I had hoped to go to the Euro Lambretta on the GT big block but due to a crank failure a few weeks before departure I had to go on Scoin Rat. This was a blessing in disguise because as we were planning to visit the Spanish city of Eibar on the way back home it gave me the chance to take the Winter Model back to its place of birth.
Photo outside the Eibar Lambretta factory above
Below are the google maps we used for navigation, each marker being a fuel stop. The UK side of the routes were Birmingham to Portsmouth and Plymouth to Birmingham for the return.
The outbound routeView Larger Map to see the route
The return route View Larger Map to see route.
As so much happened over the 10 days I’ve decided to just post the artical I wrote for Jet Set magazine about the trip.
“After meeting up with Mr G from NYC who had picked up his Targa Twin not far from Chris and I, we all headed off for Stratford on Avon to meet up with Russ, Carl and Rich. Everything was going well until we got on the A34 from Oxford services heading for Portsmouth, Chris decided to push on a bit and I happily gave chase with Mr G not far behind. Less than 30 miles later my cast iron 240 locked up solid and with only two and half hours till our ferry was due to leave there was nothing else to do but strip the engine at the side of the road and put a new piston in, as you do. Not a great start but considering how we were ridding not unexpected either.
We made it to the ferry in time and while the others were looking over the maps I decided to find out why my helmet cam wasn’t working properly and ended up cutting into the cables and doing a few bodges which when I plugged the camera into the scooter as we disembarked amazingly worked. After running out of fuel due to following Carl and his Tom-Tom we both finally arrived at our first stop over in Caen which the others had already found thanks to Chris and his Tin-Tin. Next morning we headed for Clermont Ferrand, We had decided not to do motorways because we wanted to see some of France but after a few hours and only 135 miles done it was becoming obvious we were going to have to knock a few fast miles off so we found the motorway and settled down into a 200 miles sprint. Day three we headed for the Millau viaduct, ridding under it was amazing as it’s the highest bridge n the world We had made good time so we decided to push on all the way the Avignon that day. One of the roads we rode on as we came down out of the hills was great fun if a little dangerous to race on when overloaded with luggage. We made it to Avignon by about 22:30, pitched the tents and headed for the bar where we met up with a few old faces and the rest of the Indecipherables who had taken other routes.
The two days at the venue were great fun, top marks to Lambretta club France for putting on a good show and for putting up with our lot being idiots on the dance floor. However I was already looking forward to the return trip via the Pyrenees Mountains to firstly Eibar to take some photos of my Spanish Winter Model out side the Eibar factory and on to Santander to board the ferry for Plymouth. On Sunday we were all looking forward to seeing the Mediterranean Sea and spending some time on or near the beach, however when we got to Meze it wasn’t exactly warm so we carried on to Carcassonne. The plan was to get to Fioux but a torrential storm followed by Russ’s stator failing on the motorway put paid to that.
The next day we woke up to fog and drizzle, I was a little concerned that as we would be crossing the mountains that day it wasn’t going to be much fun but how wrong I was. The weather soon cleared up and before we knew it we were climbing towards snow capped peaks with scenery to die for.
The roads on the French side were not in great condition, they had been repaired in patches with tar and chippings, each repair seemed to be on the apex of a corner which made attacking the roads a little tricky to say the last, at one point I looked around to see the other guys were no longer with me so I turned back and found they had pulled over because Karl’s TS230 had suddenly started running bad and wouldn’t now start. It turned out to be a stone chipping from the road had gone down his carb and was wedged in one of the reeds, a very lucky escape! Once Russ had fished out the offending grit we continued our climb up the mountain till eventually we were at the edge of the snow cover, waiting for us at the top was a 4 miles long tunnel which marked the start of our decent into Spain and the start of the best roads I have even ridden on. We went through the tunnel at around 18:30 with no idea of how far the next town with a hotel would be, but that didn’t mater, I would have happily rode along that road well into the night, it was just breath taking!
Eventually we arrived in Ainsa and pulled up outside a hotel on the main street, there were a few German bikers sitting out side drinking who gave us a round of applause, I’m still not sure if that was for us making it over the mountain or for us eventually turning our smoky engines off.
Tuesday morning was really hot and after some maintenance including me and Russ changing rear tyres due to ware we headed off again along even more spectacular roads. The only things on the roads were our four Lambrettas, the odd car and countless motorbikes, most of which were Brits making the most of the roads with a few of them showing off when they saw us by pulling wheelies at god knows what speed. Eventually we made it to Eibar and the following morning we were introduced to the presedent and a few members of Club Lambretta Eibar, I just wish we had met up with them the night before when we arrived as sadly we had to turn down their hospitality as we had a boat to catch which was about 100 miles away and leaving in a few hours.
To put this adventure into around 1000 words for Jet Set isn’t easy because we all had so many experiences ,and breakdowns, to sum it up though, I’ve done some miles in my time on Lambrettas but this trip with great company has by far been the best scootering experience of my life, Roll on Davos
PS: best comment for me was from Richard when I ask him if he was enjoying it after we had just road down a very tight and twisty mountain, his reply was “when are we going to get some decent roads”
I filmed every mile of the trip, the raw footage can be found on youtube, search for “lambretta images archive”
The youtube playlist is below, I haven’t had time to edit all the footage yet (1800+ miles of footage takes some sifting through) so this play list will grow over time. All the photos from Avignon are in the image archives.
another account of the trip by Richard, who was also with our group is on the next page.