MAGICAL QUEENS’ CAVALCADE
At the start of the last leg of Queens ’Cavalcade 2019, the participants found a small plush koala hugging the handlebars of their bike. The veterans were not surprised but the newbies asked for enlightenment: “It’s Mark’s way of giving us a hug, he does it every year,” explained Beppe Belotti. Those koalas have crossed a couple of oceans, placed in the bags of the Guzzi T3 that Mark Townsend, Australian collector of Moto Guzzi, has embarked in Perth to be able to ride in this edition of Queens. Not only that, but while chatting with friends he declared that the bike will remain parked in Italy, waiting for the next edition. In those small koalas there is much of the spirit that unites those who are admitted to participate in this event. And this is why the organizers want to preserve that precious climate that over time has been created among the people who meet periodically to spend a short week, cared for and pampered. Those days, without fail, will remain etched in the drawer of beautiful memories. It is in honor of this spirit that, Daniele Papi and Beppe Belotti, have announced that from now on, Queens’ Cavalcade will become biennial and will only be open to current members of the Queens Club, which welcomes all those who participated at the event until 2019. Members will still be able to sponsor the participation of a new motorcyclist who, in their opinion, in terms of character and mentality, can fit into the group.
Of course, nothing elitist, snobbish, but the search for the enhancement of the family, of “those of Queens”. A Council will be established (voted by the members) which will oversee the choice of destination and dates for future editions, as well as the definition of future regulations.
This year’s edition had already undergone some adjustments widely accepted by all. There was no longer a roadmap, therefore, everyone could set their own pace, independently managing the stops, the breaks and the suggested tourist visits along the common path. The only obligation was to leave every morning between 9:00 and 9:30. The routes that the Austrian Alps offered were sumptuous. Starting from Passo del Rombo, where, after the big snowfalls of early spring, motorcyclists met two snow walls that were still two meters high. There were no longer any special average tests along the way, but only one controlled stretch, always placed in the first kilometers of the day in which the riders had to measure their driving ability and sensitivity following particular provisions. All this has considerably lowered the tension of the competition and heightened the pleasure of traveling the roads in complete relaxation.Thus the Queens’ times have been punctuated more by moments of aggregation during the beautiful days kissed by the sun (… almost always). Martino and Beppe, as good older brothers, kept control of the group on the course, suggesting gastronomic stops and escorting the laziest of those who, with coffee, a cigarette and lots of laughter, were always the last to return to the garage in the evening. At the end of the last stage, Alessandro, after commendably playing the role of guardian angel (he was driving the safety truck) performed in an impromptu concert in a square in Innsbruck under the proud gaze of all the cavalcadores and many others tourists.
However, there was a merit ranking and at the end the Queens Trophy changed hands, from the defending champion Stefano Sala, who had won the two previous editions, to Giampiero Findanno, former official Yamaha driver, KTM, BMW and Suzuki. Giampiero, at the age of 61, once again held a prestigious trophy in his hands, even more appreciated if we consider that the defending champion did not grant him a truce until the end. In a ballet of seconds that saw them outnumbering a trifle, in the final classification, they were divided by less than two points. Can we say that the Pistoia accountant did not fully honor his class? If BMW has confirmed the dominance of the rankings, with Findanno first in group B and Sala winner in group A, it must be said that the “small” Benelli Leoncino, has taken the satisfaction out of occupying the third absolute step of the podium, with Marco Marchi. The Morelli-Vignati crew on Honda Transalp, repeated the success in the ranking of the crews of the last edition, and Marchi with the Spanish Rivero, both riding a Benelli, were imposed in the team classification. The press, which as always is required to participate in motion, has found in the various models of Benelli’s current production a perfect means to be in the group. The lucky ones received as a gift the new edition of the Silver Vase jacket, which has always made the Brema brand legendary.
On Monday morning, everyone left for home. Walter, the computer scientist with his huge Harley pointed to Munich and the Spaniards to the airports that would take them home. Ronni headed for his company just in time to … close for vacation. Stefano, the accountant to attend the last boring boards of directors. Alberto rushed to the editorial office to write down an article with the event’s flashes. Daniele, who had enjoyed himself for the first time, losing the tensions of the past, aimed at the beaches of Versilia. Michele is back among his patients. Mark left with his Guzzi to Venice to explore more of Italy, before returning to Australia. In all of them there was a veil of sadness for the dispersed family, but at the same time there was the conscious joy that the miracle will be repeated for everyone, in two years. Meanwhile, requests to participate in the next Queens’ Cavalcade begin to arrive. They want to be there, not knowing where and when. Very beautifull!