Punta Bagna, Courchevel, F
If you’re the type of person to get your Harley some pine-scented mountain air every now and then, this year you had the chance to add another notch on your gas tank after two rather flat Punta Bagna-less years.
The venue is Courchevel, which is split up in to three levels, Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650 und Courchevel 1850, the numbers being the altitude above sea level in meters. Sure enough the Magic bus, the new PanAm Oil Chevy pickup truck and a few vintage Milwaukee two wheelers from the W&W stable grind and growl and clatter to the top at 1850 m.
It’s nice and airy up here, lots of space – and plenty of people have already found their way up. We park the bus and start looking for the first, well earned beer, and the many folks we haven’t seen in a long time, catching up about bikes, Harleys and all the rest.
The Friday morning begins with a very instagrammable fog covering the place, the vendors’ booths are being readied in last minute activity, and slowly the place comes to life. The first of the bands starts to make the place vibrate, just the right soundtrack for appreciating with leisure the many bikes that came up into the alpine altitude from France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia … many of them ridden by friends of ours. There’s more action in the tent, three bike shows are scheduled: "Open", "Master Builder" and "Club Style" class are offering something for everyone.
To make it worthwhile for one lucky winner, we brought along a brand new 96 cu in S&S motor to be given away, complete with carb and ignition system. It’s attracting a lot of longing glances, and accumulates a heavy coat of fingerprints on its polished rocker boxes while it’s sitting on the stage.
Friday night’s exertions wreak havoc with our metabolisms, but Saturday morning finds us refreshed and ready for the blue skies and trial champion Kenny Thomas, who gets our system up to speed again with his program of back flips, stoppie turns, salti and other cyclistically advanced stunts :)
A little less heart-stopping than Kenny are the qualification runs, designed to prove that the show bikes aren’t just show bikes. So up the icy mountain they go, and if they come back in one piece, they’re ready for the judging.
One of the runs is the Girls’ Run, with some 30 women riders participating, among them a high W&W content: Minako is driving a ’59 Sportster, Barbara has brought the yellow PanAm Sporty and Valerie is relying as usual on her trusty ’79 Shovel. On their return, there are drinks, presents for all and the long distance trophy for a lady from Uruguay. And off we all went into the second party night …
Sunday sees even more sun blazing down on Punta Bagna, which is perfect for the bike shows. Who’ll get elected King of the Mountain 2022? The verdicts are in on the Place du Rocher: Master Builder is our friend Stephane from Switzerland, who repeats his success from 2018, and takes a Sportster with him back down the mountain. Drum roll … winner of the "Open Bike Show" is Steve Drieghe with his breathtakingly meticulous red Knuckle digger, who also makes "King of the Mountain 2022" and takes the S&S engine back home to Belgium.
The Magic Bus makes a great backdrop for the winners’ photos, and, yes, the "Club Style" show is still ongoing featuring a tank art contest, organized by David (Avatar). Stunning results, considering the short time the entrants had.
So, before we could say "quad cam flathead engine" the three days in the thin air were up. But, we all promised to be back: c.u., see you, au revoir, ce vediamo, hasta luego, uf wiederluege, auf wiedersehen, until Punta 2023 at Courchevel 1850.