Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The European Trip, Day 23 - Uraling the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse

The day started a bit after 8AM when I showed back up at the Ural dealer in Marchtrenk, Austria.  Hari, the owner was all ready for me and he took me out to the rental rig while his daughter Michaela prepared the paperwork and took my receipt of payment.

Hari found the existing speedometer malfunctioning in terms of the needle doing the windshield wiper effect so he replaced it last night.  So, it'll be really easy to figure out how many kilometers I will be putting on the rig over the next nine days, since I am starting at zero.

Rig briefing over with, Hari showed me around his shop, which I thought quite large and well stocked but he said it's bursting at the seams.  He's the European URAL distributor so one wall was just stacks of crates containing new URAL sidecar rigs, waiting to be shipped to dealers.

He did show me some of the motorcycles he's hung onto over the years:

Hari's racing sidecar rig....he doesn't race anymore
but back in the day....
Made only for the Russian market, a chopper version
of a URAL, with ape hangers and a radiator!
He did mention the radiator didn't have a water pump so 
it really didn't work well at all.

A Minsk motorcycle, only sold in Russia, they've not gotten
a model approved to be sold by Hari in Europe.  

Michaela and Hari

Around 10AM, everything was ready and I got my riding gear on, said my goodbyes and headed out of Marchtrenk on the B1 road which I would end up taking all the way to Salzburg.  Got a bit lost in Salzburg as I wanted to avoid the autobahn there but ended up on it anyways.  It was speed limited to 80 kph so it was all good.

Following the route I'd programmed into the GPS, based on the route Gary France had sent me info on, I eventually (after getting turned around twice due to umleitungs or detours) ended up at the entrance to the Grossglockner High Alpine Road near the town of Fusch an der Hochalpenstrasse.

Note, the Grossglockner mountain is Austria's highest mountain apparently.  More info that you probably want along with videos and such are available by clicking the link above or this: LINK

It's a park so one must pay a fee to ride the road, a bit pricey too at 34.50 Euros, perhaps that's what they mean by the "high" portion of the road's name?  

The cost wasn't stopping folks from riding the road though, I lost count of the motorcycles I saw going both ways and there were plenty of cars as well.

Hochalpenstrasse or High Alpine Road.  The Grossglockner is known as a great motorcycling road worldwide and based on the amount of motorcycles I saw today, it's quite popular!

My first clear view of the still somewhat snow-clad
mountain peaks from the northern end of the Grossglockner road.

Looking North on the Grossglockner road

views from the Edelweißspitze

Short tunnel at the summit.

The descent was fun as well, had to keep it in second gear in order to not have to use my brakes much to slow me down for the sharper turns as I headed towards Lienz where I would be overnighting.

I am staying at the Brauhaus Falkenstein, situated next to the brewery where they brew Gösser Beer.  I had one with dinner and it was quite tasty.  Or, perhaps because I rode a bit over 300 kilometers today made the beer taste that much better!

180 miles doesn't sound like much but it took me a while, what with getting turned around due to detours and no Internet access to get updated route information, twisty twisty twisty mountain roads and moving at Ural speed once again.

Tomorrow morning, the mountains around Cortina d'Ampezzo I believe.


Artie & Leinen's Grand Adventure said...

Dom, my mother's maiden name is Gosser........and the family has had Gosser beer. I have no idea if there is any relation. My brother is in Germany right now, but he's geo-caching. I love your pics. You must like and appreciate mountains. So do I. Have you given your ride a nick name?

redlegsrides said...

I be there's some connectivity there Bridget!

Want me to get you a Gosser logo'ed beer glass? I love mountains, especially if they've snow on them.

No name for the rig yet, not sure it's going to get one since it's a rental.

Bob and Sharon said...

Looks like a great time, beautiful scenery.

I'm living vicariously with you thru this ride.

Mr. Coluralado said...

Name it Latner

Mr. Coluralado said...

Name it Latner

redlegsrides said...

Bob and Sharon,thanks....

Mr Coluralado, Darrell: Latner?

Mr. Coluralado said...

Latner is rental spelled backwards....:)

Trobairitz said...

Sure beautiful views in that pass. I can imagine the stunning scenery you'll be seeing over the next few days.

Thanks for sharing Dom.

redlegsrides said...

Mr Cololurado, google Latner....I dare ya.

ToadMama said...

That really is a steep toll for that road. The views are certainly good, though. I'm curious as to why you chose to rent a Ural, knowing they are slow. Familiarity? Safety? Luggage hauling? I'm excited to see the Cortina area and the Dolomites.

redlegsrides said...

Kathy K. Why a URAL, familiarity was one thing...another was the now ironical expectation that perhaps I'd find snow/ice on the passes in the Alps (not only no snow, but they're experiencing a record heat wave!!!!), but most importantly....I didn't want to be one more BMW GS rider clogging up the roads.....just saying, there were sometimes hordes of Teutonic motorcycles at the passes....