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Published: September 11th 2008
Thursday 11th September
Got knocked off this morning. No not by any of the gorgeous women in this town but by a f*cking transit driver at the lights. I'd just left Jan's with details of places to visit in Denmark and was crawling up to the lights, when this moron ran straight into the back of me. Once the bike started to go over there was no way I could hold it so down it and I went.
White (actually it was yellow) man van got out of his transit and muttered something in Danish, probably the Danish for “... sorry mate, didn't see you...” or something similar from the international transit driver's phrase book. And how could the f*cking myopic idiot not have seen me? The bike is bright orange, wider than his transit with me sat on top of it all. I may have shrunk from hiding behind the screen, but at the lights I was sat tall. Realising I was English he just said he was very sorry, looked ashen and started to offer to help me pick it up. No not by the mirror you retard, you'll wreck that one too. Once the bike was
upright he scarpered leaving me to assess the damage.
What is it with transit drivers? Can't you buy a transit unless first you sit a test and prove your IQ is less than 45, before then having to donate half your retina from each eye? From a bikers perspective they are the scourge of the planet. (Sorry Geoff - you excepted of course mate!)
The bike was in good shape - the mirror had bent round, but I could straighten it and the bark busters had taken the majority of the impact. The bike was scratch free. But, the right hand pannier had stoved in on itself. That was the stupid, over-engineered-for-the-sake-of-it expanding panniers for you. Why bother with an expensive, elaborate system that is ultimately a point of weakness and all for compromising the waterproofing ability of the panniers? Give me a simple watertight box any day. It was well and truly buckled in. No matter how much pulling and stomping on the thing I couldn't get it true. I needed a hammer. I found one at a friendly Citroen workshop and some other tools and so spent 2 more hours trying to get the thing square. In the end it was as square as a banana, but at least there wasn't a great gap on the corner - I figured it would do, even if now a litre or so less in volume. I got some strapping in case it decided to do a contents abortion en route and set off, now considerably later than planned.
I wasn't that f*cked off surprisingly. I had fully expected to drop the bike at some stage on the trip, but I figured it would be on an unmade road - not going 5mph up to a set of lights, hit by some James Hunt in a transit. I thought I heard him mutter something about his name being Vince, but I may have been mistaken...
I wanted to make the BMW dealer in Hamburg and get and fit the new screen so I now didn't have time to visit Middlefart (yes really) and Kolding. Anyway I figured perhaps I should just get out of Denmark - two incidents in two days was enough, so I headed straight for the border and onto BMW Hamburg. I was surprised there was no border, not even a casual breeze through with non-attentive pensioned off guards - one km the signs were in Danish the next in German. Perhaps the Germans considered it all to be Germany, they did have a bit of a track record...
Bought and fitted the new screen at a whopping 290 Euros, but cheaper than a lifetime of hearing aids I figured. Is it better? Well in the sense that it better to lose one of your arms than one of your legs, yes I suppose so but it was still no picnic. You still had to duck under the screen to relieve the wind noise, but it was better made and didn't vibrate like something out of an Ann Summers catalogue as it had an additional brace, unlike the Metal Mule affair. So now I have 3 screens for the Beemer - I guess I will be on ebay when I get back.
I had a quick scoot round the town and then hit the road again - just another 100km south, to a nondescript place en route south. About halfway between Hamburg and Hannover.
A quick note about the temperature - it has been steadily rising every 100km travelled south, and today was a much more agreeable 24°. I know you've all been sat at home, inwardly smug that although its cr&p weather at home I wasn't fairing much better, just colder. Well those days are past (I hope anyway...) Cheerio
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