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#999075 - 10/16/17 01:59 AM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]  
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szurszewski Offline
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szurszewski  Offline
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I absolutely get what you're saying. In this instance we're pretty flexible on every aspect other than finding a place that we thought could sustain the business we want to run - not because that's the most important thing in our world, but because that's what we're looking for at this time. If it doesn't work out, and so far it hasn't, we'll come up with something else. smile


*insert witty remark here*
#999103 - 10/16/17 06:18 PM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]  
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Dennis Andress Offline
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Cool. Got a business plan? What did the bankers think of it?

#999140 - 10/17/17 12:07 PM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: Dennis Andress]  
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szurszewski Offline
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Originally Posted by Dennis Andress
Cool. Got a business plan? What did the bankers think of it?



We do - a few versions really with one specifically tailored to Albany with local costing and all that. Your second question is harder to answer - ultimately since we got several rejections and no offers, I think it's safe to say they didn't like it. However, we had two very enthusiastic bankers when we made the initial rounds, as well as having the local SBA people on board. We carried on through a very - it seemed to us - slow/drawn-out courtship and application process at the end of which we were rejected. Laura got a very curt phone call from one (actually, that's incorrect - Laura had to call a few times to get one of them on the phone) saying the person with final say thought our profit margin projections were too high compared to industry standard. Other than that, once saying "no" we were not able to get very much information or even contact from either bank, and the official rejection letters very boilerplate and not helpful. In the end, we were pretty emotionally drained (and starting to be financially drained as well) having spent more than two months on the process. With that in mind we decided to move on and regroup/reimagine our next steps.


*insert witty remark here*
#999159 - 10/17/17 04:29 PM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]  
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Dennis Andress Offline
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Sounds like ya'll have it together, even after rejection sucked the life out of your dream. Refine the dream and try again when you are stronger.

#999164 - 10/17/17 06:08 PM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]  
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szurszewski Offline
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Thanks. I wouldn't say rejection sucked life out of the dream, but it did suck a lot of the enthusiasm for that particular property/town out of us, and the waiting gave us lots of time to reexamine exactly what it was we were looking for.

I'll throw an update on here with some pics next time we have good wifi. We're visiting some relatives a bit northwest of Chicago today, then heading down to St. Louis tomorrow - an old friend there has asked us to come and talk to a couple of her classes (she's a college professor now but of what I don't know!) about our trip...gotta put a mini slideshow together for that before I do anything "fun"...
wink


*insert witty remark here*
#999556 - 10/24/17 03:28 PM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]  
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szurszewski Offline
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Alright - let's get this thing caught up ... or closer at least...

I'm thinking I left off in the pictures shortly after returning to Albany from our eclipse trip to Tennessee (you have no idea how hard my brain has to work to spell that correctly!) - yeah? Yeah.

We got the rebuilt, again, FD back and expertly installed, by me...
[Linked Image]

...and then I got to take it off, put the boot on and install it again, and that worked pretty well.

Max BMW hadn't quite lived up to expectations and we had a couple of go rounds and ended up having them take the back end off again (as you probably recall they had just replaced the clutch before our trip to TN) to trace an oil leak that I was worried might be the new rear main seal. It actually turned out to be coming from where the bell housing mates to the engine case, so not related, but because of some issues with the first repair, they covered most of the cost of this one. Here's a hint as to what the issues were that first time.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Apart from those spots there were several other more minor fastener issues - I don't really know if the person putting the outside parts (seat, body, etc) back on was the same as the one who did the more technical stuff inside the clutch, etc., but ... let's just say I was left with some doubts, which is not a fun feeling having spent about $3,000 with more than half of that being for the labor.

When I picked the bike up the second time, I checked the sidecar mounts more carefully - the struts were all tight this time, which was great, but this was a little loose:
[Linked Image]

Yep - that's the same mounting bolt that fell out on my way back to Albany from picking up the bike from them last time, after they'd just put in the clutch. Now, I don't really fault them for this - they're not a sidecar shop in any way (though, I do think something that obvious should have been noticed - especially on a bike a customer had brought back in largely because of the way it had been put back together that last time it had been worked on).

On the other hand, I DO expect them to be great at BMW drivetrain stuff - can you see what's missing from this picture?

[Linked Image]

Yep - the fancy stainless clamp on the front/large end of the boot. Sigh. They were friendly and all, but I can't say I'm planning on having any service work done there or buying any bikes from them... (but then the list of dealers I've bought bikes from is very short and the list of places I've had work done is not much longer, so maybe not much of a loss to them).


And while all that was happening we were still waiting to hear from the last of the bankers. Since you already know how that turned out, here are some things we did to occupy the waiting.

