5th Club Lambretta d’España JetSet Rally | RALLERY
I always wanted to do a Spanish JetSet Rally. It’s the bi-annual event of the Lambrettistas in Spain. Every year in January, I am in Madrid for work and over the past 15-16 years, the SC Madrid have embraced me as one of their own. I even attended the great SC Madrid Rally in April 2018.
Whilst in a drunken stupor in Moloko Sound Club earlier this year, Santi, (el Presidente) said: “Fly over and we’ll give you a Lambretta for the weekend”. To ride all the way there was sounding like a lot of days off work, a flight made it more doable. £57 later, flights were booked with Ryanair, Manchester to Madrid return.
Joining the Jet Set
My flight arrived around 09.30 on Thursday morning, which was the first day of the rally. Santi was at the airport to collect me with two Spanish Jet 200s and our journey started. It was all about the ride (food, drink and company – all were excellent).
Spanish Series One or 2?
We caught up with Jorge on his Series 2. Now here’s a thing, I have been reliably informed by the Spanish, that literally this is the Spanish Series One (the same as an Italian Series 2) – I’m not gonna argue Santi! Jorge had removed the sidecar from his especially for this ride/rally.
Our first main stop was catching up with Alvaro (who penned the article for SLUK on the emissions in Madrid and banning of historical vehicles). This is where we started on the Mahou, which seemed to be flowing everywhere we went. The Spanish will have a bottle and a coffee with their tapas. The day started with the familiar saying, “The back brake does not work and we need to change the rear wheel” – it’s an SC Madrid thing.
The first night for us was a ride to the edge of Asturias, in a town called Potes, which is pronounced ‘Puta” which means bitch amongst other things. Situated in the base of the National Park of the Picos de Europa, where skiing is rife, we knew that the mountain ride was going to be exceptional, beautiful and thrilling.
The rain in Spain
The 200km journey was either up or down, there were no flat riding roads. Through the Aguilar de Campo, Cervera de Pisuerga, through more National Parks. It was spectacular. The route is famous for many touring car and bike clubs. Coming towards us in 28-degree heat was a small collection of UK registered MX5s, roofs down, couples taking photos. After three hours of riding, rising to the peaks and hidden in the clouds the rain started. To say it was torrential was an understatement. The MX5s must have been submarined and as for us four, we were riding, without waterproofs and just an overnight bag. It was seemingly something that Noah would be aware of and of biblical proportions.
Putting the world to rights
We arrived at Potes and our hostel for the night was Albergue La Cabaña, 50€ a night, 4 beds to a room, decent shower and heaters to dry us out. Approximately 1 km from the town centre, we were assured that it was a quiet town at night, unlike during the day there, so we rode into town to find a restaurant. Riding through the cobbled lanes, we returned to a restaurant that Santi knew. The four of us completely put the world to rights, had a fantastic meal, with great Mahou and wine.
Walking back to the hostel we stumbled across a ‘refugio’, a drinking tavern, dead trendy, popped in for a quick one and walked out two hours later. The day was taking a toll on me…
Up early for breakfast, and meeting Juan Carlos and José, then there were six. A hearty Spanish breakfast and first stop at a monastery. It houses the fourth largest crucifix in the world. We had a sermon by the head monk/padre, my Spanish friends paying their respects to their religion, a kiss of the cross and off we rode. Alvaro made it to the base of the hill, where the first renegade action took place and his panels were off.
The ride continued, going over a mountain with roads to die for (as I am sure some did in the past) some 100 plus miles of winding roads and great scenery, until we stopped for a beverage. Here we started pouring Asturian Sidra (cider) – pouring it from an arms length away, the Spanish version of a “yard of ale”, which I am no good at either.
We made it to Fontibre, some 8 km away from Reinosa. Here the drinking started and the food was plentiful, which meant we would miss the Friday night ride. Those who know their wine, the Rio Ebro, which is the start of the famous Ribero de Douro, that flows from Spain to Portugal where some of the best wines in the world are made. Finishing off with a lovely gin and tonic – it was time to park the Lambrettas up.
A wander into the town centre and a view of the Lambretta museum set up by the club and the local council. Here, the famous ska/reggae band, Smooth Beans were playing. I had been following them since 2012 so it was great to see their take on their own songs and some well-known cover versions.
Then back to the hotel. The Friday night was pre-ordered food, for me steak with local wines to wash it down as part of the weekend’s event. Then there was music hosted by the club’s DJs. 60s and scooter sounds were the mode for the night, with a little bit of dancing. I realised that it had been a very long day and apparently, in the early hours, I fell asleep standing up.
VIDEO by Santi | Lambretta Jetset 2019
Saturday came early. Up for a hearty breakfast and get the Lambrettas ready for the big ride out. The rideout was leaving at 11.30 (knowing full well that Alvaro would still be in bed), Santi is a professional filmmaker “Mala Sombra”, he started taking photos and producing a video of the day.
Everyone took part in the ride, many more female riders than we get in the UK were taking their own Lambrettas. It was great, as it was pure ‘Lambretta Heaven.’ One Indian scooter and a brace of Italian (one Angus from the UK) Lambrettas and not a single Vespa, Scomadi or anything else.
We were now going on a 60 plus mile trip around the Embalse de Ebra, the lake. The ride was first to take a club photo, which was absolutely amazing, then around the lake, with road marshals closing junctions and train level crossings. Second stop was with lager and tapas included, then the final stop was a full three-course lunch of the local cuisine, wine and beer.
One of the hilarious moments involved the Presidente de Club Vespa, who was invited to the meal. Someone mummified his Vespa with toilet rolls…
Back to the hotel to carry on the evening with a presentation from a company about registering your vehicles with the new emission rules and historic laws in Spain. I personally missed this as was helping Santi photoshoot two Lambrettas for the next edition of Scooterlinea (Spain’s version of JetSet).
Any other business?
Around 6.30 pm the Club shop opened and the EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting), similar to the UK one I guess with many subjects, including fees, gift, next rallies and starting a museum.
Saturday night was the gala meal. Three courses again, including beer and wine – ending up with Queimada, a flaming grappa, brewed by witches in a cauldron based on a Medieval Galician tradition. Presentations were next, then the free raffle (thanks Javi from Scooterist Factory for the chrome SIP rims I won). That was followed by dancing the night away until 4 or 5 in the morning.
Joining the Spanish JetSet
As an event, it cost 100€ (some £90). This got you two nights accommodation, two breakfasts, two evening meals with wine and beer, a meal on the ride out with wine and beer, a T-shirt, a legshield banner and a goody bag. The value for money was incredible and it is about the club investing back into the members. Everyone there was Spanish, except Mike (resident in France), Angus from Sussex and me. JetSet is held every two years and I will be returning in 2021. It is not a classic English Rally, but it is a classic Spanish one where I learnt a lot.
Words and photos: Doug Turner
Additional images and video: Santi
Rallery by Doug Turner and Santi
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