Today Dan and I took a couple of hours to head out on a shake down ride on the motorcycles. We kept it short simply because it was the first time out, the weather wasn’t all that great and we got a late start. But it was a great ride and really showed us that perceived concerns about traveling on Swiss roads are entirely unwarranted.
Our biggest experiment today (other than the motorcycles themselves) was to try our new Sena communication systems. We had purchased them just before selling the bikes in New Jersey and hadn’t had the chance to really test them out before they got packed up. The headsets were great! Incredibly clear communication was possibly up until highway speeds (130km) and it was nice to be able to tell Dan when I planned on stopping for a photo, or for him to point something out to me. And the unit was clear enough that we could just have a casual conversation, something we missed from our talks during road trips in the car.
We were originally going to head northeast and explore a bit of Germany and the edges of the Black Forest, but the weather wasn’t cooperating. It was drizzling lightly when we left the garage and I figured that we’d start out on the same roads that I took when I came home from the dealer. I’m glad we did, as that direction was the only direction that had a hint of blue sky. We chose our route accordingly; always following the lure of the sun.
About 45 minutes from home we passed a sign for the Passwang Pass (942m) and the scenery was fantastic. It was also incredibly difficult to find a place to safely pull over for photos, but I managed to snag a few. The following three are from the same stop:
The road kept on climbing and twisting through rocky outcroppings. The pavement was clean and smooth and there was very little traffic. Of course we were also cautious with our speeds since we really had no idea of what to expect around each corner.
We had stopped at this bend in the road for a photo, but just ahead was an amazing view back from the way we came and, of course, no where to pull off. I told Dan (have I mentioned how awesome the Senas are?) that I was going to squeeze off into the grass and I’d meet him further ahead. I never would have been able to do that without the Senas. I think that it was worth the stop:
We had reached the summit and pulled off to enjoy the views. There were a lot of bikes parked at the restaurant and quite a few other bikes zipped by the turn off. It was obvious that many motorcyclists made this pass their destination, and to think that we had reached it in less than an hour of pleasant riding!
The photo above is the entrance/exit to the summit pull off – not exactly a safe place, but hey, it seemed to work for the locals.
The rest of the ride wasn’t as exciting and we meandered around various pleasant roads, fighting a heavy wind and running from the clouds in the north and west.
We were gone for 3 hours and around 125km on the bikes. We made a good choice in direction, as it was still raining in Basel when we returned. First ride: success!