4. Austrian Indian Tour 2011
Wachau - Lake Neusiedl - Viennese Woods, 31.Aug.- 4.Sept. 2011
Since I deal with the planning of the different rideouts in Austria, the idea of a tour led around the city of Vienna, was always on my mind. I have grown up in Vienna and I like the region a lot. Around the town I know the nicest streets, the most hidden places, the farthest views. And I was always so much into driving cars and riding motorcycles, that I sometimes went out in the middle of the night, to race my Volkswagen Beetle on the roads thru the woods near the city. These roads mean a lot to me.
After extensive planning, the 4. Austrian Indian tour was finally there. Almost my whole family was with me on the way to Vienna and after our arrival at the Marienhof Hotel Unterkirchbach, conveniently about 10 kilometers outside of Vienna in the middle of the Viennese Woods, the Wienerwald, we began with the last preparations for the tour. In the afternoon the other riders arrived, to my big joy also some new faces joined the group. Joze Romzek came from Slovenia riding his bike, a newly restored Chief 1937, the whole way. Christoph Brunner had arrived from Bavaria with a contemporarily tuned 101 Scout. We spent the afternoon and evening joining together, having some cold drinks and I was more than happy, that the group was back together. Besides, with a total of 12 Indians and 21 people it was the largest number of motorcycles since the existence of the tour.
The next morning, it was a wonderful view down from the terrace of the hotel to the street. Everybody was around their motorcycles, ready prepared for the next three days. Some moments later I also sat down on my Scout, turned round to the field and when everybody was set, the field started moving.
Day 1, Tullnerfeld – Wachau - Weinviertel
After some kilometers under the trees of the Wienerwald, we reached the sharp turns down to Königstetten and had a nice view above the region we would drive through. Somewhere on the open road I stopped the group, a little later. In some distance we saw the ready-built, but never run, only nuclear power plant of Austria, Zwentendorf. Courageous citizens had prevented the commissioning by protests and blockades in the early 1980s. Some years later the project was abandoned after a vote against it. Austria never had a nuclear power plant! A little later we rode on to the beginning of the Wachau Valley near the city of Krems. Because of its geography and the sandy soil the area is dedicated to wine. Similar to the Rhinegau in Germany, the Danube cuts sharply through the surrounding hills on the right and left. Wines of the highest qualities originate from this climate and are well known worldwide. Close to the shore of the river, we rode our motorcycles upstream to reach Dürnstein. After a short rest we continued and crossed the river near Melk, which is famous for its gigantic abbey. On the other side of the river we rode back, direction Vienna. After about 140 kilometers we had the midday rest. For the afternoon I had planned a visit of a vineyard owned by my wife’s uncle in Großriedenthal at the Wagram. After leaving the valley, the landscape completely changed. The hills run out and end in the flats around Vienna. After a little while we arrived at the vineyard and at the inner courtyard everything was already prepared for us. After a short introduction, we enjoyed home-baked nut bread, cheese and of course a nice winetasting. For me, it was something really specia,l to stop by at our "family vineyard" with the Austrian Indian Tour.
After another 30 kilometers we reached Korneuburg at the Danube. As the last special program point of the day, we had to take a cable ferry built in 1929, to cross the river. What a nice picture it was, to have our motorcycles on the more than 80 year old ferry. Slowly we crossed the river, just by the force of the stream.
After the passing of Klosterneuburg and riding the first curves of the Höhenstrasse, a winding sightseeing road above the city, I headed for the „nicest balcony“ of Vienna. The terrace directly behind the church St. Leopold, offered us a nice view over Vienna and the area we would ride the next two days. Short after, we arrived back at the Marienhof Hotel, to end the first day.
Day 2, Marchfeld - Lake Neusiedl - Rust
We just used the cableferry a second time to cross the Danube and rode on to the Marchfeld. Passing village after village on mainly straight roads, we increased the tempo. At Hainburg we crossed the river once again by using the impressive Danube Bridge. After some dense traffic we reached the Braunsberg hill, which is well known for frequent oldtimermeetings and uphillraces. At the top of the hill, we enjoyed the wide view above the surroundings.
We also used the stop for the midday rest. Back on the road, we were riding close to the Slovak border, to reach the Burgenland, the probably most well-known wineregion in Austria. Passing villages, fruitplantings and winefields, we reached Lake Neusiedl. Short after Illmitz we entered the Neusiedlersee Nationalpark. From the top of the bird observation tower we saw the other shore of the lake and the village Rust, our destination for that day. With the curvy up and downhill passages of the Leithagebirge we had some variation to the mostly straight and flat roads around the lake. At the late afternoon we reached Rust, a scenic, old village. For dinner I had booked a table at a winetavern, a so called Buschenschank, which are typical for the region.
Day 3, Forchtenstein Castle – Höllental Valley - Wienerwald
Since I had started to plan the routing of this tour, I was looking forward, especially to the third day. While the roads of the first two days led us though flat regions, the present day would show some hilly, even slightly mountainous areas. So we left Rust and rode our motorcycles heading west, for our stop at the Forchtenstein Castle. When I reached the parkinglot of the castle, I turned round as usual and saw the first riders behind me entering the lot. Right at that point where I wanted to get off my motorcycle, I recognized three Indians missing the stop and passing the parkinglot at high speed.
I turned, crossed the lot and from the first curve on, I rode full speed. On a longer straight section I had a chance to see which riders I was following. Manfred Fetscher, one of the sportiest riders of the group on his Sport Scout and Horst Strangmann on his Four, led by Joze Romsek on his Chief, who tried to be as fast as possible, to catch up with the, so believed, group in front of him! With high speed, sporty gear changes and death defying curve technic, I succeeded in closing the distance on those three. Several times the footboards scratched the road, but in the end I managed to stop the group on a long straight. Never before I had ridden my Scout that hard, never so near the limit… After a deep breath, we returned to the parking lot and continued with some sightseeing at the castle. After that the route became more and more diverse. At Reichenau at the Rax, we entered the Höllental Valley. Curve after curve, the road finds its way through the narrow gulch. Quick we fell into the rhythm of the turns, into acceleration and braking. I really had to force myself to stop the group for the midday rest at the Weichtalhaus. At this point we reached the maximum of 13 Indians, as Hans had joined us for a part of the ride, with his Police Scout 1927. After lunch and some more time on curvy roads, the landscape straightened out. As on every other tour, I was just happy that everything had worked out so properly for the last three days. At this point, I just had to ride the group home. A truly relaxing feeling for me. So we made some distance and finally reached the outskirts of Vienna. Riding the beautiful curves of the Sophienalpe Road, we finished the last kilometers before arriving at the Marienhof Hotel, the end of the tour after 660 kilometers in 3 days.
During the last years a wonderful group has developed. Most of the riders are with us since the first tour, enjoying being on the road with experienced riders, the motorcycles always well prepared. And now and then, someone new joins the group. Simply perfect!
I am already looking forward to the next tour in 2013, which will led us to some serious mountain riding:
5.Austrian Indian Tour, South Tyrol – East Tyrol