My day started early , 2am to be precise. I was sharing the apartment with the missing 3, Chris, Scotty and Sulla , so when they finally got to the accommodation I got up to show them where it was. Chris was obviously in a bit of pain and rather uncomfortable, but managed to get a few hours sleep. The morning was HOT, so there was only one thing to do, hit the beach, and, being St. Tropaz, part of it was nudist, why are nudist beaches never how you imagine them ? …..mainly nude old men ☹ There was a bit of drama on the beach when a forest fire was spotted on the peninsula to the right of us, and five fire fighting planes doing circuits, filling up in flight from the sea, to dump the water on the fire and and repeating. After catching a few rays and a swim in the sea , we all headed back for some lunch around the bar and that’s where we stayed the rest of the day/ night. The two nights and day we spent there came at just the right time with what had happened the day before , and was a welcome break for all of us . Russ
The beach and resort were lovely, a real tropical paradise. It felt quite surreal realising we had rode from snowy Alpine mountain tops to palm trees and sand.
We could all now relax and play up a little, Chris’s injuries resulted in him being unusually quiet, apart from the odd groan brought on by laughing at the others antics.
The resort wasn’t used to a gang of drunken Brit scooterists but they suffered us in silence and let us drink the booze we bought from the onsite shop while sitting in the bar area, you just wouldn’t get away with that in the UK. Becko being Becko decided to spike every drink he poured for Ada with a third of a pint of Vodka, Ada was soon in a state and wondered off in the direction of our apartments. I say apartments, they were actually log clad cabins which very much resembled a caravan inside. later on Scotty came back and showed us a video he had taken of Ada when he saw him walking the wrong way while lost in the resort.
Due to the days binge drinking everyone turned in quite early knowing we all had to hit the road again in the morning.
Day 15 we headed for La Mans where we found a hotel then headed into town for a meal, the only thing worth mentioning is that we got pulled over by the French police and got finned for not having mirrors on our lambrettas, you couldn’t make this shit up lol. we did however manage to get a sticker on the police van :).
Ada had problems all day with his gear change due to a bodge that had been done on the gear arm long before we left for the trip.
This was the last leg in Europe, travelling from Le Mans to Caen for the ferry to Portsmouth.
When we left the hotel in the morning we rode to the Le Mans race track to get a photo, again the flag came out, the flag we had with us was sold a few weeks after the trip ended to raise much needed money the air ambulance charity .
Again, not much happened while on the road this day, we arrived at Caen long before we could board the ferry so all we could do was have a drink and a meal in one of the many restaurants in the port area to pass the time, but once we did get on the ferry after 9PM, the final night party got under way.
Chris had to ride his scooter on to the ferry with his broken ribs and off hiring the car was nothing less than a nightmare as the drop off place they had been told was at the port had closed down, lol. We all had a whip round during the night though to help Chris fund the hire car which I’m sure he appreciated as the cost had been quite steep.
The only down side really to the whole trip had been Chris’s accident, all the lambrettas had made it all the way, yes some had running repairs and others had been troublesome all the way but that is to be expected when undertaking such an arduous journey on old machines. Also, most of the party had got on which wasn’t expected with so many strong minded people living out of each others pockets for over two weeks.
The last video below is taken from when I had just left the last services stop on my way home the day after the night on the ferry. Up to that point this trip had been by far the best trip I had done on a lambretta.
Big thanks to all those that took part, whether that’s the people who rode with us or the people we met along the way and a big thanks to the crew for awarding me a nice trophy at the end of 2017 at our Xmas party, there was no need but it’s appreciated all the same 🙂
After a restless sleep I got up early and decided to take my barrel off to find out what yesterdays problem had been. The first problem was getting into the area the hotel had allowed us to park the Lambrettas. As everyone knows, any Lambretta in Italy is a target for thieves, so every hotel we use we try to get secure parking. I had to wait for the bloke who owned the hotel to appear before I could get the key off him, this was at around 7:30 am.
I also had to call a coupe of the others to get them to move their Lambrettas so I had room to work. When the barrel came off it was obvious that my ring problem diagnoses was correct. The bottom ring peg had come out, the ring had turned and had snagged on the exhaust port. It hadn’t only snagged, it had folded over and embedded its self into the piston right over the exhaust port.
