June 29, 2017—When we left Switzerland, we rode into Tübingen, Germany to visit a young guy named Johannes (Jo), whom we met in the middle of the Namib desert in Namibia several months ago. There, we had exchanged info and he invited us to stay if we were passing through Tübingen, Germany, which we did on June 6. It happened to be close to a Touratech Travel Event Dave and I wanted to see in Niedereschach, Germany a few days later.
Jo is a super nice guy who showed us around his university town and made us some great homemade bread and fondue.
On Jo’s recommendation, we went for a hike the next day to a viewpoint overlooking a great castle before riding to the Touratech event.
Touratech (TT) is a manufacturer of all things shiny and tougher-built than many stock items on most bikes. Herbert and Ramona Schwarz have built a huge empire here in Germany out of supplying bike modifications through their company. We’ve spent many US dollars on their high-priced but solid products at their distributor in Seattle, WA.
The event was free and therefore huge. We rode to Niedereschach on a Thursday afternoon, 24 hours before the event started and there were already hundreds of locals and travellers setting up various tents beside various modes of transport. We found a spot and went for a walk around. On the way back to our tent Dave noticed a British Columbia plate on one of the bikes near our tent. Another set of Canadians (and another Heather), Ken and Heather, also travelling extensively on a Suzuki 1000 V-Strom. We hung out with them a lot over the weekend and hope to ride with them in the future when they return to Kelowna, B.C.
Dave and I also got a few of our malfunctioning items looked at, like our Sena communication systems that were having issues our whole trip thus far with not actually connecting to each other. Mirko from the Sena booth spent a lot of time with us fixing them up to run properly. There are still glitches but at least we have a much easier time connecting the intercoms now. Mirko also hooked us up with a distributor at Metzler tires, who said he could donate a free set of dirt tires to our Russian leg.
We also use Scott oilers to auto-lube our chains. Dave’s has always worked perfectly but I had to replace mine and the replacement didn’t work any better. We found them at the TT event and Dave took my bike over to have the guy in the booth fix it. Sadly it still has issues not oiling the chain, adding, I’m sure, to the considerable wear-and-tear my drive chain and sprockets go through. We have since disconnected the auto-oiler and manually clean and oil the chain now.
The weekend in Niedereschach was really fun. We enjoyed hanging out in this environment with 15,000+ other riders and travellers, going to various travel talks, watching trials contests and visiting exhibit booths.
This trials guy below makes it fine on the first try. Second time? Not so good. Watch until the very end when he takes out some Indian showroom bikes.
There was one more stop in Stuttgart, Germany before making our way to good friends in Wildalpen, Austria. We spent a few hours at the Porsche museum. This was entirely Dave’s idea and I went along reluctantly but once there found it pretty freakin’ cool.
It is quite something to learn about the people who have built empires from their own hands like Herbert and Ramona Schwarz and Ferdinand Porsche.
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