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Historic Motorcycle Rally 26,08 – 28,08,2011

Account of the trip to Poland 08,2011 by Richard Mack

To Hel and back !
The V Droga Kaszubska. Poland

An account of my trip on my 1968 BSA Rocket 3 to the V. Droga (road) Kaszubska (run in Kaszubria ) Kashubia is a region in Northern Poland around Gdynia, Gdansk and Wejherowo a lovely town named after Jakub Wejher, it also encompasses the Gulf of Puck which has some lovely beaches.
Let me start by saying that the rally is the fifth one organised by the “Old Bike Club” Poland which has fourteen members, “Yes only fourteen”, the scale of it and the organisation is second to none, I’ve got to say that it is one of the best events that I have been to since owning a motorcycle (43 years), the main organisers are as follows Marcin Hewelt,
Marcin Klimczak and Krzysztof Rotta , they are the nicest people and friendliest people you could ever meet, they really looked after me well. When I arrived on the Thursday before the start of the rally
on the Friday (26-8-11) Marcin Klimczak was there to greet me, all three spoke very good English, which puts us to shame,
I have a few Polish words like Hello, goodbye, good morning, cheers and welding! I forgot to mention that the rally was run from the Pension “Vis” which was a communist block of flats converted to a very nice hotel all situated in a seaside town called Jastrzebia Gora ( I think Gora is a mountain in Polish).

On Friday at 12pm. the rally was officially opened with a photo session with home made Vodka and a pinch of snuff which was actually not to bad, then after that we all had to partake in funny games, the first being that you had to paint with proper paints
and artist board a picture of your bike’s tank badge, and some
of them were very good, they did take me down to the town
and ply me with a few beers before I started mine but it turned out ok in the end, there were some plastic darts and various other things as well, people were still arriving all day, most of them from Poland
but some Germans and two other English guys, one called Andy flew out and used Krzysztof AJS 500 and Tom Norman who already had
his Panther in Warsaw with a friend. Everybody stayed in the pension and it was quite a family affair with whole families turning up, some with dogs as well.
In the evening there was a sit down meal (it was said to be a light meal but there was as much as you could eat and you could help your self,
then a lot of talking and drinking, some of us went down to the beach as it was lovely weather, then a few more beers.

I would also like to mention that all the Polish organisers had British bikes, some of them quite rare even in England (photo enclosed)
All the bikes were lined up in the car park according to the country of origin, there were a lot of bikes I had never seen before, especially Polish Sokol’s and Junak’s I think that the Sokol’s are very hard to come by even in Poland now, a lot of old Zundap’s and BMW and some NSU’s
a very nice Polish Osa scooter with a little trailer and some Russian stuff as well.
After a very nice breakfast the run started at 9am. It went out onto the peninsular to Hel that forms the Gulf of Puck, the peninsular is about forty kilometres long with two or three towns along the way, it was a glorious day and being one hundred bikes on the run we were split up into three groups.
We stopped at the first town and walked onto the beach and toasted the rally with home made Champagne, then a mass photo session.
Back on the bikes and off again to a second world war museum “Muzeum Obrony Wybrzeza” which was originally a huge gun emplacement,
the gun was no longer there but it could fire a shell 43 kilometres over the gulf, the Germans dismantled it and transported it to France
so that they could shell England, but they never reassembled it in time, there were a lot of interesting artefacts there and you could nearly have spent a whole day there, but it was off again this time to Hel at the end of the peninsular where a sit down meal of fish and chips was arranged
and a gymkana was held for anybody to take part in, much to the amusement of the locals. I passed on it as I was waiting along time for my fish
and chips which I thought were more important.
After that it was back on the bikes again stopping off at Jastarnia a lovely little fishing port for the Conquers de Elegance where several of the riders were dressed in period costume and did look very nice ( Police and Polish army on Sokol’s and old BMW’s) then it was a bit of a burn up back
to the pension with more funny games and a presentation dinner in the evening where yours truly won a raffle prize, the longest distance travelled prize and a mascot of Kashubia stating that I am now an “Ambassador” for the Old Bike Club and I have to spread the word as they would love more people from the UK to go to their events.

