The Black Forest…

Today was fantastic, plain and simple. The riding was the best I’ve done on this trip, this year, in fact, for pretty much all the time I’ve been riding. Today had everything – warm, sunny weather, twisties, panoramic views, a big blue sky with big white puffy clouds, lush green landscape, and roads that made me weep with their perfection. Even getting stuck behind a few cars didn’t dampen my enthusiasm. Everyone needs to ride the roads in the Black Forest once in their lifetime.

I left Freibourg around 9AM this morning and headed north toward Waldkirch. From hereon started the twisties. The road was a narrow, single lane one, which climbed up steadily. There were a few uphill decreasing radius turns that caught me off-guard. Before I knew it, I was above the tree line. I wondered if my fear of heights was going to kick in, but out of nowhere, the road suddenly widened to signal my first via point – the village of Sankt Peter. A few minutes before there had been nothing but a tight winding road through the forest, now there was a big hotel with tens of motorcycles parked outside it. I stopped and took all the pictures I possibly could.


After a brief stop at the hotel, I took off again, this time towards the village of Sankt Margen. More brilliant roads, more unbelievable views – lush green meadows, cows grazing, elevation changes, gloriousness.


Southward bound now towards Odenback and Birklehof and then the B31 to TItisee-Neustadt. There were way too many tourists there for my liking, so I did a quick circle around the town square and fled. The B317 took me toward Barental and then the B500 to Schluchsee. The lake was gorgeous. I rode past it for a little bit before turning around. Once again, there were too many tourists at this resort town. I did stop for a quick meal before heading on the road though.

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There were hundreds of motorcyclists out on the roads today, fully clad in leathers. The Europeans take their safety gear very seriously. I followed their example and started passing cars and lane splitting. Why oh why do cars drive so slow?! Most of them were good enough to move over for me although I did encounter a few a**holes who did their best to not let me pass.

On this ride too, there was that feeling of riding through town after ghost town. Big empty houses flanking the streets with not a soul in sight. The only times I saw people were at the bigger resort towns near the lakes.


Southward again on L146 towards Todtmoos and a little detour towards Utzenfeld. East again towards Sankt Blasein, a picturesque little village. I wished I could stay, but I didn’t. The road was a-calling! And what a road! South all the way on L154 to the Rhine. Hundreds of little twisties! The road was narrow and flanked with a cliff to the left and rock barriers to the right. Everyone needs to ride this road once before they die! I truly did shed tears at the end of it. I was this close to turning around and doing it all over again. The only thing that made me continue was the thought of wanting to get to Basel early enough during the day that I’d be able to see a bit of the town.

I had picked the last part of the route to run parallel to the Rhine and ride into the city of Basel in Switzerland. It looked like it would be pretty on the map, very like riding past the Mosel a couple of days ago. In hindsight though, this was a mistake. Even though I rode past the Rhine, the road was lined with steel mills and foundries. I guess they build the industrial towns right next to the great river.


The road also went through numerous towns with low speed limits and slow drivers. It was really hot and humid now. It was only 36km more, although it seemed longer. I rode a total of 233km (approoximately 140 miles). Did I mention that it was the most glorious riding I have done, even though I didn’t come across any trolls or gnomes in the Black Forest? :)

I finally reached Basel a little past four and checked in to the HI hostel that I had booked the previous day. The hostel was very nice although I got a bit of a sticker shock at the cost of everything, even though I had been forewarned. Wifi was 1 franc for 10 minutes or 6 francs for an hour or 15 francs for 24 hours. Laundry was 15 francs with a 24 hour turnaround, so that was out of the question. Dinner was 17 francs. I escaped into the main town in a little bit and got a doner kebab type wrap for a whopping 9.5 francs, and it wasn’t even that good. A latte at Starbucks was 5.80 francs. Given that a swiss franc is equivalent to a US dollar, this was all stupid expensive.

I wonder if it is possible to not eat or drink at all for my remaining 3 days in Switzerland.

I roamed the town of Basel for a little while until finally turning around to the find the hostel again. I was rewarded with probably one of the most spectacular visions of this journey – the Rhine at night, calm and clear, glittering with a thousand lights.


Update from Freibourg…

I left Luxembourg a little later than I had planned. Woke up late and wasted a little time at a motorcycle shop at the edge of town.

I took the freeway to Volkingen, and then a brief stop at Strasbourg, my little sojourn into France. (On the way, just before I entered France, I was amused to see a sign that said “dernier sortie a Allemagne”. Why wasn’t the sign in German?)