Amazing that it had continued to run and had done so for about 70 miles carrying two people and loads of luggage on a windy up hill motorway.
The barrel damage was slight, the port was ok but there was a slight gouge about 5mm under the port. The ring being folded over had obviously caused this.
I installed a new piston, didn’t bother replacing the gaskets, just used some gasket sealant and bolted it all back together. By 9am it was running.
As it hadn’t actually broken down at any stage the day before and it had got to the days destination, I decided to consider this maintenance rather than a breakdown. The piston had been in for many thousands of miles, it’s just bad luck to have a ring peg fall out.
Everyone else had had breakfast, Paula had brought me a coffee and croissant out while I was finishing up with the build, so we all packed up and headed off for todays fun and games. The plan today was to get to Saint Tropez via Monaco, Nice and Cannes.
The motorway was very windy, I think this was due to how high up it is. It crosses a crazy landscape which consists entirely of tunnels and bridges, the bridges are high over towns below. Not nice to ride on but interesting. the ride to Monaco was pretty uneventful, apart from Sulla thinking he had lost his toll ticket and then finding it as soon as he got to the other side.
I had programed the F1 circuit into my satnav for Monaco but this didn’t go too well. The F1 race had been there just nine days before we arrived which meant much of the track was still not open to traffic. That little obstacle didn’t get in our way though, we managed to ride on at least 90% of it, even through the harbour section which was like a building site with workers dismantling the grandstands. We obviously stopped at a few places to get photos and got turned around at least once before we decided enough was enough and headed out of town.
We were now heading for Nice and decided to try and take the coast road, this started off all well and good until we found ourselves having to ride through town after town, all of which were like the M25 on a bad day. In the 35 degree heat it began to get on every ones nerves, tempers began to fray. I told everyone that I was happy to do my planned rout to Saint Tropez alone if they preferred to jump on the motorway and head straight there, so when I looked around after one odd satnav direction and saw no one was behind me I carried on.
I rode down Cannes sea front and then got out of town and found the Motorway, I had expected to see the others on the motorway but as it was only about 10 miles to the junction for Saint Tropez I wondered if they were well ahead of me by now. this is where the day really turned to shit.
I was just entering Saint Tropez when I got a call over my intercom from Sulla, he was saying someone was involved in a crash, but he sounded like he was taking the piss. I got the hump and hung on him and shortly after pulled over so I could call him without having to concentrate on where I was going. He said again that Chris had come off and this time he convinced me that he wasn’t joking. Sulla now sounded like he had lost the plot, he wasn’t making much sense, just saying over and over that Chris’s face was a mess and that he was in an ambulance being taken to Cannes hospital. I obviously thought the worst as Chris doesn’t ware a full face helmet. Sulla also said that there were only him Scotty and Chris together when it happened and that he didn’t know where the others were. I called Russ a few times but got no answer so thought he must still be riding and unable to hear his phone, so I decided that all I could do was continue and try and find the others who I was convinced must be ahead of me.
To say I wasn’t very happy would be an understatement, which you can hear in this video clip.
A few miles later I had to pull in for Fuel. While there I called Sulla again to find out the latest news and was told Chris was in Xray and they didn’t know much more. He did say though that a woman who had seen the crash and had helped them had taken Scotty back to the crash site so he could try and ride Chris’s Lambretta back to the hospital. I then tried Russ again, by now they had also found out about the crash and sounded as confused as I was as to WTF had happened. Russ also told me he was still on the motorway at the services, this meant they were a good hour at least behind me which confused me even more. They were having problems entering the hotel position into their satnavs so I said I would go there and they could use the tracker on this site to see where I was so they could find the hotel.
Paula and I had some food and drink at the fuel stop and talked about what had occurred and arrived at the hotel entrance about an hour later. By now I had other people calling me to find out what was going on, Johnny had some how heard about it and sounded worried as he was now in Belgium, miles away, so could offer no assistance. I decided then to post a private message to the ILC members back in the UK telling them not to post anything online about what had happened. I did this because even we didn’t know what was going on and because I knew Chris’s wife had just left for a holiday with friends and didn’t want her finding out through the internet.
