THE JOURNEY STORY
30 riders from all over the world have brought the Moto Guzzi passion to Sardinia. In their words, the excitement of a trip out of the ordinary.
"On the Thursday that we arrived at the Is Molas Resort, our home base located just west of Cagliari, the bikes were already waiting for us there: the best of the 2017 Moto Guzzi range of models were all there, from the nimble, responsive V7 through to the thoroughly majestic MGX-21. All we could think was “will we be able to try them all before the end of this trip?” but we later found out that this would not be a problem.
After just enough time for the necessary introductions we left for a “warm-up” ride and after just a few kilometres we began to be amazed by the breathtaking beauty of Sardinia’s southern coastline: all the bikes were riding in single-file and we were still busy getting acquainted with our rides when the astoundingly beautiful sea-views threatened to totally distract us from the job at hand. This was a constant feature of all four days of the tour, landscapes so unique and inebriating that they could easily cause you to wander off if it weren’t for the well-organised tour schedule that set the pace with kilometres of perfect tar on the twisty and largely deserted roads.
We took a well-earned break at the evocative Is Zuddas Grottos before moving on all the way to Is Pireddas and then got to sample the bends in the roads of the Sardinian hinterland, which are no less amazing than the coastal roads. And so, at the end of this first day of orientation, we found ourselves sitting around the dinner table, still somewhat dazed, proposing toasts and sharing opinions about those first 120 kilometres travelled and a tasty starter that promised well for the main courses that awaited us over the next few days.
We didn’t have to wait very long to find out: at 08h30 on Friday morning we were already back on the bikes and once again diving into the bends on the way to Teulada (this stretch of road was to become our best friend) until we arrived in Sant’Antioco. At that point, also thanks to a good coffee, we began to realise that everything about this experience was indeed very real, including the breathtaking views of the “Pan di Zucchero” (literally meaning “Sugar Loaf”) that we got to see after a short sightseeing stroll.
Our exploration of the coastline then continued on northwards and at the little Buggerru harbour, we managed to squeeze all the bikes into a group photo, after quite a struggle I must add. There we celebrated with an excellent fish lunch that provided us with the energy we needed to take on the afternoon programme. This is where things began to get serious because, snaking ahead of us like a cobra lay the stretch of National road No. 126 from Iglesias to Fluminimaggiore: a virtual roller-coaster ride with a succession of bends clinging precariously to the mountainside that hardly leave you enough time to catch a breath between one bend and the next.
As we began to get used to our Moto Guzzi steeds, inevitably the bartering of rides began, more or less discretely, something that went on continuously day by day right through to the Sunday: «What you need on this stretch of road is the nimbleness of the V7 or the aggressive riding style of the V9 Bobber… wanna swop bikes?», «Ok, but only if you then give me a turn on the Audace… it’s perfect for those long, sweeping bends!». Every one of the bikes has its own natural habitat and here in Sardinia you really will find them all. As the days slipped by the guys even got to the point of promising extra platefuls of pasta in exchange for a being allowed to spend just a few hours more on their favourite two-wheeler pick of the bunch.
The day ended with another 300 kilometres on the clock for the bikes and the guys as tired as kids after a full day at the amusement park and pleasantly surprised at the amount of team spirit that had developed in such a short time. Sitting around the swimming-pool bar after an excellent dinner, we never seemed to be able to decide that this “Mirto”- liqueur had to be the last one of the evening, a nightcap if you will, because the atmosphere was just so pleasant that all the guys wanted to do was sit around talking about the day’s experiences and imagining how great the next day would be.
Saturday morning the alarm clocks were no more lenient than the day before, but the desire to discover the eastern side of Sardinia was sufficient to instantly catapult the guys onto the bikes to head off for the splendid Villasimius coast, but not before an interesting visit to the Nuraghe, typical Sardinian megalithic stone buildings dating back to around 2000 years B.C.
As we rode into Villasimius, we couldn’t help smiling when we realised that all the village inhabitants were turning their heads to watch us and the kids were waving to us as we rode by; undoubtedly it’s difficult to miss such a long caravan of gleaming, roaring bikes.
We then headed back up the coast to Muravera, riding through Sant’Elmo and eventually arrived in Olia Speciosa. A short stretch of sand road surrounded by olive trees led us to a sumptuous lunch at a farm-holiday resort, consisting of tasty, typically hinterland specialities.
After lunch we then headed for Ballao and immediately succumbed to the temptations offered by the wide, sweeping bends on the road, unleashing all the torque of the 1400cc engines of the California, Audace, Eldorado and MGX-21 bikes that seem to have been specifically designed for this road.
At Senorbì a sudden summer squall caught us unawares as we were topping up the bikes’ fuel tanks, but this was not really any problem at all. The guys’ morale was high, their rain suits rather garish and the heady fragrance of the Mediterranean brush was in the air, titillating our sense of smell as it guided us all the way back to our Is Molas base camp.
And then suddenly it was already Sunday, our last day and the last ride of this 1st Moto Guzzi Experience – Is Molas Edition. The sun was shining and inviting us to open up our Moto Guzzis on the magnificent coastal road heading towards Setti Ballas. This was one of the most impressive stretches of road of the entire tour due to the succession of bends and the spectacular Capo Spartivento lighthouse that turned out to be one of the highlights of our adventure.
It’s almost autumn already, but the sight of those irresistible deserted beaches was sufficient to tempt a few of the more courageous souls in the group to take a rather chilly September dip in order to imprint the sensation of this unforgettable feature of Sardinia, namely the sea, in their minds. But that’s not the only thing that made this full-immersion experience so unforgettable and we have tried to tell you about all of them, although it’s inevitable that something always gets left out.
Perhaps it’s the rumble of your favourite twin’s engine as it fires up, perhaps it’s the blonde locks of your biker buddy as she disappears around the next bend, perhaps the flavour of Sardinian cuisine left behind on your lips or perhaps it’s the hugs and kisses tinged with an edge of sadness when it’s time to say your farewells.
Undoubtedly we will have forgotten something, but one thing we know for sure is that it will soon be time to leave and to experience these same feelings and emotions once again."
Ready for the next stage of the Moto Guzzi Experience?