The Nordschleife

The Nordschleife, otherwise known as Nurburgring is a historic track that has a fantastic and ominous past. For most true gear heads it would have to be a destination they will get to some point in their lives.

In reality the Nurburgring is the name of the entire track while Nordschleife is the name given to the original loop of the track that was built in the 1920’s. The track winds around the Nurburg Castle and travels for over 20 km before returning to what is now a “modern” race track that from time to time hosts Formula 1 races.

So why the mystique? The track is possibly the last permanent example of the original racing circuit. Prior to purpose made tracks auto races went from one town to the next. The Isle of Man TT still does this every year on public roads that are closed off but starting in the 1920’s this began to be considered to be dangerous and so race tracks began to be built.

After World War 2 the track remained and hosted professional races up until the late 1970’s until it was considered to be unsafe primarily after Formula 1 driver Nikki Lauda was almost burnt to death in an accident.

So today I spent my 29 euro for my one lap of the track. This place is intense. As you start your lap you come up to a barrier that reminds you that road rules of Germany apply on the track which just means that you pass only on the left. The track is either constantly going up or going down and is a series of very tight turns. I had originally not planed on going out on my bike but was standing around at the track and figured why not do one lap this evening.

It really is a scary place and I understand why people say that it takes years to learn the track. At almost no point did I have a clue where I was and at least once I was busy watching my mirrors for fast traffic coming from the back that I almost went off! That said I can now say I have done it… and so has the bike :).

 

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