5 mai 2018 : MotoVolta 2018
« Rah, lis, ça se passe en Catalogne! »
Hola estimat visitant del món d’Internet!
This time, the article will be written in English as it’s supposed to be shared through some sites.
And I hope it’s going to be spread widely :p
So, less jokes are supposed to come, sorry!
Let’s start, shall we?
First of all, what is MotoVolta?
Motovolta 2018 is a solidarity event that collaborates with the AFANOC association (Associació de Familiars i Amics de Nens Oncològics de Catalunya).
I copy-paste and translate the text written in the website dedicated to the event MotoVolta.
« Are you ready for an unforgettable adventure? Next May 5th, the 2nd edition of the Motovolta Catalunya will be held, starting and finishing at the Ace Café in Barcelona. A solidarity event where all the participants who can get one of the limited places, can enjoy a day where we will travel around the perimeter of Catalonia. We will pass by the coast, cross the Pyrenees, cross the Lleida plain and after having enjoyed spectacular scenery and the camaraderie of everyone, we will return to the starting point. A series of photographic and sealing points will be the excuse for you to rest in them and contemplate the place. Motovolta Catalunya is designed for you to enjoy your bikes, the landscape and its people. That is why the tour has been designed in such a way, so that all of you can complete the day’s journey. The route is 984 kms and for those who want a shorter option, we propose the MitjaVolta Catalunya, with 479 kms. Spectacularly spectacular, where the first part of the route will be shared with the MotovoltaCatalunya 2018. »
Other events like this are held in Spain such as the Rider.
This is gonna be a total discover for me.
Two weeks before, we were given the GPX files for the itineraries. I already put them in my GPS not to get lost :p
The day in itself
I woke up at 4:15am to get there for 5:20am.
Gosh, that hurts…
Even for riding…
I picked up my doggy bag at the reception and I directly go to the Ace Café in L’Hospitalet de LLobregat.
Nobody on the streets, it’s perfect. But it’s way humid…
Just arrived at the Ace Café, some minutes later, it’s just a mess of hundreds of bikes that arrives! And to get a parking place, it’s gettting harder and harder.
In the end, my choice was again wise to be there early!
Then Elsa arrived too, she almost didn’t sleep. It’s gonna be fun :p
Then, breakfast is given and… we wait until we’re called to the start/finish line.
During this time, I met again Montsé from @derutaconmontse, who rides the 1,000km version of the MotoVolta. With her group, they leave at 6:30am.
I also quickly met @perlanegraviajes but, unfortunately, not other people I was supposed to met. There were so many people there that it was almost impossible to greet everybody. No problem!
Our turn comes and first, every participant is taken in pic at the start! Oh yeah, for once I can have a pic with Leslie!
The start is given 5 by 5 every 15 seconds and we leave first the industrial zone of L’Hospitalet de LLobregat to take the Barcelona’s ring. Then, we ride like this with other people until El Massou to take the first twisty road.
After this first interesting section, I loose the entire group after a roundabout. Damn, that starts well! But it doesn’t surprise me at all as it’s kinda « normal »…
There, I try to call Elsa on her cellphone but her Intercom is down… we’ll catch us up later on the road, on the first photo spot.
So begins the uninteresting part of the road from Granollers to, almost, Girona. Flat and straight roads, excepted when I caught back Elsa, before the photo spot :p
Saying it’s getting worse, I think the next picture shows it well…
There we are at the first photo spot, Iglesia Santa-Pellaia!
The road, GI-664, to get to there is rather narrow but good. That changes from the flat roads we’ve taken until now and corners are always good to take.
Here, we greet Oscar and the wife with whom we’ve discussed a bit early in the morning. She rides the MitjaVolta with a VanVan 125. Hats off!
But we need to send the photos to the organization crew. I’ve no network 😥 Daaaaaaamned!
You’ve until tomorrow to send them.