After what seemed days, Russ and the others arrived at the hotel entrance. The hotel wasn’t a hotel, it was a beach resort at the end of a long driveway. we had waited at the entrance rather than checking in. By now I had found out from Scotty and Sulla that Chris had several broken ribs, I had even managed to speak to Chris which eased my mind no end. He had discharged himself and would soon be allowed to leave the hospital.
I had been in contact with Richard Taylor while waiting for the others to arrive and asked him to look for one way hire options in the Cannes area. Sulla had said he was willing to drive a van which could transport both his and Chris’s Lambretta and the two of them back to the UK. Chris had stated on the phone that he wanted to continue with the “holiday” with the rest of us, this meant the hire had to be over a few days and the drop off point had to be in Caen where we were due to get the ferry back to the UK four days from now.
This turned out to be less straight forward than you would think it would be. The Cannes Eurohire depot had nothing to hire and the nearest place was Nice. Sulla and Chris had to get a Taxi from Cannes to Nice airport and when they got there they found they only had cars available, luckily they had a Ford Galaxy which they thought maybe big enough to get the two Lambrettas in. Scotty had stayed at the hospital with the Lambrettas waiting for them to return. They found that the only way to get both Lambrettas in the back was to remove the front wheels. After a lot of messing around they got them in and headed for Saint Tropez, Scotty had to follow them on his Lambretta. It was dark by now and very late. they didn’t arrive at the apartments till the early hours of the next morning.
The rest of us had waited up but most of us had turned in before they arrived. so it wasn’t until the next morning that we found out how Chris was.
This was by far the most eventful day and mostly for all the wrong reasons. On the up side though, Chris was still alive, and the place we were staying for the next two nights was fantastic.
Footage from Monaco to Saint Tropez which shows what the traffic was like.
In May 2017 ILC travelled to the Euro Lambretta in Adria. The main party consisted of 17 people on 15 Lambrettas, the route took in the spine of the Alps from Interlaken to Innsbruck before dropping down into Italy. The return took ILC to Milan then along the Riviera to Saint Tropez before heading back north to the UK. The planned duration was 2 weeks. Below is the account of the trip from planning through to completion.
After a good nights sleep we left Cobham services on Saturday morning, heading for Maidstone services on the M20, We planned to meet the others there so that we could all ride into the Chunnel together so we would be on the same train.
Paul decided to check his tyre pressure only to have the air pump at the services remove all of the air from his tyres, after a bit of faffing around he got sorted and we set off.
When we arrived at Maidstone services most of the others were there.
Nige AKA brad mole
Nathan and Lynsey were not there though. We waited as long as we could but had to leave with out them in the hope they would be at the Chunnel.
At the services we found that Sulla had lost one of the bolts that hold his gear swivel bar to his engine case and had lost a lot of oil through the hole. This resulted in the first bodge of the trip. With it “fixed” and his oil topped up we set off.
It wasn’t long before we arrived at the Channel Tunnel and checked in, the trains were delayed by an hour due to the volume of traffic on the bank holiday weekend. This however meant that Nathan and Lynsey had time to show up.
With everyone now present we boarded the train for Calias, now the adventure could begin!
We had three brand new GT200 top ends with us who were all running in, two of them had pillions too, so we had to keep the speeds down for a few hundred miles,
Sulla’s carb fell off once more and Nathan ran out of fuel on the way to our over night destination, Reims. On the way we took a small detour to the old race track at Circuit du Reims-Gueux. Another opportunity to get the flag out.
We had a hotel booked Reims but when we arrived we were told there was only 1 room booked and that there were no other rooms available. A few looked for rooms on booking dot com but it soon became obvious that Reims was fully booked, there were no rooms available anywhere so we started looking further out of town.
The only place on rout that had enough spaces for us all was 80 miles away in Troyes. It was now after 9:30pm and everyone was tiered. We had no other option but to press on.
We had a few small problems after leaving Reims but things got worse as we got off the motorway in Troyes. Scotty’s stator died just after the toll booth.
Most of the group had carried on but then had to wait while Chris and me went back to find him. It was decided to tow Scotty to the hotel and fix it in the morning.
We arrived at the hotel after 3:30am and then had more fun and games getting into the rooms. The hotel was booked by the other hotel that had let us down in Reims, they had told us that one key would be there and all the other rooms keys would be in the room the one key opened. Warren found a key and went to the room but there were no other keys in that room. After a phone call it became clear that the room we had got into wasn’t one of our rooms at all. Finally at after 4am we all got a room and crashed out.
