Austria, Slovenia and Italy: Cappuccino Time

Austria, Slovenia and Italy: Cappuccino Time
Surrounded as they are by the Alps and enveloped by the cold, many Austrian bikers consider the long wait for the arrival of May and June to be a dangerous time. Why? Because the urges produced by their "motorcycle hormones" can drive them absolutely nuts. It is the same with us - my brother Daniel, Christa, my wife, and I. But every year as the weather warms, we complete preparations and our excitement builds for the next version of the good old Cappuccino Tour.

Our excursion begins early in the morning. We travel only the back roads and will cover over 415 kilometers (260 miles) when the day is done. You may be familiar with it in a way. It's a classic "iron butt" tour and not recommended for the faint of heart. Yuppies or softies need not apply.

Daniel, on his Yamaha 1200 XJR, and Christa, on her Yamaha Fazer 600, straddle comfortable bikes. But mine? It's a test bike this day and strictly heavy metal. Moto Guzzi Centauro 1100 is the name and the object of much desire. The sitting position is very unusual, however. Picture old riders like Mike Hailwood or Phil Read and you get the idea. Daniel laughs as I take my position and says, "Yes, you look like one of those blokes, and it seems to work with your old face."

"Very funny! Let's get started before the day is gone," I reply.