MOTO GUZZI CLASSICS
I have drafted this report in 2018. The tour was completed in 2001. Please forgive me if I forget or scramble a few of the details. ALSACE is a region on the border of France, Germany, and Switzerland. Political affiliation has switched several times back and forth between France and Germany. Today it is within France.
The tour started and finished in Zurich, Switzerland. It was a very special treat that I was able to bring my son Peter to participate on this tour. He and I were hosted by our good friends Roberto & Iris Rossi of Zurich. Roberto was able to arrange rental of a V11EV for Peter to ride during the tour. Alas, I had a VERY serious case of Tennis Elbow in my left arm and I had virtually no motion or strength in my left hand. Riding a moto was out of the cards for this trip. I was relegated to my first experience of driving the luggage support van throughout the tour. My driving success on this tour led to many future tours where I was part-time or full-time van driver. We had one incident on a very narrow, steep mountain road. Gutless diesel van could not keep up with the bikes. No problem as they waited for me at the top and we took a scenic view break. On the way down the back side of the mountain we came upon a large logging truck heading UP! Steep cliff on one side. Steep mountain bank on the other. The motorcycles all scooted gingerly around the truck and continued down the mountain. There I am, grille to grille. No guidance help. No rear windows. Only inches of roadway on either side. I had remembered seeing a little turnout area about 300 yards uphill behind me. So I had to back up, mirror only, with precious little room for error. When I finally joined the club waiting at the bottom there was great excitement as they had concluded they would probably never see me again. I calmly suggested that it might have been NICE for someone to remain behind and help with the uphill reversing maneuver.
Proud to have my son Peter joining the tour.
I no longer have any specific details about daily calendars or routes, but I do have some very vivid memories and a few photographs from key points of the tour. Alas, 2001 was fairly primitive in digital photograph technology. In addition, my camera had some failure of the focus system and the color rendition software. The pictures are poor but do serve to document the trip.
Our first travel day remained in Switzerland with an escort and visit to the Albis Motorycle Club.
Zundapp under repair. Note the transmission is driven by chains and sprockets rather than gears.
Messerschmitt KR200 2-stroke single 200cc. Engine could run in either rotation direction. Four speeds forward and four speeds reverse depending on engine rotation!
Some old Guzzi on display at the club.
One of our tour participants from Switzerland worked as a technician in fine watch repair. Through industry connections, he was able to arrange a private tour of the secretive Swiss watch factory for JAEGER-LeCOULTRE. We had a long tour and learned a lot about the labor and technology involved to create these instruments. I was always amazed and the retail cost of these items and wondered why some would invest so much money in a timepiece. Well, I'm here to tell you that if you drop $10,000 on a luxury Swiss watch, you are most certainly getting your money's worth. The production precision and assembly detail is hard to imagine.
Our tour guide advised that the work was so detailed and painstaking that the technicians had to be rotated and had to be regularly assigned to psychological counseling to keep them from going batty!
Another key destination for our tour was a visit the the SCHLUMPF MUSEUM in Milhouse, France. This is a wonderful, exotic motorcar collection. World renowned for its collection of some 38 Bugatti cars.