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!
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
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.
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? 😉
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.
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!
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?
Today there is another exciting point on the program: Treasure Hunt.
I got up at 7 a.m. in the morning and went for breakfast – actually, a miracle that it never rained on the way to or from the event and dinning room (the former stallion stable), but always was warm and sunny.
On our return to the accommodation we noticed that in the meantime the questions and other documents for the Treasure Hunt have been issued.
Therefore, the task was quickly flown over. The daily equipment (rain protection!, drinking backpack and maps) packed and off on the road with us. Today we are only two people on the road. Su wants to take a break. Well, she’ll miss out, but we don’t know that yet. 😉
First the same route as yesterday with the bus in the direction of Tallinn, then, near Soodla, turned north and advanced to the Baltic Sea coast. The three characteristic peninsulas in Lahemaa National Park are part of our first puzzles. There are several questions to solve, which can only be solved by visiting the Viinistu Kunstimuuseum and Käsmu Meremuuseum.
The composition of the 100 concrete cases (which symbolize the emigration of many Estonians) in the run-up to the art museum turns out to be a very big pitfall, which of course are not 100 pieces, but have to be counted -> this station will make the essential difference in the final, but at this point we could not have guessed that either.
The roads between the question stations are, as usual, perfectly paved – it seems as if all EU development funds have flowed into roads in recent years – lonely, without any traffic and – this is the biggest surprise for us – also lavishly blessed with curves. This makes the trip through the national park really fun. There are always small islets off the coast, the sea is green/blue and the sun is shining down from the sky. So everything is at its best.
As always, I am too fast on the road, Renate always stays behind, and at some point she asks me – rightly – whether I am on the run?
Soon we reach the end of the national park and return to the interior to visit the two mansions (mois ) of Sagadi (in red) and Palmse (in yellow), which are also part of our questionnaire. It’s about photos of objects, to assign to the respective manor house. And so we walk through the wonderful gardens of both sites and enjoy the reenactment, which is common in Estonia and is supposed to show the life of the inhabitants (including servants) at that time. It’s a good thing that despite the wonderful sunshine it’s only about 17/18° warm again (in Austria its at the moment close to 40°!!) , otherwise it would be a hot affair with the motorcycle gear. Because of the advanced time we decide to have a lunch break in the castle tavern. Here too, the staff is dressed accordingly, but at least we can pay with Euros instead of guilders. 😉
In Tapa itself we make a short stop, on the one hand we refuel our machines again, and then there is another special task to do. All I’m saying now is: broomstick and dog toy.
From Tapa it is only a stone’s throw back to Jäneda, this time we do not drive on the national road but on a country road cutter, via Lehtse, and so, despite – once again – threatening clouds we arrive back completely dry. What a day!
The broom stick is prepared in the quiet closet, i.e.: with the unravelled dog toy (chewing bone made of ribbon fibres), gaffer tape and rock straps converted into a strap-on flagpole.
The Austrian flag is attached to it and off it goes for a test drive, for the day after tomorrow’s parade to Rakvere. Finally, I have to test how many kilometres per hour I can withstand before it blows me off the motorcycle, and how many km/h the flag?
In short, I win. 😉
As pleasant I feel everything up to approx. 70 km/h, above that the pull of the flag already becomes quite violent. In addition, the flag begins to fray at the edges. Since the drive to Rakvere takes about 1 hour it seems to be a good fitness training. No big fault, after all this marvellous dishes.
My little “stunt”, as it seems, then have reached the newly elected president, and since she is not riding her motorcycle this time, she suggests that the day after tomorrow I should not ride in the column but at the top together with the Wima Estonia president Annelie, but then with the Wima International flag.
OK, what can happen, it can’t even be bigger than our flag and in the column it doesn’t go so fast.
As always too optimistic Versya, as always……, but we will see it the day after tomorrow 😉
Appropriately this time with us as Claque and selected presidents around the globe, who well reflect the different aspects of the respective countries in their presentation of motorcycle culture on site, as well as the usual traffic customs. Also interesting: Japan may be the only country that offers for female street motorcycle riders “breastplate protectors” as standard. I only know it from motocross and there with both sexes.
Wima EE has also put out a folder showing the advantages of safety clothing. I confirm with Annelie, that we may use the photos (all Wima EE members), if we should publish a similar information brochure.
After that I plunge briefly into the Estonian nightlife – as always: eating, drinking and loud music…, but the diary waits, I am still about 1 ½ days behind and so I start with the tracking of the experiences, and these are – as women will surely notice when reading here – not exactly few.
A little later Renate and Su join us and we discuss our last experiences, the current information of the last NP election, and so it gets late again and the diary remains still incomplete. But, so what?
