All Edelweiss team members share their enthusiasm for motorcycling and travelling, their love for details and the common riding and working experience. The 27 team members located at headquarters in Austria, the 17 customer service agents in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, China, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates, United States of America, together with over 50 tour guides worldwide, form a perfectly sized team, where all know each other and work together.
Before you ask: Of course, there’s a reason why Tobias has the same family name as Werner Wachter, founder & owner of Edelweiss: Tobi, as his friends call him, is Werner’s son. And if you’re wondering if Tobi got preferred treatment while guiding a tour, simply because he is Werner’s son, then we can tell you that the answer is no. He had to prepare picnics, carry heavy bags and fix flat tires just like everybody else. Now, as a member of the office team and head of the garage crew, he still doesn’t get preferred treatment, just healthier food than most other people there.
Now that we set this straight let’s have a look at the facts: Tobi was born in 1986 in Tyrol, Austria’s most mountainous province, and he still lives there today. While travelling in New Zealand in 2008, he received order to assist in guiding a group of Taiwanese around this beautiful country; this was his first assignment as a tour guide. Later he studied sports management in Innsbruck, Austria, but during the holidays he guided as many tours as he could. A job in marketing of a large company taught him a lot, but it didn’t bring complete happiness, so he decided to come home and work in the family enterprise. Good call!
Unlike most Edelweiss office members Rainer doesn’t think of Tyrol as the most beautiful place in the world. For him Swabia, his ancestral home in south-western Germany, occupies the top spot, in fact he found it so unbearably beautiful that he had to leave it behind, back in 1995, in order to give his senses some rest. He moved to – you guessed it – Tyrol, where he still tries, after all these years, to master the local dialect. Once relocated Rainer, born in 1969 and a trained economic engineer, took a job with a company that sells giant earth-moving equipment. He handled the world-wide marketing of a product line, but when the company wanted him to move up the career ladder by sending him off to some far-flung country, Rainer resisted. After all, Tyrol was just too nice to be left behind.
In 2005 a fellow player from his Volleyball club approached him with a job offer: Werner, founder and owner of Edelweiss, was looking for somebody to reinforce his marketing and sales department, so Rainer swapped the big toys for the small toys that we all love so much: motorcycles. Two years later Werner started planning his tour around the world and paving the road to retirement. He appointed Rainer as General Manager, knowing very well that Swabians are better suited than anybody else when it comes to keeping the money in one place… Surrounded by motorcycle addicts Rainer was infected quickly and acquired his licence. He likes any kind of bike, as long as it suits the purpose of the trip, he even uses a push-bike sometimes to ride to work. Exercising out in the open air is one of his favourite pastimes, but he also likes to travel and to experience foreign cultures. His favourite destination is always the next one, he says, but his heart beats especially strong for Africa. Rainer himself doesn’t lead any tours, which is probably a good thing. But he can’t resist to pay a visit once in a while, just to feel the atmosphere on tour. If all goes well he likes to celebrate by watching the sunset, with a glass of red wine in one hand and a cigar in the other. But as much as he enjoys being responsible for the world’s greatest product and torturing the guides during one of his frequent tour visits, the one thing he likes best is spending time with his wife Gaby (who also works for Edelweiss) and their two daughters. A real family guy, like most Swabians are.
Originally Gaby comes from Munderkingen, a small town in the south-western province of Baden-Württemberg, in Germany, but she lives in Telfs now, not far from Edelweiss headquarters. She began working there in December 2010 as assistant of finance and bookkeeping but quickly took over more responsibilities, including customer’s t-shirts. She also tries to make the tour guides look good while on tour by supplying them with riding gear, shirts and jackets. As you can imagine it is not easy to make ALL the guides look nice, so she considers this the hardest part of her job. And, being General Manager Rainer Buck’s wife, she is also pulling lots of strings from behind the scenes… ;-)
Gaby loves traveling, especially by motorcycle, because it makes it so much easier to get in touch with people and cultures from around the world. Therefore working for a company like Edelweiss makes perfect sense for her. So far she has co-piloted her husband’s bike on tours to Andalucia, Norway and South Africa and she plans on coming on many more. Of course these tours are not just holidays for her since she always has to make sure the tour guides look good, see above. Apart from riding Gaby also enjoys hiking, running, reading, going to the movies or the theatre or just having a glass of wine with friends while discussing life, love and legends. Or the tour guides’ outfits… But not even all these hobbies can distract her from the most important things in her life: her family. Gaby and Rainer have two daughters. Her motto is: “if you don’t move you’ll be stuck with the past”.
