In 2004 I was recalled to Vienna, having had my 3 postings to different countries.
I had started riding again in India, after having been a keen mopped rider in my youth and some small commuter bikes in Africa I had hardly ridden - my Dad had sabotaged me effectively when making my bike license, preferring to have a living son.
near Dharamshala; my brother and a borrowed Enfıeld to the left; my beloved TVS Fiero, a bike having been tuned and used by an Indıan Rally Rıder, Rhajeev Whadwa, in the Raid de Himalaya - unfortunately no chance to legalize that one in Austria
So I 'made'
a license in India, which, after a practical test, was converted into an Austrian one.
And it was my wife that encouraged me to bring an Enfield to Austria.
And with the Enfield we are back at the narrative.
Trying to solve some of the technical problems that invariably come with it, I got in touch and in the end became a member of a loosly organised group of enthusiasts of old and strange bikes, the AiA, the 'Alteisentreiber iG' or 'Scrap-Drovers Association'.
a pic to illustrate : traillering the AiA way :
The point here is to not only have an old or Russian/Indian/Chinese made bike, but to really ride it.
Members do have other bikes, even Harleys have been seen, but it's about riding, repairing and sometimes customizing the old stuff - and taking part in some of the meetings.
The most notorious one is the 'Tauern-Meeting' at the end of January in the Austrian Alps -at the same time as the well known 'Elefanten-Treffen' in Germany, but at 1.750 meters - and not in the flat lands
Me and the MZ, Mehmed and the Jawa to the left
There are others and participations in 'Grab the Flag' races, and as AiA spread out from Austria, our German mates began organizing the 'northern meeting'.
But the main thing is the people - I've never met such a bunch of simply nice guys in one place. From the moment when Albert the 'Bulletwallah' after one Internet-chat brought me the Enfield parts I needed simply to my office mind you, a guy he had never met, I was hooked and went to a ride and at once I never felt so much at home in a group of people.
Want to ride with us ? Move closer round the fire, there's a new mate.
From Brick layer and chimney sweeper to Lawyer and museum director - just doesn't matter who or what you are
Albert and Uwe
I took part in the first 'northern meeting' 2 years ago, flying into Frankfurt, where Justus the main organizer of the meeting borrowed me a bike to participate and afterwards make a tour into Austria and to my parents.
Typical scene : trying to find a DNEPRs spark in the middle of the night; once they transfered a DNEPR fınal drive to an URAL - in a snow storm
Last Year I flew in with Birol, getting borrowed 2 Beemers this time and making a nice tour through the Austrian Alps
So this time we decided - or Birol decided - we do it as it should be done; arriving 'on the axle' as we say in German. 3.000 km on 'Scrap'