Force Ten Rally

This year my motorcycle friend Walter Trappe wanted to take part in a winter rally with me. Since he attended Shakespeare and Mayflower MCC Pilgrims rallies, he was quickly convinced to drive with me to the Force Ten Rally.

On Thursday January 3, 2019, we started our tour shortly after noon. Walter drove his BMW R1200GS and I my BMW R90S, this time without the sidecar.

Arrived in Dover, we drove from the harbour area up the Jubilee Way to Whitfield and to the Ramada Hotel. We booked a room here in advance for the night. Also, a room from Sunday to Monday on the return journey.

Friday morning after an extensive English breakfast at the hotel, we were able to continue our journey to Warwickshire without haste. Arrived in Long Itchington we picked up the keys for our rooms on Marton Road Farm in the pub The Buck & Bell. (Walter is not yet convinced about winter camping). Cheryl and Peter, the owners, were amazed that we didn't want to take advantage of the amenities such as a kitchen and living room with TV. I explained with my poor knowledge of English that we only needed a bed and a bathroom.

Breakfast was provided in The Green Man pub. When checking in at the The Buck & Bell we had seen the delicious food being served here.

After a hot shower we went to see Cheryl and Peter at The Buck and Bell for dinner.

Well fed, it was only a short walk to the Green Man pub. There we spent the evening with many friends in a relaxed atmosphere.

On Saturday morning we sat at the table with Heather and Ted during breakfast. When I said that I had come with my winter motorcycle, a BMW R90S, Ted jumped up and went outside to check out the bike.

When he came back to the table, I got the impression that he was a little disappointed in my bike, apparently because of the maintenance condition. He certainly remembered his own sparkling clean R90S.

After breakfast at The Green Man, Walter and I wanted to drive to the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. During breakfast, other rally participants gave us tips on what we should definitely see there. Among other things, a Brough Superior with two rear wheels. However, I didn't understand it all correctly.

We couldn't process everything that we saw in the museum on motorcycles that day. The incredible amount of only English motorcycles was overwhelming. Walter and I immediately agreed that we would visit this museum again sometime.

After returning to Long Itchington to Marton Road Farm we first took a hot shower and then we went back to The Buck & Bell for dinner on Saturday evening.

Afterwards we joined the other rally participants in the pub, The Green Man. Of course, we were asked how we liked the museum. We had only one answer: "Perfect".

When asked about the Brough Superior, I explained that I had seen such a motorcycle live in June 2004 at a Brough Superior meeting at the Nürburgring. At that time, Heather MacGregor also took part with her Florence. We met there and I drove with the group for an afternoon. Some were very surprised because this motorcycle is probably very rare.

That evening, Walter received an award for the furthest journey overseas. This sociable evening went by far too quickly once again.

On Sunday morning after breakfast in the Green Man, we started our return journey. Since we weren't pressed for time, we stopped at the Ace Café in London. Still strengthened from breakfast, we spent the lunchtime here with tea and cake.

From here on to our hotel in Whitfield. After a long break in bed, we then walked about 300 yards to the pub The Archer. Unfortunately, the kitchen was being renovated so there was no food. But luckily, right across from the Pub there was a McDonald. Here we got full and then back to the Archer for a few pints.

On Monday morning straight to the ferry and after checking in and lashing down the motorbikes we went to the food court. The last delicious English breakfast for this beautiful weekend.

In France and Belgium, we drove partly in the rain, which didn't dampen our spirits.

From technical problems we were spared on the outward and return journey. That made me particularly happy with my old BMW R90S.

- Hans Mondorf