Road to Gruppo 70 vol. 1 – Mercatale di Sassocorvaro, 21st May
Here we are again. It’s time for another weekend tale about rally bodgery, serious drinking, scooter riding and mostly about friendship!
We met on Saturday morning, in our favourite petrol station, with five of my mates from Anonima Scooterboys and one from Hotwheels Scooterclub, both from Siena. I was a little bit late because the luggage with vinyls for the allnighter (I was a guest DJ) wouldn’t fit on my Lui rear rack without touching the exhaust, so after some moaning, I decided to use my ratbretta 225cc instead… Finally at 9am we fill our tanks and head off, three Lambrettas, far, far away from factory standards. We also had one standard PX 150 and a speedy Vespa PK. Our second stop is to meet my father on his 177 PX with a new black paint used for Ferrari engines!
The journey to the site of the first Gruppo 70 scooter rally is almost 100 miles, so quite near for us, but after 10 miles of highway my mate Robbo, on his purple & white Lammy, loses his carburettor from the rubber manifold, so we had to wait a few minutes before we saw him arrive with his foot on the carb to keep it on. Time to unpack the tool roll, smoke some cigarettes and drink beers whilst they change a bodged rubber manifold, salami cut with a brand new one and we quickly full throttle up the highway to add some miles on the tachos…
We decided to quit the highway at Rigomagno to enjoy the fabulous weather and country bends on our scooters. We literally ate the miles and reached Arezzo, then San Sepolcro, heading towards one of the best roads I have ever ridden, the infamous Bocca Trabaria Valic that connects Tuscany to Marche… Imagine a mountain road, with trees, breathtaking panoramas, bends, hairpins and no traffic (we were lucky because it was also the weekend of the Mugello MotoGP, so lots of ‘street racers’ and their plastic rockets weren’t here). The road was left only for us and our scooters. It wasn’t easy to keep the throttle closed on my ratty Series 2 Monza 225cc so I literally scratched and crunched my floorboards on the tarmac. I recommend this route to anybody coming on scooters around this area in middle Italy.
Around lunchtime we found an old Osteria in Lamoli, to have some pastas, wine and coffee and we hear a scooter buzzin’ outside, it’s Andy D&D’s Sx 200! Ritual handshakin’ and hug time… Here start the famous tales of “Hey mates, only 40 miles – we arrive early this time…” Oh, how we are wrong. It’s time to put our fat asses on our seats and reach the scooter rally, so we leave Osteria behind in a big white smoke cloud.
Mood at its max and a good cruising speed for 10 lazy scooterists let us eat the last few miles. Then just four miles from the rally, under a big cold tunnel near Lunano, a well known pal of ours see the Vada Scooter Mare article suffers a very big piston failure at top speed, luckily without any injuries or damage to his Lammy… but with any chance we can practice our beloved bodgery! After a few attempts at bump starting it and without any signs of compression we put the scooter on the road side and call our GRUPPO 70 friends!
Thirty minutes later and lots of laughs under the sun, we receive assistance from a guy with a Jeep and a trailer so we can finally reach the site in Mercatale di Sassocorvaro at 4pm. What a wonderful place, an old village on the top of the hill, with a lake and sunshine. Almost 80 scooters are already parked up on this beautiful green field! A true gem of a place in this, for me, unknown part of Italy.
The usual camarderie and lots of laughs with our friends from all over Italy, scooter clubs from SIR and non, 2 Tempi SC Ferrara, Pessimi Elementi Latina, Thunderballs SC Tortoreto, Insetti Viandanti & Piedi a Pipetta Cesena, Red Roosters Chiantishire SA, Roadrunners LC Imola, Trojan Legion, Runner Boys Bologna, Ace of Spades, Barbieri de Roari Pordenone, Hotwheels SC Siena, lots of mavericks and simple enthusiasts and us from Anonima SBS. A big togetherness between SIR (Scooterclub Italiani Riuniti) and non SIR Clubs!! That’s the way ah, ah, ah, we like it…
Late in the afternoon, at 6.30pm, it was time for a classy aperitif with a small scooter run to the Old Sassocorvaro village with its turtle shaped fortress, unique in the world, a must see place. However we were too lazy to start our scooters so we didn’t attend. Drinks and chatting beside the lake was better for us. Let Pomeriggissimo begin. We enjoyed the sunset then had time to have a shower and a proper fish lake dinner, cooked by local fishermen, washed down with local white wines. What a rally!
After dinner it was time for the classic prizes giveaway! Best Vespa was won by Mauro Olivetto and his TS, Best Lammy won by Luca from Barbieri de Roari PN with an orange metal flake Golden Special, furthest travelled (with 220 miles) won by Pessimi Elementi Latina, largest scooter club, our Anonima Scooterboys Siena/Grosseto, plus special prizes of: Best scooter girl, Mariachiara Runner Boys Bologna, special family trophy for me and my father and wedding anniversary for Crema & Laura. During the trophies ceremony our friend Matteo Parola told us that they were giving all the proceeds from the rally to charity, for an association for childhood problems. Well done mates.
After the trophies the allnighter was starting with some of the best scooterist DJ’s from the scene, every DJ came by scooter with his own records, me (Gegio Anonima SBS), Andy D&D, Rude Franz from Thunderballs, Peo Insetti Viandanti, Trox and a local DJ from Gruppo70 Enri! Playing the usual scooterboys floorfiller anthems, from skinhead reggae to Latin boogaloo, passing mod ’79, northern and modern soul. The bar was full of mates and we finished every kind of alcohol, so we started a treasure hunt to find some old bottles to mix with Cola and beer… What a night, very, very old school.
The ‘nighter passed away quickly with lots of gags, like my special dedication of the Famous Mal Dei Primitives Anthem “Pensiero d’amore” (search on youtube) to Gruppo 70 Mates and serious drinkin’ and dancin’, so finally it was time to go to bed at around 5am. Next morning we met lots of guys in the hotel and not everyone looked very well. Sadly it was to time to pack up our scooters and return home…
I want to say a very big thanks to Matteo ‘Parola’, Stefano ‘Bruce’, Valterino, Enrico & Diego for friendship, the choice of charity, the “Segno Association for Childhood Problems” and the perfect location & organisation. This demonstrates that with lots of passion and love, a rally can be perfect without spending a fortune. An event I recommend to everyone, also to people outside of Italy for the roads, the panoramas and the people.
Long live the real Scooterism.
Words and photos: Gegio Degli Innocenti