As soon as you step into the Edelweiss office in Mieming, Austria, you know by the scent in the air if Angelika is around. Not because she uses such a heavy perfume but because she loves to cook and bake for her colleagues. Cakes and doughnuts, goulash and lasagna, Angelika knows how it’s done. Even some tour guides show up sometimes, like out of nowhere, when she dishes up another specialty.
Apart from her talents as a chef Angelika also knows how to do her job. It includes, among other things, the preparation of tour t-shirts. Besides cooking her hobbies include sports (spectator sports mostly), especially football (soccer), as well as playing music and riding motorcycles. As an avid passenger her favorite bike is always the one that has a seat available in the back and a good rider sitting in front. Her favorite destination, by the way, is not Africa or Australia but good old Lake Constance, a mere 2 hours from Mieming. She loves the wide open landscape because it gives her inspiration. Inspiration for new recipes maybe? Oh, we can’t wait…
When you are talking with Ruth about her CV or her former places of residence, you will most likely be really impressed, because it seems as if she has already lived everywhere on this planet. But let’s start from scratch: Ruth was born in the Southamerican Andes Mountains in Ecuador, where she also grew up. Later she decided to live in – as she calls it – „perfectly organized“ Germany, before she moved to „culturally very interesting“ Japan. After a short break in Tirol she then lived in the desert and extreme heat of Saudi Arabia, before she eventually decided to settle in Tirol and its phenomenal Alpine Landscape. She feels really fine here. It doesn’t go without notice that traveling plays an important role in Ruth’s life, therefore this criterion was also essential for her further career. At Edelweiss, Ruth is responsible for e-bike tours and self-guided tours. The organisation of these international tours give her the possibility to continue her passion for traveling also in the office. Her motto: „Live an extraordinary life, enjoy life and always challenge yourself!“
Wilfried was born many moons ago, to be precise in 1970.
Before his position as marketing manager at Edelweiss Bike Travel he was already connected to the company through producing the tour t-shirts with his own advertising and event agency. Since October 2018 he is fully accountable for the marketing department at Edelweiss Bike Travel and brings over 20 years of marketing knowledge with him.
One of his great passions include travelling with his motorbike combined with kind people.
If you would ask him what his biggest dream to go by motorbike, he would tell you: „North bound“ – Direction North Cape with some friends.
Ask Karoline how old she is and all you’ll get is a smile. We know how old she is but we’re not supposed to tell anybody, so all we can do is tell you that she was born “about 30 years ago”, that must be sufficient. Karoline was born in Poland, but lived in Germany for the better part of her life. For years she looked for a good excuse to move further south, to the mountains, mainly because her hobbies include things like rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, rafting, and canyoning. Tyrol offers all that, so she is a Tyrolean now, because she says home is where your heart is.
When Edelweiss was looking for a Hotel Reservations Manager back in 2010 Karoline seized the opportunity. Years of experience came in handy, she got the job, moved to Austria and started working on January 1, 2011. She likes her work, but she needs very strong nerves sometimes to deal with hotels. Karoline has always loved to travel, she went to most European countries, to Canada, and to more adventurous destinations like China, Cuba, Morocco, and the Emirates. Rumour has it that her next trip might be a rafting expedition to Mongolia! Live your dreams instead of dreaming your life away, that’s her motto and she certainly lives up to it.
Within the young Edelweiss team Karin is one of the youngest. That doesn’t mean she is a rookie, just the opposite, she has been with the company since 2007 and knows exactly what’s going on in the office – and outside the office, too, because she likes to come on tour once in a while to get first-hand information. Karin was born in Tyrol in 1988 and has lived here ever since. When she went out looking for a job she knew exactly what she wanted: fun, a creative environment, interesting work in different fields, interaction with people, a chance to travel. What she didn’t know back then was that she would also enjoy riding motorcycles. At Edelweiss she found herself surrounded by people who love to ride, so she got herself a motorcycle license and now it is almost impossible to get her off the bike. Marketing, public relations, and communication used to be Karin’s main work fields, until, in 2016, she grew a bit tired of that and seized the opportunity to switch. Now she develops custom itineraries for special groups like the HOG Shanghai Chapter or the BMW Club of Taipei. Karin loves to travel, especially to Africa, but there is no country in the whole wide world she is not interested in. She loves the rain (!), good food, and an interesting read. Unfortunately, she can hardly find enough time for all her hobbies, especially during high season, which, for her, lasts from January to June and from July to December. After all, working for Edelweiss is not just a job, it is a way of life, especially for Karin.
