Autumn. Actually: 'winter' – column

Autumn. Actually: 'winter'
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Motorcycling in the Randstad? A must! No traffic jams, just great fun! And so you leave from Dieren to Amsterdam on Friday afternoon. De Guzzi doesn't think about being an official classic. He's just doing what he's trained to do. He is old and just has to work for a living. Just like his owner. And we are happy with it.

On the A12 near the A2 exit I suddenly hear the sound of someone making 'blubblubblub' noises with thick, slack lips. The ever so tight-steering classic suddenly feels like I'm riding on a generous peanut butter sandwich. And I have no control over which way I go now. Fortunately, something comes to mind: 'Blowout. So keep looking into the distance and direct the engine as light as a feather with the tips of your little fingers.' Look; that's fine! But of course it's more luck than wisdom that I stay upright.

On the escape lane I bring out my 2.0 tool set: my smartphone. My guardian angels land on the guardrail with sprained wings and look at me in an angry manner. After an hour in a mild rain a roadman comes. He immediately gives me a fluorescent jacket. Such a thing that frustrated pedal bin knights can aim for better. Two motorcycles and three motor scooters have been passed. They didn't wave. They didn't stop.

Road wardens no longer stick inner tubes on the emergency lane during rush hour. My Wegenwachter tries to call some motorcycle shops. But they don't have time. I don't have any cigars with me. That makes me a bit nauseous, I'm not addicted, but my system just can't function 100% without nicotine.

It slowly starts to rain harder. A car passes every second. My head is getting cold. Baldness is a curse. I put on my trusty ROOF bump cap and feel a bit Willempie-ish. Thanks to André van Duin.

After an hour a spoon truck arrives. In the meantime, eight motorcycles and two scoots have passed. A motorcyclist honked encouragingly. A car dealer acted funny as if he was sending in on me. Roadside assistance tells you to stay behind the guardrail. The salvage operator says he has already turned up the heating in his car. We lash the engine on deck.

The recovery man is happy with old Cali II.

At least the thing can be lashed with good decency without all kinds of plastic breaking. The weathered Guzzi is parked in the car park at the ANWB in Utrecht. We will have a cremation on Saturday. Only then can the Guzzi repatriation plans be ventilated. My local dump dealer Gekra gets a call.

Gerrit listens to my story and says that I don't need his trailer. He still has to go to Utrecht on Sunday and picks up my bike. That is text.

My second call is to TLM in Nijmegen. I've been a customer there for years where they don't make much money. People listen to my crying story and conclude: “That will be too difficult. I'll put a band on a used wheel. And tomorrow I have a birthday near you. Oh yeah; there are still a pair of your gloves here.”

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Automobilia 2022 (copy)
Autumn. Actually: 'winter'


Give a reaction
  1. This is how I came to a standstill with my BMW 75/6 at N279, no more power…now I was very unhappy, so I called ANWB and told them that I was quite dangerous. I didn't have it wide when you stand between the crash barrier and the roadway where the traffic passes you at half a meter.
    Speaking of luck, an extended van with lease scooters stopped and the young man offered to drive the elderly motorcycle in the back of the bus and drop me off safely at home, I could cancel the breakdown report with the ANWB within three quarters of an hour… its route.
    If you're not lucky enough to ride a motorcycle, you won't be riding a motorcycle for 45 years.

  2. Already stuck on the edge of the road 2 times. Once with a coil that doesn't work anymore, yes with Honda there are 2 coils, but with one it's slow driving. and once with a flooded electro, after 2 days of driving in the pouring rain. Now try to make a new wiring harness, problem: a police motorcycle has a special wiring harness with all the police equipment, not available anywhere yet. No schedule either!!

  3. Even most motorcycle shops will not help you if you stop in front of their shop with a flat tire. I had it at Motoport Rotterdam. Very complicated tinkering with such an old R80/7 according to the man behind the counter. And with an inner tube too? That was too hard for them. I offered to show it to them, but they didn't want to learn.

  4. It just depends on who comes by. I recently had a breakdown with my 35 Royal Enfield 1939o side valve. I'm not going to tell you what the malheur was, what it was pretty stupid.
    A sidecar driver came by with a Hollandia box on an R500-2 and the man stopped. After explaining what the problem was, the good man did his utmost to keep a straight face. The solution was simple. I needed something and got it. A thank you was brushed aside. Real bikers still exist. You just have to be lucky that they take the road where you are unlucky.

  5. Yes Dolf, the time when a fellow driver stopped to help is over. Fortunately, because only a few have knowledge of technology. And waiting an hour for the unemployment benefit is also standard in NL, I have experienced. Indeed, the tool set 2.0 is the solution. I was in the French campaign a month ago with a broken back chain on my trusty Triumph T150. After 15 minutes I was picked up by the mechanic from a nearby village and after 1,5 hours we drove again. But that you are taken to his house by a fellow motorcyclist and have to eat with him before you can continue, that is over.

    • Zeuren over vroeger doen we niet. Het gaat om het rijden zelf, de rest komt er bij. Of niet.
      Feit is dat tot begin 70’er jaren je je helm en handschoenen op de buddy liet liggen als je een boodschap deed. En motor niet op slot, wel contactsleutel meenemen.
      In die tijd waren veel benzinepompen gesloten op zondag. Sta je daar midden in een Flevopolder.
      Komt een goede gast uit Amsterdam langs in zijn auto. “Heb ook lang motor gereden. Ik sleep je wel naar Harderwijk”. Wat wil je nog meer dan daar kunnen tanken?
      Franchorchamps in België. Na de TT vindt de motor het genoeg voor die dag. Wildvreemde BMW-rijder: “Ik sleep je wel naar Nederland”. Zogezegd, zo gedaan.
      Dat dat tegenwoordig niet meer gebeurt heeft natuurlijk meerdere redenen. Mijn BMW rijdende zoon zegt, ‘ik wil wel stoppen, maar ik heb helemaal geen technische kennis’.
      Dus zeg ik, ‘gewoon stoppen en vragen of zijn 2.0 gereedschapsset nog goed geladen is. Of misschien is hij zijn telefoon wel vergeten’.
      Mooi voorbeeld van veranderende tijden, zelfde zoon, rijdt door Spanje deze week, en vindt een schroef in zijn splinternieuwe achterband die er vorige week in Frankrijk omgelegd was. De band verliest druk, dus Even bellen met de ANWB en anderhalf uur later weer rijden.

    • I agree with you, but I had two Michelins on the back of my 2cv for twenty-seven years. Driven to the last, 90.000 km away. I didn't manage to do that with the subsequent Nankangs, but they only cost a third of the Michelin.

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