Originally published on member personal website
London To Amsterdam Annual
These are the details of Matt (Suzuki GSX R600 K1), Clifford (Kawasaki
ZXR7 RR Ninja) and my self's (Yamaha YZF 600R Thundercat) trip to
Amsterdam. Some of you will be interested touring by motorbikes, some of you may
be interested in Amsterdam, some of you may be interested in how to get to
Amsterdam but most of you will not give a toss. Anyway here is how we got on.
The plan was to get away for a weekend on our bikes. We had promised a
mates mum, Ronni, who lived a few miles from Amsterdam that we
would be back to paint her ceilings and The World Superbike (WSB) racing
at Assen, Holland gave us the excuse to go. We booked a ferry for Thursday
7:20pm (after work) with the return set for Sunday 10:00pm in the
The plan was to take only one day off work and maximize our time there. Due
to the world Super Bike (WSB) racing in Assen they were the only dates and times
available anyway. Two years ago when we went to Amsterdam we went via Calais.
After the 250+ miles to Amsterdam from Calais plus the 50+ miles to Dover
we swore never to make the journey the hardcore way again. Harwich to Hook Of
Holland is the way to go. 3 hours more on the ferry but more relaxed when we
We finally all got on the road together by 5:30 pm and dashed the 70 miles to
Harwich. We got there at 6:45pm and saw loads of other bikes going to Amsterdam
or Assen for the WSB racing.
Our plan to go early to miss the rush did not work. In fact due to the large
amount of bike travelling, the ferry was running two hours late. Someone said Chris
Walker (WSB and Grand Prix racer aka The Stalker) was loitering around the
Got on to ferry around 9pm and we saw
Stalker. Took cheesy pictures with him. Clifford asked if he had tested with
Kawasaki and he said he had just done so the day before. We heard it first. He
may be on a Kawasaki next year, guys.
We arrived around midnight in Holland and all bikes made a dash for
what we presumed to be Amsterdam or Assen. After a few miles we felt this was
the wrong way. We pulled up, checked maps, and yes, it was the wrong way.
A quick U-turn and we headed in the right direction. We saw loads more bike all
going thru the darkness to nowhere. 45 minutes later and we where in Hoofdroop,
where Ronni lived, just outside Amsterdam. Hoofdroop is about 10 miles from the
centre on Amsterdam. Coffee, stayed up late chatting then to bed.
up late, Started on the painting, finished by 7pm. Dinner, then to Amsterdam.
We expected to see loads of UK bikes in Amsterdam for the races but we did not
even see one scooter, We went to Teasers
bar which is near the Central
station and met Willem Schaap, manager of the Teasers.
rides the only other bike we saw that day. An Aprilla Millie with more carbon
fibre than a F1 car. A real Dutch biker. Cool dude. He pointed out all the
best places in town, he let us park our bike next the bar while his security
watched ALL our bikes when we went walk about and almost let us have a free
round of beer. Cool dude or what. Only got talking to him due to our common
interest in bikes.
We went window-shopping in the red light district, took in a show, had
a kebab, topped up our alcohol levels then browsed shops. Then home and off to
hit town earlier today. Saw 10 UK bikes. We wondered round town, picked
up souvenirs, DVD's tobacco then had to return home for dinner. I did a
couple of burn-outs for the Dutch massive at Teasers before leaving. The
journey from Hoofdroop to Amsterdam is down 10 miles of open motorway. We
normally do it at around a ton mph.
Today there happened to be a storm and we are right in the middle of it. I
ride 7000+ miles a year,
done fair bit of track days and had more than my fair share of accidents,
but nothing had prepared me for the sheer terror of riding through a
storm of hurricane winds and sheets of rain. We tried powering through it
but ended up having to crawl home at very low speeds. We made it home and we
were buzzing. This is the last time I'll visit Holland in Autumn.
We had dinner then Matt and myself decided to go back out since it was our
last night. Clifford thought we were mad and decided to go to bed. The winds had
died down a bit and Matt and myself wondered round town, bumped into loads of drunken
British folk then shared a beer with them. I saw the biggest spliff roller and
promised to buy it later. Got home late again.
up around 1 pm and it is still drizzling, it is cold and it is windy. There are
eggs, bacon sausages, mushrooms baked beans and coffee in the kitchen. No time
for that because we must get ready for the 100+ miles run to Assen for
the WSB racing. After all that is what we came for.
We checked the TV guide and saw that the racing will be shown live.
We decided to get the frying pan on.
We will do penance for not going to the racing by doing extra track days
next year. We headed into town afterwards to do our final shopping. I got my
monster spliff roller and t-shirt and Matt got extra herbs for the boys. We
decided to get the rest of the shopping done on the ferry home.
We called the ferry company to confirm our time of departure only to be told
that all ferries from Holland were cancelled till Wednesday due to the
storms the night before. We were advised that we could go down to the ports and
see if anything was leaving. We decided that we had to be in London on Monday.
The time was 8:30pm; we packed our bags and decided that if no ferry were
available from Holland that night, we would do the 250+ miles to Calais.
Lucky a ship was available and we were in Harwich, UK at 5:30am, Monday
A special thanks to Ronni for putting a roof over our heads and hopefully we
willl be back next year.
- Ferny from Harwich (just north of Dover and about 70 miles from
London) to Hook of Holland cost £93 return.
- Journey takes 3½ hour. Loads of bars and restaurants on board.
- If you book an over night ferry you may be asked to pay an extra £25
for a cabin that sleeps 4 people. These ferries do not have duty free
shops and take about 8 hours.
- Hook of Holland to Amsterdam is roughly 50 miles.
- Loads of Bed and Breakfast type hotels in town. See travel press.
- You need passport, vehicle and travel documents, map, money
and a change of underwear. (I bought my socks over there) and that's
all you need for a weekend away.
Winter we go to Spain. If the sun will not come to Sean, Sean will go to the