|Bob Murdoch and Olive the Super Meteor complete the 5000 Curves.|
The 5000 Curves is described by the organizing MCPiston club as "No scores! No official speeches! No sponsor obligations! Sheer riding pleasure! The route is the challenge!"
Limited to 120 motorcycles, it follows "a long, demanding, challenging and feasible route" of approximately 500 kilometers through the Cantabrian Mountains of northern Spain.
Feasible? The club also calls it "daring." And demanding. If you hit a check point before it opens or after it closes, you're out.
|Trials legend Sammy Miller, left, welcomed finishers.|
"Check out www.mc piston.com; you'll see the website of the tiny motorcycle club in the north of Spain that hosts the four-day rally for pre-1980 bikes. Surely one of the best classic bike events in Europe.
"This year was my fifth time and third successful entry in the 5000 'Curvas' that is always on the Friday. A real test of man and machine, man being the generic term, because some ladies revel in the masochism too!
"Toulouse has become the last staging post for our merry group of old bikers each September (two from Toulouse, one from central France, two ride down from northern England and Mike who comes all the way from Copenhagen riding most of the way except for one stage by train) before crossing the Pyrenees into Spain.
|The merry band, with Bob and Olive second from right.|
"However, next year may be different because I've just treated myself to a Rickman Metisse Interceptor that should thread through those serpentine mountain passes with more ease than the Meriden triples. We'll see.
"After the rally, Olive was ferried back to Portsmouth via Santander, and ridden to Bristol where she now lives, and very much in need of new brake linings and a back tire. I always underestimate how much material those mountain roads scrub off the bike.
|Vintage motorcycles take on ancient mountain roads of Spain.|