John Hermann
King of the Alps

John Hermann bought his first motorcycle in 1960. Since then he's ridden more than 1,000,000 (one million) miles by bike.

A couple of car trips in Europe persuaded him that the Alps were for biking. So, in 1970, he took off on a solo trip via a European-delivered BMW, only to discover that a bike trip through the Alps requires more planning, understanding and skills than he'd anticipated. In 1975, he tried it with Beach's Motorcycle Adventures. Even though he rode his BMW90S from early to late every day of the Beach trip, he couldn't get to all the roads begging to be explored. He had such a good time that he left the bike in Europe and went back for more riding that same year. That's been his pattern ever since; one or two trips to the Alps every year, exploring every nook and cranny of the Alps as well as other parts of Eurpoe that might possibly have a twisty road. His is a never ending search for twisty roads, breathtaking views, local customs and food, fun hotels, almost always riding with motorcycle friends from America and Europe.

Home is a couple of blocks from the Pacific Ocean in Coronado, California, with nearby mountains and canyons for year-round riding. Coronado is sort of an island just 18 miles from Mexico and just a bridge away from San Diego. Hermann is member number 13 of BMWMOA and BMWRA. In 2001, John Hermann was designated a "Friend of the Marque" by BMW and in 2006 he received the BMW "One Million Miles" award for riding more than one million miles on BMW motorcycles. He travels around San Diego with a special license plate, a gift from the BMW Owners of San Diego, "ALP KING".  

When he's not riding, John Hermann surfs, snorkels, appraises real estate and enjoys the piano. For 18 years he sang with the San Diego Opera (always commuting to rehearsals and performances by bike). He's been a trustee of the First Methodist Church of San Diego and of Meals on Wheels of Greater San Diego. In July 2011, he was honored by Meals on Wheels San Diego at its annual Gala. Twice he's participated in the riding school at the Nurburgring in Germany. In California, he has been to riding schools at Willow Springs and Laguna Seca.  

One of his greatest pleasures in recent years has been as an author. He has published FIVE editions of Motorcycle Journals through the Alps with Whitehorse Press. The most recent edition, Motorcycle Journeys through the Alps and Beyond, was published in December 2013. "How lucky can you get," he asks, "getting to check out all those wonderful roads with good friends, and then getting to write about them for more good friends?"

You can reach John Hermann by email at