Rick’s pics are in

Well a few anyway. I’m waiting for him to download the thousands he apparently took. 

Here I am crossing into Italy. Rick was taking photos with his digital camera. I do not know how that is done but it always makes me nervous 

Rick said these pictures were of me NOT falling in a hairpin. What a smart ass 

Those turns still make me cringe…and these were the easy right hand ones 

A nice view of a village. I think this may have been the one that Rick swore was inbred thus prompting his “Do you want to marry your sister or your other sister” comment 

And finally pics of my sweet Dash’s fairing.  He is feeling a little ignored with all these Alps posts .  This side is where I place the stickers from places I have been on Dash 

And here is the right side stickers of places I have been without Dash 

By backdoormotoadventures

John & Christie pictures are in…

Well here we go.  Now Cristi (sorry I spelled your name wrong in the blog but I am too lazy to go back and correct it) was taking pictures from the back of the bike- big sweeeeeeeeeping panoramas….

Here is a picture of John and  Cristi

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and me upright riding behind them for a moment as John is a bit of a speed demon!  See how crooked I ride–that is from years of riding Dash-

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cows everywhere…While Laura was purchasing every snow globe in Europe, Diane was buying up cow bells like crazy.  I wonder what she is doing with them right now?


A pretty town…God only knows where

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Where are we?  No, really I am not joking!  Where in the hell are we?  Helloooooo


Hell with it.  I’m photo bombing…


Hey Rick, haven’t seen one of those in about 5 seconds.

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I know where this was, in Zermatt.  Great picture Cristi.  A tad creepy, but definitely a keeper.

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and finally the sheep jam which Rick, Laura, and I missed because we were stuck in a tunnel on our way to Milano.

Sheep jam…that’s funny.


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Yup.  The Alps.

By backdoormotoadventures

Alps images continue to trickle in…

Here is a map of the entire ride (with exception of one small straight line when I forgot to turn on the spot)

ALPS_Aug 2016

Here is a street scene where Laura and I tracked down an Italian police officer for a photo opportunity.

A skirt and a gun!  Now we’re talking.  Rick asked her if it was a Glock but she did not answer.  She is a woman of few words.

Police _1 Police _2

A picture of the Matterhorn-which unfortunately we did not have time to truly explore

A ferry ride where I decided to photo bomb John and Christie

Then me alone…

A picture of San Bernardino (which amused Rick and Laura to no end)

and some random pictures from somewhere along the line


After the last fall Rick likened me to Artie Johnson on Laugh In who used to ride a tricycle and then simply fall over.  Something like this:

Martie Johnson_laugh in

which is exactly how it looked too–ha ha

Lastly, here are my souvenirs

My new patches sewn onto my rucksack--ready for the next ride

My new patches sewn onto my rucksack–ready for the next ride

My new pins from my favorite passes- Stelvio and Furka

My new pins from my favorite passes- Stelvio and Furka

Only thing left are the stickers on Dash’s fairing…

By backdoormotoadventures

Alps tour last day about 1,400 miles total and 12,000 switchbacks

Well here is the last day of our most amazing Alps tour. What an adventure. To have so many different people come together and actually get along. My most favorite ride was Furka Pass on day 3 and my second favorite was the first day Stelvio Pass. Today was actually easy and we all were tired. In the morning briefing no one said a word. Some were sad it was ending, others just outright exhausted (count me among those), or maybe we weren’t getting along as well as I thought. Ha ha 

Here are some pictures from our last day.  An Italian tunnel cut from stone. It was a nice leisurely ride through Italy and back to Austria with less hairpins and more sweepers 

Here is an example of one of the sweepers we went over to get to the Timmelsjoch pass.  This pass is also where the Iceman was found in 1991

In Sarntal we stopped and the sounds of the bells around all of the cows neck in the valley below was just lovely. Like living wind chimes 

We stopped somewhere for lunch and were immediately surrounded by a swarm of bees. They caused both entertainment and consternation.  Apparently they really like soda.  By the end of the meal the men in the group were finding unusual ways to kill them while Laura was successful at simply trapping them and letting them go after we had eaten. 

