Detlev "Deti" Müller
Jürgen "Luigi" Koch
The annual International Transalp Rallye has been organized this year by Transalpfreunde Deutschland (TAF.de) and was held from May, 21st-24th. 130 Transalp owners plus some Africa Twin and Dominator owners from The Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany met in Heinsberg, a little village in the Sauerland mountains in western Germany.
The ten of us, from the Hannover chapter of TAF.de, met on May, 21st at 10 a.m. in Hannover. We decided to ride along all the small twisties, we could find, and at noon we reached Wellen in the near of the Eder dam, Udoīs home village, just to attend a Corpus Christi barbecue. After having some sausages, coffee and cake, we rode on and finally reached Heinsberg at 5.30 p.m., welcomed by Piet and the rest of the West chapter. Before we pitched up the tents, we had a first beer. You always should take the time for a beer ... ;-)
The location was an old redesigned inn, the campground was the landlordīs garden, the party room was the former barn, cool roads were waiting for us - best prerequisites for a very best elongated weekend ... And the weather? At least, it didnīt rain ;-) - but it was damn cold. Now, one week later, Iīm still suffering from a cold I caught.
After dinner, time came to party, and to have another beer - or two, aehemm ;-). First eveningīs music was - yes, loud, but not really of my taste. However, techno freaks may have enjoyed it. Nevertheless, spirits were high, and there was enough time to meet old friends and to get to know new ones.
Next morning we found, that there was a certain lack of showers, but anyway, we managed it. After excellent breakfast, Piet called for briefing. There were two roadbooks offered on Friday, one leading east to Eder dam, the other one leading north to Möhne dam. We, i.e. some Hannover people, decided to ride north, and we had a wonderful day on small and smallest twisty Sauerland roads, including some 3 or 4 km of gravel tracks. Whoever compiled this roadbook - THX, guy! Itīs been wonderful!
Being back in Heinsberg, there were time enough before dinner to have a look at the Transalp exhibition. There were not too much bikes, being in a complete stock shape. Most popular modifications seemed to be, at least in The Netherlands, to fit the 750 cc Africa Twin engine, and to mount a loud pipe. Also to be seen: the first legal German TransTwin, owned by Andreas from Braunschweig. And the absolute highlight: a Transalp combination, owned by Dirk from Salzwedel. An excellent conversion.
After dinner (very well tasting pea soup, goulash soup and some salads), there was time to party again, and this evening even I liked the music ;-))). Spirits were even higher than last night, and some people were told to find their bed at 4 a.m. ...
Saturday morning - same procedure as last morning. Oooh, that breakfast ... :))). Today was offered a third roadbook, leading to west. I joined an "international group" with Hans, Wouter and Bernard from The Netherlands and Bogdan from Poland. This dayīs highlight was an enduro terrain we visited, and some of us had a pretty good romp there ... However, Per broke his bikeīs front subframe by excessive jumping, and Lars crashed in a hidden hole. He got off with some contusions - painful, but not serious. The bike suffered from broken front fairing and a bended handlebar and rear subframe, also nothing serious. Besides the fact, that Browny touched a crash barrier, but managed to stay upright (!), these were the only unpleasant events of the weekend.
And at evening: THE TRANSALP BARBECUE! No, we didnīt grill a motorbike (not even the lonesome Suzuki Freewind ;-) ) ... No, we had different kinds of meat, sausages, salads - more than enough for all to eat their fills. Oops, put on at least 4 pounds ... :( Means a lot of pushbiking ...
At last, on early sunday morning, the rain began ... What is an ITT without rain? I tell ya - itīs like a fish without a bicycle. Tents were packed up in a certain hectic atmosphere, every now and then one could hear a soft (or not so soft) "Scheiss Regen!", but rain didnīt really bother. Everybody seemed to be happy about an excellent weekend, and a little bit sad, that all was finished now.
Thanks a lot to Piet and the crew of the West chapter for organizing this event (I know, itīs lots of work ...), for finding the location, for compiling the roadbooks - for everything.
Itīs been great!