Versya

My slanted Life

Author: Schräg

Eicma, or: Versya went by train

Americans! More precisely: US Americans!  Why dear God, why?!
That was my first thought when I was sitting in the compartment and got surprised by the three young Interrail backpackers.
You might think, Why is she so negatively surprised?
OK,

First:
I did make some experiences in the past

Second:
Everything was so nicely planned: An EICMA visit in November. Everyone will fly, and I will travel comfortably and solo in a couchette, or sleeping car.
Basically a brilliant thought would be said by God, but did you also expect Interrail? And, like my old friend Don Camillo, I would have to agree. Apropos Don Camillo: The Eicma takes place in Milan annually  and is located in the Po plain, the Italian landscape that Guareschi had chosen for his stories.

And 3 (read on) ;-):
But back to these Interrail Teenagers. Not that they’re not nice, or that they smell. But I was so excited when I left the train station and entered the empty compartment. Yeeesss…

After all, I already have the seat at the window and thus control over the power socket, but still: Americans?  The young people are obviously starving, because they order the – not exactly cheap – menu straight  through. Since my wild travel times a lot has changed as it seems.  I’ve always been shopping in the supermarket, only to enter the tent, or the train wagon, with supplies for the night and the next day. But Daddy’s credit card makes travelling more comfortable. A couchette car compartment is not the cheapest way to spend the night.
No matter,  enough bitched, we talk briefly, then I continue reading. The book: “In the net” with my favourite cook/detective/editor Mira Valensky, by Eva Rossmann. I love the earthy, Austrian way of writing in the book series. The characters are lovingly worked out, the en passant submerged recipes are an inspiration, and the cases are always tricky.

Somehow I like criminal stories, spiced with food, it seems I have something in common with my dear Svenja. I soon faded out the Teens and read for the next hours until it’s time to fold down the beds and go to sleep. Still brushing my teeth quickly and evening toilet, and up into the sky (I’ve wisely reserved the uppermost bed for myself, getting out in a full compartment is annoying and the suitcase compartment, above the door, is pleasantly within reach.

But it seems that the three of them are just getting started: Skype calls with the states are being made. Worried parents are reassured to see their children helplessly at the mercy of the hordes of terrorists and criminals in good old Europe because of the rigid weapons laws.
There are lively discussions about the new priest (Chaplan) in the community. Really?  In between, a radio commercial for a company is recorded for Thanks Giving.
Meanwhile I know the text by heart, because the speaker always gets muddled with the word “perseverance” and repeats the text about 50 times, until it is recorded in her smartphone and starts electronic the journey to the US. And then they say prayers together! It is 11:30pm and they want to get off in Padova (planned arrival 5:00am), and have breakfast before? Hello? I just turn off the central light from above. A while murmuring and smartphone flickering goes further on and then it really gets quiet, or I fall asleep?.

That ends this short day and the next one starts at 4:40, when I get woken up by the knocking of the crew at the door to get rid of the wake-up call and the three breakfast tablets. Unfortunately, down under is dead silence, so after a while I open the door from above and let the crew meber in.  Now she stands in the corridor and says in a muffled voice: “Padova?  But even repeating it several times does not trigger any reaction. I point out to her that the breakfast belongs to the three lower beds and turn myself back into the ceiling. Shortly afterwards, down under really comes to life in the compartment, backpacks are packed and transported to the corridor. As the train stops in between, panic breaks out and one of the coffee cups flies through the compartment and distributes its full contents over the benches and floor.

With a paper napkin they  briefly tried to minimize the damage, but then jump up quickly and with a nice good bye they aim at the exit of the wagon.

