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|Henrik Jordahn aka jj42|
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H2G2 Whisky appreciation Society?
Sep 22, 2003
Whisky, that delightful pale-wheat-to-dark-mahogany-but-mostly-amber drink that originates from the Caledonian regions (with some not quite undrinkable varieties from other places on the planet) has really been on my mind a lot lately.
I like to have a nightcap or a pre-prandial dram from time to time, and the stock in my liqour cabinet presently counts 16 whiskies, whereof there is 1 blended Scotch (relegated to making 'Irish' Coffee and cooking, 2 blended (of which one is a very, very good one (the other is a Tullamore Dew)) blended Irish, 2 bourbon, and 11 Single malts, two of those are single cask.
This Summer was (in part) spent in Scotland, in a week I managed to taste 23 malts and a 32-year-old Single Grain.
I am slowly getting ready to start nosing and noting when enjoying whisk(e)y, but how many around here are into this pleasant pass-time? Is there an organized group already, hiding in a comfy corner of the Guide?
A bit about motorbikes again
Nov 5, 2002
It has been a while since last entry, so here is a new bit.
It is long and only about motorbikes and was originally posted on www.bmwrt.com in August:
The SS1000 I wanted to do last week (in early August), going to Meriden to meet our UK friends didn't materialize. (and for those who don't know what a SS1000 is, check out www.ironbutt.com )
This past week gave me two days off work, so I decided to spend Friday on the bike and give it a try. Weather was a lot nicer, sunshine and calm winds forecast (and indeed recieved) for the whole weekend. started planning, talked to a friend in Denmark to whom I had sent some CD's whereof one was wrong, so we had to exchange that anyhow. The trip to Aarhus, Denmark, is just under 1000kms, and I usually do it in somewhere between 10 and 12 hours.
With the route planned, witness forms and other doucuments printed and dinner arranged at the turn-around point I was ready Friday morning. My wife signed the 'Start of Ride' form at 7:45 and went off to work as I went to the garage. Strapped on the tankbag and the bike was checked, so I got on, key in, ignition on, sidestand up, fast idle and press the start button: "Kr................."
ALL juice disappeared from the bike, even the clock was out!
I got off, put it on the centerstand, opened the fuse box, all were good, checked all fuses and relays were seated properly. Once again I tried to start it, electric curcuit powered up as supposed to, but as soon as I hit the starter it went down again.
For some reason I checked the sidestand, and it seemed that the sidestand switch was a key element and at the same time I realized I had forgotten the CD for my friend. I went upstairs, got out the Haynes' manual, fired up the PC and went here (www.bmwrt.com forum, brilliant source for solving technical and other problems related to the BMW R1100RT) and searched for anything on sidestand switches, seems they do go bad from time to time.
Down again, armed with a can of WD40, a good dose of that and tried to fire the bike. This time it worked, and even the deploying and folding of the sidestand didn't interfere with the electric curcuit anymore.
Of course, I now think that 'Sleipner' has a mind of his own and wanted to tell me not to forget that CD, didn't have a problem on the whole ride after I put it in my pocket.
An hour late I rolled out of the garage, down to the Q8 station for gas and a reciept and at 9:00am I was on the road.
The first fuelstop was just over 300 kms away, bits on Autobahn and bits on single lane highway, not too much traffic and had a little fun with a VW Scirocco that wanted badly to pass me and a lot of cars and trucks in front. No room for that until we came to a stretch of Autobahn and he opened up. Probably was a bit surprised as I followed and for 25kms I stayed right behind him at 200-220 indicated, pretty sure he was flat out just as I was.
The first indications of a troublesome day came a bit before my first stop. STAU, the most dreaded German word, means traffic jam. I came op to a jam, lane-split for a while until I found an exit with a detour number and followed this detour around the problem. It was of course slower than Autobahn speeds but at least I made progress. Got on the Autobahn just before the rest and gas area at Licthendorf a bit North of Cologne. The next bit to Wildeshausen was fairly uneventful, some traffic, the occassional bunching up and slowing down of traffic, but still maintained an average of 100kph.
At Wildeshausen the gas attendant told people that 20kms ahead, the A1 was completely blocked and we had to take a detour via Delmenhorst and around Bremen. This turned out to be very accurate, I got to the 'stau' and lane-split up to the exit where all three lanes had to merge into one and go on to the single lane road leading through Adelheide and into Delmenhorst. No room for passing, opposite traffic and in 2 hours I progressed about 15kms. It was warm, 30deg. C, and 9 bars on the oil temp. Finally got to wider roads and a ring-road North of Bremen, oil temp dropped quickly and I found my way to the A1 again, though not the one they announced on the radio as that was where everybody else were going, leading to more 'stau'.
After Hamburg, with more slow moving 'stau' at the Elb-tunnel, I got to the 3rd stop at Hüttener Berge. 263kms in 4 hours! That is only 65kph average, about 40mph. Not good. At least the traffic North of Hamburg soon dissipated and I was able to make the 56 kms to the Danish border at speeds of 180 to 200, and in Denmark, where the Motorway speed limit is a miserable 110kph I continued at 130 to 150 at times.
