2005 MGCN Landmark Rally

Having read about the RBR (Round Britain Rally) I was immediately interested when the Dutch Moto Guzzi club announced that they would organize a continental version. Thanks to Jan Sybren I was able to join (being neither a club member nor owning a Moto Guzzi).

I received the papers last monday (march 14) and after studying the rules and the choice of landmarks, considering I won't have much time this year due to a planned (riding) trip in India, I set my goals as follows: get the standard award (100-499 points) plus the international award (points in every country on the list). On this webpage I will log the progress.

The cunning plan is to do the 3 landmarks in the northern part of Holland in one day, most of those in the middle and southern parts in a weekend, some international ones (Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France) in an extended (4 day) weekend, and the rest (Belgium, some Dutch) when the time comes.

The tools to be used are: Garmin Mapsource, the Internet, a Garmin Etrex Summit GPS and my faithful Honda's.

Link to Moto Guzzi forum

Link to my 2007 MGCN Landmark Rally

Date Time KM Landmarks Comments Proof..
15/3 3 - Holland, Belgium, France Spent several hours making trip plans and locating Dutch, Belgian and French landmarks, saving the related weblinks and the coordinates.
17/3 2 - Northern Provinces Final check of landmarks. Created a route for the etrex.
20/3 8h 20m 458 84 86 88 It was supposed to be sunny and warm today, but it was just sunny... 10C max. The route I planned didn't start at home so the first part was just motorway. From Westerbork on, Mapsource had created a route excluding motorway usage leading me to the three landmarks. It was all pretty easy, the landmarks I had located and entered were spot on. At 86, it Fiskerskip, I asked if they could open the warf in order for me to get the required picture, and the nice gentleman was indeed a gentleman. Biggest plus today: mapsource created motorway avoiding routes up to 100 miles loaded in a simple and cheap Etrex Euro can be easily ridden at touring (=slow) speeds. No need anymore to get the maps out all the time! As the navigation arrow changes direction just 9 seconds before the change of direction is actually needed, you got to slow down as these waypoints approach. Proof.
21/3 2h 40m - Foreign landmarks Checking out a route of landmarks for the international award.
26/3 2h - Belgian landmarks Research.
28/3 3h 30m - Foreign landmarks Yet more research.
2/4 8h 419 85 87 92 Started at 7.30, this time on the VFR. Again sunny and a bit cold, but it got warmer as the day progressed. Most of the ride went according to plan, the only problems being roadworks at Deventer and Rijssen-Holten. Fortunately the GPS kept me on track. Again no need for roadmaps during the ride. Had coffee and applepie in Zwolle, relaxing in the sun. Great day! Proof.
4/4 1h 30m - Foreign landmarks Yet more research.
14/4 2h - Foreign landmarks Playing with Mapsource to create the Foreign routes .
16/4 1h 44 91 Today a meeting with our club was planned at Breezand, so I took the opportunity to get 10 points at Hoorn. Just a small detour. Not knowing the exact location of the sculpture I had to do some searching, and after taking the required picture I had coffee with Symon with whom I had arranged to meet up here. On our way to Breezand we swapped bikes giving me a chance to measure up his tuned Africa Twin. Great fun. Proof.
24/4 8h 30m 483 90 93 95 I left home a bit later than planned at 09.00, but at least the weather was great. A quick motorway run to Rotterdam, where it took me a while to locate the position of the spot where the statue had been. Took the picture and tried to get out of Rotterdam, which was a bit of a hassle. Futher south to the second target of the day, which I reached at 11.30. This time I used a mixture of motorway and quieter roads. Then to Grave where I had to deliver some CD's. Stopped for lunch which I consumed in bright sunshine. Then on minor roads to the "Piramide van Austerlitz" which I could reach using a sandy road. All in all a great VFR day. Apparently I need to get in shape for the planned international run: my right wrist did hurt a lot when I came home. Proof.
6-8/5 15h 30m 840 01 10 94 This weekend we travelled to the MC Loft hotel for what turned out to be a rock&roll weekend. The other club members allowed me to visit the landmarks at Aardenburg (friday), Wulpen (saturday) and Westmalle (sunday), thus giving us all a chance to look at the ugly scenery of west Flanders... As we did a lot of detours the kilometers added up. We did have some showers, but the weather was better than expected. We were able to enjoy many of our coffees outside in the sun. On saturday night a rock&roll band at the hotel lifted our spirits even higher. Proof.
13/6 2h Intnl. Last planning for next weekend's ride to Italy.
17/6 14h 769 43 69 68 An early start... a hot ride. For a full story on the 4 day trip see this page. Proof.
18/6 15h 749 80 55 19 18 - Proof.
19/6 13h 586 81 82 12 24 16 23 - Proof.
20/6 12h 760 45 83 04 89 - Proof.
15/9 1h Belgium. Last planning for next weekend's ride to Belgium.
16/9 12h 659 08 02 03 07 Started at 7.30, weather cloudy but dry. Took motorways to Gand, then minor roads to landmark 8, a chapel at Dikkelvenne. Arrived there at 11.00. Weather becoming sunnier. Then small roads all day to LM2 (an old farmhouse near Vieux-Genappe, hard to find), LM3, the castle at Chimay and LM7, a ruin near Foy. Weather was great by now so an easy ride to the campsite at Remersdaal where I was to meet my friends of the motorcycleclub. Arrived there at 19.30 much to the relief of Bart whose gear I was carrying. Proof.
17/9 6h 267 09 05 06 After a good night's sleep the sun woke us up. Breakfast and then on my way to LM9, a castle near Hoeleden. I had forgotten to take my notes from home, so didn't remember it was a retirement home now called Arcadia Residence. Made it hard to find; it took a while before I found someone who had a clue. Then to LM5, a castle at Heks and LM6, an old house at Durbuy. Again took some extra minutes to find it. A bicycle race came by as an extra, a beer in the sun and then back to the campsite. A simple 'GOTO' took me there over very nice small roads. I'll never travel without a GPS again! This was to be the last ride of the 2005 landmark rally for me (and probably the last recreational ride of the season). Hope to do it again next year. Proof.
Totals 133h 6034 Points 635

As it turned out the 635 points (of the 1970 is 32%) were enough to give me a 6th place in the field of the 35 contenders. More than I expected really. The next rally will be in 2007, I hope to be contending in that one again. (I did!)