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The Beer Run part2 [long]

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by FormerUser1, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. (search for "The Beer Run part1" for the first 'installment')

    Inching the over laden bike into the creek, feet down, elbows out…the whole affair bounces, slips and slides, bucks and weaves… the glass-bottles clinking viciously, a hairs-width from destruction, I’m shitting myself.
    Sweat pouring everywhere, fear overcomes caution and the right hand cracks the throttle….the huge front wheel with it’s well-worn stubbly reminder of what started life as a knobbie hops wildly before it gets light and jumps through the slippery mud onto firm ground on the other side…too stunned to react I just hang on as the rear follows suit and gently bumps its way through as well.

    Another few hundred meters and the ground levels out, there’s a flat patch big enough to stop and get off.
    Legs shaking badly inside the soaked jeans I get off, gingerly balancing the old girl which seems to give me another twinkle (that’s bullshit, bikes don’t do that, or…?). I’m drenched with fear and effort, rolling a smoke takes 5 minutes….and endless papers, as they seem to just vanish in those sweaty hands.
    Sitting down, it’s time to take stock and make decisions.
    Either unload the bike, ride it down, then make several trips to carry the crates back down to the pub, one by one…or…. unload the bike, ride it up to the hut, then do several trips to carry the crates up, one by one…. or…keep going.
    It’s just after 6, I’ve got a half-hour until they start looking for me.
    I crack one of the lemonade bottles…perhaps a bit less weight on the back will help?

    Then I curse myself, again, for getting myself into it… for a bloody hotdog and a beer. The soggy helmet-liner feels awful, a cold, wet sponge squirting it’s contents over the top of my head….I’ll keep going until either the bike, the load or I can’t go any further.
    The mental picture of going tits over arse down the steep slopes with a beaten-up black NSU playing tag-team with the various crates of glass bottles chasing me bears too much pain to think about.

    Another twinkle (eh???) as the key turns, one kick is enough this time, we’re off again. The track climbs gradually and winds it’s way out of the flank onto the front of the mountain, the views are stunning. The whole town is at my feet now, the mountains opposite still draped in dark shadows, the Zugspitze gleaming away, white ice and snow piercing the blue sky.
    The first cable-car run is on, testing supports and cables after last night, the tiny red carriages with their aluminium struts shimmering against the dark background of the valley.
    Some small wobbles, some skips over small rocks, the going’s not too bad.
    10 past 6…the last of the trees drop away as the track takes another bend and steepens badly.
    That’s the part I’m dreading, the part that stuck in my mind when I just KNEW there was no way to get a bike up here. It’s steep, it’s rocky, the track down to a foot’s width…standing there at the bottom, clutch pulled in, the stroker ring-dinging away at idle, both feet on clumps of soft grass bordering the track…
    ohhhh faaark, this is gonna hurt…. badly.

    I pedal back a bit to get the engine onto song and the clutch binding as best as possible and to give me time to balance the whole shebang while standing on the pegs.
    We’re off !!! Clutch bites solid and she hangs on the gas as the front wheel climbs, helping to skip over the first rock, backing off for a fraction to make the back roll rather than bounce, the bottles are going spastic in the rear…back on the gas, body way over the front.… it’s HELL on wheels as we fight for every inch… climbing, gnawing, bouncing, screaming, wiggling, slipping and bucking our way uphill in a huge cloud of 2-smoke.
    I couldn’t give a shit about those bottles anymore , I just WANT to get up there, I can’t, CAN NOT, come off !!!
    Constantly sideways at shallow angles as the trench-like path restricts sideward-movements, bottles sounding like Chinese fireworks, the ugly, old girl climbs ...and climbs..and climbs….and climbs up that narrow brown track into the sky…no quitting, no popping, no missing, she fights and claws, spins and bites past the halfway mark, then seems to go for a deeeeep lungful for the top half, keeping at it like a prize-fighter, it never seems to end, there are more near-offs per minute than threads in my daks…
    TO THE TOP !!!

