View Full Version : Rad Am Ring 2009

06-08-2009, 08:40 PM
WARNING: Our Rad Am Ring 2009 experience proved to be an absolutely manic couple of days so this Trip Report may prove to be a long one! In the interests of all, I will endeavour to be concise but realistically that’s probably not going to happen! Ah well, such is life! ;)


Team Leader -
Dave Boulder

Competitors -
Tim Hurford (Tim In Yorkshire)
Edward Cross (Crossie)
Garry Robson (Garry)
Tim Nicholas (Moff)
Andrew Stacey
Andy Carlile
Mike Solowiow (CaptSolo)
Rory O'Shea (Rory O)

Support Crew Chief -
Michaela Scheffner

Support Crew -
Sonja Martin (Fan-Stop, Adenau)
The extended Stacey Family
Nigel Pinder & Family

Chief Sponsors -
Michaela (Blaue Ecke Hotel, Adenau)
Martin & Heidi (Hotel Burgstube, Nurburg)

Thursday 30th July:

I was originally booked to fly out to the Ring today but then I found out that I had a 4hr exam for my course in Computer Aided Design this morning so plans had to be changed. The exam was fairly intense and the rest of my day was spent flat out with final preparations. Also had originally planned to drive out to Germany but after checking the Ferry schedules (or rather the unsuitability of same) from Ireland to France, flying was my only real option. This also meant inherent restrictions on the gear I could bring with me and some very, very creative packing. I got a delivery box from my local bike shop and had to dismantle the bike (wheels, handlebars, saddle and pedals off) to make it fit. I managed (amid much profanity polluting the air) to get most of my other bike gear into the box around the bike and sealed it up for it for it’s plane journey (which surprisingly was only E30 each way for the bike with Ryanair). I packed 2 bags and bunged the lot in the car ready for the morrow.

Friday 31st July - Day 1:

Up at 5am and after several cups off coffee and a banana (the breakfast of champions!), left the house in Cork at 6am. After a pleasantly brisk drive, I got to Kerry Airport (near Tralee) at shortly after 7am. The airport deserves a mention because, for me anyway, it was nearly a case of “If Carlsberg did Airports, this would be…”. I have flown through very many of the big airports in Europe but this one (being only a regional airport) was so neat and user-friendly, it was an utter joy! Seeing the position of the Control Tower in the photo below will give you an idea of how small the airport is! In the past I have flown to the Ring from Dublin but recently discovered that one of the 4 direct flights out of Kerry was to Frankfurt-Hahn! The walk from the longterm carpark to the terminal was only about 100m, the 6 check-in desks were just inside the main door, then through the arch on the right to security after which were the only 2 departure gates side-by-side. No headaches, no hassles, just easy! :thumb:


Left the drizzle of Kerry at 9:15am and landed in Frankfurt-Hahn at just after 12pm to warm sunshine and relief to find the bike and gear had arrived unmolested. One of the Northloop team, Mike (CaptSolo), had very kindly offered to meet me at the airport but I knew I would have to burn a few hours at the airport before he could make it so I used that time to read a book, ram a few more cups of coffee down my neck and check out the passing talent (it wasn’t at all bad actually!). I was quite apprehensive because here I was in Germany to do a 24hour endurance event and I had never personally met any of the team I was doing it with!! Then Mike arrived and the fun began. He’s a bloke who is nearly always smiling and we had a good laugh in the car on the way down to Nurburg. We headed straight to the G.H. (or maybe now D.D.?) carpark to meet up with the other guys on the team who were lapping feverishly in the only TF session of the weekend. Introductions were made, the weather was good and the vibe was great!
Met Nige for the first time as I sat into the pax seat of his Golf for the lap he was kind enough to take me out on. As we drove down towards the barrier, he asked me if I’d like him to talk during the lap or not, I replied “Nige, talk away boy!” What followed was an extremely clean but very quick lap, during which, Nige was an impressively fast but casual tourguide! He pointed out so many of the lines, turn-in and braking points of the track, only some of which I retained because I was enjoying the lap so much (sorry Nige :shame: ). Couldn’t believe the grip and stability of his Golf at speed, the car is definitely well sorted and he knows it insideout. Even when approaching the crest at Flugplatz, he said that the backend would kick out when taking the double apex right and, true to his word, out she went but his foot stayed welded to the floor throughout! Thanks for the lap Nige, loved it!


Also while chatting in the carpark, we spotted a little bit of panic at a BMW quite near us. A lady was tending to a young child in a carrier next to the car while the man was flitting around the car pulling different things out of the back seat. I thought at the time that maybe the child was feeling unwell and that the man was looking for something to make it more comfortable…… but no! It turns out they were a polish family on a driving holiday and had driven a considerable distance that day. All the father wanted was his 1st lap of the Ring but having been delayed, he was running tight on time. So he arrived into the carpark with haste, turfed the wife and child out of the car and emptied the back seat and boot onto the paviers before heading for the barriers, grinning cheekily as he drove past us :D . Michaela went over to talk to his wife who took it in good spirits and thought it all was quite funny! Maybe around 12 minutes later, we saw him drive back into the carpark having done a safe lap and all was well!