The people who had set off from home that morning had all done over 500 miles that day and had been on the road for nearly 24 hours.
After the late night we all rose late morning knowing we had 80 miles less to do today to get to the planned destination of Dijon.
Scotty replaced his stator with a spare and we all packed the Lambrettas up again and set off.
The first funny thing to happen was at a fuel stop where the cashier insisted one of us hadn’t’ paid for our fuel. Becko argued with her for ages until he realised he had paid for his drink and food but hadn’t been charged for his fuel, he paid up and we got away eventually.
A while later I was ridding at the back with Jason and Sue, Jason was on a standard GP150 which is really really slow. two police bikes passed us and both had a long look at each of us as they passed, soon after one of them was waiting to pull us over. We followed him into a services and found they were pulling a number of people doing spot checks.
They had pulled us because we were going so slow, they thought we were on mopeds, telling us the law in France is a minimum of 125cc on the motorways, Jason explained that we were all on 150cc at least and that we were travelling slow because of the age of the Lambrettas, taking care not to damage the old engines. The police ended up being quite interested in the scooters and the planned trip we were undertaking, one even requested a sticker with the route on. we were relieved that they let us carry on.
Not much else happened on day three, we arrived in Dijon and found the hotel which had a small courtyard where we parked up the lambrettas then headed into town for a meal before finding an Irish bar to drink the night away.
Today we planned to get from Dijon to Interlaken in Switzerland, not many motorway miles before getting on smaller roads to enjoy the scenery.
Our first problem came while in the alpine foothills, in the middle of nowhere Russ pulled over with a dead spark plug, when he removed his side panel to change the plug he noticed that his frame had cracked around the engine bolt tube. I’m sure many of the others thought the same as I did, that his trip was over, or would soon be over as it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere.
However, Russ has always been lucky with his Euro breakdowns, a few years ago his exhaust split and needed welding and low and behold two miles down the road we found a garage who welded it for him. This time though I looked around and thought there was no way he would strike lucky twice.
He strapped the frame together with a luggage strap, Curt volunteered to carry his panier bags to help reduce the weight and we set off again. To my utter amazement just over one mile later we got to a junction and on the corner was a garage, Russ went in and asked if they had a welder in his best “allo allo” French. They did and agreed to weld it if he took his petrol tank out.
Lucky Russ lol
A couple of hours and 30 Euros later we got underway again, you just couldn’t make it up!
We rode through some lovely scenery before crossing the border into Switzerland where it had started raining hard, we had planned to stop on the border and buy the swiss motorway vignette passes but due to the rain and the fact we were not on a motorway we didn’t stop. Around the next bend the road we were on turned into a motorway though so we were all now worried about getting pulled and receiving fines.
We stopped at the first services we came to but they had sold out of vignette so had to again join the motorway at risk of being fined.
Shortly after re-joining word passed down that Scotty had stopped as he left the services, those that hadn’t stopped with him carried on to the next services where he caught us back up after changing another stator.
We now all had our vignette and were legal at last.
The weather was beginning to turn for the worse, we could see the Alpine mountains covered in snow in the distance and we were traveling towards a huge thunder storm. it was quite dramatic.
I was at the front when a GTS passed me, my first thought was to chase it down but thought better of it for a minute or so until the temptation got the better of me. I told Paula to duck down and I picked up the speed to try and catch the GTS which was now a small dot in the distance. After ridding at over 70 mph for a while reality struck that I was two up carrying shit loads of luggage in a thunder storm on a motorway on the edge of the Alps so I eased off and decided to look for a bridge to park under to allow us to put our waterproofs on under cover. As I decelerated to pull over I felt the back end of the scooter try to overtake the front and immediately thought I had a puncture.
When we came to a stop I found I had broken one of the hub studs that hold the rim to the hub, the rim had opened up enough to pinch the inner tube and the tyre was low on air, very lucky escape considering the speed we had been doing.
A short while later after a hub change we all set off again and soon arrived at our hotel in Interlaken. The three problems over the day meant we arrived a lot later than planned, but the most important thing was that we were all there and that we would all start the real mountain climbing the next day.
