Crazy at the Crazy Horse
It the most incredible burlesque performance club in the world and no trip to Paris can be complete without it, particularly if you love beautiful women like we do. Each girl is a trained balerina, had picked for purfectly matching bodies. They perform a 2 hour show of choreographed dance and strip sets as their bodies are bathed in colored and textured lighting designs against a musical sound track unlike anything you've ever seen before. A front row table with a bottle of champaign is a must, and includes a gourmet dinner for $150. Can't make it to Paris? The show also plays in Vegas at the MGM Grand and in London.

Crazy Horse - Paris

Crazy Horse - Las Vegas


Moulon Rouge
In Paris we did the Crazy Horse on Sunday night after the French MotoGP at LeMans, just a 90 minute train ride from the track. Then on Monday after a day of sightseeing and a boat ride up the Seine River, it was off the the Moulon Rouge for another front row table, dinner, and another incredible stage show of beautiful girls!

French MotoGP at LeMans
A motorcycle race in Europe has to be experienced to believed.
LeMans is just about 90 miles from Paris, we drove there easily by car on Sunday morning, enjoyed the race day, then were back in Paris by train and at our hotel at 6pm. More than enough time to shower, change, and make our 8pm dinner show reservations at the Crazy Horse.
I made our reservations online two months earlier to assure us a reserved front row table.

The MotoGP paddock at Lemans had factory race team transporters backed up to the pit garages almost as far as the eyes could see. There is no comparison to motorcycle racing in America which is still bush league in comparison.

Below: Each rider on a team gets his custom painted big rig transports. Here are the two HRC Repsol transporters for Nicky Hayden and Max Biaggi. Plus there's a separate HRC Parts transporter, a Showa suspension transporter shop, and a couple of Michelin tire transporters. For one factory rider like Nickey Hayden there are effectively 4 big rigs and a crew of some 20 people there to support him. Amazing.

Except for possibly Indianapolis, tracks in America can't compare to the higher caliber of tracks in Europe - the grandstands, the garages, the perfectly deigned road courses with ample runoff areas and gravel traps for safety.

Race fans in Europe, like these 3 cute girls, came prepared with air horns to cheer on their favorite rider.

Below, Brazilian mardi gras dancers put on a show in the vender midway a LeMans.

Edelweiss Southern France
Called the Western Alps Tour
it takes in 5 full days of relaxed riding on 200 mile loops each day from our home base Hotel in the town of Vence, just above Nice on the French Riviera.

The Edelweiss Bike Tours
Edelweiss has a beautiful catalog of all their Motorcycle Tours which take place across Europe and America,and now around the world, including Australia, China, and even Dubai next to Saudi Arabia.

The Western Alps Tour which we were on, Formerly called the French Alps Tour, is being dropped from their Catalog for 2006 despite the fact this is one of their best tours and had proven to be one of their most popular in the past.

It seems since the US invasion of Iraq, which wasn't supported by the French government, there has been a backlash of American tourists not wanting to visit France any more.

As a result, tour bookings on the Western Alps tour have declined dramatically in the last 3 years to where Edelweiss is now dropping it from its Catalog. And ironically, less challenging and exciting tours like those in the deserts of Dubai and the China are proving to be much more popular and are selling out.

But there remains many other great Edelweiss Tours in around Europe and the rest of the world that will certainly thrill and provide you with an adventure of a life time.

If you pick the right Edelweiss trip in a particular country and dates, it's amazing all the cool side trips you can tie in like a visit to a World Championship race or great city to build the dream motorcycle enthusiast's vacation. Remember you only live once. Life is too short and you shouldn't wait to take that dream vacation now.

So call Edelweiss now, or write to get their latest tour catalog, and visit them on line. You won't regret it.

The Edelweiss Bike Tours

In the USA
Tri Community Travel
Wrightwood, CA 92397
PH: 760 249 5825
USA Toll Free: 800 507 4459

World Headquarters
Edelweiss Bike Travel
Ph: xx 43 5264 5690
Toll Free: 00800 333 593 477

Crazy Horse - Paris

Crazy Horse - Las Vegas Pit Lane News

Front Row Seating! That us somewhere in the top of the main grandstands over the pit garages at LeMans, waving at Rossi grids on the pole for Sunday's race. The high definition jumbotron TV screen fed us the entire race live from around the track just as it took place for the world TV feed, to be delayed broadcast later in America.