To my knowledge, most if not all of Team Northloop got a lap (either driven or pax) so it set us up nicely for the weekend ahead! When the TF session finished, we checked into our respective hotels and then all convened in the Burgstube for a big and delicious Pasta meal (with massive thanks to Martin & Heidi @ Burgstube :thumb: ) and team tactics meeting (ie. “so we really are going through with this then??”) Sitting behind us at the bar were a few people, one of whom was a girl whose frequent laughter seemed to me to engulf the room. This was Sonja Martin (N'Loop 'Sonja') who I subsequently met and whose infectious laugh and happy spirit indeed kept us laughing too for a lot of the weekend. Dale was also around for a bit but was gone again before I had the chance to meet him (Sorry Dale, would have liked to have met you). We sorted out many incidentals for the event and after finishing the huge feed and a pint of energy drink (I think it was called ‘Bitburger’ :fish: ), Moff & I headed for Adenau as we were the only ones staying in Blaue Ecke. We loaded his car with tables, benches and suchlike for our pit area the following morning and then hit the bar for 1 or 2 last ‘energy drinks’ before the big day! I went to bed that night feeling both huge excitement and nervousness for the challenge that lay ahead.
But this was it, it was finally happening!! :veryhappy:

07-08-2009, 12:19 AM
cracking read so far looking forward to the rest :)

07-08-2009, 07:03 AM
Good work Rory, look forward to reading the rest B)

07-08-2009, 08:50 AM
:veryhappy: good read :veryhappy:

07-08-2009, 02:04 PM
can you hear me laughing? :lol: :lol: :lol:

rally nice! waiting for more! :thumb:

07-08-2009, 06:02 PM
Thanks for comments guys :thumb:

I tell you, there's a lot more work in these Trip Reports than I realised!!

07-08-2009, 06:32 PM
Saturday 1st August – Day 2 - Race Day

After a fairly broken night’s sleep due to apprehension, got up at 7am and, after a lengthy shower (it was going to be probably 36hrs before I’d have another one!), enjoyed a hefty German breakfast. I always enjoy the breakfasts in German hotels, invariably more substantial than my usual hurried coffee and cereal back home! Met Moff at his car at around 8:30am and we headed for the Burgstube. There, we met up with the rest of the team and made further plans. Some of the lads cycled from there down to the Ring while Dave Boulder & I went back to the Blaue Ecke to get Moff’s and my bike, as there had been no room for them earlier in the Moff-mobile because of all the cargo we had loaded last night. With bikes on-board in Dave’s car, we all met at the GP track at the spot assigned to Team Northloop. It was on the inside of Turn 2, close to what I perceived to be the apex of the corner (although in a car, it could quite possibly be a double-apex left??).
We made the rookie mistake of not arriving early enough to stake our claim on the turf which allowed our neighbours on either side to liberally exploit the site boundaries :angry: . As we shoe-horned all our cars, tents and gear into a significantly reduced site, we collectively swore that that mistake would not be made again!! As the camp took shape, we had a welcome visit from 2 other Northloop members who were also out there to cycle the Ring, DaveSS and StuartE. I should apologise to them both because while they were there, I had to slip off to finish pumping my tyres (after deflating them for the flight) to make sure they were undamaged. My front tyre was fine but as I got the back tyre up to pressure, I heard 2 pops and subsequent hisses of air – 2 pin-hole punctures! My annoyance was such that I momentarily wished the pump was actually an explosives detonator and, looking at the pic below, it could well have been! I had to run up to the pits to buy a tube and didn’t see the 2 lads again. So sorry boys, didn’t mean to appear rude but hope you had as great a weekend as we did!


Camp Northloop erected (ie, a tarpauline tied between CaptSolo’s & Moff’s cars with the tables and tents behind:


With our camp sorted by around 11am, we got into our cycling gear and pinned our race numbers pinned to our jerseys (thanks Michaela ;) ). Then it was simply a case of loading in the energy food and waiting for the start! Andrew Stacey’s wife and parents were with us and as we all sat around chatting, the collective spirits were high!
Moff and I went off to cycle a lap of the GP circuit to warm up the legs and that only made me more excited about getting out onto the Ring. The start of the 24hr race was scheduled for 1:20pm so we all got ourselves and our bikes sorted to the intermittent click of camera shutters. We took a few team shots of Northloop Slackers but couldn’t get any of Northloop Masters due to CaptSolo being M.I.A. (ie. shopping in the different stalls up at the pits :lol: )

Northloop Slackers (not sure who thought of that teamname but it does seem unfair and inappropriate given the extraordinary efforts by all the Northloopers):


The legendary cyclist, ‘Stretch’ Armstrong (sorry Garry, I had to!):


“Hmmm…, what to wear on the bike?”


1pm rolled around and with the start in 20 minutes, Crossie headed up to the start line to get ready for the off. As Moff was getting himself sorted, I looked at the number on his jersey and saw my name on it (all of our race numbers had our names on them aswell)! “Eh…, that’s my jersey you’re wearing mate!” After the necessary changes were made, he arrived up to a very full starting line! The race started with much spectacle and our first 2 riders, Crossie (Slackers) and Moff (Masters), both got off the line with great enthusiasm.

The Start:



Eyes on the road Crossie!:


This chap seemed to think that it was a 24second race rather than 24hour :lol: :


As we stood at our pits and watched the leading pack fly past, their pace was incredible! Amid the cheering, you could hear the whizzing sound of very many slim bike tyres gripping the track surface as they passed:


So the race was on, all there was to do now was settle into a routine for the next 24 hours. I was up next after Moff for the NL Masters and my excitement and nervousness were mounting in equal measure. I had mentally visualised cycling the Ring countless times over the last few months and at this point, I was chomping at the bit to get out there! The circuit we were doing is hopefully clear to see here (follow the purple line from turn 3 of the GP track up to join the Nordschleife at T13):


Moff arrived back and after a quick transponder switch done by Tim in Y (the laps done by all competitors and teams were tracked by the race organisers using a GPS transponder worn around the ankle of the rider), I was off on my 1st bike lap of the Ring. Most of you reading this will have very good knowledge of the track (most probably better than mine) but try to imagine it, section by section, on a bike!! The circuit only included only 3 corners of the GP track after which, the route took us up through the huge carpark at the back of the pits buildings to rejoin the GP track just before Coca-Cola Kurve where we cut across onto T13 and off for a full lap of the Ring.

