We are quite excited about today but first we have to re-fix the leather bag on to its framework and put back on the sidecar. The bag rivets broke when it 'crashed' in to the wall.
Being Saturday, if we don't get it fixed today we'll have to wait till Monday as EVERYTHING closes down on Sundays.
Luckily for us just around the corner from Hotel Zur Post was a push-bike shop and he just happened to have the right sized bolts for the job.
We fuelled up as the first thing on today's agenda was an organised seventy-kilometer ride. We were invited along but it was suggested we should stay at the back...obviously they were feeling threatened!
We arrived at the RHEINFELS Castle to find everyone had already left. We figured they would probably be back before we got 10 kays up the road so decided not to go on the ride. It was covering similar roads (minus push-bike track) to where we'd been so we weren't too disappointed. We'd misunderstood the time and miscalculated by 30 minutes - that's why we were late!
Before too many minutes passed you could hear the distinctive roar of the MV's arriving back at the Castle.
Dozens and dozens of bikes arrived. It was pretty impressive. What amazed us was the number of older models mixing it with the new. And for Paul, to see so many 750's in one place probably made it the happiest day of his life.
We got to talk to so many people and the club as a whole made us feel very welcome. Paul learnt a lot about the bikes and the modifications that are done and why.
We felt like we were in a dream most of the day. The bikes were parked up and the people settled in for an afternoon of ales and chatter.
The number of racing bikes astounded us. A favourite was a 1953 MV 175cc with a five speed gear-box (No.53).
There were also many MAGNI's and one real nice Rickman Kawasaki in attendance. A spattering of Ducati's and of course, parked out the front, was Brunhilda, our Zundapp. I think people were being polite by showing a bit of interest in the old lady.
The afternoon got a little more exciting for us when we got to meet MV greats from the glory days of MV's racing history.
We got to meet Gianfranco BONERA (black t-shirt), Paolo BINARELLI (red and white), Lucio CASTELLI (wearing braces and on the phone), Angelo AVOLA (red polo) and Remo VENTURI (in white shirt). They immediately mentioned the Longford Racetrack and knew exactly where Tasmania was. They were having a great time and no doubt reminiscing about the 'good old days'.
Then, just in case you didn't think it could better we had a long chat with Carlo MAGNI (blue t-shirt). What a lovely man. He invited us to the MV museum in Italy and if it's closed to call him and he will open up for us. Of course, MAGNI is only a few kilometers from the MV museum so we intend to visit both places in the coming weeks.
Mid-afternoon we dragged ourselves away from bikes and people to have a tour of the 16th century medieval castle. Very impressive how structures like this were built so long ago without the aid of mechanisation. Views from the top tower were breathtaking.
The afternoon came and went, we went 'home' to shower and change and then it was back to the Castle for the clubs formal dinner.
We were all gathered near the stone entrance gates and within minutes we were instructed to 'follow the flag'. Already we felt like we were in some kind of pantomime. Into the castle proper we went, across the worn stone pathways until we descended into the most magnificent cellar you've ever seen. THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is where our 6-course evening meal was held.
There were speeches and presentations to all the special guests, acknowledgement was once again given to various members from different countries and then we were ushered up on to the stage and presented with a gold medallion commemorating the event.
WOW - what a weekend - and it's still only Saturday!
The evening concluded with everyone being asked to leave their tables and as we climbed the steps to the outside world we were given flaming torches and sent on a night tour of the castle which looked resplendent and sometimes spooky) in the torch light. We really could've been back in the 16th century. A minstrel weaved his way amongst the crowd singing old songs which completed the experience beautifully.
Did we get our money's worth ? Hell yeah.