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Motorcycle Paradise

European motorcycle tour

“ It’s the atmosphere of being on the journey, there is nothing like being on a trip and going to bed knowing you just have to get up in the morning and ride more” Ewan McGregor, Long Way Down.

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I am going to tackle a ride I have wanted to do for a long time, albeit not as an adventure ride but exciting for me none the less. I am going to do my first European motorcycle tour.

I had originally planned to do this last year having started putting money away some time ago however I had my savings linked to share market performance and lost a third of it in 2008 GFC so it took me another year to be ready to go and have just secured the time off required later in the year.

Perhaps surprisingly I have chosen to go with an organised tour instead of solo. I did so mainly to gauge how everything works first up and for the comfort of having a support vehicle to carry my luggage. I actually prefer to ride by myself at my own pace as feel more of a sense of exploration so it was a tough call to make however my recent local riding trip cancellations due to medical problems related to my hands swayed me towards caution and not go solo first time.

Just on that note the unfortunate thing is if my hands continue to get slightly worse each year then I need to reconsider my forward thinking if I want to be able to ride some of the places I talked about a few posts back.

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Anyway as the Americans like to say “I pulled the trigger” on The Ultimate Alps Tour with Edelwiess Bike Travel. A ride starting in Munich and as the name suggests takes you though some excellent roads in the Alps of Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Austria. You can ride each day with the group or strike out by yourself and regroup later. There is a free day to ride the Italian Dolomites by myself which has long been a dream ride location for me. The distances each day are much less than I usually ride however that should be a good thing as I often ride far too each day here. The main problem they encountered on the Long Way Down was setting too ambitious a mileage target each day and I am guilty of the same as it looks so easy on the maps and too tempting to add some miles to end in a town of significance than pull up short (and have time to relax). Less miles also puts something in reserve at my disposal should the weather turn bad or my health not be 100%. 

There are so many tours of the European alps and I was interested in many including to try one of the Australian tour operators however I needed late as possible in the season which eliminated most. Edelwiess are one of the oldest motorcycle tour companies and this is sort of their signature tour so I think it should work out good.

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So this is all set to happen in September which is racing up to meet me very fast so I have to get cracking on organising everything else needed.  Will keep you posted.

5 comments

  1. Well done! It should be a fantastic experience.

    I'll be in the same area in a couple of weeks with a friend who's coming over from Aus and hiring a bike (although we're riding to and from the UK as well) Our planned route is http://j.mp/RusselRobAlps if you're interested.

    Also a bit concerned about some of the distances, although they are mostly confined to the initial few and last few days dragging across Belgium and France to get to the twisty stuff.

    Looking forward to reading your trip report!

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  2. Wow! Looks fabulous!

    I'm doing Peru and Chile by motorcycle tour in August and then will backpack over to Argentina and Bolivia. I too have hand problems and thought it safer to take a motorcycle tour, and stay off the adventure circuit. Can't wait to read your trip report when you get home!

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  3. That ride looks great Rob, looks like you follow some of the German Romantic route and then some of their Alpine route. After the tour I am going over some of those two routes by myself, maybe bike maybe car. I drove some of it in my youth in a dodgy van I bought in Essex which was my home for a few months. Ah how adventurous I was then :-)

    Peru will be amazing. I think a tour there would be so interesting but also a good call safety wise. Sigh, so many places to ride, need to have wall chart with a future riding plan lest time gets away.

    Wishing you both a great ride.

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  4. Hey Chef,

    I did a big tour last year but missed the Alps when we were rained out. No problems this year :) We got back a couple of nights ago.

    Oh wow. Wow. Wow. The Dolomites and the Alps are any superlative you care to pull out. You should have a blast.

    If you're on your own in the Dolomites, I really enjoyed the Passo di Giau (between Arabba and Cortina - I preferred it to the Passo di Falzarego if you have to choose) and don't miss the little private toll road from Lake Misurina east of Cortina up to Rifugio Auronzo. (http://j.mp/bMCRmL) The views from the top are amazing.

    Wish I could join you...

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  5. Hey Rob, glad to hear the tour went well, hope the weather is good for me to. I have a day free in Bolzano and this was my plan for that day:
    http://www.motowhere.com/maps/route/Dolomites-loop but now I will add the road beyond Cortina to Riugio and see how many k's that totals, perhaps I can trim some of the return southerly leg of the ride back to Bolzano if need be.

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