Force Ten Rally

This year I didn't find a passenger who wanted to share the hardships with me. So, on Thursday 6 January, shortly after noon, I set off on my BMW R90S and a Dnepr sidecar. My usual route via Cologne, Aachen, Li├Ęge, Charleroi, Lille, Dunkirk, to Calais. I spent the night there, with the ferry to Dover on Friday morning.

During the crossing I enjoyed my first full English breakfast for the weekend. From the harbour to the Ace Cafe in London for a pot of tea. I was the only motorcyclist at this dreary time of year until the organizer, Mark Wilsmore, arrived on his motorcycle. Then the final spurt on the North Circular Road to the M1 and M45 to Long Itchington to "The Green Man" pub.

After setting up the tent, I spent Friday evening socializing with a few pints of Guinness. Saturday started with a trip to Banbury to see the places in and around the area that I remembered from the days of the Shakespeare rallies. Saturday evening in the Green Man Pub again in a cozy atmosphere and home-made food served by the Landlady.

When I woke up on Sunday morning, the inside of the tent was frozen. The air from my breath had condensed on the tent wall and was frozen. As I rolled up the tent, there was a loud crackling sound from the ice.

I had breakfast on the way home at a motorway service station, as the pub was not yet open when I left, and I had to catch the ferry. The return journey on Sunday was largely normal until I was escorted into a hall in the port of Dover for security control. Here I turned off the engine and had safety issued answers (no weapons, knives, drugs, or I know what). After the policeman (or customs officer?) Said "Have a good trip" to me, I tried to start the engine, but the starter and the engine made no sound. Isn't that strange? At the last refueling stop, everything was still working. The friendly police officers or customs officers helped me push the motorcycle with a sidecar.

On the deck of the ferry, which had meanwhile arrived in Calais, the same situation. But I was lucky here too. Luc van Steenberghe and Annik de Bock from Belgium, who also took part in the Force Ten Rally, were on the same ferry. First all trucks and then all cars had to drive out of the ferry according to the instructions of the ship's staff. Only then were Luc and Annik allowed to push me. Thanks again to both of them.

On the way home, I left the engine running at the petrol stations and did not turned it off. At home I looked for the fault and found it was a defective clutch switch.

- Hans Mondorf