Yes, go with God, but go! I hope you’ll catch up on your morning prayers at the platform and visit a priest to have at least 100 Hail Marys given to you at confession. 😉

I climb out of bed, get dressed and start to clean the floor and the benches as much as possible of the coffee with paper towels from the train toilet. The last thing I need now is the smell of cold coffee in the morning, or a cleaning crew sweeping through the compartment. After the worst has been cleaned up, I climb back to sleep. Sidenote: the train is still in the station since 30min (Splitting of the train to  Rome and to Milan).
I have to get out of bed at 7:45, the train arrives in Milan at 9:12, so no morning stress, because I hate that.

Punctually at 7:40 I am awake, collect the 3 breakfasts together and prepare a small breakfast menu feeling in the compartment. The 3 obviously didn’t even try to pack anything, so everything stays with me. I know a mouse that would certainly not have been too angry about it.  It’s too much for me, tea is just coming. So I pack a part for the day and the rest I enjoy greatly. Today I will surely need nothing to eat until in the evening. The train goes past Lake Garda and one station on the way is Brescia, a place just 80km northerly from the Don Camillo town of Brescello.

Moderately rested, but fully saturated, I arrive almost on time in Milano and start my search for the metro. I found it, bought a day ticket and took the M2 and M1 to the fair. At the exit point, a crowd of inspectors is already waiting for us, well aware that the core zone of Milan has come to an end two stations before and that an extra ticket would have been necessary for the last station. The fine of 36,- € due for this will certainly ensure the redevelopment of the Milan Transport Services (ATM) on trade fair days only. I recognize the situation very quickly and choose the inspector with caution and, I am lucky in misfortune, I get away with a friendly warning.  😉  Milan, 09:45, the hairstyle sits….  With the knowledge that many years of wandering around in the Viennese public transport were not in vain, and a broad grin on my face, I continue to the exit. Where the grin freezes immediately, because in front of me there is a queue of surely a thousand visitors, who are prevented from making progress by 5 – age-weak – luggage control apparatus and X-ray controls. Austria you happy country, where a fair is not a potential assassination area (probably not here either, but what could be done for the good mood of the visitors?) MINUTES later I stand behind such a lock and discuss with the operator of such a device  whether I have a Swiss knife in my luggage or not. He expects me to hand this over, and I really have no idea where that could be in my backpack, if there is one at all?  (I didn’t find it at home either, so either a false alarm, or the false backpack – since they roll through the scanner almost simultaneously, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all).

For unpacking the overfilled rucksack there is an area of approx. 30x30cm available, I start to spread my dirty underwear and female toilet items, because this always helps in southern countries. As expected, the operator hurry to wave me away……..

Finally, I think to myself, finally the fair! Yeeessss! 🙂

But shite, the access from the metro side is definitely the wrong one. The relevant part of the exhibition is at the other end of the huge exhibition area and so I march in dawdling groups another 400-500m further until I finally, finally! get to the reception, which guards Hall 22 and 24. I pick up my free admission ticket, deposit my superfluous clothes and luggage (incl. virtual pocket knife) at the cloakroom and enter the huge halls dressed in a WRWR T-shirt and armed with a selfistick, smartphones, powerpacks, cables and stickers.

Now the game commences, because that is why I am here: WRWR (Women Riders World Relay) and to interest the italian Moto Amica’s for the event taking place in 2019. I also have stickers and a WRWR Protoyp T-Shirt with me, if one of the italian FB members. Therefore I regularly post photos and texts about my coordinates in the FB event discussion. Catch me, if you can…

That’s pretty exhausting.  To find striking points, to post them on FB, to draw close circles around them for a while, to post a new point foresightedly and to repeat the game there and distribute stickers in between.

In this way I move through hall 22, look at the stand of Benelli (Leoncino!), Alpinestars, SWM , ……………..

In between I briefly meet Elsbeth, our WIMA friend from Switzerland, who used her participation in the olive harvest in Tuscany to give me some encouragement today. We take some photos together, and, although she is the first one to find me, for reasons of fairness (she had insider knowledge! ) no T-shirt will be given out and we forget about the stickers because of all the stupid stuff, of course…

We split up again, my pace is so slowly with the stop and go game, and arrange a meeting for lunch.

