Cheap thrills, rad motorbike rides
Enthusiasts will agree: for the money, a motorcycle is truly an unparalleled transportational experience for getting from point A to point B. When you think about it, it also doesn’t really matter what kind of bike you ride; they all help achieve that thrilling adrenaline rush as rider slices through the elements of an alpine curve, shoreline scenic route, or heavily canopied forest road. So, whether it’s a new or used cruiser, sport, chopper or ATV, get the style of bike you like at a price you can afford, and start hitting the wide open spaces.
Motorbiking in Europe is a dream come true. Thousands of exceptional rides meander through storybook scenery dotted with refreshingly inexpensive yet comfortable guesthouses, inns and pensions along the routes. For the frugal rider, map out your own self-guided route and go solo, with a friend or spouse. Here are a few top-rated rides across Europe that’ll get your motor running:
Amalfi Coastal Road –Naples to Salermo, Italy
This 50-kilometer stretch of turns, dips and twists nicknamed “the Road of a Thousand Bends” not only challenges the savviest of sportbike enthusiasts, but leaves little to be desired for those seeking a romantic coastal ride. You’ll glide around the Isle of Capri and through several perfectly picturesque Italian towns including Positano, Ravello and Amalfi. Don’t lose yourself to the intoxicating view of the Mediterranean, as it’s a long drop from those craggy cliffs to the surf below. And, avoid late July through August, when tourists clog this narrow roadway and you’ll see nothing but bumper to bumper. Looking for a decent place to stay along the way? Why not visit www.airbnb.com? A quick glance showed rentals in June of both rooms in a B&B or entire apartment overlooking the water started at as little as 90 euros a night. Prego!
Cat and Fiddle Run – A537, Buxton-Macclesfield, England
This route through the Peak District National Park may only be 11 kilometers long but it’ll rev up any motorcyclist’s engine. Considered one of the U.K.’s most dangerous roads, it’s also among Europe’s top-rated rides. Even with a 50-mph speed limit, its turns and corners seem both never-ending and more difficult with each pass. If the ride itself doesn’t call to you, perhaps a stay at the ride’s namesake will, as the Cat and Fiddle Inn is also where the famed route ends. Belly up to the bar in the pub for a nice stout ale and swap stories with one of the many other riders who are sure to be there. Visit www.catandfiddleinn.com for details about the inn as well as interesting sites nearby.
Bavarian Alps – near Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, Garmisch, Germany
You can let someone else plan the ride while you soak up all that alpine fresh air and R&R. Grab your gear and get to the 9th annual Ride the Alps motorcycle rally, June 20-22, 2014, at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch, Germany. Sponsored by Exchange New Car Sales, this two-day event includes a poker run through some of Bavaria’s most beautiful scenic alpine mountain passes, two nights (double occupancy) in the resort, festivities, photo, patch and even a bike parade. The whole package is very economical, as food is included; there’s a fajita party on Friday, barbeque on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday before the parade through town. Prices are $359 for E1 - E5, and $399 for all other ranks. For those who’d rather sleep under the stars, you can camp at their Vacation Village and take part in the rest of the festivities for $75 per adult. Kids are also invited; if enough kids are registered, there could be added entertainment at the lodge while riders are on the poker run/ride. More than 400 bikers attended last year’s event, so call ASAP for reservations. Visit their page for more information; www.edelweisslodgeandresort.com/news-deals/ridethealps and call to make a reservation: Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, +49 (0) 8821-9440 or DSN (314) 440-2575 / 2211.
If these rides left you longing for more, check out www.motorbikeeurope.com/en. Both expert and amateur riders map, rate and review their favorite rides across Europe. You’ll find an endless supply of new routes to take for rides to remember. So, what are you waiting for? Get out on the highway!