“Riding to the clouds”; from their home in Vienna, the various motorcyclists on this film trek 600 km each way, on dirt, gravel, or rock roads to reach the mountains (Monte Cristallo, Monte Piano, “letre cime de Lavoredo”). When they do climb into the mountains, the roads rapidly become mere footpaths, then goat tracks, and in places, no road at all!
At the final, very rocky stages, the riders wrap chains around their rear wheels for traction up the extremely steep climbs. Lucky for them 1920s bikes are light and narrow, so a fall represented no great hazard. Still, with “clincher” tires pumped up to 60 psi, rocky tracks were avery bumpy trial. And there was still the matter of coming back down on motorcycles with virtually no brakes ...
Paul d’Orleans, thevintagent.blogspot.com, cited in: Programme 29. Bonner Sommerkino, 2013
The movie is part of our documentary double program. #1 is Harmonies de Paris.