07-14 Day 5 (Canadian Border)

Our first border crossing

Progress so far

With the mileage that I put on today, I’ve now traveled for about 1000, of the approximately 18,000 miles expected, and I’ve now visited 2, of the 21 countries along the journey.

Travel FromOlean, NY
Intermediate LocationHamburg, NY
Ending LocationToronto airport
Starting Odometer25,337
Ending Odometer25,527
Miles Driven Today190 Miles
Total Trip Mileage984 Miles
New Countries visited TodayCanada
Countries visited on tripUS, Canada


We departed Olean, NY at about 7:00, or so, and began to make our way to Hamburg. Today, we managed to put together a brief departure video.

The border crossing

After a brief stop in Hamburg, NY, we began to make our way to the border. As I mentioned there are 4 crossings into Canada from the Buffalo area, and the most common, and largest of them is the Peace Bridge. The route that I had created would have had us cross into Canada at the Peace Bridge, but because we stopped in Hamburg, the GPS routed is a bit further North, and we would have crossed into Canada at one of the other crossings.

But, things being what they are, it seems that the other crossings were experiencing higher than normal traffic, so the GPS “informed me” that we could save 20 minutes, if we would accept a route that included toll roads. I accepted the GPS’ proposal, and we began our reroute to the Peace bridge.

We arrived at the Peace bridge, and I was pretty excited by the whole idea of crossing into my very first country (outside of the US, of course). I managed to take some video of the approach, and our crossing.

The repair

I know, I know, there are so many cliche’s about adventure bikes, and the fact that riding them in remote areas is supposed to be an adventure. I get it.

I also know that these bikes can take a phenomenal amount of punishment, but even with all of the engineering, sometimes parts fail, or loosen and fall out. And so, on this fine day, upon arriving at the hotel and beginning to clean up the bike before I drop it at the Cargo terminal, I noticed that one of the two pivot bolts for the center stand had fallen out.

Ordinarily, this would not be a huge issue, and I could just use a tie wrap to keep it in place, and prevent it from causing other damage. But, tomorrow morning, I’ll need to drop the bike at the shipping terminal, and the shippers will expect the center stand to be operational, so that the bike can be fastened securely to the pallet.

Before we talk about our search for replacement parts, let me take a minute to show you the problem.

Notice the hole, where a bolt should be…..

We visited two hardware stores, and eventually found a suitable bolt. We arrived back at the hotel, and I took care of getting this thing fixed. Let’s see how it went.

The tools (How do we work this)

Repairs like the one above can only be accomplished if you’ve got a toolkit that includes the generic tools, but these BMWs require a number of specialized tools as well as the simple tools, such as pliers and sockets. The video below briefly describes the toolkit.

What will tomorrow bring

Tomorrow morning, we’ll try to get up early, mount the panniers onto the bike, and head to the freight shipping facility at the airport. We’ll likely return to the hotel briefly, before heading into Niagara Falls, Canada, to enjoy a couple of interesting tours of the falls.

About the Author

Cliff Musante

Cliff Musante is a technologist, business leader, motorcycle enthusiast, father, grandfather, and more. In June, 2013 his passion for motorcycles was revitalized, and he set out to ride across Patagonia. Since then, he's logged thousands of miles, ridden across the US, and on July 10, 2019, he began a 120 day trip through Europe, and then on to Russia, China, and parts East. This 'Blog is the story of all of his adventures.


  1. Cliff, recording as you are traveling is awesome. Those of us who are following will feel like we are sharing your trip in real time.

    1. Hi Judy,
      I feel like you’re all riding along with me.
      Once I get to the UK, I’ll start to incorporate some better riding video.

    1. Lee, I understand your skepticism, but I’m telling the truth. The part fell out.

    1. Lee, the truth of the matter is, now that I’ve got the new part in my hand, I can tell that it is a drift pin, with a snap-ring on one end. And so, in order for this to have happened, it seems likely that the Snap Ring broke, and fell away, causing the pin to work it’s way free.
      Oh, and my brother is correct, Loctite is one word, but you’re forgiven.

  2. Make sure the snap ring is installed with the sharper edge away from the load (toward the end of the pin). But you already knew that….

    1. Hi Bill
      Thanx, for the help. I did not lnow that Snaprings are asymmetrical.

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