Riding the Nürburgring and the Black Forest. Another curried sausage? Oh well, what’s the ‘wurst’ that could happen….

Don’t be bothered trying to pronounce the German name of the Black Forest High Road: “Schwarzwaldhochstrasse” – let’s simply stick to B500. The “B”stands for “Bundesstrasse”. Add a lap on the Nürburgring, a few beers, the odd sausage and we’ve got a good few days ahead.

Geordie and I ride to Hull to grab a few beers on the ferry to Ostend, the next morning and we’re a little fragile. We leave the ferry to meet Steve, who’s coming via the chunnel, to the Atomium in Brussels.

Bring it on…


We arrive at 11.30am, literally 5 minutes later Steve turns up. This level of organisation is unheard-of, normally, we can’t even arrange a Friday night out. 20 Minutes later, in glorious sunshine, we’re en-route to the Nürburgring.

We stay in Hotel zur Burg near the ‘Ring and wander around the town; Ferrari, Porsche, Skyline, GTR…. Some money in town. There’s a great buzz at the ‘Ring, loads going on from modified Skyline’s to full on GT3’s – some drivers are taking this very seriously. We retire for steaks and beer and make a third Motoeuro rule: If anyone of us doesn’t want to ride the ‘Ring, then no-one takes the piss. No chicken jokes, no sarcasm, no leg-pulling.

There’s long and fast straights, banked corners, bumpy and jumpy parts, hairpin bends and rises and falls around 1,000 feet as you go round it. So renowned is the course that it has a number of named segments which contribute to its legendary status. The Nürburgring is dangerous and there’s a few things you should know if you’re thinking of riding it: You’re not insured. If you come off, the ‘Ring will not allow anyone but their own ambulance and medics to treat you. They will close the track and charge, per hour, for the loss of revenue. Any damage done to the tarmac, barriers etc is at your cost. And of course, your damaged bike is removed from the track with no repairs. You can rack up a bill for tens of thousands of Euros if you have a tumble and believe me, you’re not leaving Germany until you have paid in full. And they wont accept organs as part payment.

Our new rule seems sensible. The three of us are trying to be serious but keep breaking out in laughter. “But what could possibly go wrong, lads?” asks Steve – we roll around almost chocking on our beers!

The next morning we’re at the ‘Ring, tickets purchased for one lap each. We get ready for the 10am opening and then it starts to rain. Oh, for God’s sake! We look at each other, shrug shoulders, throw our lids on, ride to the barriers ready to go. That’s rule 1 out the window then.

Geordie is away first, I roll-up, ticket in, barrier up, go, go, go !!!…

The first 5 or 6 corners are wet, I take it easy, by corner 8 or 9 it’s getting dryer. I wind up the Triumph and begin to enjoy this!

There’s nothing behind – where’s Steve? Corner after corner this is crazy, graffiti on the surface is distracting, but when I get to the The Carousel a Porsche has come from nowhere and is right behind me, I ride the top of the Carousel to get out the way, his back wheel is of the ground, screeching around the corner – this guy is really going for it. I manage to settle down and even manage the odd nod to spectators as they line the forest edge, I can see Geordie in front and give it the ‘beans’ to catch up.

This is bonkers! After what feels like 100 corners, we both ride the last few miles together, open our bikes up to full chat to overtake a Porsche, Merc and a Mini of all things. Bang on the breaks, slow down, take the exit, we’ve done it!

The ‘Ring has 154 corners, many of them already with well-known nicknames. Sadly, filming yourself or taking any cameras on-track is no longer possible. The in-car / on-bike use of both camcorders and cameras is banned.

I look for Steve in the car park, perhaps he’s had second thoughts. Moments later, he pulls off the ‘Ring with a big beaming smile and a wave – I am sneakily delighted we all did this. We shake hands and acknowledge it’s one off that ‘Bucket List’, a visit to the gift shop is called for; T-shirts, mugs and stickers, and we’re off to ride the B500 to Baden Baden – one of the most famous biking roads in Germany. Hopefully we can stick to at least one of our rules.

