Well, at long last my MV Agusta arrived home from Italy on Friday and I unpacked it over the weekend.
The box it travelled in is a little worse for wear but it has now gone from the USA to Australia and then from Australia to Italy and finally from Italy back to Australia; so its doing very well all things considered.
After cleaning the carbi’s and spark plugs the engine runs beautifully again, such a nice engine and good looking bike that took me the length of Italy and then over the Stelvio Pass. I am lucky to own something that has been that reliable – it would be very hard to ever sell.
I think I’ll take it for a ride this weekend, will be great to ride again.
There was a story in the Old Bike Australia Magazine the other month, in it was a write up by Bill Guthrie who was in Team Australia (with whom I was riding). Bill was riding an old Lambretta C model race replica (number 21) which unfortunately broke and so he had the unenviable job of having to watch the race from the support van for the remaining 4 days.
Luckily for us he made some pretty good notes about the race and given he is a professional photographer took some bloody good pics. I will stick a copy of the article here for you all to read about.
I will also be updating the site with some more pics from the 2010 race from some of the pro-photographers that follow the race, there are some good ones.
Lastly, Renato (my father who was also in Team Australia in 2010 – number 22 in the 2010 MITA) will be in this years Milan – Taranto again (this will be his 4th in a row). Renato will hopefully work out how to post on this blog with his iPad over the next month and can keep you all up to date on the ins and out of the race like I did last year. Keep tuned!
Bet you thought you had heard the last of me? Well no, you haven’t.
Keep in mind that the initial posts I made were while on the ralley (well except for days 4, 5 and 6 but whoes counting).
I am going to review the comments, delve deep into my memories and try to add to and elaborate on some of the events now that I have started work again which brings with it the wish of doing something else.
While in milan we thought we should take advantage of the alps at our door step and attempt an Alps pass so we chose the Stelvio pass.
I saw this on top gear one time and thought it looked like fun so on Tuesday 13th July we but Renatos scooter and my bike in the back of the van and drove the 200 odd km to Bormio which is where the pass starts.
My bike wasn’t running very well, just missing a bit at the bottom end of the rev range but it was still rideable so off we went.
Hairpin after hairpin up and up till the 34 degree drifted down as we started passing ice by the road side melting in the sun.
Finally we arrived at stelvio 2800m (about 9000 ft) above sea level.
It was really cold up there with no trees, had a hot dog (€5!) then back down, slowly the rain cleared and it got warmer till into Bormio and it hot one more.
The drive home seemed to take longer than the drive there passing through many tunnels through the maintains as we went, some were 3km long!
Exhausted again we arrived back in Milan at about 8:30pm.
A treat today, start was at 12:40 pm for me and only 150km for the day.
We called in at 2 or 3 places along the way till our final timed stop. At the final stop all the bikes lined up for a group ride into Taranto which was about an hour away.
Once we all arrived at the main sea side road that was bloked off for the race end each of the bikes was lined up and alowed to go as fast or slow as they wished to finally cross the line.
The race was over and we were all fairly knakered so after checking in at the hotel down the road we had a rest before dinner and presentations.
I was lucky enough to get 3rd in my class (350cc sport class) so get a bigger trophy than the rest.
And that’s it, then end to an epic race. Its really a marathon. 300 – 400km per day on challenging road is hard work made even more exhausting by the high temperature and humidity. I have heard that the race is legalised madness – it is, its mad. Imagine 250 motorbikes and support all decending on a small town for 2 hours then disapearing in a cloud of smoke, noise and no regard to traffic rules and you get a sense of what its like… Madness.
Well today was the final full day of riding of the race and what a long day it was.
As always a quick going over of the bike prior to going and then made a start at about 8:45.
Not long after the start it was into the mountains/large hills for a fair few twisties and a maountain pass to boot then a stop at about 10:30.
From there it was into some very remote parts of italy and about 5 hours of up and down, left and right. It went on and on and on.
There was a stop in a place called Anzi which is at the top of a hill which very cool and then off again.
On the way out of Anzi the bloke in front of me didn’t see the arrow and went the wrong way, easy to get lost.
Into another town at about 4 ish for a time check then off again in the heat (it has been over 34 the whole time). While at the town I heard and saw an emergency helicopter and I thought that was not a good sign. Sure enough, on my way out I see the couple in the Messesschmidt 3 wheeler have gone around a hairpin to tight, hit an on coming car and flipped over. They do not wear helmets so it was a bit of a mess as you can imagine in a convertible.
Shaken, I slowly made my way to the last timed stop of the day and then on to Matera, over 300km again today and in the heat it is hard work.
The reception in Materas main square was very good and then it was on to the hotel just down the road. A quick shower and a beer then in the bus to the hilton for dinner.
Dinner wasn’t served till 9:30, there were a lot of grumpy tired riders but it eventually turned up.
Finally to bed at about 11:30 – knackered as always.
Sorry for the delay in getting these posts up, 350km on a bike in the moutains makes for a hard day..
Todays leg was really really nice but long. It first went to Terracina on the coast and continued along that way for another 30 km for our first stop.
The route now cut inland and started on the twisty mountains for another 200km, up and down, left and right.
The final checkpoint ended up getting cancelled because most of the group got lost (but I didn’t) and then at 4:30pm started the last 70km to Paestum. The final route took us over a mountain of over 1000m, the air is so cool up there in under the trees.
You never know what the quaility of the hotel will be but the one in Paestum must be 4 or 5 stars, it was unbelievable!
A couple of people came off today but no major injuries.
The start was very nice, through the mountains but then as it skirted Rome became boring and suburban. I think I saw signs for romes airport for 3 hours. The run finally ended on the ocean west of rome where we all get told to get off the lawn.
From the osean it was another 70 km of coast to latina. It was the worst road I have riden on and continuous cars parked along the road for most of the way.