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RideFast Jan 2020

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TOURING EUROPE So, you

TOURING EUROPE So, you are the master of the twenty-two, you can ride Robber’s pass blindfolded and you know every undulation of Long Tom pass. But what about the passes in Europe: Stelvio, Furka and the famous Grossglockner? Imagine approaching a hairpin-bend on a Ducati Multistrada at full tilt, only to see that this hairpin is numbered “20”. That means that there are nineteen more to come as you plunge down into the valley below. This is what my Edelweiss Bike Travel, Precious Dolomites tour was all about! Words & pics by Brian Cheyne Last year, friends of mine went on a European motorcycle tour. The pictures were fantastic and I wanted in. I wanted to experience it for myself. To make life easier, I approached a company called Edelweiss Bike Travel. They have been in existence since 1980 and they offer tours all over the world. With their vast local knowledge it takes the guesswork out of route-planning and finding decent accommodation. The only thing that bothered me was riding as part of a group. It is a personal thing, but I don’t enjoy riding in a group. Fortunately Edelweiss offers self-guided tours as well. This means that they give you a complete route with places to see and things to do with a pre-booked overnight stay. You have all day to get there and no-one to wait for. Edelweiss has a vast fleet of motorcycles and a dedicated workshop at their facilities in Mieming, Austria. This means that you will probably be able to rent what you currently ride. Trust me, when you are trying to remember to ride on the wrong side of the road, being on a familiar bike will make a world of difference. I opted for my dream bike, a Ducati Multistrada. The bike was equipped with panniers, a top-box and a tank bag. This provided more than enough packing space for the five days of riding. At the time of booking they offered four tours. For one of the tours, you are stationed in Tyrol and you ride a loop every day. I was tempted to do that, because then your luggage stays in the hotel and you can pick a nimble bike like a Ducati Monster and just have fun 30 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2020 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2020 31