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Punta Bagna 23, Courchevel, France

Punta Bagna 23, Courchevel, France

A few days later crowds would line the streets to cheer on the riders of muscle powered bikes, but before that the throaty roar of well tuned Harleys echoed in the rocky valley of Courchevel 1850. Cruising up the switchbacks, the views over the breathtaking mountain crags, icy slopes and green pine trees was a little limited this year, but it takes more than bad weather to keep riders away from Punta Bagna, the literal high point of this year’s event calendar.

The place was filled with all those Punta Bagna favourites: As always, there were plenty of stalls and entertainment, and some ten painters were on hand to express their wildest ideas on helmets, tanks and complete bikes ...

The whole place was throbbing in the rhythm of the bands playing the central stage, pushing the crowds to wild gyrations and keeping them rocking until late at night.

There were also two huge marquees, one full of sweet "Clubstyle" machines, the other a "Chopper" place filled with dream bikes in two different categories: an "Open Contest" for all comers, and a "Master Builder” class for the professional builders … at any rate, the level was stratospheric, but before the judges could do the judging, the bikes had to ride up to the altiport (it’s on the list of the 13 most dangerous airports in the world) and back in one piece to sort out the real Kings of the Hill from the Trailer Queens. There was a long prize giving ceremony, and we were especially glad that our W&W Cycles Award went to Frieda, a young bikerette, who warmed the hearts with her 1964 Panhead. We’d like to congratulate her again and are looking forward to the next high level meeting at Punta Bagna up there in the clouds.