On my laps, I used to always really sprint from start up to T13 just to get the legs going because, after that, there wasn’t a huge amount of work to be done until Bergwerk. It was just all fast fun – very quick carving a clean line from T13 down through Hatzenbach, with it's helpful cambers, and Hocheichen and up Quiddelbacher-H to Flugplatz with a bit of pedalling up to the crest. Then fast down through Schwedenkreuz, down around Aremberg with it’s hardcore camber helping all the way. Down into the Foxhole for the quickest speed of the circuit (I got 90kmph here but Tim in Yorkshire did better with 93kmph IIRC, no joke on a pushbike!!) Absolutely brilliant rush and momentum carried us a surprising bit up the climb out of Foxhole and then power-pedalling up to Adenauer-Forst after which was another downhill rush! Metgesfeld and Kallenhard without touching the brakes and then braking for Wehrseifen before the sweet flat-out run down through Breidscheid to Exmuhle. Had to pedal again coming up to the crest and then through Lauda-Links onto Bergwerk, a section which contains a lot more uphill than one might think! I thought before that it was largely downhill because it feels it in a car but definitely not so! Tried to carry maximum momentum into Bergwerk to help with the initial climb out of it and NOW the work begins!!





The long drag up Kesselchen is ferociously tough, with many riders getting off to walk even on their first lap (I’m glad to say that I didn’t dismount once in the 24hrs)! The gradient keeps changing so it’s very hard to find a solid rhythm and, because it goes on for so long, it’s really hard to know how far left to the top! Finally you get through Klostertal and, after a very brief and slight downhill, it actually continues to climb to Steilstrecke (that bit always felt downhill to me in a car). Up to the Karussel, through which, I always stayed on the high side because by ½ way round it starts to fall downhill which helps momentum for Hohe-Acht. Dear God, Hohe Acht really is vicious because the legs are goosed after the Kesselchen climb so H.E. feels like you’re climbing a wall! It’s all you can do to stay moving in the easiest gear as you approach the crest but luckily there was a Refueling Station (ie. food & drink) just after it. Mr. Andrew Stacey grew exceedingly fond of the waffles available here as was intimated in another thread!
Then the high speed fun begins again! Hedwigshohe and though Wippermann, carving a nice racing line and carrying good speed, a bit of high-gear pedalling out of Wipperman 2 (I think) and onto Eschbach and through Brunnchen at a healthy pace. More pedal grind on the approach to Pflantzgarten and then quick down over the drop and carry as much speed for the run through PF2 and on up to Schwalbenschwanz. A bit of climbing to be done from Schschw through Mini Karussel and up to Galgenkopf, out of which you find yourself staring down the main straight which initially seems to keep going to the horizon line. In reality, I didn’t find it too bad as the early slight downhill is quite agreeable. As you start to approach the T.F. carpark the climb kicks in and it’s a hard grind all the way up to the Bilstein Bridge at Antoniusbuche. That bridge was the point in our laps where we all used to either text or ring Michaela to let her know that we weren’t far away and let her get the next rider ready. Then the drop down through Tiergarten to build speed for the climb up Hohenrain and towards the Main Straight. It’s funny how, after the event, we all said that we would get a 2nd wind as we got onto the main straight and would power down over the start/finish line as we knew we were close to home!

So there it is, a lap of the Nurburgring on a racing bike recounted as well as I can manage!

07-08-2009, 06:50 PM
Good to see you again Rory, loving your write up so far by the way :thumb:

I must admit you all did better than I expected you to.

Personally I loved the weekend, managed 4 laps with just fuel stops in 5h 10m, got soaked to the skin or i'd have done more.

07-08-2009, 07:54 PM
A man of few words as always Rory :P

Great write up so far - you've really captured the excitement :thumb:

Looking forward to the rest...

07-08-2009, 10:25 PM
Cheers Stuart :thumb:

Hope I didn't appear rude to you guys but I had a bit of a tyre emergency as I said in my report! Pity we didn't get to meet after the race for a celebratory brew or 2 but that's just the way it went! Thanks for your comments and regards to Dave T. Will be doing the Rad again next year, absolutely hooked!!


07-08-2009, 10:43 PM
Originally posted by Hippychick@Aug 7 2009, 07:54 PM
A man of few words as always Rory :P
:lol: ;) :thumb:

Thanks for the kind words H.!
I'm doing the Rad report in my own inimitable style so therefore I have to do it in stages so as to stave off fatigue! You know how it is (or rather how I am) ;)
Should be ready for the next installment by the morrow! :D

07-08-2009, 11:15 PM
Wait till you drive it again.

Got a quick lap in on Wednesday in an Alfa 75, with only 148PS. I think my legs relived the pain when I tried to accelerate up Kesselchen and Klostertal. The car (and my lungs) screamed as it went up Hohe Acht.

Rad am Ring changes your whole perspective when you get back in the car, and it helps your line a lot.

I think its funny though, I feel more connected with the track in a car, and not the bike. The bike seems almost isolated, and the track to big and daunting, like Mothra waiting to sweep you into nothingness.

Looking forward to the rest of the write up Rory. You are doing a fantastic job thus far!

