14 September, 2006

Nürnberg BMW 2244miles

I've had three days of excellent motorcycling weather - clear blue skies, cool air, perfect visibility and a warm sun whenever I stopped to thaw out the bones. The cool air justified the warm clothing and all was well, neither too hot nor too cold.

In Poland it seems best to stop in TIV or Truck Stops. You get very good value for money and the staff are used to foreigners. However, take accommodation when you find it as I left it too late once and rode 100 miles in the dark until I found a too-expensive luxury business place full of huge people eating far too much for breakfast but not worrying about it since they were all on expenses. Not me, I was paying for everything myself! And it wasn't cheap, so naturally I filled my boots at the buffet breakfast along with the others! Could barely move afterwards, but it lasted well into the evening.

Their 'Business Suite' made me late for getting away since I spent so long on their computer answering very welcome news mails. Also the first time I've been able to get a photo from my camera directly onto a strange computer without any trouble (see photo of Grant, Hosie, Ewen and Piper Fraser at the match!).

A chance encounter with some unmarked Czech road works has stranded me in Nürnberg with a 'dinged' front wheel (irreparable, according to BMW of course) and waiting, till Monday, for spoked replacements (front and rear) at no small cost. I had planned to spend some money in Germany on a new helmet and some camping kit but . . ! However, I tried to buy these wheels before leaving the UK (I knew this would happen but thought it would be in Africa) and failed. So the money was 'there' or thereabouts! They should ensure no trouble, but in the event of them even becoming buckled, roadside technicians throughout the world have the technology and skills to rebuild them. Unlike these 'modern' cast items the bike now has which cannot be repaired, it seems even by BMW themselves!

Luckily my old chums Andreas and Nicky - as well as their highly entertaining two-year-old son Tobias - seem unfazed by my enforced extended stay. I'll do my best to see that this continues. Now I get to do a little of the tourist thing (shouldn't be too many opportunities) and maybe even properly relax.

The sun is shining and so it's off to the Biergarten (whatever that is - some sort of park? - I don't speak German!) with the family.

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