By Tim Notier
- Marisa and I needed to transfer the title of our bike from Arkansas and get licenses and state IDs to reflect Illinois as our “legal residence” even though we were technically homeless.
- I needed to take my bike to the dealership. There were 25k miles on its current chain and sprockets, and something weird was happening around 4500rpm in third, forth, and fifth gear. The bike seemed to choke up and struggle to accelerate, not very awesome when merging from an on-ramp into fast moving traffic. I also noticed what seemed to be oil gathering around a gasket on the engine.
- We had to transfer our money to debit accounts that would be accepted world-wide.
Then the flood gates of problems opened
With one task in motion, I called the local KTM dealership and explained my wish list for a bike check-up. They stated they couldn't get me in for two weeks. Nothing I could do about that, so I had them put me in the books.
In the following two weeks, we set up our new bank accounts that would best fit our travels, put a sum of money into CDs that would mature in a year, and I changed the fuel filter in the fuel pump, hoping that might have been a factor in the engine struggling to fly through the gears like I was used to. Most importantly, we were able to spend some quality time with family and friends.
Finally it was the day to bring my motorcycle into KTM, and they informed me the OEM chain was on backorder for three more weeks. I was frustrated, I had waited two weeks to find out I had to wait three additional weeks with no notification. I told them to run down the rest of the list, and I ordered my own OEM chain online so that it would arrive in under a week.
Now I started to get nervous about my driver's license, IDs, and bike title coming in the mail because it had been three weeks. Marisa had already received her identification, but she was listed as a male on her driver’s license. Awesome…
The Secretary of State’s website confirmed that an attempted delivery had been made, but then returned to sender. I didn’t understand why because I had updated my permanent address on USPS.com to reflect our house. A quick call to the local post office stated I failed to inform them on a local level, and that they still had on file to forward and return mail to the sender from when I moved to Arkansas two years ago. Apparently, I did not directly inform Bob, the neighborhood carrier.
So that meant my drivers license, state ID, the title to the bike, and my bank cards were all returned to sender.
The issue was corrected, and the same documents would be mailed out between two and three weeks. That timeframe was cutting into our departure date. The total solar eclipse that marked our journey’s official start date on August 21st was a week and a half away. Now I realized it was time to start worrying.
I received the OEM chain and sprocket set, so I headed back to KTM. I dropped the parts off only to find out they had not ordered the chain guide as of yet, and it would be another week until they received it in. They had also not looked at the bike for her “bill of health”.
This was particularly disconcerting because at that moment I did not have a license nor a motorcycle, and we were just around a week away from our scheduled riding around the world on a motorcycle departure date. We were running out of time.
It had been an entire month of daily frustration, disappointments, and false promises that ate away at me while neglecting to reflect on the big picture. I was pissy and stubborn to Marisa, I acted like a child who did not get what he wanted that very second. The whole month I was surrounded by love and support, friendships and family, but chose to focus only on the seemingly never-ending relentless attacks against me and my personal goals.
Marisa not only dealt with me, but was the guiding light to get me back on track to the reality of what we were about to do and how lucky we truly were. I would complain that nothing was going as it should as she calmly explained that we would have to adapt and figure out problems on-the-fly.
“You’re going to do great, love,” she said with a smile. “My mom just texted me, still no mail for you.”
“Big picture, Tim,” I said to myself aloud.
. . . To Be Continued . . .