As I couldn't make this year's instalment, following my 2015 trip with Matt Brown, I was keen to get more of a 'local' perspective on this excellent event. Dutch vespa rider, Jorma Snoek (and all round top dude), who I met on last year's inaugural Maskes Classic Vespa Rally, duly obliged and sent me the following write-up and accompanying photos for the vespamore site after some gentle persuasion...
"Saturday morning, Sept. 3, 6:30 AM, the alarm goes off but I'm already awake. I'm looking at the clock from 5:30 because today it is Maskes' rally again. After the great weekend last year, I'm looking forward to participating again.
Shower, coffee and a simple breakfast, then in to the camper and off to the warehouse to pick up the trailer, which since Wednesday has been loaded with the P200 and the Rally 180 - 1.9 bar pressure in the tyres and tanks fully loaded with fuel. Trailer hitched, I drive to Niels'; last year he came too but without vespa and now rides on my P200, he too is excited as we set off.
Together we drive to camping Duiventoren just outside Rijen, where Eric is already waiting for us, with his SS180. Another friend Jan, has already pitched his tent while his son Shem watches the PX200. We find a decent spot to pitch and unload the vespas. After erecting the canopy, connecting the electric hook-up and making the beds, we unfold the chairs and are ready to leave for Maskes, it is 9:00AM and we need coffee!
It is Niels' first time on a classic vespa and we cover the 3km to Maskes quickly as we ride fast with the four wasps in the warm sun; it promises to be a beautiful day, 22C and clear blue sky.
We are not the first to arrive and see a few vespas are already there. As we walk along the line of parked vespas, I hear "hey how are you" and see a familiar face; it's Matt from England whom I met last year. We shake hands and get right back to talking about our Maskes rally experience last year and our shared hobby. I ask him where his companion Paul Hart is, of last year and he apologises for Paul's absence this year. We drink a second cup of coffee and before long Maskes' Hilde Visser calls everyone together for the briefing.
Like last time, there are again two rides on the programme and we have to follow the numbered arrows in the right order on a simple map. This means riding and map reading at the same time while on narrow roads, dirt tracks, forest trails and vast polder roads. I stick the laminated A4 map with duct tape on my headset to make map reading easier. In contrast to riding solo as last year, we agree to ride in a group as it's more fun.
During the first stage, we immediately know again why we participate in this rally; the Maskes team again manage to surprise us with a scenic drive through woods and polders, along water and sand - so enjoyable on our vespas!
Photo: Matt Brown (HEMI's Motovespa GT160)
Photo: Matt Brown
Matt - selfie
The ride progresses well apart from a few navigational errors and we are met at the finish with sandwiches for lunch on our return to Maskes. During the short break we discuss at length the beautiful sights that we encountered along the way.
For the second ride we must first re-fuel, so ride together with Jan, Shem, Eric and Niels to the campsite for a "cold refreshment", before re-filling the vespas' tanks.
On our return to Maskes we are joined by Matt and some others, so we are about 8 or 9 vespas for the afternoon ride. It is a combination of enjoyment, laughter, navigation and sometimes a little extra driving skills. The ride is quite long and we decide to make a 'Pit Stop' at a local cafe bar where the wheat beer tastes just fine in the afternoon sun!
Foto: Matt Brown (Jorma Snoek far left)
Foto : Matt Brown
Matt Brown - Photo by Vincent Knoops
Back at Maskes and with all the vespas parked and helmets hanging on luggage hooks, it's time for a delicious barbecue and accompanying beers. Everyone recounts the day's events and attempt to work out which wrong turns they took!
Around 21:00 we leave for the campsite to light a fire and partake in a few more beers. We talk mostly in English for Matt's benefit and as the liquor flows our English improves greatly ...... we think!
Foto: Matt Brown
We hear Matt leave early on Sunday morning and later hear he returned safely following a good ride home to England.
We drink a quiet cup of coffee and a sandwich and just remains for us to clean up and load the vespas on the trailer again.
Foto: Matt Brown
Team Maskes until next year!"
Words and images (unless stated) - Jorma Snoek
A massive thanks to Jorma for his excellent report and fotos - much appreciated my friend ; ) Thanks also to Matt Brown for additional images.
Below vid by Laurens De Rijke for Maskes Vespa Klassiekers..