Cornelia was born in 1970 in the famous ski resort town of Lech am Arlberg in Austria. Obviously, her favourite pastime during the winter is skiing, in summer she loves to mountainbike or goes hiking, but her main hobby, her family, is keeping her busy all year.
Cornelia is part oft he Finance and bookkeeping department for over 10 years. Starting as a one person bookkeeping department, she now gets support from 2 collegues. She work at big projects, controlling and the balance sheet preparation.
She loves to travel, so far she made it to most European countries, to north Africa, she was all over the US, Canada and Mexico as well as to Singapore and the Maldives.
Her motto: The pessimist is usually right, the optimist however has the better life!
Tyroleans are usually born with skis already attached to their feet. Markus had them too, but also the fingers of his right hand were bent in an unusual way and he discovered later that they would fit perfectly around the throttle grip of a motorcycle… Markus was born in 1956 in the ancient town of Hall in Tirol, where he still lives today. For many years he didn’t really know what to do with himself, he led a restless life, joined two UNO missions to the Golan Heights, studied sports and geography, and he travelled. And man, did he travel! There is not enough space on this web site to name all the countries he visited, but he especially loves Greece and Norway, Chile and South Africa, the US and the Middle East. Once it took him seven weeks to ride from Innsbruck to the North Cape and back and this trip still stands out as his personal number one.
In 1993 Markus found a way to put the fingers of his right hand to work: he guided his first Edelweiss motorcycle tour and he loved it so much that he hasn’t stopped guiding ever since. It was only in 2012, after 19 ½ years on the road, that he traded the bike seat for an office chair, and his colleagues suspect that he just couldn’t stand the thought of Edelweiss celebrating him for 20 years of service. It would just make him feel sooo old… But with age comes experience, and if there ever was a full-blooded tour guide, Markus would be it. Hundreds of tours, thousands of happy customers, more than a million kilometres on two, four and eight wheels and countless outstanding picnics are firmly tucked under his belt. Somebody once called him a true professional, and that is certainly true. Markus is married with two kids and besides motorcycling and chatting on the phone with his tour guides he loves mountain biking, skiing, and music, and of course he loves spending time with his family. Now, with his new office job, he’s got more time than ever to do that. Right, Markus???
Edelweiss was quite astonished, when Lucian sent a speculative application to Edelweiss in 2016 and graced the company with his presence in the workshop to help with the workload – before he even got the job! Yep, Lucian definitely IS persistent. But let’s start from scratch: Lucian was born and raised in Romania, where he also attended and graduated school with focus on informatics and mathematics. In 2014, he decided to move to Austria, where he had first worked as a cashier before he changed his plans and followed his passion – repairing (and riding) bikes. Since 2016, he has been working in the Edelweiss-workshop as a mechanic apprentice and he is, as he says, still very happy about his decision. Whenever Lucian is not working, he loves to paint the town red with his bike, to go snowboarding or travel. Lucian may not be the most talkative person, however, this is no problem at all, because as is generally known: Still waters run deep. Not only is he unbelievably precise and a perfectionist, but he is also always there whenever and wherever help is needed. His ambition and his diligence are what characterizes him an what make him a real “keeper” in the Edelweiss family.
Sarah was born and raised in the mountains in Tirol. After her tourism studies in Innsbruck, Austria, however, she had the feeling to just „get out“ and see the world, therefore she moved to London to work there. After a year, the longing for good food was too big, so she came back home. She went looking for a job and eventually started her career in product management at Edelweiss. Sarah loves traveling and considers herself really fortunate to have already seen the Northern Lights and to have even been invited at Santa Clause’s house. When traveling, she prefers going off the beaten tracks, whereby nature, culture and very good food are extremely important for her. Despite the many countries she has already been to, her heart still beats for Scandinavia, even though Iceland and Norway are still missing on her list. Whenever Sarah doesn’t travel, she loves to cook and to hike in the Tirolian nature. Well, and how about motorcycling? Even though nearly all of her family members ride motorcycles, she hasn’t got a motorcycle driving license. However, she is not aversed to it either. „Who knows“, she says. Maybe she will soon change her mind and also can’t resist the charms of riding a motorcycle anymore.
