City: Wolnzach, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 536
Cumulative kilometre: 558926
Street: Three lane highway
Weather: Cloudy, drizzling, fresh
In the morning we said goodbye to Conni, the only person who went to work, and started to pack. We finally left around noon.
On our way south we got in a bit of rain, but not too much. Just before Munich we turned off the highway and looked for accommodation and found something in a small town off the highway. The beer garden of the hotel was empty, so we had a great spot to park the bike.
We had some dinner in the restaurant and went to bed early. What an exciting day! We are on the move again and it feels great!
City: Munich, Germany
Kilometres ridden: 70
Cumulative kilometre: 558996
Weather: Cloudy, sunny, drizzling, coolish
We had an exceptionally early breakfast since the room had to be cleared by 9AM, which we managed. We were excited, today we would leave Germany and enter Italy. Well… that was the plan.
We hopped on the bike, filled it up, and off we went. At McDonalds, our strategic rest point, we had a coffee, looked at our mail and did some skype sessions with Australia. We got a mail from Uli, who suggested that we could meet up when we were in Munich. With our plans, we would pass Munich and stop in Italy tonight, bummer, we would miss a beer with Uli. So we re-mapped our GPS to pass through Munich.
I had changed the GPS routing from fastest way to shortest way, which led us straight to Munich and into a traffic jam. After half an hour of stop and go, it started to rain but we approached a tunnel, so not too bad. Well at the start of the tunnel the bike decided to stop and it wouldn’t start any more. So I pushed the bike to the emergency lane and stood there for a moment to contemplating what to do.
My wishful thoughts were telling me, “perhaps the bike starts when it cools down”, and the brain said, “No way! the bike is stuffed, it won’t start anymore and it has a serious problem.”
The wishful thinking came back with “Shut up and don’t always be so negative…”
You know the normal thinking pattern which happens when you get stuck in a traffic jam in a tunnel. So I told myself, keep cool, start with the basics, petrol in, check, spark plugs out look at them, are they ok, check. Do we get a spark? Check. Okay…. that meant it is a serious problem, well serious to me with my mechanical skills.
So the wishful thinking fades into the background and panic sets in. What to do now? How do I ever get the bike out of this stinking tunnel (remember there is a traffic jam in the tunnel and not all vehicles obey to the emission standard), our mobile phone doesn’t work, we have no ADAC membership…… Ok, not long after we got stuck in the tunnel a car passed by and stopped at the emergency lane in front of us. First I thought, great there is somebody to help us, but why do they come with a steam engine? Well, out of a car came an old lady. She told us that steam started to come out of her bonnet, so she decided to pull over. Isn’t that great? We are not alone anymore, there are people we can share our pain with J
We had a short chat and Sigrid called the ADAC for her to get a tow to the next workshop. We thought we ask the guy with the tow truck how much it would cost to tow us. Hmm, with the traffic jam, the tow truck won’t be here before an hour. So I started to have a look around, Sigrid stayed in the tunnel and guarded the bike.
When I came out of the tunnel it felt like it is Christmas. Right on the exit there was a telephone booth, what a lucky coincident. To make it short, I called BMW and they sent me a tow truck! So when the guy finally came through the still continuing traffic jam, he stopped in front of us and started trouble shooting. Right then we could hear a strange noise, something like pipes falling off a truck and then like somebody was dragging them. That caught our attention! We had a look around and found that all of the sudden cars in the left lane started to merge to the right….A lady with her Mercedes standing in the way and her car was leaning on the right front wheel… So the BMW mechanic and I decided to help this poor women. He got the rollable carjack out of his car and I tried to unfold the emergency triangle.
In the end we fitted the jack under the car and moved the car to the emergency lane. After that she called the ADAC.
It turned out that on this car the whole right suspension had collapsed and the spring appeared as spare part under the car J
So, being stuck in a tunnel can be entertaining! But back to our original problem, our underperforming motorcycle…. The mechanic finally gave up, but it looked like there is a problem with the petrol pump, hmmm, I had a pretty good idea what the problem is. To make it short, we got towed to the main BMW workshop in Munich, since this was the closest workshop and it didn’t take more than 10 minutes from the tunnel to the workshop. It felt like the bike was home sick and would like to see its birth place again. During this time I organised the repair of the motorcycle, Sigrid contacted Uli, who was more than happy for us to stay at his place for the night. Great, everything worked out. All the people at the BMW service centre were more than helpful, not only by organizing to fix the bike, but also describing how we would get to Uli’s address. They gave us some free train tickets as well, what a service!
On our way out, Sigrid had a look for our next motorcycle… to be honest, we skipped the R1200S J
So we hopped onto the subway and got to Ulis apartment just after dark.
It is amazing how things fall in place. In the morning we thought we would be in Italy tonight and wouldn’t have the time to have a beer with Uli. As it turned out, we have the time now. Uli was happy to see us again, and we talked for a while before he went to bed, well he had to work and travel the next day.
We went to bed with the feeling that we had for the last year – to be not completely sure what will happened next.