Now then, holiday season is upon us, hands up, who’s going to Majorca? Are you going to miss riding your lambretta whilst partaking in sun, sea, sand and sangria? Well here’s a thing, you really don’t have to. Directionally challenged Scot, John McShane (Jeck) gives us the lowdown on Loco Wheels – which translates to ‘mad wheels’ in English.
Loco wheels allows you to escape the self-contained “paradise” which is your all-inclusive resort hotel and get around the island on a rented classic Lambretta, or even a Scomadi, if you can’t be arsed with clutch and gears. So leave your sun-lounger behind, bid adios to the kid’s club entertainer and seek out your holiday scooter fix in proper style.
Enjoy Jeck’s review below…
We’re all off to sunny Spain
When my Wife called me to say she had booked a holiday to Majorca in June I was delighted to be spending two weeks with the family. Then I remembered you could hire lambrettas somewhere in the Med, so after a quick Google search I came across the cool Loco Wheels website and they did indeed hire Lambrettas and Scomadis, as well as doing guided tours of the island. To be honest, I had never been anywhere else in the world before and come across Lambrettas for rent.
Cleared it with her indoors
So to say I was chuffed was an understatement, but now how to put it to my wife that I am going away for one day of our family holiday to ride a Lambretta? It all worked out fine and one week before the holiday I emailed Loco Wheels and booked a one day hire for myself and sixteen year old daughter. Afterwards I received a very quick reply from them to say that was me all booked up and no deposit was required, I really took these guys to be very laid back and decent blokes from the off.
On the day of the hire we drove down from Alcudia in North East of the Island to Palma in our hire car. We were already running late for one reason or another and on getting closer to Palma, it was starting to dawn on me that this city is a lot bigger than I Imagined it to be (400,000 or so inhabitants). The sat nav in the car was handy but as the pick up for the scooter was in Palma central and after a battle finding a parking space, being shouted at by the local old bill for being in the wrong lane (I think) we walked the rest of the way. In this City it’s a great way of getting around, with the tight narrow streets which are extremely busy and very trendy. We could see the Loco Wheels shop from the end of the street with its smart retro style sign writing and cool logo. We’d made it!
Home from home
A 1958 Li 150 series one in cream (same as mine at home) was the focal point of the shop window. It turned out to be owned by a couple from Sweden who own a house on the island and had ridden it all the way from Scandinavia two-up, fully-loaded, with thir pet dog. Parked outside was a Li 150 series 3 in cream, which looked exactly the same as the one I owned when we went to Gijon in 2010 and one of five Scomadi’s for hire, along with the five rental Lambrettas
Tomás, partner in the business, then introduced himself and straight away I knew he was a scooterist and friendly. I also picked up a wee Scottish twang in his accent which turned out to be from him working in his previous job in Magaluf for a number of years, Magaluf being a popular resort for the holidaying Scots.
After paying a reasonable 40 Euros for a day’s hire, plus I opted for an extra 20 Euros for full insurance, which I didn’t mind as these guys are taking a fair risk hiring out their classic Lambrettas.
Riding out of town
As we were already late we asked Tomás for the shortest route away from the city and he gave us a map with his route drawn on for us and asked if when we had finished, maybe we’d want to drop the scooter of at the garage instead of the shop as he had more scooters there and I would probably like to have a look around.
Run to the hills
So we bungeed our rucksack to the back of the standard scooter, complete with drum brakes and sensibly set of for the hills .We only made it round the corner when I went down a one way street the wrong way! Time for me to stop and say to Katie “I think we need you to get sat nav on your phone to get us out of Palma,” which she did. Apart from a couple of scary moments of me being in the wrong lane again, we made it to the outskirts of the city in about 10 minutes. I then thought “this is what riding classic scooters is all about”, tight, twisty roads, sun shining, no ‘must wear’ protective clothing and an open face helmet. I hadn’t worn one of those since 1984! Up we went, getting higher into the Majorcan Calvia hills taking every moment of it in with my daughter on the back. She was enjoying it every bit as much as me, who says young ones aren’t interested in scooters? Katie was loving it. We made it up to the first town from Palma called Puigpunyet for a cool lemon Fanta and just to chill and look at the Lambretta sitting outside the restaurant.
The twisty route back
We then made our way further up the twisty roads, at times panicking as I kept forgetting that I don’t have disc brakes here, like the one back home. We kept enjoying the twists and turns and good tarmac compared to that back in Scotland, until we came to the beautiful wee hill town of Galilea where we had another stop to cool down and take some photos. We then made our way back down towards the coast to Calvia which we didn’t stop in and continued on until we got to Palma Nova, where we stopped at the beach front for a bite to eat and a cool drink. We parked the Lambretta up right in front of our table too, so we could keep and eye on it. Another Lambretta shot past with the guys riding it neck breaking to look at ours. Don’t you just love the way scooterists appreciate each other and their scooters!
Palma bound follow that Scomadi
We then looked at our map to see how to get back to Palma without going on the motorway, and stuck to the touristy coast road which took us back into Palma going past the large marina with loads of very expensive looking yachts and cruise ships aplenty. From there we came across a Grey Scomadi that we followed from traffic lights to traffic lights, we saw a few Scomadis on the island over the two weeks which I thought looked pretty cool in the sunshine and much better than the usual twist and go’s you see in the locality.
Seek the scooter shack
The next task was to try and find the LocoWheels workshop in the centre of the city, which apart from going down another one way street the wrong way, was quite easy with the sat nav. We spotted the familiar sign up a lane, so we turned the scooter up and then down a very steep ramp into the underground scooter workshop. As soon we entered it we were greeted with the sight of Lambrettas, Scomadis and a few Vespas sitting in the corner.
Meeting the two amigos
Tomás was there to greet and introduce us to his business partner and great friend Dani, who was again a really friendly guy and gave us a tour of the shop which had the rental scooters, along with customers machines in for service or repair. I also spied a tidy S3 getting a full respray in a glorious green metal flake for an ex Spanish footballer, who now lives on the Island.
Stronger than a wee dram
Being offered a coffee, which was stronger than a malt whisky we sat down with the guys and Tomás’s dad and had a blether about the goings on in the UK and how much Majorca has changed over the years with the influx of the rich and famous, which have made the property prices in Palma go like those in London
Verdict, is it a goer?
So next time you are looking at booking a holiday in the sun and would like to sample this great scooter experience, head for Majorca and get in touch with the guys at Loco Wheels. You won’t be disappointed. They also do guided tours, which in my view would be just as good. It’s plain to see that these boys know the Island well and can take you to places worth visiting you wouldn’t even know about.
I am going back next year out of season when it’s a bit cooler with my wife, to tour for about five days on a Lambretta and can’t wait.
Words/Pics Jeck Additional Pics: Loco Wheels Majorca