September 1, 2000
We took the train to Milano to pick up the rental Ducati. From the station we took a taxi to the rental place. From the twists and turns the driver took we should have had our personal antennas up as to the difficulty of getting out of Milano. The whole city is laid out like paved over cow paths. After laborious directions given to us by the rental people, we got lost within a mile after our departure. We were so lost that even the police couldn’t straighten us out. Literally hours were spent trying to find the correct way. Finally, I walked into a large headquarters-type office building and asked for help. What a zoo that became as the person I asked did not speak English, so she took me to the receptionist who also did not understand me. She, in turn, found someone who could speak English, but did not know the way. That person sought a non-English speaking person who knew the directions. So there I was with Willie caught in this four way incomprehensible directions maneuver. When the Autostrada was found, we didn’t get on it because it was one huge traffic jam. We circled over back roads heading north towards Como until the heat caused us to take refuge in a small bar in a smaller town. From there we were given directions that got us back on the main highway and on to Lugano. As we approached Lugano I tried to ask Urs for directions to the correct exit but I couldn’t hear her. Yep, I missed them all. We ended up riding all the way to Rivera before finding an exit. Then I missed how to get back on the highway and had to ride all the way back to Lugano on back roads with animated finger pointing and lots communication taking place between Urs and I at each turn.
September 3, 2000
Today we went to Valle Maggia all the way to Lago Sambuco at Lavizzara. What a beautiful trip it was. We buzzed over the mountain from Lugano and took the curvy route to Locarno. We tucked in behind a young lad riding a Yamaha that took us to be serious competition. All we wanted to do is to follow him, as he seemed to know more about the ‘road action’ then we did. As we would catch up he would go faster. Well, we made some terrific time. The deal is that the spotted line between the cars moving each way is the ‘bikers lane’. Our average speed may have been in the high 90 per hour range on these two lane roads. This was until we hit the switchbacks. I’ll tell you, they have serious switchbacks in this neck of the Swiss woods. I would have to get the bike all the way into the opposing traffic lane before making the swing around the corner. This was not so bothersome going uphill, but on the way back down I was terrified as to the result of making a mistake. We met the same kid going back the other way and he looked in his rear view mirror and took off again! What a hoot. We did the same thing going back. We had stopped in Maggia for lunch on our way out and had lost him. At lunch we stepped into a wedding party but still managed to get some fresh food. What a pretty setting, but we forgot to take a picture. We did get a few at the top of the Valle. When we returned we ran into the World’s worst traffic jam from all the folks coming back from their Sunday outings. Naturally, we used the ‘bike’ lane. Otherwise, we would still be out there in the mess. It looked like Seattle at rush hour. This was a great little side trip.
September 4, 2000
Today I went to Val Vernasca on my own. This leads north out of the Locarno area past Lake Vogonara to the end of the valley to a little town called Sonogna. I had taken the hard saddlebags off at home and was feeling frisky. The trip up was pretty mellow with many less hairpins then the trip up Valle Maggia. This meant TOUR BUSSES! Every time I turned the corner it was another bus. Thanks to the power of the Ducati I would power past with great verve. The ride was very visual with many valleys with old homes that have been there for hundreds of years. One fellow was carrying up the hay from his harvest on his back on a wood backpack. The roads are as perfect as they can be considering the precipitous drop offs at every point. The only way to travel this area is on a very fast motorcycle. The alternative is a bazillion hours stuck in traffic. The Ducati runs like this is what it designed for. Great explosive performance combined with superior handling. A guy on a big BMW sport bike tried to eat me up going up the long hill from Locarno to Rivera, but the Duke has more horsepower, so he didn’t exactly run away from me. I was going so fast that I missed my turnoff to the Autostrada and had to circle back to get home.
September 5, 2000
We went to the market in the center of Lugano to check out the local farmer’s produce, plus explored where we could park the motorcycle for free. Then we headed up the hill to the top of Monte Bre, which requires agility, as there are about twenty major switchbacks. Quite a bit of new construction is going on, so you have to dodge the construction equipment. Most of the homes appear to be being built right in the middle of the street. There was a nice lunch spot up there that we sat outside at. The views were beautiful and the weather perfectly clear. About a thirty minute walk brings you to a spectacular viewpoint overlooking Lugano and the surrounding suburbs. On the back down we almost pasted a huge blue truck coming up the hill that was passing a bicyclist hogging the entire road at a hairpin corner. How we dodged that bullet, I don’t know, as the bike had to thread a needle to get through.
