"If on the first evening one of the participants whispers to you with shining eyes that he now knows why we call our rides Blackout Ride, then you know that everything was done correctly."
Already in 2018 our very first blackout ride led to the Wildays in Emilia-Romagna, near Parma. A still very manageable event, but organized with heart and soul by our friends from Anvil Motociclette. In the meantime, the location has been changed and is in Salsomaggiore Terme, on a spacious and soon too small motocross area. But this year was a lot different anyway...
Our tour started Thursday morning at our farm. Eleven mixed people, friends and customers, between 30 and over 50 years old. With eight motorcycles, a manageable group. Our old yellow Chevy van, driven by our house and court photographer Jörg and accompanied by his son Maximilian as cameraman, once again did a brave job as a pack mule.
We started at 10 a.m. under a cloudy sky. Over the Chiemsee, over to Austria. First lunch break together at the Staller Sattel and wait for the next pass lock. And just in time for crossing the border to Italy, the heavy rain started. Well, then all the Dolomite passes in the group when it rains. Something new.
But it doesn't matter whether it's the R NineT, K100, Triumph Thruxton, newer GS or our old blue and white lady, they all put up a good fight even at a brisk pace and 400 daily kilometers. Even the Triumph Rocket 3R with its 240 tires was not deterred by aquaplaning and raced like an icebreaker at speed on one pass after the other. Names sonorous for motorcyclists such as Stelvio, Furkelpass, Gardena Pass, Pordoji, Ronda di Stella could hardly be read in the rain. The advantage, however, was that apart from us, hardly anyone else was on the road.
The next morning promised dry weather, even here and there sunshine. Off on the bikes and through the south-west ending Dolomites and indescribable valleys and small passes. And then rain again. Back in the plastic bags and on, it didn't help, the schedule was tough.
Lunch break at Monte Bodone, which was later also considered to be a massive assault. The Italians just know how to serve up a menu. But since the only way after Monte Baldo was to take the autobahn to Fidenza, the kilos we gained didn't really have such a heavy impact.
The Burghotel Tabiano Castello , with the excellent dinner (yes, food again) and the hospitality of the Viennese hotel manager Petra, quickly made up for the rain and motorway journey.
The next morning a short trip to Reggio Emilia to our Classic Motorcycle Partner Ruote da Sogno. Arrived in motorcycle heaven. But two hours is simply too short for over 700 motorcycles. Two weeks would probably have been better.
Then in the afternoon to the event area of the Wildays. Impressive how the Italians always manage to create such a chilled feel-good atmosphere. Besides food trucks, bars, many motorcycle brands that also offered test rides, we also met our friend Arnaldo from Holy Freedom who ran a small stand there. The highlight, however, were the motocross riders, who didn't give anything away during the race.
Our Rocket 3R driver Franz booked an acrobatics flight over the Wildays. 30 minutes of loops and rolls in a 1954 single engine 22,000cc machine. Respect. His grin has probably not disappeared today.
The way back through the western Dolomites, last night at Alpenresort Al Foss and then through the Passeier Valley and the Jaufen Pass was no less spectacular and brought everyone (except for our drone) back home safely after five days.
Blackout? But something like that. After just a few hours, everyday life, stress and everything negative were completely gone. As is usually the case with motorcycling. But here with a group dynamic and intensity that can be drawn on for a very long time.
We are already looking forward to the next Blackout Ride with you!
Many thanks to Yassin for driving ahead and to Franz for driving away and thanks to Jörg and Maximilian for the photos.