Thursday, 5 June 2014

More Motorcycle Memoires

Alex and I went to the Elephant Rally in Nurburging on a couple of occasions well actually we only got there once. The first occasion it was  mid-winter. We went with my brother pictured here with Alex setting up tents in conditions Shackleton would have understood. The first hint of an interesting trip was when we arrived at Ostende. Several motorcycles took off and promptly did an impression of Bamby on Ice down the motorway. (Not being first sometimes has its advantages). None appeared to be hurt but it prompted us to await the appearance of a gritting lorry before venturing further.

It was snowing cold and the journey was slow. When we eventually arrived there was thick snow and minus temperatures. We had to buy an ether aerosol to spray in the air intakes to start the engines.

Not ideal conditions even for combos!

The rally itself was good fun. There were several thousand bikers from all walks of life, including several chapters of Hells Angels who we steared clear of. I didn't remove any item of clothing all weekend. We managed to avoid any accidents and got back to the UK in the early hours of the morning. Alex and I  set up off the motorway with my brother following. After a while I noticed he was no longer behind. We pulled over and walked back down the motorway (not now recommended). We found him with a flat rear tyre. It needed three of us to get the beast (A 750 watercooled Suzuki) on its centre stand then remove the wheel and repair the puncture in the freezing dark. We eventually got back to our bike having repaired his only to find it wouldn't start. I sprayed ether down the intake only for it to catch fire. Apparently I just stood over it trying to blow it out! Alex threw something over it and it was extinguished. It was however now hot enough to fire the engine up.

By now we were colder than cold and dog tired.  Having made it most of the way home at about 7am on the A5 I noticed Alex sailing passed me as I skated down the road underneath the bike. We had hit black ice. Fortunately nothing was coming in the opposite direction and we collected everything together and waited for conditions to improve. When we eventually got home we went straight to bed. An interesting venture. The next time we went to the Elephant Rally we didn't make it.

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