A Dream Vacation on the Edelweiss Bike Tour to France
in the Alps, Monaco, and LeMans for the French MotoGP!

By Jim Gianatsis, Editor
France, May 7-17th- There I was in Paris on Saturday night in the ultra exclusive Man Ray Restaurant and Disco with my buddy Lee Chapin from Mikuni Carburetor, sipping on fine French wine and dining on the club owner's special recommendation of Japanese Sushi and Chinese fare, while gazing at the dozens of beautiful women sitting at the dinner tables all around us. We were the guest of Mikuni's French distributor Cyrille Bihr of Bihr Racing, France's top motorcycle performance parts company. We had just arrived in Paris a few hours earlier after an incredible dream week of sport touring riding in Southern France.

Our Edelweiss gang with me kneeling in the middle, and from left to right standing is: Peter, Stephen, Lee, Mark, Joseph,
Frank, Osse and Michale, with tour guide Claus behind the camera.

Life couldn't get much better than this. Lee and I had just gotten off the 120mph TGV bullet train earlier that day after finishing a 1-week Edelweiss sportbike tour on BMWs of the French Alps on the world's most incredible sportbike roads, mixed in with visits to the French Mediterranean seaside cities of St. Tropez, Nice, movie week at Cannes with Paris Hilton, and a bike blast around the Formula One Grand Prix track at Monaco just before the track was closed for the following weekend's GP race. The next 2 nights we would finish up our dream bike vacation in France with front row tables at The Crazy Horse and The Moulon Rouge for the world's hottest and sexiest strip and burlesque shows with the world's most beautiful professional dancers.

We go back stage as the beautiful girls of the Crazy Horse get ready to entertain us. All of them are professional dancers and have formal dance backgounds in ballet. Can't make it to Paris for the show? Not to worry, they also perform in the USA the same shows at the branch club LaFemme inside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Be sure to reserve a front table seat and a bottle of champaign.

The Western Alps Edelweiss tour we took takes place on the Cote de Azur in southern France, based out of a wonderful 4-star resort hotel in the town of Vence near Nice.

Each day we'd leave at 9am after breakfast in the hotel and go out on breathtaking 200 mile loops through the southern alps and the countryside around the coast. There would be stops about once an hour at picturesque locations, for coffee breaks, and lunch in small villages along the way.

We'd return back to our hotel in Vence around 5pm, gas up the bikes for the next day, relax an hour or two in the pool and spa, then take the company van to a new and exciting dinner location each evening.

The Edelweiss Tours take place in many countries around the world, including Europe, America, China and North Africa. They are ideal for both novice and veteran riders and travelers, providing a complete package deal with a BMW bike model of your choice, hotel accommodations with breakfast, a tour guide with a pre planned route each day, and a chase truck to transport your luggage each day if you were on tour which moved to different hotels each night.

You pay separately for your airfare to get there and back, which in our case was about $650 round trip from Los Angeles to Cannes in Frances, then returning from Paris back to Los Angeles. The TGV train we took from Cannes to Paris cost an additional $140 for first class coach, and allowed us to extend our trip another 3 days in Paris and go to the the Lemans MotoGP.

The 6 day Western Alps Tour is very affordable starting at $2,600 with the BMW 650 GS single cylinder bike which my buddy Lee opted for and was great for shorter riders. Edelweiss uses BMW bikes exclusively for their reliability and better resale value. I went for the bigger GS 1200R priced at $3240 (which included sharing a twin bed room) because it offered all the power, speed and handling I needed for the mountains in a comfortable sit up riding package. Most of the other guys in our 9 rider group opted for the bigger BMW streetbikes like the Rockster 1150 and the 1200 GT, which pumped their tour package price up to $3,600 - $3,800. I didn't see the bigger, heavier street bikes as being the most practical and comfortable choice for a full day of riding in the tighter mountain sections, a few of which include some single track excursions on mountain tops.

Either way, if is an an incredible value for what you got in the complete package considering the current monetary exchange rate of $1.20 to a Euro dollar, meaning Edelweiss was loosing about 20% value on their pre published rates. You get a new BMW bike for 6 days, a chase van with your luggage where applicable, a luxury hotel at $50-200 a night with full breakfasts and dinners on the first and last nights, a full time tour guide and interpreter, maps and guide books. The entire Edelweiss Tour week with airfare, the additional restaurant meals and such will cost you somewhere from $3,500 - $4,500.

