Michael on his RT, a senior rider if I may be so bold, who had breakfast and dinner with us, but who rode during the day with the elegance of a majestic white Swan that sits beautifully still upon the waters surface, all the while its feet below, or in this case Michaels RT 1200, propelled him effortlessly across the land at a speed which meant we rarely saw him in day light.
Des on his brand new triumph explorer, an experienced rider who for some reason always seemed to pass us each day on the wrong side of the road going in the opposite direction, but arrived at the hotels each afternoon at the same time as the rest of us.
Ray(spider) who brought not only joy and humour to Germany in his own unique style, but who also introduced them to his play list ranging from the likes of abba and Labi Siffre to Simon and Garfunkle. Naturally blasted full pelt from the on board speakers on his mighty triumph trophy.
Geoff on his bullet proof transalp, cruising on like a real wild hog, constantly low in fuel but refusing to fill up until the final mile on the trip computer, because Geoff was on a biking holiday and the normal rules of fuel consumption wouldn’t stop Geoff having a good time, oh no! Only losing his wallet on the last day and nearly missing the train home home would do that! I’m sure Geoff’s wife doesn’t usually let him go that far unsupervised and if your reading this Geoff’s wife, I’d be honoured to have him along again. ?
Paul and Nene, 2 wonderfully funny full of life characters who made each day great fun. Paul rides a lovely GS adventure bike in a similar manor to which Guy Martin rides the Isle of Man TT. Both Paul and Nene sit perched upon their noble steed sometimes facing in different directions, while Paul effortlessly lets the bike float along and around corners at speeds that a joy rider on a stolen fire blade could only dream about.
Will on his Kawasaki, a man of such a laid back character and with amazing concern for his riding mates, jumps fearlessly over 300ft high Dam safety rails to collect his fallen keys. Sorry Will this is the last time I shall mention this……….honest! Will was the founding member of the Magellan basket case dinner time award and for that I thank you sincerely. A new tradition to be carried on in my future tours.(watch out Felix no ones immune even me)
Michael on his versys, which we found out actually means Michael versys the rest of the group at cornering and high speed overtakes, safely of course. A man of few but harsh and side splitting words. He dodged the basket on this trip but I’ve got a feeling he may earn his right of passage on the Spain tour in September.
Kev on his Kawasaki. A new to foreign riding chap, who on the first day reassured me even though he was a professional truck driver for a living back home, would not be leading the group at any time during the trip as this was solely about gaining a new experience. Later on in day 1, Kev led the group without fault from lunchtime to the hotel with the same prowess of his Dambusting relative many years before him, earning the Magellan distinguished riding cross medal.
Louisa on her magnificent Indian scout. Another rider who said on day one “listen I’ll be riding at my own speed and never at the front and if it rains I’ll be really slow” normally when someone tells me that many fibs in a row i begin to wonder if you can ever really trust them. So as it unfolded within 2 days Louisa was leading the group, grinding foot pegs by the middle of the trip and after a brief discussion about grip percentages, rode through the rain like a cruise missile all the while setting fire to her self with her heated vest! Louisa is now a recent new volunteer in the London blood bike riders team and we wish her all the very best and a massive congratulations. If an Indian scout pulled up with 2 pints of blood in it I’d be only to happy to have it in my veins.
Gerry, some say diva, some say hooligan but I say the ultimate male, a man of distinction and a character full of fun with a pinch of naughty in there for good measure. Gerry rides a mighty 1290 KTM like its on fire and he’s trying to put the flames out by achieving speeds high enough to simply blow the fire out. Able to say anything to any one and get away with it by simply tilting one eyebrow and nodding in a Roger Moore like manor, I’m convinced he would have made a great 007, although money penny wouldn’t have got a moments peace.
Storm, my lovely wife, I now must not miss this opportunity to return fire. My pillion wing man who I enjoyed having sitting comfortably behind me, forgetting occasionally our headsets were connected. Occasional outbursts of singing, occasional warnings of imminent danger ahead, occasional constructive criticisms like “why do you grind your left peg more than your right” answer- because your luggage is in the left side pannier dear! And of course some occasional “ooofs” “watch outs” “god sakes” and of course my all time favourite, a few hundred “can you hear me”.
Thank you all for making this years Harz tour an amazing trip and I hope to see you all again someday for a new adventure on one of our other tours. I know I’ll be seeing some of you again this year soon on an amazing tour of Morocco and I can’t wait to get going again. After drooling at Paul and Nene’s GS adventure and telling several people I love them but I prefer my old varadero, mile munching trusty steed as its simplicity is more manageable for the mileage I do…… The day after we returned we walked into the local dealership and said “We will have that black one there thanks”. For this I have rightfully taken much abuse from my Harz group!