All Edelweiss team members share their enthusiasm for motorcycling and travelling, their love for details and the common riding and working experience. The 23 team members located at headquarters in Austria, the 17 customer service agents in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, China, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates, United States of America, together with over 50 tour guides worldwide, form a perfectly sized team, where all know each other and work together.
In 1986, when Edelweiss already had several successful years under their belt and the season was in full swing, Coral and Werner Wachter had a son. Tobias grew up with, on, and around motorcycles and would have loved to change directly from a baby carriage to a fully-grown BMW, but he had to be patient and wait until he turned 15. Then, finally, it was time to ride, initially off the roads, with little dirt bikes. Even today, Tobias still prefers to ride off-road, the more difficult the better.
This is how he discovered the great freedom on two wheels and - consequently - also the desire to travel. So, he was actually in the right place at exactly the right time, but he decided not to get fully involved right away, but to first gather experience in other areas. He went off to university, studied business administration, and, on the side, tried his hand at being a tour guide. He had his first assignment in 2008 in New Zealand (as a tour guide, as a motorcycle washer he was allowed to help out sometimes before...), where he wasn't sent there because he was the son of the boss, but because he was staying nearby anyway. In Australia, namely, while gathering experience abroad.
After completing his studies, Tobias first decided to find a job in a large company. Only happy people with smiling faces, riding magnificent motorcycles through beautiful landscapes - can that possibly be everything? That was the question in his head, and after a few years in this very large company, the answer was clear: yes, that's all, you can't expect more for a fulfilling professional life. So, he wanted to join Edelweiss and he was hired, even without an interview, as rumor has it.
Work started in the operations and garage areas, right at the front, at the heart of the company. Tobias built up the business segments "self-guided tours" and "motorcycle rental" and invented the "Unpaved" tour family. The processes are extremely complex, as he found out, but Tobias is growing into them and is increasingly coming to play a leading role. After all, since 2018, he has been a co-managing director and owner of the company, which of course makes him proud, but he is also aware of his great responsibility. He is enthusiastic about the great, highly motivated team that accompanies him, creative and tireless.
Tobias is looking forward to the next 40 years, is already starting to plan for the 50th anniversary, and can't wait to come back next year and visit as many tours as possible. Watching happy people with smiling faces riding their dream motorcycles through beautiful landscapes - still the most beautiful thing there is…
Unlike most Edelweiss office members Rainer doesn’t think of Tyrol as the most beautiful place in the world. For him Swabia, his ancestral home in south-western Germany, occupies the top spot, in fact he found it so unbearably beautiful that he had to leave it behind, back in 1995, in order to give his senses some rest. He moved to – you guessed it – Tyrol, where he still tries, after all these years, to master the local dialect. Once relocated Rainer, born in 1969 and a trained economic engineer, took a job with a company that sells giant earth-moving equipment. He handled the world-wide marketing of a product line, but when the company wanted him to move up the career ladder by sending him off to some far-flung country, Rainer resisted. After all, Tyrol was just too nice to be left behind.
In 2005 a fellow player from his Volleyball club approached him with a job offer: Werner, founder and owner of Edelweiss, was looking for somebody to reinforce his marketing and sales department, so Rainer swapped the big toys for the small toys that we all love so much: motorcycles. Two years later Werner started planning his tour around the world and paving the road to retirement. He appointed Rainer as General Manager, knowing very well that Swabians are better suited than anybody else when it comes to keeping the money in one place… Surrounded by motorcycle addicts Rainer was infected quickly and acquired his licence. He likes any kind of bike, as long as it suits the purpose of the trip, he even uses a push-bike sometimes to ride to work. Exercising out in the open air is one of his favourite pastimes, but he also likes to travel and to experience foreign cultures. His favourite destination is always the next one, he says, but his heart beats especially strong for Africa. Rainer himself doesn’t lead any tours, which is probably a good thing. But he can’t resist to pay a visit once in a while, just to feel the atmosphere on tour. If all goes well he likes to celebrate by watching the sunset, with a glass of red wine in one hand and a cigar in the other. But as much as he enjoys being responsible for the world’s greatest product and torturing the guides during one of his frequent tour visits, the one thing he likes best is spending time with his wife Gaby (who also works for Edelweiss) and their two daughters. A real family guy, like most Swabians are.
