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ATC1903 - A funky bunch goes Alps Touring Center

Saturday, August 10, 2019 | Wim Doms | Europe

The story of our trip: magnificent views! Maybe a little covered in clouds, but still, they're out there!

Arrive one day early? That means Riding School!

We see cones, we see slow riding motorcycles, we see working on line of sight and riding lines... three of our guests signed up to fly in a day early and go on a full day riding course to get familiar with their bikes and to finetune some riding skills!
Step by step we get better and better, but what's more...
... in the afternoon there's a great first ride waiting to put all that theory into practice. Great job by Jeff, Stuart and Darren!

Riding Day 1 : Into Bavaria, and coming back over the mountain

Tour Guide Wim said something about going to see some lakes in Bavaria. Bill's down there wondering where that lake is?
The ancient monastery though was hard to miss. Even saw some official monks walking around, but were too impressed to ask for a photo
Oh and did we tell you about those lakes? Been wondering which one had the prettiest colour...
After all that sightseeing, our group figured it was time for some serious riding. So in the afternoon we tackled our first official mountain pass of this Alp Touring Center. Hahntennjoch it was!
Jeff said: "can we just go now?"
But Bill first wanted to show off how many wheels he would be taking up there.
Either way, on three wheels or two, we all made it up there and celebrated our first Alps Touring Center mountain pass with a bunch of pictures. And to illustrate this riding group: afterwards there were no more pictures or stops, because instead of coffee, everyone preferred a nice cold beer (or Coke for Bill) back at the hotel. Serious bikers, these guys!

Riding Day 2 - Stelvio? Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. But didn't actually SEE it

A bit of a wet start it was... So wet, actually, that even the church went underwater!
Then for a moment, in the tiny little medieval town of Glurns, we actually thought we were in for some dry roads.
The Alps and mother nature however soon announced they had other plans in store for our funky bunch...
What followed was a quite damp Passo dello Stelvio... We're pretty sure it's in this picture somewhere.
Yup! There it is! And look at us making our way up into the clouds.
We did get a picture of us in front of the glorious view though!
But even in the fog and rain, there's one thing up on top of Stelvio that makes up for anything: the heart warming company of legendary, world famous sausage tycoon Brrrrruno! Smiling faces all around, even without a view!
And hey... in the end we were rewarded for our all-weather efforts, with an afternoon of fast dry sweepers all the way back through the Unter Engadin region in Switzerland. 360 km later the funky bunch made it back to Seefeld. And was renamed the tired bunch
But tired bunch or not, we were not going to let this day end without some very appropriate fireworks! Happy birthday Stuart! What a ride it was to celebrate your special day in the Alps!

Riding Day 3 - An easy stroll, just to stay clear of the rain

One of the funky bunch decided to take the day off after all his travels through Europe these last few weeks. The other four set off for a nice and relaxing half day ride, to make it back to Seefeld before the rain set in. We still got to see some sights though, like the legendary Bergisel ski jump in Innsbruck.
Talking about sights... this being a short and quiet day, we decided to head up to a little extra sightseeing all the way up to Lüsens. A quiet and hidden corner of the Alps where only brave bikers go. And our fab four made it up there without breaking sweat! (well, apart from a bit of sliding on a cow pizza here and there)
Picture time on the way back down towards Kühtai. Here's Darren on the growling Ducati.
And look at Bill on the three-wheeled transformer! He didn't even hear the camera click as he went by. (bit of an inside joke, that)
Ken went by all calm and purposeful. No fuss, no problems, just as reliable and precise as his R 1200 GS
Oh and then Stuart came by on the Triumph. But we accidentally may have focused on some cow-related safety issues... It does prove those morning briefings are not just there for decoration!
We did get a decent shot of Stuart though. And hey, by the way: good line of sight technique there! That Riding School day paid off!
Alpine road heaven, is what it was.
And those Alpine roads lead to this: the legendary Apfelstrudl in Kuhtai. No whipped cream, that's for tourists. We had it the serious Tyrolean way. Light? Sure!
And so we ended our shorter riding day a bit earlier than usual, before the rain really came down again. But hey, what is all this going on after coming back to the hotel? Ken and Bill went out to buy flowers for the girls at reception?
Well, yes they did! Because great service and help to get the train tickets sorted for the trip home, deserves a little present! And well... then a whole lot of hugging was going on.

Riding Day 4 - Eastwardbound, into the Zillertal. And the sun came out!

