Wednesday, September 7, 2011

THURSDAY 25th AUGUST 2011 (Juchen)

As we packed the bike to leave MELLE the 80-year-old farmer from next door nearly fell out of his tractor when he passed and saw the Zundapp. He could remember reading all about them as a young lad. He was quite fascinated by them apparently but he'd never seen one!

We waved our good-bye's and went to the local Ducati shop which had dozens of models and racing Ducati's on the floor. The super friendly young man enquired as to what we were riding when he learnt we were from Australia. Before we had time to answer he rushed outside and nearly split himself in half he was laughing so much. He said he was expecting something really sporty...not that old thing! But...he WAS impressed.

We wanted to get some distance covered today - a big ask on a 70 year old! The old lady never let us down though. We were heading west and stuck to the back roads as much as possible. We rode through many beautiful small villages, many of which seemed abandoned. They're not but it just looks that way.

We stopped at AHLEN for lunch and a wander about. Everywhere is picture perfect and so clean. We learnt that everyone has an obligation to keep their homes and gardens well maintained and sweep the paths outside their homes. They have great pride in their surroundings.

It was now time for us to attempt riding on the autobahn. A bit daunting knowing the speeds they travel compared to the speeds we are traveling at! Looking at the map there was no way we were going to try and make our way through the cities of Dortmund, Dusseldorf and Cologne so we had no option other than to use the autobahn. Turned out to be not TOO bad. We would move over to the extreme right when trucks came up behind us so we never actually held anyone up - or got run over! We are travelling at a steady 75 kph.
We were making our way to JUCHEN where there was a Zundapp specialist. We wanted to meet him and check out his shop.

As we arrived in JUCHEN late in the day we were blown away to see heaps of motorcycles parked outside some kind of complex. Turns out to be one of the very large POLO motorcycle warehouses. We've never seen anything so BIG before (in the motorcycling world).

The area had a huge motorcycle accessories warehouse, several multi-storey bike related complexes, a concert stage, large cafe, not to mention the dozens and dozens of bikes parked out the front to add that little bit of extra atmosphere. The first bike we saw was a Horex followed by a Bimoto YB11. Impressive.

We looked around, had a bite and watched bikes and people come and go. We tried to strike up a conversation here and there but without success. We had been warned this was likely to happen.
Bikers are either super friendly or wont pass the time of day with you - nothing in between.

We needed to get going as it's getting late and we have yet to find somewhere to stay the night. Not always an easy task. We were reluctant to leave and risk the 'old lady' not performing as she should. She's either a first kick start or 200 kicks. Odds on with a crowd watching it would be the latter! However, she never let us down and away we went.

We had a look around Juchen and discovered there was no-where to stay! YIKES. We did eventually find a place out of town at Kelzenburg which turnned out to be super and only 1.5 kilometers from where we wanted to be tomorrow. Perfect.

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