 

 

 

It is then almost 13:00, when I can finally have a winner! The T-shirt is rewarded to Emily, who is the lucky winner, she caught me at the Beta booth, we’re both happy. Me, because I don’t have to carry it around anymore, she, because it fits well and the visit of the Eicma is twice as great! We do a photo shoot together, then we  separate our ways. 🙂

I meet afterwards, as agreed with Elsbeth, not without photographing the most prominent points on the way in advance, after all there is KTM and the new Adventure 790 is a must stop.

Since I had a good breakfast, I only need a small lunch and a short stop at the toilet, then I continue through the halls and I continue to distribute stickers to Italians, to test the motorcycles and to post my location. Finally, arrived at the KTM booth, the Adventure is besieged from all sides. I’m also lining up, but somehow it might be unimaginable for the male Italian Amici that I really want to ride this bike as well. I am passed over from left, right and opposite several times, so I take the initiative, beat a macho and show with a courageous kick on the footrest that climbing on such a high bike, in contrast to what I saw before, can also look elegant. I toil myself sitting and standing!!  (none of them did it!) on the machine before I leave it again just as elegantly. Well, gentlemen once you’ve learned something it isn’t forgotten. See you at Erzberg!  Gngngn…

Due to the long wait for the seat/stand I had enough time to have a good look at the machine. A lot of plastic, which isn’t immediately a minus on fairing parts (especially on an Adventure machine, which is actually ridden that way), but what about the plastic tank reaching almost to the ground, which protrudes to the left and right of the skid plate, like a bump from the side of the motorcycle? Low center of gravity, so, so… but how can the tank really survive rough terrain or falls, not to mention to be repaired in the steppes? And, if I want lateral dents on the motorcycle, I buy something else. I have to hope for a 390 Adventure or buy something completely different. The competition doesn’t sleep either, starting with SWM, there were a lot of other motorcycles that also have the Adventure character, but this one is an Austrian bike  …

So the search will go on.

And of course my round, and the scavenger hunt, continues through the exhibition halls from stand to stand and also very briefly at the outdoor area.  At about 17:00 I finally post my last location, then I leave the fair and, walk back to the M1. I buy an outer zone ticket (1,60) and drive back to the center (Duomo). There I take a look at the beautifully lit cathedral and stroll through the old town towards Milano Centrale.

On the way I get hungry again and since I still have bread rolls from the morning, I buy a few gramms prosciutto crudo in a supermarket on the way, very delicately cut, as it should be.

As soon as I’m out of the supermarket Junior rings me up with tips for a Pizzeria Ristorante near the central station, where he ate wonderful pizzas with his class.

So, now I have to decide? Roll and prosciutto, or pizza?  I solve it somewhat elegantly when I meet two Barbones I leave them my mangiare, and make them and me happy with it, because the pizza is really fantastic!

I arrive at the station in time to get on the wagon comfortably and visit my compartment before the return journey begins.

This time the tactic works out. I am and I stay alone in the sleeping car compartment. The day was exhausting and long. So I fall asleep relatively fast and wake up again with the wake-up call at 7:30 am. Until 9:00 the journey still lasts. So I can admire the old Semmering route and the Rax in the most beautiful sunlight before the train enters the classic fog wall in front of the Wr. Neustädter bassin and does not leave it until Vienna.

 

Conclusion: If Eicma again, certainly not with sticker, but gladly only with train (up to the fairground).

