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 Post subject: Riding miss Daisy
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:47 pm 
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Location: Runcorn England
A few beers with some pals in the pub brought up the subject of the elefantentreffen. The oldest winter bike rally in Europe. It's been run every year since 1958. For the last few years it's been held in Bavaria on the Austrian boarder. Nice week away on the bikes. Until you throw in 40cm of snow and night time temperature of -17 day time would be a warm -10.
With a few beers inside us the decision was made we would do it. It's always held at the end of January this give us 4 months to get ourselves sorted. We booked the ferry straight away. Then did nothing for 3 months. So as is often the case with these things it was a last minute rush to sort the bikes out. I fitted heated grips bar muffs an old screen off my Triumph Explorer some guttering to keep the snow off my legs. An old set of saddle bags to carry some of the camping gear. I also fitted a sat nav and charging point for my phone. I thought long and hard about the tyres and read lots of reviews then went for the cheapest. A set of Mefo Explorer 99s. All good I thought. Then with two days to go and an eye on the weather report I panicked and got a biketec heated jacket and a battery monitoring light as I was unsure if the DR charging system would be up to the job.
The day of leaving arrived. A early finish from work bike loaded and a little 126 mile ride to the port of Hull. A kiss goodbye from the Mrs and away I go. I never relax and start to enjoy a tour until I'm sat on the bike and moving. I left my house at 4pm plenty of time to catch the 8 pm ferry. The 1st 30 miles or so were a nice solo ride down the motorway at a steady 65, the DR plugging along nicely. I met my two mates at a motorway service station. Little Gaz BMW gs 650 and big ste Yamaha 660 tenere aka the tena lady. This is were Mrs Daisy comes in. I knew the DR would be the slowest bike but I didn't realise how hard I would have to ring the poor girls neck to keep up with the modern bikes. Up hills or trying to punch out from behind slower moving traffic. As always follow another bike the bike behind has to work so much harder. But after two hours of rain and heavy traffic we made the ferry. And funny enough we were the only 3 bikes on the boat. If you don't no the Hull Roterdam ferry is overnight boat with 3 bars a restaurant and two cinemas. We had booked a 4 berth cabin evening meal and breakfast in the all u can eat restaurant. Return Saling and It come to £145 each. Bargain. If you compare that to the sailings to the Isle of Man for the TT it's costing me £230 this year for me and my bike return no meals no cabin and only a 3hour 30 minute Saling.


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 Post subject: Re: Riding miss Daisy
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:39 pm 
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Location: Apex, NC
:lurk:

I've always looked at pictures of that event and wondered what crazy ass mofo would go motorcycle camping in those conditions...other than myself after a few beers and some peer pressure. I look forward to seeing pictures from the event and glad to see at least one DR will be there!

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'08 Suzuki DR 650SE
'99 Suzuki DR 350SE
'07 Buell Ulysses XB12X
'65 Honda CB160
'06 Honda CRF50F


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 Post subject: Re: Riding miss Daisy
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:56 pm 
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Location: Runcorn England
After an all you can eat tea (and we did eat as much as we could) we retired to one of the bars for a few beers. Talk turned to the ride to the ferry. And how me and the DR had slowed them down. It was the usual ribbing and the poor DR was christened miss Daisy from the film driving miss Daisy. But me and the DR have broad shoulders and we knew our day would come.
After a beer or 5 we decided an early night was in order until we realised we had to put a hour on UK time. So 10.30 become 11.30 and with a 6 am wake up call, we dashed off to our bunks. 3 beer full bikers sharing a cabin soon had me looking for my ear plugs and a nose clip. Day two seen us rolling off the ferry with a 350 mile ride ahead of us. We decided to stay in Wuzburg on the 1st night leaving us a 200 mile run to the rally site the next day. The traffic coming out of Rotterdam was very heavy and made for slow progress. We stopped every 70 to 80 miles to fill up and stretch our legs. And the odd brew or hot chocolate. Daisy took 7 litres or so of petrol at each stop. Not bad as the throttle was on non stop most of the time and me and my kit are not what you would call light weight. I guess I was getting 45 to 50 miles to the gallon. After the 3rd stop I was volunteered to lead.
Daisy was much happier out front. We could cruise at 70 to 75. Sat nav speed not the speedo. And if needed up to 80.
This did lead to numb fingers with the vibration through the bars. She run very well for a 23 year old bike. The Autobahn are good roads and despite the build up of snow in the fields the roads were snow and frost free. We seen our first snow after 100 miles and the temperature started to drop. We were soon into the -1 and -2. Heated jacket and grips time. After much experiment if I run with my head light on I could have my jacket and grips on the 2nd setting. Or as my hands were feeling it more jacket on low and grips on the 3rd setting. However once under 60mph the battery monitoring light would start flashing and luxurys would have to be turned off. After 8 hours the bright lights of Wuzburg were a welcome sight. We set the sat nav to the town centre and looked for a hotel. Once the bikes were covered up and we changed into something pretty. We set out for a look around for food and beer. And we werent disappointed. It's tradition, the hotel receptionist told us, to go to the old Bridge and have a glass of gluehwein. A hot red wine with spice and very nice it was. Wuzburg was flattened in ww2 by allied bombing but rebuilt in its original format and lucky for us the locals didn't seem to be holding any grudges.


