Austria Grossglockner Pass
On the third day of riding we stayed in Country number 6 which meant we stayed in Austria for the day.
The aim on this European motorcycle tour Grossglockner Pass taking in 20 Countries in 20 Days, was to get down as far as we could in Austria and find a campsite.
Day 3 - Kufstein to Villach via the GrossglocknerPass (Austria)
The Days Events
We were all up early, it had been a really comfortable night in a lovely town, but we hadn’t been out and about because we had arrived late and it was only a stop over. If you want a tour where you are off out every night, sight seeing everywhere you visit, then this is definitely the wrong tour for you.
This was about going to Asia for Ginge and navigating ’20 Countries in 20 Days’ for me. Mike was just there for the adventure and experience, we all were really, but I’d made the ‘20 Countries in 20 Days’ my mission for the trip, with a stop at Auschwitz towards the end as the icing on the cake.
Breakfast was the usual continental style, a selection of cold meats and cheeses, some boiled or scrambled eggs, cereal and of course a good few coffees to start the day. The night had gone quickly because we had all slept really well after the previous day’s riding, and it had taken its toll on Mike and I from the two big days riding in poor weather conditions.
After we’d eaten, we headed to our rooms and packed our final bits and pieces. When we were ready to go, we filled up and got underway to travel through Austria on a famous pass. Because Ginge took more notice of his sat nav than the road signs, we ended up playing silly buggers trying to get out of Kufstein. After a bit of friendly banter, we finally headed out of town in the correct direction.
I hoped this was not going to be a taste of things to come, or I would have to change the name of the book to ‘Three Ex-Trogs’ (nickname given to RCT personnel by other Army units) and one sat nav.
Riding a motorbike in Austria
At the start of the journey over the pass we had to first negotiate the fast, open, long sweeping curves enroute to the ‘Grossglockner Pass’. There were some great views, lovely villages and places that looked like they were out of a brochure, as we quietly made our way through many scenic places. The village buildings and houses looked very much like Bavarian properties but seemed more at home here in the Austrian mountain setting.
The roads and weather were nice as we went over the Pass. The going was very good as we hit the twisty roads and started to climb whilst we were en-route to the summit. The views were simply stunning and the riding was fast with Ginge leading the way.
Riding the Grossglockner Pass in Austria
On reaching the foot of the Grossglockner Pass, we were presented with a toll booth and relieved of €25.50 for the pleasure of riding over the mountain. We saw all kinds of cars and bikes, DB9’s, Porsche’s, sports cars, family cars, camper vans and hundreds
After travelling only half way up to the top of a fantastic ride towards the sky and where the climb was getting better and better with every turn, my BMW was not performing as it should. I got a stark reminder of how quickly and out of the blue things can suddenly go wrong, as I accelerated up the hill – No Power “shit”, why now on the biggest Pass I’m ever likely to ride! The clutch was slipping, not that badly that I had to stop, but bad enough not to enjoy the roads. A mechanical failure can happen at any time, so I just concentrated on coaxing the bike to the top and not over revving as we continued to ascend.
Using breakdown recovery in Europe
Should I call the AA before things get worse, even though I hadn’t broken down yet? Should I limp to a local garage? Do I go to the next biggest BMW dealership and get ‘raped without them giving me a reach around’. Or do I continue until I break down, pay for the repair, get car hire and continue? Or sack it right now and fly home, being reunited with the bike again weeks or months later! Decisions, decisions, decisions.