Wilfried was born many moons ago, to be precise in 1970.
Before his position as marketing manager at Edelweiss Bike Travel he was already connected to the company through producing the tour t-shirts with his own advertising and event agency. Since October 2018 he is fully accountable for the marketing department at Edelweiss Bike Travel and brings over 20 years of marketing knowledge with him.
One of his great passions include travelling with his motorbike combined with kind people.
If you would ask him what his biggest dream to go by motorbike, he would tell you: „North bound“ – Direction North Cape with some friends.
Cornelia was born in 1970 in the famous ski resort town of Lech am Arlberg in Austria. Obviously, her favourite pastime during the winter is skiing, in summer she loves to mountainbike or goes hiking, but her main hobby, her family, is keeping her busy all year.
Cornelia is part oft he Finance and bookkeeping department for over 10 years. Starting as a one person bookkeeping department, she now gets support from 2 collegues. She work at big projects, controlling and the balance sheet preparation.
She loves to travel, so far she made it to most European countries, to north Africa, she was all over the US, Canada and Mexico as well as to Singapore and the Maldives.
Her motto: The pessimist is usually right, the optimist however has the better life!
Tyroleans are usually born with skis already attached to their feet. Markus had them too, but also the fingers of his right hand were bent in an unusual way and he discovered later that they would fit perfectly around the throttle grip of a motorcycle… Markus was born in 1956 in the ancient town of Hall in Tirol, where he still lives today. For many years he didn’t really know what to do with himself, he led a restless life, joined two UNO missions to the Golan Heights, studied sports and geography, and he travelled. And man, did he travel! There is not enough space on this web site to name all the countries he visited, but he especially loves Greece and Norway, Chile and South Africa, the US and the Middle East. Once it took him seven weeks to ride from Innsbruck to the North Cape and back and this trip still stands out as his personal number one.
In 1993 Markus found a way to put the fingers of his right hand to work: he guided his first Edelweiss motorcycle tour and he loved it so much that he hasn’t stopped guiding ever since. It was only in 2012, after 19 ½ years on the road, that he traded the bike seat for an office chair, and his colleagues suspect that he just couldn’t stand the thought of Edelweiss celebrating him for 20 years of service. It would just make him feel sooo old… But with age comes experience, and if there ever was a full-blooded tour guide, Markus would be it. Hundreds of tours, thousands of happy customers, more than a million kilometres on two, four and eight wheels and countless outstanding picnics are firmly tucked under his belt. Somebody once called him a true professional, and that is certainly true. Markus is married with two kids and besides motorcycling and chatting on the phone with his tour guides he loves mountain biking, skiing, and music, and of course he loves spending time with his family. Now, with his new office job, he’s got more time than ever to do that. Right, Markus???
Edelweiss was quite astonished, when Lucian sent a speculative application to Edelweiss in 2016 and graced the company with his presence in the workshop to help with the workload – before he even got the job! Yep, Lucian definitely IS persistent. But let’s start from scratch: Lucian was born and raised in Romania, where he also attended and graduated school with focus on informatics and mathematics. In 2014, he decided to move to Austria, where he had first worked as a cashier before he changed his plans and followed his passion – repairing (and riding) bikes. Since 2016, he has been working in the Edelweiss-workshop as a mechanic apprentice and he is, as he says, still very happy about his decision. Whenever Lucian is not working, he loves to paint the town red with his bike, to go snowboarding or travel. Lucian may not be the most talkative person, however, this is no problem at all, because as is generally known: Still waters run deep. Not only is he unbelievably precise and a perfectionist, but he is also always there whenever and wherever help is needed. His ambition and his diligence are what characterizes him an what make him a real “keeper” in the Edelweiss family.
