Tag: switzerland

Travel Lessons Learned: Just Stop and Take the Picture

Travel Lessons Learned: Just Stop and Take the Picture

You won’t regret stopping to take the picture but you will regret NOT stopping.

fuzzygalore looking at the Grimselpass terraces Switzerland

It’s a battle for many riders. You see something beautiful, something weird, something interesting and you saaaaaaaail right on by thinking, “I should take a picture of that.”

Well? Just do it. Stop. It’ll only take a minute. Later on when you can relive those memories in full color, you’ll be glad you did.

It’s the Alpine Trip Sticker Bonanza!

It’s the Alpine Trip Sticker Bonanza!

In preparation for our trip to the Alps, my friend Ed has made us a great set of stickers featuring the 5 of us that are going:
fuzzygalore eurotrip decal

I just love it!

There’s~

  • Ed & Drea, 2-up. They could make an espresso, take a photo, whip up a 20-page paper on a typewriter… all while canyon carving at 70mph.
  • There’s me on the left -in my fancy new Klim gear– stopped, taking a photo (probably of Bigfoot or something ridiculous).
  • Pimmie? He’s out front and all business with the hammer down. No shocker there. That boy knows how to put a motorcycle down the road.
  • And there’s Kenny on the right. He has everyone fooled looking every part of the textile-clad, responsible man – but staying true to his hooligan roots he is of course tossing up a wheelie.

We’ve each got our own character stickers to boot:
fuzzygalore eurotrip stickers 2014
::runs away squealing::

Ed has outdone himself. For our last trip to the Alps, he whipped up an awesome pair of T-shirts for Kenny and me. But I think these decals are the jam! It’s kind of awesome having talented friends 🙂

Thanks, Ed!

Riding the Alps with a GoPro Hero Camera: Is This Thing On?

Riding the Alps with a GoPro Hero Camera: Is This Thing On?

Kenny and Pimmie both rode with GoPro Hero HD cameras throughout our Alpine trip. Kenny mounted his on the side of his helmet for a “you’re seeing what I’m seeing” point of view and Pimmie mounted his GoPro on the front of his Tuono near the right mirror stalk.

Each day, they shot about 4 hours worth of riding video. In order to conserve the battery, this meant turning the camera on and off on less exciting stretches of road or during extended stops.

While looking through the videos, I found that many video clips start with a view of either of them looking into the camera with an “is this thing on?” expression. Kenny’s signature move was to look into his left mirror to see if the record light was flashing, while either Pimmie, Kenny or sometimes both had to look at Pimmie’s bike from the front see if his light was flashing.

It’s interesting to note some of the backgrounds, scenery, cars and bikes going by. This is like one big photobomb blog post. These photos are some of those video still frames:

click all photos to enlarge

Is This Thing On?

Kenny on Falzarego Pass Italy

Splugenpass Stelvio - Is this thing on? Alps Tour
Timmelsjoch - Is this thing on? Kenny Alpine Tour Heading to Jaufenpass

Is this thing on?

In the Dolomites Heading to Stelvio Riding in Austria
Motorcycling in the Alps Riding in Italy Riding in Italy

Stelvio Pass

Photobomb Gallery - Alpine Riding Tour Alps Tour Alps Tour
Alps Tour Falzarego Pass Heading to Falzarego Pass

Heading to Bormio

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I Spy: A Peraves Ecomobile on the Fluelapass

I Spy: A Peraves Ecomobile on the Fluelapass

While riding on the Fluelapass in Switzerland we passed an Ecomobile. You can file that under something you don’t see everyday!

What am I talking about? It’s a Swiss BMW K-bike powered, enclosed motorcycle with outrigger wheels that come down when you slow to a stop. I think the model might be called a Monotracer, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

Ecomobile Monotracer on the Fluelapass in Switzerland

I’m not sure if it’s a wee bit of the claustrophobia talking or what, but something about the idea of riding in one of these bubbles creeps me out. How about you? Would you ride in one?