DGR Distinguished Gentlemen Ride 2018

Hello, will many readers be thinking now? Gentlemen?  Versya is everything, but not a gentleman? Yes, unfortunately I must agree with you, but can I really resist the temptation of a ride through Vienna, surrounded by flashing vintage motorcycles (new and oldtimers)? Who does know me, knows the answer: No! And why shouldn’t I also think of my father, or brother, or my sons, true to the slogan of the DGR?  Exactly!  🙂 So, the alibi stands. What do I wear? OMG, what wears a distinguished gentleman? I study old photos of the DGR and make a decision. No jacket, no Bowler, but I  do thunder up. Leave my trousers at home this time and get on my motorbike in  a skirt or dress. A bit sniffed in the fifties movies, then Amazon boarded and voila, the wardrobe is already standing. Hopefully the fumble arrives in time! :-0 In the meantime 2 weeks have passed, I have donated diligently, because in return for many participants my participant account does not have a round 0.  #Proudofmyself I am therefore entitled to ride with a clear conscience, and not only for fun in the DGR, and I also get a day in advance (a little bit scarce, dear organizers!) the dates for place and time of the first meeting point. The motorcycle is washed – hmm the washing utensils are really so far down?  And extensively polished, because the weather forecast promises cool/warm weather and sun. Apparently once again the weather god of my Moto passion is friendly! 🙂 Then it’s my own outfit’s turn. That goes at least a little faster, because the clock is ticking, and too late would be a first (not gentlemen like) faux pas. Arrived in time on the spot, I’ll be moved to the first row together with the other girls. This year the ladies drive up front, yeaaahh (ops – Hurray) . There is still a short speech and then the impressively large (the organizers speak of approx. 800 participants) convoy with police escort pulls first the Wiental city outward and after the Gürtel turns back again across the city up to the Danube island. Many astonished faces at the roadside. A good mood in the convoy. Heart (or better: prostate) what do you want more ? 😉 Maybe, a video?  😉      

Süddeutsches Frauen Motorrad Treffen

The 25th, and probably not last, South German Women’s Motorcycle Meeting took place from 22 to 24 June in Schwangau. Organized by the WOW (Women on Wheels) and the Hexenring, including a pinch of Wima Germany, of course we were also there! We organized the arrival and return journey in two separate groups, because 1) smaller groups make sense 2) the arrival and departure of approx. 700 km in one day is not for everyone The first group left already on June 21, the second group followed bravely on June 22. The weather was horrible and very humid on June 21, and various small infirmities delayed the trip even more. Denoch managed the first day’s stage to Radstadt quite well. The next day the weather was much more friendly, only the temperature was, for the end of June, with approx. 15-17° still not so intoxicating.
 
 
  The ride itself went better for both groups on the 2nd day, but traffic jams and various traffic diversions made the finale more grueling, but we were all in our quarters on Friday evening and were able to leave in time for the program (so well booked out that we had to rent external rooms for ourselves!) The drive naturally led us past the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. A visit of the same one is on tomorrow’s program, we are curious. The evening was in a humorous atmosphere for many of us there were familiar faces from previous meetings with the WoW’s, the Witch Ring, or Wima Rallies, to see and so there were soon lively conversations to God and the world. Since we had come with the motorcycles, we drove relatively early back into the quarter, in order to be rested for tomorrow’s excursion (on foot, and/or by bus) to Neuschwanstein. (After all, some of us have been on the motorcycle for more than 9 hours today) But that didn’t stop us from chatting with Claudia in the neighbourhood over a bottle of red wine, who unfortunately didn’t get a ticket for tomorrow and therefore plans to continue her journey to sunny South Tyrol tomorrow. The second day on site:  
We met for breakfast, which was extensively awarded, and then hike in groups from the meeting point to the castle (approx. 7 km away). The last stretch then goes steeply uphill. So it was good that the temperature – despite the sun – was still low. Since there was still a little time (the tours start every 10 minutes – on time! Although Bavaria is, but here they are probably Prussia) was also the detour to the Marienbrücke possible, which offers a wonderful view of the castle and the plain behind it with reservoir (empty). A true postcard perspective!   Vor dem Ausgeben der Eintrittskarten gab es noch ein Gruppenfoto und dann ging die Führung schon los.  
  Before the tickets were handed out, there was a group photo and then the guided tour started. Actually brilliant what poor Ludwig has done here, Bavaria will thank him for centuries (1.4 million visitors per year can not be wrong) But, I guess he was a little megalomaniacal. Despite the built-in amenities of the 19th century, exuding such an oppressive medieval atmosphere on the two extended floors is already an art! The beautiful cover, therefore, promises more than the content can then fulfil.    
 
