Riding through the Alps is a primal draw for most motorcyclists. We’ve spent our entire lives looking at pictures of soaring peaks with roads winding up there sides, each with captions like the World’s Best Motorcycle Road! It’s a motorcyclist’s dream to ride the Alps. Well, it’s no longer a dream for me as we’ve spent the last several days riding through the Italian, French, Swiss, German, and Lichtenstein (yes, even tiny Lichtenstein has Alps). It’s been terrific. For me. For Karen, a little less so.
Lets just say that Karen doesn’t lie in bed at night dreaming of riding the Alps. Old charming medieval cities? √ Cozy cute cafes to have a pop? √ Little streets crammed with interesting shops? √ Soaring motorcycle roads over the tops of mountains with lots of death-defying curves? Not so much.
Hence about 2 1/2 days into our scheduled 10 day Alps tour de force motorcycle ride my intercom crackles, “I never want to see another f__king swiss chalet!” This could be a problem given I think we’re just getting into our “stride” and I know we’re going to see a lot more Swiss Chalets before we’re finished:) Time for a little route rethinking.
For those of you keeping track, we were last on the French Riviera, in the seaside town of Menton, which is a short drive in your Ferrari north of Monaco on the Italian border. We headed due north into the Italian Alps for a day, then swerved west and then north back into the French Alps for a day or so. Then due east again into and through much of the Swiss Alps, then north through Lichtenstein and north west through the center of Switzerland. We left Switzerland through its north border with Germany, enjoyed a brief spurt up one of the Deutschland’s Autobahns (using only the middle lane at a mere 93mph). We are now nestled in the French town of Strasbourg, rethinking our route and doing some much needed wash.
Our choices are four fold: (1) Continue toward the Chunnel at a snail’s pace, then head toward the ferry to the Isle of Mann to catch the TT race; (2) Vere sharply north through Luxemborg and to Amsterdam for a couple of days, then to the Chunnel, etc.; (3) Haul ass to the Chunnel and then spend 3-4 days in the South of England; and (4) Vere sharply left, go to Paris and hang for a couple of days before going to the Chunnel, etc.
I’ll let you know what happens next time.
None of this is to take away from a great couple of days. Highlights include
- More great roads, mountains, and (yes those f__king) swiss chalets than you could wish for. Just like British Columbia, Peru and Alaska; beautiful scenery becomes the norm…
- We spend two days in the town of Annecy in the French Alps, which rivals Brugge for beauty and charm. Like Brugge, we find the bars and scenes that present a less-than-normal-tourist experience:)
- We– KR, me and NVII — take a train for the first time with no problems through the part of the Alps that are still closed due to snow.
- The Germans know how to build highways and they like to drive fast. 93 mph doesn’t allow you in the left lane. Always drive with one eye on the rear view mirror.
- We’ve seen a ton of bikes on the road, but can’t seem to connect with any of them. They come in all shapes and sizes, but 1200GSs are the most common.
- Bike-wise, NVII has run like a champ. Not a single problem. Put on a new rear tire in Annesy and waited less than an hour to get it done.
Life is good. Here’s what it looked like in pictures.