NOTWITHSTANDING the many serious issues currently facing the expatriate community in Spain, there is a large proportion determined to stay focused on why they opted to make the sunny state their home in the first place. One such group is the Free Spirits of the Marina Alta – a Harley Davidson enthusiast group of over 50 members.
The English-speaking male and female group – made up of riders and passengers – enjoy a ride out at least every other weekend in the summer months, winding the forgotten country corners and the cool coastal routes.
The routes are well planned, with coffee and lunch stops on the way.
Last Sunday’s ride, which I was lucky enough to be invited out on, saw around 18 members of the group meet in Pedreguer and once introductions had been made and Press Officer Peter Emmett finally managed to group everyone together for a photo amongst the banter and chatter, President and Road Captain Barry Haylor ran through the day’s 200-kilometreroute up to Alzira (Valencia) and back.
It wasn’t long before we were on our way as I rode pillion with Peter (thank you, Liz – I hope you enjoyed watching Wimbledon!) and Barry led us to Gandia via the N-332 then through Barx where we took a coffee stop at Restaurante La Vister.
Winding up and down the mountains out of Barx and onto Simat, we were spoilt with stunning views reaching as far as the eye can see, heading to Rafelguaraf before joining the CV-5930 onto Carcaixent.
The group sat down to lunch at La Cantina in Alzira and we were most pleasantly surprised, given the 34-degree heat, to be gently sprinkled with a cool mist as we enjoyed excellent service with a smile.
Back on the road, bikers filtered off as they took their own routes home and I was truly sad that the day had come to an end. Not only was the ride an experience I’ll never forget but all the Free Spirits members were friendly, fun and the day wasn’t without many a laugh.
Free Spirits in its current form launched last January and the group and its rides are administered and regulated by five road captains. Members must own a Harley Davidson and of course, be able to evidence their corresponding licence and insurance.
The Harley Davidson biking community has made a name for itself in recent years having raised in excess of €54,000 euros for the children of EMAUS and Make A Smile.
In the coming weeks, Free Spirits will be announcing its chosen charity for the next 12 months.
Free Spirits is always ready to welcome new members, for more information get in touch with President Barry Haylor – 629 728 375 / [email protected]