I can still remember very well how we stood in front of the long jelly bag hats and puzzled how women should wear them? After all, they almost hung down to the ground?
The nice saleswoman explained it to us. And, as you can see on the second picture: It brings cosy warmth at the current arctic temperatures.
That’s what I call foresight! Or am I more like a witch?
But how did it come after all, why Tallinn, some will ask themselves, who have missed the description of our long journey there.
Tallinn, the old Hanseatic city, which had to experience so much in the course of history and was able to maintain a relatively original Gothic part of the old town. And, by the way, it is also the capital of Estonia.
As we are already in Estonia, and at least one cultural sightseeing event during a Wima Rally is standard, it was more then obvious that an organized sightseeing tour took place. Naturally optimally organised by our Wima EE
During the bus journey we are introduced by the nice tour guide into the many aspects of the Estonian past, but also the present – with its rapid change, away from the communist satellite state, to a modern and very progressive state.
She describes very vividly the division of society into poor and prosperous, Estonians and Russians. According to her statements, there is still a long way to go before these populations will have a greater rapprochement.
Nature and fauna are not neglected either, the differences and similarities to the Finnish language are briefly explained. And so we are already very well established when we reach the prefabricated buildings of the Tallinn suburbs. Our first stop will be at the Singers’ Fairground.
Up there is also a huge observation deck (Kohtuotsa), with a magnificent view of the harbour and the lower town.
Through the alleyway (Pikk) it goes down to the second part of the city, which still has old structures and resembles a labyrinth. Like a pearl necklace, there are old town houses from the Gothic period.
It is somewhat a miracle that so many old buildings and city walls have been preserved and now, lovingly restored, are a natural tourist destination. And there are more than enough of these in the narrow alleyways.
Nevertheless, it is a pleasure to stroll through the alleys and look at the little shop windows. In between there are always restaurants, and with more advanced time, it also drives us to a restaurant near the old town hall square.
The old Hanse is a medieval-style restaurant with traditional dishes that are also served in and on crockery. So, knight’s dinner at Burg Lockenhaus, in Tallinn. However, the price-performance ratio is not so high and a visit to the toilet suggests that the medieval scenery was only constructed as a distraction from the pre-floody toilets.
Or is it because of the tourists?; -)
In any case, the reserves have been replenished and the tour continues through the alleys.
Although the sun shines down warmly, we buy really warm traditional winter caps at the souvenir stall, at the old city wall. With woolly, filled bags we continue to the NO side of the city wall, where along the city wall with its imposing towers, a park and a pond below the upper town invites you to relax.
The sun is shining, it is pleasantly warm (rather rarely, without a motorcycle gap) and the park landscape is finally able to bring me down and just enjoy the moment.
The time is over, and we meet again at the bus.
The return journey passes quickly and we have to get in tune with the trash evening.
There is Pinneaple Pen, children’s songs in Dutch, German mass rally a’ la soccer match, spoon and drum music, Viennese waltz, ballet, etc….
Oblique even. The dinner is more than just sumptuous, and the quality is excellent, it’s really hard not to taste everything.
It’s getting late again until we get to bed.
The weekends are grey in grey, cold and wet. The best alternative to this:
To convert colorful pictures into a colorful movie trailer. 😉
Voi’la, hours later:
Wima India called for a participation in their big #we_are_one ride.
Unfortunately the weather is quite different here in Austria, mid of january 😉
But, this shouldn’t be an excuse not to ride!
So, to honour the worldwide participation in this ride, at least one of the Austrian Wimas was choosen to undertake this mission.
Strangely enough 😉 I was choosen for this task, and I gladly accepted. 🙂
I started on the north eastern border of Vienna, short before noon.
It was a little bit foggy and it had approx. 5° celcius.
But I was neatly tucked in several layers of clothes and so it wasn’t cold at all
I first headed north through the lovely – or better: the normally lovely – hills in the northern area.
Travelling on known paths for most of the first part, but was suprised to find a wooden look-out tower in the middle of nowhere.
Strange, I newer saw it before.
I took a hard turn left onto a gravel road, heading right into the direction of the tower. Naturally the gravel road turned into a deep track * surprise! * and I had to master the heavy Versys with its road tires.
But, I managed to get there without any accident. 🙂
Naturally, as I was now there, I climbed up the stairs and admired the foggy view. 😉
I found a big hill all over covered with wine cellars .
Surounded by wine yards I took another foto shot, and then I turned around and headed back south, to Vienna.
Damn right in time, as it already started to get dark.
