Yamaha TRX850-meeting 2004
From May 21-23 2004 the third international TRX-Meeting was held. My report is an incomplete one as I left early on Saturday for reasons you'll read about later. The venue was again 'Gasthof und Campingplatz Domäne-Stiege' in the western part of the Harz mountain region. Organized by the same crew as the previous occasions. For details of the 2003 event check my report on that. Weeks before the meeting took place the forum at TRX-world.de was alive with people making travelling arrangements. As they say preparation can be half the fun.
As I didn't camp but had arranged a bed I could travel relatively light. But I should have travelled not quite so light, next time I'll pack warmer clothes :-( I travelled most of the 600km with Sjoerd who was a bit more adventurous and brought his camping gear. The bike with the grey stripes on the fairing is his, it is a bike with some history. It has 100.000 + km's 'experience', he crashed the bike 2 weeks before the event and managed to get it straightened and back in working order in time to make the trip.
Last year there were a number of crashes during the event, as far as I know there was one this year. 2 TRX-es collided when they had to avoid a turning vehicle. This blue bike was the worst off of the two. I believe the rider was not too badly hurt, but he couldn't attend the rest of the meeting. The green bike leaning into the tree may look like it has crashed (sorry about that Fezze, but I had to crack that joke) but it is just very naked and not too clean. It is meant to be like this (maybe without the beerbottles on the exhausts) and runs fine, if a tad on the loud side.
I arrived on Thursday and had good weather on the way. The night was fine too, a clear sky and burning campfire combined with cool beers and good company are part of the attraction of this event. However, that was not to last. The weather forecast was accurate and cool air and plenty of rain settled in the Harz region. But the organizers proved to be well trained boyscouts and shelters were put up. However it must have been a disappointment for them to have put in that much hard work in preparation and then to be let down by the weather. Perhaps to set the date later in the year would be an idea?!?
Even though the warm rooms and beds were very popular this year most elected to camp. And in a setting like this it definitely is the more romantic option. In the ajoining fields was a classic tractor event. With many Porsche tractors and a few of the surviving Lanz Bulldog dingle cylinder tractors. When they idle you can hear and feel every single combustion.
The poor forecast also discouraged late entries and caused quite a few 'no shows'. An impressive 98 TRX's had entered the event but not all were there. Still, it was strange to ride 600 km in good biking weather without seeing another TRX, arrive at the camping site and see the place crawling with them. This time the Danish again provided the largest contingent of foreign bikers while the dutch came op with just 2. If my attempts to convince dutch bikers that this is a must to visit (and I still think it is just that!) I'd better stop my attempts in a hurry. Ha!! On friday there was a fun competition. With not-very-effective pumps you had to try and pump as much air in the rear tire as you could in 3 minutes time. After furious efforts Cashe proved to be unbeatable.
Maybe inspired by last years accidents there was a professional contribution about the do's and don't for first aid at accident scenes. The good news is that nobody died during the demonstrations!! I was lured to Fezze's bike by loud noises coming from that sector. You may be puzzled by this picture but I'll explain it to you. If you take one bike with racing exhausts, dump some beer lids in them and wind the throttle... the beerlids come shooting out and you can do some target practice with that. The world has discovered a new game that improves with beer consumption I hasten to add.
Friday night started as it should, with the already traditional sucking pig diner. The poor animal didn't die unappreciated. At night the clouds disappeared and it was another cold but heartwarming happening around the campfire. Here is the beautiful sunset as the campfire was being lit.
Weather forecast for Saturday 'temperatures around zero and spells with snow at the Brocken!!!!!' Hmmmmm, that means change of plans. I decided to participate in the rideout and then return to Domäne Stiege to pack and go home early. I could do with some time around the house anyway as there are a million things to do there and May 26 I'll be in the hospital for minor knee surgery. But here are the 'snails' lining up for the slowest of the 3 groups in the rideout, I'm with them of course. Last year a forced stop in the tunnel made such an impression that this was now a planned part of the program. The TRX Tunnel Treffen. And indeed, 60 TRX's in the tunnel starting up is impressive. This soundbite doesn't do the experience justice. I'll blame it on the camera.
We stopped at the carpark at Torfhaus. That is a well known meeting point for motorbike(r)s where you also have a great view of the region including the Brocken, the highest point in the Harz. And as predicted we had some light snow. Freezing cold so time to leave in a hurry. But not before some pictures were taken. One with part of the gang and one with an overview of the bikes. Striking how many yellow bikes there were this time around. But I must say the 'Dukes of hazard'-yellow at the front is questionable...
So I wimped out. 'Weichei' will no doubt be the judgement of the german hardcore riders. So be it. I hope the conclusion of the event was as much fun as the rest and that everyone got home in one piece. (and without the 75 km detour that Sjoerd and I had when we didn't pay enough attention to the map) Next year I hope the team (Thomschek, Fezze, TRXRalf, Achim, Jörgel) will organize a fourth edition and I will be there. Because even though the conditions were very poor, the atmosphere was as good as it was last year when the sun was shining and t-shirts were in order. My admiration and thanx go out to the organizing team, thanx again for all the efforts.