Dave B
08-08-2009, 09:39 AM
Great read so far Rory. Looking forward to the concluding part...and then Episode 2, 2010 !!

08-08-2009, 10:24 AM
As I read, you know the sections now very well! ;) :lol:

08-08-2009, 11:08 AM
I think you had enough break now... :whistle:
Can´t wait to read more :thumb:

Dave B
08-08-2009, 05:03 PM
Where's the rest O'Shea !!!

Drums fingers on laptop impatiently..... :whistle: :lol:

Dave SS
08-08-2009, 05:43 PM
no need to apologise Rory mate, we knew you had all kinds to sort out :thumb:

interesting write up, keep it coming.

08-08-2009, 10:04 PM
(Tried to edit previous Day 2 post to finish but the NL system wouldn't allow me, saying "you have posted too many photo's"? :fish: )

Saturday 1st August - Day 2 (continued)

One of our crew had a very artistic eye for photography (you know who you are and we applaud your fine work :thumb: ):





By this stage, we had settled into our regime of 1 lap on, 3 laps off so we used our down time to relax, refuel and recharge. We had a more-than-adequate stock of food and drink (again with huge thanks to the one and only Michaela) in our camp but, individually it was a case of cleverly timing our eating so we got the energy release when we were next in the saddle again. There was pasta and soup on the boil pretty much constantly and we had a massive stock of water, chocolate, fruit and Gummi Bears so as to offer the perfectly balanced diet :D ! Usually between my laps, I used to take a wander up to the main pits for a while to check our positions on the leaderboard in the Event Centre, browse through the various vendor stalls and check out the female talent which was abundant and impressive for the most part! The structure of the new Ring Rollercoaster presented an impressive presence, looming menacingly over the main straight and I dearly wished that it was open and functional because I really wanted a go:


As we sat around chatting while Crossie was out on his third lap, Michaela received a phonecall and we could see from her face that it was not good!! Crossie had come off his bike at the Kleiner Karussel and had to be recovered by the event’s medical support :o ! When he fell, he hit his head on the road, cracked his helmet and skidded along the road on his back :( . It was he himself who rang Michaela from the Ambulance and, from what I could hear from her side of the conversation, I reckon that he was possibly semi-concussed at the time. Michaela asked him “are you in the ambulance?” to which he repeatedly replied “no, I’m in a car with flashing blue lights!”. I think that this news gave us all a shock, not only for our obvious concern for his safety but I think it brought it home to us all that we were out there lapping the Ring on bikes, at quite high speed at times, and we were all courting a possibly nasty accident! Sonja gladly rushed up to meet him in the medical centre and went with him to the hospital in Adenau where he had to get stitches. Her german obviously helped mediating in the situation and I know that Crossie hugely appreciated her being there in support. We had a little bit of commotion trying to retrieve the transponder Crossie was wearing when he fell off (for the next rider to wear) and retrieving his bike but I know that a certain Northloop member, Rene Graff, was a huge help in expediting this procedure (Big thanks to Rene for his help!). Crossie arrived back to our camp later in the afternoon and, although he was obviously very sore, he had a big smile on his face and his spirits were good! A photo taken of him in the hospital exists on another Northloop thread but I hope he won’t mind me putting this up to give you an idea of the pain he endured:



By now our system was working like a well-oiled machine and the transfer of the transponder at rider changeover was efficiently brisk. As said earlier, we all used to contact Michaela when passing under the Bilstein Bridge so that the next rider was always ready with another team member ready to make the transponder switch. As illustrated in the photos below, after a hasty stop (and before my back wheel hits the ground) Garry is straight for the transponder to make the switch to the waiting CaptSolo:



The hours and the laps rolled by and every one of us was really enjoying the experience, so much so that when I look back on it all, there are periods of time and sections of the laps which I can’t remember very clearly because of my own euphoria and elation to be doing what we were doing at that time! Thankfully some great photo’s were taken to capture many sights and moments:

Our Team Jersey with Sponsors (flying the flag for Northloop :thumb: ):


As close as I can get to the requisite N'Loop Trip Report 'watch shot' (hope this is adequate Mr. Stacey ;) ) :


Really like this action shot:


Check out this hero:


Not sure how they finished but these guys were impressively quick:


Andy Carlile getting ready for action:


Me on the high side of the Karussel:


CaptSolo in the Karussel, still smiling:


Moff in the Karussel - "please, no pictures!":


"Oh... go on then.":


If only we had known that this style of slipstreaming was permitted...:


Dave Boulder having a 'Baywatch' moment:


Me with ill-concealed joy after completing another lap:


As nightfall approached, we all individually readied ourselves for the experience of competitively cycling the great track in the dark. Personally I was very apprehensive, would my bike lights be adequate out there in the Eifel mountain, particularly in the quick downhill sections with no other illumination and where one’s riding line was critical? What would I do if I had a puncture or mechanical problem somewhere out there in the darkness, far from the pits??


After dark, our lapping continued regardless and we had all elected to do double lap stints so as to allow those not out on track more time to try to get a decent few hours sleep. This system worked fine for our NL Masters team but didn't prove possible for the NL Slackers as they were a man down after Crossie's accident. All they could do was keep the laps rolling as best they could which they did brilliantly! Sleep was grabbed whenever and wherever possible but we were all buzzing so it was difficult to relax enough to doze off. Ultimately tiredness won over and sleep was had:

The Moff Motel:


CaptSolo's Audi Accomodation -


Day 3 to follow ASAP

08-08-2009, 10:18 PM
Brilliant so far :thumb:

09-08-2009, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by Rory O@Aug 8 2009, 10:04 PM
One of our crew had a very artistic eye for photography (you know who you are and we applaud your fine work :thumb: ):

And one tip: It was not me :whistle:

09-08-2009, 10:13 AM
Billiant write up Rory B)

09-08-2009, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by Dave Boulder@Aug 8 2009, 05:03 PM
Where's the rest O'Shea !!!