I felt tempted to stay in Strasbourg for the night because it was so nice to finally be in a country where I can more or less understand and speak the language. I had to keep going though. Strasbourg did surprise me in that it was a little… dirty. I got lunch at a small roadside shop – a sort of kebab roll. The bread was amazingly French – fresh and crisp, but the lamb tasted tough and overcooked, so that was a bummer. It was starting to get really, really hot too and I was feeling like I was getting slow cooked in my gear. I took the liner out of my jacket.

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After this backroads all the way to Freibourg. It felt a little like the universe had finally aligned to put together my favorite riding conditions – warm, sunny weather, winding roads, emerald green trees and hedges, and next to no traffic on the streets. I had a fantastic time! :) Wish I could say more, but the fact that I have no pictures is proof that it was a brilliant ride that I didn’t want to stop.

I got to Freibourg around 5PM and checked into the hostel. It was on a river bank and surrrounded by beautiful green meadows. I lounged about doing this and that until it was time to get dinner. There was a German restaurant down the street, so I walked past the river, crossed a little bridge and found it. I ordered some Hefeweizen beer (tasty!) and some bratwurst with onions and bread (tastier!). While I waited for my order, I saw a couple of guys at the table next to me playing a game of chess. I looked at them longingly (possibly weirding them out a bit) before finally plucking up the courage to walk up to them and ask if I could play the next game. They were very welcoming, so I brought my drink over and sat with them. They introduced themselves as Ralf and Dominic (and one more super nice guy whose name I cannot recall now). As usual, their English was better than my German, so we conversed in some broken English. I understood that they were part of a chess club that met there every Friday. Great, that meant I’d be playing some high rated players. I didn’t care, even if I lost badly, it would be good to just play after a month long break.

We were joined by two more players – Isaac and Andy. They were both hilarious. Isaac creamed me at one game and he especially made me giggle because he corrected practically every move I made, telling me what the repercussions would be four moves down. At some point, it felt like he was playing against himself. ;) It was educational though and he meant well, so I didn’t mind at all. After this, they started playing blitz chess with a timer, something that never fails to fascinate me. I think I’d get a stroke halfway through a game if I ever tried, but it was still pretty cool to watch. Hmm… maybe I *will* try my hand at it sometime.

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It was a little gratifying how they asked me questions and tried to include me in their conversation even though English was not their native language. I wished I had more pictures of home and my life on my phone or something so that I could show them. I had a really pleasant time nonetheless and after winning my only game, I decided to call it a night and left the good natives of Freibourg to their matches.

On the way back to the hostel, I briefly talked to Tobi, a CSer from Lausanne. We were both disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to meet like we had talked about because of conflicting plans. It’s too bad, now I get to enter Switzerland without knowing anyone there. This will be the last leg of my journey as I get ready to cross the Alps. My plan is to cross the Grimsell Pass and sort of make my way to the Dolomites and Venice before turning back to Ljubljana.

I feel a little tired today though, so maybe I will end up staying in Freibourg an additional night.


I felt completely exhausted to the point of feeling sick all of the next day, so I spent another day in Freibourg, most of it just laxing aruond the river and enjoying the sunshine. It was just what I needed.

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Later in the evening, I took a tram to the Old Town and took some pictures.

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In Luxembourg!

I left Koblenz and headed west to the Nurburgring. On arrival, I found that the ticket office was closed, although I could see cars on the track. I don’t know if it was a car-only trackday or how it worked, but I wasn’t very keen on getting on an unknown track with a low powered bike and a bunch of high powered cars vrooming past me. :| A motorcycle only trackday would have been fine, but I’m not sure how frequently they did those. Oh well, I was really disappointed but still glad that I got to see the iconic track.

Here on, I took the scenic route past the Mosel river, which was beautiful, green, winding roads through vineyard country. The sun was shining and it was a bit windy, but other than that, the conditions were perfect and I had a pleasant afternoon of riding.




By later afternoon, I reached Trier. I realized that Luxembourg was a mere 36km away. Rather than go south towards Saarbrucken like I had planned, I was tempted to go visit yet another country. And so I did. :)

I’m glad I did too. I got a bed in a really nice hostel, which was walking distance from downtown. I managed to get in touch with Wojtek, an ADVRider acquaintance, who was wonderful enough to give me a walking tour. We saw the Duke’s Palace and the cathedral and various scenic viewpoints. I simply loved how the city seemed to be build in different layers. We walked on the “rock” or the embankments of a fortress, and  we could see houses and roads and water spread out down below us. In the distance, there were bridges with trains and cars going cross them. There were lots of elevation changes in a very small area. It also looked very, very clean, like Ljubljana.

