We left the ring and headed to Munich which is easily one of my favorite cities in the world. Bavarian food, beer, and cars are some of my favorite things in life. But first we took the Fiesta on the Autobahn. 240+kph in a Fiesta is kind of awesome. I believe that's 149.1 mph! Not bad for a little four-cylinder that gets 35 mpg.
Full Disclosure Stuff: Ford let me borrow a new Fiesta ST for my vacation. I paid for everything myself but let they me borrow this car for the adventure. And I did what anyone would do on their vacation, I drove it flat out on the Autobahn, took it to what is now my favorite driving road in the world, the Col de Turini, and even dropped by the Ring for open lapping in the rain.
Back to the Autobahn. It wasn't sketchy at 149mph like you think it might be. Maybe the extended roof spoiler and lower front end smoothed the airflow, but I think it was the firm suspension and wide Bridgestone tires that made it stable. There was more speed left but slower cars kept getting in the way. We did get smoked by a brand spanking new 911 turbo outside of Stuttgart that lit us up so fast I wasn't able to grab a photo. Oh and the GPS Navagation hates top speed runs:
The next day we got up and started visiting one beer hall after another with my friend Marc Bosch. Marc is an interesting guy. Imports cool toys, has a tech show on German TV, and races pocket bikes. I asked him if he meant pit bikes like we use at racetracks to get to the bathroom in a hurry and he just laughed. Then he showed me these high-tech super bikes for little people. Except Marc is a normal sized adult.
Apparently you ride with your knees in your chest and you wear full leathers just like regular motorcycle racing. Then I heard the power outputs for some of the larger pocket bikes can reach 18hp! And given the weight of the bike, its about the same power to weight ratio of my 125cc shifter kart! That means he's riding something the speed of a shifter kart and marginally larger than a tricycle. I couldn't find a German race but this is what it looks like:
And here's a video of kids riding them. It almost looks like adults on super bikes. Almost.
As for the breweries, my favorite was Ayinger and their cellar beer by far. You can find them pretty much across the street from Hofbrauhaus.
They also have this amazing cheese spread deal made from something and red peppers.
But Hoffbrauhaus was pretty fun too. And this is Marc, my friend that rides the pocket bikes and showed us around Munich for the day.
On the way home we stumbled into a bunch of surfers in the middle of city. The Eisbach river has this drop off deal that creates a constant wave that you can ride for hours. These guys set up a generator and lights to ride it at night. Check out the quick video I grabbed with my Iphone:
That night we hit this local Bavarian restaurant where I had white asparagus and wiener schnitzel with hollandaise sauce that was out of this world.
I guess they bury the asparagus so no sunlight hits it and keeps the color out of it. All I know is that it ruled. As did the dunkel beer.
The next day we woke up and jammed from Germany to Monaco in 7 hours crossing the Alps and seven countries in one day. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Italy, France, and Monaco. And all on about 2 tanks of fuel.
The wildest part of the trip was the San Bernardino tunnel. It was pretty nice on the northern side. A little cold but not bad. We enter the tunnel and drive about a mile. Then we pop out the other side and everything is covered in snow! Tons of snow. It was freezing and all of a sudden we were in the mountains.
The cool thing was only a few hours later and we were down at the Mediterranean enjoying the warm weather again. Europe is amazing like that.
Next up. The Monaco Grand Prix. Here is what the city looked like at night when we showed up.
Photos by Bill Caswell and Pocket Bike Photo by Marc Bosch.