In-Germany : Spring-Tour in Bavaria

By TJ on
Stories form Germany  by "TJ of Bike Tour Germany"

Stories from Germany
by TJ


Actually, my tour would have been ended more or less outside the front door. A friendly retiree after his morning pint (beer probably) with obstructed view (age probably) was turning his car around. And by that he was going to push me of the street.

But thanks to an “additional audible warning system”, popularly known as horn with 140 dB, the whole village is awake and I could also continue my journey unharmed. It took really long, from my viewpoint (as I hit the horn), until the cager stopped the car (a cager is a person in a car, hence cage). And as you might figure or will figure out, here in Germany the people are very nice, but not necessarily “political correct”. I need maybe something else to convince such a “sleeping fart” of my presence. Maybe I find something better in the near future.

TJ and his trusted steed

TJ and his trusted steed

Well, the incident was then quickly forgotten because it really was a wonderful day and the tour to “Walchensee” was going to be a very nice one. The little town of “Bad Tölz” had already some open cafes and as everyone knows in the sun the cappuccino tastes better. Meanwhile, we were 2-3 motorcyclists with the same idea and we talk about “motorcycles” (clear, isn’t it?), “snow tires” (because no one except me, who had them mounted) and” route “(where we all follow the same path). For a none Germany audience, you need to have snow tires on your vehicle in the winter, it is the law. And it doesn’t matter which kind of vehicle it is, as long it has an engine and tires.
OK, coming back to the tour, my plan was to go to “Sylvenstein” lake, then a onto small toll road through the “Wallgau” in the hope that no one wants to have money on that small toll road, smile, and then along the “Walchensee” and via “Kochel” back home.

In “Bad Tölz” were already at least 12 C (Celsius and PLUS, grin), the sky was blue and the road dry and with little to no traffic. What can a biker want more? Okay maybe 5C higher temperatures.

On the way to “Sylvenstein” lake it was getting colder and soon I reached the zero-degree line, but my warm clothing and heated grips had no problem with that. The only thing my “winter tires”, if there is ice on the road, then the TKC 80 do not provide any grip at all. The whole street to the “Wallgau” down was covered with thin layers of ice, which has reduced my speed dramatically to just over 30 KM/h.

Well, as hoped this is a free ride on the small toll road but there was the sign “Road with snow chains or ‘sticky tires’ to drive on.“ which made me nervous. The traction of my tires had already been tested on Ice (and failed miserably), but I’ve tried it anyway because the TKC 80 are marked as “M & S” tires (Mud and Snow), as printed on the side wall and I hope that they handle better in snow than they did on Ice.

In the end I went with more or less walking speed on the ice and not much faster snow cause the grip level was close to pretty shitty.

And here I was thinking about how the other riders I meet before would probably go on this street with the normal (summer) tires. I figured that if they are smart they just turn around and take the other route through the “Flachau”. The ASR (Anti-Spin-System) of my BMW GS 1200 Adventure has really proved its qualities, especially in the light ascents with icy conditions. You can gently turn on the gas until the onset of the ASR and you have always some control of the propulsion (not sure if that is the right word, but driving in the snow feels like sitting in a boat). The ABS had to work hard at the downhill sections, but even that has been working reasonably well.

View on the still icy lake

View on the still icy lake

The closer I came to the “Walchensee” the warmer it was, it has again been 12C and the road was dry and free of ice and snow. It is always a joy to ride down along the “Walchensee”. The road is in very good condition (even now) and the sunshine, the view and the low traffic at the lake make this again and again an “High-Riding” event. The “Kesselberg” is a mountain road which is looked down for motorcyclists in the upward direction on weekends (too many accidents, and then the local government tend to restrict the usage of roads here, absurd, but that is another story). At least on normal weekdays it is free to ride. And this wonderful road has a speed limit, yes we are in Germany, but NO SPEEDLIMIT means “Autobahn” not normal roads.

So there is this speed limit of 60 km/h and if you are really really brave you try to drive down the road with that speed, even in any given corner. This is really difficult, especially when melting water flows constantly in little stream over the road. These little adventures keep you warm and concentrated, laugh.

The rest of the trip back home was more or less uneventful, the navigation system has been set to “shortest track” and “avoid Highways” This ensured that I did not ride on the “Every day route” back, once in a while I experience the straight shot through farms and woods. Is fun anyway, people look at you on this “micro” roads completely uncomprehending, and are probably wondering where the bike comes from and where it wants to go.

On my way back home

On my way back home

At the end of the tour was of course again motorcycle cleaning the main task, but this time it was done very quickly because the pressure washer was still connected from the last tour yesterday. The machine has not really gotten so much salt, since been scattered almost nowhere anymore and the rain of recent days has washed away almost everything. Only two of the dirt forest roads on which I was piloted by the navigation system had put though dirt on the bike.

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