Riding to Austria: Our Dark Cloudy Day Has A Silvretta Lining

Riding to Austria: Our Dark Cloudy Day Has A Silvretta Lining

Church Cross in Wassen SwitzerlandThe first thing that I did when I woke up was open up the window and look out. To my dismay the roadway was damp. But… at least it wasn’t raining. I watched four little birds playing in the fountain outside as the chilly morning air crept in. I then padded around our little room, looking at postcards, receipts and stickers that I’d accumulated so far.

With Pimmie still sawing logs in the room next door, Kenny and I set off on foot for a walk through the little town of Wassen. Just a stones throw from our hotel was a small church; St. Gallus – perched on a hill that overlooked the valley. We stood there in the damp air listening to the trains going by on the tracks above and below us and watching children in the nearby school yard.

The view in Wassen Switzerland train in Wassen Switzerland Garden Gnome in Wassen Switzerland

Wassen Church St Gallus

When we started walking down the serpentine footpath back to our hotel, the heavy sky opened up. The rain that we’d managed to dodge the day before had caught up to us. It was now time for us to pay the piper. It was pouring.

Back at the hotel, with Pimmie now awake, we sat looking at our maps over breakfast. My heart broke a little when we decided against riding the Furka and Gotthard passes in the pouring rain. Sometimes I just want to kick myself when I put things off for “later”. Especially when later doesn’t come. Instead of the 2 passes we’d skipped the day before, we’d head towards clear skies in the west. We set off over the Oberalppass and headed towards Austria.

Swiss Army border near Liechtenstein Fountain in Wassen Switzerland Liechtenstein Phonebooth!

For most of the trip, I didn’t sleep very well. Each night, I would wake up several times. One night I actually had some strange, upsetting dreams. I could probably count the number of times I’ve had a bad dream in the last 10 years on one hand, so that was pretty unusual. Between the rain, my lack of good sleep and “lazy” riding we were doing, I think it put me in a lull. This was the first day that I felt really tired on the bike.

Pimmies Photo - Castle near Swiss - Liechtenstein border

Near the Swiss – Liechtenstein border, we crossed through what appeared to be a military post. I was a little bummed to not see a single guy opening a can of beans with his knife or something. Maybe they were all busy invading Liechtenstein again. *Point of note: Apparently aside from being a tax haven, 1/3 of the world’s false teeth are made in Liechtenstein.

Austrian vignette stickerWhen we crossed the Austrian border, we had to stop in a gas station to get a vignette sticker to put on our bikes. A vignette is a toll sticker. Apparently, you can be fined some serious Euros for failing to have one displayed. I guess that’s just one of those bits of information that is good to tuck in your back pocket, you know, in case you’re ever in the neighborhood.

Within a few miles of our last border crossing for the day, the clouds started to lift and the roads began to dry. It couldn’t have come soon enough. We were all tired and a little less enthusiastic than we’d been on the days before. Though riding through tree-lined valleys and along side streams was indeed beautiful, I think we were spoiled by the mountain riding. As luck would have it, we were heading towards the Silvretta Hochalpenstrasse.

Silvretta High Alpine Road Austria
photo by Böhringer Friedrich - Click for Source

Silvretta High Alpine Road was a fantastic ride. It starts low in a valley and weaves it’s way up along nearly perfect pavement. Once you get above the treeline you are in a rocky and barren landscape. Snow-capped mountains and glaciers surround you as you approach the reservoir at the road summit. This alpine pass was just what the doctor ordered. Silvretta was the silver lining of our otherwise dark, cloudy day.

Stone bridge in Austria

Silvretta High Alpine Road Reservoir Pimmies excellent photo of a boat on the Silvretta reservoir Silvretta High Alpine Road

It was getting to be late in the afternoon. For all intents and purposes we were a hop, skip and a jump from Innsbruck. So, I used my executive powers and decided that’s where we would stay for the night. So, with no plan whatsoever we went to the beautiful city of Innsbruck, Austria.

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