This year’s ISDE marked the second time I’ve been on assignment in Germany. The first was a World Motocross GP in Teutschenthal in 2009, and I enjoyed both trips. The food is excellent; the people are friendly and you can drive as fast as you dare on the autobahn. The German beer is just icing on the cake.
This year’s event was based at the famous Sachsenring Motor Racing Circuit in Saxony, and it made for a great setting for the paddocks, with all its amenities. From there, the riders ventured out each day on a 100-mile-plus course that looped through the local towns and into the neighboring farms and woodlands. Each day, six to eight special tests served to rank the riders according to speed, although the transfer trails did their part in weeding out the weaklings.
The memory that made the biggest impression on me was from the small town of Zschopau where the old MZ factory still stands, although now it houses a motorcycle museum and a bowling alley. This part of the country used to be East Germany and it doesn’t seem as modern as Berlin or Munich, or maybe it’s because the buildings just seemed older, though they are well kept and clean. The town seemed like something out of an old WWII movie, with the very narrow streets and sidewalk vendors. On days three and four, the course took the riders right through the main part of the town and they intermixed with the local traffic, making for a few traffic jams twice a day at rush hour.
Here are a few of my favorite photos from the trip. Please enjoy. – Shan Moore