Flakkee, best place to break down my bike!
Flakkee is the southernmost delta island of the province of South Holland, Netherlands. If not because I am traveling by motorcycle , I could never imagine I would came to here.
The reason why I was there because the route I chosen from Brussels to Amsterdam is avoid highway and ferry, to go to Amsterdam is not too far, less than 300km, I could made it in one day, so I am kind of relax on the way.
After made out of Belgium, I entered the delta island of South Holland. After about 20km, I feel that the lighting system is kind of unstable, after another 2km the motorcycle is lost power , then just stopped at the middle of the road.
Luckily, just 20 meters away there is a tractor workshop. I went there then that is how I met Richard. He thinks maybe the fuse is burned, but after checked the fueses, we couldn’t find out what is the problem. He called 2 motorcycle repair shops, first one said will be available until next month, another one said the mechanic is not available at the moment. Then he called his friend, that is how I met with Pim. Pim came with a van in 10 minutes, we put all my stuffs and bike into the van.
We got back to the shop, Wilco came out, smile and hand shake to me, I felt hope at that moment. He stopped the work he was doing, he and Pim started to working on my bike. Just few minutes, they find out the problem is voltage regulator. The voltage output is over 16.8V. Wilco said that with this output could “cook” the battery. The new voltage regulator will arrive on next day.
The island still 4 hours away from Amsterdam, it is not possible for me to go to Amsterdam at the same day. Since there is no hotel there, Pim was invited me to spend a night with his family. His father Bram, mother Matthie and sister Daphne warmly welcomed me, immediately I was holding a Heineken, and I just realized, “ Oh, I am in Holland”.
They make me a very conformable bed in a very sweet cabin, which Bram built it by himself. A sumptuous Dutch style dinner prepared by Matthie. I feel that I was so lucky. The day before I was just think about “ Is it traveling by motorcycle is too fast? “. What just happing just changed my mind. I feel like I’m in a real motorcycle diary.My journey is not just from a destination to another, it is more about the stories in between. To connecting the people from all different places.
While I was just met with Wilco, He mentioned that few years ago, one couple from this island started a around the world journey by 2 Africa Twin XRV750, Now he is happy to see another XRV750 here again. Especially I’m from Far East.
The life is full of consequences.
Next day, I met with Erik in Wilco’s shop.
I didn’t know him before, but we immediately started a very good conversion about the journey how to change the option of the world. In fact , he played an very important role for that couple who travel around the journey by 2 Africa Twins. Because his sister Mirjam rode Erik’s Africa Twin around the world with her husband.
In the night, Erik and his girlfriend Miranda invited me to their house to have dinner. In his garage, I start to understand how his passion about the motorcycle. And he got full of knowledges about Africa Twin. At that moment, I remember Pim mentioned before, ” there is a guy, always come to work with Wilco, but doesn’t get paid”. Now I know that guy is Erik.
In Erik house, he replace the headlight for me, give me some spare parts, before I left he told me, anything about xrv 750 just call him. He also give me his sister’s contact , even she is in Canada, but who knows, I believe I will be in Canada sooner or later.
When I was in Wilco’s shop, he said he remember an article from 2 Dutch KTM riders overland travel to Shanghai from Holland, in that article they mentioned about a “crazy” Chinese cyclist in Kazakhstan, ” is that you?!”
” Yeah , I think so. ”
When I was in my Silk Road journey I met Sjors and Ramon in a middle of nowhere in Kazakhstan. Wilco said ” you are already famous before you came to here!”
My visit of Flakkee is accidental. But is memorable. Everyone is so nice , try to help. Wilco didn’t charged the labor cost of fixing, I learned how to play sóduko with Pim’s father Bram.
Before I was traveling by bicycle. Every time when I say goodbye to the friend I met it was like a forever goodbye. Because traveling by bike is not that easily to move around. After motorized I feel that more freedom, therefore, I believe I am sure will be back to Flakke.
See you later, comrades.
Sjors and Ramon : http://www.opdekoffieinchina.nl
VP motorsport (Wilco’s shop) : https://www.facebook.com/motorensommelsdijk/
Mirjam van Immerzeel http://www.farawayfromflakkee.nl
Some basic Dutch I learned
Tot zo see you later
Tot ziens see you tomorrow
Nogen in the gogen