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Our 5-Country Alps tour

Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
1,368
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Midlothian
First Name
Steve
In late August and early September of this year, my wife and I were fortunate enough to go on a 9 day, 5 country trip through the Alps. The trip was offered by Road Runner Magazine. As these trips go, we thought it was very affordable.

I am not the kind of guy that can write a nice ride report afterwards. However, my wife who rode pillon on this trip, did a nice write up and from a pillon/spouse's perspective. Her write up just got posted on Road Runner Magazine's web site. Here is the link to go directly to her report.
http://www.roadrunner.travel/news-742.php.

If you like the report I'll try to post some pictures from our trip a little latter.
 

Gilk51

2
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
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Location
Arlington, Texas
First Name
Charles ("Chuck")
Last Name
Gibke
Any chance that her report will appear in the magazine?

I am about to go read it. Congrats on the trip! :thumb:
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
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Midlothian
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Steve
Nope, not going to happen Chuck. They did an article on the 2007 trip in the magazine last year and they didn't want another one on the same trip even though we had excellent weather this year and they had lousy weather last year.

By the way, my avatar was taken on top of the Stelvio pass in Northern Italy this year.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2003
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Location
Fulshear, Tx
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David
Last Name
Little
Bravo! Sounds like a great trip! More people should follow in your footsteps - Europe is a "must do" for any rider who enjoys a little culture with their switchbacks.

Slightly off topic - I just recently discovered that magazine and subscribed - it is fantastic. For those of you who notice that having Motorcyclist, Sport Rider, and Cycle World doesn't mean three times the variety ( I think they all test the same bikes at the same time), Roadrunner is a great departure. The focus is on the ride, maps, places to eat and stay, and some bike and product testing. Highly recommended!

Dave.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2006
Messages
211
Location
Waller
First Name
Randy
Great write up your wife did!

Several years ago my wife and I did an Edelweiss trip that closely mirrors yours. I’d highly recommend it.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2005
Messages
1,606
Location
Burleson
We MUST schedule the next Johnson County get together in Alvarado so you can share some piccies and/or stories of your trip.
That trip looks like sumpin I gotta do!
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
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Midlothian
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Steve
I'll try and get some pictures up soon with simple captions.
And yes Jeff it is something you have to do.
 
M

Mike in Clear Lake

Sehr gut! Herr Steve, ich habe drei yahre in Deutschland gewohnen. Aschaffenburg - zwitschen Wurzburg und Frankfurt in nord Bayern.

I sure love the Tirol area and please post some pictures and give us a ride report as the magazine article was too short. I really used to favor the town of Zell am See in Austria. In the summertime one could go up on the the glacier on Kitzsteinhorn and ski till around noon or until it got too slushy. Then one could go down to the see (lake) and swim and windsurf. When the sun goes down it is party time. I have always like Bodensee as well (Lake Constance). I have been thru the whole Tirol area by auto, and have always wanted to go back and do it by bike. That would really be a cool trip.

Mit freundlichen grußen,

Mike
 
Joined
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Steve
Mike, you're kidding right. I was there for ONLY 11 days and I don't understand a word you said. :giveup: I live here and I have a hard enough time with Spanish. :-)
 
Joined
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Steve
I thought this was unusal. Its an Airstream trailer (lunch stand) made to look like a plane at the Munich airport between terminals 1 & 2.
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My wife Kathleen take outside our room in Bad Tolz (pronouced Bot Tools) Germany prior to picking up our rental bike.
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The happy day. Picking up our 1200RT with ESA, stereo, electric grips and seat. A very nice bike, although I'm still not drinking the the BMW kool-aid. I rode an 1100 RT a few years ago and the 1200 feels much more refined en every way. Or at least thats how I remember it.
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We took a shake down ride approxiately 30 miles in after picking up the bikes. This was kind of cool because we're stopped in Austria and surrounded by moutains (dead end). The only way into this part of Austria is from Germany. You can seen in the distance somewhat taking a ride on a horse drawn carriage
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Our first day on the offical tour. We're on our way to Tansweg Austria. We had just gone through a very curvey road. If you can see the road signs behind us they're warning bikers that if you go to fast you can die. Notice the centerlines are crosses on the signs. We thought it was kinda cool.
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We had a 1 hour guided tour of Salzburg. This was more of a riders tour than a sight seeing tour. Very nice city.
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Not a very good shot but its a church surrounded by a cemetery in Salzburg. Part of the which was used in the Sound of Music in the scene where the family is fleeing after the Folk Festival.
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Kathleen and I standing in front of hotel, restaurant, outdoor bar. We stayed 2 nights in Tansweg and loved it. As countries go we thought Austria was the real jewel. It was just do pretty and scenic. All the homes had flowers in front of each window.
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From our room we could see a beautiful church on a hill on the other side of town. Using the zoom this is what I was able to capture.
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At night the Church looks like this. Our guide Peter who was excellent gave us a tour the next day. Peter had gotten married here.
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Not to far from Tansweg we stopped for a group photo in front of a Castle. Peter our guide is on the far left. We had 5 people from British Columbia, 2 newlyweds from Kentucky, 1 man from Arizona and 1 man from Florida. Everyone in the group was a good rider and we were able to keep a good pace.
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My favorite picture of Kathleen and I. From here on in we would have mostly curvy road for 8 days. This picture was taken in area of Austria that was between two toll booths (appr. 30 miles apart) in the middle of no where. A semi narrow road with beautiful scenery. Peter told us we were to meet at the restaurant in the middle in 2 hours. We could take as many pictures as we wanted or just tear up the road. We took a few pictures but mostly road like it was a track day. Well a[/IMG track day for two-up anyway.
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The restaurant meeting point. At this point I am having so much fun!!! Its kind of like a track day but so much cooler. You can pass almost anywhere and as long as you're a little bit respectful its ok.
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If you look close at the engine bar you can see that I'm getting more comfortable with the bike. God bless her, my wife is such a good passenger. Later in the week we got the scraps a little higher too.
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Two more pitures from the same area. Oh how I was loving life!
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And people say its terrible we don't get all the bikes they do in Europe.
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A view from inside Peter's church.
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For our pie lovers everwhere. Everywhere we went, there were so many shops like this. This is a tough place to visit if you're trying to stay skinny.
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I'm going to take a break. I will be posting the rest of the pictures in a few days. I hope you enjoy, we sure did.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2005
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Glen Rose
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Bill
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Hise
Steve, that is just fantastic! I can't wait for an in-person ride report! :clap:
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
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Midlothian
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Steve
First off, I'm sorry the pictures turned out larger than I wanted. I'm no computer guy, so I guess this is as good as it gets from me.