Drums fingers on laptop impatiently..... :whistle:* :lol:
My, my... tough crowd! :lol:

Thanks for comments guys :thumb:
Sorry that it's a drawn-out process but there's a lot of writing involved while also
sifting through over 1300 photo's from the weekend. :blink:
Thanks for your continued interest, just doing Day 3 at the moment.


09-08-2009, 12:43 PM
Originally posted by Rory O+Aug 9 2009, 10:28 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Rory O @ Aug 9 2009, 10:28 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Dave Boulder@Aug 8 2009, 05:03 PM
Where&#39;s the rest O&#39;Shea &#33;&#33;&#33;

Drums fingers on laptop impatiently..... :whistle:* :lol:
My, my... tough crowd&#33; :lol:

Thanks for comments guys :thumb:
Sorry that it&#39;s a drawn-out process but there&#39;s a lot of writing involved while also
sifting through over 1300 photo&#39;s from the weekend. :blink:
Thanks for your continued interest, just doing Day 3 at the moment.

R [/b][/quote]
Looking forward to it :rolleyes:

Dave B
09-08-2009, 02:06 PM
Most of the photos were actually of either really interesting bicycles or a section of the track I specifically wanted to examine...then some bird would saunter or cycle into view just as I clicked... :whistle:

If for no other reason than what can be seen in some photos above....I WILL be back next year...cycling or not. :thumb:

09-08-2009, 02:31 PM
Sunday 2nd August – Day 3 – Still Racing

12 midnight came and went and we were into the 2nd day of the Race. Darkness put a whole new perspective on the track and complex and gave a real feeling of surreality to proceedings:



When we encouraged Michaela to slip away home for a nights sleep, she was having none of it. She insisted that she was staying with us through the night and incredibly she did just that&#33; What a legend :thumb: &#33; As I said earlier, we endeavoured to do double lap sessions in the darkness but, given the increased difficulty in this and the uncertainty of how well we would each manage, we agreed to stop off back at the pits after our 1st lap of the 2 to see how we were feeling and confirm to the others that we were staying out to do the 2nd lap. I’m glad to say that everyone who attempted a double lap session completed it successfully. My night session came at around 2:30am (if I recall correctly) so when Moff finished his stint, the transponder was switched and I pedalled out into the darkness.



Cycling the Ring at night was a simply awesome experience. The bunches of competitors out on track had thinned out considerably at this stage so there were times when one was alone in the darkness with no other bike lights in sight. The fast downhill sections in the 1st ½ of the lap were beyond enjoyable but there was a lot of blind faith involved. With my merely moderate knowledge of the track, it was an incredible feeling to barrel down into the fast sections (eg. through Aremberg and down through the Foxhole, Kallenhard, Miss-Hit-Miss, Wehrseifen to Breidscheid, etc.) with the only illumination available coming from the weedy light on the handlebars. Where the more extreme cambers existed, you simply had to trust them at high speed, trying to spot the apex in the dark and carry a smooth racing line at fairly high speed. I was reading anywhere from 50 – 70kmph on my speedo for a lot of the 1st half of the lap. The organisers had set up a speed trap on the drop down the Foxhole and there was a big bright display board on the right approaching the bottom to tell you your speed. I was getting close to 90kmph down there and it was an unbelievable rush&#33; I used to arrive down to Breidscheid totally buzzing but knowing that the long climb up Kesselchen was only a few corners away.

Kesselchen was quite strange at night because, when you looked around, the trees on either side felt quite close and seemed to really dwarf us on our little pushbikes. The night sky was very dimly illuminated and the whole thing felt surreal. I think that long climb felt a little easier at night because, as you couldn’t see very far ahead, you had no visual frame of reference so you just had to keep the head down and keep the pedals turning at all costs. It was very draining and as the Karussel approached, the legs were really throbbing. Next the climb up Hohe Acht which was close to torture at this stage but at least the refuelling station was just over the crest. During the night, even more people were walking this last bit but I still stubbornly (and probably stupidly) refused. After a 60second stop at the refuelling point for a shot of apple juice and a cereal bar (on average, I was going through 2 litres of fluid per lap, which was as much as my bottle cages would accommodate) , it was on with the rest of the lap. I must also say that people who were manning the refuelling station were fantastic, they were there right through the night and were in good spirits throughout&#33; They also had their challenges, one of which was to keep a healthy stock of Waffles available so as to keep Andrew Stacey happy&#33; :whistle: :D

