As the Renegades are a group of passionate scooter riders, and there’s not been much happening in 2020 we decided to organise a trip to Mallorca once lockdown started to ease. The plan was to go over and see Dani and Tomás at Loco Wheels. They had already experienced us before, and they also came with the Renegades to Scooterist Meltdown.
We had some dates sorted for August, ‘Geordie Geoff’s’ holidays coinciding with Howard’s big birthday. Nine of us booked Manchester to Palma return for under £100, Hostal Pinar, with poolside rooms at 90€ and a complimentary transfer to and from the airport, we were ready to go.
Then 14 days COVID isolation kicked in for returning Spanish travellers, work commitments and other reasons, all combined, then nine soon became six. The guys who cancelled lost out on their flights as the green and orange airlines never offered a refund due to travelling against FCO advice.
A spent force
Next on the list was getting travel insurance to cover us – we found one policy called Battleface. It’s usually used by actors, mercenaries, reporters and professional athletes who need to travel against FCO advice. So, the six of us, stealth-like athletes headed to the airport – what could possibly go wrong.
We landed in Mallorca, QR code at the ready, minibus waiting and a hotel with poolside rooms. Bags dropped off and we quickly hit the café bar next door. You just knew it was going to get messy. Aussie never gets drunk, never winds anyone up, never forgets to travel without his credit card and never likes wearing a mask. If you ride, eat and drink – nowhere in Spain enforces the mask rule, so we constantly did that.
Early doors the first night – 2 am-ish, which gave me the first time I have seen Aussie drunk in 20 years. He could not get out of the lift, or stop laughing – there’s a video on the Renegades Facebook page. Finally, the receptionist had to take him out of the lift. His rotund figure, in shorts, Salford Knights shirt and giggling non-stop was a sight for sore eyes… and I’d foolishly offered to share a room with him.
Friday morning, we were up early as we were going on an escorted tour. Despite the travel restrictions, Loco Wheels have had a busy year and they now have 30 Scomadis on the fleet. Even so, today was the first time during COVID-19 that they had a Lambretta Tour organised. So Tomás and Dani, decided to bring their mate (from Meltdown) Juan, to use the day with us as their ‘Team away day’. Imagine having Tomás, their master mechanic with you all day to fix your woes. Actually, we had no breakdowns as such, just minor starting up and fuel issues, but nothing to write home about. Five classic Lambrettas and a Scomadi later we were ready. We took them out of the “Aladdin’s Cave” of a workshop and set off. We had three pristine Lambrettas, a Lince and I rode Dani’s Winter Model.
We had a choice of two tours, the shorter one with food and drink stops, or the longer one, two hours longer and a harder ride. No guesses here then.
A warm-up ride to take us to the first stop outside Palma – a quick beer and a natter to see how everyone was handling their steeds. I was already struggling getting to grips with a Mugello, but sorted that out. We set off to Soller, where they built a tunnel to save the locals hours on driving over the mountain, but Dani is too tight to pay, so we took an amazing twisty – turny ride over the mountain, stopping at the top for a photoshoot. This was an absolutely amazing ride that would equal the Isle of Man, Amalfi Coast, Ronda or Tuscany. It was great having Juan there, as he took many photos on our phones, capturing the great action had by all.
We headed back down for a quick beer before lunch, more beer(s) and then a swim. We all brought our bathing suits and we were off. Except for Aussie who took the cautious route, in his trainers (steel toe cap), walking down the groyne before he went arse over tit, rolled into the sea and nearly drowned some poor kid.
Back to the restaurant for quick food and drink. Fideuà is a Spanish delicacy made with seafood and meat. The contingency from Wrexham SC and Aussie were not too keen on this, so Lamb chops followed. After the main course was a surprise (for Howard) a cake, with 50+ candles on it – you can imagine how long that was. A few drinks later and a leisurely ride back home. A day of food and beverage, great sights, swimming and friendship rolled to an end.
A Birthday treat
As we got back to the garage, the lads had decided to give Howard an almost complete Winter Model frame as a gift. It was to replace the one he had stolen in Manchester last year*. Personally, I thought this gift was over-generous and we should share it! Howard was in tears, such a lovely gesture from Dani and Tomás. Back to the hotel, in the pool, a rake of beers, food, more beers, late-night bar and bed.
*As an aside, Howard has personally helped to recover dozens and dozens of stolen scooters and bikes in the north-west. His team get them back to their rightful owners, so the theft of his own Lambretta was a bitter kick in the teeth)
All day breakfasts
Saturday, we agreed to meet Howard for a birthday breakfast. So straight to the bar next door for a full English, before Howard had even woken up. Then we all went for breakfast (again) before heading to Magaluf. We collected the bikes, little change from the day before, except Geordie Geoff must have killed his, so took a Lince instead.
A full English and fish & chips on Magaluf beach, what a contrast to how it would normally look in mid-August, it was a ghost town. We felt sorry for the venues and hotels that were all closed. It was a nice ride though, keeping away from the motorways and empty roads whereever we rode, this would not be a normal August as we know it.
Lleno no pase
Where to go next? A little cala. Cala in Spanish means cove. So Cala del Margo looked good, a nice ride and off the beaten track. As we got to the top of the entrance, there was a sign saying “Full do not pass” (in Spanish), so we did what every self-respecting Brit would do, ignored it and rode down there. After a mile or so of hairpin bends that would put Monaco to shame we parked up, helmets off. As we were 50 metres on the slope to the beach, I decided to share my thoughts that we had just found a clothing-optional beach. A nudist beach in Mallorca, no one mentioned that, or my Spanish is not as good as I thought it was when I read the sign.
Clothes off and in for a swim. The clearest water you could imagine, the sights were phenomenal, the landscape, the sea and the people. Dried, dressed, helmets on and ready to set off. An Italian lad in a hired Fiat 500 was absolutely amazed by the Lambrettas and could not wait to take photos and send them home to his father.
We hit Palma with some last-minute photos and cover shots. It was another great day.
The evening consisted of returning the bikes, drinking with Dani and Tomás, followed by a pizza, watching Man City lose (South Manchester and Salford Knights in their element) and loads of drink, ending up in a local dance bar. The last three hitting the sack at 3.00 in the morning.
Sunday we had the day to kill. Breakfast, out of the room, drinking and messing about in the pool all day, with a local lunch. Dani joined us too for a session during the day.
If you want to do something for a weekend away, with likeminded friends, or for you and a mate whilst on a fortnight break, I could not recommend these guys enough. Ask me if I’d do it again? I would take my wife there for a day’s ride, I would take a load of mates for the organised tour, or even hire a scooter myself for a few days. Remember on a full car licence in Spain you can ride a Lambretta 125 (150) or a Scomadi 125.
Words and photos: Doug Turner
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