We had a few beers and had to get the hotel to order us pizza delivery due to the restaurant at the hotel finishing for the night.
Breakfast in the hotel in Interlaken was in a room with a fantastic view and the weather was fine once again. Today we planned to do a few mountain passes on rout to Davos.
We had been watching a website which gives info on pass closures because most passes are just opening after the winter closer at this time of year. To get to Furka pass from Interlaken we had to do Grimsel pass but Grimsel wasn’t open yet. We had to take the contingency route which headed north to Lucerne to get on to the A2 motorway which would take us under Gottards tunnel and then exit the motorway and climb up Gotards pass. this would bring us back on rout just after Furka pass. The plan was to get to there early so we could travel in the wrong direction for a few miles to do Furka pass.
It wasn’t to be 🙁
Before we got to Gottards tunnel I had a phone call to say that Warren had stopped again, this time due to a stator problem. Warren had been having problems everyday and nothing anyone did sorted it, we found out later at the hotel what the problem had been all along, more on this later.
We pulled into a services to wait for them, after nearly two hours sitting in the baking sun we set off again heading to the tunnel. The tunnel is over 10 miles long and the most striking thing about it is how hot it is in the middle of it, its hard to describe but anyone who has rode under it will know what I mean.
When we got out of the tunnel we took the next exit and started to climb Gottards pass, a few of the group were missing so we pulled over on a section of road that overlooked the motorway exit to wait for them. we saw them and phoned them to tell them the way to get up to us but it took ages for them to find the correct road, by this time the weather was turning and starting to rain. we headed off up the pass to Gottards museum.
Warren, Curt, Nathan and Lynsey had still not caught up with us so we told them to meet us at the top of Gottards Pass at a petrol station I had saved in my satnav, the problem when we got there was that it was just one single pump. The road to our left went to Furka pass and to the right was the way to Davos. As we were there late we reluctantly decided to miss Furka pass and continue to Davos. the rout was amazing with incredible views over the spine of the Alps, it took in many ski resorts.
Warren never did catch up with us because he had chosen to get recovered and the plan was to meet us in Davos, more on this later too.
Then the rout turned off the main road onto a road I had found while planning the route, we ended up doing some off roading through a closed road before realising there was a diversion in place.
This road was stunning, very narrow on the side of the mountains with views to die for. While up there we saw a helicopter fighting a huge fire in the valley below. Great road off the beaten track!
When we got closer to the hotel near Davos my satnav was determined to take back roads for some reason. At one point while I was leading Brad overtook me and my satnav immediately told me “turn right on unpaved road”. I turned off and ended up in a farmers field on the steepest hill ive ever tried to ride on. It was so steep the scooter gave up and stalled. The funny thing was that I could see Brad parked in the middle of the road down below throwing his arms in the air as if to say WTF? One of the funniest moments of the trip for me.
Soon after we arrived at the hotel, it was a ski hotel and very nice, off season they are cheap and great value for money. Not long later we heard from Warren, he told us he had hired a van at huge cost and that he was on his way to us, he arrived after 10pm. He had to get the van back to them the next morning to avoid more costs and asked a guy at the hotel if he would give him a lift back, he agreed to, but Warren hadn’t told him it was hours away. This became a problem the next day.
After a few drinks we decided to try and fix Warrens scooter, we had to find out what was wrong with it first. Reeds was the first thing checked, we had to drop the engine to get the reed block off but no one had a hammer, we ended up using rocks and lumps of wood to knock the engine bar out, but the reeds were fine so we put the engine back in and thought again…. By now it was getting late and dark. Russ noticed that the engine would fire up fine and sounded normal until it was revved, then it would choke and die, but the main thing he noticed was that the tone of the exhaust changed. We took the exhaust off and found that the baffle had come loose and when revved the baffle was blocking the exhaust. We now knew what was wrong but the baffle was too big to get out, we resorted to cutting a hole in the exhaust big enough to get in and pull the baffle out and then repaired the hole with Gum Gum and exhaust bandage. With the exhaust back on the engine revved and was good for the next days ridding.
Day five track (broken track due to bad reception)
We woke up to another glorious day and over breakfast found out that Warren had got up early and headed off to return his hire van, the problem was that the local guy who had said he would pick him up had found out how far away it was and refused to do so. This meant warren had to get a taxi back which again cost the earth.