September 6, 2000
Today we had scheduled the Ferrari tour in Maranello. This required a long trip on the Autostrada of about four hundred kilometers offering many ways to make wrong turns, which we did. By the time we checked into our hotel in Fiorano we had about thirty minutes to spare. So we jumped on the Ducati and zipped over to the Ferrari factory and came roaring into the entry plaza to find the entire balance of our tour group to be all standing there with mouths dropped open at our entry. The tour guides all gave thumbs up for the Ducati. The entire plaza was filled with varieties of Ferraris and as we dismounted their chief test driver came in with a new 360 Spider, which is indescribably beautiful. The tour really impressed me at how small an operation they have. Most materials are made there including all the aluminum that is used in their cars. The production is in the area of 3,500 cars per year. It takes about a week to make an eight-cylinder car and twice that for the twelve. The employees appear to be young and disciplined. The whole focus seems to be engines with the car built around them.
September 7, 2000
We headed down to Bologna to see the Ducati factory. When we whisked into the entry we got the high sign when we asked about a tour. Urs pretended we had reservations and we hooked up with a group that was just leaving for a tour. This is a huge operation that cranks out sixty new bikes per work shift. Eighty percent of the parts are made elsewhere for each bike, but the engines appear to be created entirely right there. The various engine parts are put in a plastic bucket and sent to the assembly line where each engine is assigned to one individual. The engine code identifies who put it together, so if problems occur they can be tracked back to that person. My observation was that gals were building the majority of the air cooled engines and the four valve water-cooled engines were all assigned to males. The bikes being built before our eyes were all for the year 2001 model year. The one catalog we were allowed to see for next year’s models showed that the ST-4 has been updated from the 916 cc engine to the 996 cc motor. Until you get on the Autostrada you don’t realize why that extra power is necessary. We had to keep our speed up to the 140 to 160 K per hour range (84-96 mph) to keep from being run over. The employees appeared to completely different to me from those at the Ferrari factory. Their attitudes were much more relaxed with a lot of humor being exhibited. After the tour we went into the lunchroom and ate with the employees. I tried to pay for my meal but didn’t have the right amount, so they gave it to me. The employees took great interest in us and we had much fun taking their photos with the digital camera. I will email them back with these later. We then buzzed back to Lugano with almost no wrong turns. Our rental bike has been performing flawlessly and it is certainly designed for these driving conditions. I would prefer a higher windscreen because of the buffeting at our required speeds while traveling next to the concrete lane dividers. The lower clip-on bar position is more comfortable at speed then the risers we use on our bike back in Bellevue.
September 9, 2000
We went to the motorcycle shop to purchase an intercom system, as our communication was terrible without it. As we are moving along at very high speeds the time to choose right or left is short. For an afternoon ride we went through Lugano to Gandria and on to Menaggio where we caught a ferry across Lake Como to Bellagio. Then we took the snakiest of all roads down the east side of the lake to the city of Como and back around north to Lugano. There are houses lining both sides of the roadway with zero setbacks and at times the road narrows to almost nothing. Contesting the tour busses in such an atmosphere becomes not unlike a game of chess. Passing them and cars takes a certain amount of faith. The ferry master took extreme interest in the fact we rented the motorcycle and wrote all the particulars down for his use. The Ducati name really commands tremendous respect from all the natives. We had a great day of twists and turns and probably scared all the locals half to death.
September 10, 2000
We did a little trip from the residence over to Maroggia east of Lago di Lugano via local roads. Then we turned uphill through Apogno to the town of Lanzano where we found a very popular restaurant called Grotto Dogna. The place was jammed with all the locals watching the Italian Grand Prix on the TV. On the way up the hill to this place we encountered the tightest switchbacks to date. I was very concerned about not having enough momentum to make the turns as I was on full steering lock for the bike. The meal was great as this was a Sunday and this becomes a big meal deal for the Italians. The next plan of attack was to make a loop trip through the local mountains for a couple hours of exploration through the town of Ponna. The maps and our plan came apart after the Ducati scaled higher peaks then it has ever seen within their design group. We went up roads that were built by the Romans. The streets were so narrow that we had to consider backing up the bike to make the turn, except if we stopped I knew we would turn over. When we hit gravel, that was it, and we had to make a retreat right past all those folks that dropped their jaws when we went up the hill past them. I turned downhill and went back to Lugano by circling the east end of Lake Lugano through Porlezza. I would make a guess that we went between the Swiss and Italian border at least three times. We buzzed back into Lugano and immediately hooked up with a local cowboy on a crotch rocket. While we didn’t blow him away, I bet he is asking his buddy “Who were those guys?” Again, the rental bike has hung in there tough. It really suffered during our long slow climb into Ponna but came back smiling. Plans are being formulated for the next adventure.
