Did you know there are two DOC clubs in NZ?
This year, both clubs, four Kiwis unleashed themselves to the World President Meeting and Tour (WPM/T).
Read on as Nick and Trace, of DOC Nelson, share their experiences during their week in picturesque Sardinia.
✍️ & 📸 Nick Marer, DOC Nelson President and Trace Downing
I would consider myself a fortunate bastard
... And being the President of the Nelson Ducati Owners Club, I have been able to attend a few Ducati World Presidents meetings over the years. This has enabled me to escort several of our Nelson club members to these events.
COVID put paid to travelling for several years, and with travel restrictions removed, it's time to get traveling again. So the thought of going to another World's President's meeting was back on the table. But who would like to go to a Ducati World's Presidents meeting?
I was in two minds about going, so it was put forward to our club members. Trace put both hands up.! I thought he would be taking his lovely wife!! But when he informed me it was just him that wanted to go. "Well in that case, is it alright if I be your +1"? “Yeah, that'll be cool mate.”
A Boys' Trip to Sardinia then. Hell Yeah!
Not to bore you with too many details, but I was not in a good headspace before this trip, I own and run a small construction company, and was in the throws of selling the family home plus the other stuff like staff!, deadlines, tricky clients, moving, bank & lawyer cock shit up stuff and the purchaser of my old house being a pain in the arse. I had very limited capacity to sort much out for this trip.
Trace stepped up, and he was, “right so we're gunna do this President's meeting thing in Sardinia, best we book some flights eh, then we're gonna go to the Moto GP in Mugello, then we're gunna hire some bikes, Ducati of course, and we're gunna ride around, how about the Swiss Alps and the Dolomites, a Bullet Train to Milan, Back to Bologna, do a Ducati Factory tour, the museum, Go to Ducabike, get some bits for my boys Hypermotard, and have a bit of a look around.” “Sounds good to me”
In Great Company
Traveling can be so many exciting things - nerve-wracking?/boring – exhilarating, and all these experiences can be so much more when shared with others.
The mundane can be bearable, and the highlights can be outstanding, traveling to Sardinia we had the pleasure of flying on the same flights as Ange and Darryl, and at each stopover, it was awesome to be able to just find a bar, chat, and lament about the flight, airline food and how expensive this round of drinks just was.
Note to self if you wanna keep good mental health, don't convert it back into your own currency. Also, very handy to have one out of four people with their glasses on look at the flight info and decide how to get to Terminal 1 Gate A24 at Dubai International..
Old Friends, New Friends
I have been to WPM before the last was 5yrs ago, so it was great to meet up with old Friends, and of course, make new ones with the same passion for the brand and riding. There is that instant connection of being able to talk about a common passion.
What do you ride?
Where are you from?
What’s your dealer like?
Do you want another drink??
Here is one of our club stickers,
But you may also like one of these (Danger Not to be operated by Fuckwits Photo) now new friend!!
After a briefing from Ducati HQ Staff on the State of the Nation at Ducati, which was all on the up and up, it was time to find the bike you're going to ride, now with so many people and a range of bikes, there may not be smiles on all the dials if you know what I mean, I got a Streetfighter V4 S, Trace a Supersport 950.
Three days of rinse and repeat
The next three days were spent exploring the top half of the Island, a mix of some highways and many back roads, a lot remined me of the Queen Charlotte drive (before it got munted from progressive cyclones) and though small towns where the locals would wave as you went by. Stop somewhere for lunch, ride back to the hotel on more twisty roads, out for dinner, then get up in the morning to do it all over again.
Before leaving, many discussions were had about what the potential weather will be, will we need wet weather gear or not. Well, yes, we did; on the afternoon of the first day, the skies went dark and it started raining, and grew into a full blown lighting and thunderstorm. The group got stretched out as it was difficult passing vehicles with spray, and I found myself at a roundabout, with rides turning to the right in front of me, but no one behind?? I stopped on the road that we had turned off onto, with my indicator on, so the following riders would see me and know where to turn. Only to see Tracy come into the roundabout and then go straight ahead, missing the turn. The next 5 minutes were spent lamenting whether to chase my fellow countrymen in the pouring rain, and then would both be lost, or wait for the Tail-end Charley. I waited, informed him what happened, and then we both went off together trying to look for Tracy, by now, the rain it got worse, and we're going through small towns with a foot of water running through them and no sign of Tracy turning left, turning right, taking the second exit out of roundabout, then another, taking the third, doing the maths there was no way we would've been taking the same route that Tracy took. After 15 minutes, the rain stopped, and we turned off onto a side road and up a small rise, and there was the riding group parked on the side of the road. I thought to myself, "what are we just leaving Trace behind, this is not right; we haven't seen him." The tail-end Charley and I pulled up alongside the group, going to the front of the group to talk to the lead rider, I followed along to question what's going on and why we have to stop and look for Trace.
I stopped and turned to my right, and there was a very wet, steaming Super Sport with Trace on top, flipped open his visor, and said, "did you get lost too?" "Arrh no! we were looking for you" till this day I don't know how he did it, pouring rain, thunder, and lightning, and he managed to find the rest of the group.
New Day New Bikes
I was on a Streetfighter V4s and loving it. I was keen to ride Streetfighter V2 to compare. And of course, the president from San Diego was more than happy to oblige, Trace was able to upgrade to a Multistrada V4 Rally, as the gentleman that was riding that bike was finding it a bit tall, or was he a bit short? or maybe didn't have that special something, that special something that goes, I am this, this is that, and this is what I need to do, to make that work!
Both men were of the same stature, but after about 10 minutes Trace (Aka the "multi-whisper") was having the time of his life "This V4 motor is a peach and doesn't pull a bad wheelie either" The Streetfighter v4 vs the v2 review ?? Another time.
As soon as we started, it seemed to come to an end, and three and a half days of riding were done just like that.
The fourth day was finished off with a kinda Party boat trip around La Maddalena National Park with a bit of acrobatics come swimming. This was made even more enjoyable with a bottle of limoncello.
Dinner was hosted by the local Ducati Sardinian club that Night.
The final day there was a presidents meeting where in the morning we were informed about new initiatives in regards to clubs, and the remainder of the morning was spent in a focus group type situation, which I must confess I find is as frustrating as trying to listen to a teenager explain to you what is wrong with the world, and we only need to do this.
But it was made all better with a dinner that evening where we got to relax and enjoy catching up with other presidents from all over the world hearing their stories, where they come from and what they do. It really does open your eyes to the bigger world that's out there and make you appreciate what we have here. (the best one a German gentleman that's lost his license, 262 times.)
I found the Sardinian part of our trip more than I thought it would be. There are more stories, yes, of course. Just find Nick or Trace at the next Ducati event. Buy us a drink and you may get a sticker, and more stories.
Would I recommend doing a motorbike trip in Sardinia? Oh Yes..., of course! Island life is good.
Stay tuned for chapter two including MotoGP at Mugello, riding the Swiss Alps, the Dolomites, a Ducati Factory tour, and MORE! coming soon...