Friday, August 15, 2008

On the Road Again


I figured out a destination for a motorcycle trip and have received permission to travel. It's amazing what can be accomplished with a mapbook, a bottle of Malibu, pineapple juice, a high powered blender, bendie straws, and the only ice making refrigerator in a 20 mile radius.

I have a few tricks up my sleeve and one of them is frozen cocktails. It is impossible to say no to anything when you're drunk on slushee Malibu pineapple drinks. I think that the ice and coconut rum create a temperature that temporarily freezes the part of your brain that makes rational thought possible. It's never been proven empirically, but I have a lot of field evidence that backs up my theory.

Needless to say I am packing up to go to Postonja in Slovenia. There are some famous caves where the human fish lives that I have always wanted to see. It's not even that far away, about 400 kilometers and most of it is freeway. If I don't doddle I can be there in less than 4 hours.... If I don't doddle.

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I'm not going to bother putting my luggage on. I'm only gone for a couple days and I don't mind wearing the same clothes over and over again. I mean, as long as you're not in the same place for more than a day nobody will know you're wearing the same clothes. They will just assume I have poor hygiene if they get close enough to smell me.

The day is brilliant. I didn't get an early start because I needed to pack and get a few things in order before I left. By the time I started this motorcycle tour it was already noon. I rode up to the freeway, grabbed my toll booth ticket, packed it away, and set the tunes in my motorcycle helmet to keep me company on the way. I made a few good playlists the last couple of days while I drank beer on the beach. One of the lessons I learned on my adventure here is that just because your mp3 player can hold a thousand tunes doesn't mean that there are a thousand songs you actually like. It's amazing how a bad song can affect your mood. It's even doubly so if you are like me and you enjoy riding alone. When you are stuck in a helmet with only yourself as company you become a lot more susceptible to sudden mood swings. This is something to keep in mind if you're planning a solo motorcycle tour. In my opinion a good playlist is more important than clean underwear. So I turned on the music (heavily laden with James Bond theme songs) and burned rubber.

I flew to the A1 Autobahn as fast as was comfortable, about 160km/h until I hit traffic. These highways are fairly new and the Croatians are spending a lot of money to add capacity to the tunnels. Unfortunately, this means it can take a couple of hours just to get through a single tunnel if traffic is bad. Today traffic is worse than bad... it's Superbad according to the song playing in my helmet right now. Not being from here I find myself hesitant to split lanes until I see a couple of other bikes blow past me. So just like Sherriff Roscoe P. Coltrane I find myself in hot pursuit. Is that the Dukes of Hazzards theme playing?

Motorcycle Tour Sveti Rok Tunnel

Now this is scary. People in cars have been inching along for hours trying to get through tunnels that are kilometers long. Impatience and claustrophobia are not good traveling companions. Needless to say people are opening their doors trying to hit me and swerving to try and run me off the road. How exciting. I never knew people could be this stupid and mean. It's not like I'm the one slowing them down. Perhaps they recognize my bike and realize that there is a good chance that there won't be any beer left when they get to where they are going.

That's valid!

As one guy tries to rub me into the inside wall of the tunnel I learn that It's a good thing I bought gloves with decent knuckle armor. I also learn that putting my fist, albeit attached to my handlebar, through a side view mirror doesn't hurt that bad. Mind you, the mirror is completely disintegrated. Thankfully I am learning these lessons at 40 kilometers per hour and not 160.

It takes me an hour to get past all this traffic. It's over 40 C outside and the heat coupled with the constant evasion has me pretty tired. I pass the Sveti Rok tunnel and pick up speed again. I see a nice gas station up ahead so I pull in. There are quite a few fellow motorcycle adventurers at the station. I think the last 60 kilometers took their toll on all of us. It's truly enjoyable seeing the looks on people's faces when I pull up on my bike. Now don't get me wrong, I like BMW's. But does anyone in Europe ride anything else on long rides? They have become so 'dime a dozen' over here that I barely notice them. What I do notice though is how much happier,calmer, and more comfortable they appear than myself. That's OK, I'm only a little jealous, but that wears off every time I get an approving look from a fellow biker.

Instead of my typical beer I actually have a coffee at this stop. You heard right! The day was catching up to me and I was feeling a little tired. The nice thing is that I was rewarded with a really good cup of coffee. I stretch up and have some chips that are not nearly as rewarding as the coffee. I remount my motorcycle and head towards the exit to the Autobahn.

One nice thing about Europe is that they make stopping for gas really easy with nice long on and off ramps to the stations. It resembles a pit stop in Car racing.

I pick up speed as I enter the highway.

What the?!?



Jason said...


How the $#@%& can you end a story like that?

Elvis Glazier said...

I realize it is a bit of a cliffhanger but since I still have a sense of humor and I am writing about it I wouldn't worry to much. I am still alive.

I hope that doesn't give away too much of the story :)

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