September 11, 2000
We took a little trip south of Lugano through Agno and Ponte Tresa to Ganna. We ventured up the hill to make a loop trip on a particularly curly looking road, but got lost again, went through a neat little town called something like Tadesco and ended up at the entrance to some sanitarium that had mighty strong security. After returning to Ciona I took Marianna, the owner of Grotto-Osteria restaurant for a motorcycle ride. She was really scared, but we had softened her up over time to convince her to go. We got some pictures of the event.
September 12, 2000
After the fiasco last night when I bent the key to the Ducati as we left Bella Vista restaurant (it popped out of the ignition and got wrapped around the suspension as I maneuvered the bike around) we went to Lugano to secure a replacement. A stop at the tourist bureau gave us directions to the local Ducati dealer. There they helped us greatly by calling their key maker and sending me off to get a replacement. Then we went from there through Agno and Ponte Tresa to Luino, which is on the shores of Lake Maggiore. We went north from there to Maccagno where we found this superior restaurant called Lido where I had the best lake trout ever. We went the Veddasce Valley to Indemini and over the summit and back down to the lake looping back through Maccagno and back to Lugano. The switchbacks coming down were so tight that they were stacked in and under the one above. If you miss one turn you will probably hit about four switchbacks down. We came face to face with a huge postal bus where we had a standoff. He couldn’t go back up the hill and we were forced off the outside of the cliff. The roads are not wide enough for the size of the rigs moving over them. All in all, this was my kind of fun.
September 13, 2000
Today we went back to Maccagno through Ponte Tresa and Luino. The fine restaurant was unfortunately closed, but we found another that gave us a great salad and pizza with excellent crust. We satisfied our motorcycle urges with a simple run up Lake Maggiore along the smooth main route alongside the lake. We only were close to being killed once today when a speeding car almost ran into us after we exited the lunch spot. We had dinner outside at La Posta alongside Lake Lugano down at Morcote with a young couple that had befriended us a couple of nights ago while trying to figure out a menu. They were visiting from Germany where Jurgen works as an engineer for a fire suppressant firm, and Rita works for the German government allocating medical research grants. Rolling up the hill from Morcote on the Ducati after a bottle of wine is quite the challenge, but practice makes perfect.
September 15, 2000
Today we left Lugano for our motorcycle tour with Moto-Charlie. We rode to Grindelwald through Bellinzona over Gotthardpass and Sustenpass. There are beautiful vistas at the top of Gotthardpass in all directions. We stopped at the far side for a tasty lunch in the warm sun at Andermatt. We would come back here for two nights on the tour. From there we went over Sustenpass, which opens up to all the unique beauties of this area. While riding down the back of the pass a kid went by us like a shot riding his sport bike like a Grand Prix racer putting his knees on the ground and sliding around the corners at speeds that were amazing to watch. We rode past Brienzer See, which is a longish lake that is cobalt blue from the glacial water source, then past Interlaken to Grindelwald. There were hoards of huge busses all filled with Japanese tourists all heading for the same place making it quite sporting to pass with the bike. We stayed at the Belvedere Hotel with a room facing directly toward the north face of the Eiger. The weather was just perfect for motorcycling and there were hundreds of them all out enjoying these conditions.
September 16, 2000
We took the cog railway from Grindelwald to Jungfrauloch (10,333 feet). The visibility was good going up, but then the weather socked in and snow came hard. We met three interesting gals on the train and we all kind of stayed together, had lunch, and planned dinner together to celebrate Sandy’s 45th birthday. We had champagne and the restaurant played happy birthday and gave her a special desert with a candle on it.
