6. Austrian Indian Tour 2015
10th anniversary of the Austrian Indian Riders, 25.- 31. August 2015
When the mountains call, the Indians come from near and far.
This time, the tour was something truly special. Florian Faltin, founder of the Austrian Indian Riders, invited to the jubilee run for the 10th anniversary of the Austrian Indian Riders. For the 6th time he led the Indians on the road.
On Thuesday afternoon everyone arrived at the Birgkarhaus, near Dienten at Mt. Hochkönig. Riders from France, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Belgium joined the riders from Austria, all together 21 motorcycles and 30 persons. The longest travel was made by someone from Poland, riding his 1934 HD VLD nonstop 745mls to reach the meetingpoint. His Indian wasn't good for the tour and so he decided to change horses.
At the evening everyone had time to greet old friends and to meet new ones. After the "Chief" had welcomed the riders, the route for the next day was explained to the participants and the oldest of the tribe - a 1916 Powerplus - recieved a service on the magneto, after catching water on the transport. The experienced rider of the machine, solved the problem in a short time.
On the next morning, the sky cleared up and we had some sunshine. Early in the morning, everyone was busy at the parkinglot. Weathercovers were removed and last preparations on the motorcycles were done. It was cold, but we would have nice weather all the day. At 8.00 a.m. we began our ride, crossing Saalfelden and Lofer, direction Berchtesgaden and the Rossfeldroad. After a short while one of the Scouts had a stuck piston and we had to load it to the trailer. Meanwhile the rest of the group had pasted the beautiful lake Hintersee and the first steep uphill passages and turns. The middaybreak at the "Documentation Center Obersalzberg" near the Eaglesnest was a perfect spot to get some rest for the ride on the famous, german mountainroad, the Rossfeldroad. A little later, we were back in the saddle, priding our motorcycles on the road up into the heaven. Reaching the top, we had a wonderful view over the area.
On small roads we headed down and followed the Salzach river upstream to Bischofshofen, passing scenic villages and the Werfen castle. Short before the end of the route this day, we entered the challenging road up the Dientner Sattel. After our arrival at the hotel, some went for a swim in the hotels pond, others prepared their Indians for the next day. Suddenly indian wardrums shook the mountains arround us. The 1916 Powerplus was back from the dead and was ready for the next day. Two riders from Czech Republic joined us and we spent the evening talking about the present day and the route of the next. For some it got realy late that evening.
The morninghours of the next day where even more beautiful then on the previous days, as the weather was perfect. After breakfast we started our engines. Descenting down to the valley we enjoied every curve, nearing the area of the Salzkammergut. At the scenic lake Hallstädtersee we had a unpleasant experience with the serviceman of a gasstation and left the site without refueling our motorcycles. We will never know, why he didn't liked our Indians. As our tribe is peaceloving, we traveld on and stopped for a break at the likeside. There, we welcomed a friend from the tribe of the Clevelands. With its four cylinders, 61cui and its original paint, it draw everybodys attention. We were deeply impressed by the machine. Together with our new guest we went on, passing the lakes of the Salzkammergut. Arriving in St.Gilgen, we had a second break and sadly the Cleveland and its rider had to leave. From the entrance of the Postalm road on, we opened the group and everybody was free to choose his own speed. A small group of us hunted down some modern motorcycles going up the road and after reaching the highest point of the pass, we waited for the slower machines. A group of horses found some interest in our Indians, in particular one, wich startet chewing on the saddle of the 1916 Powerplus. Horse whisperer Olivier had to use all his skills, to prevent the worst from happening.
The last miles led us throu the Salzachtal valley to Bischofshofen were we refueled our motorcycles. Once again we rode as open group up the Dientner Sattel Road and so everyone found his individual speed, twisting the throttle grip. The evening went by with dinner and numerous stories about the past day. Two riders had to solder their fueltanks to be ready for the next day.
On the third day, we started our engines and were excited to see the highlight of the tour, Mt. Grossglockner, one of the most beautiful, but also most demanding roads of Austria. With a route of 190 mls that day, a real challenge.
Up to the Edelweisspitze everyone was free to choose his own speed and so we took curve after curve, climbing up the road. The breathtaking landscape let anyone dream. Sadly we had to go on. For the Scout wich had already experienced problems with the pistons on the first day, the strain was too much and we had to load the motorcycle on the trailer.
After we had passed the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, the beautiful sights didn't end. Riding throu long valleys and passing fields and meadows, we had the most beautiful sights. With the nice but easy to ride route, we were able to relax, while we increased our speed. We rode along the shore of the Millstaettersee lake and reached the Gurktaler Alpen. On narrow and demanding roads we had a great time riding up and down the hills of the area.
In Sankt Lambrecht a scenic village of the region we checked in at our hotel and as we had dinner at a nearby restaurant, enjoying traditional food of the area, everyone was talking about the great day we had. We were very proud, to have reached the highest road of the Austrian Alps with our motorcycles, the oldest dating back to 1916. As every evening, some returned to their machines to get them ready for the next day.
At 8.00 a.m. on the next morning we were ready for the fourth and last day of the tour. Back throu the hills we had seen on the previous day we arrived at the entrance of the Nockalm Road wich features one of the most beautiful road layouts you can find in Austria. Throu the woods we made our way up into the higher, alpine regions passing meadows with grazing cows. From the top we had a wonderful, far reaching view of the surrounding area. The road took its toll once again and another Scout had to be loaded on the trailer. The midday break we spent at the Dr.Josef Mehrl Huette, were we had previously stopped ten years ago with our first tour.
A little later we went on to ride on small roads, crossing scenic meadows. With passing the Hohe Tauern Road the most demanding parts of the route lay behind us, as we reached Bischofshofen. Up to the Birgkarhaus were we planned our last stop, everyone was free to choose his own speed and we enjoyed every curve. From there on, we just had to make the short ride to Lofer. Reaching the main square of the village, we were greeted by all our freinds and Families, already waiting for us. We were so happy about the wonderful time, everyone had arrived savely and the joy of the moment was easy to see in everyones face. We arranged the machines for a last foto of the whole group and even the local press was on the spot to catch our story. We parked the Indians at a nearby garage and a little later we had dinner and celebrated the end of the rideout. Those riders wich attended the tour for the third or sixth time were awarded with a bottle of champagne. Every rider who had accomplished riding the full 1024km (640mls) recieved a "golden spoke" with some real edelweiss flowers for his success. Some said, they will install the spoke at their front wheel...
It was truly a wonderfull tour! After forming a solid field on the first day, the rideout with up to 22 Indians was running smoothly. As the motorcycles were very good prepared for the route, we had a relatively small number of technical problems, wich was quite impressive.
On Sunday we celebrated at the Scheffsnother Autumn Farmers Fest and as the temperature climbed up with every minute arround noon we went for a swim at the afternoon, while others had to leave for the trip home. On the next morning the remaining riders waved goodbey, some staying in Austria for some extra holidays.
We are looking forward to the 7th Austrian Indian Tour 2017 when we take the challange of the highest and most demanding roads of the French Alps.
Review and fotos Florian Michel