Preliminary musings on the next big trip

We’ve been ruminating on our next big trip, and I’m getting excited about the idea because it looks like we’ve got a few of the major details decided.

When we got home from this trip, Kay’s dog was “broken.” Some negative interaction he’d had with the dogsitters had turned him into a biter – and he’d *never* been a biter before we left. We had to buy him a muzzle and work for months to help him become more comfortable and reliable. He’s only *just* getting back to normal, and we’ve been home for over 8 months now.

Suffice it to say, I’ve decided after this experience that the next big trip is going to include our dogs!

We’ve been tossing around ideas, and at this point it seems the option we’re going to try is to buy one Ural with sidecar. We’re going to see if we can travel with both dogs in the one sidecar (one 30 pound Puerto Rican street dog and one 40 pound Border Collie mix). If that works, we’ll take one Ural with sidecar and one of our Beemers, and switch off riding the sidecar rig/BMW. That way we can still have the fun of riding a motorcycle, and we can also bring the dogs along *and* enjoy the different but hopefully still fun experience of driving a sidecar rig.

I haven’t talked to Kay about the timeframe yet but I’ve decided just this morning that we need to buy a Ural this summer so we can try the dogs out with it and see how it works out. (Unless anyone knows someone who has a Ural in New England who would let us try a test trip with the dogs?)

Obviously traveling with dogs is going to change the dynamic quite a bit. We’ll be limited to staying places we can stay with the dogs, which probably means a lot more camping. (Which means upgrading our tent – we went car camping with the dogs over the summer, and have concluded there’s no way our 3-person tent is big enough for us, the dogs and our motorcycle gear.) It’s also going to take some customization of the sidecar to make it someplace comfortable for the dogs. And we’ll be limited to traveling places that will let us cross the border with dogs.

I intend for us to do some test trips over the summer with the dogs to see how things go – probably a couple of short local trips, maybe 3-day weekends – and then maybe a longer tour around the U.S. where we can easily find camping/dog-friendly places to stay, try the dogs on a longer trip and not have to worry about the border crossings.

But honestly, I’m totally psyched. Everyone I’ve talked with has said that driving a sidecar rig is totally different than riding a motorcycle *or* driving a car. I’m psyched to experience it (and also psyched that this solution, if it works, will mean we’ll still have a regular motorcycle to ride and can trade off driving the sidecar rig for the fun of a regular bike). I’m also psyched about bringing the dogs along, how it’s likely to change our trip and all of the adventures (and misadventures) I think we’ll have as a result of adding the dogs.

And I think I’m going to have a blast sharing those stories with you guys.

What’s more ridiculous than a newb rider taking off and riding the Americas?

Attempting a RTW with dogs on motorcycles!

Ben - my dog - next to Kay's bike

1 Comment

  1. Dont worry about driving the sidecar. Its great fun, different but a great experience. You may hate it at first but give it time and you may find yourself choosing to use the Ural rather than the solo. As a bonus all the extra camping gear you plan to take will be no problem with the sidecar.

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