Thursday, September 8, 2011

SATURDAY 27th AUGUST 2011 (Euro-Gespann-Treffen)

We were on the road early with the anticipation of arriving at the Euro-Gespann-Treffen (a sidecar rally).

We made our way to Hatsfeld, the only clue we had to the rally's where-abouts.

We were at the point of thinking it would be good if we saw a sidecar to know we were in the right area. About one second later one came towards us - excellent, we're going in the right direction. But hang on a minute, was he coming from the rally or going to the rally...???

Something didn't feel right so we did a uu-ee and ten seconds later eight sidecars came towards us. Now we are totally confused as to the rally's location. We waved one of the fellows over and he pointed us in the right direction. The rally was in the Hatsfeld area alright but it was held at another village about ten kilometers away.

When we reached REDDIGHAUSEN it wasn't hard to find the rally. It was considered a small rally because of the inclement weather but we were more than satisfied with the 1200 sidecars in attendance!

We paid our 12 Euro's to enter and the first person we saw was Chris McARDLE, a friend from Melbourne.

We set up camp near the main facilities and proceeded to spend the next few hours wandering about looking at the huge variety of outfits and talking to people.

We were really taken by surprise as we weren't expecting much, not considering ourselves to be sidecar people. But hang on a minute, we now have two so maybe we are...!!!

The variety of bikes was huge. Everything from your typical rat bike running on vegetable oil, custom-made oddities, beautiful oldies such as the Heinkel with sidecar AND trailer, sports bike outfits, classics, plenty of Zeus's (which is a 2 litre Peugeot turbo diesel purposefully made as a concept bike and very popular) and many hybrids. Russian bikes are very popular and our eagle eyes spotted a few 'Burals' (BMW/Ural combinations).

We met a fellow, Helmut, who had a photo of himself as a small child in the sidecar of his fathers Moto Guzzi V7Special, taken in 1970.

Helmut is now riding the bike and he hoped to visit his 8o year old father on the way home and take a photo of him in the sidecar. A nice story.

We walked around and up the various levels towards the tree line. From here we had great views of the rally and the small village of REDDIGHAUSEN.
As the evening came most people congregated in the large sports hall where meals were served (not bad either). A sidecar was being raffled on the night which was a long, drawn out affair to build up the crowds excitement. It was a bit lost on us not understanding the language but at regular intervals the crowd burst in to riotous laughter so we figured it was all going well.

One fellow chatted away to us for ages and gave us a good overview of German history. So much for 'don't mention ze war'! When you're riding a German military bike everyone else mentions the war!

The rain came and went during the night but with everyone in the hall it wasn't a problem.
The thing we missed the most is the lack of campfires. There's something to be said for the atmosphere (and warmth) they generate.

Back at the tents everyone stands around in the dark to talk to their neighbours, who they can't see!
That was our cue to go to bed. This is my first time camping in seven years and I wasn't sure how the body would cope but all was fine.

A special mention has to be made about the MV Agusta F4 outfit.
The owner (Roland) is wheelchair bound and set about building this remarkable bike so he can still get about. And he covers the miles - good to see.

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