We have already heard from a recovery company. It was sent to the North of France by the ANWB to pick up a stranded motorcycle and bring it home. The engine did not work and the couple who drove it to the rustic hotel had argued.
Bad luck on the road 2.0
Our friend the recovery company asked for the transponder. All kinds of things started to light up on the display. Except for the neutral 'light'. Bertus released the gearbox, the display thing lit up. He pressed the start button. The engine started. But still had to return to the Netherlands by car. Because the apparently fairly recent couple was in a dip. The Knight on his proud steed had fallen off his pedestal for the princess, as often happens nowadays.
The idea that we as classic riders are all highly talented techies is a few bridges too far. Look, that Nanko builds a Peugeot four-cylinder diesel in his Moto Guzzi (because it is very economical) and gets the compliments of the RDW for it ... And that it seemed like a funny idea to Jan to make another top-class Guzzi café racer, but one with the reverse cylinder heads and injection? And that he subtly decided to glue Guzzi's eagles on the tank upside down? That deserves applause from several balconies.
Bad luck is not a problem, but a challenge
But when we classic drivers are on the road, we usually manage. Otherwise there is indeed still the Wegenwacht plasticje. There are no more emergency phones. But with your phone you are always close to help. And if you are a classic enthusiast, and if you are not in a hurry, you don't even have to call the ANWB. Then you call some friends. Because sometimes, even as a seasoned classic driver, you cannot make it with your on-board tools and the extra things you have on board. By the way, on board a classic sidecar combination you have room for quite a few emergency solutions.
A broken cylinder. So what?
But when the cylinder of my side valve - not a piss valve - became schizophrenic, I didn't have the solution on board. The cylinder had broken off at the base. A funny phenomenon in itself with a 23 hp block. But yes: the thing was also a 65+ there. And they used to be allowed to stop working? At home - like the Germans - of course I had everything. I blessed the road repair friendliness of my tricycle and called a few people if they had time. The third had time. I asked him to pick up a cylinder at my house and bring that handy part and bring up my first cigar. Some motorcyclists passed. I am now so old that I remember that they stopped when they saw a colleague with bad luck. A police car with curious officers stopped. And stopped a van full of enthusiastic ex-East Blokkers who became completely nostalgic at the sight of the KMZ 750. An elderly lady stopped to tell me that it was dangerous to just stand on the roadside. I only lit a cigar tinkered the head of the broken cylinder.
Bikers and midlife crises
Comrade number three put his already classic BMW on the roadside against a tree. We concluded with satisfaction that early BMW R69Ssen also suffered from breakdown cylinders. The matter was up and running again within half an hour. We washed our hands with gasoline from the tank and dried them on a cleaning cloth. A girl stopped on a scooter to say she liked old motorcycles. She asked if we were real bikers. We don't have tattoos, so we weren't sure. The clever child concluded that at least we were too old to have a midlife crisis. We explained that it is for men who regret things they have not done. We regret at most a few things that have been done.
A few miles away, we anchored on a corona-free terrace and ordered bouncers and lager. After lunch I lit my last cigar. Time fies when you are having fun.