Our next stop was Austria and the Top Motorcycle Museum – Rick’s favorite- ANY motorcycle museum. 

Everyone went inside the museum but I chose to just look around at the free stuff. Upstairs I found this sweet ride (this one is for you Annette)

Outside informational booths spoke of the powers of pine. Apparently you can save the equivalent of an hours work, every single night (something about saving 3,000 heartbeats), by sleeping on a Swiss pine wood bed.  Hmmm, tell this guy that!

Tomorrow we head back to Munnich and eventually home to California. I am definitely ready to return home even though this was definitely the Alps Adventure we sought. 

By backdoormotoadventures

Alps day 10: Bolzano Italy. 1,000 turns

I don’t know if I have ever been more tired in my life. I couldn’t even write this yesterday I was so exhausted. Today we leave to return to Mieming Austria and the end of the trip. It has been amazing but I am so over these…

Literally all day. There were more than 200 of switchbacks.  Bobby pins, paper clips, and safety pins!

Here are some pictures from when it wasn’t this twisty. Our goal was the Dolomites and here they are

And us having some fun at lunch

And of course I dropped my bike again in an uphill right hand hairpin turn – those darned turns get me

Well it wasn’t that bad but here is the brake lever that curled back in on itself. I think it is an improvement.  Rick calls it the “Lisa lever” the first in a coming line of fashionable motorcycle accessories.

Again nothing hurt but my pride and really I am a good rider. …no really. It’s true. Ha ha.

By backdoormotoadventures

Alps day 9 Bolzano Italy 150 miles 

A beautiful day for riding. Perfect weather. We are in Bolzano and will be here until Saturday morning when we return to Meming  Austria. 

Laura and I have made a new talk show called the “Rick Hall show” replete  with with intro song as Rick seems to be an expert in all things and can link any topic to a world war. Today was no different though we did have guest appearances in his show as the hikers were prolific and I could not help singing “The Happy Wanderer” song which apparently Laura never heard. 

Above is a hairpin turn which Rick has renamed the Bobby pin. And then we have the paper clip which is more open of a turn and the safety pin which incorporates the traffic circle.  I think we may be loosing our minds a bit as this provides us with endless entertainment and giggles. 

My favorites the tunnels…

And a house like so many others with lovely pictures painted in the sides. I think there is someone going about completing these works of art as they are all over Italy 

The brick retaining walls are also a popular favorite. It is better than nothing 

We stopped for the worlds best hot chocolate. And I am not exaggerating.   This tiny little roadside stand was fabulous. Here are our bikes outside of it and across the street was some sort of antique parking garage 

Further down the road we stopped for a photo opportunity – I told Laura and Rick that the helmet makes my cheeks look fat!  We will be riding in those mountains behind us tomorrow

After  this we stopped for lunch and had a picnic. Above us was the Missionary San Remedio.  Such an opulent place tucked in the middle of no where.  Stone steps lead you to this most wonderful building.  Like a fairytale castle springing out of the earth to dazzle and exceed your expectations. I thought it would be primeval and sparse 

Some more turns and at the tip of the ridge another breath taking view. Here is one of the many turns we took to reach this summit 

And then here we were 

Or maybe here?  Who really knows 

Tomorrow we go to the Dolomites   I think we will choose the shorter ride which is just over 200 miles-  I cannot believe this trip will end in just 2 days. 

By backdoormotoadventures

Alps day 8: Val Di Sole, Italy 140 miles 

I’m on vacation!  So we decided to split from The group and ride separately into Italy .  The other choice was sheer drops with no guard rail. I decided to forgo that ride so that I Might live to tell the tales. 

Thus the California contingency left Switzerland later than the others so that we could go on an adventure. Here we are crossing Into Italy.  The lake to the right goes on forever. We debated but I think it is Lake Como or Lugano or Luigi or maybe Mario. No one seemed to know for certain 

Some of the mountain side which is quite fortressed.

And small towns decorated for festivals. 