After a couple of days in Austria we headed for northern Italy. We cut through a corner of Slovenia, I belive the Julian Alps. This took us about two hours. We went up a pass which I believe had 56 switchbacks. All the switchbacks were made out of cobblestone. I am so gald it was dry. We even had to go around some large cows in the roadway who weren't terribly impressed with us. We stopped in on of the switchbacks about half way up and got a picture of this incrediable view. The mountains just went straight up.
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Going into Italy we stopped at the border to get a couple of pictures to prove we were there.
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During the trip we often saw paragliders soaring off in the distance. I had to stop when and get a picture when we saw them getting ready to take off.
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We're getting closer to the Dolomites. Kathleen says we look like nuclear fruit. I just thought we look like Christmas.
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On the way to lunch we had a spirted ride on some seriously curvy roads through the woods. We got behind someone who thought he was a rally car driver. I think he was in a WRX turbo. Luckily he got stuck behind some traffic that held him up enough for us to slip by. This is the lake where we stopped for lunch. The Moto GP race was getting ready to start in Mugello (sp?). It was kind of neat to see all the pre-race coverage they have over there. We had to take off about the time the race started.
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On the way to a high up point where you can see all the Dolomites from one spot we got stuck in traffic in an Itallian town. Seems we got there shortly after a parade had started. We didn't have to wait to long and it was kind of fun to watch.
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Passo Giau was where we were surrounded by the Dolomites. Heres a few pictures from on top of the pass. In the first pictures was one of our new friends Cheryl Smith. Cheryl's husband Robert has written many stories for Road Runner Magazine.
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In the bottom of this picture is the town where we got stuck in the parade.
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Looking down the other side of Passo Giau.
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After we passed a ski resort going up we came upon this lake. It has a Dam at each end. Out of the picture to the right and up is a Glacier. If you look along the left you can see some of the open side tunnels that got us to this area. We went throuh a lot of tunnels like that on the sides of the mountains during our trip.
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We had to cross another pass later in the day to get to our hotel at a ski resort in Italy.
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This was the view across the street from the hotel.
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You never know what you'll find on top of some these passes. Our friend Ron from Florida found a look-a-like.
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And this is the goats home.
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We spent two nights here in Meran Italy. In this part of Northern Italy most folks speak German. Doesn't really matter to me since I don't speak either. Meran seemed like a pretty large city. I could not believe how many miles of Apple orchard and vinyards they have in this area.
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We stopped for a moment to take in the view near the bottom of the Passo Stelvio. We had run into some rain getting there but it cleared out nicely for us.
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This turned out to be my favorite picture of me. I and others usually prefer pictures of me with my helmet on. This was taken on near the top of Stelvio as the clouds were breaking up.
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A couple of minutes later, the view of below was a little clearer. This is probably about a 1/3 of the way up. We're at a little over 9000 ft on top.
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If you look closely in the grassy area you can see part of the other side of Stevio as it cuts across back and forth.
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On top of yet another pass for a group photo with the glacier in the background. When we crossed over the pass we went into a heavy cloud and we could only see about 40 feet in front. The roadway was about one American car length wide with mountain on one side and nothing on the other.
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And yet another view from on top another pass as the fog rolls in.
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We had a wonderful Itallian lunch with our friend Ron.
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A view of the restaurant.
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Did I mention we ran into some fog. It was like pea soup on the other side of the tunnel.
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You never know what you'll run into over there. I liked this.
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We helped this gentleman out. He was coasting down the mountain. He had a V35 Moto Guzzi from like 1912. Well maybe not 1912. He had broken his clutch cable. He had a number of new cables stored under the seat. He sure looked the part to riding that old Guzzi.
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Well thats going to have to do it for today, I hope you enjoy.
 
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