After refuelling there was some more blind faith employed with fast cambered sections like Wippermann, Eschbach and Brunnchen through which you had to again trust the track at speed in the darkness and try to hold a clean racing line. Planzgarten and PF2 were really nice and on through the next few corners up to the long straight. This felt similar to Kesselchen for me because, as there was no visibility by night, you weren’t conscious of how very far the straight strectched out ahead of you. Again it was a case of keeping the head down and pounding through it. On the climb up to the Bilstein Bridge, I didn’t bother to text Michaela as I was going around again so suffered the climb up Hohenrain and up to GP Main Straight. When I got back around to our pits (at sometime around 3:30am), I found everyone asleep for the only time I can remember (although Michaela claimed afterwards that she was actually awake?). Mike was the next rider up after me and I found him asleep face-down on one of the benches. I gently tapped his shoulder and he woke with a horrified look on his face :blink: . “Relax” I said, “I’m just finished my first lap and going back out now for my second&#33;”. He smiled a relieved smile as his eyes closed again. Back out on the track for another hugely enjoyable lap but one which proved to be my slowest lap of the Race at around 59 minutes. As I climbed up Kesselchen and through Klostertal, I got a bit of a fright as I could hear my heart beating loudly in my left ear&#33; Time to stop for a minute so I pulled up on the outside of Steilstrecke next to the armco. I stayed on the bike with just a hand on the armco for a few minutes as my heart relaxed a little and then on with the rest of the lap. I texted Michaela at the Bridge and when I got back around to the pits, Mike was ready to take over. As I had crossed the Start/Finish line it started to lightly rain so I felt a bit guilty handing over to Mike. Getting off the bike I was on a real high after safely cycling the Ring at night and Michaela quoted me later as simply saying “that was f*@&#036;%£g brilliant&#33;” An unforgettable experience and one which I’m itching to do again&#33;


While Mike was out after me, we were dealt a sudden and hearty blast of rain with thunder and lightening thrown on in healthy measure. I was dozing in a chair and we had a bit of a scramble to get everything and everyone under the cover of the tarpauline. The rain stayed with us and then Michaela’s phone rang at around 5am. It was Mike to say that he had come off the bike at Hohe Acht. I think that fatigue got the better of him at the worst moment and he lost all forward momentum on the steepest climb of the track. He fell onto the wet grass and slid down the hill on his backside :o :D . We obviously got a fright back at pits but he said he was ok to keep going and that he was going to take it easy for the rest of the lap. A while later he arrived back to us, safe and sound and still smiling&#33; Lapping continued through the darkness and eventually the morning sun began to appear. I was asleep at this stage getting the only decent few hours sleep I got for the whole event and when I got up around 9am, Mr & Mrs Stacey and Andrew’s Wife had arrived back to us and had brought breakfast. Around the same time Dave Boulder arrived also bringing stuff for breakfast. Everyone was awake now and the atmosphere was great&#33;


Soon after I had arisen, I was back on the bike for what was to be my final lap so I pushed it fairly hard to get another 52minute lap IIRC. While I was out, Andrew Stacey’s Dad volunteered to do a lap on Andrew’s bike for the Slacker’s team. It was a very welcome offer because, being a man down after Crossie’s accident, the lads were under more pressure to keep the laps rolling. They had kept going brilliantly but were very glad of the help at that stage. So Mr Stacey set off with great excitement I believe and to his absolute credit, he put in a very fast laptime. I didn’t have a chance to find out how it went for him but here he is looking fresh at the Karussel:



Great Father & Son teamwork here:


Around mid-morning, Nigel Pinder and Family arrived back to cheer us on some more. Here’s Nige feeling the tension:



Mat & Cat Pinder checking out the Moff Motel:


As lunchtime approached, we began to prepare for the race finish which was due to occur at around 1:20pm. The last riders for both teams were Mike and Andy Carlile so, while they were out on their last laps, the rest of us geared up to cross the finish line as a group. With all our team gear on, we headed up to the GP Main straight and headed back the track towards Hohenrain as far as the entry road to the old pits. There we waited for the 2 lads to arrive as we would hopefully see them coming from the Dottinger Straight. Next thing Mike appeared from the GP complex, he had crossed the line before we had got up here so when he got around to the pits, they sent him up to us. After a few minutes, Andy Carlile approached us on the end of his lap so we all rode up to the finished straight in a group. We lined up in formation across the track and crossed the line, it was a quite a moment&#33; There were many cameras poised to capture the moment:

Team Northloop complete the Rad Am Ring 24hour 2009 -





Medal received :thumb: :


My only regret is that I didn’t have the presence of mind at the time to tell Crossie to get his gear on and cross the line with us as he more than deserved to do. But things were happening so fast I simply didn’t think of it (sorry Ed).
We were cheered across the line by the whole crew (Crossie, Dave Boulder, Michaela, Sonja, etc) and we all received our medals just after the finish line, what a great feeling&#33; :veryhappy: We went into the GP Pitlane to meet up with the others and we all enjoyed a complimentary and celebratory bottle of Erdinger:





Not sure what&#39;s going on here but... Caption Competition anyone?? :D


While we were there, 2 of the team slipped back up to the finishline with a semi-spoof story so as to illicit a few extra medals for more than deserving members of our crew – Crossie, Dave Boulder, Michaela and Andy Stacey’s Dad. They can be seen here worn with pride:



More to come... ;)

09-08-2009, 03:12 PM
Wonderful words Rory... Keep &#39;em coming B)

09-08-2009, 03:14 PM
Cracking report, really enjoying it :thumb:

09-08-2009, 04:04 PM
Keep on going Rory... Really nice report... Can´t wait for more :thumb:

Maybe I should mention I was not the one who snore whilst "sitting" in his chair :whistle:


09-08-2009, 05:04 PM
What a cracking read Rory. Thanks for typing it all up&#33;


09-08-2009, 06:36 PM
Sunday 2nd August - Day 3 (continued)

So after 24 hours of cycling and out of over 600 teams entered, Northloop Masters and Northloop Slackers both completed over 20 laps and finished in positions 393 and 396 respectively. Official results at the end of the race can be seen here:


Now all that was left to do was to go back to our pits, strip it down and pack it up. With everyone pitching in, this didn’t take very long.




