August 6, holiday time! Since last week the factory where I work is closed for summer vacation. Today, early in the morning, Giuseppe and I are ready to ride to Germany to attend the Moto Guzzi Club Kupferpaste rally in Collenberg. The beginning of this trip is wet. The rain waited for us just a few miles before we reached the Swiss border. But we are lucky, God loves us, and after one hour the sun is shining again, and this turns out to be a good time to ride the motorcycle.
On the Bodensee (lake divided between Swiss, Austria and Germany) we cross the Austrian border, and after only 35 miles in Germany we encounter hot temperatures. At this point we are half way through our trip. We feel rushed, so we stop only to have a sandwich or fuel...we want be at the rally by this afternoon and enjoy as much of Friday as we can.
From Bodensee it's full throttle...toward Wùzburg...and from there it's less than a couple of hours to the rally. Collenberg is a small town in an area called "Bayerischer Spessart". This is a very beautiful area on the river's main valley, and the rally site is directly located on the bank of the river. It's absolutely breathtaking here and a lot of people are there when we arrive.
We meet friends from Italy: Antonino (good fellow), Thomas, Serenella, Giulio and Monica with their son Luca in their brand new sidecar. We see Steva with "mother of all rat bikes," Palla, John and Marina from Switzerland. We greet everyone: ciao, hi!, hello. After an hour passes we finally pitch our tents, and then we are ready to enjoy the rally.
I think this is one of the greatest European Guzzi rallies. Generally more than one thousand people. Year after year it is still the friendly, warm and funny atmosphere as it was in the beginning. I like this rally for another reason too - lots of members of the EUROPEAN DIVISION attend this rally. This rally provides ample opportunity to meet friends from all over Europe.
There's a large welcoming barn, and there's a restaurant where good food and drinks are available. The club members work hard to prepare food and drinks. In a corner there is the registration desk, and every year a nice thing happens - everyone that registers is welcomed with a little glass of schnapps. At the end of the barn is a big stage for the live show. Next to the wall are special platforms for the Guzzis in exposition.
The great weather helps bring out a lot of bikers, and seemingly without end they arrive into the night. Now bikes and tents are all over the campground. Finally Giuliano also arrives. Now our group is complete.
During late afternoon and after a long trip it's just the moment to have a good supper. With the other Italians we check out the barn's menu. It looks inviting...different kinds of wùrstel sandwiches, salads, spaghetti, and drinks - wine, beer and even good live music.
A peculiarity of this meeting is that during the weekend good bands play and people dance and stay up late into the night. Unfortunately during the night, the weather changed and after a couple hard storms, a gray rainy morning waits for us. Everyone seems lost and not until the afternoon does the sunshine appear again. But still other bikers are coming.
Now it's time for the bikes to be organized for the tour. But we're like lazy bears and we prefer to stay and enjoy the sunshine and take a nice walk downtown. We have lunch and go back to camp as there's always a lot to see and lots of chatting to do and pictures to take.
As we find a place to sit on the scenic river bank we watch the boats (both commercial, and for passengers). We're interested in the unusual show as we see the people on the boats and the boats are moving so slowly. I think people on the boats mist also have a really nice view of the camp ground.
Now another friend arrives and so Giuliano and Giuseppe translate questions that a lot of people ask about their Guzzis. In fact, these guys ride two unique self-built Guzzis that arouse the curiosity of many Guzzi riders. (I plan to write an article about these machines in the near future.)
The live band was great and there was a local group of women dancers that performed a nice ballet. Then the band played Rock, Blues, Soul, Pop and folk music late into the night.
The next morning I hear the sound of the rain against the tent. The weather is bad! Thankfully I don't have to ride back to Italia. I will be the guest of Eva and Bernd, who live just 150 miles from the rally.
Already I'm tired and it's humid when I begin to follow Eva and Bernd home. I was sorry the end for this rally wasn't sunny, but that's often the way of a biker's life. Ciao.
Luigi 1000 T3 California