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Friday, June 1, 2012

FH-DCE SUPERRALLY 2012 Ballenstedt, Germany.




I had not heard of the Super Rally ® before now, but I did know that the H-D clubs are just as big in the EU as they are back in the U.S., if not bigger.
I hadn't planned to go, as is usual with most of my journey so far, but at the last minute I thought well, what the hell, get out of the tent and all that, may as well go.
Ad, the owner of LBS Sidecars in Elsendorp where I'm staying until my sidecar is built, was going with his brother and some friends, so since Monday was a holiday in Europe I figured I may as well go also. All told, it was only a 500km/300 ml ride for us, so it wouldn't put a big hole in my wallet since I'm still in shock from my first European gas tank fill up on the bike. 
My first European gas tank fill up came in at .......wait for it .......***drum roll*** ......$110 !!. I know, $110 to fill a gas tank on a motorcycle, I mean really?. Granted, I do have the extra large tank on the bike, 11.5 gls, the stock tank was an 8 gl, but it too would still be in the region of $80 to fill up. But $110 just dam near gave me a stroke right there at the gas station, I mean my trip nearly ended before it had even begun. I knew the price of gas before I got to Europe, but it's one thing to know about it, and another thing altogether to actually shell out the cash for $10 a gallon gas.


Europeans have been living with high gas prices for a long time now, I honestly don't know how they manage to keep paying what are considered exorbitant prices for fuel, but it seems to be a problem that is worsening, no relief in sight, and with the summer holiday season coming up, it will probably go up to $12 a gallon.
But, mustn't grumble, eh?. Things could be worse and all that, stiff upper lip, jolly good, as you were.


So, the route from Elsendorp in Holland to Ballenstedt in Germany:

View Larger Map




Europe is really not very big, I think the fact that there are so many countries in the EU all within driving distance make's it seem like it's pretty big, but for example Paris France to Istanbul in Turkey is about 2,800 km or so, or 1700 miles, but you'll pass through Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Bulgaria to get there. You can also make the route a bit more scenic and go down to Albania and Greece as well, so all told you could pass through 11, maybe 12 countries before you reach Istanbul, so that fact alone makes Europe seem a lot bigger than it actually is. 

Here's the route on the map, we'll get back to the Super Rally in a sec:
So, A to B, Paris to Turkey, 1700mls, and to put in perspective vis a vie the U.S., Miami to Denver is 2,100 mls, and if you go on to San Francisco, you're looking at a total distance of 3,300 mls, or 5,370km.


Ok, Geography class over, next period, the Super Rally.
So, having decided to go Friday morning to the H-D Super Rally, I'm packing my bike as Ad is packing his Harley Davidson V-Rod Sidecar, and he looks at me and points to my back wheel...........I have a flat.
Ok, we can change out the tire. But then he asks if I want to be the monkey in the sidecar ( passenger ), easier on my wallet as we can split the gas, AND more importantly, I can take pictures while he rides, or in a sidecar you drive, not ride.
Great idea, so that's what we did, we both went in the V-Rod. That doesn't sound right, does it?.
 Two grown men, one V-Rod.........The V-Rod Tales, coming soon to the Adult section of your local video store.












I'll translate this for you, it's 'Thumb's Up', but in Dutch. 
Your welcome.


The ride, or drive since it's a sidecar outfit, from Elsendorp in the Netherlands to Ballenstedt in Germany was flat for the first 300kms, until we got out of Holland.
You don't start to see any appreciable terrain until you start to get east of Essen in Germany.
























Getting to the campground where the Super Rally was was much easier than I expected, it's an event that can have up to 10,000 or more at, so long lines at the gate are the norm, but not this time. After picking up my press pass ( thank you Gunther ) we breezed in and found Ad's brother Jack who kept up a camp spot.


Ad and his brother Jack, showing their table manners.




These potato balls were even better than they look, and the meat skewers behind were just as good, no idea what type of meat it was, but I was so hungry the first night there, and since Ad was off drinking and I don't drink, I decided to treat myself to some of the Rally food. I normally find food at events like this to be mediocre at best, this event on the other hand was really really top notch, from the food to the camping area, everything. It was all running like a properly greased wheel.
Hat's off to the organizers on this one.
Next years Super Rally is in Poland, so after my experience at this on, I intend to make the 2013 Super Rally for sure.












Part II of this article will be mostly the bikes I shot at the event, meanwhile I hope you enjoyed the ride from Elsendorp in the netherlands to the Super Rally® in Ballenstedt in Germany.


Please leave any comments or questions here on go to my FaceBook page and say hi.


Murph.
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