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Motoeuro 2012 - the Nurburgring

Motoeuro 2012 - Riding the Nurburgring and the Black Forest.

Another curried sausage? Oh well, what's the 'wurst' that could happen....

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It was probably during a good Friday night out we decided to ride the Nurburgring. Blame the beer. We came up with two rules; We're not doing the Nurburgring in the wet and we're not riding the B500 in the dark. Righto, that's two rules set in stone then.....

George and I ride to Hull to catch the ferry to Ostend, before you could think of anything sarcastic to say, it's the next morning and we're a little fragile. We leave the ferry to meet Steve, who's coming via the chunnel, to the Atomium in Brussels, Belgium at 12 noon. CNN named the Atomium Europe's most bizarre building. Yep.

Unbelievably, we arrive at 11.30am, literally 5 minutes later Steve turns up. This level of organisation is unheard-of, normally, we can't even arrange a pub venue on Friday night. 20 Minutes later, in glorious sunshine, we're en-route to the Nurburgring.

We stay in Hotel zur Burg near the 'Ring and wander around the town; Ferrari, Porshe, Skyline, GTR.... Some money in town. There's a great buzz at the 'Ring, loads going on from modified Skyline's to full on GT3's - some drivers are taking this very seriously.  We retire for steaks and beer and make a third Motoeuro rule: If anyone of us doesn't want to ride the 'Ring, then no-one takes the piss. No chicken jokes, no sarcasm, no leg-pulling.

The Nurburgring is dangerous and there's a few things you should know if you're thinking of riding it: You're not insured. If you come off, the 'Ring will not allow anyone but their own ambulance and medics to treat you at your cost. They will close the track and charge, per hour, for the loss of revenue, at your cost. Any damage done to the tarmac, barriers etc is at your cost. And of course, your damaged bike is removed from the track, at your cost - no repairs, if you bike is a mess, you've lost it. In short, you can rack up a bill for tens of thousands of Euros if you have a tumble and believe me, you're not leaving Germany until you have paid in full. And they wont accept organs as part payment.

Our new rule seems sensible. The three of us are trying to be serious but keep breaking out in laughter. "But what could possibly go wrong, lads?" asks Steve - we roll around almost chocking on our beers!

The next morning we're at the 'Ring, tickets purchased for one lap each. We get ready for the 10am opening and then it starts to rain. Oh, for God's sake! We look at each other, shrug shoulders, throw our lids on, ride to the barriers ready to go. That's rule 1 out the window then.

George is away first, I roll-up to the barrier, ticket in, barrier up, my heart is about to explode out my chest. Go, go, go !!!.....

The first 5 or 6 corners are wet, I take it easy, by corner 8 or 9 it's getting dryer. I wind up the Triumph and begin to enjoy this despite my nerves! There's nothing behind - where's Steve? Corner after corner this is crazy, graffiti on the tarmac is distracting, but when I get to the The Carousel a Porsche has come from nowhere and is right behind me, I ride the top of the Carousel to get out the way, his back wheel is of the ground, screeching around the corner - this guy is really going for it. I manage to settle down and even the odd nod to spectators as they line the forest edge, I can see George in front and give it the 'beans' to catch up. We both ride the final corner, open our bikes up to full chat to overtake a Porsche, Merc and a Mini of all things. Bang on the breaks, slow down, take the exit, we've done it!

I look for Steve in the car park, I think he's had second thoughts. Moments later, he pulls off the 'Ring with a big beaming smile and a wave - I am sneakily delighted we all did this. We shake hands and acknowledge it's one off that 'Bucket List', a visit to the gift shop is called for: T-shirts, mugs and stickers, and we're off to ride the B500 to Baden Baden - one of the most famous biking roads in Germany. Hopefully we can stick to at least one of our rules......

We're staying in a Pension that George recommends, 'Pension Williams' in the village of Seebach in the Black Forest.  Steve takes us down the 416 to Koblenz. All too soon it's getting dark, riding these quiet, twisty roads in the pitch black isn't recommended. We're lost. A quick stop to check the Nav and we're off again, riding the B500 through Baden Baden in the dark. Rule 2 out the window.....

Somewhere around 11pm, after following the blindingly bright headlights of Steve's R1200RT, we arrive at the Pension. The owner, David, is still happy to see us even though it's late. He offers us beers, chocolate bars and Pringles. Magic, that's 95% of my diet anyway.

Next day we ride around the forest roads and the B500 in daylight. It's a fantastic, very twisty road that climbs and falls, the views are superb and it is a great experience.  It starts from Baden Baden and breaks-up near Freudenstadt, then continues to Titisee and beyond. You could easily ride this all day, everyday just for the fun of it. The evening is spent at a local steak house, a bit too far to walk so David drives us there, we chat to other bikers staying in the same pension, we enjoy our lovely steaks washed down by too many pints of loud mouth soup. The steak house owner drives us back. Vielen Dank, lads.

Last day in the Forest, Motoeuro rides the B500 to Titisee for grub, but struggle with the crazy road system, eventually we park up next to the lake and enjoy cake and coffee in the sunshine. The ride back is fun, the roads around here are built for bikes. Riding back, Steve and I both miss the turn off for the Pension, I turn back, but Steve's en-route to Oppenau! He eventually returns as his road is closed further on, after some raised eyebrows we rush back to the pension - in this small village there's no food after 8pm. The owner of a local take-away by the pond/tiny lake takes pity on us, we manage to down more German sausage just before closing. My German sausage jokes are the Wurst..... Sorry.

We leave the pension the next day, we're off to Luxembourg on the way home. As professional smokers, George and I are up for saving a fortune on UK prices. We fill up on as much as our bikes will hold and carry on to Bastogne. The sun is out and we've been lucky on a good choice of roads and dry conditions. I grab a hotel adjacent the main square, the elderly owner wants 100 Euros for the 3 to include breakfast. Sold. Her husband even offers to garage our bikes for the night. We wander over to the main square, a pretty place with bars, cafes and an empty tank in the centre, which still defends towards the South since the Battle of the Bulge in WW2.

We sit outside in the sun, order Trois Stella Artois S'il vous plaît and reflect on a damn good Motoeuro 2012. As the sun goes down, we wander around Bastogne to look at the history of WW2. As the evening progresses, it's a typical Motoeuro night -  drink, eat, drink, eat, drink, sleep.

Last day today, we say cheerio to our elderly hosts and ride to Antwerp for lunch. Although busy, we manage to park close to the river and dine al fresco in the afternoon sun. Steve leaves us to grab the Chunnel back to London, George and I bimble back to the ferry and once aboard, it's beer-o'clock until late.

Motoeuro 2012 has been a great success. Goes to show, with only a few days you can easily get to Germany, the 'Ring and the B500. The more of you that share a room on the ferry the cheaper it gets, so gather 4 mates, book a pension in advance and get yourself away - You could be riding the Nurburgring by this time tomorrow...Wiedersehen!

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Motoeuro 2012 - The Atomium

Meeting up at the Atomium, Belgium.

Motoeuro 2012 - The Atomium

Any jokes about orb's or spheres appreciated.

Motoeuro 2012 - the Nurburgring

Nurburgring - A wet dream for petrol heads.

Motoeuro 2012 - the Nurburgring

Some take this seriously, we try and fail.

Motoeuro 2012 - the B500 and Black Forest

Riding the B500 and the Black Forest.

Motoeuro 2012 -Germany and the Black Forest

Anyone remember where the hell this was?

Motoeuro 2012 - Bastonge

Steve and his new GS Adventure in Bastogne.

Motoeuro 2012 - Antwerp

Last day in Antwerp - not a Wurst in sight!