Our tour guide was a nice young man about 35 years old from Austria, Claus Lasik, who has been with Edelweiss for a number of years and has been instrumental in laying out a number of their tours. He's a great rider, and leads the group along at a safe and sensible pace I describe as 80% - quick enough to not get bored, but not to fast as to be dangerous or cause you to miss the beautiful scenery along the way. At roadway intersections we would stop and wait if needed for any stragglers to catch up. Or when a twisty road became just to tempting to play follow the leader, I could always pull away and charge ahead at racing speeds, attacking the perfect French mountain roads to the fullest, along with the excellent handling and performance of the GS 1200R.

All the roads we rode on the tour, with the exception of those in cities on the coast, appeared to be part of a huge French National Park System. They were all in perfect, like new condition. No cracks, no patches, no bumps, no dirt or gravel. Purfectly kept as evidenced by the road maintaince crew we might come upon every 30 miles or so. And there was never any traffic, never any police. It just goes to show what a government can spend its money on when it doesn't have to be peacekeeper to the world. It was pure nirvana for riding.

The Western Alps Tour in France has smaller mountains than the two other Edelweiss Alps Tours in Austria and the Dolomites of Italy, so the roads are straighter and more enjoyable, with more varied scenery. We did get as high in altitude as 8,000 feet in the ski resort of Cul de Turini. But it was spring and we never got into mountains high enough to run into snow. Temperatures were a perfect 65-75 F / 20-25 C.

These 2 photos show our road along a river valley into a small village. The roads everywhere in France were perfectly paved, no breaks or patches and swept clean of any dirt. Purfectly built rock walls or decorative wood log barriers were placed on the sides of roads with drop offs. And all the roads were nearly deserted of automobile traffic. Even villages like this we didn't see any cars parked on the side of the road. These 2 cats were walking down the middle of the road like they owned the place, which they probably did, as we never saw any people at this stop.

Because our Western Alps tour was May 7th-14th, at the beginning of their tour season, all the BMW bikes we had were nearly brand new, with just one previous week's ride on them. The bikes are shipped around the world from one tour to the next, and then sold off at the end of the year and replaced with new bikes again.

Being a Pro level rider who likes to ride fast, I was somewhat concerned at first about riding a BMW with interlocking brakes (squeezing the front brake lever also applies the back brake) and with anti-locking brakes.

I'm accustomed to fully controlling a bike with the brakes locked and tires skittering when charging into corners and thought I would be troubled not being able to fully control the bike. But incredibly, the BMW's braking system works so well that I couldn't feel it working or fighting me at all. I could dive into corners as fast as I wanted, grab a handful of front bake lever while still layed over and turning, actually trying to wash out the front end a number of times, even on the dirt fire roads. But the bike would just rail around the corner without any drama whatsoever. It was awesome!

It really was impressive how comfortable and great handling the GS1200R is for all day riding, or for taking trips with its removable luggage package. The Ducati Multistrada at about 100 pounds lighter is still our favorite for around town commuting and tight and twisty sportbike roads, but for longer rides outside of town the BMW GS1200R is the perfect choice.

I had been wanting to take an Edelweiss tour the past few years because many of my buddies have been on them and always returned with rave reviews. What really wet my desire was when I went to World Ducati Week 2004 in Italy, took in the Monza World Superbike races the weekend before, and then got to ride around Italy on a Mulistrada through to the following WDW weekend.

I wanted to do something like that again - take in all the cool places in the south of France that I've always dreamed of going to like Monaco, Nice, St. Tropez and the Alps, and drive on the famed Monte Carlo Rally Roads.And if i could do it at a realistic price, then it was a done deal. I talked my buddy Lee into joning me, and we made it even more fun by adding a 3 day stop over in Paris on our way home, to take in the city and its famous nightclubs, the Crazy Horse and Moulon Rouge. The opportunity to go to the MotoGP at LeMans was an unplanned bonus for us. Lee went with me on the trip as my roommate and riding buddy, and it also reduces the Tour cost if you share a room. Going to LeMans could have just as easily been planned into our intinery if we had thought of it. In fact, when planning for the trip I was tempted to stay in the south of France for another week for the Formula One Grand Prix at Monaco the following weekend.

