Pilgrims Rally

39th Pilgrims Rally, August 2014
Mayflower MCC

This year five motorcyclists came together for our England tour. On Friday, August 1st, Walter Trappe (BMW F650GS), Günter Reuter (Honda CB600S), Mathias Bongarts (Aprilia 1000RSV), Christian Zündorf (BMW F650GS Twin), and I, Hans Mondorf (BMW K100RS), drove our usual route via Cologne, Aachen, Liège, Namur, Mons, Lille, Dunkirk to Calais and the ferry.

Lunch with delicious fish and chips during the crossing.

Once in Dover we joined the A20/M20 and as rode as quickly as possible the rest of the way to New Hall Vineyards in Purleigh via the M25/A12.

After registering and setting up the tents, out of our motorbike gear and off to fun. As usual with the Mayflower MCC, a great selection of real ales. Most of us prefer a pint of lager though. In our homeland around Cologne, the local beer (Kölsch) is drunk very cold, and the lager at the Mayflower MCC was connected to a working cooler.

The scouts once again provided us with a delicious dinner. In the evenings in the barn with music from the CD it was already very cosy.

On Saturday morning, after a delicious English breakfast, we set off once again on our motorbikes to the Ace Café. This year we parked in the yard in front of the Ace Cafe and walked about 300 yards to the nearest subway station. There we each bought a day ticket and travelled to the city centre. We got off at Trafalgar Square.

The Eid Festival was held there. As far as our feet could take us, we walked down The Mall to Buckingham Palace for the obligatory photo. Then to the closest underground station to the Tower of London. We circled it and admired the Tower Bridge. There is always something special to see along and on the Thames. Then we took the subway back to Ace Cafe. A Ford Capri car show was being held there. There were a few specimens worth seeing.

After our return to Purleigh, the beautiful Saturday evening began. First refreshments with the scouts and then a usual cozy evening in the barn with a live band and a cold beer.

This year my motorcycle friend Willi Schwering from Horstmar also took part in the Pilgrims Rally with some friends. He's known the Mayflower MCC Pilgrims Rally longer than I have.

After an extensive, delicious English breakfast on Sunday morning with the scouts, we said goodbye and drove our usual route towards Dover. We returned to the hotel at St Margaret's Holiday Park, checked in and we briefly visited St Margaret's Beach.

As in previous years, we spent the evening with dinner in the hotel restaurant and a final pint at the bar.

The next morning down to the ferry and, after loading the motorbikes, of course, our last delicious English breakfast.

Unfortunately, this beloved weekend in England once again passed far too quickly. All participants remember it fondly.

We were spared from technical problems.

- Hans Mondorf