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Old 02-01-2013, 05:28 PM   #1
Frostback OP
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Is there a cheaper way to ride Austrian Alps?

So I have 5 free days in Vienna after a Geophysical Union Conference, 12-17 April 2013.

Vienna is really just a launching place to me for a quick bike ride into the Alps. BMW Motorrad will rent me a GS800 for 160 Euros per day with a 700 km per day max. Though the mileage minuimum is OK, it seems a little pricey. I have nothing to gauge against though.

Honda and Yamaha don't seem to be players in the Teutonic rental market. Acejones and someone else did such rentals but that was a honeymoon and some extra expense is understandable.

Anyone got suggestions for a cheaper way for a 55 year old, safe Canadian rider to do a lightweight ride through the region?

Thanks,

Lee (Frostback)
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:59 PM   #2
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Better check to see which roads are open in late April. As a rule of thumb, late May is about the earliest for the higher ones. This site used to be the authority but it would seem that there are some technical problems. But give a look anyway because there is a lot of good info other than pass status. http://www.alpineroads.com/passstatus.php
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:45 AM   #3
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Google search term: "motorradmiete wien" (motorcycle rental Vienna) brings up e.g. this:
http://www.gebrauchtbikes.at/motorradverleih.php

Have fun, I haven't been to the EGU for years.

Pip
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostback View Post
BMW Motorrad will rent me a GS800 for 160 Euros per day with a 700 km per day max.
The fee IS high. But, it's pretty much average - maybe even a bit low for a major rental agency. Compare with Moto Mader and Moto Center Thun in Switzerland and BiancoBlu in Italy for sample rates. I've heard that Moto Greek in Munich has low rates, but I'm not sure how much traveling you want to do to get to the rental agency.

700kms/day is quite generous. Riding the pass roads and secondary roads you'll be hard pressed to do more than 400kms/day, assuming stops for photos, eating and the occasional piss - 250 - 300 seems to be about average.

Mid April WILL be dicey. Most, if not all, of the high roads will be closed.

I'd head for Italy and the Dolomites. Absolutely spectacular and, as the area is a major tourist spot year round, the roads WILL be open (barring the occasional fresh snowfall). Also, the Italian side of the Alps tends to be a bit warmer and sunnier.

And another plus for alpineroads.com. Tim, one of the moderators, lives in Austria.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:12 AM   #5
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Sound advice on Vienna riding. Sorry I will be so early that the passes are out of reach but I will have to do the lowlands and foothills. Don't know if 4 hard days or riding from Vienna will let me access the Dolomites or not though.

Lee
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:06 AM   #6
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4 days may just bring you to the Dolomites and back, if you stay off the highways. Or you could buy an 'Autobahn Vignette' (tall road pass) and be there in 1 day - but that would mean waisting half of your time.

Chances for good weather will be better on the south side of the Alps and you don't have to cross the high passes to get there from Vienna. You're a month early to ride the rodeo, but you could at least visit the Erzberg.
There's lots of interesting things to see for a geophysicist in the area.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:24 PM   #7
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Thanks Pip -

Holy mackerel! That rodeo thing is nuts. NFW am I trying any part of that on a G1200 pig! I would enjoy watching some though.

Also, I am not a Geophysicist, rather a wetland scientist who studies mud, plants and ducks; the low life of the geophysicist crowd. Still a lot to see. Now considering other cool non-mountain routes to avoid the snow issues.

Lee
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostback View Post
Thanks Pip -

Holy mackerel! That rodeo thing is nuts. NFW am I trying any part of that on a G1200 pig! I would enjoy watching some though.

Also, I am not a Geophysicist, rather a wetland scientist who studies mud, plants and ducks; the low life of the geophysicist crowd. Still a lot to see. Now considering other cool non-mountain routes to avoid the snow issues.

Lee
There are a number of roads to drive. The whole "voralpen" area around MariaZell - a common day ride for Viennese bikers - should be snow free by then (it probably is now, Vienna is at least), and has some very nice albeit not extreme mountain roads that you could easily spend a couple of days having fun with. Personally I prefer that - riding switchbacks is only fun for so long..
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:53 PM   #9
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around MariaZell - a common day ride for Viennese bikers - should be snow free by then (it probably is now, Vienna is at least), and has some very nice albeit not extreme mountain roads that you could easily spend a couple of days having fun with. Personally I prefer that - riding switchbacks is only fun for so long..
That. plus the Dachstein Region, I'd love to spend five days there.
Sorry about the 160 euros/day rental, but I think that's about the going rate. This is no time to be thinking about the kid's inheritance. Do it.
Jim
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Also, I am not a Geophysicist, rather a wetland scientist who studies mud, plants and ducks; the low life of the geophysicist crowd.
No problem, nobody's perfect. What counts is that you're riding a bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostback View Post
Still a lot to see. Now considering other cool non-mountain routes to avoid the snow issues.
Check this out, it gives an overview on closed (and open) passes and routes. It's German, but the color code is pretty self-explaining:
http://alpenrouten.de/alpenpaesse-ve...ersperren.html
There are also about 1600 POIs of passes and other sights available for download.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:17 PM   #11
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Why not rent a smaller bike(or a scoot). Small roads do not need a big bike and it also keeps the costs down.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:51 PM   #12
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Vienna to Dolomites means going 800kilometers on boring highways. That is one bad thing. The second bad thing is that in April you will freeze your ass off in the Dolos. Its just friggin cold and the high passes will be closed. I can remember that we had some snow up there in June.

The good thing is, that you leave Vienna heading southwest and in less than 20 minutes you are on beuatiful twisty paved roads. Going further direction Styria you will find some of the most beautiful paved roads in Europe. You can go to what we call the wild Alps in less than 3 hours with lovely mountains but almost no gravel roads. However, April is not the best of times although we had a great April in 2012, April is known as the month where the weather can be really weird. And from snow to brightest sunshine everything is possible. In 2012 April was fine, but May, June and July, normally known for brilliant bike weather where a catastrophe with rain, rain and rain.

Regards from Austria
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:08 AM   #13
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In St. Anton right now. Heaps of snow. The riding here must be magic in the warmer months. Enjoy.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:16 AM   #14
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Did someone mention The Dachstein. That's where we are.

As MichaelJ said, the high passes will still be closed in April. The Großglockner and Nockalmstraße were the first to open in 2012 and that was on the 1st of May.

There is plenty of other riding lower down though. My bikes go back on the road in March, chilly but OK on the whole. Around Mariazell and Wildalpen is very nice and shouldn't be a problem. Even around Berchtesgaden should be OK. Gerlos is open all year.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:39 PM   #15
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Ali and Steveman, thanks so much, nothing like real time local knowledge. Pip, the pass indicator is as good as my German is bad. still, I could figure out the open, closed and altitudes. thanks. I am somewhat resigned to the lower altitude sweepers and scenic country roads. Upper alps and Dolomites will have to wait I guess.

Lee
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