Organised by Msc, Koln - Forsbach, south of Cologne, Germany
Sixteen hours drinking was the first real bender that I had been on.
I heard of this small rally through Roger Halfyard probably at the Antelope Rally. I was talked into going on the promise of it being a good do. I had the BMW R90/6 fitted with a Steib 350 sidecar.
I set off to Dover 7.00am on the Friday morning and had a trouble free run, the only problem was the blasted weather, that fine, misty drizzle. It was the early part of December so it was cool. The trip to Dover, 200 miles, was the best part of 5 hours, then the ferry crossing to Zeebrugge was the normal 4 hours and then hitting the rush hour traffic at Köln and having to find the venue meant that it had gone nearly 9 at night before I arrived. All I could think about was having a meal and a couple of drinks.
Roger Halfyard, Kelvin Clouting (his cousin) and another relative called Paul had already arrived and were well settled in. There were a good number of other riders and some of the organising club members. Not being a seasoned traveller I could not make my way around the menu and had to ask what was good to eat? As at the time I was a bit finicky about certain things. "Try the Jagger snitzel with chips. We had it earlier, its good!" Yes but what is it? "We think it's venison but we are not sure but trust us." So I did and it was fantastic really, nice rich sauce with mushrooms and tender meat. The beer followed. I was going to break off to erect the tent but Roger said they had plenty of room so I could crash out with them. Not too sure how long we drank for but it could well have been midnight or even the small hours of the morning.
It had rained all night and bikes had started to arrive when we stood up around 9.00am. We crossed the road to the pub and had a quick scrub up in the toilets. We then ate a continental breakfast followed by the first beer of the day the weather was such as we were not going to go anywhere.
A steady stream of bikes arrived. Some camped, some just called in. Come dinner time we all had Jagger snitzels again. We spent the whole day in the pub chatting with various people, old friends, meeting new people. Roger and Kelvin were regular continental rallists, living just 70 miles from Dover, and they knew loads of people. Roger ran a type of mail order for the continental people he knew. They would ask him to get a Belstaff suit or what ever and he would arrange to meet them at another rally a week or so later and deliver it. It was cheaper to buy the goods in England.
Well we drank on and soon it was time for a evening meal and we tried to get another Jagger snitzel only to be told that they had none left. An alternative meal was offered and on enquiring what it was I was told that it was pork. I don't like pork apart from bacon, to which one of the German lads started to laugh and asked me if I liked the Jagger snitzel and I didn't like pork. What did I think I had been eating? He went to explain Jagger translated to hunter not venison. I've eaten pork ever since.
We drank on until 2.00am when we thought we had better go to bed. Sixteen hours drinking was the first real bender that I had been on.
We woke up eventually on Sunday and I set off for England in the evening. Roger, Kelvin and Paul were stopping on another night at Wolfgang Kremer's home. I had been asked but I had to get home for work Monday morning. One of the problems of working for someone else.
There was no badge for this rally but a plaque screwed to a piece of obliquely cut tree trunk and a hand painted beer glass, which has survived to this day, unlike the log.
A good time spent with friends.
- Les Hobbs