Book review by Sev Pearman

Motorcycle Journeys Through the Alps & Corsicabook43
(Second Edition)
by John Hermann
303 pages, $19.95
Whitehorse Press, Copyright 1998
800.531.1133

We here at MMM are warning you right now: do not read this book unless you can walk away from all responsibilities and ride the Alps.

Author Hermann claims to be known as “King of the Alps.” With over 23 years of Alpine riding experience, he is a perfect tour guide for what is arguably the best riding in the world.

Hermann breaks up all of the delicious mountain roads into 68 day-trips. He recommends several hubs from which to plan your vacation. Only have a few days? Stay in one of the selected cities and ride two or three routes. This reduces the inefficient pack/unpack time that accompanies a daily hotel change.

Have more time? Ride a hub’s routes, and then travel to another hub. The best part? Each road, whether day-trip or transition, is a technical, breathtaking Alpine Pass!

Hermann loads each route description with insider information especially tailored to the American motorcycle rider. Which (busy) passes to avoid. “Secret” little-traveled passes used primarily by locals. Which towns have motorcycle shops. Which towns speak little English.

He tells you about the rifugios (Italy) and gasthaus (Austria,) motorcycle-friendly restaurants found at the top of most passes. Serving fresh salads and pasta, they almost always offer amazing vistas to accompany your meal.

Mr. Hermann adds several sections on motorcycle insurance, tolls and practical advice to the traveling rider. Don’t order hot chocolate in Switzerland. It is better in the Italian Alps. If in line, stand to the right of the person ahead of you. To stand behind is considered boorish.

If you are still on the fence, he further tempts you with interesting destinations. Care to see the Matterhorn? How about the district from where Heidi originated? Remember William Tell, his son, and the apple? Put that on your next group ride bonus sheet!

Finally, the text is clearly illustrated with concise scaled maps. Perfectly sized for map-pockets, they were carefully drawn with the rider in mind. Motorcycle Journeys easily fits into your tank bag, so you’ll never be lost with it.

Highly recommended, as is my request for “personal research” to substantiate this review. [Dream on. -Ed.]

Verdict:

Casual Reader–Read only if you can withstand the wanderlust.

Gear Head–“Ach du Lieber! Ein caffe brun, bitte.”

Serious Rider–Better start figuring out what you’re going to have to sell to get to the Alps…

M.M.M.

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