ACON Autocross Elystar Tour - invitation
We will ride from Amsterdam to the north of the province Noord Holland, which takes us through the meadowlands which I have described in previous tour reports. After about two hours, we will reach our destination near the village of Sint Maarten. In the evening, we will return to Amsterdam partly along the North Sea route. Total riding distance will be about 150km. The planned route can still be changed slightly.
On Sunday, July 20, the Auto Cross Organisation Noord Holland hosts one of their dirt track cross races in the small village of Sint Maarten. ACON claims that it will be a spectacular car show, starting at noon and resulting in finals around 5:30pm. Plenty of catering services next to the track.
- Invited are 50cc Elystar scooter riders. We will make exceptions for other scooterists on request, but it should be a "mainly Elystar" tour.
- Departure 11:00am (sharp!) from Vroom&Dreesmann, Boven 't IJ shopping mall, Buikslotermeerplein, Amsterdam
- This is about safety and fun. We travel as a group: the slowest scoot will ride in front. No passing.
- According to ACON, visitors pay a 6 euro entrance fee for the races.
- We will leave Sint Maarten right after the final races and expect to be back in Amsterdam around 8:30pm
- Sign up closes on Thursday, July 17.
- Make sure your Ely is in good condition and fill up your fuel and oil tanks in advance. There's a service station 100 meters from the starting point.
- A mobile phone number will be published here later, to enable you to make emergency calls.
July the 20th. After getting up, I took a look out of the window. Aaaargh....rain! "So much for a nice day of scootering", I thought, until I took a second look and noticed that it was really just a shower. And it proved to be the only shower of the whole day, too.
Around 10am, the skies cleared, and the weather became truly wonderful. Temperatures between 23C and 26C, a light wind from various directions, some high clouds but mostly sunny. We couldn't have been more lucky.
At 10:30am, I had arranged to meet Henk van den Brink, an Elystar rider from Bennebroek, at the ferry behind the Central Station in Amsterdam. Henk was the only rider to sign on....perhaps it wasn't a very bright idea to organize a rideout during holiday weeks after all.
Together we rode the 3km through the northern part of town to the starting point of this rideout. To our surprise, we met another Elystar rider there: Derk Bouhuijs from Durgerdam. Derk bought his Elystar only a couple of weeks ago, and although he had other duties to fulfill today, he couldn't resist showing up at the starting point and wishing us a nice ride. This was, of course, greatly appreciated.
The ride to the Eenigenburg ACON race track was 70km long. Henk and I cruised around 65km/h most of the time, when we passed villages like Zuiderwoude, Edam, Middelie, Avenhorn and Opmeer. Things went very smoothly, as Henk turned out to be an excellent rider, who assumed second position in our group, while I rode in front. We planned to halt somewhere for a cup of coffee in a nice village inn, but unfortunately at that time of day on Sunday, it was very hard - no, it was impossible - to find one which was opened. However, we did have an encounter with some local kids riding their scooters. Cruising as usual, we passed them, only to see one of them pass us 500m further down the road....doing at least 90km/h dressed in a T-shirt only. No helmet, no gloves. And this was an area where ducks happen to cross the roads a lot!
We shook our heads and finished the trip to the race track safely. When we got there, we were amazed seeing so many vehicles in the car park. We parked our scoots, locked them to an iron rail, and payed our way in (7 euros). The races were in progress already. This was a 400 metres sand track, surrounded by a ditch, then a hill with iron massive fences on top. At least three thousand spectators were sitting behind the fences, enjoying the races. They almost all brought their own seats. It was actually hard to find a spot to stand, but we managed to get an excellent view from one of the corners.
The races were truly spectacular, especially the Formula-1 class. With tremendous speeds, these cars do corners in a heartbeat, while pushing their opponents off the track. Also, the enthusiastic public announcer was a great addition to the atmosphere. I had never seen dirt track races before, but this was way beyond my expectations.
In every heat, racers are knocked over, or they crash without even being pushed. Whenever a car crashes, marshalls are at the spot immediately to see if the racer is OK. We haven't seen anybody got hurt, and all racers leave their cars quickly, showing that they aren't injured.
After a little over two hours of enjoying the races and standing in the sun, we had enough. After all, our main dish was the scooter rideout, so it was time to get moving again.
The first part of the route back to the civilized world consisted of a dyke road, well elevated over the polder landscape. We successfully dodged the bicyclists, who by now had crowded the roads. Here's Henk on his Elystar:
The next stop was Schoorl, a small village in the North Sea dunes. At this time of year, plenty of tourists visit this little town, so the bars, inns and restaurants are all opened. We parked the Elystars, and found a nice table in the shades in front of a local restaurant. Time for a decent break, some white beer (delicious when temperatures reach 25C) and a sandwich. In front of us, all types of vehicles passed - like big American cars, motorbikes, a trike and bunches of bicyclists - but we haven't seen another Elystar today. Two Elyseo's, yes, but they don't count.
Around 5:00pm we started our engines for the final part of the rideout. We followed the signs "Bergen aan Zee" as we wanted to take the road through the dunes. However, we managed to find yet another spot where road management leads both bicyclists and scooters in the same direction, only to put signs onto the road miles further away which indicate that scooters may not proceed (see picture).
We had two options here: acknowledge the sign and turn around, OR look the other way and keep riding. We chose the former.
Without further problems, we finished the rideout. We passed Egmond, Castricum, Heemskerk and Beverwijk without delay, and arrived at the IJmuiden ferry. Here, Henk and I said good-bye. He took the ferry to cross the Noordzee Canal, and then rode home (20 more kilometres). His total riding distance today was about 170km.
I enjoyed my ride home to Monnickendam via Beverwijk, Assendelft, Wormer and Purmerend. Total riding distance 185km.
Great weather, problem free scooters, a pittoresque environment and an exciting dirt track race. This was one helluva day, folks!
This tale has also been published at Low Countries By Bike