Ahhhhhhhhhh, that’s better :p
Until we catch Dani and Omar up and do the photos, we continue on this marvellous road on a nice pace until Corçà.
There, we refuel the bikes and refill the guys with sweety and salty food (donuts, water, crisps etc… everything to be fully fit).
Lots of motorcyclists stop there to do the same, I think the manager has done his day 😀
Then, the road is again straight to get to Rosas. Here, the roads are well known to be because I rode them some days before :p
The GI-614 is ahead of us, and this road is always a relief to ride.
No way, I overtake them and the « mous-du-gland » (flabby dicks) from Denmark and Germany are now well behind in my mirrors. But not Dani!
It starts to rain but with him, we decide to have a big run down to the coast until El Port de la Selva on the GI-613 ^^
We wait for Elsa and Omar and then reach the first checkpoint of the day nearby the Monestir de Sant Pere de Rodes. The view there is breathtaking over the sea but rain comes slowly but surely…
The road to get there is full of potholes. Even pothole is a sluggish word, crater would suit better.
There, Dani has a trouble with a broken stop bulb. Mechanics are coming to help him and within 10 minutes, the work is done for some bucks and sweeties.
What an organization! Really! Amazing!
There, we could have drinks and things to eat to face the following of the roadboook.
Next, we bypass Figueras via the famous N-260 then N-II. Until Arguelaguer, the road is boring, nothing interesting to see nor to ride.
It’s at this part of the roadbook we’ll now ride with 6 bikes instead of 4 with a woman on a CBF600 and a dad and his son on a …
Wise choice hombre! The climb to Tortella is quite interesting and then we come back on the A26 (where Leslie blinked to say « I WANNA DRIIIIIIIINK ») plus N-260 until a small road to La Pinya.
Small, dirty, I was wondering if two bikes could cross each other…
By the way, the case never happened, so…
We found a gas station in the middle of nowhere (really), it took 5 minutes to get to it and we decide to have lunch here.
The donuts have decided to explode in the side cases, what a mess it was inside!
Hopefully, my bottle of water didn’t do the same…
But one thing horrifies me… the rear tyre is 80% done!
Impossible to do the entire journey with those tyres.
I pick the phone up to call dealers in… Clermont-Ferrand. In France, Wednesday will be the only one day open for motorcycle dealers next week.
I desperately try to get Dafy-Moto, no answers.
Cardy? They have tyres but no slots left to take the bike…
Maxxess? No answers too… Daaaaaaaamn! I’m starting thinking about cancelling the last 3 days and to get back to home as quick as possible.
We’re back on the road but I decide to ride as fast as a snail to preserve this rear tyre. We are asked to get to El Far with his astonishing view and his sancturary.
Moreover, it’s the place for the second checkpoint of the day. Lovely one for sure!
Drinks and food again are available, but worried by the troubles, I’m not hungry nor thirsty.
Finally, Kawasaki Clermont-Ferrand (Transact’Motos) answers my call and has the right tyres and will arrange the schedule for me. « We already know you 😉 » Who has talked about me? Anyway, thaaaaaank you!
Back to business and less worried, we’re still on the C-153 thourgh the Collsacabra and close to a volcanic zone, the Garrotxa.
Until Vic, this road is a piece of heaven even if the clouds are back and threatening for a new shower.
I follow the GTR for a long time and his drive is quite clean and smooth with a nice pace, all that I enjoy. Let’s take his wheel!
After Vic, the road is again interesting via the BV-4317 then the N-141c with lots of corners again. It’s the contrast of the day. First, long and boring straight lines below a dark grey sky, and the contrary in the afternoon.
All in all, it’s better like this than the contrary.
The 3rd photo point is at the town of Granera. At first, we stopped on a parking lot but we couldn’t see the castle up above. So we’d to ride… let’s say… 300meters more to have a better view of it.
After 430km or more for some, it’s stretching time :p
I try to manage to have pic of everybody with the camera but the kilometers go by and the weather is getting worse and worse again.
