Drafting an article about Moto Club Indianos' events is something I always fear. Why? Well, firstly because I am aware of my lack of talent to give it justice, and secondly, responsibility always haunts me, not to mention English is not my first Language. I am not a professional writer and my style may put the reader off very quickly, so please, hold on a bit more and I promise to do my best.
Let us begin with my favourite, the North of Spain Rally. Three years ago, this event was something of an experiment. What would happen if we explore for a few days outside the Picos de Europa?. We had such a good time there that all our doubts went away immediately. Now, it is a consolidated event in the calendar.
After checking-in the night before, on Monday the 30th of September, we took our bikes and kicked off from Colombres heading southwest on an attractive route, with a meal included en route, to get to our lodgings for the next six nights. MC Indianos is in charge of transporting our luggage, so we ride comfortably.
For the third edition, we returned to our 'base camp' at the sumptuous Parador de Corias, Cangas del Narcea. I may be getting older but I love a good bed at night after a lovely ride out. Besides, at this venue we will share a table every day for breakfast and supper, which always helps to make new friends and offers a good opportunity to catch up with old ones.
Once there, time to leave our bikes perfectly parked outside, in a reserved and secure area with cctv -for a small fee, you can use the inside garage if you prefer-, and straight to our comfortable rooms for a well-deserved shower and a lovely dinner. Ahead of us, five days of travelling throughout this motorcyclist's heaven full of first-class deserted roads.
The plan is quite simple, every day at 10 o´clock in the morning, full of energy after a complete breakfast, engines come to life and spirits go high. Marshals give us the signal, and off we go. With the excitement of riding through new roads, we rely on our route sheets to navigate the unknown, but do not worry, the organizers have placed arrows at the junctions for the absent-minded.
At these meetings, all kinds of bikes and riding styles are present, so everyone chooses how to ride. You may like to ride alone, with your close friends or following a lovely bike only for the pleasure of looking at her, it does not matter. You have got your road book, the arrows and no need to hurry at all.
You know where the mid-route meal is going to be served, and there is always plenty of food -I can assure you- so your main task is having a great time from start to end.
We are dealing with old bikes here, so it is not rare experiencing gremlins from time to time, do not panic, MC Indianos is here once again to help. A recovery van will follow the route and, if a prompt fix is not possible, they will collect you and your bike. Having been through this experience myself I can assure you that, although it is not the same as doing the run on your bike, at least you do not miss the day and you will be able to have lunch with your mates and a couple of beers, of course.
This year we will roam the surrounding areas extensively, touching all the landmarks and 'ticking off the boxes' of all mountain passes this remote part of the province has to offer. We are not in the Picos de Europa, but if you check the math, you will be surprised by the total elevations and descents of this Rally.
The daily route is over but not the fun. Time to leave the bike, have a shower and go for a beer before supper or you may go down to the car park space to help someone mend their bike for tomorrow. A tour through the Parador is a good idea if you fancy it. A marvelous library, captivating corridors, luxurious saloons to relax in and even an archaeological excavation in the cellar. By the way, there is a Spa in there. You did not hear this from me, ok?
One of my favourite moments is supper time, all participants having lively conversations about the day, making new friends and, of course, a bit of banter.
Time flies when you are having fun and six days have passed so quickly. Time to pack your stuff and leave it at the Hotel's reception to be collected by the 'guys with the van'. Today we will go back to Colombres for the big Rally. There we will say goodbye to some of our companions and hello to the new ones who come for the second leg of MC Indianos' party.