This tight switchback section in the background was actually not o common on our Western Alps tour. Roads were typically more open and fast like the road section leading up to, any away from the switchbacks. Note the stone walls which border the road and were everywhere in the mountain sections. These are the roads used in the famed Monte Carlo Rally in the winter when the roads are covered in Snow!

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St. Tropez
Basking in the midday sun amid perfect weather and 70 degree temperatures on the blue Mediterranean. Tourist car traffic can takes hours to get into town during the summer months, but Claus knew the deserted sportbike road in, and with a little lane splitting the final mile, we were into the middle of St. Tropez at the harbor and parking our bikes next to the million dollar yachts.

Village Pause
Here's the road into a sleepy little mountain village along side a beautiful clear river you could drink from. The only town folks we saw were the 2 cats walking down the middle of the road like they owned it. Every little town we rode through was hundreds of years old old, but in pristine condition without a piece of littler, a misplaced rock or a derelict car. There were almost never any cars or traffic!

Shopping Day
Many of the mountain villages were too small to have their stores, normally just a cafe or restaurant where we could stop for lunch most days. But once a week the town center would turn into a mini shopping center as truck venders pulled in with their goods. Each vender had a different product line like the truck at left with hardware and household goods, another with fresh foods, one with clothing, and another with furniture and mattresses. Note the cell phone tower in the background of this remote mountain village.

Beautiful Roads
Every mile of road on our trip through the Alps of southern France was breathtakingly beautiful and perfectly maintained. Not a crack or bump in the pavement, not a spec of loose gravel anyway.

We might come across a road crew in the middle of nowhere every 20 miles maintaining the road. We might see another car one an hour. The riding, the roads, the weather was unbelievably perfect.

Photo Ops
About one an hour we pull over at some scenic spot for photos. Here our tour guide Claus snaps off a picture of Michael coming out of a mountain tunnel.

At the end of the week at our farewell dinner, Claus had burned and gave us all picture CDs of dream vacation.

Coming, Going,
and In Between

A few times we'd come to mountain corners where one lane of traffic might come through the tunnel on the left, and the other lane of traffic went around on the outside. Something we'd never seen before. While the road in the middle of the fork went over the tunnel and up the mountain!

Joseph Calls Home
"The Brainiacks" as I like to call them, neuro surgeons Frank and Joseph wanted to scare me by having Joe pose for pictures on the precipice of a 1,500 foot drop into a river gorge as Joe phones home on his cell phone to his kids back in New York City! Back home in downtown New York, Frank owns a Ducati 749 Superbike and Joe a 1200 Boxer.

We could get cell phone service everywhere in France including the middle of nowhere in the Alps 100 miles from civilization, and I can't get reception at my home in Los Angeles. Go figure. Below: The 1,500 deep river gorge just inches behind Joseph.

Le Ponte de la Mariee
dans les Gorges de Daulis
Here's another instance where our 2-lane mountain road diverged into 2 different lanes, one on each side of the mountain. Here the one lane crosses over the Gorge of the Daulis River and runs through tunnels along the side of the far mountain wall.

Citadelle d'Entrevaux
This is the fortified medieval town of Entrevaux first built in 1484 at the base of a church perched up on the mountain top 2,000 feet up a stairway to the right behind it. The fortress was destroyed in a battle, then reconstructed again in 1609. The town is still inhabitated today, and we walked across the bridge, through the fortified gate, and had lunch in the town square (below).

The Twisties
The majority of our roads in the western French Alps (below) were smooth and flowing and perfect for medium speeds. Here I am sitting on a roadside wall with one of the few switchbacks we ever encountered. The full on Edelweiss Alps Touring Center trip through Austria and Switzerland does face higher mountains with many more switchbacks like this.

Monte Carlo
Our loop on day four dropped us down from the mountains on the back way in to Monte Carlo. Above, looking down into the city from one of the roads used in the Monte Carlo Rally.

Below is Monte Carlo Harbor, with the grand stands erected along the Harbor Road for the legendary Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix which was running the next weekend. We got to ride our bikes along the actual Grand Prix course just before it was closed to traffic.

Now, do we want to stay another week in Monaco for the F1 Grand Prix or go up to LeMans for the MotoGP this weekend? We could have done both!

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