Mayan Prophecy Countdown
Well, the Hotel Panorama may have a great view of the castle, but at this moment as it underwent a face lift, it was less than impressive looking. But, the big bugger who spent all night protecting the vehicles from wandering gypsies had done a great job and my bike was safe :)
It was another cold day, overcast but dry at this stage. I had checked out the weather report and it seems it will be dry until I get near the Black Forest tomorrow. I forgot to mention last night when I entered town, I had heard a screaming noise coming from the bike, and with helmet and ear plugs it must have been loud from out there!!! I pulled over and checked what was going on, I had visions of a busted gearbox or something, but no, what has happened is the lower tool tube on the left side had shifted and pushed the chain guard onto the chain(which is now nice and shiny), then the chain had started on the tube!! I shifted it all back out of the way yesterday, but I am now in need of a new chain guard, the old one is cactus!
Anyway, I headed off south and was basically taking it easy. After some thought about it, I ditched the plan of staying outside Vienna and riding in in the morning rush hour and phoned the same hotel and booked a cheaper room for the night, it was comforting to know I had a bed before I left ;) At one of the stops I made for a leak I bumped into a fellow rider by the cool name of Richard, well met m8 :) He is a pom and was traveling to Poland on a GS650 beemer, and when queried said he bought it because it gets 80mpg, so not a bad choice. Now, Ellie may be interested in this as she has the same bike, this is a factory lowered bike and HAS a center stand installed at the factory, so it can be done. Maybe you can contact BMW and buy the stand aftermarket and install it yourself?
I asked about his gear and he reckons he just rode from England in the rain and was dry, so here is another option, buy a whole new set of gear to stay dry, plus he has ridden it through some deserts and it was fine with the venting and lining removal. Two other fellow riders had given me advice about gear, Mark from the US and Beemerbird from Oz, I respect both riders and their knowledge but each came up with a different solution. Here is Mark Harfenist’s thoughts
quote ” Ok Richard, I figure you’ve finally suffered enough. I’m going to tell you how to stay dry on a motorcycle. Go out and buy some cheap (but not TOO cheap) trekking gear: rain jacket, rain pants. Size the jacket to fit under your expensive “waterproof” motorcycling jacket. Be sure to get one with an integrated hood
Size the rainpants to go over your expensive “waterproof” motorcycling pants. Best bet is to get them with full or partial zippered legs. Be sure they’ve got a fly–some don’t.
You’ll look and feel stupid, but you’ll stay dry. Oh, and for gloves, best you can do is to locate some handlebar muffs–I use a brand called “Hippo Hands” which you can google to get the idea. Good ones are great–cheap ones don’t fit and don’t work. Your hands will stay dry (as well as warm)
All of this is optional if you’re headed someplace warm and/or dry. But if you happen to be headed further north, as you should–Norway is one of the best places on the planet for motorcycling–you’ll be glad. The alternative is to continue suffering, and continue berating the manufacturers of all that expensive “waterproof” gear. They don’t care.” end quote
So that was OK, but then I have Beemerbird saying ditch the oversuit stuff:
quote”Mate, I feel for you in all the rain!!!!
BUT – do get yourself some WATERPROOF riding gear – NOT extra stuff that you have to put on when it rains, which takes up space, too!!! I gave up that sort of useless gear many, many years ago, like when I first started travelling in 2007!!!
Please do have a look at the FIRSTGEAR stuff, it is wonderful, and WATERPROOF, which is why a large percentage of the LD riders in USA use it – no stopping to don extra gear when it rains, just keep on riding!
The TPG Ranier, on closeout, is what I have, but there are limited sizes left at $232 (less than half price), mostly XXL etc, with one Medium.
The Kathmandu or the Kilimanjaro would be suitable, and waterproof. Or the Teton!!!
Well, as you probably know – I hate heat, but wore my TPG Ranier all the way down through Africa, and in Europe/UK the past two years. And they have the separate inner jacket, which can be worn as a standalone “dress” jacket, too. However, I rarely ever wear the liner/jacket, unless it is pretty cold – like here in Tassie at present!! Sheeesh, it’s freezin’! I wanna go overseas into the warmth!
I unzip the front zip (always!!) to get air onto my chest, unless it is freezing or pissing down, when I then zip it up. I also cut off the foldaway helmet hood, as I found it too bulky around my neck.
Personally, I reckon they are the bees knees for travellers like us, as they offer the best protection without having to carry extra w/ps.” end quote
So, you can see I have some thinking to do and now Richard threw another set of gear into the ring, HELD made here in Germany. I also recall Anthony’s wax motorbike jacket which is a cheaper option and he stayed dry as well, so at least there will be a solution, as to which one I will go for, well, stay tuned folks :)
We both headed off in different directions and my next stop was about 20km down the track for a cache, this one was a bit tricky to find as the tree cover in the woods made the GPS co-ordinates very inaccurate, but I eventually located my first Czech cache, although there was nothing interesting about the site to go there, it was just a short trip off the motorway.
I had to be careful at that site as the council workers were clearing the kerbs, but not a major drama to keep out of sight :) Next stop another 20km down the road for a cache called Double Bridge, a slight detour here as it sounded interesting when I did the research yesterday and it was not long before I was on the older bridge under the new one :)
Ing. Brázdil & Dr. Ješ’ started building the original bridge in 1936, but because of WWII all work on the highway was stopped.
After WWII work on the highway continued, almost the whale bridge was finished, but the government had other priorities and stopped all work on the highway. Construction was abandoned. It became overgrown with vegetation.
In late 60’s work on the highway slowly started again. But unfortunately the bridge had been built to outdated specifications. The completed bridge would have been too narrow, too low and possibly too weak. It was decided to build new bridge over the old one.
Nowadays the old bridge is used for local traffic between Horice and Vojslavice and you can use it while visiting the cache.
I had more workers right next to this cache also, but they were working in a storm drain so they could not see me grab the magnetic cache from inside the armco barrier. It was still cold although the cloud cover was breaking up and all the rest of the caches I had loaded on the GPS were well off the track I was on, so I decided to head to Vienna. I arrived in peak hour traffic of course!
But, I was soon booked in and receiving bad news :( Apparently it is a public holiday here in Austria tomorrow, which may mean the embassy is closed!!! But as today is Wednesday and they are closed, I cannot call to find out, bugger! But all I can hope for is they are open(as they are not Austrian) and if not, well I will change the plan eh! :) So I headed down the road to have veal sausages and fried potatoes and a beer. I had an early night as for some reason I was tired, maybe the wind and the cold from today. I once again looked at the weather, no change, so I decided right there and then, I will NOT ride the 850km to the Vstrom meeting. I will see what happens at the embassy, then make a decision from that outcome. If I get the visa I will head away but as soon as the riding conditions become too wet and cold, stop and do the remainder the next day. If I have to stay here another day, well, I will sort that out if it happens.
Cheers from Vienna