So what am I doing here, freezing on a wintery croatian highway, more than 1.500 kms from home, riding an old MZ-Hack direction Serbia ?
It's a bit of a story, but I don't know how and when exactly the idea started. I think it was maybe after the last Tauernmeeting, where I didn't participate. And felt so sorry for myself.
Maybe it was also Özge's idea.
Özge is my best turkish friend, our contact was made by our common friend "Jawa-Koarl" (Jawa - Charlie) from Vienna before I even entered Turkey.
I'm Andreas, 45 years old and since 1,5 years I'm the Head of Admin in the Austrian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.
first stages of preparation, rolling trials with the new hack
well, Chapter one, our preparations:
I begann with some things quite early, like ordering special winter tyres through some channels in Austria. The most important thing was to get the MZ hacked. I was not contemplating doing that trip on a solo. And Özge had a hack, too. A 350 cc Jawa.
We are maybe the last 2-Stroke riders in Ankara, the 2-Stroke Partizans.
So I had to research the market and the nightmarish turkish bureaucracy for a way to do that within limited means.
In the end I ordered a freight-sidecar with a south-turkish producer. For appr. 350,- $ it was delivered to my mechanic friends workshop.
So we installed the hack, the electrics, changed the chain and sprocket, overhauled the forks and put stronger feathers, changed the rotten fusebox, the clutch, installed heated gips, a windshield and made a few other preparations.
Özge took it with turkish nonchalange and was also hoping on an amnestie for his years of unpaid Taxes, which didn't materialise, though and he paid up. His biggest problem was to get his sidecar registered in his bikes papers. In former years this wasn't done in Turkey, but now, with the introduction of german TUV it was asked for - and nearly impossible to get.
In the end, he finished his paperwork at the last minute, with some help from other bikers and their connections to the police.
We also had to mount a freight boat, as person -boats are no longer permitted here ( at least for getting the papers).
Birol, our friend and Chief Mechanic, who learned the trade at Audi and Porsche in Germany. He's got his own shop here.
The boat being brought in form to fit the Velorex frame
We contacted our friends and the Forums for places to stay overnight on the road.
We had a turkish construction site tent made, as our usual cheap tents might not stand up to the rigors of the alpine winter and tried to prepare ourselfs and our equipment as good as we could, including snow chains, shovels, gas heater and whatever.
What all this for ?
Well, to meet some friends
On the "Tauerntreffen", the Winter-Alpine-Meeting of the Austrian "Alteisentreiber-IG", the "Scrap-Drovers-Association".
Some of you may have heard from the "Elefantentreffen" - let's just say that this happens at about the same time, but in the lowlands.
"where indifference meets insanity, that's where the scrapdrovers ride beginns" (Bert, the oilburner)
Part 2, the first days rides, soon to follow