I didn’t feel the cold first, but in the last hour, the cold crept through my layers, and so I was really happy, seeing the lights of the city from above.
After the ride I took a very hot shower and a cup of tee. I think, I really deserved it 🙂
Its the time of the year, where we gather together with our family and enjoy the holidays, the presents and the fantastic dishes.
But, there is another side of christmas.
And so, since 3 years, a small group of east austrian bikers gather together on the last days before christmas, disguise there bikes as trees, slaighs, rendeers. Preps them up with presents, collect money, and then do a rally from all side to downtown, clad in red and white clothes.
And from there, in a big group and with police escort, they all drive to the St. Anna Childrens hospital.
There they are welcomed by the staff, as the children (most of them with cancer, or leukemia) are not allowed to get in direct contact with them, and are only allowed to observe the festiv spectacle in their yard, through the windows.
The presents will be dropped under the christmas tree for their later evening session. And the cheerful party will celebrate with hot punch (naturally without alcohol!), sing some christmas carolls (not their best part 😉 ) and then they all drive back to their first gathering point.
On the way there and back they bring cheer to most of the onlookers along the streets. They will throw some candy into children groups along the streets, and this having a small warm glow inside.
And thats the reason why, it will be done over again, next year, for sure. 🙂
A marvelous movie, with the best moments, from Khosro Kashanipour VP, who did also join the parade.
We are really here! As we wake up in the morning, we can’t believe it yet.
2750 km without any big problems, no breakdowns, no accidents, often rain, but also many nice and sunny days.
We’ve seen so much of the countries and the people on the way here. Now it’s time to get to know Estonia!
But the most beautiful is, that we can still use today (as arrival day for all remaining Wimas) for more discoveries. The official part of the rally will start in the evening.
The breakfast setting is already working very well, so the potential has been dramatically improved by the speed and number of the kitchen crew. After breakfast we mount our now lighter motorcycles and drive eastwards.
There are basically only 3 goals:
The sun is shining, the traffic is very quiet, the navigation was already worked out weeks ago, what could possibly go wrong?
So we set off at a brisk pace, and around Rakvere following the main road. The striking and large castle has to wait until Thursday, as it is the focus of the rally and is therefore only seen from a distance.
So we are quite fast at the turnoff at Sake which leads us towards Velaste. The road is narrow, but has a perfect tarmac and runs in curves along of the steep coastline to the Baltic Sea, so that we can always have a view of the sea. This way we quickly reach Velaste Juga the 30m high waterfall (which is rather unexpected in this flat region) that Svenja has already visited.
It’s true, the waterfall funnel is impressive, the waterfall rather less, the broken-off spectator platform a little more. It’s a pity that this was not repaired. The locked double spiral of the spiral staircase leading to the platform would in itself be a challenge. 😉
So we look over the edge of the vertical rock, which is completely unsecured. For Austrian conditions completely unthinkable. And judging by the traces, the path to here is frequently visited.
After a short stop in the coffee shop on the opposite side of the road (WC for all, and coffee for Su and Renate, – I use the sun for a little nap) it goes on along the coast until we are spit out shortly before Sillamäe, again on the main road. From the main road, the slab concrete buildings of the Eastern Block era don’t look very inviting, and so we drive straight on towards Petersburg! Yes, that’s already written next to Narva as the streets target.
Finally, we reach Narva. The city looks different to the cities we have seen in Estonia so far. Both the size, as well as the dimension of the shopping houses in the outskirts of the city are impressive, and at the same time a little morbid.
We find out later that Narva is very much Russian-occupied, whether this makes the difference?
In any case, we are fighting against the increasing traffic swelling and a breakneck roundabout up to the border crossing.
Massive fences, cameras, barriers, etc… give a very gloomy impression.
And that’s where something happens for the first time that hasn’t happened before: we are not allowed to take a picture! A customs officer who explains to us in Russian and Estonian that we are not allowed to stand here, stop here or take pictures. Okaaay?
So we’re moving away from the border crossing. We stop at the parking lot in front of it and take our photos from there. Afterwards we cross the roundabout to the southern part of the Hermanns Castle, where we walk from the parking lot to the Narva to see the border river from close up. The fortress on the Russian shore also looks defiant and huge. In addition, children are bathing on the shore. Are they aware of how tense the situation in Estonia has actually been since the Crimean annexation?
In the back country, British and NATO troops are practicing for emergencies, hidden in the woods. This is probably only a small hope for the Baltic countries in the event of a hopefully never happening annexation, as the Suwalki Gap is a bottleneck in the connection with the rest of Europe.
