Monday, March 17, 2008

My First Shipping Quote!


The following is an email I just received from a local freight forwarder. If this is indicative of what I can expect then My life just got so much better. According to my calculations Shipping should be in the $775 range and I have a choice of Frankfurt or Munich. Could this be right?

Read the following I have made some notes in red:

Hello Elvis,

Please see the current rate below for March 2008.

Air Freight YVR-FRA/MUC: 2.34/kg My bike is 230kg $ 538.20
(includes - FSC, SEC, NAV)
Dangerous Cargo Fee: 100/HAWB (house airway bill)$ 100.00
Export Terminal Fee: 0.16/kg $ 36.80
Export Declaration (B13A): 45 (if needed) Don’t know what this is?$ 45.00
Document fee: 55/HAWB $ 55.00
Pick up cartage: TBA (One of those hidden charges. I won’t include it)
Insurance: TBA My bike is only worth money to me. $ 0.00
Subtotal $ 775.00

These above estimate charges should cover you to Frankfurt or Munich
airport. For any other charges occur not included above will be charge at
cost. The airline may change the rates. Please let me know when you are
ready with the motorcycle, I will re-confirm all the rates with you again.

Transit sample:
Carrier: KLM

Usually if a shipment goes out on Monday it will connect Tuesday evening and
arrive Wednesday early a.m.
(Same for any other day.)

Let me know if you have any questions.


Speedy Air Cargo Inc. (since 1985)
Vancouver, BC Canada




This is really good news indeed. Yipee
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If you build it they will come


So... I guess all things being equal I will have to do the majority of the repairs myself. I have begun researching my bike a lot. The first thing I need to do before I even remove one nut from my bike is to... OK the first and second thing I need to do is to FIND MY BIKE! The second thing I need to do is to build a workspace to fix my bike.

(this is my carport on Saturday morning. Do you see a bike?

this is a closer look at my 1941 International. Yes it is all original. And yes, it does run. I use it to go to the dump and pickup gravel and dirt and the like.

I think I see a bike in there. Maybe two?

Wow! How did I let it get to this? Lets drag this sucker out a see what we're dealing with.

OK. We have a winner. This is the beast that's going to take me across Eastern Europe reliably. No really! I mean it. Trust me I have my doubts to. Now let's see what space I can make to work in.

The various stages of my Saturday spent cleaning out my carport/soon to be garage. I worked my tail off. New bench and some lights to work by. Then on Sunday I continued again.

Who's going to organize all these parts?

The final product. Sunday at 10:30 PM
(and they said it couldn't be done.)

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Starting at the beginning


I posted a couple of blogs already just to try this out. I think I was a little premature as I was just toying around. If I want this to be a serious blog i think I need to put a little chronology and structure to it. So let's start this over and call this the beginning...

It all started last year, August of 2007 to be exact. After a year of being with my lovely wife Izabel I finally took her up on an offer to travel to Croatia. She's been going every second year since I have known her and I have resisted. She did have an ace in the hole to get me to go... she threatened to kidnapped my daughter (Olivia) for the whole summer and I wouldn't see them until they returned. So there it was. I had no choice but to get on a plane and get over there.

You're probably asking yourself, "Why wouldn't you want to go?". It's not that I don't like to travel. It's just that Croatia was never on my A-list of places to go. Couple that with the fact that I'm a work-a-holic who doesn't like to take vacations because of control issues and you have your answer.

So I was committed, my plane tickets were booked and I had no choice. I decided to make the most of it and have a small adventure on the way. Because Izabel, Olivia, and Izabel's parents traveled to Munich where they rented a car (cheaper in Germany) and drove to Croatia. Because Izabel wanted me on the same flight home it meant that I needed to fly to Munich and make my own way down to Croatia. This is where the adventure comes in. I decided that what I would do is not make any travel plans beyond landing in Munich. I would land in Germany with luggage, passport, and a small amount of money and I would just have to rely on my instincts to get me to Jadrtovac, a village of about 200 people which doesn't appear on many maps.

Needless to say, I had the time of my life. Taking the train through Austria, overnighting in a prison converted into a hostile in Slovenia, Arriving during one of the biggest rain and lightning storms in Zagreb. My only regret that I hadn't taken longer to get there because once I arrived in my wife's village I was pretty much stuck. That being said Jadrtovac is a very nice place to be stuck and by the end of my vacation I had a tan to be jealous of. The problem? No transportation! We were pretty much at the whim of my in-laws if we wanted to go anywhere.

So that is the lead up to how I made my decision to ship a motorbike to Europe. Since I have a couple of bikes that need to be fixed and parts out my yin-yang I decided to start the adventure early and savour the whole process. I have spent my adult career solving other people's problems I figured it was about time I used my skill set to benefit myself.

Here are the problems I have to overcome:

  1. Germany is a long way away.
    1. how do I get my bike there?
    2. what route do I take to get to Croatia?
    3. what do I take with me?
  2. My transportation is less than reliable.
    1. Which bike do I fix?
    2. How much money can I spend?
    3. who's going to fix my bike?
    4. if I fix it myself, where can I do it?
I'm sure this list will grow, or at least be broken down into a few more parts but right now it's all I can deal with?

Now, with that out of the way, I can begin the whole blogging process.
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