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Known in motorcycling circles as the King of the Alps, John Hermann bought his first bike in 1960. Since then he has clocked over 1,000,000 miles, many of them on his biannual trips to Europe to explore every nook and cranny that might possibly have a twisty road. When hes not riding, he surfs, snorkels, appraises real estate, enjoys the piano, and for 18 years sang with the San Diego Opera (always commuting to rehearsals and performances by bike). Twice hes participated in the riding school at the Nurburgring in Germany. In California, he has been to riding schools at Willow Springs and Laguna Seca, and is a celebrated member of the San Diego BMW Club and Friend of the Marque.
"John Hermann, a.k.a. The King of the Alps, has ridden every motorcycle-worthy pass in the Alps, and is positively addicted to the practice. I will boast that I have been riding the Alps longer than he has, since I began in 1957 on my NSU 250, when the 6,800-foot Monte Giovo Pass (Jaufenpass in German) was still dirt. And I have been back many, many times, but Hermann has dedicated himself to riding every road and has been over passes that are still on my to-do agenda. On his pass-bagging list he has over 300 passes, and maybe I've been on 200 of them. This Alpine chain of mountains curves for some 700 miles from the French Riveria through Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy all the way over to Slovenia on the Adriatic Sea, and Hermann covers 75 different routes in these mountains, which are grouped into 20 sections. A section would be a part of the Alps where you might want to stay a few days. Each route is well-described, and if there is a Gasthaus on top of the pass where you can get a cup of hot cocoa, that is detailed. Some passes have a day of the week on which motorcyclists congregate, and he tells you that. In each section he mentions hotels he has enjoyed. Reading this book will have you counting the days until you leave." - Clement Salvadori, RiderMagazine.com December 2013