Anglo Dutch event - 2015
photo to see a larger picture in a slide show.)
The A/D International Reliability
(Internationale Betrouwbaarheids Rit, in Dutch) for this year, was
based at the Landgoed Ehzerwold hotel, Almen, in central Holland, near
Zutphen. This was our third visit to Ehrzewold and a lovely hotel and
base for the event it is in it's woodland setting. There were 23 Dutch
and 21 Brits, plus 1 from USA and 1 from Germany entered. The event
gathering started on the Monday, with
15.00. Then, from Tuesday, there were two social riding days, followed
with a fourth day being another social ride on Friday.
Jean and I, along
with our 1908 Triumph outfit, were booked on the 08.00 Dover/Dunkirk
on the Monday morning, with a 240 mile drive afterwards into central
Holland. Didn't quite all go to plan, as you can imagine. We were
booked into a Premier Inn at Dover for the Sunday night, with
instructions from DFDS to give
at least 90 minutes for check-in the following morning. Check-in was to
open two hours before the
sailing time, so should be available at 06.00. Firstly we had to
negotiate the M20 and the mass of
lorries known as 'operation stack'. As it happened, the congestion on
Sunday was so bad that the M20 was closed. So, we left the M25 just
after Clacket Lane services and headed for Tonbridge and a cross - Kent
run to Hythe, Folkestone and Dover. All a bit of a nightmare, but at
least we kept moving and only added 35 minutes journey time to the
option of using the M20.
Things didn't improve much on Monday
morning. Up at 05.30, so as to get to the port by 06.00, when the
check-in desk was to be open. I must admit that Dover docks is always
in a state of metamorphosis and this time was no different and
ended up following other cars and the road markings. We ended up at the
Dock staff entrance, so had to be escorted in and out for another
eventually ending up in the check-in queue at 06.10. Nothing happened
until 07.30 when the check-in opened - 90 minutes late. We got to the
front of the queue at 08.10 to be told that the boat was running an
hour late. That turned out to be a bit of a porky, as it didn't sail
until 09.35. Seems that DFDS had to switch their Calais ferries to
Dunkirk as there was a French manpower dispute with the company over
them buying the 'My Ferry' boats with the possibility of 400
redundancies. Consequently, our sailing was full and we made Dunkirk at
12.30, an hour and half late, with a 240 mile drive ahead.
The next bunch of
problems arrived at Antwerp, and anyone who knows the Antwerp ring road
will understand - it must be the biggest bottle neck and nightmare on
the continent. Why on earth Belgium doesn't remove the tolls on the
left hand side of the ring road, I don't know, as it would solve the
congestion on the free side of the ring road. I used my own judgment
and went for the left hand ring
road which is a toll road and used less because of that. That upset the
GPS and in no time I took a wrong turning and was in the centre of
Antwerp. I had to then rely on the GPS to get us out and we ended up on
the motorway heading south to Brussels. I can tell you that if it
wasn't for the need of the thing - Emily, the lady on the GPS,
and I - would have parted company by ejecting her through an open
window of our van.
We did eventually, make the Hotel at 17.45 - Dinner was at 18.00. After
a good feed and sit on the terrace with a nice cold beer, things began
to improve somewhat.
- day 1
run for today was of around 80 miles, with a coffee stop in the morning
at Roolijke Frans in Brummen. Lunch, at the Tullekensmolen Ford museum
in Beekbergen, with The afternoon stop at Wapen van Bronkhorst in
Bronkhorst. Our Triumph was
number 1 and the weather looked a bit iffy as every one lined up for
the 09.30 start.
I have no idea where we went most days as there were no route cards
that I could use as a crib, apart from the stops that are listed in the
programme. The Dutch system of route marking is to use orange
indicators of around 6
inch size, round for right, square for left and triangle for straight
on. I must say that I like the system and it worked well - most of the
time. The first stop was at a ferry across the Ijssel river before
reaching the morning coffee stop, by which time we'd all had a good
soaking, before it stopped raining and dried up.
After the coffee stop we set off on wet roads and soon came to a
junction only to find Nel de Boer pointing to the right, so round we
went, as did a dozen or more behind us. It soon became clear that we
had missed the lunch stop, so we all stopped and re-grouped, followed
quick phone call for help to Fred, one of the organisers. Fred
told us that we had ridden half the afternoon route before he lead us
all to the lunch stop at the Ford Motor Museum.
I was in need of some fuel after lunch, so backtracked to a garage
before coming back to the Ford Museum to start the afternoon run. We
eventually reached the ferry across the Ijssel, there's a song there
somewhere, I think. Across the other side and there was a
coffee stop in Bronkhorst, which is a very pretty village. There were
cars and pedestrians everywhere as we entered and I was concentrating
on keeping the
motor running at walking pace, so consequently, missed the stop and
we were soon out on the road to the finish. At one point I missed a
turning because the orange turn left sign had come off it's post.
Luckily, Jeannie noticed the straight on that was on the left hand
so we stopped and I put the sign back. At one point Wim Marsman, on his
1913 AJS passed us and I knew that we'd missed the afternoon stop, as
Wim was the clerk of the course and always ran in front so as to check
the signs. We were soon back at base though, just behind Wim, and first
The weather had not been good, we rode through a real downpour and got
soaked before it stopped raining enough for us to dry out a little -
that happened four times during the day and Jeannie got quite wet in
the basket sidecar despite hiding behind a double duck cover.
