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Touratech Travel Time 03_2011_en

97 man Canadian team. The GS Trophy was a rumbustious romp across African lands: long frenetic days, typified by high speed dashes down sandy and dusty tracks, interspersed with intense special tests, some physical, some mental, some with bike, some without. Eight days of living and breathing Africa from the highly energised viewpoint of the saddle of a BMW F800GS. Team Canada had been totally immersed in the compe- tition. They hadn’t won, they hadn’t died trying, but – like every- one connected with the event – they’d lived every minute. And their experience, their stories, show in remarkable clarity how our world – particularly how we communicate with each other – has changed so much in recent years. While Dominique, Brian and their third team member Patrick (Horan) were battling their way through deep sands, dodging elephants, lions and such, back home their wives, families and communities joined them for every mile of the journey. “First off, whenever you’re involved with motorcycle events there are always things that can happen, so you always hope for the best,” explains Sofia. “But with the GS Trophy, despite being half a world away we also felt we were right with them. It was exciting following it on the internet; when the news up- dates would come through it was like a race between my friends and family to get to the news first. “I would hear from Conchita many times a day. She’s thousands of kilometres west of me but we became friends on Facebook and so we’d be sending each other messages, copying to each other the reports, links and videos. It was like a big family. Even the kids were mailing their friends letting all of their contacts know about Dad’s adventure. “My students were really excited that my husband was in the GS Trophy,” recalls high school teacher Conchita. “So it he team are relaxing in the grass beside the 500-year- old lodge. Brian is lying down, eyes closed, his head resting in Conchita’s caring arms, enjoying the warmth that is created by the pool of dappled sunlight that’s playing over his face. Dominique and Sofia are similarly relaxed, nearly as re- cumbent, talking gently, quietly, still very much admiring this in- credible wooden building that is so identifiably an icon of the Black Forest region. Behind them are parked their touring motor- cycles, doubling as clothes horses as they hang with discarded clothing and helmets. There is almost no sound. Maybe you can catch the whisper of the light breeze in the tall grasses, the occasional chime of a distant cow bell. We’re not sure if you could appreciate the same sense of tranquility by any other means. We’ll not claim exclusive access, but it helps to have ridden the motorcycle, worked with its weight, its power – explored the whole kinetic equation – so as to arrive at this level of appreciation. To have experienced the pressure of the airflow over your torso, to have smelled the variations in subtle floral scents hanging in the breeze, to have felt the sensual wash as the air runs hot then cool as you ride from the sunlight on the plains into the shadows of the forest. It is only after you have fully engaged all this movement, have danced to this eternal rhythm of the elements, that you can fully appreciate this not-moving. To know this tranquility. History All this is a long long way from the BMW GS Trophy competition held in South Africa last Novem- ber. Brian and Dominique were a part of that, two of the three- TT 2 2011 BLACK FOREST ON-ROAD We all know motorcycling is an international family but that doesn’t diminish the joy every time we come together. Given two days to explore the Black Forest this team of two Canadians, two Canadian-Portuguese, a German and a Brit found a unique harmony in time, place and company.