Motorcycling in Italy
What you see is what we rode!
I have to write about this experience.
There is nowhere in the world I think to date that I have rode as a pillion passenger like the Stelvio Pass in Italy.
Our story begins with us riding towards the pass and the sheer panic that arose within me at the prospect of having to get to the top! (At this point in our ride I was not even thinking about the fact that we would have to come down the other side!)
Now I class myself as being quite fearless when I am sat on the back of my hubby's motor cycle but on this occasion I felt for the first time in a very long time the adrenlin rising within me.
We have been riding since we first met and have been doing so for the past thirty years to various different locations within Europe and also in the UK, but Stelvio Pass in Italy will always stay with me.
Many of my friends think that I am extremely brave to put all of my trust into my hubby when we go travelling around Europe and the UK but I have never looked at it in that way.
My way of thinking has always been that I am fortunate to have married a biker who wants to experience life to the full and have as many memories of riding as he can and that actually I am lucky that he wants to ride with me as pillion passenger and that he doesn't want to go off with his mates and leave me at home with my apron on and holding the pots!
I have never felt let's say tested with my feelings of riding until we went to Stelvio as this was the biggest challenge yet for me as a pillion rider. I have always sat on the back taken in the view and just enjoyed the ride and my hubby's company but with this ride I can honestly say I have never stayed so still or alert as I did on this journey.
This is me at the top of Stelvio Pass, you can see the pass in the background
This video is of a rider only, try to picture riding the pass two up with the pillion passenger mumbling words of extreme unease in your ear!
Riding on your own is less of a challenge than riding with a pillion passenger
The video below shows a rider on Stelvio Pass, I would like you to try to imagine this ride but with a pillion passenger on the bike as well.
The hair pin bends although my hubby was in awe of all of them and did not remark on the challenge one little bit, I can only appreciate his skill even more to this day on how he rode the pass with absolute exemplary precision, I am in awe of how he is a master of riding.
I would imagine it to be quite lonely to have done the ride on ones own or maybe not as my hubby might say! No chattering or squealing of the rider on the back just pure intense riding!
Stelvio Pass in Italy a must for all bikers
I have to write about this experience a little more.
Whilst touring in Austria one of the places that my hubby wanted to visit was Stelvio Pass in Italy. Now I never read up on where we are going and left all of the planning to my man.
Now if I knew what I no now I would still have ridden with my hubby on this beautiful route of mountainous windy road which seems to go on and on forever.
I must say though I was totally blown away when we went to Stelvio Pass, I felt myself leaning to the left and leaning to the right in unison with my hubby.
The further up you went the closer the bends got! And as we were climbing up a mountain, it seemed like we were getting closer to the edge too!
Luckily on the day we rode up the Stelvio Pass the traffic was not to bad and the riding became a real pleasure for both of us. As I recall I don't think it took us longer than 30 minutes from start to the top although I really need to check that with hubby, he might say slightly different to what I felt it took.
Once we got to the top my heart was by now racing as the thrill seemed to turn into over excitement and all I wanted to do was get of the bike!
My hubby's face was a picture, truly proud of his achievement and totally in awe of the view and of reaching the top with pillion on board in one a piece!
As we both stood at the top and looked down at the winding road we had just rode up it was breathtaking to say the least, It then dawned on me that we had to go down again!
I could feel myself panicking inside, because you see you had to be there or of done the Stelvio Pass to feel what I was feeling. I new that my getting back down the mountain was all in the capable hands of my hubby and our at the time TDM Motorcyle.
Unbelievable riding was had by both of us!
Have your opinion
Out of the following three rides which would you say is the best for bikers
The way down
Now coming down was a different challenge all together. Having to hold on for dear life and I think that I had my eyes closed more going down than going up! I remember keeping on muttering the words are we down yet in my hubby's ear and I also remember his response, I could tell that he really did feel for me, he was in total control and I had to trust his decisions completely and his reassurance unfortunately was not of much use to me at the time!
The mad thing was you couldn't get off the bike for a breather, you had to stay on, from top to bottom, if they had little pullover's where you could take a breather I think, actually on reflection I think maybe not, it was better to keep going until we got to the bottom!
Also if you got stuck behind a car, (luckily we didn't) your absolutely stuffed, you can't overtake, or you can but with a pillion passenger I think your senses tell you not to take.
The thoughts that are running around in my brain at the moment of what a challenge this trip was and what my kids would say if they had known we were doing it! It really isn't worth thinking about because I think that they would ban us from riding ever again!
The prospect of having to go down the pass was I must say myself quite scary and I did feel that we were both maybe getting a little crazy to take on this sort of challenge at our age, although I managed the ride up, going down was a different kettle of fish, I was so nervous and yet excited and discussing it with my hubby wasn't very helpful as like he said the only way is down and that I was to hold on tight and if I was scared not to scream but to close my eyes! As screaming may cause an accident! Me scream, I don't think so I may of muttered some very disturbing words into my hubby's ear, words that he had never heard me say before and which he was probably going to have words with me about them when we reach the bottom!
Again, this video is of a rider without a pillion passenger. I would like you now before watching the video to try to imagine a pillion passenger on the back, h
If you have the opportunity to do this Stelvio Pass ride in Northern Italy then whole heartedly I say to you do it! Just do it, it is one of those memories that you can look back at time and time again and think I done that when other riders mention this great route to you, something that not all can do, many yes but not everyone!
© 2014 Trudy Cooper