- Almen, Holland - 2007
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first Anglo-Dutch motorcycle trial was between
teams from Holland
and took place in 1912 in England.
second trial was in 1913 in Holland
before the war stopped the series. The entries for the first two trials
half from manufacturers and half from private entrants. The idea was
were given a speed schedule and had to average that over a given route
marks being lost for each minute early or late. Whoever had the lowest
points was the winning team. Bonus marks were given to off-set against
losses. If you didn’t have a gearbox you had a bonus mark, likewise
bonus mark for not having a clutch – and so on.
event was re-started in 1989 to
commemorate the original series with bronze finishers medals being cast
original 1913 Dutch medal. The trial is held every two years –
(pre 1915) machines can take part in the event. This year there were 46
and 24 from Holland.
Saturday family wedding in London,
we travelled to Dover for the
23.50 ferry and arrived there
early in the afternoon. So, with time to spare we visited the town and
We parked up on the sea front and about 18.00 decided to check the
and found out that the ferry was booked for 23.50 on Monday and not
Sunday. Mild panic set in and we headed for the ferry companies ticket
The guy behind the counter changed our ticket and asked where we were
When I told him he said “You’d better be quick then, because I’ve put
the 20.00 boat”. That meant a very quick walk back to the car and an
quicker drive into the Dover
ferry port. The
channel crossing was quite
calm and we arrived in Dunkirk
continental time, and set off on the overnight journey of 250 miles to
The GPS got us to the hotel at 07.00 so we just relaxed for an hour
booking in and getting our room key.
The rest of Monday was spent
people and watching the bikes being checked over.
A good friend was
transporting our bike in his van and all day I expected the van with
in to arrive – but it didn’t turn up until 20.30 that evening during
rain, but not very much,
as we set off on the first days run of 100 miles. At the end of the
driveway the nipple pulled off the cable that operated the exhaust
– just can’t ride
the outfit without that so it was a case of fitting a
solderless nipple to the cable in order to continue.
Within a short time the
rain had stopped and the roads were dry by the time that we’d covered
25 miles to a coffee stop of 30 minutes. We then crossed over from
Holland into Germany
to arrive for lunch and a
visit to a private motorcycle collection. On the way back in the
front wheel had one of the bearing cups unscrew – which made the
than a bit dodgy. At the side of the road I soon had the wheel out and
the bearing cup back into the wheel and locked it up – wheel back in
and we were soon away and had an uneventful trip back to the hotel and
leisurely evening meal.
sunshine as we set off
to the south of the hotel. We were riding with Mike Wills on his 1904
and we were all enjoying the ride until we realised that the road was
uphill. So, Holland
does have some hills after all and I thought that it was all flat. Both
and I managed to get our bikes up over the first hill with just a small
of pedalling to help the engine. I tried to accelerate the Triumph but
realised that we were still going up hill – and it got steeper and
a push of about 100 yards was needed to get over the top and on to the
stop. After a 30 minute break it was a case of continuing, and this
went down a fairly steep hill for over a mile. My thoughts were that I
not attempt to come back up it, and if we had to, I was going to find
alternative route that was flatter. Anyhow, after about five miles or
found ourselves on another hill and, again, made it to about 100 yards
top. Luckily a Dutch pedestrian helped us push the outfit up to the
did we find there? The self same coffee stop that we were at an hour
Gee, if I’d known that, I wouldn’t have gone on the circular route.
we travelled down the hill that we had first pedalled and pushed up –
it was a
lot steeper than I thought. On
we went and we
soon arrived at a
railway for lunch in one of
their dining cars.
to the hotel for the evening meal. 85 miles covered today.
day of the official
competition and the Reliability Trial. We
were on a schedule of 30 kpm,
is about 18.75 mph. I know that the outfit can average an easy 20 mph
and a bit mph would not be too difficult. The route was about 75 miles
were told that after lunch there was a hill to climb. We lost two
points at the
first checkpoint for being two minutes early – the second check point
one minute early then at the third we were four minutes late and at the
stop we were one minute late.
was in the Taverne next to
the American Motorcycle Museum
in Raalt. The restart of the trial saw us heading back home and it
before long that we started the climb up the afternoon hill. Both Mike
and his Bradbury along with us on the Triumph were running pretty fast
hill and we were way ahead of our speed schedule. Both bikes made it to
with ease, thank goodness, so I slowed down to try and lose some time
the finish we were only one minute out.
bonus marks taken
account our total loss for the day was only 6 points – not bad – but
results would not be announced until the final dinner on Friday evening.
day of 75 miles that took
us, via a couple of coffee stops, to see a working Steam sawmill and
All very interesting, for sure.
Plus today we had to
cross a river and to do that catch a ferry. As we arrived back at the
run it just started to rain – not bad really, as apart from first thing
we’d had it dry each day and had no further problems with the
after those of the first day.
the evening dinner the results
of the trial were announced – there were 24 Dutch entries and 22
entries. All took part in the trial but only the best 8 were to count
team. The best in each team won a trophy.
Tjitze Sipma on a
and a character
called Bill Phelps on a 1908 Triumph for the Brits. Total loss for the
team was 28 points – total loss for the English team 68 points –
and truly beaten.
a good breakfast it was
time to head for Dunkirk
and the ferry. We covered the 250 miles to the ferry terminal by 13.00
managed to get on the 14.00 boat instead of the 16.00 that we were
Arriving in Dover at
15.00 I drove the 250 miles
back to Wales,
non-stop which saw us get home at 19.30. Not bad going at all.