But the corner orgy continues even under the rain until we reach the east suburbs of Terrassa. And a piece of motorway is ahead of us until the entrance in the Parc Natural de la Serra de Collserola (Bless you).
It’s getting more and more messy as we’re closing Barcelona. The last photo checkpoint is held at… l’Arrabassada! That reminds me something… oh yes, we’ve been there yesterday!
I made it fall from the seat… Damn, this day is terrible in term of unluckiness!
Here, we decide to ride to the Ace Café all toghether with another group of riders, creating a group of almost 12 bikes. Wow, that sound down to Barcelona!
But at a red light before entering the ring, we lost the group and couldn’t get the ring entrance, forced to ride inside Barcelona… with the other GTR. Damned!
I set the GPS up to drive us to the Ace but we’re getting more and more lost. No way, I try to reach the Avinguda Diagonal and then take the ring as soon as we can. And the traffic jam is getting worse and worse…
We arrived 20 to 30 minutes later than the others. On my side, riding in a city pumps my energy at an incredible speed. I’m no longer familiar with (I wonder if I’ve been familiar with when I used to be in Paris…) and I ended the MotoVolta mentally destroyed.
Last checkpoint, Manuel congratulates me to have achieved it and wishes I’ll be back next year. Why not after all, and hope we won’t get lost in Barcelona another time :p
And everybody has its own portrait as a finisher of the rally! Awesome again and we can get a group photo too!
After the photos, we’re given rewards and burgers/belgian fries (nope, it’s not french!). I’m a bit in my thoughts because it’s hard to follow conversations in Catalan/Spanish and with the tiredness… the brain is out of service ^^
But we did it all together. Weather was treacheous, roadbook sometimes difficult and the city rides were hard.
What was great is to have met so many people that day and have shared kilometers with them.
It’s time to separate and some have still 150km to get to their home. Holy shit, and they’ve come from the morning, they didn’t sleep in Barcelona the night before.
THOSE CATALANS ARE CRAZY! XD
Back at the youth hostel, it’s shower time and, then, it was easy to fall asleep :p Hopefully, everything is prepared for tomorrow XD
It was a first time for me to be part of that kinf of rally because in France… we don’t have! I know, in the area of Bourg-en-Bresse, the FFMC01 (Fédération Française des Motards en Colère of the Département de l’Ain) organizes one but not that long. It’s about 120km and basta. 500 or 1,000km in a day, no, never heard about that.
This is an experience to be lived, that requires very strong abilities of endurance and to be strong-minded, especially if it rains.
Roads aren’t that much difficult from the ones I’m used to ride in France.
But the unknown, the way of riding, and in a group… all of this added makes this experience so far different from what I’m used to do.
It’s like a rally with checkpoints and hours to be respected. We’re told about opening and closure of checkpoints through WhatsApp by the organization crew (when network is available, eh ^^’ ) and some tricks to do. But no classification is made, the most important is to end and… to play the game!
The only regrets I’ve would be :
– not to have more or enough time to take photos. I do understand it’s harder to stop when you ride in a group than when you ride alone or in a group of 2, 3 maximum.
– the second one would be the first 200km that were not that much interesting at all. After reaching Rosas, it was way better! I found it long and almost slept on the bike. But to get to there by avoiding the coast, I don’t see any other solution.
Otherwise, the amazing organization with roadbooks, goodies, sponsors, mechanics, drinks, games, photos etc… I’ve been part twice in a crew to set an event up (the K-Days from the French ER6/Versys owner forum), but at this level, this is huge. Incredible job made by them before, during and after the MotoVolta. There’s still things to improve, but for a second event, this is already something amazing.
Gracias a todos por vuestro tiempo, para aceptarme en vuestro evento y yo espero que sera aqui por la edicion de 2019!
Gracias a Elsa y a todas las personas que he encontrado durante esos 4 dias! Me volveré un dia, por cierto!
So, now, let’s get back to French :p