North America, countdown is on.

Cover Photo; one of the last pics taken during our trips away in the 1984 Landcruiser HJ60, which we had for 8 years, before we sold it in 2002. I think this pic is in Cape Range National Park near Exmouth, looks like the camper trailer is in tow & the kids boogie boards are on the roof rack. Why this photo you may ask ? It represents how far we have come & how hard the road has been to get to this point…

 

 

A couple of nostalgic family photos for your amusement, of a Younger Team Wiljen & the Tin Lids. The one on the left is 2001 in Tom Price, WA, on Nameless Oval. The pic on the right is in 2002 down near the Pinjarra Bridge. Some times it’s fun to look back at the past, but no point dwelling on it too much, it’s the present that matters. Create your own future.

18/03/18, Kicking back in Mandurah & Perth, Western Australia.

North America Ride is ON, Time to Prepare……By Will

We did it, 5 year USA Visa … tick… Flights to Calgary, Canada booked….tick, it’s game on.

 

 

Only took 3 photos on Tuesday the 6th, that day we went to the US Consulate in Perth’s CBD, hoping to get extended tourist visas…the dreaded Mug Shots & Old London Court, looking nice in the Autum Sunshine.

After 2 & a bit years of no big cycle tours on our tough Thorn Nomad, Touring Bikes, the next Multi-Month Cycle Tour is now locked in. North America here we come !

Getting our 5 year United States Visa was reasonably straight forward, though while there, at least one other Aussie was ranting and raving about being denied a visa.

We did a short interview with the US Consulate on the other side of the bullet proof glass, with a security guard about 8 meters away. It was pretty obvious the Consulate Man (with an American accent & no name tag or ID) had done his homework. He asked a couple of curly questions, “where do you plan on entering the US”, “where do you live & do you own your house”, “what do you do for work” to which we replied for the first time ever “retired”.

I think he had checked us out with the Australian Federal Police, Face Book, Internet, ASIO & other sources…..CLEAN SKINS….! Enjoy your next 5 years in the USA, thank you.

 

 

5 Year USA Visa’s, the whole process cost about $250 each. Now our North American Cycle Tour can commence. With the possibility of a second big trip after this one. Very Excited & slightly nervous. We will be landing in Calgary, Alberta, Canada….

So we now have a shit load to do before our departure in July, plus bucket loads of bicycle & fitness training. Eyes & Teeth checks are complete, medical checks still to come. Finances & THB jobs still to be complete, it feels like there is a mountain to climb.

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There’s always time to get out for a ride around Mandurah on a sunny day.

Hey you guys, if we can do this so can you! Cycle, Motorcycle, Vehicle Based, it’s all doable only fear of the unknown holds us back.
Jenny & I definitely do not find it easy to set off on these mega tours, literally into the abyss of the unknown. Yeah sure anyone can do it, though once out on the road we only ever come across a small amount of fellow alternative travellers.

We have fears & doubts, but what are the options? Stick with the status quo, work your guts out for the minimum wage, never follow your dreams? Be a slave to what society says are “The Rules”? I say stuff that! Give it a crack & do something incredible. You can always go back to work later, how long will YOUR HEALTH hold out?

In the meantime here are some photos of us sitting around being bored.

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Jenny & Will ride the 20kms out to Dawesville Bridge, to lead the two Travelling Germans, Susanne & Torsten along the very scenic Estuary Cycling  Route back to the THB.
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Susanne & Torsten about to head for Fremantle. They are on a 1 year “Round The World” tour without catching any Planes.
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Grant, Darren & Will, stop in Harvey for a quick break.

 

 

During our Motorbike Ride we stumble on a large display of Historic Bikes all out on a day ride, it was fantastic to check out the Old Timers & good to see them actually out there being used.

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This old BMW sidecar outfit looked like the real thing, a WWII survivor, couldn’t be to many of them around.
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The Boys out on an awesome ride.
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Hummm one of these Bikes looks out of place. Quindanning Hotel, Western Australia.
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The next day, Grant & Will stop in Dwellingup & are treated to a Shelby Cobra display (more in the background, about 8 all up) . I think they are very good replicas but the V10 Dodge Viper looked like the real deal.

 

 

Not the best picture, sorry…but Will repairs the first puncture on Jenny’s Brompton. Of course it had to be on the rear wheel & guess what, the first attempt was a fail so I had to redo it the next day.

 

 

Quick trip to Freo, we took Olivia & Jake out to lunch…Happy Birthday Olivia, Mum & Dad love you. ❤️❤️❤️

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Old Church in Fremantle.

 

 

Time for some pre North American Tour Cycle Maintenance, Rohloff Speed Hub parts don’t come cheap. I decided to order the Sprockets & other consumables from SJS Cycles in the UK. They built the bikes for us & understand our requirements.

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Harper our oldest daughter makes a start on getting her Van ready to go touring.

To round out the last couple of weeks since we previously posted, we have found ourselves in Prison, well the YHA at the old Fremantle Prison anyway !

 

 

We arrive at the Freo YHA, which happens to be located in the Old Fremantle Prison.

Today we caught the Train from Mandurah to Murdoch Station, then rode our Nomad Bicycles into Fremantle (10kms) to catch up with Susanne & Torsten before they depart on a Cruise Ship for Singapore where they’ll continue the SE Asian segment of their RTW Ride without catching a Plane. Susanne says the SEA part of the ride will be about 3200kms. Good on them !

 

 

Finding the cycle path out of Fremantle & heading north was pretty easy, especially since Torsten had ridden it the day before.

We all went on a short 25km return ride up to Cottesloe to see “Sculptures By The Sea” then cut across through the up market suburbs of Peppermint Grove & Mosman Park to the Swan River, which we then followed back to Fremantle…Great Ride. Enjoyed checking out all the Flash Mansions that overlook the River & lucky for us the Cycle Path

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A Big Head bobs up on Cottesloe Beach.

 

 

Sculptures by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach, busy but very interesting Art Works.

 

 

Riding back to Fremantle along the River, Some of the hills made Jenny & Will hurt.

Thanks for making us part of your lives and reading these random words that float around out there in cyberspace. I just want everyone to have the opportunity to be happy, even if it’s only for a short while. Big Smiles & Love to you all..

 

 

Stuck in Prison again, actually we were let out on night release so after the Left Bank, Norfolk, Sail & Anchor (Freemasons), Gino’s Restaurant & finally the National Hotel, until the wee hours on Sunday morning, team Wiljen had had a skin full…it was a fun Saint Patrick’s day in Freo. 😀☘️☘️☘️

So can team Wiljen Ride 5000kms from Calgary to ???? Over 5 months ? We will soon find out.

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