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Vespa Road Trip "Hardbarcelona" 2017 - by SIP Scootershop



Sometime around the beginning of October, when the leaves on the trees turn from luscious green to a golden shade of orange before finding their place on the ground, it becomes clear to most riders of two-wheeled vehicles that it’s time to prepare your pride and joy for Winter hibernation. Quite obvious to many, but not for us, especially seeing as we know some action-hungry French scooterists with nothing better to do than ride with fourteen of us using our vintage Vespas from Marseilles to Barcelona! The plan was born over cappuccino in our very own ‘Siperia’ and we promptly e-mailed our dear friend Henry, the president of the 'Scooter Club du Sud-Est'. A couple of weeks later and we were sitting on flight number 13H05 to Marseilles. Four of the more hard-boiled members of our entourage volunteered to drive our scooters from our base in Landsberg with the SIP transporter (and trailer), to Marseilles. Well done guys, respect due!



Day One, Wednesday, 4th of October

Lots of hugging and kissing during the typical French greeting ceremony with our French buddies at the Marseilles airport petrol station, we Germans would have been completely satisfied with handshakes from same-sex acquaintances. We started off with a wide range of various largeframe Vespas, including Rally, Sprint, VBA, VBB, SS, GS, T5, PX, etc, all with a similar motor set-up: A PX engine with a Malossi 210cc performance cylinder, a long-stroke crankshaft, a Dell'Orto SI 24 carburettor and a SIP Road big-box exhaust. Most were still running a disc-valve, although those with a reed-valve modification all had 30mm carburettors fitted. The exception to the rule was represented by a VBA machine on 8” wheels, fitted with a PX 150 engine unit, a 177cc 'Magny Cours' cylinder from Pinasco, a Dell'Orto SI 24 carburettor, 23-tooth clutch cog from DRT and a SIP Road exhaust. Our initial collective scepticism promptly evaporated, due to this little crackers impressive acceleration and successful full-throttle orgies, up front with the big-boys! Once we had parked our transporter in the yard belonging to Jean-Claude Marino, the president of the SC Pelissanne, we set off on the initial 140 km leg of the tour. Through the Carmargue, to the Yellow Village 'Les Petit Camaruais'. Thanks here to Jean-Claude and James from the 'Mas de Léspiguettes'.



Day Two, Thursday, 5th of October 


Due to the steadfast snoring from certain members of the group we wearily continued from Gran de Roi to Montpellier once the morning arrived. In the middle of Montpelliers urban chaos we had an experience rivalling an Ali Baba adventure. A set of gates opened onto a small paradise, which is the beautiful home of our friend Jérôme Villedieu. Merci beaucoup mon General and also many thanks to his wife Karine and family who kindly took care of our catering. To be quite honest I could have remained in this idyllic haven for a while longer, but alas we had to move on due to various freshly-harvested oysters were impatiently awaiting enjoyment at our next stop. Once there, we were given a guided tour of the Earlhitres-Bouzigues oyster farm by the owner and also plenty of delicious white wine to wash down numerous small, slippery oysters. I loved it!




Day Three, Friday, 6th of October 

En route to Perpignan (260 km) we had a small, unexpected Aperol-Spritz-Break in the Pyrennees Orientales, a picturesque coastal village with a small harbour and plenty of meandering pensioners, due to a battery problem with one of the scooters. Once we later arrived in Perpignan we were first greeted by Arsene and invited for a small drink and were gradually introduced to the rest of the gang surrounding Eddy, the president of the Palmarium SC in the Malassi bar. The boys also organised a top notch barbecue menu at the Scoobidou restaurant including many exotic specialities, amongst others grilled snails, especially on our behalf! Much respect!



Day Four, Saturday, 7th of October 

Perpignan to Bacelona, following an absolutely breathtakingly curvaceous route, a dream for every scooterist! About 285 km with a mini pit-stop for a midday-tapas in Portbou, next to the beach, accompanied by the Palmarium SC and friends. The youth hostel in Barcelona brought us all right back down to earth with a bump. Located centrally, the 'BCN Youth Hostel', ten to a room in bunk-beds-and according to the noise and smells we had been put in the locker room-during a game! You only live once and if it doesn’t kill you, you'll be better for the experience, right?



Day Five, Sunday, 8th of October 


Still dazed from the 'progressive' overnight experience, we stumbled through peaceful 'Viva Espana' marches across the city towards the beach and immediately rewarded ourselves on arrival with mucho vino collapso and buckets of Sangria! Diverse locations, plenty of tapas and wine, with our faithful trusty rides tucked away in a secure car park for the night for a rest.




Day Six, Monday, 9th of October 

From Barcelona, 330 km back to Valras Plage, to be precise the Hotel Abizzia-near to the Cap d'Agde. Thanks to the lads from the Riquets SC for the wonderful sunset Aperitivo experience!



Day Seven, Tuesday, 10th of October 


Last leg of the tour, around 200 km back to where we started from. Once at the airport we were greeted with the news of a cancelled flight Lufthansa 19H20, which was supposed to have us back in good old Germany by early evening. No such luck and a lack of free hotel rooms meant that we came to enjoy the luxury of the departure lounge floor as a bed, making the last night of the journey equally unforgettable...


Thank-you, thank-you and once more many thanks to Monsieur le Président, Henry Mouries and his gang of Scooter Club du Sudest for making this unique experience possible! You could hardly wish for a better ensemble of travelling companions! Merci Beaucoup!




Conclusion: Sleep deprivation at night, but more than rewarded with intensively exciting adventure during the daytime hours, everyday! It remained dry the whole trip and our oilskins unused beneath the seats of our Vespas, in my opinion it can stay that way every time. There were also no major break-downs along the way, neither man nor machine. This fact proves to all those doubters that touring distances of 1600 km and more can be realistically attempted over a long weekend on our vintage scooters. Of course there were a couple of minor mechanical and electrical problems, but solving these successfully puts the salt in the soup while undertaking such an adventure! Our rear-ends might have been a little saddle-sore, but we all experienced more than enough to compensate and you cannot buy that for all the money in the world. Simply unbookable at any travel agents, cough-cough! This sort of trip only comes together with teamwork and an extra portion of typical Scooterist insanity as a guiding philosophy!



All pictures from our Vespa Road Trip 2017 can be found here on flickr.



And here is our SIP TV Video from this year´s tour - enjoy and we do not mind if you like and share:





Eingetragen Nov 03 2017, 12:47 von Ralf

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