Kerstin was born in Hamburg but probed around a handful of places in Europe before she found her home. School in Stuttgart, studied in the French part of Switzerland, went to London for half a year, but nowhere did she like it as much as in Tirol. She learned to be a photographer and took yummy pictures of food for cookbooks and the likes. Makes you wonder who ate all that food after she was done taking pictures of it, doesn’t it?
After she had her two daughters she decided to get a job that would make her life more plannable and worked for an insurance broker, dealing with damage claims. No surprise then that after a while she was out looking for something new, something more interesting. She knew that jobs at Edelweiss are anything but boring so she asked GM Rainer Buck and – surprise, surprise – he was in need of a skilled person to complete his office team. Now she works as an accountant. Boring, you say? Well, then you don’t know the Edelweiss team and especially the tour guides…
In her rare spare time Kerstin likes to ride motorcycles, like she did back in the old days. She also likes golf, hiking, skiing, reading, handicrafts and traveling as well as Pilates which helps her relax whenever her numerous hobbies stress her out too much. Or her colleagues. Or the tour guides. On top of that she is still busy taking pictures; all the pics in this section of the web site are her work, she even took her own picture. A variety of skills and plenty of enthusiasm: exactly what Rainer was looking for!
Many moons ago a man and a woman from the wild little mountain tribe in the heart of Europe had a daughter: Viktoria. We don’t know how many moons ago, because she won’t tell, but we know she was born in June. Viktoria grew up in Austira, but since she is a serious pasta and veggie aficionada she couldn’t wait to move to Italy, to Rome. There she found all the pasta she could wish for and on top of it she learned Italian, so when she returned to Tyrol in 2010 she spoke it better than most Italians. Coincidentally, back then Edelweiss was looking for somebody with a fluent command of Italian to complete the office team, so Viktoria came on board.
Her responsibilities include customer and agency relations and hotel reservations in Italy. As an avid traveller Viktoria is busy checking countries off her bucket list. Most European countries, the US, Japan, northern Africa and the Middle East were her destinations so far, but of course she wants more. Her wanderlust and her hobbies neatly complement one another, she loves photography, art galleries and learning languages and after joining Edelweiss she learned to love riding motorcycles, too. The sun shines on every tour that she comes on, so if you’re lucky she may come on your next one!
Christoph was born in 1977 in Leins, Arzl in the Pitztal valley, Austria and he is an enthusiastic skier –it is hardly surprising that after elementary school he attended a skiing commercial school in Stams, Austria. After two years, however, he had the big wish to make his passion for cars his profession, therefore he dropped out of school and began his apprenticeship as a car mechanic. He ended his career as active ski racer only three years later to address himself fully to his job. Since then, he has mainly been repairing cars, lorries and construction machines and was until last working as a lorry driver in the wood industry, before he became a member of the Edelweiss family as a mechanic in 2018. When not spending his free time with his two sons, you will see Christoph mostly on a skiing slope – once a skier, always a skier. In summer, he loves to hike and to visit soccer fields – he didn’t want to tell us whether he goes there to play or just to watch soccer.
1965, April 27, 6:41 am: Gerhard sees the light of day for the first time. 47 years later: Gerhard joins Edelweiss as a tour guide. Another two years later: Edelweiss’ “Discover Our Earth” expedition gathers momentum and once it turns out that the office staff can’t handle all the new work load associated with it, Gerhard comes to the rescue. He swaps the motorcycle seat for an office chair, working 70 hour-weeks to get this tour on track. What do we need to get some Brazilian’s bike across the border from Tajikistan to Uzbekistan? Gerhard knows. How do we get a new valve cover to Southern Honduras quickly? Ask Gerhard. And who can tell me if my bike will be in Chile in time for the South America section? Exactly, “Mr. Around-the-World” can. Gerhard misses his motorcycle seat sometimes, but then again, his mind is traveling the world all the time anyways.