When Warren got back we set off and were soon ridding up Fluela pass, at the top some of the party had a snow fight which was fun.
Coming down the other side was just as spectacular. The weather this year made all the difference, a few of us had rode the pass in 2014 but that year it was foggy and raining hard. On the way down Chris had front brake failure and came close to crashing on one bend.
Ofen pass was next, here we saw other Lambrettas for the first time during the trip, they had a van being driven by wives or girlfriends and no luggage on the scooters. (lucky sods)
A short time later we came across people walking Donkeys, they didn’t like the Lambrettas
After Ofen pass we headed south to Stelvio pass, to reach Stevio we had to go up Umbrail pass which was amazing and very steep. Half way up it I felt my rear wheel had a very bad wobble on each right had switch back, when I pulled over to investigate I found that I only had one nut left holding my rim to the hub. Scary! With new nuts fixed we carried on to Stelvio where again the views were unbelievable.
On the way down the other side of stelvio Warrens GT had another stator failure which had to be changed, while doing this we saw quite a few other Lambrettista riding the opposite way. Russ also had a strange noise in his engine too which was concerning him. One problem no one yet knew about was what had happened to Scotty’s engine, it was still running but making some horrible noises.
It was now getting late again and the party had become stretched out while ridding north back into Switzerland then on to Austria heading for Imst . During this stint I relieved the boredom with a bit of hid and chase with Ada.
When we reached Imst we had to climb another very steep hill to get to the hotel which was right next to the Imst Alpine roller coaster, when Nathan got to the top he threw his SX on the floor lol. The problem with the hotel was that as it was out of season being a ski resort the bar and restaurant were not open.
After over 7 hours in the saddle we all had a quick shower and booked taxis to take us into town where we found a bar close to a pizza restaurant. Most had a late night in the bar but Jason and Sue stayed far too late.
First thing to do today was all go on the Imst alpine roller coaster which was right outside our hotel. However, like most of our plans this changed due to the news Scotty had a problem with his engine, a problem that non of us had brought a spare for. His chain tensioner had collapsed during the previous day, part of it had smashed a small hole in the bottom of his engine case which meant all of the gearbox oil had escaped. There wasn’t much left of the tensioner, just a few chewed up parts and the back plate still attached to the case.
When the clutch came off we also found that the spider had a piece missing.
First thing to do was repair the hole in the case, as the hole was nice and round it was suggested that we tap the hole with an endplate extractor tool, then a bolt was screwed into the hole covered in chemical metal. then a nut was wound on the outside, followed by a washer and then another nut. The bolt head on the inside was then covered in chemical metal. One part fixed!
The part we didn’t have was a chain guide, an SOS call was sent out over social media and while we waited for replies everyone got thinking. As the back plate was still good it was suggested that we could use exhaust nylon bobbins and fix them to the back plate. It just happens that the sleeve from the chain guide was the right fit inside the center of the bobbins, this enabled the bobbin to spin when it was bolted to the back plate. Also the direction of the chain when the engine is running would tighten the bolt rather than loosen it if it did snag. Two bobbins, two penny washers, a sleeve, nut and bolt where used to fix it in place. Job done, proper bodge everyone was proud off even if everyone wondered how long it would last.
A spare spider was fitted and then it all went tits up! The scooter was being worked on next to a big steel grill which was over a pit next to the hotel wall, one of the clutch springs bounced and fell down the pit. It took more ingenuity to make up a magnetic fishing rod to fish the spring back out. once retrieved the engine was built up and filled with oil, the oil didn’t leak out which was a good start.
Now the Lambretta was repaired in a fashion we could think about going on the ride.
The coaster is really long and comes down the side of the mountain. The only way up to the top is via a chairlift so we all paid the fair and jumped on.
Jason and Sue had stayed out at the pub until 4AM and had not been out of bed long, they decided not to travel with us when we intended to leave due to their hangovers.
Johnny had arrived by the time we all got back from the coaster. Johnny had driven his VW T5 from the UK to meet us, he was carrying tents, spare clothes, 2 stroke oil and all sorts of other stuff for members of the crew. A welcome site for many. He had originally planned to meet us that night but as he knew there were problems with Scotty’s Lambretta he had pushed on and got to us just in case we were unable to repair it.