The sun was setting and a beautiful light was cast over the Danish landscape that I know so well, over Aarhus a hot air balloon was floating and I was feeling a lot better than I did around Bremen. Even my butt was feeling better as the temperature had dropped.
I refueled in Aarhus and arrived at my friends place at 9:00pm, some 4 hours after my original plan, 3 hours later than planned with a 9am departure. Half the trip had eaten 12 of 24 hours, but I was confident that traffic at night time would be more favourable.
I had some leftovers, nice chicken cooked with a lot of lemon and a good potato salad, and we talked for a bit.
At 10:30 I was back on the bike, found the E45 motorway that would take me all the way to Hamburg where the A1 would see me almost the rest of the way home. Still kept it under 150 in Denmark, but once in Germany I opened somewhat and throughout the night I was able to go at 160 to 190. Quite fun to blow by a policecar that goes about 100 behind a truck while you are doing 180. That's 112mph, and it is legal.
The weather was still very nice and starry, even saw a shooting star, the temperature stayed nice all the way to Koblenz where it got just slightly chilly, but not really cold.
I made the same pit stops as on the outbound leg plus an extra at Cologne to make sure I had plenty fuel to get all the way home. I did have a 5 liter canister in the one side case, but did not want to use it unless absolutely necessary.
At two of the fuel stops I also took a power nap of 10 - 15 minutes and the night and Autobahn quickly disappeared under the wheels.
At Cologne I decided to go via Koblenz and Trier to stay on the Autobahn instead of retracing the previous mornings ride through the Eiffel mountains (they are more hills that mountains but I digress) and even if it was a bit longer I think the time was about the same.
Just outside Trier I felt that I was getting very sleepy and decide to pull over, had only about 80 kms home. As I found a rest area and pulled into the slipway I had one of those microsleeps that are so damned nasty and dangerous. You fall asleep for just a fraction of a second and wake up with a jerk and have no idea how long you slept. That gets the adrenalin pumping, that is for sure.
I got off the bike an found a bench, fell asleep for about 10 minutes and was feeling a lot better after that.
Back on the bike, the sun was now rising, over Trier two hot air balloons were floating in the sunshine and the remaining ride was a breeze. I got to the Q8 station where I had started 22H27M earlier and got my gas and end-reciept.
The Route66 mapping software says I did 2006kms, 1250miles, the odometer says 2079, very close to my previous observation of about 3percent error on the instrument.
Home at 7:30, a quick shower and then off to bed.
Was it worth it? Yes, it sure was, it was tough, especially with all the 'stau', should I do it again, I would plan the ride on a Sunday in either Spring or Autumn where holiday traffic is light and the trucks are not allowed on the German roads. Now I just need to send in all the reciepts and witness forms and I will get the certificate and the license plate frame and I will feel it was justified doing this crazy stunt.
Of course the next ride will be a BunBurner, only about 400km more than the ride I just finished and with an additional 12 hours to do it, should be a piece of cake
May 25, 2000
Well, long time no write.
It has been quite a while since I last put something here.
I guess I spend too much time out in the real life.
New things are happening here, we just got a new motorbike a month ago!
A wonderful machine, capable of carrying two persons in comfort over long distances. And it still is fun enough (for me) to throw around on smaller roads.
Of course I had to test it a bit recently. As I was going to Germany anyways, and found myself with a few kilometres of empty Autobahn, I opened the throttle and let the bike stretch it's legs a bit.
The needle hovered around 220 kmh for a while, and the world is actually passing by very quickly.
Here I might get a comment from sports-bike-riders, that a proper bike can go much faster, but as this is a touring bike, I find it quite sufficient for my needs.
And the more cautious people around here will shake their heads and think I'm completely crazy. And I just may be
But I try to do such things as safely as possible (short of going on a closed circuit), never with any traffic around me, and never with a passenger on board.
In case anybody is wondering, no, there are generally no speed limits on the German Autobahns.
Today we went Nuts
Oct 3, 1999
This fine Sunday in October we (my wife and I) have spent going nuts. That is, we vent to Vianden, a village in Luxembourg on the border to Germany. Each year in the beginning of October they have a nut festival to celebrate the harvest of the walnuts, and you can get anything nut-related: Cakes, wine, sausages, bread, eau-de-vie, liquer and, of course, fresh walnuts. Several streets in the village are blocked and various stands are put up, and here people are selling all their various goods. We tried a few things, the abundance of cakes prohibited a complete test of them all, but the few we did try, mmmmmmmm, cake!
The liquid variants of walnut usage were a little disapointing. We had hoped that the schnapps, Ness Drepp, was rich in walnut-flavour, but alas, it was just a strong alcoholic thing without a real unique taste. The creme-liquer, however, was much better, so a bottle of that went into the basket. A bit like 'Bailey's' and with the taste of walnuts thrown into it as well.
I also went for a Ness Lümmel, a saussage for sandwich-making, I have not yet tried it but I'm looking forward to it.
Today Vianden was of course packed with people, so we have decided to take a look at it over a weekend, when things are more quiet. There is a nice-looking castle and the scenery is very beautiful. So when we have had the next trip up to Vianden, I shall return and tell you about it.
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