A little light hauling,
[Linked Image]


a refresh of the dog-box hardware,
[Linked Image]

new intake boots,
[Linked Image]

little hands help greatly in this endeavor,
[Linked Image]

but you can't work on the bike all the time - sometimes you've got to do a little school work

[Linked Image]

Did I say you can't work on the bike all the time? Well, maybe some of us can - the bike came back from Max without cruise control; it had worked on my way to drop it off, so that was a bit of a surprise. When they put the tank back on they were a little, uh, creative in their routing of the throttle cables and I think that contributed to the problem, but I believe the crud built up inside the twist grip was the main culprit - only had to take like everything off to figure this out wink

[Linked Image]

Eventually, we did run out of bike problems to fix and took our last couple of Albany days to rebuild a ramp at our cousin's place - little less steep now and with a handrail (this was mainly for selfish purposes and I wanted to stop having visions of her dad, who has vertigo issues, pitching sideways off the original ramp).

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

And that was about it. Well, we did make one more stop by the Max store in NY - to pick up some small parts I'd ordered a few weeks ago, and then called a week ago to check on and was told they thought they had them but couldn't find one.... well, they were all there. Picked up an extra seal and o-ring for the FD as well...just in case.... and took a few minutes to look over their wares before moving on.

[Linked Image]


*insert witty remark here*
#1003026 - 01/01/18 06:43 PM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]  
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szurszewski Offline
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szurszewski  Offline
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Portland, OR
...and, so, yeah - in case you were wondering, we did in fact make it - largely alive - across the country smile

for any who might be interested, here's a quick recap:


On our way across New York, with the fall colors just teasing that they might be peaking soon, we made one last stop for hot drinks and pastries,

[Linked Image]

stopped in Pennsylvania for a quick dip,

[Linked Image]

took a couple of days to do some baking with our cousins in Ohio.

[Linked Image]

We could tell we were leaving behind the long settled, cosmopolitan east coast and heading back into the newly settled frontier when we crossed the Indiana border and found the interstates to be a little less refined than what we were leaving behind.
[Linked Image]


Being out in the wilds, fuel became a concern, so we were quite pleased to find such a modern station on offer in Illinois.
[Linked Image]


We got a chance to catch up with an old friend in Missouri - she's so old she's got a kid even older than ours and he was happy to take us exploring
[Linked Image]

We met his mom, Michelle, in very rural Alaska when we were teaching there, and I think she may be the first friend I had - made through non-motorcycle meetings - who also rode a BMW; not surprisingly, she jumped at the chance to take the rig out for a ride.
[Linked Image]

I don't want to say that brought us to the middle of the country, but there is a big Arch there for some reason, right along side a big river. I says to Laura, hey - should we ride down into the river a little bit, you know, just for fun? Sure, she says - why not? ...and then she gets off to take a picture and I say, you're going to have to get closer to the water, and she says why, and I say so you can get a picture showing the sidecar wheel in the water, and she says what do you mean, in the water, and I say, you know, actually in the water, and she says, that's a terrible idea! and I say, I just asked if you thought we should and you said yes, and she says that's not what you said...that's ridiculous!

[Linked Image]

...I assure you the wheel (and a good portion of the sidecar) were in the water - but it was really windy and there were waves and apparently "someone" wasn't willing to either stand in the water or be in charge of driving the rig into the water to get a good picture.... sigh

wink


soon to follow: the left half of the westward leg!


*insert witty remark here*
#1003029 - 01/01/18 07:41 PM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]  
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Bud Online
95% of an RT
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Good to know you didn't fall off the edge of the world. You had Nancy worried for a while. Now all is well again!

Happy New Year. wave


95% of an RT.

I haven't had too many Beemers, I just don't have enough time.
#1003032 - 01/01/18 09:21 PM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: Bud]  
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szurszewski Offline
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Originally Posted by Bud
Good to know you didn't fall off the edge of the world. You had Nancy worried for a while. Now all is well again!

Happy New Year. wave


Thanks, Bud! Happy New Year to you and Nancy and the rest of the family as well.... as it happens, I was just thinking about you, because....


After Missouri we made a quick detour back into Illinois to drive through one of Laura's handful of "hometowns" (O'Fallon, IL) and to see some folks in Nashville - maybe some of you recognize this old guy:

[Linked Image]

It was already starting to get when we left New York, and it was even colder in Illinois. Too cold for watersports, some would say. Others would disagree; in fact, some would insist on a sunrise paddleboard...every morning.

[Linked Image]

Did I say it was cold in Illinois? Yeah - about that. It wasn't. Or it didn't seem like it anyway once we spent a day riding across Kansas.

[Linked Image]

At least it wasn't windy. (That's a joke - yeah? ALLLLL day there was a great north wind blowing, and the best thing I can say is that the rig usually pulls a little to the right on the highway and the wind more than compensated... if the rig pulled to the left instead I would have given up early on, or just let the wind turn us south wink ).

