Mapping the next ride...
Staff member

Strange places...weird customs




…local tradies and communications…


…BYO food?


Classy digs along the way…


At least some things are familiar….


And no, this wasn't a trip to Canberra


HELLOOOOO…and WELCOME to Tornanti_3, another 3-week adventure of a half-dozen Aussies stumbling around the European Alps in an attempt to try and make sense of a few things, find a bucket load of stumping roads
, wonder about the magnificent countryside, pretend to mumble enough of the local lingo to fumble their way through room-bookings, menu-pages and whatever else the days…and fate…might throw up.

3 weeks…and a bit… of roaming the backroads of the Western Alps, stunning vistas, chasing the best of the local tucker and brew…laughing with the locals... and having the time of their lives.

After the original Tornanti in 2007 and the pearler of the 2009 Eastern Alps sequel, the brief this time prescribed a Western Alps loop from Zuerich in the industrial heartlands of northern Switzerland.

Using the byways to discover some of the delights of the side valleys and hidden treasures of the Valais (Rhone Valley/ Wallis/ Southern Switzerland), tacking south along the Italian- French border to the most south-eastern pocket of France just north of Nice at the Mediterranean coast….to the stumping gorges and rock faces of the Vercors area southwest of Grenoble, the backblocks of Alpe d'Huez and the Bernese Highlands on the swingback.

Lining up the local single-laners where ever possible and some dirt and gravel where available to string it all together, using the main tourist routes and Big Classics of the Route Des Grandes Alps as "commuting stretches".


Mapping the next ride...
Staff member
Enjoyment had to be maximized in every possible way, like..
…having the Alps to ourselves by NOT sharing them with 10s of millions of EU-holidaymakers during peak season

…picking the best time of year and adding some extra autumn-colours while at it.

…picking Zuerich as entry/ exit point as a variety of airlines flies directly from Australasia to Zuerich, minimizing travel times, required logistics and potential travel stuff-ups.

Zuerich also sits conveniently right on top of the "dividing line", splitting the Alps region into a western and eastern half…as well as being within 90mins of travel from/ to some of the most spectacular riding roads of the Alps. Access to almost everywhere is quick and easy, Autobahns leading to all 4 directions of the compass.
Add the fact that there's one of the best Bike-Hire businesses in Europe nearby, and it's just about impossible to go past the place.

It had all started on a stinking hot Melbourne night, enjoying a couple of coldies on the verandah.
" Hey, Doug's been prodding me in the ribs about another Tornanti-jaunt….whaddaya reckon?"
BIIIGG grin, no words…


Old-School planning,…cobbling together 15 months worth of tips, hints and ideas from books and the Net, whatever the language. Hans in Vienna was the main culprit…that "WestAlpen" Denzel book kept me awake for weeks!!


Then the stack of Michelin and TCI (Touring Club Italiano) Regional and Detail maps, some still slumbering away in the map-drawers from previous trips, others dribbling into the letterbox from Europe and the UK after hitting the "Buy Now" button…the French/Italian Alps south of Lake Geneva cover a lazy 9sqm of lounge room floor. I'm a sucker for good maps.


With a lousy 3 weeks to go and things around home + work starting to get "edgy", it's another quick call to MotoMader to make sure…again!!...that all is well with the booking and there'll be 6 bikes for us on THAT Saturday.

Turns out, they've got something else on THAT Saturday, too…


Their annual Bike-toberfest Promotional with Bavarian Wurst and Beer on offer…and 6 travel-shredded Aussies right in the midst of it. Yeeha….that'll be a welcome like a kick in the pants!! Prost!

Time to pull the finger out and get across to Tullamarine to meet up with Tim, Andrew and Dave who's already got the first leg from Hobart in the bag.

White'n fast…the oldest and quickest of the pack, dirt or tar: Dave-The-Brave.
Yours truly on the right.


Doug's gone ahead to meet his wife in Thailand for a couple of days, Goodie's already been in northern Germany for a week on "family-business"…with luck, everyone will be at the Zuerich Airport Starbucks in 30 hours or so…


See you on the other side of a headache full of airline-movies…Abracadabra!!



Mapping the next ride...
Staff member
Thanks for popping your heads through the door, folks.
This will be a long ride :woot:
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