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I wish I could have had a couple of days to spend there, but time was now a luxury. I had to leave the next morning to be able to carry out my plan of getting to Freiburg the next day.

Blogging from Hamburg…

I woke up at 6AM, got myself ready and the bike loaded up, and was out of Berlin at 7AM. I wanted to get through the freeway slog early in the day and arrive in Hamburg early enough that I still had most of the day to enjoy the city.

I made a brief stop at another section of the Berlin Wall at the east end of the city. This section was not cordoned off like the one from the day before had been. It was painted with all kinds of street art and graffiti which I slowed down to look at. I pulled over at one section and took a picture of the bike with the Wall in the background.


This done, I got onto the freeway to head out of Berlin. It was about 270km to Hamburg. The ride was pretty uneventful. I kept a good 125kph clip, the monotony broken only by the recurring need to pass semis. I stopped for one quick gas stop at the 210km mark.

10 km outside of Hamburg, I saw a motorcyclist pushing his bike on the side of the road and slowed down and pulled over. He was riding a beautiful, old vintage BMW, which had stopped running for some reason. It turned out that one of the cylinders wasn’t firing and the spark plug kept getting fouled for some reason. He was going to need a tow. He looked relieved and happy that I had stopped, although I wasn’t sure that I could really do much to help him. I certainly couldn’t help him fix it, but I know that at times like this, it helps to just have someone with you and not feel like you’re alone. He spoke a little bit of English and expressed his gratitude at my having stopped. I told him that we should try to get off at the next exit where we could decide what to do. He said okay and I told him to get started so that I could follow him. He could ride the bike on one cylinder for a short while and at least go that distance.

He rode in the shoulder while I got back on the freeway. He was going really slow though and I didn’t think it was safe for me to go at that speed, so I picked up the pace and turned off at the next exit (which incidentally was my exit after all). I found a safe place to pull over on the side of the road and I waited. I took my gloves off and drank some water as I waited for him to catch up. About five minutes later, he blew past me waving his arm. Huh… well, I guess he was fine after all. Glad that he didn’t need my help, I too took off on my way. (A few miles down the road, I saw him pulled over again, but it was too late for me to stop. I felt bad, but I wasn’t familiar enough with the area to find my way back around, and I figured he was close enough to help that he would be okay.) That was a really nice bike though. I wish I had taken a picture. I mused to myself that that’s the kind of vintage bike I’d love to race someday.

I rode to BMW Hamburg on Onnakamp, missing the small entrance the first time. BMW occuped the entire set of blocks on that street, but only a small section was for motorycles. Almost the entire store was dedicated to their cars. I went around the block and turned in at the right entrance this time. The service guys pulled my bike over into the garage area and had the lowbeam bulb swapped out in the minutes (like James had said, the rubb covers at the back of the headlamp came off and there was some kind of elaborate clip mechanism that released the bulb). In all honesty, I could probably have figured this out on my own with instructions. but at nowhere the speed at which they did it. The also didn’t charge me, so it was probably a good thing I decided to let them do it.

From here, I called Alex and asked him to meet me downstairs, since my mobile phone minutes were over by now. I found his place without any trouble, pulled in to his garage and parked next to his Honda Shadow. We walked up four flights of stairs to his flat to put away my gear and luggage. Next we went to the train station where I bought tickets to Copenhagen and Stockholm. We had a very tasty lunch at a Turkish restaurant, before heading back to his flat. I was feeling a bit dizzy and needed to lie down for a little bit.

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Later on in the evening, we decided to go out for dinner and a small tour of Hamburg. I was still feeling dizzy and a bit out of it, so I rode on the back of his bike. Chalk that up to be the second time this month that I’ve ridden on the back of a guy’s bike. ;) The control freak in me appears to be taking a bit of a backseat. I have to admit that it is a little nice to not have to worry about riding and just enjoying the ride instead, as long as it’s just a short 30 minute ride.

I soon found out the immense advantage of seeing the city through the eyes of a local. Earlier in the afternoon, Alex took me to a kaffehaus where I got some excellent cappuchino. Now we went to a pizza place where I got some delicious thin crust pizza and a local beer.


After concluding a delicious meal, we went for a ride through the city where he called out the most significant sights that might or might not be on a typical tourist’s map. The most impressive one was the city’s inner harbor and the historical warehouse area.