After a full day battling with a cold hard wind across Kansas, followed by a really cold morning doing the same, reaching the start of the curves, the hills and relative warmth of eastern Colorado was fantastic; if there's a better way to cap fantastic than with a sunset like this, I don't know what it is.

[Linked Image]


Things started to warm up a little (during the day at least) in Utah,

[Linked Image]

and we splurged - finally using some hotel gift cards Laura as a going away gift from her boss at the bakery - on a nice room overlooking Lake Powell in Page, AZ.

[Linked Image]


Fully back in the desert the days might still be warm but the nights came early and the temperature dropped quickly crossing Nevada. Looking at our fuel range and lodging options (a bit cold for camping, said some) with the idea to cross the middle of Nevada and avoid the interstate I did something I'd only done maybe one other time in the year before: I booked a room a full 48 hours in advance!

If you've never been to Rachel, NV or The Little A'Le'Inn , well shame on you - next time you have the chance, check it out. Cheap, clean, friendly and a great diner type bar/restaurant.

[Linked Image]


We didn't see any aliens, but we did meet some fun folks and spotted a pic of the fancy hospital in my hometown - complete with an alien ship in the background (pic was mislabeled as being in Canada - probalby by visiting goverment operatives trying to keep the conspiracy theorists busy).

We stopped in Toponah - found the town to not really be our style with the exception of a fantastic used book store,

[Linked Image]

and made it to almost the Sierras in time to put toghether a quick Halloween costume.

[Linked Image]

Our ADV host for the week leading up to last Christmas was kind enough to invite us back (well, sort of back - in the time we'd be trapsing around the country he'd moved from CA to NV) and Jeremiah was pretty excited about it.

[Linked Image]


In addition to trick or treating and taking some great walks up in the hills with our host, his pup, our pups, his neighbors and all their pups, I also decided the hack tire was maybe in need of replacement. Maybe. You think? I'm not saying we ran it a couple of days across the desert with duct tape covering that exposed steel, but I'm also not saying we didn't....

[Linked Image]

With new rubber mounted we got a tour of the mountains, we saw Lake Tahoe for the first time, and found some good spots for cocoa.

[Linked Image]


Laura found out throught the magic of something she called "Facebook" that our friend who'd hosted us in Mexico was at the very moment in Reno for a couple of days, so we made a quick detour up that way, had a very nice Peruvian dinner like you do in Reno, and enjoyed the local meteorological displays.

[Linked Image]


After that there was only one mountain range remaining between us and the Pacific.


*insert witty remark here*
#1003036 - 01/01/18 10:07 PM Re: Bakery Quest - 2016/17 Hacking the US with the kid and dogs [Re: szurszewski]  
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szurszewski Offline
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After crossing some of the quieter bits the middle of the country has to offer, it was a bit of a shock to be around so many people again. This place, where we had our first "west coast" meal in almost a year, for instance, had a particularly large restroom.

[Linked Image]

We had a great night in the bay area and woke up to something that always makes feel at home -

[Linked Image]

By the time we got on the road, after breakfast and a good hour or so of BSing, the fog had burned off

[Linked Image]

and we were able to find our way to the ocean - some of us waded right in, boots and all.

[Linked Image]


I think we must have looked pretty amusing, all bundled up and heading out into the water, as the only other human on the beach insisted on taking a picture of us.

[Linked Image]


We spent that night in the same Arcata motel we'd been in a little over a year before. Heading north on 101 the weather did a great job of marking the state lines - CA looked just like the pic at the beach, but within miles of crossing the Oregon border I could barely see the road and we were riding at barely double digits for the better part of an hour before it cleared enough to get back up to the speed limit.

[Linked Image]


We spent one night in Oregon on the beach and were chagrined, chagrined I tell you, that the only restaurant within walking distance was a pretty fancy one right on the water - we were quite sad to drink fancy drinks, and eat delicious fresh fish and a really good dessert. Awful. Laura even had a good dinner despite the menu being devoid of vegetarian entrees; turns out there is a secret vegetarian menu you only find out about by asking, and she had what she says was a really good housemade bean burger something or other.

[Linked Image]


You might recognize this from our first pics - it's my dad/stepmom's driveway from whence we officially started out. We unpacked a little,

[Linked Image]

warmed up by the fire and had hugs with the grandparents,

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

(some of whom weren't apparently so cold)
[Linked Image]

and even a great-grandparent.

[Linked Image]


At one point we planned to be in WA for Halloween, which clearly didn't happen, but we did make it in time for Jeremiah's birthday, celebrated at the Space Needle,

[Linked Image]

and we even had a white Christmas!

[Linked Image]







Last edited by szurszewski; 01/01/18 10:11 PM.

*insert witty remark here*
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