As we rode along I made Rick stop in a small town called Bellano so I could take a picture of a stream and some of the local sights. It seemed the western side of Lake Como was a lot of tunnels so whenever daylight appeared it was such a novelty one just had to enjoy it …

I then thought riding the western side of the lake would be a nice adventure. Unfortunately that is when we ended up On the freeway which is a series of tunnels that has no exit.   Like a Sarte play we were stuck in tunnel hell.  After many stops and nervous comments we exited only to find the lake easily and continue on our journey. 

Unfortunately, that is when I realized  that Rick and I had very different understandings of this ride. I saw it as an adventure and wanted to go down side streets and walk along the markets and he wanted to eat and get to the hotel.   After a brief tiff and some choice comments, over the communicator, followed by long stretches of silence we made up.  

The roads were filled with sweeps and S turns 

And Rick even allowed me to visit one of the most bizarre flea markets I have ever seen on the top of Passo Del Tonale 

So I allowed him To visit the war veterans memorial and all was right with the day.  This is the outside and the inside is also spectacular and dramatic

We were about 30 miles from our hotel and the valleys were lush as we pulled into our hotel 

Tomorrow we remain in Italy and end up in Collalbo.  See you on the road 

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Alps day 7: Lugano, Switzerland 140 miles

Again I was fortunate enough to wake to the tolling of bells.  However, rain and thunder also accompanied the morning along with some infrequent lightening.  Undaunted we all set out for our adventure. Luckily my waterproofed leather kept me dry and my new fancy jacket did as well 

Outside my hotel room in Zermatt,  Switzerland

We left for the train station and a quick photo before  boarding 

We were headed toward Simplon Pass which is between Italy and Switzerland. So basically we bounced between the two eventually landing in Switzerland once again – basically I never know where I am. 

The day opened up and it was quite warm and lovely.  A modern looking bridge appeared as we got closer  to the top of the mountain pass. Though chilly no rain 

At the top of the pass we stopped for a moment and then pressed on

Coming  down the pass we rode through some lovely goaty (equals bumpy) roads.  These towns are a mixture of modern and old.   You cannot get enough of them

We stopped for lunch down this cramped alley 

Which opened up into this 

And when we were done with lunch turned into this 

So we left for the ferry which would eventually lead us back to Switzerland 

Riding through some more small towns the weather would eventually turn on us and we were riding in a torrential downpour replete with thunder.  But all was well as we were not far from our hotel and a stiff drink.

Tomorrow is all Italy and we have chosen to take a quicker route so we can see some of the town. Lake Como is our true destination let’s hope the weather holds 

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Alps day 6: Zermatt Switzerland 152 miles 

Is one long day. It doesn’t seem like it would be but there were so many passes that it took a long time to navigate. I need to say that I awoke to the tolling of bells outside my hotel window. It was very relaxing and beautiful. I wonder if that happens each day?

We met early in the morning and I was very tired. But here is the view out of my hotel window. I watched trash collectors pick up their haul like they used to in the 70s. Hanging off the back of the truck and one was smoking a cigarette. A lot of people smoke here it is amazing

We took a group picture on the other side of the hotel room

From left to right we have John and Christie a sweet couple from Pennsylvania. They said yesterday’s ride reminded them of a carnival ride called the Wild Mouse which goes very high and twirls down and around. I am trying desperately  to get Christie to swear but she is having none of it.  Next to them are Eric and Diane from Minnesota   That have invited us there in January to experience a thing called turkey bowling. Apparently frozen turkeys are tossed about…only in Minnesota.  I would be happy to visit but I will forgo the turkey bowling. Behind them is Sydney from Brazil. He is rather quiet.  At one point Diane invited all of us to stay with him in Brazil. He said he lived in a studio apartment.  No one believes him.  We think he has a mansion and just doesn’t want anything to do with us. Then of course there is me and Rick, with the infantile rabbit ear trick, and Laura.   We have 3 way communication devices so are chattering about inane things all day.  Sometimes we go out of range and I hear snippets of conversations. These random comments provide hours of entertainment. Rick tries to use accents but they all sound the same.  At one point I heard him Ask randomly “Do you want to marry your sister or your other sister?” In a horrid Swedish accent.  At other times he is quoting lines from movies like Gone With the Wind or Young Frankenstein or Ghost Busters and something about a Marshmallow man. Next to us is Bjorn who is eternally optimistic and nothing seems to bother him. Though we have decided we need a Bjorn to English dictionary as he has a tendency to under or over estimate things in his quest to be eternally optimistic.   Last is Angela. She is from Germany and scares us all a little. An excellent rider who would not hesitate to rip off my arm and beat me to death with it if I stepped out of line. So I am always at odds with wanting to irritate  her or simply fall in line.