We’re staying in a Pension that Geordie recommends, ‘Pension Williams’ in Seebach, Black Forest. Steve takes us down the 416 to Koblenz. All too soon it’s getting dark, riding these quiet, twisty roads in the pitch black isn’t recommended. We’re lost. A quick stop to check the Nav and we’re off again, riding the B500 through Baden Baden in the dark and there’s no street lights. Rule 2 out the window.

Somewhere around 11pm we arrive at the Pension. The owner, David, is still happy to see us even though it’s late. He offers us beers, chocolate bars and Pringles. Magic, that’s 95% of my diet anyway.

Next day we ride around the forest roads and the B500 in daylight. It’s a fantastic, very twisty road that climbs and falls, the views are superb what an experience.

The entire B500 Route is 233 kilometres / 145 miles long and runs between Baden-Baden in the north and Waldshut-Tiengen at the border to Switzerland in the south. You could easily ride this all day, everyday just for the fun of it. The evening is spent at a local steak house, too far to walk from the pension so David drives us there, we chat to other bikers staying in the same palce, we enjoy our lovely steaks washed down by too many pints of loud mouth soup. The steak house owner drives us back. Vielen Dank, lads.

For centuries the Black Forest or in other words, the “dark forest” was avoided by foreign people because of the many scary myths and legends of the region. The inspiration for many Brothers’ Grimm fairy tales. Out last day in the Forest, Motoeuro rides the B500 to Titisee for grub (stop giggling), eventually we park up next to the lake and enjoy cake and coffee in the sunshine.

The roads around here are built for bikes. On a clear day you can get great views that reach from the Northern Black Forest across the Rhineland Plain to the Vosges mountains in the French Alsace with the Vosges Mountains, and sometimes even as far as the the Swiss Alps. We’re late as usual, we rush back to the village as there’s no food after 8pm. The owner of a local take-away by the tiny lake takes pity on us, we manage to down more German sausage just before closing. My German sausage jokes are the Wurst….. Sorry.

We leave the pension the next day, off to Luxembourg. We decide on a detour and ride part of the river Rhine, even this far in-land, it’s colossal. We see castles built into the hillside, pretty small towns and villages, we stop for snacks and coffee in the sun.

We fill up on as much cheap fuel as our bikes will hold in Luxembourg and carry on to Bastogne. The sun is out and we’ve been lucky on a good choice of roads and dry conditions. I grab a hotel adjacent the main square, the elderly owner wants 100 Euros for the 3 to include breakfast. Sold. Her husband even offers to garage our bikes for the night. We wander over to the main square, a pretty place with bars, cafes and an empty tank in the centre, which still defends towards the South since the Battle of the Bulge in WWII.

We sit outside in the sun, order Trois Stella Artois S’il vous plaît and reflect on a damn good Motoeuro. As the sun goes down, we wander around Bastogne to look at the history of WWII. As the evening progresses, it’s a typical Motoeuro night – drink, eat, drink, eat, drink, sleep.

Last day today, we say cheerio to our elderly hosts and ride to Antwerp for lunch. Although busy, we manage to park close to the river and dine al fresco in the afternoon sun. Steve leaves us to grab the Chunnel back to London, Geordie and I bimble back to the ferry and once aboard, it’s beer-o’clock until late.

The Nürburgring and the B500 has been a great success.

The B500 road is not high up in the Alps, but on top of the second-highest mountain range in Germany. In some areas it looks almost like a racetrack with red and white painted guardrails and it can be very tempting to really get going. It’s really an iconic German motorcycle road and with only a day or so you can get to the ‘Ring and ride the B500 from the UK.

Weather is everything on the Nürburgring, buy tickets online and go in summer – avoid Bank Holidays and weekends at all costs. It’s always busy, don’t arrive assuming it’s open as big corporates and high-end manufacturers book the entire venue for their ‘clients’ that means it’s closed to us. Check on-line. The more of you that share a room on the ferry the cheaper it gets, so gather 4 mates, book a pension in advance and get yourself away – You could be riding the ‘Ring by this time tomorrow…Wiedersehen!

Black Forest