Used Car

WORDS BY ARIS ILA­GAN

Top Gear (Philippines) - - Contents -

In the mar­ket for the out­go­ing Honda CR-V?

Guten tag! That’s ‘good day’ in Ger­man.

Still re­cov­er­ing from a se­ri­ous mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dent that oc­curred last May 21st, I found my­self rid­ing on the Alps of Europe just over a month later. The tour was ini­ti­ated by BMW Motorrad Philip­pines for the BMW Motorrad Days at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Ger­many. This event is where of BMW bike fa­nat­ics gather an­nu­ally for two days of ex­hibits, stunt shows, club meets, and other fes­tiv­i­ties.

Af­ter ob­tain­ing a clear­ance to travel from my or­tho­pe­dic spe­cial­ist, I packed my things with­out hes­i­ta­tion. I would only miss such an awe­some event if I were six feet un­der. This jour­ney is a dream come true, and I thank God for giv­ing me another lease on life.

With swollen an­kles, I rode a BMW R1200 R through Ger­many, Aus­tria, Italy, and Switzer­land. At the small Aus­trian vil­lages were cob­ble­stone roads as well as the spec­tac­u­lar ar­chi­tec­ture of cen­turies-old houses and build­ings. Lake Garda in Italy pre­sented more breath­tak­ing scenes, with the snowy Alpine peaks serv­ing as a mag­nif­i­cent back­drop. Th­ese were set­tings I had only seen in the movies.

The Euro­peans are very par­tic­u­lar about road safety. They wear hel­mets and pro­tec­tive jack­ets when­ever they hit the road. I saw big bill­boards fea­tur­ing a rider wear­ing a hel­met and car­ry­ing an in­fant. Martina Hem­rich, our Ger­man tour guide, told me that the bill­boards serve as re­minders for rid­ers to pri­or­i­tize safety, be­cause mo­tor­cy­cle-re­lated ac­ci­dents in Europe are in­creas­ing at an alarm­ing rate.

That’s not sur­pris­ing. The num­ber of mo­tor­cy­cles in the re­gion is go­ing up, too, with the throng of for­eign vis­i­tors in search of an un­for­get­table rid­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Un­like in the Philip­pines, where cars large ve­hi­cles bully mo­tor­cy­cles, in Europe, drivers give way to two-wheel­ers—espe­cially when th­ese are about to over­take. Ex­cept for the au­to­bahn (high­ways), many roads are nar­row, but road courtesy and dis­ci­pline are strictly ob­served. Let’s fol­low this ex­am­ple.

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