Am up early so I can get to the DMV and then on the road early, am really looking forward to starting the journey.
OMG I can’t get the luggage on the bike, there’s just too much of it! I’ll have to get a rack at least. I did want some saddle bags but the only ones they had in stock were throw overs and they didn’t have the support brackets to go with them so no good; they were too small anyway.
After a rather sweaty hour I manage to get loaded up… Wish I’d taken a picture now… But the bike feels top heavy so really not good. I ride, rather carefully, over to Bayside and get a luggage rack so I can distribute the weight more evenly.
Ahhhh that’s better, whew!!
It must be coffee time now… It’s already 12.30 but I need caffeine, so I stop off at a Starbucks and it starts to rain just as I arrive… it was brilliant sunshine a few minutes before and I was sweating buckets putting the rack on, typical.
Now I need to go to the DMV, (Department of Motor Vehicles), to register the title, which for those of you who don’t know, cos I didn’t, unlike the UK where vehicles are registered and retain registration for life and only change of ownership has to be notified to the DVLA, in the States the bike and the owner have to be re-registered every time there is a change of ownership, so that is what I am going to do…. I hope.
I wait in the queue and when it is my turn am given a number and have to wait to be called forward. It takes about 30 minutes before my number is up. I am served by a very pleasant woman who is obviously unsure what to do when she asks me if I have a Virginia address and of course I say no. I did research all of this before I left the UK and so I tell her that as far as I know I do not need a Virginia address, that’s according to the Virginia DMV website. She calls her manager over… they chat for a few minutes… the manager looks at the computer screen, taps a few keys, nods and smiles then says something to my lady and wanders off. My lady then looks intently at the computer screen, taps several keys, looks nonplussed, smiles weakly at me and calls her manager over. Manager comes over, looks at the computer screen, taps several keys, writes something down on my title application then asks me ‘Do you have insurance’ ‘Oh yes indeed’ says I and ‘I have loads of paper that I have signed several times at the dealership, do you want any of that too?’ ‘No, just the insurance’ so I find it and give it to her… she taps the paper and nods knowingly in the direction of my lady.. they both look intently at the computer screen and both tap some more keys, the manager then writes something else on my application form and wanders off. My lady then hands the application to me and asks me to tick a box, which I do. She then says, that’s all done did you just want to title or do you want a registration plate too. ‘Oh yes please’ says I, ‘I would love a registration plate’ ‘Ok do you want it for 1 year or 2?’ ‘1 please’ and she turns back to the computer screen tapping away and I say ‘You have made my day.. the dealership said I could only have a temporary tag’ ‘Yes I though I saw that in your paperwork… no you can have a registration no problem’ ‘Can I have one of those personalised ones?’ ‘Yes but we don’t do them here, you have to order online and they post it to you’ ‘Aww that’s a shame, but thanks anyway’. She then gets up and comes back with my new number plate, just like that! Then she says, that’ll be $370.25 and I do a fantastic job of not allowing my jaw to hit the counter… seriously, I thought or maybe wished I had misheard her, but no $341.50 is the cost of the title and $28.75 for the number plate… blimey!
I am over the moon… so now I am officially the owner of the bike and almost a virgin…ian; how cool is that?
As I turn away from the counter I notice it is now throwing it down, I mean actual sheets of water… OMG everything will be soaked, the bags are not waterproof, they have rain covers you can put on them, but of course I haven’t put them on because it was bloomin’ blazing sunshine when I came in.. bugger.
I wait for the rain to slacken off so I can run out and get my wet gear to put on. Have no sooner got the trousers on than it stops… WTF is going on with this weather??? I leave the trousers on just in case, put the rain cover over the soaking wet bags, why I don’t know after all it’s a bit late, and get on the road.
It is now too late to do anything today and I need to dry my stuff out so I make my way north towards Williamsburg. I stop and have a look at Booking.com for somewhere to stay and find a Super 8 in Williamsburg thats not too expensive; $58 for the night and decide to head straight there.
Started this blog page but too tired to finish… more tomorrow.
Virginia is so nice, it really is a beautiful state and I know it is spectacular in the autumn when the leaves are changing colour. Riding through some of the towns it is all very picturesque with white clapboard houses and manicured lawns, just quintessential american colonial style, lovely.
The Super 8 however is far from colonial or lovely… it’s a dump, and I mean dump! It is probably one of the worst hotels I have ever stayed in. The woman in reception is very nice and helpful but the accommodation…. well for a start the hallway leading from the reception to the lift smells of cat piss! I almost go back to get my money and find somewhere else, but the room itself doesn’t smell so I decide it’s only for one night after all. The bathroom is grimy and very dilapidated and only two of the lights in the bedroom work.. there is a standard lamp that the fitting is falling off of and the plug in the wall sparked when I went to remove it to use the socket. The bed looks clean enough so thats ok but the curtain, there is only one for the whole window, is partly hanging off and when I look outside the windows are filthy.
The only other saving grace is that they have a washer and drying machine on another floor, so I take my wet things down to dry them out. This floor smells of mould and cat piss too! The dryer costs $1.25, which I think is quite expensive, but at least my wet stuff is sorted.
This is a photo I took surreptitiously, which shows the cleaners room… please!!!
Says it all I think.