The Covid-19 colour code carousel changed my plans for that week more than once. My first idea was to give our getaway to the Alps a second try, but the green zone of France quickly said ‘Adieu’. Next idea: Dolomites. I was already plotting out routes when that green zone turned to red. Arrivederci.
Germany still looked good, but what about preparing a trip on German roads? Not that obvious in my opinion, because of the lack of Google Streetview. Would I spend my time researching to see a green zone turn to red once more? I didn’t feel like doing that.
So I changed my plans. No more figuring out routes or looking for overnight stays myself, I was just gonna go for a last minute all-in package: a motorcycle hotel in a green zone, with gps-tracks in the deal.
That wasn’t simple either. The five days in the Harz mountains which I hoped for fizzled out when the green disappeared just a few days before my departure. So I booked five days in the Moselle with Horizon Motorreizen. Nothing but green over there, or at least when I visited.
Day 1: Off we go
The outward route is 277 kilometers long and starts near Aachen, which is 30 minutes from my home. I leave the highway after a few kilometers of full gas on the Triumph Tiger 900 (test report coming soon).
I’m crossing the Eifel to reach the Moselle valley and even though this is nothing but the ‘route to get there’, I’m having fun. There’s a wide variation of corners: slow, winding, sharp, pointed, fast, it’s all there.
The countryside changes from woods to sloping meadows and fields as far as the eye can see. Add a lot of climbing and descending to this and you can say that ‘a quick ride to the Moselle’ isn’t the worst chore.
In Müden I park my bike in the hotel courtyard, take a seat on the sunny terrace with a view on the Moselle river, and drink a Bitburger. A nice start of the trip. And tomorrow we’ll really get going.
Day 2: The Hunsrück route
There’s always two available routes for the riding days on location, a shorter and a longer version. Today’s routes are 282 km and 373 km long and I decide to go for the longest one, even though it’s very easy to switch while you’re riding. The longer route just adds two big loops to the shorter version.
Subject of the day: the Hunsrück, a low mountain range that’s stuck in between the Moselle and Rhine rivers. Highest point: 818 meter.
Immediately after my departure I get to the first hairpins. Tight, twisty and ascending back into the Eifel. The first hour and a half I recognize some of the places that I passed through yesterday, but who cares? It’s a bliss to ride here.
Afterwards the route points south and I cross the Moselle. We’re on Hunsrück territory here. The roads alternate just like yesterday: smooth racer roads and tight twisties bring a nice variation and that goes for the scenery as well. Woods, mountainsides full of vineyards and very often also those enormous sloping meadows. These have the advantage that they offer a nice overview of the corner ahead of you.
The route mixes up larger roads nicely with some smaller B-roads where you get that alone in the world feeling. When I stop for a picture, alll is quiet. Not a single other soul passes during the time I’m standing there. Awesome.
I regularly ride through small cities and picturesque towns. Ideal if you want to have a drink on one of the terraces or go out and explore on foot. Not necessary for me, but it surely adds some local flavor.
I could go on and sum up all the nicest roads and towns, but I’m going to keep it short: my first day in the Moselle was nothing short of phenomenal. A true cornering paradise.
Day 3: The Rhine route
Today I’m also taking the longer route: 323 km. There’s not only Moselle mountainsides on the program because we’re also crossing the Rhine.
To warm up, I take some hairpins and ride to Senhals via Cochem. Over there I cross the Moselle and go off to the Rhine riverside through Kastellaun. The roads are as diverse as yesterday’s Hunsrück roads. You won’t hear me complaining!
In Niederheimback I take the ferry to the other bank of the Rhine. It’s remarkable how different the roads are here. A lot less tight corners, and less height difference. Don’t worry, the roads aren’t straight and the number of fast flowing corners is clearly higher. There are more forested areas too, so you don’t always have a clear line of sight towards the corner ahead of you.
Via Bad Schwälmbach, a loop in the direction of Montabaur, and the picturesque Horbach, I end up in Boppard where the ferry is just docking. Time to cross the Rhine once more.
On the other bank I follow some remarkably tight roads towards the finish. Today was definitely a good day of riding!
Day 4: The Northern route
When you stay north of the Moselle river, you’re in the Eifel mountain range, and that was the plan for today. 321 km (if you pick the long route).
I’m visiting Adenau and Altenburg, two spots that look like they’re worth a visit, but I have to say I’m here for the asphalt in the first place so byeeeee! The route curls up through Freisheim to bend down again via Schönau and Daun towards the Moselle. I cross the river again and end the day on the L200 and L202 roads.
To me day four was the least of the routes. Now and then I felt like I was just grinding through connecting roads. Some obligatory miles to get from one fun piece of cornering to the next. You have to see it in the right perspective though: the first two days were amazing. This one scored a bit less, but don’t worry: there’s still a lot of cornering on the menu.
Day 5: Back home
There’s a route provided for the way back as well. It’s a bit shorter than the outward route: 212 km. B-roads up to Aachen and then highway up to the Dutch border. From there you’re on your own.
This ride racks up a lot of pieces of road that I explored a day earlier, but in the reverse sense. From Cochem via the Nürburgring to Adenau and Schönau. However crazy it might sound, I like these parts of the Eifel more than yesterday. No idea why though, because it’s not that different.
After Schönau there are some connecting roads to end up in Aachen where I head up on the highway. Half an hour later I’m home. That’s that.
“I should come back here sometime.” That’s something I said more than once during this trip in the Moselle region. Not that far away from home, yet completely different. Many great roads and so much variation.
I started my trip on Sunday and that day was noticeably busier than the other four. If you can, you should do this trip on weekdays. You’ll be practically by yourself most of the time.
Germany is famous for its road works, which I also experienced during this trip. Every day – apart from day one – I bumped into at least two road blocks. Improvising a quick and short alternative route didn’t prove to be easy, especially when the workers block the only connecting road.
Horizon’s organisation was very good. I booked extremely last minute, but that was no problem. The routes were really nice even though personally I would have preferred the reversed Hunsrück route on day four in stead of the Northern route. You receive all routes in gpx format, on top of the necessary traveling info which contains a description of the routes and all the places that are worth seeing or visiting. The hotel wasn’t the fanciest of places, but more than good enough and the bike was safe in the courtyard.
Hope to see you again soon, Moselle!