I was beat by the end of the day and it was all I could do to climb into bed and read a bit of my book before falling asleep. The next day, I’d leave my bike behind and take the train to Copenhagen.

Blogging from Berlin…

I spent only one entire day in Berlin, but it was enough for me to say that this is one fantastic city and I need to come back for a much longer trip someday.

To recap a little, I arrived here yesterday afternoon, a little after 4PM and checked in at the Circus Hotel, that my friend Marc had recommended from a previous stay. I booked a bed in the hostel this time instead of a private room. At 19 euros a night, it was a pretty good deal. They put me in room 410 and I got a bed in the lower bunk by the window. My room has a fantastic view! There is something to be said for this high rise living after all… At first sight, this neighborhood reminded me an awful lot of Portland with the little cafes fringing both sides of the street and the trams going across it.


I intended to get something to eat and then go stomp around in the city, but things didn’t quite go as I had planned. I had underestimated how tired I was from the day before. I had ridden about 250km, practically all on the autobahn. Speaking of the autobahn, most motorcyclists would say that this is the worst, most soul-crushing riding you can do, but to tell the truth I was relieved to be on it and just making good speed. The past few days in the Czech Republic had been good riding, but slow going and I constantly had to have my wits about me. Out on the freeway, I could finally turn my brain off and just ride, and it was delightful to be reaching my destinations at pretty much the pace at which I expected.

The only exciting thing that happened on the freeway was getting pulled over by a cop. I was passed him and then he passed me and he turned on a sign that flashed and said “Bitte” and “Folgen” alternatively. I had no idea what it meant, but my superior deductive skills reasoned that whatever it meant, I was probably meant to follow him and stop when he stopped, which I did. We pulled over at the next exit at a gas station. He was pretty nice and informed me that my light was off. I groaned when I realized that the lowbeam bulb was not working. Thankfully I had brought a spare from Seattle. I told him that I was riding to Berlin and I would replace it there, and he said okay, although he didn’t think it was safe. I was planning to ride in daylight hours only anyway, so I’m not too concerned about the safety aspect. Riding with the high beam on is *not* looked upon kindly here, like in the US where motorcyclists are advised to leave their highbeams on at all times to make themselves more visible.

I was going to fix the light in Berlin, but when I looked at the service manual, I realized that replacing the bulb wasn’t a simple matter of pulling the headlamp off and swapping bulbs. It meant taking off the rails of the storage area, the side panels, the instrument panel, the headlamp housing, and *then* getting to the bulb. I was *not* crazy on doing that on a sidewalk in Berlin with a maybe-incomplete toolkit. Meh… I called BMW in Hamburg and gave them the spiel – international traveller passing throug the city – can you please squeeze me in? They asked me to come by the shop tomorrow when I got into the city.

(I made a pleasant stop at Dresden on the way, which is a pretty little city. I ate lunch at a really cool place where I ate liver and mashed potatoes. Mmm…)

As I neared Berlin, my GPS promptly turned itself off (ARRRRRGHHHH… die!die!kill!kill!). I turned it back on and luckily it stayed on and I got to my destinaton. No idea why it decided to do that, of course.

Switching back to Berlin, I ate a very early dinner at Fabisch, the circus Hotel’s restaurant, which served organic food. I got some schnitzel with a green salad and gherkin. It was pretty tasty for a deep fried piece of meat. I went back to my dorm to rest for a bit, and ended up spending the rest of the evening in bed, reading and then falling asleep on my book. Time was a-wasting and Berlin was a-waiting, but did my body care? Noooooo…..

I woke up bright and early the next morning, got a chocolate croissant and capucchino at a bakery across the street and walked south towards Potsdam Platz. I saw the remnants of the Berlin Wall and remembered when I read about the fall of the Wall many many years ago when I was a little girl, and not quite understanding what was going on. Little did I know then that I would be so close to the real thing when I grew up…

I saw some more tourist sites before I realized that I’d had enough and retreated into the Dali museum. It turned out to have only some lithographs of his, not the famous paintings, which was a bit of a bummer.

Next up I walked to Alexander Platz and got myself a SIM card for Germany. Then I wasted 6 euros on getting a day ticket for the subway and used it only once to get back to the hotel. I had intended to head out again to a couple of museums, but I ended up just lounging around and reading (damn those addictive Sookie Stackhouse books!).