September 17, 2000
This was the day to meet Charlie. We rode back over Sustenpass to Wassen then north to Altdorf. We went east over Klausenpass to Glarus then up the hill to Klontaler See. We stayed at a little hotel called Rhodannenberg located on this beautiful lake all alone. Charlie showed up fairly late with his group that consisted of one other person, Carl Englebardt, a plastic surgeon from Schenectady, NY. They were both riding large BMWs, one a GS 1100 world-touring bike and the other a sport bike, with the same size engine. We had dinner together and planned the trip. Adriano and Heidi run the hotel, a warm laid back couple with good sense of humor. She is a beautiful artist and one whole room was hung with her works.
September 18, 2000
The day was divided into two parts. We made a counter clockwise loop that took us over the Sattelegg, Ibergeregg and Pragelpass back to Rhodannenberg for lunch. We encountered a huge herd of cows that were being moved from high country to lower pastures. What a scene that was with cow crap everywhere and a long string of vehicles coming the other way. The road was incredibly narrow and the ride very tricky with all the slick cow do to deal with. After lunch it was back over Klausenpass to Aldorf and on to Andermatt to Zur Sonne, a small hotel in the center of town.
September 19, 2000
The day was to be divided into two rides. In the morning we went from Andermatt over Furkapass west of town then north over Grimselpass back to Sustenpass. We were getting to know Sustenpass quite well by this point, as it was our third trip over it. After lunch at the hotel we were to rendezvous with Charlie’s business partner at the top of Gotthardpass. He was staying in Lugano. Ursula chose to stay in Andermatt to shop and I started out with Charlie and Carl ascending Gotthard. We ran into a cloud that totally obscured our vision. It was so thick that all I wanted was to turn around and cancel the ride. I thought I best tell the others my plan first, though. We came to a construction site where our side of the road was closed off and we stopped well above the traffic cones. I told them my desire to leave, ran the bike up the hill a dozen feet or so, and was in the process of turning it around when I heard, and saw, a very loud rear end collision from the cars behind us. I shouted a warning to Charlie and Carl just as the chain collision reached them. The car nearest Carl shot forward from the impact and slammed into the rear of his bike tossing both he and the motorcycle to the ground and in the process hitting Charlie causing him to tip over. I checked to make certain they were not hurt and received Charlie’s permission to return to Andermatt. It was a good thing that I beat feet out of there because when the cops arrived both of them had to accompany them to the police station which was located on the far side of Gotthardpass where they cooled their heels all afternoon making statements. Carl’s bike had to be jury-rigged to continue the trip as the impact had torn one of his hard pannier bags off the motorcycle. What a mess. This incident was a strong endorsement for safety clothing while riding motorcycles. They both had full leather outfits on.
September 20, 2000
Today we had a very long ride to accomplish and it was pouring rain. We had to get to le Prese and it was pretty grim when we pulled out of the garage at Zur Sonne Hotel. We rode east over Oberalppass to the town of Flims-Dorf where we took a break for strudel and cappuccino. There was an enticing break in the weather that was not long lasting. We rode over the Slugen and Maloja Passes past St. Moritz and over the Bernina Pass to the prestigious Hotel le Prese. We were like drowned rats. Amazingly enough under all the water we were dry inside the rain clothes. When they asked me to check in at the hotel I held my hands up that were dripping with water and asked “How?” They had to produce a towel first. After we left the lobby I had occasion to come back to pick up gear and saw them out with a mop cleaning up the pools of water we left on the floor.
September 21, 2000
When we checked the weather report it was very apparent the storm had brought a lot of snow with it. There was 20 cm in the passes. Charlie worked out a route that kept us on smaller, lower passes so we would not run into this. We started late because of the weather. Our route was through Tirano, north towards Bormio then east into the hills up and over Passo Mortirolo and stopped at Restorante Melotti Attlilio for lunch. We then headed south through Edolo and then southwest over Passo di Vivioni after lunch where we joined the main road at Boario, headed north through Breno and Edolo before heading west to Aprica. We then took a shortcut to Tirano, where a dog almost jumped out of the back of a truck in front of us to have us for a snack, and back to le Prese for the night.
