Another summer vacation in Asturias, Spain aboard my increasingly pimped-out PX125 Vespa… which is now a PX179 with modified exhaust, opened carb, sturdy suspension, go-fast stickers and a front disk cooler courtesy my friend Caito who cares for her as if she were his own. She now hits 100kph happily enough on flats and can climb the steep mountain roads without needing to downshift all the way back to first. Anyway, I love this little bike. Above: Some of my mods Every year, I scoot down from Oviedo to the coast near Llanes. It’s somewhere on the order of 150 km the way I do it, but can be as far as 200 if I’m inspired. Before I take off, I usually do a bit of exploring on small roads above the city just to burn out any bugs from the year before. This time, she was running like a top since Caito used her a few times over the winter. Above: Oviedo from Vista Alegre Above: Climbing up around Sograndio Above: Red is the perfect contrast to all that Asturian green This year’s descent to Llanes started nice and early. I love the early light, and was lucky to have a sunny day from beginning to end. That meant dry tarmac too, so I was flying (you know, relatively speaking). I climbed up past Tuilla and San Julian and ended up on a tiny little road climbing toward Penhamayor Les Praeres, basically the top of a mountain where folks often set off for trekking. That was where the tarmac ended and I had to do some Enduro-scooting. I bumped along a dirt road for awhile and was coming down through some mud puddles etc when I spotted a couple of guys on trials bikes. I zipped up to them for a chat. Their eyes were popping out of their heads looking at this loony on his Vespa. It was priceless. Above: I think I see these horses every year Above: Climbing up where the views were long and the cow-pies plentiful Above: The tarmac ends. The rest of the ride was through familiar territory. I was in kind of a hurry to meet the wife and kids at the beach in Poo (yes, Poo… pronounced Po), so I zipped a main road until I could link up with my favorite descent down to Nueva. I’d stopped to fuel up in Arriondas and took the opportunity to grab a sandwich and Coke to go. I had a place in mind near Labra to enjoy my lunch in a field. That area is stunning… green fields, clutches of trees, and the Picos de Europa in the distance. Lovely. From there, I bee-lined it down to the beach and splashed the day away with the family. Above: Fancy that spot for a summer house? Above: Views, endless views and tiny little tarmac roads Above: my lunch spot among the long grass with views of the Picos in the background Above: Playa de Poo… my kids are down there somewhere After a week in Llanes, it was time to head back to Oviedo. I’d taken one little zip up toward Mazucu and back to Porua via a dirt road, but had not used the Vespa much while I was there. The return trip was much quicker than I usually like, but the morning I left was gray and the tar was wet and slick, so I zipped up the coast to Ribadesella where the clouds were dissipating, before ascending the mountains. Back in Oviedo, Caito and I had a farewell ride and I deposited the bike back in his garage for another year. Mods on the hook for next year: seat, grippy tires and possibly a modification to increase fuel range… what a fun bike. Above: On a dirt track, some old signage and a red Vespa Above: Climbing up from Ribadesella Above: Deep in the valleys, an abandoned house Above: Caito’s proper vintage beast (can’t catch her… she’s insane) Above: Back in the workshop for another year.