Chamonix June 2010: Around Nurburg and The ‘Ring

Day 3: Wed 16th June 2010

Ride: Around Nurburg and The ‘Ring – 109 miles

Click to read the Chamonix Mont-Blanc tour summary report Click to read the Bewdley to Calais report for Mon 14th June Click to read the Bewdley to Adenau & Calais to Adenau reports for Tue 15th June Click to read the Around Nurburg and The 'Ring report for Wed 16th June Click to read the Adenau to Chamonix via B500 report for Thur 17th June Click to read the Col du Grand St. Bernard report for Fri 18th June Click to read the Col du Petit St. Bernard report for Sat 19th June Click to read the Madeleine, Telegraphe & Galibier & Chamonix to Dijon reports for Sun 20th June Click to read the Grenoble to Etreaupont & Dijon to Etreaupont reports for Mon 21st June Click to read the Etreaupont to Bewdley report for Tue 22nd June Click to see all the photos taken during the tour

An internet weather check confirmed that conditions in Chamonix were still poor while it was a bright sunny morning in Adenau so over breakfast we hatched a plan. We decided that we would be better off staying in Adenau, where the forecast for today was good, rather than riding down to Chamonix where it was wet.
This meant that we could have a lazy start to the day and then spend the rest of the day exploring Nurburg and the surrounding area. More importantly though it meant we would get to ride the ‘Ring after all. We checked with Michaela at reception and she who confirmed that it wouldn’t be a problem to stay an extra night.

In the morning most of us took the opportunity to wander around Adenau – a very pleasant small town with a lot of history. While others visited the local bike shop – Zweirad Schmitz – where the owner Herr Schmitz had a Very nice MV Agusta F4 for sale.

Phil took a map to the shop where the owner kindly plotted a route of around 80 miles for us to ride. The aim was to ride the route and arrive at the ‘Ring when it opened at 5.00pm.

This idea – Plan A – lasted about 5 minutes as exiting Adenau on the L10 we were met with a blocked road as a car had buried itself in a bank. The Air Ambulance was there so it didn’t look likely that the road was going to re-open any time soon.

As we didn’t have a Plan B we just decided to play it by ear. Whoever was leading when we came to a junction could decide which way to go.

By this means we rode the L92 over to the ‘Ring entrance, the B258/K12/B258/L98 through Wanderath and Virneberg to Mayen then the B258 /L98 through Monreal to Kaiseresch, then the K12 past Masburg, Eppenburg and Kalenborn to the L95 where we tuned right back towards Monreal before turning left onto the L97 to Hirten.

This ride showed us that you didn’t really need to plan a route since all the roads were good to ride. You could easily spend 3 or 4 days in the area and never ride a bad road, or the same road twice.

After a couple of hours of riding around aimlessly, fun as it was, we headed back up the B258 to Nurburg where we stopped for lunch.

After lunch we still had an hour or more to kill so rode down the B412 towards Stebenbach as on this road there are a number of entrances to the spectator viewing areas. There was a trackday going on so we took the opportunity to watch a couple of sections of the track and the lines the instructors were using. Working our way back the first section we stopped at was Pflanzgarten at the 17km marker.

Pflanzgarten at the 17km marker

The second section we stopped at was Eschbach between the 15km and 16km markers.

Eschbach between 15km and 16km

Brunnchen 2 Brunnchen 1 16km

It was then time to get back to the ‘Ring and pay our €22 for a lap of the circuit.

We were now ready to demonstrate our godlike riding prowess to the world. First off was the tourist bus which crawls round at about 20 mph. Then we were off.

On these so called “Touristfahren” days the circuit is open to anyone who pays the toll – and we mean anyone. Unless their bike or car or van is obviously not roadworthy anyone who pays the toll is allowed on. You could have Sabine Schmitz driving the ‘Ring taxi – a BMW M5 – or the biggest idiot on the planet driving a beaten up old van.

All this means you have to take a great deal of care. Many of the bends are blind and your line may easily be compromised by one of the fast drivers who knows the circuit and doesn’t want to be held up by you. Unlike modern circuits there are virtually no run off areas and only a few gravel traps. There may be no more than 10 feet of grass between the track and the Armco. The margin for error is negligible.

So in theory you need to take it easy. Gaz and Cat however had the red mist descend as soon as they joined the circuit and were off. Phil decided he would be sensible and was.

The advisability of taking it easy was emphasised as we came to Schwalbenschwanz, between the 18km and 19km markers, where we came across a biker who had failed to make the corner and was picking his bike out of the Armco.

Anyway all of us managed to get round in one piece although Gaz was seen to be shaking when he pulled off the circuit.

After that it was back to the Blaue Ecke to get changed and ready for dinner. Phil had booked the Pistenklause restaurant in Nurburg. This restaurant is part of the same building as the Hotel am Tiergarten which is owned and run by Sabine Schmitz’s family, but is separately owned. It’s full of motorracing memorabilia and the food is pretty good. Pete cried off this dinner but the remaining 5 of us all went and had a very good evening.

For more information on the ‘Ring you can go to the official Nurburgring site but for lots of information there is no better site than Ben Lovejoy’s Ringers website.

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