After that it was a few more drinks, talking and making friends with people. Now it was time for bed.
Sunday morning started with a leisurely breakfast then a run to Gdynia to vist the war ship”Blyskawica” (which is Polish for lightening)
it was built with a sister ship “Thunder” (which I believe was sunk from what I could make out) and is now a museum piece in the harbour,
it was built in Glasgow in 1942 and has twin steam turbines, it is still the fastest ship on the Baltic, 43 knots! It was tested in 1955 for it’s speed
but a steam flange blew apart killing seven people in the engine room, so it was removed from service after that. I did not have a lot of time to look over it as five minutes from the start of the run in the town my zenor diode gave up promptly blowing the main fuse and stopping the bike
in the road, of course I had left everything back at the pension, as luck would have it I knew what the problem was straight away as
I had the same trouble last year going down on to the boat at the Hooke of Holland so I was more or less ready for it,
Marcin had a fuse in his pocket so I pulled the wire of the zenor, fitted the fuse and rode back and changed it for the old original zenor that came with the bike when new! Job complete I fixed my bag of tools and spare parts on the back of the bike and headed of for Gdynia.
I found them all at the harbour about an hour and a half later, so that’s why I missed most of it.
At this point on leaving the ship the rally is more or less over, so along with Marcin, Krzysztof and Andy we set of for the “Zamki”
which was once a castle and is now a hotel and restaurant, there we had a very nice meal courtesy of Andy.
After that I went with Marcin back to Wejherowo where he lives. At this point I should say that I made contact with Marcin Hewelt as like me
he is a member of the New Imperial Owners Association and he advertised the Polish rally in the club magazine last winter,
I thought to myself this sounds like an interesting trip for the old BSA again, I might have a go at it and I am very glad that I did.
Well I digress, off we set for Wejherowo, I had just crossed the very busy E28 and changed into third gear when the nipple pulled of the clutch cable ( I was not surprised as I had been adjusting it going along all morning in very heavy traffic) soon sorted (thanks to my bag of parts) in a bus shelter which very conveniently happened to be where she stopped, we were on our way again, if it had been a modern bike you would probably have needed a breakdown recovery to collect you.
We had a nice tea at Marcin’s with his family and a good look over the New Imp’s under restoration, one he thinks was originally sold new
in Poland and the other left by the Russians on their way back from Germany after the war, one is a Model 18 and the other a Model 11 ( I think I have that correct) but they will be lovely bikes when he has finished them, also he has a 350cc Junak as well as a 16H Norton,
I must add that his 18 year old daughter Natalia rode in the rally very confidently on a 250cc Honda.

After all this he suggested that I leave my bike at his, and in the morning he would try to find me a new zenor as a spare, he drove me back
to the pension as it was quite a distance and collected me in the morning, but did not have much luck with the zenor unfortunately.
Once back at Marcin’s we checked the good old BSA over ( charging system, battery and adjusted the chain) then after a coffee and cake
we bid our fair wells and at 1pm. I set off for home.

Now a bit about the journey, I caught the over night ferry from Harwich to the Hooke of Holland at 7.45am I was on the road,
I did a few miles and did not like the look of the sky over Wills Mothers as they say in Norfolk so I pulled into a filling station and put on my wet suit ( wise move ) not many miles later going around Rotterdam the heavens opened and it rained all the way into Germany plus quite heavy traffic,
I went down the A12 to Arnhem then Zutphen, Hengelo and into Germany, I should point out that the first night I was going to stay with Ralph
and Rita in Weezten near Hamburg where Jackie and I went to the GTR4. ( Forth German Triples Run ) last year, they said they would happily put me up for the night, the weather got out a little better so near Cloppenburg I stopped to brew up some coffee and a cupa soup, as soon as I got my stove going the heavens opened again with a thunderstorm, luckily I left my wet suit on, I thought after that lot the old girl will be a bugger to start, but she fired up first kick, I reached Ralph and Rita at about 5.30pm., very tired but pleased to see them again, the sun was shining now
so a barbeque was the order of the day and after a very interesting evening talking about ship engines ( Ralph works for MAN in their ship engine plant in Hamburg, and was due to go imminently to India to change the cranks in two ship engines, I think he said they weigh eight tonnes each ) After a good nights sleep and a good breakfast it was of again across country this time into what was East Germany to Warnitz near the Polish boarder and spend the next night with Mathias and Imke, it was about 260 miles through some lovely country side and good roads with very little traffic, a really nice time was had with them, we had a look around the village which was very quiet and quite creepy, in the winter they said you never see anybody, we went to a really top hotel a kilometre down the road and had a top class meal, in the morning I set off at 6.45am.,
as they leave very early for work which was not a problem for me and I was soon going around Szczecin and up to Stupsk and then Jastrzebia Gora which I reached at 3pm. a bit damp first thing but it got out and was quite a nice ride up there, by the time I reached my destination I had done 900 miles comfortably in three days cooking my own food on the way and not stopping to long anywhere.

On the way back I stayed with Imke again, she was on her own and pleased to have the company, she had cooked up some lovely soup with spicy sausage in it which was very welcome after my ride from Wejherowo, I had left at 1pm. and arrived at Warnitz at 7pm. through some of
the heaviest rain around Szczecin that I have ever ridden through. The following morning when I left for Rita’s I went across country around Lubeck and up to Gluckstadt and caught the ferry across the Elbe to Wischhafen, the Elbe is really wide here and the crossing takes about
twenty five minutes, then to Stade, Bremervorde and Weezten.

