WORDS BY ARIS ILAGAN
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.