Edelweiss Encircles Earth, Invites Paying Friends

Most of us have looked longingly at one of the well-planned Edelweiss tours and thought, "I'll do that one day when I have the money/have the time/ have a more forgiving spouse." Well, Edelweiss isn't waiting on any of those excuses to fulfill the biggest and best Bucket List ever. They are offering a 248-day, 5-continent, 48-tour stop, $100,000-per-person extravaganza called the "Discover our Earth Expedition." The tour is SO big and so breathtaking that it has rendered Edelweiss incapable of spelling "Expedition" correctly on the pages describing the enormity of it all. (Fine print also describes the many extras that you will be responsible for--- including freight, shipping, your airfare to and from, and the more than one soda you may want at the end of a long day in the saddle.)

You will be on your bike and away from your home from November 14, 2010 until July 20, 2011, with Edelweiss planning every step of the way. Amazingly, though $100,000 does not fall trippingly off the tongue for most RRBMW riders, a writer with BMW MOA magazine told me at Bike Week that most of the slots are already taken. So there, sluggish economy.

For this tour, riders must provide their own bike, equipped for on road and off, with the equipment the rider believes is important for a trip of this duration and scope. Because of the physical demands placed on the group, Edelweiss says riders who have been on their tours before may not be capable of this one...they stress this is not a tour where someone services your bike, carries your bags and cooks your dinner. Riders should understand about customs, freighting bikes, have all documents necessary and be able to perform minor mechanical work on their bikes. That $100,000 you'll be paying them will provide you a mighty fine roadmap, though, and be prepared to use it. One other thing riders will be is "responsible for all route navigation." Pardon me? (Deeper in the copy it does reveal you can ride with the guide or navigate on your own.They just put that 'navigate on your own' in there to see if you're the Right Stuff.)

Through large swaths of this trip do not expect hygiene, sanitary facilities, nice hotels, good roads, people who speak any language you have ever heard, or any dining option other than the Dim Sum #1 fishheads soup. Do expect: an adventure to end all adventures, a new way of seeing the world, one-in-a-million experiences and great stories in the re-telling.


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