Anglo Dutch Reliability Trial week 2013
(Click the photo to see a larger picture in a slide show.)
Monday the 22nd July - and it was a case of load the Triumph and head
Cotswolds Water Park and the Four Pillars Hotel which was the base for
the week. The weather forecast was not bad with only a few showers
arrived at around 3.30pm, just as the organized guided walk along the
canal was about to set off. So instead, we settled into
our room after watching others arrive and park up in the area
designated for our use. The evening meal was - excellent, I
followed by a drink in the bar before turning in. There were 20 Dutch
riders and 23 English, plus one Canadian, who could have been on either
side. In fact it was Pete Gagan, a past President of the Antique
Motorcycle Club of America. Pete had stopped off on his way home from
the recent FIVA world rally in Latvia and was riding a 1912 Triumph.
All riders were to be considered for the actual
Reliability Trial to be run on the Thursday, with the best 8 scores
being accepted for each countries team, more of which anon.
two - Tuesday
The first of the social riding days had a mileage of 66.
day started with the weather looking pretty grim, I must say,
and I was having second thoughts about riding the Triumph. Only a few
days before, I had made and fitted a new big end bearing, so expected
that I might have had a few problems and didn't wish to 'stress' the
motor. However, after a good breakfast, and by the start time of 09.30,
the weather had improved. The bike fired up straight away as I set
off alongside Ben Wieringa on his 1912 Triumph. The roads were a little
damp but it wasn't raining.
We headed North towards Cirencester and after passing through some
lovely villages came to our first stop of the day at Bill Little's
were plenty of bikes for sale in the barn along with a
variety of spare parts. By now the sun was out, so off came the
skirted Cricklade before ending up at the Swindon
& Cricklade Steam Railway at Blunsdon for lunch. There was a
tricky exit from the car park, as it meant turning left up hill and
through a set of traffic lights that did not remain green for very
long. Not the sort of thing to have to contend with when riding a
single speeder with no clutch. As it happened it went easier than I
expected and we were soon on the way towards the afternoon tea stop
in Ampney Crucis. A pretty hotel on the banks of a small stream,
followed by a short ride back to the hotel. All in all a good day with
the Triumphs new big end settling in nicely, although I hadn't really
worried about it after the morning coffee stop, I must say. Another
nice evening meal in our own dining room finished the day off nicely.
Three - Wednesday
The days ride was some 74
miles and the sun was out. The start was again at 09.30 and this days
route headed east towards Oxford. The only mishap of the event happened
when Ian Young, riding his 1914 Douglas, was hit by a van. That put Ian
in hospital with a cracked hip involving two to three weeks bed rest,
so I'm told, whilst the Duggie suffered no more than a dented
Again the route took us through some lovely little villages and to the
first stop of the day at the Cotswold Woolen Weavers in the small
village of Filkins.
After coffee and a cake the route took us further
East, past Witney and about halfway on to Oxford to the Lunch stop at
the Talbot Inn in Eynsham. After lunch it was just a short ride to see
the collection of Bill Faulkner. Bill had a motorcycle dealership in
Oxford and over the years had amassed quite a collection of
motorcycles, along with a few cars.
The route back from the Faulkner collection skirted Witney,
Lechlade and Fairford airfield. We were asked to finish in front of the
Old Boathouse pub which is next door to the hotel, as a Morris dancing
team were to lay on a show for us. Plus, at 7pm the Cotswolds section
of the VMCC had their mid week rally venue at the same pub.
evening rounded off with
another good meal in the room specially set aside for our evening
four - Thursday
The day of the Reliability trial. Some were riding at a 15mph average
but most selected 20mph.
set off in pairs, as usual and were soon
out into the country on nice dry roads. The first stop was at the
Tunnel House Inn, which was hidden away down a well-potholed dirt
track. The inn is situated next to the disused Thames and Severn canal.
