A late ride in the Ardennes - column

ER Classics Desktop 2022

The Ardennes in late autumn. That can be very nice. The outward journey was cloudy. Despite the less than moderate weather, the stay on site was perfectly manageable, because we had a real roof over our heads and the cook in Olloy 'nen Real Chef was zalle! Belgian chefs work wonders with cholesterol and heavy cream. And alcohol dissolves fat. We were doing well there in the west hem of the Ardennes. Paradise is only three hundred and fifty kilometers from home. But we had to go back.

We sat on the safe side of the restaurant glass with the last cup of coffee. On the other side of the glass, someone had turned on the shower. Pack and pick up carefully. One last cup of coffee to give us courage. Without worrying about how to pee with all those layers of clothing on. And just drive.

On my bike, an official Seeley Honda CB 750, the tank bottom was vaulted in such a way that all rainwater ended up on the ignition coils as if from a sprinkler ... Three cylinders. Two cylinders… Another piece on four cylinders. A cylinder. Real motorcycles only need one cylinder. The Honda Special is not. Oops! Three more… No, two cylinders.

And nowhere in the interior to find an open gas station. Because we structurally travel back home and on Sundays The four-cylinder really stops. Will be taken in tow for a kilometer or so. Then start again at four, three, two, and one cylinder.

Behind a massive screen of rain, a gas station appears in the distance. An open gas station! Life seems much more beautiful under its shelter. In the shop there is coffee. There is the famous row of aerosols. Also aerosols with moisture repellent. Of course, all buses, bottles and snacks are of lavish Catholic format. The greater, the more dispelled! So good!

The tank goes off the four-cylinder. The wiring and ignition coils are being mopped a bit… And just spray! That gives a happy feeling ... To see if that holds up, the engine is started again. Runs almost perfectly immediately. Little blue glowing high-voltage worms dance across the outside of the high-voltage section… So that must be the famous leakage currents! They must die too!

The brave sloshing aerosol is aimed and the cap moves towards the bottom of the aerosol with a big thumb. All visible parts of the Honda disappear in a furious bay of fire. The stuff or propellant from the aerosol is highly inflammable.

I step out of the conflagration with a smoking right sleeve and my eyebrows behind. A local coffee drinker is just as quick. With a huge fire extinguisher. For almost a minute the world is a big white cloud. Twelve kilos of extinguishing powder extinguishes very effectively. Makes the world white. Has a laxative effect and promotes oxidation so quickly that the Seeley Honda makes home base on its own, while the crackling of the emerging rust rises above the dripping of rainwater on the garage floor.

Very? Well no. After all, do you have something on every trip?


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  1. Reminds me of our trip from Narvik N through Sweden 1100 km of rain, almost wet snow, with bread bags over our summer gloves and that around Midsummer's Eve where the ski slopes were open at Kiruna.
    Quite a bit, but you have another story to tell.

  2. You forget the days with good weather and these kinds of days and the perils they sometimes bring with them remain.
    In that region, for example, after half a day of heavy rain, I provided myself with dry underwear at a petrol station. All daydreaming with my bike buddy that we repaired a flat tire at that spot a few years earlier, even after 3/4 day of rain. Those were the times and…. It will happen some time. I look forward!

  3. Comment allez vous? On Sundays in the Ardennes. That's where 'Walloons' live. They speak French. They rather understand the Dutch than the Flemish. This is about money and being nice. I'd rather do something like that with a car. Also because I don't have a motorcycle license! Well for tractor and moped.
    Glad you survived!

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