|(by Frank Zandvliet) - This year (1996) saw the first Snerttour. It was originally planned on one three consecutive sundays. The first of those three sundays that promised good weather was the second one. So it was on February 4, and it had snowed a little on the saturday before but most of the snow was already gone. The sun was out when I left home around 10.00 am to go to Joure. After some 50 km (31 mls) the sun disappeared and at Lelystad I drove into a fog bank. Due to poor visibility I followed the fog lights of some cars which made me almost miss the exit to Lemmer. Opening my visor (?) I noticed that I'd left the fog bank behind me a long time ago.
On the emergency lane I then saw three Transalpers. Problems ? Yes, but not with the Transalps. They were trying to help another bike, of which the brand shall remain unknown.
Once in Joure it turned out that only eight people had showed up and none of them was from around town. One of them only came to say hello and would not join the tour. Right from the beginning Randal Scobie showed that he was going for it. As if he had to catch a train, he drove trhough the Frysian landscape. Looking back I think that he just wanted to stay ahead of the sound of his new exhaust.
We saw a lot of speedskaters along the way. Among them a lot of people that were crossing the IJsselmeer between Staveren and Enkhuizen. This caused a lot of injured people. Every town we passed had a 'koek-and-zopie' (hot-milk-drinks-and-cakes-stand) and everywhere was something special to do.
Halfway some of the Transalpers could not resist the temptation to ride their TA on the ice. Despite the quick pace we arrived at Sneek only at 15.00 hrs. Ther we had a meal of 'snert' with rye-bread and bacon. After fininshing this our return trip began. All in all a very enjoyable ride that left the cols almost unnoticed.
For those of you who do not know what 'Snert' is. Snert is a thick kind of soup made from peas. It is a typical dutch winter recipe. It is usually made in a large pan and contains also smoked sausage. It should be served with a kind of rye-bread and slices of cooked bacon as a side dish.