All participants for the final Best of Europe tour in 2014 have gathered at Erding and enjoyed a sunny afternoon before taking possession of their bikes. The weather forecast for the first riding day is perfect. Tomorrow we will know if it was accurate. Stay tuned.
The forecast for the first riding day was accurate. We rode through the Bavarian countryside and stayed dry except for a five minute shower 30km short of Rothenburg.
Lunch stop in sunny Eichstätt.
Autumn has made itself seen on the second day. Fog shrouded the city of Rothenburg as the group left it. Soon the fog rose and opened the views of the Jagst valley. By the time we had reached Heidelberg, the sun was out.
Design over function - why Italian motorbikes should not be ridden on wet roads.
Cleve, Felicity, David, Balthasar and Sarika enjoying the food at Schöntal.
Julie and Bob - happy in the Neckar valley.
Sunday morning in Heidelberg. All is quiet. No traces of the parties that have been going on until late at night in this lively university town. 12 motorcyclists start their engines and ride along a misty road along the river. After a stretch of highway riding, the Black Forest awaits the group with its twisty roads and beautiful scenery. The clouds today hide some of it, but this adds to the beauty of the place. A little rain at the end can't spoil the fun. Ahead lies a rest day in France.
Felicity and David arriving in Ribeauville.
Jassir at the end of the day.
Rest day in Ribeauville. Like always, a rest day may be used for a day without even looking at the motorcycle, but as in most cases, all paricipants elected to go for a ride even though the weather did not look too good. However, the forecast was for improving conditions, so we took a chance.
Riding up to Haute Koenigsbourg, it looked like that:
Trying to enjoy the view...
But, wait a minute or two...
...and the clouds move away! Views all the way to the Black Forest, our destination for tomorrow.
A few kilometres later, at the top of the "Val d'Argent", the silver valley. Mike taking Cleve's picture.
Finally, at the Col de la Schlucht, the sun came out and stayed with us for the rest of the ride. Bob and Mike happy after the ride up the twists and turns.
Next morning we awoke to a bright blue sky and headed east, back into Germany, more Black Forest roads. After the flat floodplain of the Rhine valley it was up to the Kandel, a lookout high above Waldkirch. The views reached back to the Haute Koenigsbourg we visited only yesterday in the clouds. Then on into the valleys where the Hexenlochmühle awaited us with Black Forest Cake and coffee. More twists and turns and VERY narrow roads before lunch was had on the shore of the Schluchsee. Picnic in perfect autumn weather. After a rest in the sun we hit the road again to cross into Switzerland. The falls of the Rhine near Schaffhausen were the final highlight of the day before arriving at the hotel. Some had enough energy left to explore the old city of Schaffhausen and were impressed by its beauty.
Ribeauville in the morning - promise of a beautiful riding day!
The group at the Kandel lookout.
Bob and Julie fighting helmet hair
Picnic at the Schluchsee
Jassir, Felicity, Anthony and David
At the falls of the Rhine ("Rheinfall")
After a sunny day yesterday, rain clothes were needed in the morning for the ride into the Alps. The forecast gave us hope for later in the day, but the initial leg along the Rhine and Lake Constance was wet. The steam emerging from the radiator of the Ducati caused some concern to its rider, but Sarika could be convinced that all is fine.
A stop at Lake Constance to enjoy the view.
Bal and Sarika making sure they are still connected to the world.
After a short technical stop, some riders took an unplanned detour on our way to Schwägalp and Säntis, but all reunited at the cable car, having had a wonderful view across northern Switzerland. The forecast was correct - the day had turned sunny.
What a view - Nick, Sarika and Jassir at the top of Säntis.
The roads to Warth still lay ahead and it was almost dark when we finally arrived at the hotel. A long day, but no one complained.
The final day has come. We ride along the Lech valley in the morning mist towards Plansee and King Ludwig's castles.
Preparing for the ride.
A stop in the Lech valley to enjoy the beauty of the morning.
An unplanned but welcome photo stop on the road to Linderhof.
David and Cleve finding out why we had to stop
Nick, Julie, Bob and Jassir in the park of castle Linderhof.
Many twists and turns - and some rain - later, we all arrived at Erding. All in one piece, all happy, some earlier, some later and many already making plans for the next tour.