Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June 30, 2009, 83,077km

Today Pim and I returned from a short vacation in the German Black Forest. A short report:

Day 1: Friday June 26, Going to the forest, 749km.
When I wanted to start the Pan this morning it didn't: flat battery after standing still for almost 3 weeks. With the help of my car I finally made it run. With a little delay Pim and I went asap to the Black Forest. First over highways to Karlsruhe, then over nicer roads to our final destination: the
Gasthof Salenhof in the South of the Black Forest. From here we'd discover the surroundings.

Day 2: Saturday June 27, Rain, Roads and Cake, 277km.
First real day of the vacation. We rode over great roads partly through pouring rain and fog. Not a nice start, but still it all looked promising. We rode partly over the
Schauinsland circuit.
At a stop we had the famous
Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte. Pim and I were both a bit disappointed, what was all the fuss about? It didn't taste that special...

Day 3: Sunday June 28, Black Forest at its best and worst, 265km.
The route of today led us over very beautiful and curvy roads. Even Pim as curve-addict had nothing to complain about. At a canyon we switched bikes and I could try Pim's Suzuki TL1000S. The bike felt very small, but wasn't too uncomfortable (for this short ride). I opened the throttle and with a nice rumble the TL speeded forward. At the first corner I tried to brake, but nothing much happened! Eeeeekkk!!! With more force I pulled the brake lever and at last the bike started to slow down. Happily I wasn't in full-attack mode, so I made it through the corner, no thanks to the brakes (what brakes?). Eventually I learned how to ride this bike and had quite some fun on this lightweight sportsbike. After a while Pim and I switched our bikes back and Pim told me how the brakes of the Pan surprised him, but than in a positive way. He almost lost his teeth on the handlebar when braking for the first time.

After a couple of hours we finished the route of this day and decided to do one of the next days as well. On one of the nice roads we approached a wide curve with good tarmac. I went first through it and found at the exit a trail of sand and stones across the road. I immediate put the bike straight, let it cruise over the rubble and after the sand and stuff braked and steered. I looked into my mirrors and expected to see Pim do the same. Alas, it seemed he cornered a bit faster and locked his brakes on the rubble. The bike and Pim went down and ended on the verge of the road. Pim hurt his shoulder and the bike had quite some left side damage. Happily both Pim and the bike were able to ride after this incident. We went back to the hotel and the owner took us to the hospital where they checked Pim's shoulder. It was badly bruised, but there was nothing broken. Back at the hotel after a couple of beers Pim started to feel a little better.

Day 4: Monday June 29, Bad luck continues, 253km.
This day we first went to a Suzuki dealer to have the gearlever fixed since there was a piece broken off what made changing gears a bit difficult. After that we started to follow a new route. We thought. The surroundings and roads looked very familiar and one way or another we were following the same route as the day before. Maybe I'd made an error while preparing the routes? I still don't know. Anyhow, the roads were great and we had a lot of fun. Even Pim with his hurt shoulder. At the end of the day we passed the spot where Pim crashed. The sand and stones were still lying there! This time Pim made it across :)
We visited the Triberg Waterfalls, the highest waterfalls of Germany. When we came back we saw that the Pan had a punctured rear tire. After some phonecalls and time a car of the German autoclub ADAC arrived and we put the Pan on the trailer and brought it to the nearest tire dealer. There I was picked up by the nice owner of our hotel, since Pim has a single seater bike.

Day 5: Tuesday June 30, Going home, not without bad luck, 1,068km.
The very, very nice owner of our hotel brought me with his fast Audi A6 station to the tire dealer to pick up my already fixed bike. As a Michael Schumacher wannabe he raced over the Black Forest roads and in no time we were at the dealer. Me pale and sweating after this torment, he jolly as ever. The Pan had a brand new Michelin Pilot Road 2 which cost me only 141 euro. I think we pay in The Netherlands almost 100 euro more!
At 11.00 hour we finally could start our trip home. After a couple of uneventful hours we approached Cologne. At some road works Pim and I got separated. I slowly rode on, expecting Pim to blast by me any moment. Which he didn't. I stopped at a gasstation and tried to phone Pim. What didn't succeed. After a while I went on, still expecting to see Pim soon. At a parkingplace I finally got hold of Pim and he told me that a fuse was blown and he was trying to fix it. At that time Pim and I were already seperated by 100km. I rode back to him what cost me an hour. When I arrived he'd already fixed the bike and we made another attempt to get home. This time I wouldn't let Pim out of my sights.
At a straight stretch of road we tried the topspeed of our bikes. With 220kmh the Pan was faster than the TL1000S. But at that speed the Pan started to weave terribly again. With great difficulty I could stabilize it again at 160kmh. Not something to be repeated...
After I'd brought Pim and his stuff home I was home myself at 22.00 hour, after more than 1,000km. Which concluded yet another fine vacation.

Go here for the pics

Little movie, showing the surroundings:


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