Last year, the first ever puntApunta navigational rally took place, with around 250 BMW riders crossing the Iberian Peninsula, working together to solve clues, cross checkpoints and make their way from the Mediterranean sea all the way to Portugal’s Atlantic coast. For 2015, the route was different, but twice as many motorcyclists came along for the ride…Although puntApunta is aimed at BMW riders, motorcyclists from all brands were welcome, as the event was created to allow riders to experience the adventure of the open road and work together in groups, discovering some cultural highlights and hidden parts of the countryside, without the pressure of sections being timed (it is not a race).Involving many official dealers of BMW Motorrad España – as well as partners Touratech and Metzeler – the rules were simple: enjoy following a carefully chosen route across Spain and Portugal, navigating by road-book and passing through many designated checkpoints along the way.This year the action started from the ancient city of Sagunto, some 30 km north of Valencia in eastern Spain. Registration for riders and their bikes took place in the late afternoon, followed by a technical briefing from event staff and official welcome from the mayor of Sagunto, the tourism minister and representatives from BMW Motorrad, Metzeler and Touratech.Early the next morning, after the relevant motorcycle and rider checks, road-book and map distribution, and briefings, it was time for departure for the first stage fromSagunto to Toledo: approx 560 km on secondary and single-track roads – and that's without getting lost! ‘Passports’ were stamped, roadbooks were signed by director of BMW Motorrad Spain, Mr Alexander Von Scheidt, and participants rode through Sagunto, up to the restored ‘Alto horno’, where the local civil protection service stamped the first checkpoint.The first stop was an easy, but important one, located just a few kilometres from the start line – the Mediterranean Sea at Sagunto harbour. The mission was simple here: fill a bottle with seawater and take it with you all the way across Spain and Portugal to pour it into the Atlantic Ocean at the end of the puntApunta.The first day’s route on well-paved, twisty secondary roads, took the riders up into the hills towards the town of Requena, where the second CP of the day could be found, along with a fantastic appetizer of traditional local produce. Then a gravel track was followed between the towns of Ruebielos alto and Ruebielos bajo en route to the lunchstop at the go-kart track at Quintanar del Rey. There, a barbecue of chorizo sausage, meat and other food was waiting for participants to enjoy.After lunch, it was time to hit the road again, with a long stretch taking riders to the next CP at Puebla de Almoradiel, where the local television and radio stations were waiting to document the arrival. Then it was on towards Toledo for the last CP of the day at the Motoemocion BMW Motorrad dealership, where workshop facilities were there for anyone who needed them – and refreshments were enjoyed by all, courtesy of Monster Energy. The Touratech España team performed the final stamp of the day.Day two was another marathon stage, with Friday’s 527 km ride leaving Toledo early to head for Talavera de la Reina in the hills, and on to El Real de San Vicente where the first CP of the day was. Waiting there was a great selection of Spanish tapas and refreshments, as well as the LAUNICA FM radio station, which interviewed participants for its Únicos del motor programme.Taking riders through to lunch was a series of never-ending curves across the hills in the direction of to the next CP at Mejorada. This was followed by a section on bumpy, unpaved trails that really put the bikes and their riders through their paces, without forgetting the pillion riders who were an essential part in successfully guiding the teams through the route. The next CP was ready and waiting for participants in Casar, where the Torta del Casar company welcomed them with a tasting session of its legendary cheese made from sheep’s milk, washed down with soft drinks to cope with the high temperatures.The next stop for riders and their bikes was at Badajoz, where the Extrauto BMW Motorrad dealership provided technical assistance and tyre changes if required, thanks to Metzeler. Just few kilometres down the road was the end of the day’s stage in the enclosure set up in the impressive Plaza Alta of Badajoz, where participants were able to relax at the many pavement cafés in the town square.Day three was a shorter stage of 436 km that took place almost entirely in Portugal. This pleased the Portuguese participants who, along with people from the UK, Georgia, Germany, Andorra and other countries, made this puntApunta even more international than last year’s edition.The start was close to the Portuguese border and once through, secondary roads led to Portalegre, and the trail where the famous Baja Portalegre is. Here, event staff took a short cut by road, to be ready for when the riders arrived at the first CP in the town of Crato. The proximity of the sea was evident, but there were still tough stretches of road ahead before the next CP at Casa da Serra, where participants were able to enjoy breathtaking views and refreshments. Far off in the distance Peniche could be spotted – the last town in the event – but first riders had to get to the coast, namely the peninsula of Baleal.After the peninsula, a sandy trail took riders straight to Peniche and its famous beach that hosts the international surf championships. This was where participants brought the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean together by pouring the water carefully transported all the way from Sagunto into the ocean. Riders then entered the port of Peniche, where they passed the arch and Calle de Plumas while being applauded and cheered on by the event staff and onlookers, to get the final stamp on the passport and to accept the well-deserved puntApunta 2015 Finisher Award.This second edition of the puntApunta saw twice the number of registrations as last year and attracted riders from right across Europe, who found it a great way to get to know Spain by motorcycle, and meet lots of like-minded riding enthusiasts. Why not give it a try in 2016...
June 2015 | © BMW Motorrad
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