  The tour ends unexpectedly quickly and the return journey to the Adlerhorst begins. Meanwhile it has become a bit hotter, the first paragliders land on the slope, and we stroll back again in small groups. Arrived on site Ludwig himself is already waiting for us for an apperitive, and so we spend the afternoon on the terrace with a beautiful view of the plain and in the following a wonderful sunset with a very special light. Simply wonderful!  
  In the evening there was another party evening with many memories of the last 25 years, which in the second half degenerated into a Germany victory celebration (In the retrospective: Too early )     Since we want to go back tomorrow, we were also said goodbye relatively early this morning.
The third day: Relatively early getting up and packing, so that we can be punctually at 8:00 with the breakfast and immediately afterwards it goes for an Austria group to the south and for the second group somewhat later to the north east in direction Passau, where they want our Passauerinnen meetings. Group 1 drives over the Fernpass into the Inn valley, from there via Lofer to Berchtesgaden, up to the rainy and foggy Rossfeld road.  
 
(Surprisingly with a little view!) and back down to Golling, where the lunch break is held. Very dark clouds above the Postalm let us take the path over the Gschütt pass and then further south via Halstatt, Bad Aussee and Goisern. The rest of the route is obvious: Liezen, Admont, Gesäuse and Wildalpen. Here it goes on and on at a brisk pace. The clock is ticking,   From Mariazell we go to Traisen where we part ways. On one side to St. Pölten and on the other side via the Schöpfl, Klausen Leopoldsdorf and Gruberau back to Vienna. The end of the track is already in the dark, but no less enjoyable.  

Wima Rally Day 12, 20.07.2017

Today is the event day with motorcycle.

There are 3 groups in total:

One race track training, or off-road training, or BMW rental motorcycles for test riding (T9, 1200 GS, eRoller) As a last alternative, there is also a moor hike in the immediate vicinity for the motorcycle tired participants.

I already had a moor hike on day 1 of our arrival in Janäda, besides I’m here to ride my motorbike. 😉

BMW motorcycle test drive?  No, thank you!  Not on principle.

Then off-road training?  Would be tempting, especially here in Estonia. I’m just afraid that the coaches’ expectations are very low and I’ll probably fall asleep.

So all I have left is the track. Actually also not bad, even if the Versys is not so the race track device now.  But the idea of getting training from an Estonian state champion is very tempting.

To make matters worse there is a little rain again and the day looks already very grey

To my delight, the track turns out to be a GoKart/Supermoto track and this is exactly the area that an Versys needs to let off steam. Curves!

The instructor explains to us the gentle (roadworthy) variant of the hanging off and the correct approach to curves.  There are also a few hats in the curve which are intended as a guideline.

As the track dries up slowly, there is a lot of fun in the corners. The Pilot Road 4 are stable in spite of the curve hunt, which is probably an advantage of the low temperatures in Estonia, otherwise I am used to them slipping in excessive race mode. :-/

However, I don’t want to overdo it completely, after all I am on the road in the textile suit tours, and I would also like to go home from Estonia by motorbike. But at least there is the possibility to round the wheel edges a little 😛

The other girls are a little more moderate and therefore easy to overtake. Only the Triumph riders also let off steam and stubbornly fight back

DCIM100GOPROG0011746.

DCIM100GOPROG0011542.

The Tiger 1050 finally has to give way due to a slide on a small oil stain, but Susi with her Street Triple does not let up. So, after a few laps of racing match, only the (random) correct track choice decides the head-to-head race when overtaking a group.

