Monday, December 19, 2011

The Problem of Too Many Motorcycles in the Dolomites

Daniel Patitucci, friend and photographer, has written a piece about the problem of too many motorcycles in the Dolomites on DolomiteSport. He is seeking comments, and ideas, on the subject. If you have cycled, hiked, or climbed in the Dolomites and have experienced this problem please leave a comment at the end of the article. Please pass the article along to your friends for comment. The article in full is here; following are the first few paragraphs:

"It’s time to bring up a nasty subject that many who visit the Dolomites experience in a very negative way. For years now I have felt growing anger and frustration for the thousands of motorcycles that come to the Italian Dolomites. I finally brought it up to locals, business owners and my athlete friends and promptly discovered I’m not the only one who feels this way. So angry are they that the subject is almost painful to discuss, for it seems nothing is being done about it. I however, am more than happy to publicly state my thoughts and make it clear that these motorcycles are a cancer to this amazing region.

The Dolomites are unarguably one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes and everyone has the right to experience them. But why is one user group allowed to negatively impact the experience of all the others while at the same time causing numerous disturbances to the natural environment in the forms of noise and exhaust pollution as well as a very real threat to the safety of others.

The problem is that motorcyclists come from all over Europe to ride the Dolomite’s famously steep and curvy mountain roads. This is fine as an activity, but the manner in which all too many do it is completely irresponsible on the part of both the riders and local authorities................."

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  1. Require a vignette for motos from abroad. Maybe €100 for up to 5 days.

  2. I cycled the Dolomites in October last year A little chilly but I figured there would not be as many motorcycles. There were a few moto clubs flying by but it really wasn't to bad.

  3. The noise and exhaust I can deal with (I just focus on positive things instead). Only problem I've had was climbing Il Giau from Selva di Cadore- I was hugging the right edge of the road climbing alongside a cliff face. The cliff face obscured anyone coming downhill from seeing the road ahead around the curve. An assassin on a sport bike coming downhill decided to cut all the way across the opposite lane through the blind curve and came within inches of smashing into me head-on at probably 100 kph. The less of these suicidal types on the roads the better.

  4. As Larry posted on the site, only SERIOUS enforcement will work as it's not only (though mostly in our experience)the folks from outside of Italy causing the problems. When you figure these guys can easily double or triple the speed limits, the fine they should get when nabbed by radar or any other method, combined with the seizure of the motos of extreme offenders, should get the word out that the "Dolomites International Raceway" is closed. Otherwise, the folks who make their money in the summer will eventually be left with just the moto guys...and I doubt they provide enough revenue for all the hotels, ristoranti, etc. to make it during the summer. Just like most problems, this one is due to a small minority of jerks, while most people on the roads behave themselves. While they're policing things they could nab a few cyclists tossing their energy bar wrappers on the roadside too...we pick up lots of those each time we stop the van up there to wait for our riders...there's NO excuse for this behavior either!

  5. I was in the Dolomites in August. It was probably the peak of tourist season. There were motor cyclists and cyclists from all over Europe. Seemed like a lot of Austrians, Germans and English.

    I rode up Passo di Giau from San Vito Caldore through Cortina, and over to Falzerego and back. I had no problems with motos. SR 51 was worse than the passes, and still wasn't that bad, even in the rain from Cortina back to San Vito.

    Wow, what a nice area to ride.

    Motos and drivers in Italy seem much more aware of cyclists than here in the US.