Picture the scene…. “Winter in the UK, a smattering of snow appears from the sky”…… roads close, trains can’t run and basically panic sets in that drivers cannot cope with the weather conditions – What must the people in Europe think?!!
We recently undertook a research trip to Austria and Italy looking ahead to our 2018 and 2019 motorcycle tours, we originally planned to only visit the hotels thinking that many of the riding routes we would like to check would be closed due to the snow – were we surprised? 🙂 Only one of the roads on our list was closed due to the weather, and so we found ourselves high in the Austrian Alps and the Dolomites travelling some amazing roads complete with skiers whizzing passed us as they enjoyed the winter sun.
We had a clue that the roads might be passable as we enjoyed the B500 and the high route through the Black Forest – this German rider was certainly making the most of the good weather and practically had the road to himself.
Continuing south to our base in Austria we could see the Alps rising covered in snow but bathed in sunshine and whilst the area looked like something from a Christmas card snow scene we were able to appreciate exactly what fantastic motorcycling roads there are in the region come the summer months – as exampled by this hairpin which appeared to be cut through the snow…
We’ve toured through part of the Austrian Tyrol, Alps and the Dolomites in the past and it is well worth the ride to get there. One of the passes we particularly enjoyed on this visit was in the Dolomites which are spectacular in the summer with their “squared mountain tops” and rocky outcrops and here we were negotiating twists and turns and hairpins at over 6,000ft surrounded by snow, skiers and chairlifts 🙂 The high passes in these regions and in the French Alps are so well used whether it be for winter sports or motorcycling in the summer – we remember riding over the Petit St Bernard Pass between Italy and France and stopping for coffee at La Riondet with clients who had been there whilst ski-ing as the riding road becomes a ski slope during the winter months!
We did fall lucky with the weather on this particular trip as several of our days were under cloudless skies – lets hope they are like that when we next tour there 🙂