The day started out with a beautiful sunny road

We were riding though multiple passes but first we went to a cheese factory   Do you know that there are no bugs to be found when riding these roads.  In the USA we would have been over run. Well the reason is because they all reside at the cheese factory. This factory has been family owned for generations and the pics below show the son making cheese which is not a simplistic process.

We left there and headed for my favorite ride thus far especially the Furka Pass.  This lake was an amazing shade of blue

You can see some of the roads we traversed to get to the top of this mountain

At the top we had a bit of fun and bought lots of overpriced trinkets.

These were the roads back down the mountain. Much easier than going up and so much fun (except for the buses which seemed to be out to get us)

At the bottom another sweet little town appeared

On our way to Zermatt we caught sight of the Matterhorn.

Zermatt is a small town where no cars are allowed so you have to take a shuttle bus to the hotel. We had to leave our bikes in a smaller town called Tasch.

Tomorrow we are off to Lugano in the southeastern part of Switzerland. So close to Italy I can feel it. I say Ciao to people and they think I speak fluent Italian. Ha ha. I know enough Italian to be dangerous.

Random photobomb pic while we picknicked

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Alps day 5: Brunnen, Switzerland. 200 miles 

200 miles felt like 2,000 miles. Though it was supposed to be easier than Stelvio Pass it proved far more taxing. Let’s just call it the day of mishaps.  

It was a lovely summer day with temperate weather and enough switchbacks to make your head spin.  In and out of Italy and Switzerland we roamed only for me to find the Splugen Pass to prove  my downfall. Literally.  A fantastic road which story will come later but first some pictures 

These switchbacks seemed to last forever.  Why cars would ever choose to be on this ride. is beyond me. Some drove slowly others raced by creating havoc 

The towns were often colorful but mostly made of brick, stone, and wood. It was amazing riding  by these structures built so many years ago yet still so functional. 

The cobblestone streets fascinate me…

But it was the switchbacks without guardrail that would ultimately unnerve me.  Imagine this road with its tight switchback but In the opposite direction. Coming up rather than down. This is where I met a motorcycle and then I panicked. Taking the turn too fast (hot) I saw a bike coming at me and got scared then went wide then when trying to correct – without speed and while the other bike went under me safely through the turn I realized I neither had the speed nor space to make it up the hill. I had no choice but to drop the bike at no speed and stop traffic. Rick came to help me pick up the bike as I stopped traffic from above and Laura stopped it from below.   A nice gentleman got out of his car to help me pick up the bike and Rick and another rider Sydney from our group helped and off I went to tackle the next 1000 curves. Ha ha    The only thing hurt was my pride but the next few switchbacks were tense for me to say the least.  

Me and this bike need to make amends as we are tethered for the next week…

The rest of the ride was long but thankfully uneventful.  Though our tour guide got into a bit of a fray with a Porshe that was bothering us all and another rider got cut off by and over zealous motorcyclist. Is it a full moon?

Here are some last pictures from the ride. These tunnels go on forever.  I love them. 

This was in a small town in Italy. A festival was occurring- very lovely and quaint 

The San Bernardino Pass, an old mule pass, was very crowded but the roads were wide so traffic moved briskly 

A view from my hotel as we all ate dinner together.  So pretty 

 Tomorrow we find ourselves staying in Switzerland from Brunnen to Zermatt.  We get to take a ferry  which I just love. Glaciers await our arrival. 

By backdoormotoadventures