After a call for directions at the airport, Richard my taxi driver with five years experience, said that he had never been there. He got out and shut off the meter and came inside the secure zone of Zoll. (German Customs). Confident that I would be okay before he left me, I was directed across the way to Air Canada Cargo. (My bike was on a passenger flight; I could have been on the same flight with better planning!)
I must have been the first visitor of the day. When coffee cups were put down, everyone looked up to my introduction. "Hi. I’m Garth Anton.” That was all I was able to say, when a woman proudly said, “We have your motorcycle, Garth. Welcome to Germany!" The paper work started in German fashion, not much differently than I saw Klinger do on the TV show, MASH so many years ago. After each form was completed and filed in the proper cabinet, I was directed back to Zoll to repeat the process before returning again to cargo where I meet Eddie.
I was then wearing the required hard hat, ID badge, and safety vest. Where Eddie reunited me with my bike. He was little surprised to see that I was a rider who sprung for tools. Many bikers pay mechanics to do the work, they own no tools and if they do rarely know how to use them. I immediately started wrenching, quite unlike the Fly & Ride set of Nordstrom riders with stitched-on flames on their new leather jackets, who would use guides to check them and their chromed-out bikes into hotels.
As Eddie and I talked motorcycles, we recognize each other as true riders. We enjoy just getting on our bikes and riding. As soon as we get off, we just want to do it over and over again. Sunday social rides are fun, but these rides usually just get the blood flowing with dreams of bigger rides. Eddie and I exchange stories of his old Harley Davidson Shovel head, Morocco, and the Canadian Rockies.
With the tire back on, battery connected, windshield, brakes, and more, Eddie gave me his cell number to call 24 hrs a day no matter where I might be, if I need help. I had ignited a spark as he smiled and looked on at the used motorcycle crate, he would take home for his own bike.
Escorted past the rows of jet planes, I zeroed my trip meter. Eddie swiped his security card and the gates in front of me opened.