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Bella Italia - June 15th 2010

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The 4th day - and the rally starts!

We spent one night in this hotel - perfectly adequate.

The others get their bikes. No-one thought of checking tyres or suspension setting - one to remember...

We go just around the corner to the Piaggio museum.

I liked the rotary engine emblem on the factory itself, with the not-so-useful aircraft in front.

Some preciousness being crated up for an exhibition somewhere.

Edit, Roland, in the picture below, tells me:

"That "preciousness being crated up" was actually a factory International Six Days Trial (ISDT) scooter being uncrated and returned to one of the Vespa-less spaces in the museum. It's a pretty famous design, with the expanded gas tank and dual spare tires. I stayed around to watch the guys haul it out of the crate.

It is a beautiful specimen."

It turns out Piaggio gets a licence to a US stainless steel welding patent, and gets Italy moving with less maintenance - pre-WWII.

The same guy rode all three huge long trans-world trips on these PX's - Kudos

The most valuable Vespa? Signed by Salvardor Dali and his partner - purely by chance!

We had a guide around the museum - very comprehensive, and that's all I'll say about that.

The one behind the guide above is the one referred to here:

Then the ride itself started to our first hotel of the trip proper in La Spezia. It was soon evident that some folk had never ridden twisty roads (or in town) with a group before, and with Al leading, Doug tail-gunning, I whisked up and down the line marking junctions. A couple of folk caught on, but a briefing before the next group ride was going to be needed. Lunch-stop:

The second half of the ride got broken into two, but as luck would have it we all met again at a petrol stop, and after Al's GPS wanted to just make us ride in circles I did a recce, found the Hotel entrance, and we all arrived safely.

It started to pour with rain, so the 'Hard Riders' group - Jess & Rachael, Patrick and Julie, Doug and myself scampered down the road to the first restaurant we could find. Seafood, I chose the 'mussels with everything' menu. Lovely! Jess picked up the tab, bless him - and that set a good trend for these evening meals together - much easier having one payment then everyone scratching about paying individually. :)

Odo:

The track of the day (159 km):

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