"Free Willi Biker Party"
July 28 & 29, 2001

Page 5 - We Got Our Swiss Souvenirs
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Saturday morning we blasted off at the crack of eight for Germany and what is called over here a "Biker Party".  It's called the Free Willi Run and it's held outside of a little village in Germany called Wolfegg (yeah, I didn't know they laid eggs either!)
We departed in the hazy morning of the beginning of a beautiful day in Switzerland in the direction of St. Gallan  where we picked up Christof and Liz.  Then on to breakfast in another village that I can not pronounce the name of and to await the arrival of Willo and Beatrice who would be leading our motley crew into Germany.  As Willo found out, a Road Captains job is a thankless one.
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Ferry From Suisse To Germany
Willy's Rat Bike
I'm finally getting used to driving on roads that may or may not have a stripe down the middle (no stripe means might makes right).  Our trek to Germany was through more of the beautiful Swiss countryside.  This time we finally got out of the mountains and into just rolling hills.  Sort of like Kansas on steroids, only with green as far as the eye can see and farms and cows and vineyards and more cows and the occasional castle thrown in for good measure, then more cows.  Oh yeah, and a village every three of four kilometers then more cows. 
We arrived in Germany in the usual manner, by boat.  We boarded a ferry on the Swiss side of the Sea of Boden which is a natural lake, of which they have hundreds of here.  The ferry crossing took about forty five minutes and was another new experience for us.  Not often you get to ride your bike onto a boat and cross a body of water in the states.
Upon our arrival in Germany Fessi found us a friendly official who stamped our passports to prove to us that we really were in Germany.  No country stamps passports any more and you have to find an official who even knows where they put the stamp the last time it was used, but they are used to silly American tourists by now. 
Free Willy Biker Party
We rode about fifty klicks into Germany where we found our tent for the evening.  A very nice little Gastehof that even had sanitary facilities in the room!!  All that and breakfast included for 110 DM, that's about 48 USD.  We had a hard time getting used to how inexpensive things like rooms and meals were in Europe.  We're used to gettng gouged for a room at Motel 6 that only has a vending machine if you want breakfast.  
The run site was about nine klicks from the tent down a twisty road through the farm land that was perfect for rolling out of turns on the gas in time to brake and hit the next hairpin, lots of fun even on a Glide.  Once at the run site we were greeted by the German polizei doing their best to try to keep some sort of order in the traffic.  They weren't very good at it and it took us a while just find the entrance gate. 
Free Willy Biker Party
Inside the run site you could park just about anywhere you could find a spot wide enough to stick a bike.  Amidst the bier booths, vendors and band stands there wasn't much room and pedestrians figure that you aren't really in that big of a hurry so neither are they.
The one thing we noticed very quickly at the run was that if we Americans had come to find stuff from Germany we were bound to be disappointed.  Everything there was American, right down to the biker wallets made in China.  The other thing we found was that in Europe there is no such thing as a T-shirt with the location on the back.  If it's a HD shirt it just says that and nothing more most of the time, but unlike American bike runs we didn't see any "Trailer Bikers".  We made a few laps and tried to stay in the shade as best we could.
T and I stayed for a couple of hours until the heat got to both of us.  It was extremely humid and hot so around five we took off for the motel and a shower to return later when it had cooled off.  By the time we got back, Fessi and Sylvia were about done in too so we had a couple of biers and set off to find a restaurant and some decent food.
About drinking and driving in Germany, DON'T!!!!!!!!!!  The legal limit is .05, half of Arizona and you're drinking German bier so basically once you've opened the bottle you're over the limit.  The polizei are all over the exit with breathalyzers and it's kind of a game to see if you can miss them.  If you get caught, say good-bye to your bike for a while 'cause they're gonna give you a ride home, theirs not yours. 
Our ride home on Sunday took us along the Rhein river to the Rheinfalls, kind of like Niagara in Switzerland.  We didn't do a lot of sight seeing on the way home as we had to be there by five for an appointment.  We discovered with the help of Fessi a great tattoo parlor in Schlieren and figured that we should take something home that will last longer than the pictures.
Our next scheduled adventure will be a four country tour.  Suisse, Liechtenstein, Austria and Germany.  Does it sound like we had any fun yet???? 
Page 5 - We Got Our Swiss Souvenirs