Motorcyclist Alps Tour - Dinner With Mitch

I count touring the Alps on a Motorcyclist Magazine tour as one of my fondest memories.

WORDS: Rob Cimeno
PHOTOS: Andy Cherney

I count touring the Alps on a Motorcyclist Magazine tour as one of my fondest memories. Long acknowledged as some of the finest motorcycling roads in the world, all expectations were met and some exceeded. Four star Hotels and sumptuous meals, topped only by the regional beer and competitive boasting at the bar. Eye popping vistas, roads that defy credible explanation. To fully understand, you'll just have to go and see for yourself.

Fond memories indeed. Lets do it again! So when it was time to put together my riding buddies from that amazing trip for another, I was somewhat perplexed by their responses.

"Too expensive, for that kind of money Mitch Boehm should dance naked on your table" quipped one. "They should call it the 1000 dollars to ride, 5000 dollars to eat dinner with Mitch tour". What? I had a great time, why all the sarcasm towards Mitch?

Well, we all met Mitch Boehm in person during my first Motorcyclist Magazine theme trip. A regular guy's guy. Dream job, nice tan, approachable. Likes to laugh and poke fun, even at himself. And remarkably, he's still able to generate an enthusiasm after all these years and trips that puts participants of various skill levels instantly at ease.

So far he fit the image that reading all those "Lean Angles" had created. But many of us didn't get to ride with Mitch on that trip, and that was the problem. You see, riding with him consisted of watching him put on his helmet and gloves. After that,
he sped off only to be seen again at lunch. The Butcher was a veteran of previous Alps Campaigns and it showed. He attacked the roads and passes with the intensity of a man who knows any Alps trip could be the last. Anyone brave enough was welcome to join in, but in the morning when he asks "I need a few volunteers for this mission," just think awhile before you sign up. The Alps passes are the real deal, and if you catch yourself saying "Oops" it could be too late.

For those looking for a more relaxed pace, the Alps can still be counted on to offer as much excitement as your willing to risk. Heck, the good natured ribbing I endured at the bar after a long ride was as fun as the riding some days. The BS runs deep after a few beers, I found my riding skills improving as the night goes on.

If you were quick enough at dinner, you could rattle off a few questions in Mitch's direction relating to motorcycling. Boehm was more than willing to comment on any subject. My chance came one evening and I thought I would ask Mitch about his recently restored Honda CBX. Oh, good question I thought to myself. Mitch looked me square in the eye, all the other guests at the table attentively fixed on his response....
" Are you going to eat your dessert?" he replied. Um, well ah no. I reluctantly offered him my hot apple strudel. I thought, you should of asked about the 999.

No, the other guys have reasons relating to money, time, family commitments and such for not going again. Not me, Im hooked. It was an awakening I cant forget, now Im forever drawn to the adventure and indescribable excitement the Alps stirred in me.
The next trip will make three, and that qualifies me to ride along with the Butcher.
Scary as that might be, the Alps ride is addictive as anything I've encountered.

So Im going back, Mitch owes me a dessert and Im planning on showing him what the back of my leathers look like. As for the rest of my group, did you really want to see Mitch belly dance? Its not the fun-fest you might think it to be, Boehm can be found at the bar after a ride, laughing and shoveling BS with the best of em. After a few beers, table dancing is not completely out of the question.

Yea, some best stick to watching him get ready to ride.