Monday, August 10, 2009


September 1, 2008 - Monday

Feuertaufe means baptism of fire, and on Saturday, I had mine.

It would take more time than I have right now to describe everything that happened on Saturday. Kevin, Nico on his Triumph Speed Triple, Steve and I met Octavian and a couple other Triumph drivers on the Freiburgerstrasse in Basel and did the Black Forest tour we'd planned three weeks ago. The beginning was rather relaxed. We drove one awesome pass; the rest was towns and flatlands which were pretty, but made for easy driving. We stopped for lunch at a secluded little restaurant in the woods, and Roger, who drives a fully customized skyblue Triumph Speed Triple 1050, said he was getting square tires and that if Octavian didn't start with the curves after lunch he'd take over the lead.

After lunch we circled back toward the mountains and forests, picking up speed and gradually losing half the group. We'd started out with nine people. At the end of the day, when we reached Todtmoos, only Nico, Roger, Octe and I were left.

That was the most difficult drive I've been on yet, and I loved it. Octe and Roger have been driving for dozens of years; Nico at least for five, and I managed to keep up with them. When we stopped for a drink in Todtmoos, Octe said decidedly that next time, only the absolutely positively experienced would be invited, the ones who could keep up - Roger, me, Nico... I'm sure I beamed. I've been driving for a measly ten months, but I now officially belong to the good drivers. The good drivers said so.

We drove another couple passes before reaching the border, where we separated, Roger and Octe heading back to Basel and Nico and I heading to Zürich. We agreed to meet next Saturday, 0930 hours, at the autobahn rest stop Pratteln, for an honest-to-goodness curve marathon through the Black Forest. Roger, who's planning the route, said we'd be done by 1500 hours and exhausted. Nico still needs to tell me whether he can come or not, but either way it's going to be great fun - if the weather holds. If it's rainy we won't do it. It wouldn't be much good; you can't lay in the curves properly.

Now Roger invited me to his forum, which basically exists to plan tours. I'll be seeing the Black Forest from the inside a lot more from now on, I think.

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