Although its members are passionate motorcyclists, the key element here is Amable's family business experience. They have succeeded, with tons of effort, in bringing together not only local officials and local institutions, but they also have gained the support of the public.
Around them, a group of tireless volunteers bend over backwards every year to make sure you have a blast here. They are proud of being part of the Colombres' family and that is something you will notice right away.
Riding your classic bike abroad is a risky business, it does not matter how well they have been restored or rebuilt these old ladies usually break down. You can ride with a couple of friends, take out breakdown cover and carry spares with you, but sometimes the best option is to enrol in a well organised event like this one. You will meet like-minded people, see lots of lovely bikes and the locals will show you the best roads. Having the accommodation, breakfast and lunch included in the deal you only need to carry cash for the occasional stop for coffee.
Programming the rally in October is a wise move, it offers an opportunity to extend the riding calendar and roads are devoid of traffic.
Combined with the North of Spain Rally you can ride here for two weeks cleverly scheduled to fit nicely with Brittany Ferries sailings (who sponsor the events with price reductions).
The age limit for machines is capped at 1988 and that offers a wide range of bikes from early British to modern Japanese classics and lovely Spanish engineering, of course.
Colombres itself is the embodiment of the classic village and its location, right by the Picos de Europa, is unbeatable. Even the square, an old cattle market place, has the perfect shape to park the bikes for public admiration.
From this very place, the daily routes begin and entrants enjoy over 100 miles of superb smooth and deserted roads totally suited for classic machinery. The Picos area offers some of the best motorcycling routes not only in Spain but in Europe. The Spanish themselves like to holiday here and that is saying something. You will get a glance of the real Spain.
The tried and tested format of excellent route cards backed up by small arrows at direction changes ensures a stress-free time and there is a back-up van just in case.
One of the favourites of this event is Thursdays' free supper at the sports centre where all entrants experience a 'Espicha' a social custom around traditional Asturian food. The following day not one but two routes will be held, the usual one and the very unique 300 Millas for the most audacious. The weekend is the icing on the cake, with the Hill-Climb classic race, the classic Motocross and the Auto Jumble, it can't get any better.
So, if this looks like your kind of classic touring event and you want to enjoy these spectacular roads with a useful safety net, the Colombres Rally is for you. Do not forget to book early for next year's event, firstly to avoid the crushing disappointment of missing it, and secondly because I have a bet with the organizers about the numbers. See you there.
PS: Thanks to Ian Kerr MBE for his wonderfull articles in wich I have found inspiration and to Kathleen and David Satchwell for their help with this article.