! Michael and James have the first generation of the bike which has a slightly different geometry than the second generation so a bit of welding was in order to get the racks mounted properly. I was lucky enough to have the rack that was built specifcally for my bike so I just had to tinker around with some bolts and the racks and boxes were all mounted beautifully. (Upon initial inspection it looks like the mounting points between the 2 generations are identical for the GIVI racks, so the same rack could be used on either bike. We did not try and mount it though so can'y confirm this.)

Welding and assembling the racks/crash bars

We were pretty pumped on how easy it was to take the boxes on and off through the integrated locking mechanism. Definetely a few steps up from the ammo boxes we had on there before! With our boxes mounted, and our bikes now running it was time to focus on actually packing up what we need and moving out of the house.


On top of finishing up school/finishing up work/planning the trip/working on the bikes we also had to move all of our stuff out of the townhouse we all currently live in. Michael and James have lived there for the past 4 years and James sister lived there the 4 years before that. Needless to say there was a significant amount of shit accumulated in every corner of the place. We spent 3 weekends working on various parts of the house and it was still a final dash to clean everything right up until 30 minutes before we rolled out of the driveway.

Living room ground zero

A huge thank to everyone's parents and all our friends who helped tremendously with cleaning out everything out. We would probably still be in Boulder without your help! Amongst all of the crap all of the things we intended to take on the trip emerged and began to disperse across the living room which created a ground zero for everything we need for the next 7 months. Miraculously we got everything packed up and ready to go and squished into our slick new cases.


I graduated college and Michael and James were basically taking a 7 month sabatical so the last weekend was not only a frantic dash to getting everything done, but also booze infused celebration. The combination of going away parties and grad parties definetely got the best of us, and it became apparent that copious amounts of cleaning are a pretty terrible hangover cure. A few PepPods and a coffee each morning were pretty much a necessity. I had a grad party on Saturday, and my parents did a pretty good job loosening everyone up with possibly a few to many of my dad's famous margs and my moms authentic Canadian ceasars. There was a spontaneous late season snow storm that ripped through Boulder that night and of course a massive snowball fight ensued in the backyard. The snowball fight transformed into a few snowy games of slip and flip until we were pretty well soaked and covered in mud. It was awesome to have a great time with all our friends and family before we took off for the rest of the year.

Grad party shenanigans

Send off

The morning of departure finally arrived, and myself and James still had quite a bit of packing to do as well as cleaning. Michael seemed to have planned better or was a lot more efficient with his hefty task of chores, and was pretty much ready to go. The plan was to leave at 10am, and after a lot of running around the house and swear words we left at 11am. In our cleaning we found some red, white, and blue smoke bombs so we lit those bad boys up and rode out of there in style. (Actually it wasn't nearly as graceful as we envisioned it, and I burnt a hole in my jacket and pants before we had even made it 100 ft into our trip.) Nonetheless we were on our way to Toronto and the trip had officially begun!

Rolling out of Boulder

Lady Killers

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