Walking down to the canal and we were able to see the entrance to the
Sapperton tunnel, which is over 2 miles in length and was constructed
in 1789 and now awaiting restoration.
for the next leg and the lunch stop at Rendcomb airfield. I'd been
there before - in 1992, when the South Wales Section paid a visit to a
Vintage air show. That occasion was memorable for the fact that the
weather was lousy and
that Rob Jones managed to eat a pasty without taking his full-faced
helmet off. 21 years later and the weather was much better. We were
to an excellent lunch and some after dinner entertainment, that was a
had no idea, but it was organized earlier in the
day that the event photographer would get a fly past so as to get some
aerial shots. He decided not to go up and offered the flight to Olav
Jerkowski, who had ridden his 1914 BSA outfit all the way from
Maastricht in Holland.
Olav, likewise decided not to go up and offered the flight to his
girlfriend Marieke Huijben. Olav doesn't own a car so had to the ride
BSA all the way from Holland - and had to ride it back again at the end
of the week, of course. Anyway, Olav rang Marieke and asked if she
days riding in England - she said yes, but couldn't have foreseen the
flight offer coming. Not all was as it seemed, as she had to ride on
top of the planes wing - wearing goggles and being well strapped on, of
course. Marieke survived her memorable flight with no problems.
the time soon came for us to set off on the afternoon run and the
customary tea stop, this time at the Lechlade Garden Centre.
1908 Triumph ran like a watch and I was well chuffed with the bikes
performance as I rolled into the finish at the Four Pillars, having
completed around 65 miles.
five - Friday
The final day and a social run of some 80 odd miles.
sun was out again as we all set off into the countryside. This time we
were heading south of the M4 and the terrain started to get a little
hilly. It wasn't long before I reached a hill that the Triumph just
could not get up. Quite a few of the other bikes also failed and I was
very grateful for the push that Dave Bovenizer gave me. Luckily the
Triumph is a good starter and I was soon on the way again after the
only hill to cause problems all week.
The morning coffee stop was at the Divine cafe which is situated on the
A4, some 25 miles out from the start.
lunch stop was at the old canal lock keepers cottage about halfway up
the 29 Caen locks climb, just outside Devizes. We were treated to a
super BBQ followed by an ice cream. This time I topped up with some
fuel, as I was not confident that the Triumph would manage the 80 miles
afternoon stop was at the Atwell-Wilson motor museum, just outside
Calne. There were some lovely vehicles on show and a fair lineup of
motorcycles, with all being in working order. Leaving the museum it was
an easy 33 mile run back to the finish, where I loaded the bike onto
the trailer and headed for a nice shower to freshen up.
end of event dinner
Next came the official end of event dinner and the announcement of the
trial results. After a good meal the time came for the presentations.
The announcement was made - and the English won by only losing
50 points, with the Dutch team losing 54 points. I positioned
myself halfway down the room with my camera and was amazed to hear that
the Best Overall Performance was myself, so had to give up the idea of
taking some photos. I was presented with the John
Browne trophy, followed by Dave Miller, on his Trump, being awarded the
English. Ronald Branse won the Best Dutch performance. Dave
had both lost 4 points but I won on being the 'furthest clean', as far
as lost marks were concerned.
All in all a great week, good weather, good company and a 105 year old
Triumph that didn't miss a beat.
Bill Phelps - 1908 Triumph - 4 marks lost
Dave Miller - 1913 Trump - 4 marks lost
John Robinson - 1914 BSA - 5 marks lost
Geoff Hanson - 1904 Minerva - 6 marks lost
Dennis Beale - 1914 Rex - 7 marks lost
Trevor & Pauline Blunt - 1913 Bradbury - 7 marks lost
Mike WIlls - 1904 Bradbury - 8 marks lost
Dave Jolley - 1911 Triumph - 9 marks lost
Ronald Branse - 1913 Douglas - 5 marks lost
Carolien de Boer - 1913 BSA - 5 marks lost
Chrit Haanen - 1914 Humber - 6 marks lost
Geert Holmersma - 1914 Indian - 7 marks lost
Fred and Janette Hesselinck - 1913 Bradbury - 7 marks lost
Willem Pol - 1914 Douglas - 7 marks lost
Vincent Belgraver -1912 Sarolea - 8 marks lost
Ben Wieringa - 1912 Triumph - 9 marks lost