The funky bunch made it safely up the Zillertaler Hohenstrasse. A fancy name in German, but we quickly agreed that "goatpath" is a better name.
Wild three wheeled Bill flying up the mountain. Is that REALLY a quickshifter on there? Hm... must have missed that information somehow.
Alpine flower wonderland...
Stuart is astonished by the ancient Easter Island artwork that Bill discovered. Or is it just a cover over an umbrella-thingy... Bill's eyesight is a lot better than his hearing though. Say what?
Time for some hearty Tyrolean lunch high up the mountain.
And then finally... the astonishing views did start to open up! Briefly...
Plenty of wonderful views further north around Achensee though. No more clouds around finally!
And then it turns out that Bill not only SPEAKS fluent Russian when we meet a Russian biker on a European adventure all by herself on her Triumph. He also appears to HEAR fluent Russian. The first official Edelweiss Tour miracle, we say!

Riding Day 5 - Scenery overload heading back to home base!

Well... what do you do when you're going over old Brenner road in the morning and it's blocked because of an accident? You sit back on the guard rail, take it easy and enjoy the scenery until the road opens again.
And then once the roads open up again, you pick a nice little mountain pass like Jaufenpass, and you ride all the way up, is what our funky bunch did.
Fair enough, those lines still need some finetuning, but hey... look at that view!
And there we all are... just one more mountain pass to go!
And that last one wasn't just any mountain road, but the iconic Timmelsjoch, or Passo del Rombo, heading back from Italy into Austria. Home base is calling in the brave warriors.
Sometimes on these tours, motorcycling just turns into picture perfect riding heaven. What. A. View!
Time to grab some lunch first, and how else to end this week in the Alps than with some seriously original Tyrolean food?
After lunch: time to see one of the most impressive collections of vintage motorcycles out there, in the Top Mountain Motorcycle Museum on Timmelsjoch. Nowhere else will you see so many Brough Superior, Indian and all sorts of other legendary bikes lined up!
Bill even seriously considered getting a new Porsche for his wife Dot back home... Not quite a Macan, sure, but it'll go up a mountain just as well!
So one last look at that amazing view on top of the mountain, and then it's time to head back to the center of the universe to turn in our bikes.
And after over 1000 kms through the Alps, in no more than 5 days, the Edelweiss Garage in Mieming is where our Alps Touring Center comes to an end. Ken, Stuart, Darren, Jeff and Bill: it's been a true pleasure being on the road with you guys! Which is where Bill goes: "anything important? I didn't hear all that"... oh well see you next time guys!
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Jeff Casto
Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 15:14

Fantastic trip! The riding was a bit more challenging than I expected, but Wim was a great tour leader, the group meshed well, we had a lot of laughs, enjoyed our after/ride ritual of beers and swapping stories while looking forward to the next days adventure. All in all, a great week to spend in the Alps. Truly an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone who might be considering a trip next year.
Wim Doms
Friday, August 16, 2019 at 13:36

Hey Jeff!

Great to hear from you. And you're right, the Alps will put up a challenge for any biker out there. And just when you think you've beaten them, they'll throw you another curve ball But that's exactly why it never ever gets boring riding in this beautiful part of the world, and it's also why bootbeers were invented: a good riding story just needs a nice cold beer

Thanks for your kind comment, and safe travels everywhere!
Wim
Tuesday, August 13, 2019 at 02:59

Okay, sportsfans, here's my first public video from the tour. It's Day 5, late morning, and I'm following Jeff up Jaufenpass. If you have 25 minutes to spare, enjoy:

https://vimeo.com/353428014
Monday, August 12, 2019 at 01:39

Yep, what Darren said.

The scenery was spectacular all week, the riding was twistie heaven (well, except for one righty-tighty switchback, and maybe a few minutes of torrential rain), and you can't beat a long walk for really good pizza.

Cheers,

Niken Bill
Wim Doms
Friday, August 16, 2019 at 13:33

Hey hey it's Friction Bill Pollack!

That one tiny switchback was just trying to make a point. You know, proving that not only parking lots can beat a Niken

Thanks for the comment dear Bill, and thanks for the video upload as well!
Take care, and always, always keep that friction zone well defined!
Wim
Darren Doig
Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 08:01

To everyone on this tour, it’s been one of the best weeks of my life. Met some wonderful people, seen some amazing scenery and rode on some truly amazing roads! Thank you Wim & Edelweiss for a incredible week!
Darren.
Wim Doms
Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 12:50

Hey Darren!
Thank you for the comment. Very happy to see you had a great time with the funky bunch!
Have a safe trip home, and hope to see soon on the next Edelweiss Tour!
Wim

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