Sarah was born and raised in the mountains in Tirol. After her tourism studies in Innsbruck, Austria, however, she had the feeling to just „get out“ and see the world, therefore she moved to London to work there. After a year, the longing for good food was too big, so she came back home. She went looking for a job and eventually started her career in product management at Edelweiss. Sarah loves traveling and considers herself really fortunate to have already seen the Northern Lights and to have even been invited at Santa Clause’s house. When traveling, she prefers going off the beaten tracks, whereby nature, culture and very good food are extremely important for her. Despite the many countries she has already been to, her heart still beats for Scandinavia, even though Iceland and Norway are still missing on her list. Whenever Sarah doesn’t travel, she loves to cook and to hike in the Tirolian nature. Well, and how about motorcycling? Even though nearly all of her family members ride motorcycles, she hasn’t got a motorcycle driving license. However, she is not aversed to it either. „Who knows“, she says. Maybe she will soon change her mind and also can’t resist the charms of riding a motorcycle anymore.
Kerstin was born in Hamburg but probed around a handful of places in Europe before she found her home. School in Stuttgart, studied in the French part of Switzerland, went to London for half a year, but nowhere did she like it as much as in Tirol. She learned to be a photographer and took yummy pictures of food for cookbooks and the likes. Makes you wonder who ate all that food after she was done taking pictures of it, doesn’t it?
After she had her two daughters she decided to get a job that would make her life more plannable and worked for an insurance broker, dealing with damage claims. No surprise then that after a while she was out looking for something new, something more interesting. She knew that jobs at Edelweiss are anything but boring so she asked GM Rainer Buck and – surprise, surprise – he was in need of a skilled person to complete his office team. Now she works as an accountant. Boring, you say? Well, then you don’t know the Edelweiss team and especially the tour guides…
In her rare spare time Kerstin likes to ride motorcycles, like she did back in the old days. She also likes golf, hiking, skiing, reading, handicrafts and traveling as well as Pilates which helps her relax whenever her numerous hobbies stress her out too much. Or her colleagues. Or the tour guides. On top of that she is still busy taking pictures; all the pics in this section of the web site are her work, she even took her own picture. A variety of skills and plenty of enthusiasm: exactly what Rainer was looking for!
Christoph was born in 1977 in Leins, Arzl in the Pitztal valley, Austria and he is an enthusiastic skier –it is hardly surprising that after elementary school he attended a skiing commercial school in Stams, Austria. After two years, however, he had the big wish to make his passion for cars his profession, therefore he dropped out of school and began his apprenticeship as a car mechanic. He ended his career as active ski racer only three years later to address himself fully to his job. Since then, he has mainly been repairing cars, lorries and construction machines and was until last working as a lorry driver in the wood industry, before he became a member of the Edelweiss family as a mechanic in 2018. When not spending his free time with his two sons, you will see Christoph mostly on a skiing slope – once a skier, always a skier. In summer, he loves to hike and to visit soccer fields – he didn’t want to tell us whether he goes there to play or just to watch soccer.
1965, April 27, 6:41 am: Gerhard sees the light of day for the first time. 47 years later: Gerhard joins Edelweiss as a tour guide. Another two years later: Edelweiss’ “Discover Our Earth” expedition gathers momentum and once it turns out that the office staff can’t handle all the new work load associated with it, Gerhard comes to the rescue. He swaps the motorcycle seat for an office chair, working 70 hour-weeks to get this tour on track. What do we need to get some Brazilian’s bike across the border from Tajikistan to Uzbekistan? Gerhard knows. How do we get a new valve cover to Southern Honduras quickly? Ask Gerhard. And who can tell me if my bike will be in Chile in time for the South America section? Exactly, “Mr. Around-the-World” can. Gerhard misses his motorcycle seat sometimes, but then again, his mind is traveling the world all the time anyways.