This was quite a long day, over three hundred miles but nice weather and well worth it. On the Wednesday I had a day off at Rita’s loafing about and checking the bike over, the weather was a bit wet so it was a good idea, in the afternoon it got out a bit, so I borrowed Rita’s bicycle and rode up to the farm where we stayed at the GTR4 last year to see the lady at the farm and see what sort of harvest they had, also to see if the old Fendt tractor was still going that was jammed in two gears when I was there last year, (I helped her son repair it) earning one free nights lodging, she was pleased and surprised to see me, I was asked in and plied with coffee and a huge piece of gateau and told that they had not had a very good harvest, it had been a really wet summer in Germany, I then cycled round some more villages which are very pretty in that area and back to Weezten, after tea I taught Rita to play Liverpool rummy which I must have done too well as she beat me four times in a row. The following morning at 9.30am. I said my goodbye’s and set off again this time for Sandstedt and caught another ferry to Brake across the Wesser river, then Oldenburg and back across Germany into Holland, near Lingen my rev counter cable snapped in half so that was the third thing with the bike so after that I know she would be fine, then to Lochem to spend the night with Stephen Brandsma and his wife Marijke, they fed and watered me in true Dutch style and we had a good discussion about how the Dutch came and drained the fens of East Anglia several hundred years ago, or at least they showed us how to do it properly, now it’s quite a lot lower than the North Sea which is a bit disconcerting.

In the morning back on the good old BSA I headed for the Hooke which was quite a doddle after my last few days riding. Back on the ferry to Harwich and arriving home at 9.45 pm. Trip over with not very much trouble at all. Just one or two fill up’s with 98 octane I was averaging 45-50 mile to the gallon at 65-70 mph., the BSA ran like a top! I think they like a good long run to keep them right, Oh! I only used one pint of oil and clocked up 2029 miles, it’s quite tiring doing long distances on old bikes but well worth while, you make so many friends on the way and that’s what it’s all about, would I do it again? Do bears s---t in the woods!


Historic Motorcycle Rally 26,08 – 28,08,2011

This year the V Droga Kaszubska was celebrating 5-th anniversary of the event with very sunny weather, having 100 noble motorcycles with its riders, often bringing pillions and members of families completing circa 170 participants. We could count 26 motorcycles Made in England, including BSA J12 Vtwin, BSA Rocket3 coming from UK on wheels, AJS V twin 100cc, many of 50-ths, 60-ths 70-ths, three of Ariel Square Four, Vincent, Rudge 4 vales, racing Norton Manx, Royal Enfield’s, two of Matchless, Triumphs, Norton’s, Panther. The German industry represented six of NSU including Model 501S, many BMW, Zundapp, with USA went very nice Indian 101 and two of HD, Belgium Sarolea and French AutoMoto was among us too.

Big surprise was to see 11 of Polish made CWS and Sokół sharing capacity of 1000cc and 600cc. Could we call the event international having three guests from UK, and four from Germany? Nevertheless, so many native participants arrived from very remote to our place cities as Warszawa, Lublin, Radom, Debica, Szczecin, Białystok, Olsztyn, Poznan, big appreciation for them for coming.
Was a big pleasure for us having journalists naming personally Jerzy Kossowski, always willing to help as editor of the Automobilista, Michael Przibilski editor of Auto&Motorrad Oldtimer in Germany very much interested to help too and Lech Potynski editor of Świat Motocykli arriving with his BMW R51/3 covering distance of 400km one way.
The Vintage Motorcycles Club UK and FIVA got its representatives as well. We sincerely thank to all for coming to our event!!!
We invite you to the Rally „VI Droga Kaszubska” which will take place from 30 08 2012 Thursday – 02 09 2011 Sunday, in Łapino Górne, resort named “ROMA” (www.wypoczynekroma.pl) located on the lake shore.
The route of the ran will take us in the Kartuzy district famous from very twisty but safe roads accompanied by the scenery you like very much.
The program of the Rally includes visit in the VW private museum ( http://vwmuzeum.pl/),, in historic water power plant in Rutka and City of the old Gdańsk will be in our agenda.

Awards of V Droga Kaszubska
Debut - AutoMoto A14 220cc Artur Piszora
I place for “Elegance” - Michael Przibilski BMW R11/750cc/ Germany
II place for “Elegance” - Henryk Wyszyński Sokół 1000 cc
The Longest Distance Poland – Marcin Tynowski Triumph Tiger 650cc/ Lublin 620km
The Longest Distance Europe – Richard Mack BSA Rocket3 750cc/ UK 956 miles
The nicest motorcycle pre war - Marek Fornal Sokół 1000cc
The nicest motorcycle 1945-1970 – Piotr Żelazowski Ariel Square 1000cc
The nicest motorcycle after 1970 - Maciej Golimowski Triumph TR6 650cc
The oldest motorcycle – Krzysztof Górak NSU 301T 1927
Best restoration pre war - Horst Higeist NSU 501S 500cc / Germany
Best restoration 1945-1970 - Ireneusz Tomyślak Ariel Square Four 1000cc
Best restoration after 1970 - Wojciech szczepański Kawasaki Mach3 500cc
I place Gimghan solo – Wojciech Szczepański Honda CB350cc
II place Gimghan solo – Wojciech Wołoszyński BSA Blue Star 350cc
III place Gimghan solo – Jerzy Awramiuk BMW R35 350cc
I place In Gimghan with sidecar – Adam Podbierkowski BMW R75 WH 750cc
II place In Gimghan with sidecar – Jarosław Stybaniewicz Junak M10
Trophy of Automobilista – Tadeusz Wnuk BMW R12
26 08 2011 Friday

Marcin Hewelt Tel. 501276399
Marcin Klimczak Tel.604379213
Krzysztof Rotta