A story from our buddy David Nadjar, member of the French Vespa Club Dauphinois from Grenoble.
For the celebration of the 10th anniversary of our "Rallye des 3 Massifs", we’ve invited our Vespa Community to a four days rally on the beautiful country roads of the Centre-south of France throughout five regions: Ardèche, Cantal, Lot, Périgord and Forez. As every year, despite the roughness of the roads and the heavy number of kilometers, everyone is simply happy to be there, which is the main spirit that characterises the "Rallye des 3 Massifs"!
Start from the Château Louis XI in La Cote Saint Andre (Isère), from 9.01 am to 9.55 am, 217 scooters making up 54 teams set off in the rain towards Saint Flour (Cantal) for a first stage of 300 km.
The slippery road surface throughout the route caused a few falls, grated fenders on the tarmac and the fright of the unlucky. The finishing point is in the vast courtyard of "La Maison des Planchettes", an imposing building that used to be a priests' seminary and that has meanwhile become a hotel.
The copious dinner takes place under a big top in the courtyard of the impressive building. At the end of the evening, around a glass of traditional Chartreuse liqueur, we had the opportunity to bring some of the machines up to standard so that they are ready to take to the road again the next day.
The group pushed even further west, towards St Genies (Dordogne), on a stretch that exceeded 300 kms. The ideal weather, dry, sunny without being too hot, saw the teams arrive at the holiday village of "La Bouquerie", where everyone enjoyed the comfort of bungalows, a swimming pool, an open-air bar and a gala dinner under the stars. It is a long-standing tradition to work on the mechanics under the spotlight of the technical team over a strong drink!
Day 3 marks the start of our return trip towards La Chaise Dieu (Haute Loire), trough Aurillac, on a 350 km route, to reach the authentic holiday village of La Tour, under the pine trees, at an altitude of 1000 m, where time and infrastructures are frozen in the 1970s. Once again under a huge sky, dinner is served outside and the group chills together for a last drink until late in the night.
The last stage of 280 kms marks the return link to the initial starting point, through the impressive Forez forests, via Le Puy En Velay, to cross the Rhône at Saint Alban. Without any great difficulty, everyone reaches La Cote Saint Andre, where a last open air buffet has been set-up for those who want to end the trip in a chilly way. 120 of the 217 competitors take advantage of this „supplement“, obviously not wanting to leave each other. See you at next year’s 11th edition!
More pictures and info about the Vespa Club Dauphinois on Facebook.