Erik was born in 1976 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Soccer became his passion and Erik even proved to be a talent, but due to illness and injury, he sadly had to find another hobby. He found it pretty quickly.
In 2002, freshly equipped with his motorcycle license, he got himself a Suzuki GSX 750 ES, built in 1983. As a student, you don't have much money and the Suzi cost little but offered a lot, especially lots of problems and defects. During this time Erik learned a lot about motorcycles. Next came a Yamaha FZR600 from 1991, he kept it for exactly 363 days and still rode 14,000 km with it. And then it was finally time for his dream bike, the Yamaha R6 (2000 model), and Erik was happy.
But as it always happens, the family grew and there was less time to ride the motorcycle. He traded the R6 for a 600cc Fazer, which he mainly rode to work. Relaxing afternoon laps are hard to do in the flat, congestion-plagued countryside around Rotterdam, only the dikes are nice to ride. Now, in Tyrol, it's completely different, the desire to ride has returned. Erik now rides a BMW F800GS, which was once part of the Edelweiss fleet.
Erik has always been a staunch Dutchman, he liked living there, studying (management, business, and law) and working (in a large, international company), starting his family... and one day he went on vacation to Tyrol. Afterwards, unable to get the mountains out of their minds, the young family made a decision, put all their eggs in one basket, and moved to Tyrol.
Immediately after arriving, he applied for a vacancy at Edelweiss, was interviewed there several times, put through his paces, and finally hired. This process had kept him on his toes for a good 1 ½ months (Edelweiss selects its employees very carefully) until the redeeming call finally came. He had also found a house in the meantime, friends and family in the Netherlands could finally breathe a sigh of relief.
At Edelweiss Bike Travel, Erik is in charge of the warehouse, making sure that the specifications of all motorcycles in the system are up to date, installing routes on the navigation systems used for "Self Guided Tours", and taking care of a thousand other things. In his free time, Erik likes to go out mountain biking, motorcycling, snowboarding with (or without) his wife and now three children and enjoy the beautiful Tyrolean nature, which feels like a big playground for a Dutchman. Today Erik is a convinced Tyrolean!
In spite of her not very typical Bavarian first name, Florence is a native of the foothills of the Alps who has been admiring the mountains right before her eyes ever since she was a child. She felt magically drawn to them, but first, she went in the other direction, to Passau in Lower Bavaria for school and to the Upper Palatinate to train as a photographer.
At the age of 21, she decided to spend a few months in India and Nepal and obtained a motorcycle license in order to be able to travel around the country legally and in style. As a means of transport, apart from her feet, only a motorcycle qualified, of course. Back in Regensburg, she started studying geography and English but soon realized that the region wasn't mountainous enough for her, so she finally packed her bags and migrated to Innsbruck in beautiful Tyrol to get her diploma. A job at the university in research and one as a GIS expert with wonderful satellite views of the earth from above followed but were not quite enough to satisfy her still simmering wanderlust. So, Florence began working as a tour guide. She toured Central America and all of Europe by cruise ship, showing passengers around by bicycle during shore excursions, then also led trekking trips by foot, falling in love with the beauty of the Lipari Islands, the authenticity of Rhodes, and the fantastic nature of the Norwegian fjord country.
In between the trips she enjoyed the advantages (=mountains) of her adopted homeland and made the most of all the climbing routes, hiking trails, slopes, and cross-country trails in beautiful Tyrol. Motorcycling fell into oblivion again, until one fine day in 2019 when Edelweiss advertised the job of a tour manager for the whole of Europe again. A "key position," it was said, requiring a "structured way of working" and "a lot of communication skills." That appealed to her, and because she also felt that it was time for a steadier lifestyle, she applied for this challenging job. And she didn't regret it (or only very rarely...), also her motorcycle license was reactivated and after a few test rides, she has now chosen the BMW F750GS as her motorcycle. She would like to ride it through Namibia, Alaska, or Tibet. Or simply tackle the surrounding mountain passes. She especially likes the Timmelsjoch, as we hear...
