In 2010, Kenny and I flew to Italy to meet up with our friend Pimmie and do some riding in the Alps. Our travels took us through the mountains of Italy, Switzerland and Austria. That trip still looms large in my mind as one of the most personally meaningful adventures I’ve been on. Travel changes you.
While in Austria, one of the passes we rode was Timmelsjoch (Passo del Rombo) not far from Innsbruck and on the way to the Dolomites.
Sadly our trip across the wiggly ribbon was ensconced in fog and rain. But, I suppose that is all part of the adventure.
We’re going to be heading back to play with Pimmie in the Alps this year. I’m excited that our friend Ed will be joining us, too. Just think of all the Throwback Thursday posts!
A few years ago, before we’d taken our first riding trip to Italy I had a page torn out of an American Express travel pamphlet. It was the town of Corvara, Italy nestled in the bosom of the Dolomites. From the first time that I thumbed through that magazine, that village was something that I knew I had to see with my own eyes.
Why? Who knows?
Really why does it matter, the reason that it is important to you? When a dream sets my heart alight, I’ve found it’s best to not question it too deeply. Something dumb like logic might end up talking me out of going after it.
I’ve got another dalliance or two that have wormed their way into my brain. One of them is stopping to see the drowned church tower in Lake Reschensee. It’s just a hop, skip and a jump from the Stelvio Pass.
There is something so surreal about the photos of the tower. It’s like something out of a dream. For whatever reason, I’d like to check that out. You know, if we happened to be riding in the neighborhood one of these days.
The new year is nearly a month old and I haven’t done any riding. There is no clever excuse, just the basic truth that I’ve been doing other recreational stuff with my free time. However – that doesn’t mean that I don’t think about motorcycles all the time.
In 2013 I didn’t get to take my yearly big riding trip. Unfortunately, life got in the way.
Sometime during the fall, I picked up a Lonely Planet book for Provence & the Cote d’Azur. I never cracked it open or thumbed through its pages. Instead I flopped it down on the coffee table and it just stayed there.
With a little prodding (I’m lying, it was constant badgering) from my friend Pimmie who lives in the Netherlands, it looks like I’ll be putting that book to some use. Kenny and I just reserved a pair of BMW F700GSs for later in 2014 to meet up with him. Things are still in the early stages but we’ve made the first leap to say, “yeah, let’s go.” That’s usually the biggest hurdle for me. Everything else is just details.
This morning a lightbulb went on for me. I bought a book called “Motorcycle Journeys Through Western Europe” some time ago. Another unread book. Is this a running theme in my life – That I have a lot of un-done somedays? While the snow threatens to fall today, I’ll be feeding my brain with ideas from the pages of this book.
If you know of any Southern France/Swiss/Italian riding trip blogs – like Orson’s Travels – please leave them in the comments. You can never have too much inspiration.
In September of 2010, Kenny and I met up with our friend Patrick in Italy and spent a little over a week riding around in the mountains. Our travels took us to Italy, Switzerland, the teeny-weeny country of Liechtenstein, and Austria. The trip was, in a word – monumental.
Even though months have passed, I still find myself reliving fragments of the trip in my imagination. The Alps are a motorcyclist’s paradise.
Though it was difficult to will yourself to stop riding, we did manage to snap a few photos of some beautiful roads along the way.
The 9th of September was bittersweet. It was a special day in that it marked Kenny’s 40th birthday. He got to spend the day doing what he loved; riding motorcycles on amazingly twisty roads. Unfortunately, it also marked the last day of riding that we were to do with Pimmie on our vacation. Our day’s ride took us from beautiful Corvara back to where we started our journey together in Bormio.
The Dolomites were spectacular. Between the scenery, the road condition and the weather I couldn’t have imagined anything to top those passes. As we pressed on heading west, it became apparent that we saved what I would say was the most surprising pass of all, for last; The Gavia Pass.
Like Stelvio, I found the Gavia Pass to be most memorable because it was such an anomaly. On the ascent from Ponte di Legno on the southern side of the pass, the roadway that climbs through the trees is a single lane, and a tight one at that. The problem with the single lane is that it has to support 2 way traffic.
It was an eye opener to feel like you barely fit through the road with sidebags on your bike to then have to make room for a car to squeeze by in the other direction. It was kind of scary but exciting at the same time.
Creeping around some of the blind corners closer to the summit I found myself hoping I wouldn’t be face to face with the grill of an oncoming car.
As usual I was the caboose on our three rider train up the pass. I would catch glimpses of Kenny pulled over watching for me every now and then. It was kind of cute – like he was “protecting” me.
I found this video on youtube. It gives a pretty good view of how tight the roadway was in the southern section. Imagine trying to squeeze 2 cars through there!