We left early this Saturday morning to escape the heat and avoid as much traffic as possible.
Our route had us riding north to the lakeside town of Lecco, then along the lake shore through Mandello del Lario of Moto Guzzi fame and eventually into Switzerland through the Spluga (or Splügen) Pass. Once in Swiss territory, we headed north through the splendid Via Mala
from Zillis to Thusis, then turned east towards the Albula Pass (elevation 2,315 m – 7,595 feet).
The pass was crawling with motorcycles and the local restaurant was nearly full. We stopped for Bratwurst and Rösti
(When in Switzerland and all that...) and a round of beers. From Albula we descended into valley road 27 and headed SW to St. Moritz.
All along traffic was pretty heavy and, in addition to the usual scourges (campers and cyclists), there were also a number of wannabe motorcycle racers to complicate matters. (I did appreciate the Swiss signs cautioning bikers to ride safely and the pretty good slogan they came up with: From Hero to Zero
The Swiss authorities have launched a tough road-safety campaign and bike riders should be extra careful when using Swiss roads these days. Fines are pretty high and there’s no wiggle room with the local cops. They’ll throw the book at you, just give them a chance.
After St Moritz we took the Maloia Pass back into Italy, where temperatures hovered around 37° C (98° F). On the plus side, southbound traffic was reasonably light and we made it back fairly quickly – and safely.
This was my first time riding the DCT Crosstourer on mountain roads and I got the hang of it pretty quickly. My two riding buddies are old salts and they kept a murderous pace. Watching them negotiate the switchbacks was quite a sight: they were riding another DCT Crosstourer and an older FJR1300, which was scraping pegs as often as not.
After about 400 kms of this Alpine rollercoaster I was actually ready for more… (So much so that we’re planning a new sortie for Wednesday).