If I had to tell the truth, Berlin is so huge and there is so much I want to see here that it would be impossible to see it all in one day. Rather than run myself ragged trying to catch everything, I just saw what I most wanted to see and allowed myself to rest up for the rest. For once I remembered that I am after all on vacation.

Tomorrow I wake up early and ride up north to Hamburg, where I meet Alex, a fellow couchsurfer.

A curious thing happened on the way to Berlin…

I got an early start in Prague. I think I must have been out of the city around 8AM. I was going to ride to Prague Castle and take a picture of the bike in front of it, but the GPS directions got muddled and confusing, so I decided to just get the heck out of town and head towards Berlin.

As I got out of town, I realized that I had made a big mistake with not checking the weather forecast. I had mostly had hot sunny weather so far, so even though it had rained in Prague the previous day, I had assumed the good weather would continue. Wrong.

About 10 km out of the city, it started pouring down buckets. I stopped at a gas station, fueled up, put my liners into my jacket and overpants, put the storm covers on the side bags and started out. 10 km later I realized that this wasn’t going to cut it, so I stopped at another gas station, parked the bike under a bit of shelter and went inside. They had a couple of tables and chairs, so I resigned myself to taking my gear off, getting a cappuccino from a vending machine and reading my Sookie Stackhouse book.

In another time, I would have been beyond pissed off at the weather and chomping at the bit to get to my destination, but maybe I’m just older and wiser now. There was no point fighting the weather. I’d have kept going if I had to go about 20-30 miles to a safe place, but there was no way I would ride through 250 km of this weather. These things always blow themselves out, and it made sense to just wait it out. I sat there for about an hour and the rain did abate, at which point I reluctantly placed the book aside, geared up again and got back out.

This time I made it another 20 km before the rain came back with a vengeance. The wind was blowing full blast now, it was getting cold, there was standing water on the highway and water was seeping into my boots (I guess they’re not that waterproof anymore). I was completely out of my comfort zone. So I – you guessed it – stopped at the next gas station to wait it out once more. This time I was not so lucky with a comfortable table and chairs. I was wet and miserable and must have looked quite a sight to the woman at the gas station. I called Skjalm and asked him to look up the weather patterns for me (I so hate not having a phone with a data plan to look up radar maps on the road!), He confirmed that I was in the eye of the most awful weather and it wasn’t going to stop all day. The weather for the next day looked better. There was nothing to it but to wait until it calmed down a little bit and ride to the closest town Louny about 10km away to look for a place to stay.

I bought a sandwich and some chocolate and ate it while watching the storm blow outside. An adventure is never fun while you’re in the middle of it – I reminded myself. I wasn’t looking forward to stopping at a no-name town at one of the pensions my GPS listed and explaining to non-English speaking folks that I was looking for a place to spend the night.

I had sunk to the floor by now, reading my book and eating, when the gas station owner very kindly brought me a chair to sit on, bless her!

About an hour of this passed when I heard the rumble of an engine outside and a saw another motorcyclist stop. He was waterproofed from head to boots (his boots had waterproof covers!) and he seemed quite oblivious to the godawful weather. He walked inside, exchanged a few words with another patron, bought something and left.

I hesitated a bit, then ran outside after him and asked him – rather stupidly – whether he spoke English. I had to say something and that was the first thing that came to my mind. “A little”, he said. Of course! That’s what they all said. It usually meant, “No, but feel free to make funny sounds at me and I’ll see if I can decipher any of it.”
For some reason, my English goes bad when I’m speaking with someone who doesn’t speak it, so I continued with more idiotic talk in the nature of – “Bad rain! For how long?”

*shrug* *smile* “Don’t know!”

“Going to Berlin. Cannot make it.”

More smiles. “No!”

Feeling a little hopeless, I thanked him and turned to go when he indicated a sticker on his bike that said “Zerotin”.

“Biker party. Only 5 minutes away.”

“What?” I blinked stupidly as rain poured into my eyes.

“Biker party. Lots of bikes. Camping.” He smiled some more.

“Camping?” I repeated, a little slow on the uptake. The wind was howling, the flag on the flagpost outside the gas station fluttering wildly, my hair getting rapidly soaked as I contemplated the thought of setting up camp in the rain. Also, the thought that five minutes away, in what I thought was the middle of nowhere, there were other motorcyclists and what he called a party.

He made a sign with his hands to indicate a house and for emphasis repeated hopefully, “Small house. Camp?”

“I know what camping means.” I said hastily, “But camp in this weather?”