Tim in Yorkshire testing the stitching of our jerseys :D :


Then things started to get a little whacky :lol: :


With the cars packed solidly, most of the team decided to cycle from the GP track back up to the Burgstube hotel where we were all to next meet up. I must say that, personally, I felt a tiny bit emotional cycling out of the Ring complex after the marathon event we had all endured and enjoyed but the cycle up the hill from Nurburg to the hotel soon sorted that out.

Sonja left the GP track on Crossie’s bike taking the opportunity to train for her bike-lap next year:


Michaela knew exactly how to greet us when we got up to the hotel:


Well earned beers all round:



We chilled out at the Burgstube and recounted the last two days with laughter and relief while finally enjoying some comfort food which was Currywurst & Chips (kindly supplied by Crossie ). Then it was off for a long shower and a rest before meeting up again later at the Blaue Ecke for a celebration dinner. The meal was really enjoyable but, to be honest, the tiredness of all present was massive at this stage so, to any onlookers, we probably seemed like a bunch of bumbling idiots. After the dinner most of the group had to head off back to their respective accommodation and pack for the journey home in the morning. So laughter was shared and goodbyes were said until it was just Moff, Sonja and I left in the bar. Moff and myself were the only 2 of the group that were staying in the Blaue Ecke so we afforded ourselves the luxury of relaxing over a few more beers and having a good laugh with Sonja who stayed with us in the bar until around 11:30pm. Then off to bed for a well-earned decent night’s sleep&#33; :thumb:

More to come... ;)

09-08-2009, 07:53 PM
Monday 3rd August - Day 4 – My Last Day

I had allowed myself an extra day at the Nurburgring today to chill out and recover from the weekends mania which, in retrospect, was a great call&#33; After a great night’s sleep and a big breakfast, I left the Blaue Ecke on foot to have a stroll around Adenau town. Called to see Sonja in the Fan-Stop and she gave me a tour of her house across the street which was under heavy construction (see http://z8.invisionfree.com/Northloop/index...howtopic=20649) (http://z8.invisionfree.com/Northloop/index.php?showtopic=20649)). Did a bit of shopping and headed up to the T.F. carpark around lunchtime to see what was happening. There was a driver training day on and there was very tasty machinery lined up along the main straight, including around 20 Weismanns which I had never seen in the flesh before:

Absolutely gorgeous:




Mr Weismann’s Weismann (with an M5 engine pushing out the guts of 600bhp&#33;):



Matt Black M3:


I had lunch in the Devil’s Diner using one of the new Ringcards and the food was actually quite good&#33; When all the cars headed out onto the track after lunch, I went down to Breidscheid, got a big bag of junk food in Lidl and spent the afternoon spectating at various corners while eating junk (my training for the Rad was over so I could finally treat myself like hell again&#33;) Was interesting to watch the driver training and a lot of the cars involved sounded glorious.




Saw this in the Lidl carpark in Breidscheid B) :



It was really enjoyable just to chill out around the track after all the madness of the weekend had ended and spent a lovely afternoon in the sunshine. Then back to the Blaue Ecke and had dinner in the bar with Michaela. Then all that was left to do was pack up all my gear and get everything ready for my flight back to Ireland the following morning. As I said in another NL thread, it typified Michaela’s support that, after dinner, she came down to the basement of the hotel to help me disassemble the bike and box it up for it’s return flight home&#33;

So that’s it&#33; Our Rad am Ring 2009 adventure had ended and it truly was an amazing experience. For any of you reading this who would ever consider competing in the Rad 24hr in 2010, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough as an incredible event and a great achievement&#33; A lot of training and preparation required but all far more than worth it&#33; A memory that will last a lifetime and plans are already gathering pace for our Northloop team of 8 to compete again in 2010&#33;

Before I sign off, I would like to say a couple of sincere Thank You’s:

Dave Boulder – massive thanks for having the initial idea of a Northloop Team for the Rad 2009, for all your superb organisation and work throughout the months in putting everything in place and for travelling out to support us for the weekend even though you sadly couldn’t join us on your bike, next year mate&#33; I thank you sincerely again on behalf of all the lads&#33; :thumb:

All Team Northloop members – a fantastic bunch of lads who rallied together brilliantly and made the weekend the unforgettable experience that it was&#33; Well done to you all on our collective achievement&#33; :thumb:

Michaela Scheffner (of the Blaue Ecke Hotel, Adenau) – your support throughout the weekend by far exceeded any of our expectations and you really became probably the most important member of the team&#33; You kept us going in every possible way ( with accommodation, food, organisation and discipline) throughout the 24hours and for everything you did, I thank you most sincerely on behalf of us all&#33; :thumb:

To all others who supported us, a big Thank You –
Martin & Heidi @ Burgstube, who helped with team accommodation and great pasta meals. :thumb:
Sonja Martin @ Fan-Stop, Adenau, who helped hugely with support and laughter. :thumb:
The Stacey Family, who stuck with us throughout the weekend and for Mr Stacey even doing a lap for us. :thumb:
Nige Pinder & Family, spent a lot of time with us trackside in support (and for the paxlaps in Nige’s Golf). :thumb:
Mr. Rene Graff (who was a massive help both in the event office and with loads of helpful info in Northloop threads in the lead up to the event). :thumb:

If there is anyone I have forgotten (and I’m sure there probably is), I do aplogise&#33;
Also, sorry for any inaccuracies in the report, it was all done from memory so I might be allowed a few mistakes&#33;

Now I’m done……..…at least until 2010&#33; :wave:

09-08-2009, 08:10 PM
Thanks to all who read the report and posted comments on this thread.
Appreciated :thumb:

09-08-2009, 08:14 PM
Wow Rory, that&#39;s an epic report....thanks for taking the time to write it :thumb:

09-08-2009, 08:38 PM
Thanks for taking the time to write it up...

