Anglo Dutch Reliability Trial week 2011
photo to see a larger picture - then just follow the slide show.)
The week started for us with an evening ferry from Ramsgate to
Ostend. We arrived in Belgium at around midnight on Sunday the 24th
July and set off on the 209 mile drive to Almen in central Holland. At
least at 2am in the morning the Antwerp ring road didn't present it's
usual nightmare of a drive. We made good time and arrived at the base
hotel at 4am on the Monday. After a few hours snooze in the car we
headed into the hotel for a coffee to help us come round. The
of the day was spent watching others arrive and at 3pm I had the bike
scrutineered. Not what you might think as it was just a check on the
fact that I had some bonus points for riding single geared and with a
first riding day dawned and our Triumph just would not fire up for the
start at 09.30 - the problem turned out to be a fouled spark plug. By
the time we got away on the 85 mile route we were last. Within a mile
or so it started to drizzle so a stop was called for to put my leggings
on. The first official stop was at a small local airfield for a coffee
slice of apple pie. Just about every coffee stop was for 'coffee +',
which meant coffee and a slice of pie, gateaux or cake.
the way to the lunchstop we had to negotiate a set of traffic lights
across a main road and I noticed a group of our bikes on the right and
one with a severely bent front wheel. As it happened it was the 1903
Pebok of Roel Van Maarseveen - and he was unhurt. It seems that the
traffic lights just didn't give much time to get across and a car
coming the other way jumped them and hit the bike just as Roel was
pushing off. We rode
on towards the lunch
stop at a Pancake house in Ugchelen, where both Jean and I opted for
the apple and
cheese topping, all very yummy.
Note the 1903 Pebok on the
the bent front end. Must say that I did like the sweeping brush -
afternoon run continued and the next stop was at a classic car showroom
called 'The Gallery' in Brummen. They certainly had some really nice
stuff for sale and all at rather 'heavy' prices. There were a few
motorcycles as well, including several Benellis, a Velosolex (that had
been sold) plus a lovely little sports Giulietta.
From 'The Gallery' it was a case of
the Hotel in Almen.
the way we used one of
the small ferries that are still found in Holland to cross
the rivers. By the time we reached the finish we had clocked up
something like 85 miles.
We were joined, just for today, by a
nice early Indian with a flat belt drive.
The weather was a little better for the ride of
100 miles and included a climb of the 'Posbank' which, believe
not, is a hill in the Dutch National Park. We took a run at the hill
but the Triumph failed when only halfway up. I really did not feel like
pushing up the hill and decided to wait for the recovery vehicle. No
sooner had I sat down than a car turned up and the driver offered to
help. "Have you got a rope" I asked. Luckily the reply was positive and
in no time the outfit was hooked up to the car which managed to get us
easily to the top of the hill. From there we continued to the coffee
stop to lick our wounds. Big problem was that soon after we had left
the stop we encountered another hill that stopped the Triumph. By now I
was not feeling very enamoured with the route at all and was
considering packing it in and heading back to the hotel, but the
breakdown crew arrived and assured me that there were no more hills.
Two of the Breakdown pushed the outfit to the top of the hill for me
and did it so fast that even Jeannie couldn't keep up with them - I had
a lift up in the breakdown car, thank goodness.
On we went and the next
obstacle was that we had to ride through Arnhem. I've never come across
so many traffic lights - all of which meant a push start of course. The
lights just never seemed to stay on green for us at all and towards the
other side of Arnhem I was going through the lights on yellow and red
and basically ignoring them. At one point we had to cross the river and
that was dangerous as the outfit was barely managing 15mph up and over
the road bridge with the main flow of traffic passing us as if we were
standing still. Anyway, soon we were out into the country and running
along the top of a dyke and heading towards Njimegen and the lunch stop
at the Dutch National Cycle museum. I must say that at this point I
noticed a fall off of power from the motor and the run over the river
bridge in Njimegen was rather slow.
When we arrived at the Cycle Museum,
Pierre was there to welcome us - he'd driven all the way up from
Belgium just to say hello and to see the bikes. After a quick bite to
eat and a whistle stop tour of the museum it was back on the bike. By
this time the engine was not running at all well so I used the cycle
path across the Njimegen river bridge. Back on top of the dyke the
just died on us so we waited for the recovery. After a while
the trailer arrived but it was full with three bikes and they
had already turned down the recovery of Geert De Boer's BSA outfit. So,
with the motor having cooled down, we gave it another go and the motor
started up ok, but it was a case of travelling slowly whilst watching
the engine pulley float in and out. My mind was trying to work out just
what was wrong and I guessed at the flywheels coming loose. Just before
we made the hotel the heavens opened and we were soaked big time and
were dripping wet as the Triumph crawled into the finish having covered
In the shed that was used as a garage,
decided to take the barrel off and have a look at the problem and found
that the flywheels were indeed loose. Out came the engine and I took it
to pieces, just to make sure that was all that the problem was. We
found a basket in the shed and all the parts were put in that before
being transferred to the car boot to be fixed at home, as the crankpin
had become loose in the one flywheel just as I'd thought and it needed
to be riveted back in
properly. Not a job to be done outside my workshop.
This was the day of the
trial and as our outfit was out of action we
followed round in the car - not the same, I must say, but at least we
could offer some help, if needed.
The first coffee stop was
and we were all invited to view a small museum of machines just a bit
further along the road before we set off on the next leg. We soon came
across Jonathon Hill who
had problems - all cured after I loaned him a plug to get going.
Next came the lunch stop at
'Outdoor Lodge in Holten' - where that was, I have no idea. Anyway, we
were lucky that the weather was fine as we ate 'al fresco'.
The next leg to was to a
in Borculo which turned out to be something different as it was
dedicated to fire engines. There were two floors full of various
contraptions dating back to the 1600's. I was amazed to see so many
differing ideas during the development of the modern fire
engine. Mileage today 80.
Today we were joined in the car by Wilf
Banks after his bike had broken down on day two. The first stop of the
day was in Gelselaar with more work being carried out on Ronald
Branse's 1913 Douglas. Just about everytime that we saw Ronald there
was some piece or other of his Douglas in bits - but he still rode into
finish on each day.
The days lunch stop was at the cafe "De
Zevenster" in Hengelo - That's the big Hengelo near the German border.
Holland has two Hengelos with the other one having the Hamove windmill
and race track that we visited a couple of years previously. Anyway,
the lunch was superb, I must say. From here we travelled a short
distance to Heim and had a visit to the Technical museum there. It was
very interesting and covered various items of a technical variety that
are all too numerous to
The final coffee stop of the day was in
Markelo, after which the run to the finish ended the riding of the
event and the 80 miles for the day.
Back at the finish I spotted this
rather tasty 1939 Matchless Clubman. Can't say that I've ever seen one
before, but what a beauty - hairpin valve springs and all.
end of event dinner
The evening dinner was excellent and Fred Hesselink kept us all waiting
to hear the results of the trial.
In the end it was close, with the Dutch
losing a total of 40 points, whilst Harry De Boer on his lovely
original 1907 Minerva managed a clear round with the loss of no marks.
The English team lost a total of 43 points with Mike Wills being the
best English rider.
All in all a great week.