They came from Norway. They came from New Zealand. They came from everywhere. The tranquil rhythm of East Holland changed beat, as Indian enthusiasts with a gentle rumble descended on the small town of Zeddam. Not only were they going to this year's international Indian gathering, they were going to celebrate Indian's 100 year birthday as well. Throw in some extraordinary bikes on display and a wall of death for good measure, and 455 people from 18 countries on 269 indians were all set for having a good time. The folloving small stories are collected from rallygoers. You could call it the "people's voice" or Vox Populi as they said in ancient Rome.
Holland -land of the windmills
Dufrene from the Indian
Motocycles Club France tells:
After 9 hours of driving the Renault 4L (40°C inside without aircon) a friend lent me, I arrived on Friday afternoon at the campsite. After paying the fee and getting the traditional gifts and literature, I joined the other members of the Indian Motocycles Club France, mounted the tent and went to the bar to get some refreshments (really needed!). From the twenties to the last model of the Chief, Indians were already parked everywhere. Even a rare 149 (need confirmation) was brought by John from UK. There were older models exibited in a sort of barn and at the Indian display
The campsite was divided into different sections: Camping, dealers and swap meet, and a Wall of Death area. An old restored farm sat in the middle and that was where we would eat and drink. I have to say I was impressed by the food, it was good (I'm not easy on this kind of thing) and gargantuan!
Well,- after refreshing my throat a bit too much I did a little tour to look at the bikes. As usual some had come on trailers, and some properly ridden on the road. I greeted old faces and met new ones. After a light dinner I went to my tent early, overcome by the warm weather and the cold beer. I woke early Saturday morning and went to the food place which was closed. So I went for a tour of the dealers. I got a clutch spanner from Juergen Mattern and forgot to buy the Jerry Greer catalog at Tony Leenes' stand.
People began to line up for the bike tour, but I stayed at the camp with some buddies that had arrived without a bike like me. I went to the Wall of Death 3 or 4 times. Man! -This thing makes me crazy! And then it was dinner and party time! - I don't remember what happened after, but "I Wouldn't Have Missed It For the World ". (© B. Haley)
Predryc - President of the Oldtimer
Club Poland tells:
Between the 27 and 29 of July we had the honor of taking part in the tremendous Indian Rally in Zeddam. We had planned to go to this Rally for over 2 years, ever since we had seen the pictures from Finland on the Internet.
As we are a very small community, our Club has only four riding Indians and several still under reconstruction. We wanted to bring at least a couple of bikes with us, to show that are Indian enthusiasts in Eastern Europe as well. In Holland, Indians were present since the beginning of the XX century (when there was no Poland on the European maps), so we were expecting to see many beautiful bikes. What we saw was much above our comprehension. There were over 300 Indians in one single place - we could not believe our eyes. Indian Motorcycle Club Netherlands had managed to bring together so many Indians enthusiasts who could have fun together, exchange experience and contacts.
During the rally there was also the occasion to buy missing parts and even whole Indians. For those with nerves of iron there was the legendary Wall of Death (The last one I have seen was over 20 years ago) with tremendous riders and the best ever Indian made by man, the 101. If someone happened to see Indian motocycles for the first time in his life, here he had the unique occasion to see its history exhibited. There were gathered tens of perfectly restored Indians.
The ride-out of hundreds of Indians on the picturesquely situated Dutch roads was the culmination of the event. This rally will stay for a long time in my memory and has taught me how a real old-timers rally should look like. I would like to thank Indian Motorcycle Club Netherlands for the great pleasure to be there with them.
Since then and thanks to the Zeddam Rally, we have two more Indians under restoration in our Club and we aim to ride them during the meeting in Slovenia next year.
on pictures for full size
Rosfeldt from the Indian Club Denmark
I got there on Friday and joined the Danish club. Some of them had started out five days earlier from the club house of MC-Mosten in Denmark. They had spend tuesday night in Flensborg, Germany, where the Swedish Indian Club had teamed up. Wednesday night was spend in northern Holland and Thursday they arrived in Zeddam. Only one Indian had given up the ghost. An electric failure stopped it, but luckily it was right outside of Zeddam.
The Danish club camped with their Teepees almost in the entrance of the rally grounds, no need to be discreet.. Friday night we held a banquet with big steaks, masterly prepared by "Boef" (steak), the Chief of the Danish club. It was a great party that went on into the wee hours. All languages were spoken, even some unknown to man.
Saturday came and was spent repairing Indians (bikes and riders..) from a handful of nations. Elo, the Danish Indian wizard had "incidentally" brought some spares with him, and they came in handy. In the afternoon there was a ride-out, but it was really hard to find out where and when it started as one beautiful Indian after another just kept rolling by.
Later there was a Chief summit. Boef had brought a cigar approximately two feet long to use as a peace pipe. You had to hold it with two hands! Later in the evening, you could see the same cigar being passed around and people turning all kinds of colors. A single rainstorm had us all under cover, but it just heightened the good atmosphere even more. We saw the Wall of Death and Heike from the Danish camp had the luck of trying a couple of rounds, sitting on the handlebars. My closing statement is just a big THANKS to the Dutch club, who really did a great job. And what food !!!
All photos by Marcin from Oldtimers Club Poland, and lots more here!
The International Indian Rally 2003 will be in Denmark.