Friday was the big event, the 5000 Curves. More than 500 kilometers on windy mountain roads and quite possibly literally 5000 bends to be negotiated.
I rode it on my BSA Bantam race bike last time and it took somewhere around nine and a half hours to complete. From before I learnt that the way to get through it all in the hours of daylight is to keep stops to a minimum. There are three checkpoints on route with food and drinks, keep each stop under fifteen minutes and you should be doing well. Of course you could just relax and not care about what time you arrived back., narrow windy mountain roads with stray cows and dogs are however not so much fun in the dark...
This year the Velocette Venom was the weapon of choice, a lot more comfortable than the Bantam but heavier and actually marginally slower in the twisties and worse braked than the little Beesa. The route for the 5000 Curves is not signposted but the way finding is fairly easy with a clear route card and plenty of other bikes on the road. Riding solo is quickest but a small group is more sociable and offers support in event of problems. I rode with Matt on his Royal Enfield Crusader and James on his Gilera B300; on the windy roads there wasn't a lot between us in terms of speed. We were lucky and had a clean run through, the only snags were the Velo losing its charging somewhere along the way and the Gilera blowing its headlight bulb (daytime lights are mandatory in Spain for all except historic vehicles first manufactured without lights). Our electrical woes didn't cause any real problems as we made it in before dark, we just had to keep a keen eye open for police vehicles on the way! Even with a clear run it took us something like 11 hours. Hard work but a really satisfying event and a good test of man or woman and machine. There're not so many photos from the day as it was heads down and keep on trucking all day long!
|Stunning 1926 4.95hp Matchless at the start in Santander.|
|And a thirties cammy Velo too. Set off is from|
8.30am. You can leave a little earlier if you care
too though you may arrive at the first check point
before it is open.
|Watching me watching you. James from|
literally in this case across the pond.
|Plenty of amazing scenery en route.|
|And back to the Santemar hotel for the finish line where cold|
beer awaits in a complimentary finisher's tankard. The machine
is a 'fake' MV four based around a Honda 750/4. Looked right,
sounded right and had a few folks fooled for a while.
|Dutch BMW combo was ridden hard and made it home in|
very good time.
|After dark finisher on an Enfield Bullet.|
|Harley D Aermacchi and late Triumph twin come in after|