The Anglo Dutch event - 2017
(Click the photo to see a larger picture in a slide show.)

The A/D International Reliability Trial (Internationale Betrouwbaarheids Rit, in Dutch) for this year, was based at the Royal Agricultural University, in Cirencester. This was our first visit to the RAU and a lovely complex and base for the event it is. There were 16 Dutch and 16 Brits entered. The event gathering started on the Monday, when everyone arrived from noon onwards. Then, from Tuesday, there were two social riding days, followed by the trial day, with a fourth day being another social ride on Friday. Tim Penn undertook the chief marshals job and our Bruce and Di helped in that respect. The event was ably organised by Dave and Christine Pritchard. I was riding my 1908 Triumph in solo form - no sidecar for this year. There were several reasons for riding solo with the main one being that my Triumph would climb most hills without the chair. Add to that the reason that the basket was being re-made by a basket weaver in Ogmore, as it was 40 odd years old and was breaking up. Not to mention the woodworm that it had. I was becoming a little worried as each time that Jean got in the sidecar it puffed out quite a bit of dust. So, it was a case of re-making the basket before Jean fell through it and I lost all my brownie points. We'd arranged for Jean, along with two other ladies, to follow the bikes in Sue Hanson's car, so she wasn't left out.

Tuesday - day 1
This was a social run around Gloucestershire and we were set off at intervals from 09.30. Turning left out of the University complex and then branching off towards Coates and into the countryside we were soon riding on some lovely back roads that were not too busy. The weather was quite good with nothing but a few wispy clouds about.

The morning coffee stop was at the 'Slaughters Country Inn' with an option to visit the Old Mill Museum. We then headed on to Bourton-on-the-water for lunch at the Royal British Legion.

At the lunch stop, and whilst eating, the weather decided to break and there was a bit of a downpour that had luckily cleared up by the time we exited the Legion hall. The opportunity was taken by many to visit the Cotswold Motor Museum but having visited it a few times previously, I gave it a miss and was soon off on the Triumph again, for the afternoon run.

The afternoon tea stop was at the New Inn in Coln. Then it was back to the RAU for a clean up before the evening meal and retirement to the bar.

A very successful day despite my Triumph carb getting blocked with the leftovers of the Petseal that I had previously removed. A problem that plagued me from time to time for most of the week. By the end of the week I was becoming quite adept at removing the carb float chamber and main jet and clearing them.

Wednesday - Day 2
The second social run day turned out to be a bit damp as we all set off, again at 09.30. The morning coffee stop was at the Malmesbury Garden Centre and I was one of the first to arrive, so was able to watch some of the others arrive. The sky was certainly overcast with the rain not too bad, although the drizzle still seems to soak in. After leaving the coffee stop it was on to the Castle Combe race circuit. Must say that I managed to get lost on this leg, but managed to find the circuit quite easily, after all it's big enough, although I did enter through the wrong gate.

Organiser Dave had arranged for us to ride a lap of the track behind a pace car - if you wished to, of course. I gave that a miss, as I was quite wet by this time in the day and have been around the race circuit a few times before anyway.

The afternoon route took in a rest halt at the Three Crowns Inn, but as I was soaked from the rain, inside and out, I decided to straight line it back to the RAU. Bruce and Di travelled with me for company, as I was on quite a busy main road. At one point the bike ground to a halt - another carb clean was needed, plus a plug change. I was very glad to make it back to the University and get off my wet clothes - all part of motorcycling, of course.

Thursday - day 3, the Trial day
We were religiously flagged off at minute intervals, as this was the Trial day. Morning coffee stop was at the Chedworth Farm shop and whilst downing a welcome cuppa it decided to rain. After the compulsory 30 minute break the rain had stopped and the sun was out, so it was on to lunch at 'The Riverside' in Lechlade. We were provided with a super buffet lunch by the banks of the Thames. Getting out of The Riverside wasn't easy, so I walked the Triumph up into town to find a flat piece of road the other side of a set of traffic lights. Jeannie gave me a push to get the bike going and I was soon on my way again.

The afternoon 30 minute stop was at the 'Crown of Crucis' pub in Ampney Crucis. I had a slightly exciting ride just after leaving the tea stop. I was riding slightly up hill and saw in front a tractor that had pulled over to the left, whilst a BMW and another car were coming down the lane towards us. Not wishing to stop and have to restart on the hill I just went for the gap to the right of the tractor and the left of the BMW that, luckily, had stopped when the driver saw me coming. I shouted thanks to each as I shot through the small gap. No further problems and I arrived back at the RAU feeling quite pleased that I had more or less completed the trial on my 20mph schedule. Time card handed in and it was then a case of cleaning up for Dinner.

On our dinner tables were notes that said "songs and jokes by Bruce of Barry in the bar after dinner". We did retire to the bar but by the time that Bruce, who had forgotten his ukulele, was due to perform, there were very few people in attendance, so Bruce's show was knocked on the head.

Friday - day 4
The final social run today started at 10.30 and was short at 60 odd miles, with the weather looking quite good, for a change. No morning coffee stop today.

Everything was going well until I reached an instruction that read "Steep downhill, then long uphill" I cautiously wound my way down into Avening but just had to give up on the 'long steep uphill'. As I was asking a couple for the shortest route back to Cirencester and the RAU, Dave and Christine appeared in their van and offered me a lift with the bike up the hill. That was very welcome, as it was a hill that I would have had to push up and that was a real heart attack territory. I was dropped off at the coffee stop at the Hunters Hall Inn for lunch - thank goodness.

After a welcome coffee and some good sandwiches it was back on the bike for the short run to Newark Park, a National Trust House. We had two hours here and Reg Eyre undertook to look after us, as he is a volunteer guide. I was one of the last to leave and have to say that the riding was beginning to tell on me a bit. Luckily the bike just kept running and I was becoming quite adept at stripping and cleaning the carb of the petseal remnants.

The afternoon coffee stop was at the Potting Shed Pub on the A269, but feeling quite dun-in, I gave it a miss and powered(not sure that my Triumph does that, but it sounds good) on by, as Gill and Ernie pointed to the pub car park. "Heading straight back" I shouted, and gave them a wave as I went by.

The results were announced at the evening dinner and the home team won with a total loss of 56 to the Dutch loss of 85. My score was a loss of 8 points, which was not bad and it put me in the team results, However, I was excluded for having a lift up the Avening hill, which was on the Friday during the social run and not part of the trial. The rules state that you have to ride all days and all on the same bike, which I did. Seems that a new rule has been invented, which left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth after an enjoyable week.