Many people claim to have gasoline instead of blood flowing through their veins, but Thomas Sermonet from Tyrol, Austria, really lives and breathes cars and motorcycles. In 1985 Thomas started from the very bottom, as an apprentice in an Opel dealership. Later the passionate motorcyclist switched to Toyota, another manufacturer that doesn’t produce motorcycles, so in order to appease his appetite for two-wheeled technology he had to use his spare time.
In 2000 he went back to school to become a master craftsman, succeeded the following year and continued to acquaint himself with pretty much every car and motorcycle brand under the sun. He is especially fond of Porsche, his season as a race mechanic in the Porsche Cup series was a great adventure and loads of fun. In 2010 he finally started his own business, fixing everything that has wheels and a combustion engine.
In 2012, when Edelweiss was desperately searching for someone to help with the massive workload during high season, Thomas was there and jumped on board. He loves working on all the late-model bikes (and also test-riding them!) and facing the challenges of working under immense time pressure. Welcome to Edelweiss, Tom. Time pressure is something we can offer any time!
Chiara was born in 1988 in the south oft he flatlands (The Netherlands). After studying International Business & Languages, which included living in Spain and Australia, Chiara decided, she didn’t want to stay in the Netherlands and moved quite spontaneously in 2015 to Tyrol. In those years she gathered experience in procurement, IT, marketing and gastronomy.
In February 2019 she joined the Edelweiss Bike Travel team to accompany Wilfried at the marketing department and makes sure everyone hears about our epic motorcycle and Ebike Tours.
If not at the office, you can find her hiking / skiing / running in the mountains with her dog. Or making sure all animals at the stable are taking care of.
She does not have her motorcycle license yet but as a "Dutchie" she knows how to handle an Ebike.
Coral, Werner’s wife, is originally from London. Together they founded Edelweiss in 1980, operated it successfully for over 30 years and then retired together in 2011. In the beginning she was the one who drove the support van and handled the luggage, later she turned her attention to office duties of all kinds. On top of that there were several children to take care of and a household to run, and she managed, being a multitasking woman, to keep everything under control.
Coral and Werner like to ride motorcycles, bicycles and drive cars. They also enjoy swimming, skiing, reading and spending time with the family. And, believe it or not, even travelling can still be fun. But it’s hard to leave home. Mieming, she says, is just the most beautiful place to live.
Werner was 35 years old when he decided that he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life dealing with medical equipment. So in 1980 he and his wife Coral founded Europe’s first motorcycle tour operator, gave it a catchy name, arranged a small fleet of BMWs and a year later they welcomed the first five paying customers in the Alps. This sounds like it was all very easy, but you can rest assured, it was not.
According to himself Werner never was a particularly able tour guide, but he must have done ok, because where would all that success of his company come from? Or was it Coral, who drove the support van and handled the luggage during the early days? We may never know for sure. What we do know is that the company gradually grew bigger, destinations, motorcycles, tour guides and office staff were added every year to secure Edelweiss’ position as the Number One in guided motorcycle tours worldwide.
30 years later Werner started thinking about retirement. But of course a man like him wouldn’t just quit and go home, instead he took the long way round. He worked for two years to set up a nine month tour around the world, the longest guided tour that had ever been done. He was to be part of it, of course, and after he returned home in July 2011, after 64,000 km on his bright orange BMW, he didn’t go back to the office anymore. Well, once in a while he does. For a coffee… Enjoy your time off, Werner!
Doris started working for Edelweiss a long, long time ago, back in 1988, when she was a young girl of around 20. Now, as a young girl of around 45 she is the heart and soul of the office team and if you ever book a tour with us chances are that you’ll exchange letters or emails with her or talk to her on the phone or both. She loves to deal with people from around the globe and with a multitude of cultures and destinations. Helping people to plan their dream vacation means as much to her as her own travels.
Her favorite travel destinations are New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Mexico and the USA and on top of her bucket list is the Edelweiss Machu Picchu Tour. She has been to Europe several times and finds it hard to decide which part she likes best. Well, actually not that hard: Doris is a Tyrolean girl through and through and even though she loves to see the world she knows that Tyrol is the center of her universe. She loves her mountains and her peaceful little hometown of Silz, her family and the garden behind her house. She values harmony and honesty, in private and on the job, and this is something you can feel whenever you deal with her. Just like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry she feels that only the heart can see what’s essential in life, not the eyes.
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