September 22, 2000
This was a day to remember. We had packed the bikes with all our gear with the intent to ride to Garda. The alarm system on the Ducati failed, setting up a screeching holler. Telephone calls to the rental agency failed to produce the answer. Charlie took off for over an hour trying to find a battery replacement for the alarm sender. No luck. Eventually the gals at the hotel were able to call the rental people and get specific directions on how to disable the alarm system in Italian. Then they called a mechanic friend to come over with his tools. We had to remove the whole fairing from the bike to get at the alarm and were successful in doing this. After we got the bike back together we headed out back up through Edolo toward Passo di Gavia. We did not make it. Charlie had a flat tire with several punctures in it. The rear tire was so worn out that it was tissue thin. We took our combined tire repair kits and attempted to plug the holes, but the tire was a sieve. We left his bike there and sought help. Charlie and Carl left on Carl’s bike and were ahead of us. When Urs and I got to the next town she spotted a small scooter shop. We stopped and found out the guy had a tube that he would go to the bike and install. We also took time to top off the Ducati’s oil level. But Charlie and Carl never came back to find us. By the time we found Carl at a roadside restaurant where Charlie had left him, it was too late to tell Charlie of our find, and I raced out after him, but after many kilometers with no luck, I returned to the roadside restaurant to wait with the rest. Charlie eventually showed up with a repair van following him, but they took the whole bike back to their shop to work on it. This was 40 kilometers away and they couldn’t get to it until the next morning. We were stranded and backtracked to Edola where we found a hotel with no name located next to an Internet bar. We had a great time going over the events of the day and determined that Murphy was alive and well. I spent a lot of time in the so-called Internet bar teaching the barmaid how to sign up for a free e-mail account. The hotel was filled to the brim with other bikers and we had our own garage to park them in.
September 23, 2000
We had to wait in the morning for Charlie and Carl to go to the motorcycle shop to retrieve the wounded bike that now sported a new rear tire. Then it was off to Passo di Gavia for what was to be our prettiest day so far. Gavia was closed, but we motored on past the closed sign. We had talked to other bikers the day prior and knew we could get through. There was a lot of new snow at the top. Fortunately, a plow had pushed it aside despite the fact the road was closed. We came down the other side to be faced with Passo dello Stelvio, which is maybe the most famous pass in Italy. It has at least 40 switchbacks on each side. Carl and I found some great grilled wurst served with big wide brown bread buns slathered with brown mustard and filled with sauerkraut at the top of the pass. What a great day. Then we went to Merano then north on to Passo di Giovo (better known as the Jaufenpass) and on to Wurzjoch Pass. We had a world-class view of the Dolomites from the top of this pass in the sunset that was unequaled. Trouble was that after sunset comes dark. The next phase of this long day was going down switchbacks on newly paved roads with no markings. My turns were octagonal at best. We did make it over the Passo di Campolongo into Arraba to the Hotel Evaldo where Charlie was informed that he had inadvertently cancelled our reservations! After a long look across the counter, she gave us our rooms. Charlie had apparently cancelled the wrong hotel when the alarm and flat tire put us a day behind. We had to drop our gear in the lobby in order to get into the dinning room before the 8:30 PM closing time. Whew!
September 24, 2000
Today was THE big day. There are passes on top of passes. My arms were so tired from horsing the two-up big bike around the day before that I was concerned about keeping up. Today was different, as we left all the traveling gear at the hotel and took the hard pannier bags off the bike. In other words, we were traveling light. We covered Campolongo, Gardena/Grodnerjoch, Falzergo, Sella, etc. This is called the ‘figure eight’ in the Dolomites. This is moto heaven and all the bikes attested to this. At times we were passed by swarms of the hottest racing bikes ridden with abandon. There were racing teams staying at our hotel for training purposes. We did not go quietly, however. Old Willie can still crank the throttle. After hitting a couple of oil slicks on the corners in the AM, my confidence grew, and I found I could keep up pretty well. The views were all post card quality. The roads are all perfect to test ones courage. The weather was perfect. All went well.
September 25, 2000
We said our goodbyes at breakfast as Urs and Willie had to head back to Lugano. We had organized our route the night prior with some help from the bar tender. Though the distance was only about 380 kilometers, it took us nine hours to get back. We went over Passo di Pordoi, Passo di Costalunga, through the city of Bolzano, over Mendela Pass(circa 1882), got lost near Fondo, had lunch after Passo di Tonale, got into the industrial smog after Passo di Aprica and headed down the stretch to Lake Como. Once we got onto the westerly road from Menaggio we ran into outbound rush hour traffic coming the other way from Lugano. It was a real zoo as the lanes were not quite wide enough for the vehicles. But we did it and are back here safely, abet with sore butts.
