Who lives in the Alps and rides motorcycle, loves in general riding fantastic curves of pass roads. There are the ones that love to go for a short ride after finishing their work and just enjoy a nice tasting Cappuccino….
…there are the others that prefer to ride fully equipped with a photo or film camera. Many times already I thought for myself “Wow! That’s a great shot. I am sure it is the best one you can take from this curve and never ever someone before took a similar picture of this spectacular curve” – thank to the melting snow! 😉
Others again are looking for some sportive adventure on their motorcycles. How many pass roads will I discover this year? To be honest, this kind of “driving pass roads fever” has caught me too and I would probably ride for 24 hours every day if there wasnt the cappuccino drinking and the taking pictures guy in me too. 😉
Anyway: the topic of this blog is to show you some different kind of pass road challenges that I know in our area. Maybe you may take part of one of them even you are just visiting our area here for holidays. I am sure that the list is not complete since there are challenges that deal with distances (Ironbutt) others discover somehow playful a country and it’s hidden places (Example M12CH = Foxtrail through Switzerland)). I love this kind of foxtrail. I will probably ride once seperatly about it. Thank you Peter Ihlo for this wonderful idea!
I’ll phocus now on challenges I prefer to call “disoveries”. If would not concentrate on those specific challenges I would already need an iron butt, even using a comfortable office chair. 😉
Grand Tour of Switzerland
The Grand Tour of Switzerland ist not really something we can call a “challenge”, it is more a “route” but nevertheless each rider and driver can build his own and personal challenge with it. My challenge of starting a new (riding) life started with the Grand Tour of Switzerland and transported me in my new rider- and bloggerlife. I even wrote a separate blog about the Grand Tour of Switzerland.
By the way: from summer 2017 on (5th July – 9th July and 13th September – 17th September) I start to offer guided tours through a part of our wonderful country Switzerland and along this beautiful Grand Tour of Switzerland. So this tour also starts my new challenge as motorcycle tour guide. No worries. This will stay the only short commercial here for one of my tours!
The Grand Tour of Switzerland really offers you the opportunity to discover a wonderful country wile riding wonderful curves. If you combine it with some curves from the below challenges, you will be perfect. I stop writing now about the Grand Tour of Switzerland since I would have to write a book, but his exists already. If you like to buy and read it, just click here on the book of the Grand Tour of Switzerland.
The Grand Tour of Switzerland was the start shot for my sabbatical, which I started on the 2nd July 2015 and which brought the the new vocation of beeing a digital nomad permanent residence. 😉
This is German. FMS stands for “Federation of motorcyclists of Switzerland“ and Pässefahren means “riding pass roads”.
After I have furfilled the first Grand Tour of Switzerland loop of 1’643 km (about 1’020 miles) I needed to get a new challenge. While I was reading the Swiss magazine Motosport I discovered an article about the FMS Pass riding competition. But it was September already. Would I have enough time for it?..
I decided to write to Mr. Hermann Ryter who is a retired teacher (for apprentices in house technic) and an enthusastic motorcyclist and explorer on two wheels.
His answer infected me with this so far unknown “curves-fever”. 😉 That’s the only time I say thank you to someone for infecting me! 😉 Well there was once a double-bass player who infected me as well and that was why I learned years ago to play the double bass…..but let’s write about something else. This is what we call “tempi passati” = it’s history.
This challenge, riding the Swiss pass roads and discovering hidden roads, valleys, places became my new passion. Thanks to this FMS Pässefahren I could discover and explore places in my country I never heard about before. I will translate a sentence wich i found on the Website www.motofun.ch of Hermann Ryter:
“The goal and purpose of the competition is still to bring bikers closer to the beauty of our country to the less known corners of Switzerland through the competition. The motto remains: Get to know Switzerland in all its facets. Not in the digging of passports, but in the targeted driving and marveling of our regions in all parts of the country “.
2015 I was “fully booked” with the Grand Tour of Switzerland and the FMS Pass riding challenge. Amazing hobby! 😉
2016 however I was allowed to ride abroad since I got my licence which allowes me now to do so in 2015. But where should I go to?
My friend, collegue as hotelier and rider of a Harley Davidson Roadglide Ultra, who is named Stephan Fleischmann and who runs the Hotel Wildanger in Zoeblen in Austria, sent me a proposal of riding together to Rimini in Italy and to join some Indian- and Harleydays called Reunion da Rimini. By the way: i wrote once an interesting article about it. I will have to translate the blog which would have the title “with Harley, Indian and wheelchair to Rimini””.
How can I reach Stephans Hotel Wildanger? Ok I will ride the pass roads of the FMS pass orad challenge. But what shall I ride after leaving Switzerland?
That for I discovered a European pass road challenge called Passknacker
Are you passionate motorbiker? Do you love discovering places and streets that you do not yet know? Are wanderlust and curve fever your favorite diseases? Do you want to meet like-minded people? Do you prefer to go above the fog or into the sunset?