I&#39;ll convert it into a PDF and send out to the team B)

09-08-2009, 08:43 PM
Good work Rory :thumb:

I&#39;ll send you my pics when I get round to downloading them

09-08-2009, 09:41 PM
Great read and well done to all involved :veryhappy:

Dave B. How much was raised for charity in the end?

10-08-2009, 06:11 AM
Rory, thanks for taking the time to write these great report...

And a big thanks to all involved Team Northloop 2009 for al really great weekend, I really enjoyed it...

I met nice people I never met before, I had lots of good laughs, had a propper sunburn on my nose, learned what to buy for a bunhc of lads like to cycle for 24h and how many stuff can fit in a little 206cc

So alltogether a unforgettable weekend&#33;&#33;&#33;
Can´t wait for 2010&#33;&#33;&#33;

@Simon: Thanks for remind that, I think we all been so exhated that weekend that we totally forgot about that... I keep hold of 250,00 Euro, mostly money from guests I spoke about what we doing... thanks to all of them

Dave B
10-08-2009, 08:08 AM
Great stuff Rory. Top report mate. :thumb:

Simon...erm rather embarrassingly...about £120 direct to me/paypal from NL site.

I&#39;ll be bold and say it here...I was incredibly disappointed in the fundraising response from the site. I appreciate times are hard and people have to prioritise but the price of a single beer off one of &#39;our&#39; annual £500 to £1000 weekend trips to the &#39;Ring would go a long long way...hey ho. You live and learn ;)

Michaela, will call in to see you next week and add our newly converted sterling to the pile to pay into the Bank Acct....

Big thanks to those who came up trumps. :thumb:

Tim in Yorkshire
10-08-2009, 08:53 AM
A great write up Rory :thumb:

Thanks for putting the time and effort in.

10-08-2009, 12:47 PM
Rory, as someone who has written the odd report, I can fully appreciate how long that must have taken you to write. Not only do you capture the whole excitement of the weekend, but you make it an enjoyable read too.

Very well done and thank you for taking the time to post it up :thumb:

Everyone involved did a stunning job and I take my hat off to you all.

Glad you enjoyed the laps too :thumb:

10-08-2009, 12:55 PM
Cracking report :D

10-08-2009, 04:42 PM
Thanks to you all for the kind words, really glad you enjoyed it&#33; :thumb:
It took me a while to do but I got there in the end ;)

Moff - got your PDF via email. Many thanks for that, fair play man :thumb:

Andy Stacey - cheers mate, looking forward to seeing your photo&#39;s and will try to sneak a few into the report, via edit&#33; :thumb:

Nige - very kind comments, appreciated&#33; Enjoy your continued stay out there&#33; :thumb:

Stace the Elder
11-08-2009, 06:48 AM
Great reports Rory, more of a marathon than the actual event&#33;
My time was 1min 04, but wouldn&#39;t have liked to have to repeat it 5 times in 24 hours, hard to over-estimate the effort put in by both teams.
Thanks very much for "acquiring" the extra medals, it was very touching indeed.
Fantastic experience to ride the ring, would thoroughly recommend it to anyone.
Andy&#39;s Dad(Chris)

11-08-2009, 10:00 PM
Originally posted by Stace the Elder@Aug 11 2009, 06:48 AM
Thanks very much for "acquiring" the extra medals, it was very touching indeed.
Chris, it was a pleasure and it was well deserved, Moff also played his part though ;)

1hr 04mins is a really impressive time for an unplanned lap, very well done :thumb:

Thanks for your comments, a great weekend was had by all&#33;

Jim Cameron
12-08-2009, 12:23 AM
Great report Rory. Well done all :thumb:

12-08-2009, 08:54 AM
+1 Great report and a huge well done to all :thumb:

12-08-2009, 08:50 PM
Cheers Jim C & Floyd,
glad you enjoyed it&#33; :thumb:

29-08-2009, 10:26 PM
One thing I omitted to do in the report, and this is to my lasting shame......

Massive Thanks to our photographers in the team (whose photo&#39;s were used in the report) - Dave Boulder, Michaela Scheffner, Moff, Tim in Yorkshire, etc...

I got over 1300 photo&#39;s from the event via email in one file to use for the report so I don&#39;t know who took which photo but you know who are and I thank you&#33;&#33;

R :thumb:

Dave B
30-08-2009, 12:18 PM
Most of mine had the female form on them.... :whistle:
They kept getting in my shots, ruining a view of a roller coaster/field/bit of tarmac.... :lol:

30-08-2009, 06:09 PM
Fantastic thread & team, never even realised this happened at the Ring.

01-09-2009, 10:25 PM
Cheers fthaimike (or maybe Mike) :thumb:

Ya, it was an incredible event and if you&#39;re interested for next year, submissions can be made here:
http://z8.invisionfree.com/Northloop/index...showtopic=21107 (http://z8.invisionfree.com/Northloop/index.php?showtopic=21107)

02-10-2009, 07:50 PM
For anyone who&#39;s interested, here&#39;s an official video I just found on YouTube which gives a good impression of what the Rad &#39;09 event was like&#33; The commentary is obviously in German but you still get the vibe -



Tim in Yorkshire
02-10-2009, 08:15 PM
Happy memories :D

Started commuting on the bike again, doing 112 km/week at the moment, I&#39;ll step up the home runs a couple of times a week and push it out to 150-200. I hope to keep commuting through winter, this is saving me afortune in petrol, so much so I&#39;m buying a 2nd motorbike, I&#39;m an eco warrioress&#39; dream date :P