Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Gray, rainy, not very warm - not really biking weather, but about 30 Buells found their way into a backwater town in the Allgäu, southern Germany. Peffi, maker of beautiful things like filigrane gear shifters and machined heel guards, had extended an invitation for a Buell meet and workshop at his manufactory.
One set of Buellers, myself included, met in Wattwil. We picked up the second contingent on the border. It drizzled the entire morning. I was pleasantly surprised by the water resistance of my Rokker jeans. Except the seat and knees, they stayed dry inside. They were definitely worth the 600.- price tag.
At Pfeffi's, the first patient was soon chosen. A Zuricher's XB12 had the bad habit of running on one cylinder when the rpms fell below 3000, so it was rolled into the shop to be worked on, cursed at and talked about until the problem went away.
I didn't witness the actual repair, because as soon as the rain stopped and a rather watery looking sun appeared, half of us geared up, mounted out bikes and ook off to discover the Allgäu.
Our tour guide was an elderly gentleman, probably around 60, who drove an old Honda C500CX which was promptly christened "manure pump." I seized the position behind the leader for myself and off we went.
Byroads, narrow paths, through a forest where the Honda crawled around every curve because the roads were still wet and covered with gunk. It was pretty slow for my taste, but I figured that since this was my first time in this area driving slower wasn't so bad.
Well, after we stopped to refuel things changed. The roads were drying, and that old Honda suddenly sped off like greased lightning. Right, left, up, down - those roads are better than the ones in the Black Forest! And to top it off, I'd never have guessed that one can get that kind of handling and speed out of such an old junker of bike.
Kalle led us over a very bumpy stretch of gravel to a restaurant where we had lunch, and then the tour went on. Somewhere in there I lost my mirror, which had been loose before. A Zuger had two and very generously offered me one to use until I can get a replacement.
At the second watering hole we met up with the Buellers who'd left once both the Zuricher's cylinders ran properly. We went to refuel together, and then the entire convoy headed back along the route we'd already driven with Kalle.
Werni and I let them go and followed the Honda, whereby we learned that in the Allgäu, one can ignore "no access" signs if one doesn't mind driving a couple kilometers over the sand and pebbles of a road construction site.
We arrived at the Biker Mill, our night quarters, around 8 p.m. The roast pig was long since done being roasted over an open fire and an X11-meet was in full swing; somehow we still managed to squash all our Buells onto the gravel lot.
After beer and supper we joined the sewing machine pilots. They were showing off with burnouts, but when you've got the engine at twenty thousand rpm and it's still only humming instead of roaring, it kind of detracts from the show.
After we'd watched three burnouts Kalle suddenly appeared on his old Honda, placed it on the burn board and let that tire smoke. What had gone up in wisps from the X11s rose in swaths from the 10-year-old tire of the 500er; we got so smoked up the fire alarm went off! We were laughing so hard we could barely stand up. After that show, the ice was broken between us as the Jap lovers.
The next morning, I and three Zurichers left fairly early. I got home to the Schwägalp dry; they got a bit rained upon but not nearly as much as those who left later. I was kinda sorry I wasn't able to personally say goodbye to many guys, but we'll meet up again at the Grollen in August and man, I am so looking forward to that.