Somehow she must have got wormed, because she overtakes me during the laps just before the exit.  Okay, I forgive her.

The Versys has once again shown what it can do with simple road tyres. I really had a good time and improved the technique again.

We then drive back to Janäda in the group and still have the opportunity to watch the off-road group training. I must say, the participation in the track training was definitely a good decision 😉

There are still a few BMW motorcycles (from 1200GS to 9T) available for test rides. But, as already mentioned, I’m simply not interested in BMW. It is not necessarily the relatively poor quality of the overpriced machines, it is more the image that is transported through the brand that frightens me. Just my personal opinion, mind you. 1000th buyers can’t be wrong, can they? 😉

Instead, I take the flagpole and our flag, assembled yesterday, for a ride in the surrounding area to test the stability of the construction and its effect on me.

Up to approx. 70km/h it is ok from the train of the flag in the airstream, afterwards really uncomfortable. I definitely need to think of an improvement for tomorrow’s parade.

 

Su is at the presidents dinner (she represents our Wima-Austria president Jane) and we make ourselves comfortable in the stallion stable again.

The last days I noticed that there is also a 1st floor, but so far I have not been able to visit it. Today I have time to look up the stairs.

And, surprise! Here hides a craft shop, which offers all kinds of clothes and souvenirs made of wool, felt, wood, etc…..  I’m almost in a shopping frenzy. The goods are high quality and relatively cheap, and so winter socks, 2 caps, a vest and Schaaf are purchased.

If you now wonder how you dress with  Schaaf,  then you are unfortunately mistaken. Schaaf is actually only a sheep of felt. Since it is small and handy, it will accompany me on solo trips in the future.  Where does the name come from? In reference to an Austrian motorcycle “artist” I will call it, slightly alienated, Schaaf. 😉

 

The good mood is dampened a little after Su’s return. There must have been some controversity in the presidential round. They say there’ll be another discussion tomorrow after the parade.

So this day ends with food, music and some open questions.

Headache Tour

There’s only two of us this time.

Carmen and I, so it’s probably a good match.
We don’t have much time either, after all it is already 11am, when we start from Vienna and we want to ride to Grein for an ice cream, and we want to be home again before dark.
Grein is only 140 km away from Vienna, so where is the problem, you might ask?The “problem” is actually only the number of bends we want to master.
For this we have chosen a relatively spurned area. This guarantees: few cars, few motorcyclists (until the final) and therefore unlikely: police officers on the lookout.

In short, our plan works, we make almost undisturbed progress on winding roads, and the last straight stretch of road, the Mautener Donaubrücke, has been behind us for a while.
The sky is cloudy, the temperature is more fresh than pleasant, a little more layers of cloth wouldn’t be bad now, and we’re heading for the ice cream cup!?

Thank God this will change as soon as we move from Lower Austria to Upper Austria. Suddenly it becomes brighter and much warmer. Ice cream here we come!

But, first we do stop a the bear rescue center in Arbestal.

The last part of St. Georgen am Walde is a bit notorious with bikers, so this stretch is limited to 70km/h for motorcyclists. Even if we wouldn’t drive the great corners much faster anyway, this is another senseless action, just because a few madmen with noisy pipes and knees on the ground probably drove too much up and down here.
No matter, as said, we are not much faster anyway and therefore we head south to the Danube and Grein for the last 35 km.
In Grein itself the popular pastry shop is already completely overcrowded, several dozen motorcycles are parked in front of the house, but we get a place with a view of the Danube.
The ice cream is ingeniously good, some things have changed for the better in the last few years, and so we sit for quite a long time. That’s also because we’re really dizzy and we almost have a headache. So many curves in such a short time, no wonder!
At some point, however, it is time to leave and so we went back through the Nibelungengau, into the Yspertal, then Weitental, Melk, Dunkelsteiner Wald, Heiligenkreuz and into the finale leg to Vienna.

 

 

Sucess! But, where do I get headache pills now?

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