Florence is a very cheerful person. She loves life but she refuses to take it too seriously.
Chiara was born in 1988 in the south of the flatlands (The Netherlands). After studying International Business & Languages, which included living in Spain and Australia, Chiara decided, she didn’t want to stay in the Netherlands and moved quite spontaneously in 2015 to Tyrol. In those years she gathered experience in procurement, IT, marketing and gastronomy.
In February 2019 she joined the Edelweiss Bike Travel team to accompany Wilfried at the marketing department and makes sure everyone hears about our epic motorcycle and Ebike Tours.
If not at the office, you can find her hiking / skiing / running in the mountains with her dog. Or making sure all animals at the stable are taking care of.
She does not have her motorcycle license yet but as a "Dutchie" she knows how to handle an Ebike.
As a born and genuine Ötztaler Rebecca still lives in the immediate vicinity of this beautiful valley even after almost 30 years. She is very attached to her homeland and yet traveling is her great passion, which seems to be a contradiction, but only at first glance. She has visited New Zealand, Malaysia and Borneo, Nicaragua, the Bahamas, Miami and New York, South Africa and China.
She graduated from school with a degree in natural sciences, but she could not decide on a field of study and started to work - in a travel agency. There she reached the position of team leader, but then she wanted to try out new things and completed an online studies program in management. Afterwards she worked as an office manager and in human resources as an assistant to the Managing Director, but neither of these positions suited her very well, because the essential thing was missing: travel.
Curtains up for Edelweiss: at the end of 2019, she couldn't resist a job ad and joined the team in March 2020. Not the best of times, because this very month saw the start of the first Corona lockdown in Austria. Nevertheless, she quickly found herself in her new field of activity as a tour manager. She loves being in touch with her international clientele and has the perfect prerequisites for this, because in addition to being communicative she is also bilingual, her English is even good enough to act as a juror at language competitions and turn English textbooks into audio books. Very handy! But English is not her only hobby, she is very creative, both on paper (acrylic painting, charcoal/pencil drawings) and with regard to handicrafts (making decorations, crochet/embroidery), and in the kitchen (cooking and baking). She also loves to hike or - if Austria is in lockdown again - to indulge in yoga.
Rebecca can't (yet) look back on a motorcycle career, but she feels comfortable as a pillion rider, which is especially important when the company goes on a staff excursion. And when a tour visit is scheduled, because then she can take a seat on the back of the tour guide's motorcycle. Among the destinations at the top of her bucket list are Patagonia, Alaska, the Philippines, Costa Rica and Botswana. She loves the mix of nature, culture, city and relaxation, an all inclusive vacation would not be for her. That fits well, because Edelweiss doesn't offer something like that anyway.
Coral, Werner’s wife, is originally from London. Together they founded Edelweiss in 1980, operated it successfully for over 30 years and then retired together in 2011. In the beginning she was the one who drove the support van and handled the luggage, later she turned her attention to office duties of all kinds. On top of that there were several children to take care of and a household to run, and she managed, being a multitasking woman, to keep everything under control.
Coral and Werner like to ride motorcycles, bicycles and drive cars. They also enjoy swimming, skiing, reading and spending time with the family. And, believe it or not, even travelling can still be fun. But it’s hard to leave home. Mieming, she says, is just the most beautiful place to live.
Werner was 35 years old when he decided that he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life dealing with medical equipment. So in 1980 he and his wife Coral founded Europe’s first motorcycle tour operator, gave it a catchy name, arranged a small fleet of BMWs and a year later they welcomed the first five paying customers in the Alps. This sounds like it was all very easy, but you can rest assured, it was not.
According to himself Werner never was a particularly able tour guide, but he must have done ok, because where would all that success of his company come from? Or was it Coral, who drove the support van and handled the luggage during the early days? We may never know for sure. What we do know is that the company gradually grew bigger, destinations, motorcycles, tour guides and office staff were added every year to secure Edelweiss’ position as the Number One in guided motorcycle tours worldwide.
