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Mountain Biking at the 'Ring - a fat bloke's tale

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mtb nurburgring

As is usual for August, I've been flat out in the day job, renting cars, occasionally instructing and driving them and generally trying to make people's Nürburgring experiences as awesome as possible. It's not the best time of the year for my blogging efforts, as I barely get out on the track and I don't have much time for fun stuff. But it's about time for a bit of a personal blog post.

The racing is dominating my free time, in more ways than you might think.

Lighter race car drivers are faster race car drivers. That's my theory...

>> Read more, see the videos and photos, after the jump >>

In memory of Charly Csermak

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Charly, riding his big 1400 like a 600 a few days before his accident.

Big guy, bigger smiles. He was one of those people who always found the time to come over and say 'Hi'. Even if you were in a different country. He had the Nürburgring in his blood and motorcycles in his heart. He'll be missed by more people than I can count. I'm missing Charly already and he's only been gone a couple of days.

stelvioCharly passed away after an accident on the 'Ring last Saturday lunchtime. Like many motorcyclists before him he was the victim of a fluid spill.

He's not the first guy to meet his maker after a lap of the 'ring, and he certainly won't be the last. I'm not a masochist, the inherent danger of riding the 'Ring doesn't excite me.

It didn't excite Charly either, we spoke about it only a week before his tragic death. But what did excite him was the sheer thrill of riding his bike around the world's most beautiful and challenging racetrack. It's a feeling that even the fighter pilots envy as they fly through the heavens and look down on the little insect figures cascading around the racetrack below.

Nobody held a gun to Charly's head. Nobody forced him to ride his bike that day. And for that reason alone, I'm telling myself not to cry as I type this. But it's not working.

Charly loved his bikes, he loved travel and he loved making new friends. For him the whole of Europe was just outside his backdoor, with trips to the Stelvio and Lake Garda under the ZZR's back tyre already, and plenty more adventures planned for this summer.

cadwell

flyingI think he was a bit of a secret anglo-phile, to be honest. He was always bringing me his old copies of MCN, and pretty much refused to speak German with me. Though that could be because his English was excellent, and my German is pathetic...

His good friends at TAS in the UK recently became a second family, as he bought a ZX6R to keep over there. Just to enjoy some UK trackdays. The photo above was taken on his first visit to Cadwell, jumping the mountain like a pro. Though a quick scan through some of his older photos shows that Charly's ability to make motorcycles fly is something he's been working on for a while >>

I'm not going to go into the whys and wherefores of how Charly crashed, or how preventable his death was. Not yet. You can read the typically dry newspaper report here, if you want to.

I'd rather end this piece with a smile, which is exactly how I want to remember my friend Charly. With a smile.

charlyandme
Charley and me, with our winter jackets on.

CHARLY CSERMAK
1960-2012

COMPLETED: Last-minute repairs before the 24-hour

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This is the sight greeting those lucky drivers attending the 24-hour Rookie Training this morning at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Hard to believe that yesterday afternoon this was just a hole in the ground. German efficiency at work!

Photo by Claire (@ck277_) (www.nurburgring-photos.com)

Subcategories

  • Amusing/Amazing

    The place for the more irreverent articles...

    Article Count:
    51
  • News

    News direct from the Nordschleife.

    Article Count:
    92
  • Racing at the Ring

    In 2013, with the support of these sponsors and partners, BTG will race in the VLN series on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

    mx5 72

    nurburgring rental cars | trackdays.de |granturismo nurburgring | core logo 36

    KK Logo 36 

    In this section you'll find all the news, photos and videos from racing on the old 'Ring - the northloop!

    Article Count:
    87
  • Spy shots

     New cars and prototypes often test during industry pool here at the Nurburgring Nordschleife. You'll find photos and videos of them under this category.

    Article Count:
    60
  • Laptimes and Trackdays

    One of the best ways to experience the Nurburgring Nordschleife is in a private event or trackday. It's also one of the safest ways to time your laps. Without the pressure of a real race meeting, but with fewer dangerous traffic 'moments' than in touristenfahrt.

    BTG Laptimes by BTG Users | Fastest laps by production vehicles

    Article Count:
    60
  • Ring Reviews

    The Nurburgring Nordschleife is the world's toughest purpose-built race circuit. It's depended on countless manufacturers for testing and proving of both parts and cars.

    Here at BTG we will be offering reviews of both cars and parts tested to the limits on the Nordschleife.

    Article Count:
    12
  • Touristenfahrten

    Public driving or Touristenfahrten is the mainstay of the Nurburgring Nordschleife. In this section you'll find news, photos and videos from the TF sessions.

    Article Count:
    88
  • Motorcycles

     Here you can read all about bikes and the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

    Article Count:
    7
   

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