    It all ends at a small flat patch already partially occupied by a wooden bench, courtesy of the local tourist board. 6.20
    Another look…6.20 . Ten minutes that felt like HOURS.
    Eternity, really…
    The hot engine ticks from the heat, I’m slumped on the bench….knackered to the core. Hollow, empty….finished.
    A hand “wanders out”, strangely detaches itself, reaches across to the dented, rusty tank…contact…a quiet “THANK YOU”. Knees shaking, wrists burning.

    Checking the load while finishing the already opened bottle of lemonade I’m stumped to find that not a single bottle has broken!!
    Another minute passes, time to get going.
    Again she fires into life right away, the track now widening, we’re on the flat stretch along the ridge now. Far away, some figures move slowly towards us…the publicans brother and his wife have started their ‘search-and-rescue’…
    Standing in the pegs to hold the front-end stable, my left hand comes up for a wave…theirs too, signal received. Once more the track widens to a narrow dirt-road, I stop the bike, get off and sit down.
    That’s it for me; he can ride across to the hut.

    Never saying NO to food, the 2. breakfast of the day is just as hearty and filling as the first… the views across town into the nearby mountains from the timber deck of the hut is exhilarating.
    I help to unload the bike…noticing a pile of crates with empty bottles alongside the wall of the place.
    They don’t really…they wouldn’t….
    They DID.
    Voicing a weak protest, there was no way I was going to get out of that one now.
    Ahhh, shiiiat !!!
    7.15 and I was back at the bench at the top of the steep section.
    Looking at the packed bike, then at the path disappearing down the steep, grassy slope any previously dawning positive thoughts vanished in one hit.
    I re-packed the top crate to give more space to lean back; I needed all and any room available trying to shift body-mass to the rear and keep the show in one piece.
    Sitting on the lower crate, bum and back arched as far back as possible, hanging onto the bars with fingertips only, we eased over the edge and “into the groove’.

    Once locked in, it was just “ hanging on for dear life”… grass, slope, mountains in the distance, rocks… all blurring into a noisy cacophony of bouncing bottles, squealing brakes, the rear skidding continuously, a wild ride just waiting to run out of control any instant…eyes wiiiiide open, seeing nothing! Mouth wiiiide open…not even a whimper!
    Knuckles white and pointy…crimping the bars to, what seemed, half their thickness.
    Sheer terror… cramping calves on that endless rollercoaster-flight down the hill.

    Again we made it in one piece!

    The rest was a piece of cake, 2 bottles destroyed at the creek-crossing as the front-end wanted to go walkabouts, the smoking front-drum relieved at some “cooling”.
    7.50…the run was over.
    With ‘goods-delivered’ at both ends, I pushed the NSU back into its place under the lean-to next to the chook-pen.
    A skinny, white arm appeared from the kitchen-door “here’s some breakfast, boy…and thanks for helping out”.
    Looking back across the beer-garden, I KNOW I saw another twinkle from around the headlight of the battered, old bike.

    We did the run every morning for the next 10 days. I spent 20 Marks pocket-money on a fresh plug and other small stuff …scrounged enough old rags, detergent and petrol to clean her up, clean and lube the chain, too.
    File away the excess-weld of the rack, freeing up the rear brake lever.

    I dropped her in the creek, I dropped her on the steep bit…twice…we slid down the steep, grassy slope with 6 crates of empties…and there were streaks of silent tears dripping out from under that rattly bubble-visor on the way home, slaloming the tiny Honda around the rubber-bits on the “bahn’s” emergency lane.
    She DID twinkle at me…..
  2. Good one glitch

    keep them coming.
    :applause: :applause: :applause:
  3. Just terrific stuff, Pete, thanks for a sparkling read!!!
  4. thanks pete, every story i read like this is another kick up the bum for me to get out there and ride somewhere, anywhere, just not to work. keep them coming, hopefully i'll have some next year
  5. great story pete. i wish we had freakin autobahns
  6. :) Me too ! Now, that I've outgrown the 50cc-shotglass-class, that'd be a hell of a lot of fun :)
  7. Holy cow!! That was great!!
  8. Glad you enjoyed it :)
  9. nice, very nice.

    (I said NICE!!!!! That short enough for ya?!?!??!)
  10. I think I'm beginning to understand why you're such a crazy bastard!