The Amsterdam Run 2002

 

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 Amsterdam and back in 4 days
(pictures coming soon)

Ever since I went to Holland / Amsterdam for the first time by myself in 1995 I realised that the place and people were really special in the whole of Europe. The Dutch people I have met probably belong to an era when neighbours were neighbours and you could leave your back door open and your possessions would be safe. I am not saying this place is paradise, as Amsterdam had a reputation for bike crime from my early days visiting back then but the openness and welcoming nature of some of these people is like music to the soul if you are a people’s type of person. During my first visit I befriended some new friends who invited me to their family home for food and we have been friends ever since.

Anyway this trip has been on the cards all year and my last visit to Holland was about 2 years ago with the company I currently work for ( the big R ). This trip would consist of a number of Go Star friends Sean (Master) Onipede, Matt Turner, Clifford Hunte and myself Ian Porter.

We planned a 7:30 start from north London but low and behold the timing was out from the start due to myself arriving at 8:30am because of laid back, bag packing antics that created a tie down nightmare on the back of the R1. (bit of a tongue / brain twister for the slow of mind ;)

Anyway the Master (Mr Onipede) came to the rescue with a nice small bag that fitted my contents perfectly and we got strapped up. We all got some fuel and money from the hole in the wall and by that time it was 9:15am and the ferry was due to leave at 10:00am from Harwich and we were still in London. You can imagine what took place there after, as the next ferry was late afternoon and we did not have the time to spare. All the bikes were 600CC and above and all I’ll say is that we moved swiftly as possible while still keeping contact with the floor and reached there by 9:50am. We would have made a courier firm proud.

We got on board strapped the bikes in and enjoyed the crossing, which was perfectly calm. This was a total "vegged" out biking holiday for me and I was more than happy to sit at the back of the group or one but back all day and not even read a single road sign. We had guy’s up front like Matt & Master to do the map road sign readings. Where ever they went I would follow…..chill.

I can’t remember the name of where we stayed (Hoofddorp - ed) but it was within a friends house within the country. This was a friends of the other 3 guy’s but by the time I left I was on the list (more Dutch hospitality). Her name was Ronnie and she arranged to put myself and Clifford up at her neighbours house next door for the 3 nights. This was no bed & breakfast house just a regular family home and we were taken in and treated like family. Thanks again Edith…respect and see you next year.

What was good about this trip is that we had a family type connection and we were shown the sights of Holland by a lady called Nettle a friend of Ronnie. With sight seeing mingled amongst daily bike riding, visiting various Dutch markets and drinking beer the days and nights rolled fast. A number of nights were spent in Amsterdam town touring the bars, eating drinking and having fun. The tourist sight seeing of the red light district was also one of those things that everyone does and see the range of sex museums, cannabis artefacts and lady’s of the night coming over to you in broad daylight offering themselves for a Euro and a song. Fortunately none of us can sing so we could not get the goods without a song.

One of the friends that the chaps had met during their last visit was a night club / bar manager (Teasers - ed) named Willem. He was a biker with a carbon Aprilia RSV 1000 Mille with more trick bits than you could see. We left our bikes next to his, each night and his bouncers overlooked them, so theft was not an issue outside his place. We hopefully may be seeing him over in England soon as he wanted to check out Go Star and the MRO racing scene from pit lane. Anytime Willem……

One of the only draw backs with staying in the country is the motorway driving needed to go to a club or bar that would involve riding our bikes without the proper biking kit on. I was in a stripped trousers, shoes, shirt and jacket more akin to going to the Ritz than ridding a bike. Where we were staying there were no public transport at night and our options were limited and a compromise was made. For those who think “ crazy”, remember a bike is not a substitute for a car and a bike has it’s own advantages and disadvantages which are sometimes always on the extremes of good & bad. With that said we were "extreming" it large down the motorway cloths blowing in the wind without even a socks in sight, we were just lucky it did not rain.

The day of our return was a rain heavy day…..cannot tour without rain but at least it was on the final day. Good byes, kisses and hugs were exchanged and as usual yours truly was the last man to get ready and strap my kit to the bike. To me this was no crisis as I have boarded planes and ferries in the past within minutes of the doors being closed as the last passenger to arrive. Knowing how to be late but still be just in time is only for the laid back. Just Cool.

We rode swiftly but not the same pace as when we were in England as we had lots of time to spare as the customary arrival of one hour before departure is designed for the 90% of passengers as everyone can’t arrive 30minutes before departure as chaos there would be. We where all aboard the skylark, had some food watched the "Spiderman" love story movie and was back home for dinner and watch a bit of video taped footage of the MotoGP.

Oh yes…we gave out a number of Go Star flyers to Dutch, US, French and other solid citizens. 

Bye for now

Ian Porter


(pre event report)

The London to Amsterdam run is an annual event undertaken by a few of our members. This years event starts on Thursday 18 July 2002 the same week as the GSR Track Day till the Sunday then back to work on Monday.

The plan is to book a ticket on a ferry from Harwich to "Hook of Holland" when we can be arsed to. Jump on the ferry when we are ready and sort out accommodation when we land then large it for a few days. This year's plan is to party .....

All are invited. Discretion, expect and assured. (kidding but serious)

Those confirmed as going are

  • Clifford Hunte
  • Matt Turner
  • Ian Porter
  • Sean Onipede

anybody else that wants to party contact (male or female) sean@londongman.com

also see links from the past. (links open in new window)

 

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