Travel Through Germany on a Harley-Davidson

By Peter & Kay Forwood

Germany on a Harley (19/5/09 - 25/5/09)
Distance 1349 km (529202 km to 530551 km)

This is part of the fifteenth section of our around the world trip.
Complete Trip Overview & Map

Coming from Denmark or read our previous visit to Germany  

19/5/09 Crossed at an even smaller border, again just a sign post, blink and we would have missed the border. Stuck to the A7 all the way south heading to Hanau, where we hope to collect a tyre. An uneventful highway ride. The German cars zooming past quickly, black, we could hardly see them in the rear view mirrors before they were on our tail. We weren't sure if these were some of the unlimited speed roads that Germany has, but the cars certainly presumed so, whizzing past, often at speeds close to doubling ours. They reminded us of busy ants, following trails in the forest, seemingly mindlessly moving along, working for the queen bee, dedicated to an unknown task, and perhaps there is little difference, only the queen bee for us is a government and its assistant big business. 650km's had us at a campground, found by Tom Tom's "points of interest", in a small village an hours ride north of Hanau, and after a picnic dinner sitting on the grass, and an hours reading we crashed Getting our new Dunlop tyre fitted at Premio Tyresasleep.

20/5/09 At 11.50 Euro's our campground was good value, hot showers, all weather food area, grassy sites. Again rain overnight, the time we like to get it, and a clear morning. Dunlop Germany had sponsored us with tyres for a number of years during our trip but the arrangement had unfortunately lapsed a couple of years ago, a change of policy, a retirement, and we recently attempted to rekindle the arrangement. They had a tyre waiting for us in Hanau, their main office. The Premio helpful workshop allowed us to work on the motorcycle, removing the rear wheel, greasing the bearings, while they fitted the new tyre to the rim. There was a small charge for the fitting only, great service. We have used Dunlop tyres for the entire trip, having only a few punctures, seven from memory, and no problems, despite the difficult conditions and running the tyre at low pressures off road, so it will be great to be able to continue with the brand.
We arrived at the Horizons Unlimited rally ground in Ober-Liebersbach late afternoon and were surprised to see one tent alreadyThe rural guesthouse, the centre of the rally set up, as the rally isn't due to start till tomorrow, but people like to arrive early, more social when there are only a few people around. It is only the second German HU rally, and double the registrations are expected, about 120 people, with marquis set up we sat over a beer as more early arrivers drifted in and a dozen tents dotted the field by late evening.

21/5/09 More riders drifted in all day. Not wannabes, most of these riders had done some serious riding, in many countries, or around the world. A rider from America on a Pan Head Chopper, a 72 year old Canadian, still riding, been around the world in stages, a Belgian riding a Ural with side car, crossed Russia, Grant Johnson founder of Horizons Unlimited, R1 Goes Extreme rider Sjaak, Doris Wiederman, probably the most travelled woman motorcycle rider, and many others. More a day of registration, talking, but the evening kicked off with a welcoming and two slide shows, in a tent as rain was imminent, and a log fire finished off the evening.

Womens only talk22/5/09 Riders kept arriving all day, and the campground started to fill up. An increasing variety of riders and motorcycles. It seems to be the era now of the unusual trip or motorcycle rather than the more usual Touratec equipped BMW motorcycle, as the slideshow program for the rally was full of the unusual, a diesel Enfield, an R1 260,000km's around the world, and a Harley-Davidson. We did an evening slide show, early enough so we could relax and watch Sjaak's later presentation with a beer in our hands, then again relaxed around the log fire, talked about travelling, about life, and things people talk about with a beer in their hands.

23/5/09 A general tiredness had started to descend on the early arrivers, three late nights, three nights sleeping hard, but there was still some enthusiasm for the, how to fix a puncture, how to take good photos, a womens only section of womens needs on the road, and again in the evening three more slide shows to finish off the rally. Two Australians, Peter and Kim,
Jens signs the first copy of his book for Sjaak and Doris a couple who have been emailing us for the last couple of weeks, wanting to meet up, arrived in the afternoon, travelling in Europe for a few summer months, they had ridden across from the Czech Republic, and later in the day two Americans, Reid and Daniel arrived, bringing with them the latest HOG Magazine, the one with an article of our trip, that we hadn't yet seen. They had rented motorcycles for their week visit to Europe, timing the holiday to the HU Rally. We spent the evening with the new arrivals, again not getting to the tent till early hours the following day.

24/5/09 Many hand shakes, farewells, and promises to meet again and to keep in touch filled the morning as the campground emptied. Kay and I had volunteered to help with the clean up, collecting the rubbish bags, dismantling the marquis and loading the van. Jens and Grant had done a great job on the rally but it was over, and we left the site soon after midday heading towards the United Kingdom, and 450km's later, almost all truck free, freeway Sunday riding, when the Tom Tom navigator guided us to a campground near Brussels, which was unfortunately situated under
Reid and Danny brought the latest HOG Magazine, with an article on our tripthe flight path of the busy airport. Still it was the closest view of a great variety of aeroplanes that we had ever seen as they shattered our peace every two minutes whilst we cooked and ate dinner on the grass. Exhausted, but with another long day tomorrow we slept well.

25/5/09 Our internet-booked 2pm ferry, departing from Dunkirk, gave us plenty of time to buy oil, and do a roadside engine oil and filter change, plus ride the 220km's to the departure point. In the past we would have just rocked up to the ferry terminal and hoped the price was OK and there was space, but modern technology since we were last here means it is almost essential to prebook to get a good price, either by email or mobile phone, and at $US 35 for the crossing the price was certainly good.

Move with us to the United Kingdom or go to our next visit to Germany

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