Then you are exactly right with us. Passknacker is the tour-meeting point of Europe’s motorcyclists and motorcyclists. Like you, we are passionate motorcyclists and have traveled together Europe and collected the most beautiful passes waterside and cracking points.
Now I have to challenges that I join. The FMS Pässefahren (here there is now winner, since you get bronze-, silver- and goldmedals or diplomas if you make all the 130 waypoints) und den Passknacker (here winners are selected by points) and I can combine them very well. As a welcome extra both challenges offer me on their sites the waypoints of the top of the passes. The passknacker also waypoints for places called watersheds.
FMS Joe-Genoud-Challenge “Grand Tour of Switzerland”
Die Joe-Genoud-Challenge, wie sie in diesem Jahr zum ersten Mal stattfindet, habe ich bereits in einem Blog vorgestellt. Daher nur kurz:
This newly invented challenge (2017) combines the Grand Tour of Switzerland and puts some waypoints and POIs (POI = Point of Interest) from the FMS-Pässewettbewerb and the FMS Tourenwettbewerb . The Link to the official Challenge-Site (not available in English yet) of the FMS you find here and also the paper, that you need to fill in with selfies from you, your bike and a point like a town or pass sign (paste in pictures).
Once you filled in the paper and sent it to the address on the paper you will get a medal as s ouvenir. Not bad, hey? So you can put in this tour while you are passing Europe and get a souvenir later (sometime in winter) of your short trip on the Grand Tour of Switzerland! Like it?
Töff is the Swiss-German word for motorcyle or motorbike and there is a motorcycle-magazine called Toeff who organizes a guided “Alpen-Challenge” from the 3rd december on till the 10th September 2017.
They will ride more than 100 pass road in 6 days and ride about 480 km per day. It is something for real hard-core bikers since a normal guided tour in the mountains does not take longer than approx. 200 km a day.
The Route they have chosen is just great. See here: Töff Alpen-Challenge. Already the meeting point Lac Léman (Lake of Geneva) would be worth a one week holidaystay. Some highlights of the tour are: Lac Léman (you will not ride in the lake! 😉 ), Vercors, Mont Ventoux, Gorges du Verdon, some pass roads of t he Rallye Monte Carlo and many others.
I’d love to join it but since I’m a father also i have to take my responsibilities and stay home! 😉 I am sure they will have a lot of fun on this Töff Alpenchallenge!
The Alpentourer is a German magazine and they do also every two years a challenge called Alpentourer Pässemarathon. I like this one because you have to plan it carefully if you realyl want to make all the 100 passes they want to ride. But I also like it, because they are leaving the alps and visit the for me unknown British Islands. This is also the reason why I found the topic of my blog “Epic retreats“. I’m looking forward to discover those places there!
The fact that I can not discover our Swiss passes “only” and that I can explore other countries like Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, France and as mentioned before the British Island, I really like very much! I’m looking forward to it!
Six Challenges, one goal
All those 6 challenges are somehow special – each one for itself – and every biker who likes to do either daily tours or long tips on his motorcycle, can get an immense range of inspiration for his next roadtrips.
I will try to ride the “Alpentourer Pässemarathon” and to take with the challenges “FMS-Pässewettbewerb, Passknacker and the Grand-Tour-of-Switzerland-Challenge as well! I want the medal! 😉
If my health will stay fine, this should be feasible but it takes plenty of time! Maybe I will get short of it. We will see. However, I will probably have to sleep on the cost-effective “wild camp” – where the everywhere is permitted or prohibited, I will still have to clarify – since to stay in hotels all the time may become costy. Will my bones endure that challenge of sleeping in tent?
I will find out, since I am going to attend this weekend an exhibition called “Abenteuer Welt” (= adventure world) in Cologne.
I am curious what input I can get from the real big adventurers for my little adventures, and how well I will spend the nights in the tent instead of the beloved hotel. Well, it will not be that bad since I could “test” “camping” already during my military career as well as during my around the world trip. A small anecdote about this around the world trip: In 1994, with the support of a Bernese guy named André Luethi, I got my tent, which I still own today, for a bargain price. This almost legendary prize came about because a price tag of a massively more favorable article stuck to the package, and the supervisor of the shop said that he would have to sell me this tent at a more favorable price because he would otherwise be punishable. I accepted thanks. This at this time to me unknown André Luethi explained me, that he is building up a travel-agency called Globetrotter. In the meantime he became one of the most successful manager about travelling in Switzerland. A big “thank you” to André Luethi, who is also doing some charitable work!
Now at the end I kindly ask you for your feedback! Please write here on this blog called https://swizzlybiker.com your comments about how you liked this article. Feedbacks are the nutrition of a blogger. We blogger write in a personal style. Some may like it, some may not. What about you? Do you like it?
And tel me please: What is your challenge going to be?