Or "What A Souper Rally That Was"

Organized by Motor Club Vinkeveen at Amstelveen Holland.

This was a small rally held late in the year (winter) probably late November in 1978. I heard of this one through Sonja, my Dutch girlfriend. Amstelveen is a small area to the south of Amsterdam. It's that built up I suppose that you could call it a suburb of Amsterdam.

The rally site was on what you would describe as an allotement; ground is in short supply in the Netherlands and they make use of every bit. The pub/cafe had a small function room attached and some people (not many) were camping at the rear. The weather was dry but icy cold about -4°c and, as Sonja's flat was only 14kms away in Haarlem, we saw no need to break the tent out.

On arriving we signed in and were issued with 2 tickets along with the rally badge. The tickets were for coffee and soup. Sonja went for the coffee but I thought I'd try the soup. What a choice that turned out to be. I've been addicted ever since. It's a traditional Dutch winter warmer, Erwtensoep met rookworst (pea soup with smoked sausage) and some crusty bread - heaven. I had the two portions! If you ever get the chance to try it then do so. On every occasion that I go to Holland I always return with several tins.

Back to the rally. We had arrived on Friday evening so there was not going to be a great deal going on and with the weather as it was I couldn't see that there was going to be a great deal of an improvement on the Saturday. Still we socallised with several of Sonja's friends for a couple of hours and that's what it's about. Winter rallies on the continent are generally not well attended. The bikes, complete with the matching leathers, are put away late October and don't come out until the spring. Only the few hardened ride all year round as temperatures can and do drop to -25°c. Not in Holland, but go a couple of hundred miles inland and it's a different story. It is the good old Gulf Steam that permits us to carry on winter rallying.

- Les Hobbs