30 Years on the Road


How it all began:
Even before I was 18 I was told anyone who wanted to listen that I was going to ride a motorcycle.
And that was something, because there weren’t too many women who did.
So after 5 lessons, 1 exam in 1978 I had the coveted piece of paper in my possession.
Soon I rode a Kawasaki 450cc to gain a bit more experience.
At that time I had courtship with Johan and wanted a decent cycle, one to plow a field with.
Yes, there’s only one!
The search began for an affordable Harley.
Now you’re laughing about the prices from the past, but it was still a lot of money then.
A Liberator was on sale for 4000 to 5000 guilders, an Electra for about 12,000 guilders.

Soon we had an Electra Glide 1200cc, purchased from the Belgian gendarmerie.
Also known as a "Swan”.
Since this bike came from Belgium it had to be inspected and approved by Dutch government.
On the day of the test you get a one-day license plate, so that day we could ride all day long (not!), which we took advantage of.
‘Till that time, we just rode on small back roads.
There were always a few members of HDC Breda at the pub ”de Bruine Pij”.
One time a guy asked me if I didn’t like to take a ride on the back seat, so I told him proudly that the blue Electra was mine.
The dude appeared to be Rob Meyer, who is still a member of the club and now lives on Isle of Man.
My first rally was at Ponderosa in ULICOTEN
I was excited about these tough guys, dirty talk, lots of laughter and more booze.
Actually, much is still the same, lots of drinks, laughs, dirty talk, strong stories, but the tough guys are not so cool anymore, but old and bald (just kiddin’!)
I find it amazing that so many people are still riding.
In 1979 we swapped the Electra for a Liberator 750cc with sidecar.
This was not the engine that we were looking for, so in 1980 another Electra Glide was purchased.
In course of time, we got lost of the bags and screen for a better look.
We were a member of the HDC Netherlands to be informed of all events, meetings, rallies etc.
Johnny Vingerhoeds was Chairman of Region Brabant at that time. (Little did I know about getting married to him).
At various meetings we learned to know a lot of Harley riders from Brabant, some of which we are still friends with.
In June 1982 I bought a Super Glide 1978 from Henk Hutten for 9000, - guilders.
I broke up with Johan and in the meantime something beautiful  flourished between Johnny and me.
Shortly after I rode together with a group to Les Morfals in France. My first long trip, and also the last ..... for about 3 years.
On July 28, 1982 at the HaagDijk in Breda, I am waiting for a traffic light with a car on the left side of me.
When we pulled up together, his turning signal for left he turned to the right where I was standing.
In retrospect it appears that the driver was drunk and it was about the sixth time he pulled a stunt like this.
A broken shin and calf kept me busy for three years.
After 7 times in hospital and out, 8 months and 3 years with crutches it slowly got better.
In 1986 we decided to build a Liberator trike because it looked like I won’t be able to walk and drive my Shovelhead properly again.
Fortunately, it went well, although slowly.
With the trike we have had nice times.
At these times a trike was a relatively unknown apparatus That is why we got held by the police regularly, mostly because we were riding without our helmets.
I always had a copy of Art.97a from the Penal Code with me to show the police that it was actually legal.
And of course, motorists who forgot to drive at a green traffic light ..
In the eighties we visited rallies in France, England, 't Centrum, Putte, Leopoldsburg, Super Rally's, Castelre (HDC Breda).
There were just few women who rode their own.
Moniek and Penny from Breda, Addy from Dordrecht, Eva of the Blue Bikers, Joke and Meriam from HDC Putte and me. Probably there were a few more, but I forgot them.
From the compensation money from the accident, we went to Daytona Bike Week in 1986.
In 1990, we shipped our Shovelheads to America for Sturgis Bike Week.
Shipped from Rotterdam to Montreal and then drove to Sturgis, South Dakota. In many states we could still ride without helmets, kicking!
In the nineties we had to slow down because we had bought a house and it had to be converted.
Well, we visited rallies and went on vacation by bike at least once a year.
After 26 years I still have my Super Glide and I’ll never say good-bye to it.
There has never been a pre-prepared plan of how it‘s supposed to be but I am very pleased with how it is now.
Since I have trouble with my foot, I’ve had a foot clutch and hand gear made.
The color has not changed in all these years, black, black, and another black.
The North Cape in 2005, was a trip, never to be forgotten. It was much colder than we thought.
But no traffic jams or mobile homes with the same destination.
I drove 3000 kilometers with dead fingers at one time my leg seemed no longer connected to me.
A clutch lever broke off spontaneously by metal fatigue.
A HD dealer who helps you with a clutch lever by getting it of the bike from his fellow club member.
Those things make great stories at the campfire.
Sheep that won’t go away despite the noise production of our Harley's.
Finally at the North Cape, when you meet a member of your own club in the restaurant on the North Cape.!
But what a good feeling, 4 weeks with your partner on the road.
Furthermore, we have been to Germany where I feared for my life as I got a flat tire on the highway.
After some stunts and palpitations to take halt at the emergency lane, to see that my valve was completely gone.
Aided by the ADAC and 3 hours later drinking beer again.
No worries.
We had extra days off in 2005.
This resulted in 10 holidays that year.
This is something I could get used to.
The best trip was with Chapter Gilze to the TT races on the Isle of Man.
A day or 10 together on the road, not so many kilometers, but such fun.
In 2007 we went together with  24 members of the club to Poland, often wrong roads, had many special moments and Jesus, it was tiring.
(Yes, we don’t have the age of 20 anymore, but .... I was not the only one with that feeling, hey Peter, Johnny, Penny?)
After all these years I still prefer riding with just the two of us. But in a whole group is also nice.
In 2008 it was time to go at the Cool Bikers rally.
This was also a very pleasant experience.
You‘ve got plenty time to chat with everyone you already know, and enough time for the person to get to know who is not at the club for long.
I have to confess something; very occasionally Johnny and I are having a short affair, as you will see on the photos.
Not often, we find it equally delicious, but always go back to our old, familiar Shovelheads.
(Although, sometimes Johnny dreams about a Cross Bones...)
Update again at 40 years on the road, I will be almost 60 then, but... I have Penny for an example, so that's good.
And you see me walking strange, or sometimes with a stick, it is not a war wound that comes up but will still be the result of that accident in 1982.
  Keep on Chooglin '