September 26, 2000
Today was one of rest. We took the bike downtown and went people watching along with some shopping and eating. It is quite the show to watch the ‘clickity-clacks’ walk past doing their thing. The gals really like to dress in Lugano and watching them go by is really like watching a play. Some are sporting small dogs and some are pushing baby carriages, but all are dressed with eye-catching flair. The heels are high and flashy. Ankle bracelets are prominent. For a people watcher like myself, this is heaven. We went out to dinner at a small place in Carona where I managed to tip the bike over while getting it onto the kickstand. The bike is none the worse, but I took a big chunk off the finish of my helmet. The only time I seem to have trouble with the heavy bike is when it is not moving, or moving very slowly.
September 27, 2000
Today was wash the bike day. The poor thing has been through a lot and I felt beholden to make it look nicer. We went down to the center of Lugano to eat lunch and watch the people. After we came out of one store, I lost Urs, and she me. It took us until 5:30 PM to find one another. Meanwhile, I poked around in just about every store. The products trend toward fancy clothing and jewelry with little being offered in the way of computer products or appliances. Considering the impossible parking situation, there is tremendous foot traffic, thus the trouble finding one another. We ate at a very nice restaurant last night called Bella Vista, which is located perched above Morcote overlooking Lago di Lugano. We sat out on the deck and the ambience was very nice. It is always a challenge to get the Ducati home after dinner, but we were careful to honk the horn in the narrow spots.
September 30, 2000
This was the day to return the Ducati to Milano. It was pouring rain when I pulled out of the garage. I stopped at the garage door exit and did a regrouping of all my waterproof gear. It was grim. Everything I had on got closed up to the maximum possibility for coverage. As I headed down the twenty-two switchbacks into Lugano all the guys that have been so threatened by me while it was dry were on me like stink in the wet. They all knew they could pass me on the wet corners, and did. I tried to enter the Autostrada at the southerly access in Melide, but it was closed for construction work. This left me on the old road to Chiasso, which was not a bad thing. As I looked up at the freeway it was apparent the traffic was at a standstill. A little light bulb went on. I had not packed along any maps for Switzerland. All the planning for getting the bike back to Milano concentrated upon my using the Autostrada. So, when I got to Mendrisio I ignored the barriers closing the Autostrada access and forged ahead into the traffic jam. At times, I pushed the bike with the engine off where the road slanted downhill. Leaving the engine on created huge amounts of heat and the steam the motor gave off indicated the possibility that it might boil over. After a couple of other bikers went past me using the centerline between the traffic lanes I wised up and followed their example. In this fashion I cut hours off the trip. Every time I came to a toll station I knew that I would cause honking from behind, as it took so much time to remove my leather gloves which were covered with large rubber dishwashing gloves. Then I would dive for my stash of lire inside my dry shirt pocket. With the exchange rate of about 2,500 lire per dollar, this was a full pocket. After I left the Italian border traffic loosened up and I found myself cruising at about 120 KPH (72 MPH), which in a driving downpour on well-worn tires caused me plenty of concern. Any slower and I would be run over by the large trucks. Any faster and I couldn’t read the road signs and because of my previous disastrous experiences in missing turns this also was a worry. I made all my checkpoints and thought I had it made when I exited into Gobba, but no, I missed a critical off ramp and found myself on an old road that was separated from local traffic. Miles later I found a turnoff and made my way back. The street signs are just abysmal. I bet I rode around in a circle for at least an hour before stumbling into the rental agency. After I rode into their garage water poured off of everything to the point that it appeared the bike had just been pulled from a lake, amazingly enough I was dry. I have to give serious credit to the well-designed outfit from Aerostich. I use the Darien model top and bottoms along with their ‘Combat Boots’. A quick checkout and taxi ride got me to the train station where I was lucky enough to find an English speaking person who gave me the information as to which train to jump on. The train left just as I sat down and I was back in Lugano within an hour and one half. With the rain and the traffic jam it took me four hours to do a one-hour trip.
October 1, 2000
At first we watched the clouds blow past below the viewpoint that is Ur’s apartment, then the rains settled in. The motorcycle is gone. We could not have used it today, anyway, but it is missed. What with putting about 4,500 kilometers on it, it was almost as if it was our own. My wet moto clothing hangs over the radiator. The old tub that supplies water for the grazing cows across the road is spilling over with rainwater. It is cold. It is time to go home.