HAT Pavia – San Remo 2021

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The HAT Pavia-San Remo is not a race, it is a trail/adventure route with the aim of reaching San Remo, passing through great tracks and mountain roads

A few weeks ago, I headed north in search of cooler temperatures. Since last year I couldn’t do my annual route through Europe, I decided that I couldn’t spend another year without visiting some friends, enjoying the Alpine “tornanti” and also the Dolomites.

Although I always avoid big cities, I had to stop by to see my friends Cristiano and Elena from KRY-O, in Milan. I knew that in the capital of Lombardy I would not find that freshness I was looking for, but with the warm hospitality of my friends it would even be difficult to find it in the middle of winter. We celebrated the reunion and they informed me that the HAT Pavia-San Remo was taking place that weekend. It is a two-day tour, with a total of 450 kilometers of off-road and winding mountain roads, from Pavia to the emblematic coastal city of San Remo. My eyes must have widened, because Cristiano did not hesitate to pick up the phone and call Nicola Poggio, one of the organizers of the event. In a moment everything was fixed. I would go with press accreditation and that way I could experience the Pavia-San Remo HAT firsthand. Thanks to them I can share this great experience with the readers of News BMW Riders.

The HAT Pavia-San Remo is not a race, it is a trail/adventure route with the aim of reaching San Remo, passing through great tracks and mountain roads. The organization provides, by email, the track in GPX format with ‘waypoints’ to have reference points. In addition, there are two types of tours: Classic and Adventure. The Classic is an off-road route with road connections, while the Adventure is practically on the road, avoiding the most complicated areas.

Verifications, briefing and snacks

The verifications were carried out on Friday. The participants arrived at the meeting point in the city of Pavia, where basic checks were carried out and they were given a bag with their number and some gifts. The HAT Pavia-San Remo 2021 would host more than 150 riders.

Cristiano and Elena set up the KRY-O tent to display some of their products, such as the waterproof and resistant WP40 bag that I have been using for years.

During the day there were familiar faces such as Andrea Perfetti and Luca Viglio, journalists from the magazine Moto.it, who also completed the entire Pavia-San Remo route on a motorcycle.

Before the briefing, I was able to meet and talk with Nicola Poggio, organizer, together with Corrado Capra, of the HAT Pavia-San Remo. Nicola is a motor enthusiast with a long career in the world of competition and events related to the world of motorcycles.

The truth is that the KRY-O team, which included me, arrived late for the briefing and decided to take the shortest route to the snack bar that the organization had prepared. During dinner, we were laughingly preparing the team strategy to achieve the goal, which was none other than having as much fun as possible. The Pavia-San Remo HAT was promising!

By the way, the KRY-O team was made up of Cristiano, Elena (who had to take the van to San Remo), Matteo, Luca, Angelo and Fabrizio.

First stage: Pavia-Cairo Montenotte

At 8 o’clock we were already at the starting point while the participants continued to arrive. There were trail bikes of all makes and models, classic and modern. The presence of BMW GS models was more than notable. A Swiss couple was traveling with R80 GS, ready to spend a memorable weekend. Obviously most of the riders were Italian, but there were also other nationalities such as French, German and Swiss.

We were passing through the exit arch in order, while Nicola brought the bus closer to us and made us each say a few words before starting to follow the track on the GPS.

Photos de © Massimo di Trappani

We were already underway! Those of us from the press left first, so my idea was to advance a few kilometers and then stop to wait for the rest of the team. The track was about 250 kilometers, so I decided to stop after a hundred, when I found Massimo Di Trapani, the official photographer and filmmaker of the event, hunting the riders in action.

Photos by © Massimo di Trappani

While I was waiting, I was talking to some of the participants who were stopping to take a break. Without a doubt, the good atmosphere that exists in this HAT Pavia-San Remo must be highlighted. Good conversations, laughter, magnificent landscapes and motorcycles!

Left photo by © Massimo di Trappani

It had rained the previous few days, so there was a high probability of encountering mud. Not at all Tormenta, my BMW F800 GS, was wearing the right shoes. With some worn Continental TKC70s I knew that mud would be a problem. In the most wooded areas, where the sun’s rays do not reach, we find a lot of mud. In particular, there was a complicated section that caused a queue of almost two hours.

Carefully, Tormenta and I defended ourselves in the mud as best we could. On one occasion it was so thick and slippery that I had no choice but to let the photo fall to the ground. And in the most complicated mud part, some of the participants lent a hand to help the rest of the drivers overcome it. So luckily I had some pretty good help when Tormenta decided to skate into the hole.

© MASSIMO DI TRAPPANI

Finally we arrive at one of the most anticipated ‘waypoints’: the restaurant. There we all met and were able to enjoy a good meal in a farmhouse in the countryside. I was amazed at the efficiency of the establishment that managed to serve everyone without significant delays.

Finally we arrived at Cairo Montenotte, somewhat muddy and with a smile from side to side. I had to find a place to sleep. I brought what I needed to camp, but I had to get quite far from the town, but it was late and I couldn’t see it clearly. They gave me the address of the restaurant where I would have dinner with some members of the organization and the press.

The restaurant was new and very hidden. I had to go around several times to find it. I asked a woman and it turned out that she was the owner of a B&B. She had everything complete, but I asked her if she could sleep in her garden. She told me yes, no problem, but she ended up offering me the room of her son who was in a cycling competition. Enrica and her husband decided to host me in their B&B Al Giardino degli Artisti. I was able to enjoy a good shower, which I needed, and rest in a good bed.

Second stage: Cairo Montenotte-San Remo

In the morning I took it easy, and Enrica’s husband showed me some of her works hanging throughout the house. An artist. They also showed me his old saddle, which they keep in good shape and which they do meticulous maintenance on.

I said goodbye to this lovely couple to head towards the exit. The terrain would be drier and there would be no problems with mud at this stage. The landscapes were even more beautiful than the previous day. The Ligurian Apennines are fantastic.

While it is true that there was no mud, there were some complicated sections with a lot of stone. You had to apply yourself well to overcome the trials without getting stuck. Tormenta overcame them without any problem.

Photos 4 and 5 by ©Massimo di Trappani

In short, it turned out to be a very pleasant stage, with some fast off-road sections, others more technical and with connections along winding roads.

Sanremo was finally visible! I loved going down from the mountain to sea level, where I would find the finish line. HAT Pavia-San Remo completed!

Upon arrival, I had the opportunity to congratulate Nicola for the magnificent organization. I would like to have the opportunity to repeat the experience, perhaps in another HAT series event.

NEXT TO NICOLA POGGIO

I met up with the rest of Team KRY-O, we took a dip at the beach and talked about the adventures we had had over the weekend.

Thanks to the entire Team KRY-O, especially Cristiano and Elena, for their warm welcome. Congratulations, and also thanks to Nicola and Corrado for such a magnificent event. Thanks also to Massimo di Trappani for the magnificent photos of him.I hope to see you all very soon and share more experiences together.

A presto!

HAT PAVIA-SAN REMO 2021

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