Are we doing the Stelvio today?
There are overland adventurers who ride their motorcycles across the Americas, Africa and Asia. They embark on journeys that span many months if not years. Then there are the weekend day trippers, many of these have returned to motorcycling after an hiatus of family and work commitments.
I sit between these two groups.
Like many adventure bike riders similar to myself I take time each year to plan one, if not two, annual motorcycling pilgrimages to the iconic destinations across Europe and often further afield. These trips would be very familiar to those that frequent the many forums and Facebook groups on the Internet.
On any given season, indeed if motorcycling is a seasonal activity, you can read about trips to Scotland, the French Pyrenees, the Alps, Norway, the West Coast of Ireland. The list is numerous and all are very accessible should you wish to take the plunge into motorcycle travel.
A book is born
Many of my trips have been detailed on this website and my travels have been well documented. It is one such trip across the Alps where I found myself documenting the journey not only through my eyes but also through the eyes of my travelling companions, many of whom had made the commitment to travel from the US and meet me in Geneva.
The document grew from what would normally be a post on the website to something more compelling. That document is the book Are we doing the Stelvio today?
The book follows the story of a group of seven riders as we cross the French, Swiss and Italian Alps in search of the Stelvio Pass. Along the way we visit many of the other well known locations such as the Combe Laval, and impressive French balcony road carved into the mountainside dizzyingly high above the valley floor. We cross some of the highest paved mountain passes in the Alps, and visit iconic ski resorts such as Val d’Isère and St Moritz, transformed from the usual snow clad slopes to a bikers paradise.
The world is out there
I hope that the account can serve as an inspiration to the day trippers. Many of these may have had the intention of recapturing a lost youth with a Triumph Bonneville, or a BMW RnineT but maybe have found themselves moving on to an adventure bike, but still day tripping. To these people I want to show how easy and accessible motorcycle touring and adventure can be.
And perhaps, just perhaps, one day we will take that round the world trip.