He smiled some more, “Yes.”

“How many other bikers?”

He thought a little and said “One thousand.”

One thousand bikers? This wasn’t a party. This sounded like a full fledged rally. Except… camping in this? No way! What I wanted was a warm, dry room and a cozy bed to snuggle in with my book. A safe shelter to wait out the weather before getting on the road the next day. No *way* was I going to follow some strange biker into the middle of nowhere to set up camp and continue to be wet and miserable for the rest of the day if I could help it. No way!

Instead, I found myself saying – “Wait for me! I’ll get my things.” I ran into the gas station (benzina station?), collected my things, pulled on my helmet and soaked gloves and followed him. He double back a little the way I had come, then turned off into a village. All this time, my mind was buzzing and I couldn’t stop giggling. This couldn’t possibly be happening! Here I had resigned myself to an uneventful day waiting out the crap weather and now I was going to be smackdab in the middle of a Czech biker rally.

Before I knew it, we had pulled up outside a makeshift gate complete with a registration booth. My friend – his name was Pyotr and he was Polish – explained to the other bikers who I was. I don’t understand Czech, but I could hear the words “U.S.A”, “American”, “Slovenia” etc. thrown around. They all gathered around me and asked me the same things – “Where are you from?”, “Why are you here?” and finally “Welcome!”. They were all tickled by the idea that here was a biker “all the way from USA!” Pyotr was beaming at them, delighted to be the one who had produced this novelty. They filled me in on what I could expect. Live music, food etc. The entrance was 300 koruna, which I paid up. They said that there were a couple of cottages empty, if I decided I wanted to go that way instead of setting up camp.

Now I had been craving the outdoors and wanting to camp ever since Vienna, but I’m ashamed to say that I completely chickened out here and coughed up 30 euros for a cottage. I was assigned cottage #21 which had four beds and not much else. No water or electricity of anything. Pyotr was camped in the neighboring field with some friends.


While I took off my gear and set out my things, he returned with a couple of beers. What a nice man! I thanked him and we tried to communicate in broken English. I produced my map and filled him in on my journey so far and what lay ahead. He showed me the part of Poland he was from. So on and so forth. He produced a bottle of Bekherovka – Czech vodka from his jacket, and I drank a shot (tasty!), I in turn shared my hip flask of Glemmorangie scotch. (I spent most of this day a little drunk). He told me that he was a train driver (machiniste) back home, and I told him about my day job.


We walked down to the village to the pub and met up with his other Polish friends (Artur, David, Bartolej), all of whom were really amused at my appearance. Bartolej was the only one who spoke good English and he became the unofficial translator. I learned later that between the three of them, they had put away 25 tall beers. They had a lot of questions for me.

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We walked back to the rally after a while. In my five years of riding, I’ve never actually been to a biker rally. Indeed, I’ve avoided them like the plague. So it’s just a little bit amusing that my first rally was in the Middle of Nowhere, Czech Republic.

It was mostly a cruiser crowd, with a few sportbikes and dualsports thrown in. There was merchandise and food booths and beer gardens. People were trudging around ankle deep in mud in full leathers with umbrellas or just getting  soaked in the rain. A heavy metal band was playing. There was something  just a little surreal about hearing popular American heavy metal songs being sung in Czech.

I was having the time of my life.


The one band that was FANTASTIC was a three-woman (girl?) band called Sweetzone who did some unbelievably good covers of Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Nirvana and a bunch of other bands. They did “Run To the Hills”! The guitarist did the Steve Harris machine gun thing! There is nothing more powerful than watching a group of kickass teenage girls… ummmm kicking ass on stage! They looked so very young that I wondered if they were even old enough to drink. It made me feel a little like I do when I watch MotoGP – old and over the hill and wishing I had practiced playing the guitar more when I was younger. :P



There was more music and more drinking the rest of the evening. I finally hit the sack at 10:30 PM. The festivities were far from over, but I was knackered. (Apparently I missed a live on-stage sex show. Hoo boy, we’re really not in Kansas anymore, are we?).


I read a bit, mighty pleased to finally use my Coleman LED lamp, before falling asleep. It was still raining when I went to bed.

The next morning I woke up, filthy and bedraggled, smelling evil. The floor was covered with dried muddy water from my boots. I opened the door of my cottage to take a peek outside and it was bright and sunny. A few bikers were staggering across the field, beers in hand, at 8AM. I packed up my few belongings and got the hell out of there. On to Berlin now, for real!

Still, it had been quite an adventure.