Last Friday afternoon my cousin Alex and I were bored, we wanted to go on a trip but wanted to add some spice to it, a 10 minute phone call later we figured out a plan.
The expedition goes back two years earlier, with new pollution regulations in Barcelona, older bikes are no longer allowed in the city centre, which meant that overnight there was a surplus of old bikes and everyone wanted to get rid of them. Luckily for us, we both got gifted a Honda Scoopy 75, both bikes had been sitting unused in the street for years, we took them in and left them in our garages for another two more years, until last Friday...
The Honda Scoopy 75 is known in Barcelona for being practical, nimble and cheap to run, you wouldn't call it an adventure bike, but anything goes in the Petrocamp community.
The audatious plan was to get the bikes running (we had never ridden them) and ride 180km to Llança, a coastal town in northern Spain.
We spent Friday night tinkering with one bike until 1am, no luck, we didn't get it started. We woke up at 7am on Saturday and got our hands dirty again, by 1pm both bikes were barely running, terrible brakes, broken exhausts, no lights... but they were working! We added some custom touches, such as a teddy bear called Brembo, some loud speakers playing italian music and a rotating globe and we set off.
It took about 3 kilometers for the first engine to blow up... Not a good start. But we were very determined to get to the coast, nothing was going to stop us, not even a blown engine! We hunkered down and started making some calls, an hour later we had managed to find another Scoopy 75 that had also been unused for a few years, this time it only took us 30 minutes to get it running. For a second time, we filled up the bike with petrol and set off again, smiling, singing and enjoying the beautiful backroads of Girona.
An hour into the ride we had the first puncture, but we were prepared, we took out the anti puncture spray and filled up the tire with foam - the cannister blew up but not before we managed to pump the tire with plenty of foam. Problem number two sorted, we resumed the journey. About 30 kilometers later the flat tire took a turn for the worse and lost all the foam, Alex was now limping along at about 10km/h with the rim touching the tarmac, this time it was not looking good...
At this point we thought the trip was over, it was Saturday at 8pm and no mechanics were open, it didn't help that we were in the middle of nowhere. After sitting by the side of the road for 10 minutes, we dicided to get our act together and not give up, we were going to see this through. We managed to ride the bike to the nearest town, Olot, and by the time we got there the tire had split in half and it even ran out of petrol 500m away from a petrol station. Only one option remained, ditching bike number two and carrying on to the finish line with only one bike, and it's exactly what we did!
We grabbed both bags, attached them to the motorbike, filled up the tank and headed out into the countryside. This was around 9pm and the sun was just setting on the hay fields of the Empordà, we were laughing so much at the situation that it made this expedition that much special. If you've ever watched the film Dumb and Dumber, that is what we looked like, two idiots on a bike.
A few hours later, with 70km more on the bike and a close call at night with two wild pigs, we made it to the seaside town of Llançà, it was 1am. Even though we ditched two bikes along the way, we called the expedition a success - it's days like these that remind us that you don't need expensive bikes or a problem-free day to have a fun motorbike expedition, all you need is the right attitude.
Should we start a video series of these expeditions? I think we should.
Pictures and videos to follow up soon, I'm waiting to get the film developed. Menwhile here are some iphone shots.