The rest of 2008 was very busy for me. I spent a lot of time that year working in Moscow and we finished renovating a house in Spain that we would use as a second home. We spent our first few long weekends in Spain and these wiped out any time that I might have had to start planning the main USA tour again.
In 2007 I had heard about a company called Brett Tours (http://www.brettours.co.uk) that organise excellent road trips in Europe for Harley-Davidson owners. I decided to go on one of these and chose a trip to Le Touquet in France. These are highly organised tours for about 20 bikes led by an experienced road captain where everything is done for you. The routes are planned in advanced, the hotels are booked and this means that all you need to concentrate on is enjoying the riding!
On this trip to Le Touquet there were about 20 riders and as you can imagine, we spent the days riding and the evenings eating and drinking together. One of my fellow riders was a guy called Mike, who hearing that I was having a custom bike built for me, gave me the name and phone number of his brother (Russ) who already had a custom bike and who lived very close to me. I learned that Russ sometimes organised local bike rides for him and his friends and I contacted him with a view to joining him once I had my own custom bike. Not much came of this until the second half of 2008 when Russ let me know he was organising a two week tour of California and did I want to join him and about 6 others?
Yes was the answer. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Please.
So I had just agreed to do a two week trip in May 2009 on a rented Harley with 6 guys, none of whom I had met before! As well as being really good itself, this trip would be a great taster for my main USA tour and would probably teach me a lot about preparations, what to take, what type of touring etc.
I was looking forward to this!