Ian Young, on his veteran Douglas, was riding with Tim Penn and Colin
Bentham and was last seen
at the ferry, in the morning, on the way out. He managed to get
completely lost and found a lady who spoke English, who he persuaded to
ring the Hotel and ask for some assistance. The Hotel had another party
riders staying, who were attending the FIM rally which was based not
far away. So, the Hotel sent one of these riders out to rescue Ian and
escort him back, thinking that Ian was part of the FIM rally. Ian had
become detached from Colin and Tim, as not far from the start the 1914
Sunbeam that Tim was riding decided to strip the teeth from the timing
pinion in the timing chest. That did no good, as bits were floating
around and chewing up the other timing gears, all pretty terminal.
Luckily a Tiger cub was made available for Tim to use for the rest of
- Day 2
The weather still didn't look settled, so it was wet weather gear
The days run was around 85 miles for the day, with the first coffee
stop at the Mallumse Molen, a restaurant alongside a watermill.
We were soon riding through another downpour with the added excitement
of riding the Triumph through the town of Haaksbergen. At one point I
cornered left a bit too quickly and ended up on the pavement, which was
just wide enough to ride along before dropping off on the end. We were
heading to the Haaksbergen Spoormuseum, where we were to have lunch
a steam train ride.
The train ride was about 5 miles and 40 of us were fed on the way out
in the dining car, with
the remaining 40
swapping places from one of the support coaches for their lunch on the
return journey. By now it had dried up a bit and we were soon on our
out of the town and into the country again, with the afternoon coffee
scheduled at Pol in Diepenheim.
We made it back to the hotel ok and were soon cleaned up and ready for
the evening meal followed by a beer and a chat on the terrace.
- day 3
This was the trial day and the weather still looked a bit iffy. As
number one, we were first away and the engine had to be cold and start
metres of the start line. Those were the
in 1912, when the first event was held. Needless to say the Triumph
motor chimed in after only a couple of paces and we were on our way at
scheduled 30km speed(about 18 mph). A 45 minute coffee stop was
arranged at the
Ars Longatuin Garden Centre in Drempt.
Whilst having our
coffee the heavens opened and when we got back to the
bike, it had been drowned. Thing was it just would not start up as it
usually did. I wiped the plug, HT lead and pick-up, all to no avail as
the water kept running off the side of the tank all over the plug.
to that, a 'local' onlooker showed interest and started to quiz me
- something I could have done without at that point in time. Eventually
I dried the tank side
and changed the plug for a dry one. Bingo! we were on our way again
although a little late, so I pushed the bike a bit to try and make up
time. It wasn't until I was given my score card at the presentation the
following evening that I found that I was 9 minutes early at the next
checkpoint, so had well overdone the time catch up.
A one hour long lunch was taken at the De Zon pancake house in Wehl,
before we moved
just around the corner to the 'Museum Ut Olde Ambacht'. We had another
hour there to look around. The museum was
basically filled with every sort of old thing that you could think of
- and - while we were there, it tipped down again. We were
all sheltering from the rain, when Fred announced that the next control
that started the afternoon ride was to close in 20 minutes, so it was a
case of get
moving, raining or not.
In no time at all we were halted by a herd of cows that were slowly,
very slowly, crossing the road to go in for milking. That put us a good
10 minutes behind time, but by then I wasn't worrying too much about
that. Soon we were at the afternoon coffee stop of 30 minutes, which
taken at FF near Steef in Hummelo
The final checkpoint was soon reached and the sun was out as we all
enjoyed an Ice Cream, laid on especially for us. Then it was just a
short run of 5 miles or so back to base and the evening dinner.
- day 4
The final social day promised, at last, some decent weather, but we
still wore our waterproofs, just in case, as everyone gathered for the
The ride took us out through the forests to our first scheduled stop at
Heidkamp in Ruurlo - and the sun was shining nicely.
We then moved on to a stop to view a steam operated saw mill and were
allowed to walk around unhindered amongst the operating saws and
engines etc. If only 'elf and safety could have seen us!
From the steam saw mill it was head to 'De Woord' in Corle for lunch,
where I got some photos of riders arriving. Ian Young had got lost
during the morning and was eventually found and arrived with his bike
on the recovery trailer.
After an absolutely superb lunch we set off for the final stop of the
day at 'Wapen van 't Medler', I must say that riding along in the
sunshine, on some really beautiful tree lined roads, I felt that all
well with the world. We were one of the early arrivals back at the
Hotel and the bike was soon packed away in the van before we retired to
the hotel terrace for a well earned beer before dinner.
The evening meal was very good, as usual, as we all gathered to hear
the result of the trial. Each country had every rider in their team
with only the best eight scores to count. My loss of 18 marks just
wasn't good enough and it was John Salsbury, David Miller, Chris
Harvey, Mike Wills, Dennis Beale, Johnny Johnson, David Plant
and Paul Morley who made up the English team. Those who managed to ride
all four days received a finishers medal. At one point, Lex Biermans
sang a song that he wrote about the Anglo-Dutch trial and he had
organised the chorus to be sung by the
KOBI choir. What Lex wasn't expecting was that the KOBI lads sang the
chorus from 'the sun has got his hat on' instead. For sure the room
rocked with laughter, as Lex sang his verses quite seriously, only to
be followed by the
unexpected chorus each time.
This year the Dutch won in style only losing 36 points to the 97 lost
by the Brits - but what a great and magnificently
organised event. Thanks to Fred and Janette, Wim and Gerrie.
The trip home on Saturday went without hitch, apart from the boat being
30 minutes late.
Loads more photos on the VMC website:
Results in PDF form here