Going to states, some questions..
I'm planning to do my first spin ever to stateside and am curious
1. Which is the best time and place to go across the border.
(shortest line-ups) and to come back?
2. any other things I should know or take with me (I know that I need my passport and driver's licence already )
My vote goes to the 176th St. truck crossing. Never had a problem there either way. Peach Arch is another story ... they've always got bees up their bums.
I don't quite no myself. I really don't go down much, but heres a link. It should help.....
Don't forget your gun......
make sure you bring:
Registration paper for your bike and written authorization if your are riding someone else's bike
Health Insurance paper (just in case they have to save your life)
one more thing. Don't speed in the daytime. They have tons of cops w/ radar guns ALL THE WAY to Seattle on I5. I have seen upward of 10 cops within 2 hrs drive. And i have been down there almost every week since March. Don't try it.
Do they give riders hassel when crossing? Do they make you pull over and search your stuff to make sure you are not bring any new clothes back or forth? I could use a new pair of runners and they have some good out lets down there.
Well i cross the border everyday for my job, and for the most part i find it not to much of a hassle,.. I have been across on my bike too with no problems.. just treat them with way more respect than they deserve (i know its hard) but when you let them think they own yer ass they are happy,.. and yeah watch out for speeding.. tix add up REAL quick down there,.. and as soon as they see BC plates they are gonna pull ya over for sure if you are doing something wrong!
Since I am from the United States (now live here, less than 3 months), maybe I can help. Don't even get me started on the whole border thing (I used to have PACE and CanPass decals, so never had a wait, but thanks to the terrorists, that's history).
Listen to CKWX (Vancouver) 1130 AM -- they are very good about announcing the border wait times at 10-minute intervals. However, this is not always accurate, as I've found that a "20 minute line up at the Pacific Highway [truck] crossing" can become a 2-hour line up during the 45 minutes it takes for me to get from Downtown Vancouver to the border. However, once on a Friday night during a 3-day holiday, I used the Aldergrove/Lynden crossing and got through in 14 minutes. It's a gamble, because at the same time I've been at the border at 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday, to find only 2 lanes open (instead of the usual 3 or 4), despite the fact that many Canadians will be going to the USA for the holiday weekend.
In fact, I am leaving for Washington State and Oregon for the Victoria Day weekend, and I plan to leave at 4:30 a.m. Saturday. That's about the only way to avoid the wait, because by 7 or 8 it'll be long.
As far as documents, bring your passport (or, in the alternative, they will accept an original or certified original birth certificate WITH a driver's license).
Washington State Patrol (WSP) is fairly lenient; generally they do not ticket if going within 10 mph (16 km/h) of the posted speed limit. However, where I used to average 77 mph in the 70 zones (70 is 113 km/h for you Canucks), I now go about 70-73. I've seen occasional heavy patrols on Interstate 5 from the border (Mile Post 276) to just north of Bellingham (Mile Post 259); I suspect people speed because after a 2-hour border wait, they're tired and running late, so it's petal-to-the-metal and, well....
The speed limit is 60 through Bellingham. Keep it near that. I've been stopped twice for going near 70; once by a Bellingham officer and once by WSP. In both cases they were very nice, and just said slow down and arrive safe (Bellingham is accident prone).
I don't know how far you're going into the States, but being a former Seattle-ite, I can also warn you of a few other places in Washington: Keep your speed down on I-5 around Lynnwood (or at least don't exceed the flow of traffic); it's a 60 zone, but I've seen as many as 3 people pulled over by the WSP in a 1.5-km stretch of roadway, usually around Mile Posts 178 to 182.
Further down the road, I-5 from Kelso to north of Vancouver (that's Vancouver, Washington), from Mile Post 39 southward, especially around Kalama (Exit 30). From Mile Post 99 to Mile Post 57, it's 2 rather than 3 lanes, and Washingtonians don't seem to understand the "Keep Right Except To Pass" law, so when the lanes finally open up, everyone hits the throttle and the WSP knows it.
A helpful site for finding speed trap warnings, etc., is the National Motorists Organization at www.motorists.org
Through rural Oregon, I-5's speed limit used to be 75 before the 55 limit; it's now back to 65 and there's talk of returning it to 75 (Governor Kitzhaber vetoed that one a couple years ago -- shithead). Because the old limit was and hopefully will be 75 again one day, keep it to around 70 and the Oregon State Police are easy going.
In my native State of California, don't speed too much. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) now mostly uses radar, given to them by the counties (they resisted it, but if a local jurisdiction wants the enforcement and provides the radar, they use it). Besides, California has more population than all of Canada, and they need $$$ -- ticket fines are horrendously expensive there. Be careful in metropolitan areas -- it's nice that the speed limits are 65 mph in the cities, BUT there are stretches that are reduced to 55 (particularly Sacramento and Los Angeles), and it's easy to miss them.
California does have great twisty roads, however. But because Californians don't seem to understand how to use the turnouts to let others pass, I used to ride the roads I was familiar with on warm summer nights at 3 or 4 in the morning! Crazy to be sure, but I had the whole road to myself and it was a blast.
Thanx for all tips guys!
I never line-up with the masses, it isn't good for the bike. I always take the 176th St truck crossing because the Gestapo can't see you move up between the lines due to the crooked setup. I get in line at about the fifth or sixth car from the booth and they don't know you've been jumping the queue. Same thing coming back only you can get closer to the booth before you get back in.