13 September 2007

A really good but bad idea

Emma was over again last weekend for a visit and I organised something completely riduclous for us to do.  I was awarded at work a similar voucher to that of a Red Letter Day in the UK and I chose to hire a motor trike for the weekend.  Here's a picture of us both in the riding position ->

The riding position

The beast was collected just by the German border at 4pm on Saturday.  I thought it would be rude not to make a return trip to the Nurburgring for really testing out how well this thing goes.  3hrs, numb bums and a tank of fuel later we arrived in the dark at Herschbroich - a small village right in the centre of the Nordschlief.  I fully recommend the guest house we stayed at called the Pension Muhlenhardt but I don't recommend driving a trike in the dark whilst wearing sunglasses!

The next day was spent plucking up the courage to have a lap around the track.  I was pretty damn nervous to be honest which I think I hid from Emma quite well!  Our nerves weren't helped by the numerous track closures during the day for what we can only presume were crashes.  One severe enough to need an air ambulance and the owner of the M5 Touring below surely wasn't happy with his wide line choice?

Spanked M5 Touring

Well eventually it was all or nothing and we went for it.  We waited till about 6pm for things to quieten down a bit and saddled up.  It was much quieter at that time than my lap with the Focus and we were only overtaken about 10-15 times.  There was still a good crowd spectating at all the hot spots and we had a few cheers/waves.  We saw the aftermath of 2 crashes on the way around but generally the other drivers/riders saw us a mile away and I also took it quite steady.  Emma held on with all her might and I was pleased she had a seatbelt when I clipped one of the curbs!  She was apparantelty cursing me all the way round which I didn't hear.  But I shat myself when I heard her scream as we went round the Karousel - the high line of course!  We topped out about 80mph but that certainly felt waaaaaaaay fast enough.

I don't know if you can see from this photo but note I have no seatbelt or helmet visor - it was certainly a liberating experience!

Nice helmet

So that was Sunday - a cracking day.  Shame the same could not be said for Monday.  We awoke at 5am to make it back to Amsterdam in time for me to go to work.  But the trike had other ideas as she would not start.  I thought it may have been the cold but numerous attempts jump starting and using jump leads proved that wrong.  The hotel owner and neighbours were really helpful especially for that time in the morning.  We gave in and called the roadside assistance company who came out to collect us on the back of an ADAC truck.

Damn ignition coil

To cut a long story short we were not home till 10pm but along the way we had a ride in a flatbed truck to the local empty restaurant, an ignition coil was replaced and several heated arguments and threats with the repairing garage, hiring garage and recovery staff.  We were thouroughly pissed off by the end of the day as the trike was ready to go at 10am, it was the payment that was the hold up :-(  Sods law meant that it was also pissing it down when we were finally "allowed" to go home.  But halfway home when the heavens really opened, Emma and I had to stop cos we were wetting ourselves with laughter.  Y'know the kinda tired laughter where you are laughing at the stupidness of the situation!  I've not laughed like that for a while...

A couple more photos can be seen here and in slideshow format here.  I hope to find a picture of us going around the track taken by one of the numerous spectactors.  If I do, I'll add it here...


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