1. What is your first memory on a motorcycle? Which was your first bike?
Well, I think it all started in 2011, the year where my father and I planned our first-ever motorcycle trip: a two-day adventure with a tent through some beautiful corners in the West Alps, near where we lived. The bike was a BMW r 80 g/s Paris Dakar, fully loaded since we were still unable to pack only the bare essentials. At this time, I was only a passenger, but I fell in love with the idea of traveling and discovering new roads with a motorbike, and it would be even better if I had one myself! So on the way back, I was already dreaming about having a 50 cc motorbike and sharing more adventures with my dad.
I still remember the words I said to my father: ”yeah, it has been a true adventure, and I have to thank you, but next time I promise you I will be on my own motorcycle!”
It was harder than expected because, even though my father is a big motorbike enthusiast, together with my mother, as parents, they were both against the idea of buying their son a bike. They thought that it’s too dangerous..!
However, after many discussions, on the 6th of October 2012 (I will never forget that day), I opened the garage doors, and there I saw my dream motorcycle, a brand new Beta 50 Enduro! It was unbelievable, and from when I first got on the bike and started the engine, I never got off. During the years, the bikes changed, they grew in cc, but the passion is the same as it ever was in the past!
2. Can you tell us a little about your trip? The route, which bikes you took along, if you did any off-road… And any places you recommend along that journey?
The route: our goal was simple, starting from the Mediterranean Sea in Barcelona and reaching the Atlantic in Biarritz. This journey is also known as “Las Dos Mares,” and it’s about 600 kilometers, but we wanted to try something different: riding through as many “deserts” as possible. So we managed to find some GPS off-road tracks through the famous TET (Trans Euro Trail) community and added some very cool and unknown places to our planning, and the trip turned out to be more than 2000 km!
Getting out of Barcelona, we started with beautiful side roads near Molins de Rei, reaching an off-road area passing across vineyards and going upwards to a huge wind farm next to Solsona.
In the following days, we stopped at Monegros, near Zaragoza, where we followed a trail called “Ruta Jubierre”: a journey of about 50 kilometers off-road into a beautiful and unknown landscape that reminded me a little of Grand Canyon. After heading north, we visited some unique rock formations called “Los Mallos de Riglos,” a famous destination for rock climbers near the small city of Ayerbe.
We spent the next day losing ourselves in the Bardenas Reales, a natural park in Navarra that literally hijacked us! So many trails, straight into the middle of nowhere. It was exactly what we had been looking for. Temperatures were very high; however, the bikes worked well, and we spent a great time together riding side by side as “Deserts Hunters.”
Finally, we reached Biarritz and saw the ocean for the first time after five days of riding in the dust. We turned our bikes around and started our way back to Barcelona. This time we chose different roads, through the Pyrenees, going through many different mountain passes between French and Spanish borders, making many twists and turns.
Regarding the bikes: we brought with us what I think are the two most iconic desert bikes of the ’80s; my father rode his old BMW r 80 g/s while I took the Honda xl 600 lm. We tried to travel as light as possible and take only two soft and waterproof bags with many spare parts since the bikes are quite old, you can never know! But I believe traveling in this way is more challenging and satisfying.
3. Any anecdotes from the trip? Some curiosities or highlights?
Maybe one of the best things that happened to us was to find, by chance, an amazing dry lake near Barbastro. When we saw it, we literally left the main road (asphalt) and went off the track just to explore. I hadn’t seen anything like this before in my life. At that moment, I felt like I was in Namibia or the salt flats in Bolivia, but I was not too far from home! This made me aware of how many awesome places and landscapes are much more accessible than we believe; sometimes, you just have to go outside.
Another memorable moment happened while we passed through the Bardenas’ desert: the sun started to set, and a golden light spread out over the landscape. Strangely formed rocks that surrounded us changed color, became “alive,” and our shadows started to stretch out long. All of this while I was following my father in the dust and thinking... what an unforgettable moment!
4. How was your experience with your FUEL gear on that trip? What were you wearing? Is there any feature you would highlight from any of our products?
We were equipped with two pairs of Fuel Sergeant pants (my father used the Colonial model, and I wore the Sahara version). We also brought with us two spare enduro jerseys (Dune and Baja) to wear when temperatures increased. We spent around 7-8 hours on the bike per day and didn’t have any problems at all! All the gear worked perfectly, both in the heat and in the cold.
I think these products were perfect with our bikes, they have a vintage look, but at the same time, they keep you safe, with modern protection.
5. How do you feel riding with your father? Are you planning other trips? Tell us a bit more!
Personally, I believe that riding and sharing a trip like this with my father is a great and special thing. I look at my friends, and I’m not sure how many of them could do the same. There is a special relationship between my father and me, glued together by the passion for motorcycles.
We saw this adventure also like a test of our bikes, and ourselves, for hopefully many other travels in the future. We are ready for it! Our dream is to bring back our Queen of the Desert into the Sahara, Morocco, or maybe Tunisia; it would be a dream come true, so fingers crossed!