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 Post subject: Re: Riding miss Daisy
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:03 pm 
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First of the snow and our hotel


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 Post subject: Re: Riding miss Daisy
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:09 pm 
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The old Bridge and the view to Castle keeping gard over the Main river Germany longest river . And the hot wine shop


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 Post subject: Re: Riding miss Daisy
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:10 pm 
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A rather nice church


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 Post subject: Re: Riding miss Daisy
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:21 pm 
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Location: Runcorn England
We woke to a warm -3 and 200 mile run to the rally site. Daisy took the lead again and we cracked on the Autobahn were a lot emptyer and 75mph wasn't a problem. The snow was deep on the sides of the roads and the trees were white with frost. We thought we were real hard core 3 blokes riding in extreme conditions. Then on our next petrol stop we spotted our 1st English number plate in 600 miles. A young lad on a 125 Honda not much bigger then a monkey bike. He had come from London via Calais and was getting on just fine. Great to see younger peaple with a bit of get up and go. Made our ride look like a run to the pub.
We started to see other bikes now heading the same way. The Germans have some strange ideas about customiseing bikes and have some of the biggest top boxes in the world. We pulled of the Autobahn and looked for the promised signs. I think someone had told them we was coming as there wasn't a sign to be seen. This was also the moment my clutch leaver locked and I was stuck in 2nd gear. Expecting the worse I pulled over I looked down expecting to see my clutch basket hanging out the side of the motor but no all looked good. I then found the reason why I hadn't been able to feel my left hand for the last 80 miles. The bar weight had fell of into my handlebar muffs. The muffs had then snagged in the clutch leaver and jammed the leaver. Quick fix and crack on. The exact location of the rally seems to be a state held secret. We could just follow the other bikes but they seemed as lost as us. We pulled into a petrol station and meet a guy with skis bolted to the side of his Yamaha fazer. As usual his English was far better then our German I did my best elephant impression he smiled high five me. And of we set down some amazing little snow covered lanes to we come to a road block with a bikes only sign. A quick nod and we was waved through. There must of been a 1000 bikes parked along the road the odd one strangely showroom clean and some held together with cable ties. After a mile or so we come to the main gates. We had made it. My mind went back to a winter rally in England some 30 odd years ago. As a young biker I remember saying to a full on leather wastecoated biker how cold it was. This isn't cold lad if you want to no what cold is go to the elefantentreffen. And hear I was it had only took 30 years a belly full of beer and two mates as mad if not mader then my self.
We strolled up to the desk paid our €25 for witch we got a sticker. But it's a sticker Daisy can where with pride. We rode onto the site to try and find somewhere to camp. And within 10 minutes I was on my arse and the bike on its side. No harm done though. We finally got a place to camp. And began digging out the snow with two shovels lent from our Italian camping naughbours. Tent up we set about melting some snow for a hot drink. With over 3000 bikers there it's a bit cramped but the banter was great. We spotted 6 other English including the young lad on the Honda. We English are easy to spot pasty skin. And talking load and slow expecting everyone to understand us.
The next 8 hours were spent in the bar drinking great German beer and eating Brockworth. The bikes were turning up all night one sidecar even crashed into the make shift bar only for a very drunk woman in a white wedding dress to stager out and order a beer. We half rolled and half walked to our tent -17 now. We melted some more snow for a hot drink then in our sleeping bags. I woke feeling colder then Elvis. I realised my thermal mat was no longer under my half zipped up sleeping bag. Once I had sorted my self out and got in my bag properly I slept well. Witch is more then can be said for big ste. Who was finding it harder to get his breath. We did what any mates would do and took the piss out of him and called him soft. It later turned out he had pneumonia and fluid on the lung. He spent the day and night at home in hospital. After a good walk round (we left ste at the tent) We decided to brake camp and get Ste to a hotel. This give us a extra half day to ride the 650 miles to the ferry. And a bit of sightseeing on the way back.
Would I go again yes it's a great thing to see. But it's a long way for a night or two. The hole trip cost about £700. The DR used half a liter of oil and returned 45 to 50 mpg. It's rides like this can make or brake bike ownership. For me the fact that the DR wasn't in its element on the Autobahn but plugged on and I'm lacking in any talent to get any were near the best out the bike off road but it forgives my cock ups and cracks on just endears the bike to me. Daisy will be in my shed for a long time to come. And with two more winter rallys to do this month all be it a lot closer to home she still got a bit of work to do.
Hope you enjoyed the write up. It's my 1st attempt at a run report. And I no my spelling isn't the best but thought if I put it down on paper so to speek it would help me remember it also.


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 Post subject: Re: Riding miss Daisy
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:34 pm 
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:drinks: Good report! Looks like you had a good time despite your buddy getting pneumonia. For those that don't know, this is what the event typically looks like.

Image

_________________
'08 Suzuki DR 650SE
'99 Suzuki DR 350SE
'07 Buell Ulysses XB12X
'65 Honda CB160
'06 Honda CRF50F


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 Post subject: Re: Riding miss Daisy
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:06 pm
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Location: Runcorn England
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German customise 600 Honda a DR with the biggest top box and a young adventure rider


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 Post subject: Re: Riding miss Daisy
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:39 pm 
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Location: Runcorn England
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The gate house. A cool looking Daisy our tent and a selfie with a dodge hat


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