Last edited by motomanjim; 05-17-2008 at 04:04 AM.
If I were going to ride solo or split from the group, I might as well go self-guided in the first place....and do it all for 1/3rd the price.
You'll be arriving a week before I head back. I'm heading over for 5 1/2 weeks of touring for some much needed R&R.
Thats the beauty of going self-guided...no schedule! You can change destinations the previous night based on weather reports, or for whatever reason.
When will you be at Stefan's. Even though I never met the guy, I always recommend his services. He seems to provide a fair deal.
BUT, how much is time worth?? Tours do a lot of the work and can take a lot of anxiety out of the process.
He also mentioned he was traveling with the "Boss", so the experience needs to be good for her as well. That means 3 and 4 star accommodations, enough room to take along some nice clothes, and dress up on some occasions, as well as do some shopping and not have to worry whether it will fit in the saddle bags.
I love just going off and exploring, but when the wife has been along on the Europe tours, Beach's have helped look out for her needs as well.
I have done it both ways, and I fully agree with you that the self guided offers a lot of advantages, but acknowledge that tours offer a lot too.
There is SO much to be learned about riding the Alps and having a teacher speeds that process immensely. Every time I see a rider crowding the center of a narrow mountain pass, I know it is a North American rider.
Going for the first time with a spouse is much different the going it alone. The biggest negative on many organized tours is the lack of ability to do your own thing, my point is Beach's lets you do that, but still offers the piece of mind of having a lot of thing done for you, thus giving you more freedom to do your own thing.
And don't forget the John Hermann, the man that wrote Motorcycle touring through the Alps and Corsica, what many consider the "Bible" on Alps touring has been on over 20 Beach tours, that is quite an endorsement in itself.
Last edited by pffog; 05-18-2008 at 01:03 PM.
If touring on planet earth generates anxiety to some, they ought to chill out...you're still on planet earth, not Mars....relax!
Yes, they have their advantages as few as they are, and for those who want their luggage waiting for them in their room, by all means go on an organized tour.
Actually I had to chuckle when someone on another forum once told my that there was no way I could have found this particular road he was taken over without a guide. The poor soul didn't exactly remember which road it was (because he was in a caravan just following some guide) other than telling me it took him through three narrow tunnels that ended up on a ski slope, and that it was between the Dolomites and Slovenia. Was he pi$$ed off when I posted some pics and told him he went over Monte Zoncolan towards Sutrio. I rest my case!
Someone once sent me their GPS track from a well known organized tour. All I can say is they missed out on some of the really great out-of-the-way-roads. But they have to keep the riding less technically challenging for those not used to Alps riding, so that is understandable.
In a nutshell and this is what is important...going self-guided enables many to experience some of the best riding in the world while also meeting their budget. Not only will they meet their budget, but they'll more likely experience Europe not hanging around with a bunch of North Americans/Canadians/Australians, etc.
BTW, you have till the end of the month to discuss this. After that, I'm off for 5 1/2 weeks of touring the Alps...self-guided.
I am from germany ,but live in south florida since 1979.I do have to go alpine (twistys) riding every year just to keep my sanity.Every time i meet people on route That have just left a so called guidet tour. most of the time they where more or less dissapointed,for the folowing reasons:To many riders in one group,have to be there tonite because your lugage is waiting at the hotel.
After 10 days ,i dont know where all the hell i been,We saw some great Places and wanted stay and explore the area-but they said-not possible.And so on.
I ended up beeing the tour guide for the rest of those peoples vacation.There are a couple of horror stories that i dont to mention because i dont want to scare anybody, Of course there are also alot of positive experiances with tour companies,I think they just get too many people at the time and want to squeeze
every body in.
So i am thinking of maybe becomming an tourguide for groups of max.5 people
since i know all the great and not so great places from germany to the south of france(my personal favorite).I am just not shure how to go about that other than i have some connections for bike rentals in germany.
Any ideas?.You can e-mail me at email@example.com
I wish every body a very succesfull european vacation.Dont be scared,most people there speak english if ask nicely and they will point you in the right direction,besides your on vacation so whats the worry,stay where you like it
putt your sleeping bag in a wine field there are no dangerus creatures,
I have gone on one Beach Tour in the Alps. It was very fortunate that we did that rather than solo in this particular situation. My wife's back went out and she couldn't get on a bike for three days. Beach did everything they could even trying to rig a small step with a string. No go. Our vacation was not spoiled as she rode in the Support Van. She only missed one pass and we met up for lunch when possible. She got to see 90% of the same things I did. She got some great pictures I didn't get.
Unusual circumstance sure. I ride alone and in small groups all the time. Have done all 50 states on one brand now redoing the 50 on the BMW, so have fear of going alone. My wife enjoyed the accommodations and having the gear carried. Not being used to the Alps I am happy I wasn't carrying all my gear for two on the bike on those hairpins. One of the best things of the trip was the sharing of experiences at the Dinner table with the other riders and Rob Beach and Gretchen and having Rob tell us history, geography routing and what to look for on the next day's ride. Very enjoyable for us.
Touring with a group has advantages as does touring alone. Isn't it wonderful we have these choices?
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More importantly Rob does not require you to ride with anybody, you are not forced into a group and can do your own thing alone, or with new friends you meet on the tour. Your call, with the benefits MLS mentioned, luggage waiting, less weight to travel with, and new friends you just meet.
More costly than doing it alone yes, but there is Value in that $$. I always say, it is not the cost, it is the value that is important, if cost was the only factor, we would all drive Yugo's (remember them)