We meet a French couple on a Honda Pan European at the parking lot for the second time, and the name of the motorcycle is their program: For 45 days they have been travelling through Europe, across the Benelux, Scandinavian countries and Estonia you have already come, further south, via the rest of the Baltic States, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy and back to Paris.
11.000km are planned for the 45 days, we are impressed.
Only at home do we calculate the average of our last days, and are calmed down again. 😉
We are now on the road for the 9th day, have been in Riga for a riding free day, but nevertheless we have scoured some places of interest on the way. Today only half a day has passed, and I have 2.950km on my speedometer. How many KM would we have unwound on 45 days of pure driving? Whoever posts the most correct thoeretic kilometres performance to me in the comments will receive an original Estonian present from me, and I do not care where on this world I would have to send it. 🙂
There, we made it, 3 girls on two Versys and a Duke 390!! came up to this point.
We have travelled the long way here without mishaps, mostly in nice weather, visited many places, or seen from the way and would only have to drive 130km to arrive in St. Petersburg. We had only a few involuntary km of road, no falling over or loosing luggage …. And always been happy with our ad hoc booked hotels. Booking.Com App and free european mobile roaming for the win!
We drive back on the same route to Jöhvi, where we turn south towards Lake Peipus. On the way is the Orthodox nunnery of Kuremaä and there we stop to make a round about the impressive terrain. The whole ensemble is beautiful, both the gardens and the buildings are in a perfect, beautiful condition.
Every now and then an elderly nun is waving through the landscape, and the other visitors also have the classical Russian touch. The whole scene has something like that from Dr. Zhivago and fits so well into the charm of the eastern region of Estonia. 😉
Despite the divine help (yes, we also drank the holy water on the spot) it is now starting to rain.
In the meanwhile used routine we put on our raincoat and drive further south. I recklessly kept the mesh gloves on without pulling the overgloves over it.
After just a few minutes, I realize that this was a mistake. The rain is getting stronger and stronger and the temperature drops to 14°. The gloves are soaked very quickly, but now it is too late, so heating grips to max. and through. Arriving at Lake Peipus we have to realize that the shore is not accessible. Either the houses of the villages are on the shore, or a dense forest belt prevents access to the lake. So we circle the lake southwards until just before Lohusuuu we see a trunk road that could lead to the lake.
We turn around in the pouring rain and drive back and into the forest strip. Unfortunately, the road also ends about 200m upfront to the shore at a private property. The signs are clear and the black Range Rover with darkened windows in front of the garage brings back memories of various James Bond movies.
But, the whole situation is so ridicolous for me and therefore I simply circle around the property until I stand on the shore of Lake Peipus.
The wind and rain make the lake look like a wide, turbulent sea, ok, the sight was definitely worth it to crawl through the undergrowth.
But now back to the waiting group, which is somewhat protected from the rain in the forest, but of course impatiently waiting.
As the rain is still raining, we turn back into Lohusuu and drive almost directly back to Jäneda. On the way the rain stops and the sun is shining again. Errr, really?
At Aravete we enter the main road again and fill our tanks up to the limit. At the petrol station there is a very modified Austrian Pinzgauer and a small Wima group that is looking for a gravel road. In recent years, many Estonian gravel roads have fallen victim to EU subsidies. And as beautiful and important as this is for the infrastructure, it will shrink an enduro paradise. So maps are only relatively up-to-date, but thank goodness I happen to know a gravel track just around the corner. 😉
I show them on the map the approximate start of yesterday’s gravel road and they set out to find it. (and so they did! 😉 )
But we return to Jäneda, now almost dry.
The evening event takes place again in the “stable” and starts with a lot of music, folklore performance, speeches by local politicians and a short introduction to the Estonian language, which, unlike the other Baltic languages, is closely related to Finnish. Yeah, and that’s what it sounds like. )
Important words are:
Hello – Tere
Yes – ja
No – ei
Thanks – aitäh
Please! – Palun!
Cheers! – Õhtusöök (sounds like: tarvesex)
For our older members there are again many girlfriends who they meet again and with whom the experiences of the last year are exchanged.
The exact time I don’t know, but since it wasn’t dark yet; -), it can’t have been so late, when I got back to the room and lie down.
Kilometres : 410
Weather: Sunny, cloudy and rain, 14-20°
this weekend we took the opportunity to rebuild the enduro and strip all the road gear within 4 hours. Now it looks bright and shiny , but only one week from now, the looks will be quite different.
Mud battle commencing! 😉
To go into the wild isn’t very encouraging at this time of the year, though better than on road, as getting warm isn’t the problen.
And, having a companion with you isn’t such a bad idea. Junior can now join in, Mission accomplished!
Well, we will see!