30 years later Werner started thinking about retirement. But of course a man like him wouldn’t just quit and go home, instead he took the long way round. He worked for two years to set up a nine month tour around the world, the longest guided tour that had ever been done. He was to be part of it, of course, and after he returned home in July 2011, after 64,000 km on his bright orange BMW, he didn’t go back to the office anymore. Well, once in a while he does. For a coffee… Enjoy your time off, Werner!
Doris started working for Edelweiss a long, long time ago, back in 1988, when she was a young girl of around 20. Now, as a young girl of around 53, she is the heart and soul of the office team and if you ever book a tour with us chances are that you’ll exchange letters or emails with her or talk to her on the phone or both. She loves to deal with people from around the globe and with a multitude of cultures and destinations. Helping people to plan their dream vacation means as much to her as her own travels.
Her favorite travel destinations are South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Morocco, Mexico, Uruguay, and the USA and on top of her bucket list is the Edelweiss Machu Picchu Tour. She has been to Europe several times and finds it hard to decide which part she likes best. Well, actually not that hard: Doris is a Tyrolean girl through and through, and even though she loves to see the world she knows that Tyrol is the center of her universe. She loves her mountains and her peaceful little hometown of Silz, her family, and the garden behind her house. She values harmony and honesty, in private and on the job, and this is something you can feel whenever you deal with her. Just like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, she feels that only the heart can see what’s essential in life, not the eyes.
Simon Deleest, born in 1982 in the Netherlands and also grown up there, is known for his green thumbs. As the offspring of a family of gardeners and a trained horticulturist, he became enthusiastic about plants of all kinds at an early age and loved to smooth out the earth in freshly planted flowerbeds. What he loved even more was digging up the earth with the studded tires of various motocross bikes.
In 2013, he moved his residence to Tyrol, for love, as he says, but it wasn't just a woman who bewitched him, but also the many mountains. If you want to pursue hobbies such as climbing, skiing and paragliding, you are simply better off in Tyrol than in Holland. Not to mention motorcycling! Simon loves life in the middle of the Alps, because many of the best motorcycle roads in Europe are on his doorstep. He already spooled over 100,000 km on the speedometers of his two boxers (first RT, then GS) and probably knows his way around Tyrol better than many a local. Considering his hobbies, you will rarely see Simon without a helmet on his head.
His job at Edelweiss, on the other hand, was rather coincidental. He discovered the company garage in Mieming in 2019 during a joyride, then found the EBT homepage on the Internet, read a job advertisement and applied for a job as a transporter the very same day - and was hired. Since then he loads and transports motorcycles, keeps the garage tidy, takes care of vans and trailers and tour guides who are overwhelmed by so much tidiness and do not know where to find their tour equipment. He just loves diversion, so Edelweiss is just the right place for him.
Thomas, or Tom if you prefer, is a native of Munich who has turned his back on his hometown after 44 years. His wife, who was once a participant on one of his tours and then hooked the guide, took him to the countryside in 2016.
But let's start right at the beginning. After high school graduation and an apprenticeship in Munich, Tom also studied tourism there. On the side he worked for an event agency, at the trade fair, as a cab and truck driver and even with the postal service, but none of this was really fulfilling. In 2002 he discovered an ad in a motorcycle magazine, applied for a job as a tour guide and started guiding the following spring. And soon it became apparent: this was exactly the right job for him.
Afterwards he led tours on all continents for 17 years, whereby especially Tibet, the Kilimanjaro tour and of course New Zealand became unforgettable for him. More than 200 tours accumulated, then it was time for a more settled lifestyle and Tom joined the office team. As of 2020, he is in charge of the computerized tour information system, writes texts and tour books, plans tours and takes care of projects of all kinds. The training of new tour guides is also one of his tasks. So, there is still the opportunity to be on the road on 2 wheels. Because "steady" does not mean "boring"!
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