We all packed up the scooters, (and threw some of the gear into Johnny’s van) and set of.
We had planned to ride to the Grossglockner pass today but due to how late were leaving it was decided to change the plan and head straight for a hotel we had just booked in Trento.
As we passed Innsbruck I got a call over my intercom from Warren to say he had taken the wrong Motorway and had broken down AGAIN. as we were so far ahead I told him we would call him when we reached the next services. when I called him he sounded desperate, I told him we would wait there for him and he could then put the scooter in Johnny’s van but he said he had spoken to Jason and as he was behind him he was going to his rescue. At that we set off again after sending them a text with the address of the hotel we were heading for.
Nige had an imaginary breakdown which we all pulled over for which turned out to be his carb sucking in a loose strap from his luggage. Nige has never been good with luggage, I followed him once when all of it fell off on the way home from Cleethorpes.
The views again were stunning as we got into the Dolomites, the motorway we were on was in a valley for miles surrounded by mountains. The hotel however was again at the top of a mountain.
Once again we had booked a ski hotel, this one though was far above our expectations. 5 star on a rally isn’t something scooterists are used to. The rooms where huge, Nathan commented that if he hadn’t already done his running in miles he would have spent all night ridding around our room.
Later on Jason,Sue and Warren showed up
As usual we were the only ones still drinking when the bar closed so we were forced to turn in for the night.
Today we were heading to various destinations, some where heading to Sottomarina near Chioggia and others were heading to the Euro rally site in Adria. We would all be together until the last fuel stop where we would go our separate ways.
Jason and Sue chose to leave the hotel later and rode alone.
First thing we needed after leaving the hotel was fuel, the first station we got to was card only and didn’t have many pumps so a few of us rode a few mile down the road to another one.
After filling up, the satnavs all pointed us in the same direction, the problem was we ended up on a dirt track again. while on this dirt track Sulla braked hard to miss a pot hole and Ada locked his front brake trying to avoid him and ended up crashing. His Lambretta was a little bruised along with his helmet as he head butted a small wall but thankfully he was OK.
Shortly after this my satnav lead us into the center of Trento rather than on to the motorway but after a sightseeing tour we ended up back on the motorway and caught up with the others at the toll booth.
It was now Curt’s turn to have a few issues, he was leading at one point and failed to turn off at a motorway interchange. Everyone else turned off but Curt didn’t look round. A while later he re-joined us at the next fuel stop. Then a short time later he pulled over because his engine had died, when I looked down as he pulled over I could see fuel pouring from the bottom of his Lambretta. His fuel pipe had come away from the carb.
While he was fixing it a few of the others carried on and a few more hadn’t stopped so were ahead of everyone. When the rest of us got going again we got off the motorway soon after and realised we had got off at the wrong junction. It was however the correct junction for the ones heading for Adria.
Ada, Nathan, lynsey, Paula and I continued on and soon saw a sign for Chioggia and soon after that a huge thunderstorm broke out, many motorbike riders had pulled over under bridges to get out of the rain which we also tried to do but the bridge we stopped at didn’t have any room for us and the bikers didn’t make room. It was here that I looked at the satnav and realised we were on the wrong motorway, at the next junction we got off and headed on smaller roads to our destination in Sottomarina.
The others heading for Sottomarina who were also split up from each other came together by accident at one junction and were well ahead of us.
When we got close to Chioggia the most striking thing was that the traffic traveling away from the area, it seemed as though no one was heading in but everyone was heading out. We later realised that this was because this weekend was a public holiday in Italy and as it was getting late all the Italians were heading home after a day at the beaches and resorts.
Even so, Sottomarina was very busy when we arrived and remained busy all night, there was a real party atmosphere in the town all night.
All present went for a meal, sitting outside one of the many resteraunts, while there we saw Jason and Sue arrive and pointed them in the direction of the hotel.
An uneventful day in all but at this point we were at our furthest point from home. We had rode over 1400 miles from the centre of England to the Adriatic coast across the Alps and everyone felt a sense of achievement.
We hadn’t managed to do all of the planned route due to pass closures and time spent repairing but we had done the majority of the itinerary.