There are lots of biker parties and motorbike meets. But "Rock the Roof" in Schladming beats them all. Guaranteed.
Rock the Roof!
The Planai Stadium in Schladming is as hot as a hot spot gets. In Winter, world cup winners collect their awards, Andreas Gabalier plays sold-out open-air concerts and it's even been the venue for the Special Olympics. However, once a year, this impressive location becomes the turf of motorcycle enthusiasts journeying to Ennstal from Austria, Germany, Switzerland and as far away as the Netherlands and Norway.
The event was due to be held again this year, from 21 through to 25 June: Rock the Roof - The mountain trembles. And how it trembled!
There is absolutely no doubt that "Rock the Roof" is Austria's friendliest, nicest and now also biggest – privately organised – biker meet. The concept developed by head organiser Sepp Spielbichler and his event team appears to be a complete success: small, friendly and nice is what counts in Schladming. And that's exactly how the roughly 12,000 visitors and bikers did not feel: bowled over by too many market stalls and annoying vendors, something your find all too often at other motorbike meets Pretty much the opposite is true – in Planai Stadium, stalls of select, high quality exhibitors are lined up in rows and fit perfectly into the free-and-easy concept of "Rock the Roof". A number of organised tours through the Dachstein region and Salzburg country are also available. Live bands rounded out the evening programme and the Saturday parade is widely considered the absolute high point – this is where you get to feel the enthusiasm amongst the locals who formed part of the crowd that turned up for the event.
But even outside the official scope of the "Rock the Roof" programme, Schladming and surroundings offer lots of great opportunities for you and your motorbike.
This year, we stayed at Falkensteiner Hotel Schladming again and, as always, were very happy. The hotel is located right near the Planai Stadium – so you get to leave your motorbike at the hotel and head for the Stadium on foot, which is not even 5 minutes away. That's a real blessing, especially at night when decide to go have a drink with friends and prefer not to take the motorbike back to the hotel. On the other hand, Falkensteiner Schladming is far away enough from the event premises to ensure real peace and quiet.
The Acquapura SPA wellness area, which extends over an area of 1,500 square metres, definitely offers plenty of opportunities to chill out. It is entirely your choice: to use the sauna, have a dip in the pool, relax on a reclining chair in the shade or enjoy a massage. Especially after a long outing on the motorbike, a spa treatment or a relaxing visit to the sauna can do real wonders.
There are countless ways to spend hours in the saddle of your motorbike in the countryside around Schladming. Because Schladming is the perfect starting point for lots of different tours and a true paradise for motorcycle fans. Lots of mountain roads will take you for a smooth cruise and a fabulous panorama view is the reward every time you decide to negotiate the many curves and bends.
An outing to Stoder Zinken – a extension of the Dachstein Mountain Range – offers lots of great riding, for example. Stoder Zinken can be reached via the 12 km long Stoderzinken Alpine Road from Gröbming. The route is delightfully curvy, but not too demanding, which means that even the less seasoned amongst mountain tourers will enjoy the tour. The "Schladming-Dachstein Sommercard" – that you automatically receive at the Falkensteiner hotel – also includes toll fees.
Once you arrive at the first car park, a short walk will take you to the alpine pasture Rosemi Alm with its wonderful cottage and sunny terrace where you can enjoy a legendary Gröstl Pfanne and a refreshing Radler (shandy).
Speaking of good food. Typical biker meet fare was served at "Rock the Roof". Pizza, burgers and - naturally - bratwurst.
However, dinner at Falkensteiner Hotel Schladming was a splendid alternative option. Even though the evening meal plus appetisers and salad buffet are absolutely top of the range and no desire is left unfulfilled, you’re not expected to wear a tie and suit: anyone in a "biker uniform" is just as welcome.
We would like to use this opportunity to commend the hotel staff once again – this was the third time we attended "Rock the Roof" and stayed at Falkensteiner Hotel Schladming and we can confirm that the slogan "Welcome Home" is not simply a cliché here, it's an inspiring reality. Thank you very much for the friendly reception and we look forward to coming back next year again to enjoy some more cheek and charm.
It is this "feeling of being welcome" that makes the entire motorbike meet in Schladming so exceptional. Organiser Sepp Spielbichler and his entire team simply give every biker the feeling that he and she are truly welcome. And it is precisely this feeling that is conveyed across the entire village – when the mountain trembles four days long and the pace is set by hot rumbling Harley Davidsons.
That's why we can't wait to enjoy another "welcome home" and come again for "Rock the Roof" 2018.