Nürburgring Race Track and Alps, August 2009 − Travels − Captain Tom

Nürburgring Race Track and Alps, August 2009

Nürburgring race track is on the agenda. A two day training on the famous Nordschleife.

I will combine it with a visit to friends in Wuppertal and a short trip into the Alps with Wolfgang and Irmgard.

1 Day 1

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The morning in Berlin is chilly, wet and gray clouds are hanging around.
I ride from Berlin to Wuppertal through Harz Mountains, Weserbergland and Rothaar Mountains. At my first break into the ride I see a marshal sitting in a side entrance and shortly after a moto cross bike breaks out of the woods
I stopped just right beside the track of the International German Moto Cross Championships.
Later in the day the weather got much better. It is warm now and sunny.
2 Day 2

I am visting

Manu, Natalie, Marc
and Murphy
Then I ride from Wuppertal to the Nürburgring race track.
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Wuppertal has a quite old suspended monorail called "Schwebebahn" which was built in 1900. Quite interesting and I had to make a picture. The funiest story about it: In 1950 a baby elephant was transported to advertise for a circus. The elephant got nervous and went out of the train into the river Wupper. It was rescued unhurt.
Radio telescope Effelsberg has been the largest moving one in the world for 29 years. The dish has a diameter of 300 ft. This is the closest I could get with the bike. And have a look at the scenery. Eifel mountains is a great riding area and the Nürburgring is in the middle of it.
After arrival at Nürburgring I had to walk around a little bit and have a look at all the new things which have been built during the last 3 years.
Ring Racer - the fastest roller coaster of the world - faster and more accelleration than King Da Kah in Six Flags Great Adventures New Jersey. Unfortunately out of order. So I could not test it. Maybe next time.
A race is going on on the Grand Prix Track. It is 600 miles of ADAC (this is the German AA).
A Wiesmann Roadster as Safety Car
The whole new entertainment area "Ring Werk". Another Wiesmann Roadster at the bottom right corner of the picture.
3 Day 3

Training on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife

There are groups of about 6 to 8 riders with an instructor. In the morning there is some training with the bikes and then it is doing laps. One lap is about 12 miles long.
Gathering in the morning
My group during a break. The green one to the left is the instructor's bike
Yes. BMW promotion is already running. This is a S1000RR which is not on sale yet.
Nürburg Castle is what gave the Nürburgring it's name. The castle and the country road to the left are inside the Ring
Relaxing exercises after lunch
Helmut Dähne is owner of the lap record for a motor bike (7:49,71 on a Honda RC30 in 1993). He works for Metzeler and is regularly for a training on the Ring as an instructor.
And here are some pictures taken by Martin Pluskota
Tom getting instructions from Jürgen
Tom ready for the next lap
4 Day 4

I have 14 laps on the Nordschleife. In the morning it is quite wet and we are very slow. In the afternoon we have much more fun.

Jürgen doing relaxation exercises in the morning. Our instructor Jürgen Fuchs is very good. As successful Moto GP starter he knows what he is talking about. And he is able to explain very well
Relaxation excercises
Professor Doctor Hans Eberspächer is presenting the exercises
We listen to the instructor
And here are some pictures taken by Martin Pluskota
Group foto (There are actually two groups on the picture)
Tom following the instructor Jürgen
Tom in a turn combination
Tom and Wolfgang following the instructor
Here are some more pictures taken by me
There is always some loss.
After the training we load the trailer and then we go to Schwabmünchen
Loading completed
5 Day 5

Wolfgang, Irmgard and I go into the Alps. Destination Bormio in Italy.

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Neuschwanstein - THE German fairy tale castle
First break at Hantenjoch
Little toy, big toy. The Buell is about a foot shorter than the K
It starts raining before we reach Piller Höhe and we have to jump into our rain gear.
Piller Höhe during the rain
The mother of all Alps passes. Wonderful. Passo Stelvio.
Views from the northern ramp
Views from the southern ramp
6 Day 6

Riding from Bormio to Sterzing.

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Gavia is the highlight of today and one of my top 3 favorite alps passes (number one is Stelvio, number two is Timmelsjoch and number 3 is Gavia).
Phantastic views all over the places. We did quite a few passes this day. We started with Gavia and then turned east, went over Tonale, Mendelpass, Karerpass into the Dolomiti area. There we went over Fedaia, Santa Lucia, Giau, Falzarego and Valparola. Turning north west we completed the tour via Würzjoch and Kofeljoch.
Tom, Wolfgang and Irmgard on top of the pass
Wolfgang on the southern ramp
At the bottom of the southern ramp
Lago di Fedaia
Unexpected encouter. A huge flock of sheep
Close to Santa Lucia within the Dolomites
Passo di Giau, another highlight of this day.
7 Day 7

Riding from Sterzing back to Schwabmünchen

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The last day of the Alps trip and we complete my top 3 favorite Alps passes with Timmelsjoch.
We go via Jaufenpass, Timmelsjoch, Hahntenjoch, Namlos and Ammersattel.
Wolgang and Irmgard arriving at Jaufenpass
View from Jaufenpass
Timmelsjoch - wonderful pass between Italy and Austria
How do they get to this house and how did they build the house in the first place?
View back to Italy
Austrian side
Lake Plansee
Last stop. Wolfgang knows a spot where one could see the whole Alps panorama. Well, there was so much dust in the air that the Alps did not show.
8 Day 8

I had to change tires and went to Schönwetter first. Afterwards we had to break in the tires and did a little 180 miles loop to the south west of Schwabmünchen.

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Tire change at Schönwetter

Wolgang inspects the progress
Rear wheel off
The tour in the afternoon brings us to a little but very busy shop where they sell cheese made in the mountains of the region. Wolfgang has to buy some and had to queue up for about half an hour
9 Day 9

Getting home.

The longest leg of my tour is the last day. I go 428 miles from Schwabmünchen to Berlin. Weather is quite pleasant but a little bit chilly for the end of August

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Just into Thuringia