I could kick myself for taking Thursday off as a rest-day, because it was good weather for riding. I didn’t know it was going to rain Friday and Saturday. I could have ridden another day, and taken Friday off to rest my backside. As it turned out, it rained Friday and Saturday, and it threatened rain Sunday.
I was determined to get more riding in, so I took a shot at getting in a day-ride Saturday.
The morning started out fine; there were even some patches of blue sky in the direction I was heading.
My general direction was south, towards Trento, where there were two very nice passes and a national park area I wanted to investigate. The routes I planned were chock full of the same kinds of twisting, twirling, snaking paths I had enjoyed Tuesday.
From Merano, I took the highway for a short leg, and then exited into a farming area near Andriano to take small roads through the picturesque villages of Missiano, San Paolo, and San Michelle.
There were open-air markets and a lot of pedestrians in the first three or four little towns.
From San Michelle, I headed up Passo Mendolo on highway SP42 where I had the road mostly to myself, until I got passed by some guy driving a Ferrari.
I didn’t notice him come up behind me, and I never saw him again.
I continued over the pass at a sane pace, and came down the other side into the town of Ronzone where I took some photos and enjoyed the last of the dry weather.
Half an hour later, I would be into the rain, and come to the rude awakening that the Rev It suit is no longer rain-repellent. By the time I turned around and headed back towards my hotel in Merano, I was cold and miserable. I spent the next two hours cussing myself for having taken a sunny day off from riding. The roads I was on Saturday were stellar, and I enjoyed riding them, even in the rain, (until I got wet and cold). Then they were no fun at all. I just wanted to get back to the hotel and a hot shower.
After dropping from altitude, the weather cleared for the rest of the ride back, but it was of no help in my situation, since I was thoroughly soaked. I decided I might as well take an alternate route to see some new roads, so I turned off near Sarnonico and tracked north through Fondo. Here was another section of twisting two-lane dotted with cool little villages. I got back to Merano around 3 pm.
Here’s Saturday’s tracks.
I left the hotel around 9 am Sunday to begin the trek back to Munich. The weather seemed sort of iffy. My original plan was to take a long route to the east, and go over Grossglockner Pass back to Munich but, after my experience Saturday, I didn’t want to risk getting soaked through and have to make an all-day ride that way. I would have to cross a pass, but I decided to do it during the early part of the day, and stick nearer the Autobahn in case I needed to make a dash for the city.
There was a nice winding highway north out of Merano into the mountains. I started climbing rapidly out of San Leaonard in Passiria on a gorgeous, high-alpine road. I was above the tree line for about 30 minutes, and enjoying the ride. I started to feel like I may have chickened out on Grossglockner too easily, but that’s just another reason to ride in this area again.
On my way up the hills, I could tell it was Sunday because, as I went through the villages, the locals were congregating around the churches. It was surprising to see many people in what look like the stereotypical Bavarian costumes. There were men wearing lederhosen shorts with suspenders, caps with a feather in it, and variations of that sort of thing. I was back in the toolies, so they weren’t doing it for the tourists.
After coming down the north side of the pass, I opted for the A22 Autobahn. I paid 1.30 euro to get to the Austrian Border, and 8 euro to get across Austria and into Germany. The German autobahn was free. After arriving at my Munich hotel around 2 pm, I spent a nice evening looking around Munich.
I returned the motorcycle Monday morning, and caught the underground into the heart of Munich to take some pictures. On my last trip to Munich in November, the area was a seething mass of shoppers visiting the Christmas market. The weather was cold and damp. This time, there were still a lot of people, but it wasn’t jam-packed with the crafts-people’s stands. I had an interesting day in the touristy, and in the less-touristy areas of Munich. I found a nice vegetarian restaurant, Max Pret, a glorious oasis in a desert of beer and sausages.
My trip was good, and I’ll do it again.