Bike Is Missing In Action!

Bike, My Trusty Sidekick, Is Missing

I think it would be putting it mildly when I say I was surprised to discover that Bike was not waiting for me at the cargo terminal as promised. Let me refresh your memory. When we last saw Bike I was saying goodbye at the cargo terminal in Buenos Aires. I was told by the Navicon representatives that everything was set and I’d see Bike again when I landed in South Africa. But now, it appears that Bike is missing.

“Your bike is probably in London.”

I was eager to get on the bike this morning and explore Cape Town. I booked a cab and headed to the IAG Cargo terminal to pick up Bike and get going. When I arrived the person behind the desk, who was extremely nice, told me that no motorcycles had arrived. She then did some investigating and told me that she was confused because the tracking system showed that my bike had been booked and rebooked on multiple flights. She thought the my bike was “probably in London.”

Although the local agent was very nice, she didn’t really have the information I needed. Specifically – where the hell is my motorcycle? I expected it to arrive in Africa two days ago. I was mentally prepared to go through customs and the entire import process today. I was not prepared to discover that my bike was missing in action.

Bike Is Where?

The information from IAG Cargo

I returned to my hotel and made some phone calls. I have learned that my bike is not in London, it never made it out of Argentina. According to IAG Cargo (the cargo division of British Airways) my shipping agent, Navicon SA, changed the flights due to reasons unknown. They suspect there might be an issue with customs or the fact that the bike is dangerous cargo. They didn’t know.

It gets a bit more confusing since I made the arrangements through Dakar Motos who in turn made the arrangements with Navicon who in turn booked British Airways who used their shipping department, IAG Cargo, to fly the bike to South Africa.

Dakar Motos -> Navicon -> British Airways -> IAG Cargo.

You see how fun this is?

Getting Local Help

I’ve contacted Dakar Motos to help with things in Argentina, they still have a few hours before they are awake. I’d call Navicon myself, but I don’t speak Spanish and I’m sure that conversation would put me over my frustration limit. I’ll let Sandra and Javier work it out for me.

According to IAG Cargo my best case scenario is to see Bike arrive on September 22nd. But they aren’t sure that Bike will actually fly out of Buenos Aires today. The flight is booked for 13:10 local time, that’s over 8 hours from now. Until then, I won’t know anything for sure.

The good news is that Cape Town is terrific, the weather is perfect, and the people are amazing. I’ll just relax, catch up on some work, and enjoy the time while Bike has a nice vacation.

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  1. Good luck, I’m working in trade control and the regulations for dangerous goods on airfreight get crazy these days. I’m sure bike will finally arrive at Cape Town and given your plans to travel some years – hey, what’s a day or two additional relaxation time? Have a good one and keep on biking. Greetings from Southern Germany 😉

  2. Ouch Mark. I’m keenly following your travels … I was out at gym this morning and you’re right: it’s a fantastic day for riding. Might get on my bike this afternoon and go for a quick ride. Wish you all the best for Bike and let us know on FB if you’re having any meetups in town this week.

  3. That lindos thing usually happend in Argentina, I have been living here almost 5 years. And I see that happend a lot of time. I hope that your bike arribes soon Mark. Keep ir going! Some Day ill Love to do the same trip.

  4. Sorry to hear you are having troubles with the export of your bike, but I am not surprised. I would guess that because the fuel tank has petrol in it, that would cause all manner of people in the air frieght terminal to have a hissy fit.

    I had a nightmare of a job shipping a petrol tank once. It was not until I renamed it as a steel storage box that it finally got onto a plane bound for Italy.

    But I don’t think renaming your bike is going to work for you.

  5. Hope you see your bike soon.

    Out of curiosity, what does it cost to ship a bike between two continents by plane? It is just viewed as 406kg of cargo or is it ‘special’ because of what it is?

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