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Lost in Luxembourg
What a superb tour ! We had
all sorts of weather but it remained mild throughout and we racked up the
miles over four days.
The first day's ride took us to the banks of the Moselle, where we met up with the Tour de Luxembourg. On the way we stopped for coffee at Wallendorf-Pont and enjoyed the cakes. Cakes form an important part of any Lost In... tour and theses were well worth queuing up for. We sat outside on the terrace and watched a flea market in progress on the opposite bank of the river.
The Tour de Luxembourg is the premier event on the old bike calendar in Luxembourg and we met the riders at the Wine Cooperative in the village of Wormeldange.
On the way through Manternach we encountered our first 'Route Barée'. Whilst we assessed the situation the Norton stopped and would not restart. We bumped it back to life only to find that the Bantam had croaked in sympathy and it sounded very much like the cylinder head had blown. A local resident, Mannfred came out to see what was occurring and invited us to put the bike on his driveway whilst we investigated the cause and cure. We left Lyn and Chris there to try to fix the bike while we pressed on. It turned out simply to be loose cylinder head nuts. Mannfred then offered to escort Lyn and Chris to the lunch venue to be sure they got there safely and he joined us for lunch.
We took lunch at the Wine Cooperative with the riders on the Tour de Luxembourg and then followed their route back to Heiderscheid in the afternoon. Their route included gentle roads in the south and west of the country. It was a very pleasant ride and we enjoyed a fruit juice upon our return.
On our second day we woke to heavy rain and there was some debate about whether we would ride or not. Three of us made a start and were soon followed by most of the rest of the party. It is never pleasant riding any great distance in the rain but the roads were almost traffic free and we made steady progress at our own pace. There is no compulsion to ride if you do not wish to. We followed an extra long route. The routes are normally 90 - 105 miles long but this one included lots of the very best bits of road from previous years and totalled 130 miles by the time we returned.
Coffee was taken at the Auberge du Lac at Bavigne (above) and lunch at Esch-sur-Sûre where the figure-of-eight route crossed itself. The afternoon ride went up via Clervaux and through Weiswampach to Ouren, where we stopped for a hot chocolate. We then crossed into Germany and rode a number of the hills along that side of the River Our before returning to the hotel.
Day three saw an improvement in the weather although we still saw some rain. The whole party set off towards the petrol station at Diekirch. There was then a choice of routes towards the coffee stop. The full route was 45 miles and the shorter route just 30 miles. Unfortunately, it being Monday, the cafe at Bourscheid was closed. Malcolm and Hazel used their common sense and rode through the village to find that the hotel was open for business but the rest of us went without. Paul March was experiencing problems with the ignition on the Sunbeam. Both plugs fire at once but one had lost its spark. With a bit of fiddling about normal service was resumed and we continued on our way to lunch. The group got split up when some missed a turn. Laurie Long got a puncture just before the lunch stop but Ray had a spare tube and so they fixed it at the side of the road. The tube has, apparently, been in three bikes by now.
We stopped at the Kentucky Cafe at
Lentzweiler for lunch and the group reassembled over a period of about 25
minutes The Haché Parmentier was volcanically hot but very tasty and
reasonably priced. Others had soup or a simple omelette. Most
riders choose not to eat a large meal at midday as they have enjoyed a
good breakfast and look forward to an excellent evening meal back at the
Our final day brought us sunshine at last. It was rather cool riding but the countryside was lovely in the bright weather. We climbed to Landscheid, where the poppies and cornflowers around the fields glowed in the sun. The route then dropped to the river through Wahlhausen and then we followed the river as far as Dasburg, where we took coffee. We crossed the river into Germany and followed the road to Habscheid and Neuerburg, where we had lunch in the sunshine in the square. Lyn Crush's Bantam was rather slow and by the time she and Chris Webber (1937 Norton 16H) reached Neuerburg the cafe that we had stopped at was no longer serving food. They found an alternative place to eat and we all continued for the afternoon. The route followed a quiet valley where almost everyone missed the turning to the 'Flugplatz'. The sign was at ankle level on the bridge railings and easy to miss. The climb out of the valley was steep and the bikes echoed as they pulled hard up the hill. We had an opportunity to take a few 'action shots' on the hairpin bend at the top. The run home flowed easily and we passed through Schrondweiler and Korperich before crossing back out of Germany and back up to the hotel for our final evening meal.
Almost all of the participants this year have visited Vianden before and that is a mark of the popularity of the tour. We were pleased to hear that David, the waiter who has looked after us each year, is now well on the road to recovery following a liver transplant and we were pleased to see him when he popped in especially to see us one evening.