Ronnie and I (Bob) set off from Albany on the Saturday of the June long weekend heading for the Numbat, 40km east of York. Ronnie on his Harley and me on the ‘82 BMW R100CS sidecar outfit (to carry camping gear and large esky!)
weather at first was fine, although there were some very black
clouds over the South Coast.
Around Kendenup it was starting to drizzle a bit so we stopped and put our wet weather gear on. Of course the rain eased shortly afterwards.
Heading up the Great Southern Hwy there were more black clouds. Our
first stop was Broomehill and it started raining with a bit of
lightning thrown in - we’d made ourselves some coffee under a shelter.
We decided to keep moving, stopping in Katanning for fuel. By now
rain was pelting down. The bloke in the servo asked where we were going
(thinking we were nuts!) I said a “Bike Rally”, he said “Boat Rally”,
No “Bike Rally”. He said we’d be better off at a Boat Rally ha ha.
Shortly after Katanning it stopped again - But those clouds kept
hanging around. Narrogin: we were going to stop - but those clouds were
ever, so we kept going. Not far out of town it started raining very
hard. Ronnie was having
trouble seeing me and the water on the road was dragging the sidecar
sideways - but with nowhere to stop we kept going.
was horizontal lightning in front of us, then to the side and
finally behind us - that was wet - Ronnie reckons the wettest he’d seen
since Holland. By Brookton it had stopped raining and so we stopped for
of guys on Harleys there who were heading to Perth with jeans on for
wet weather gear - we laughed as we could see what they were in for.
The clouds then stayed to the west of us and we had a dry run into
York, where we were surprised to hear they had no rain at all. A quick
beer in the new motorbike cafe, (Saints), have a look if you’re
there on a weekend, and we headed to the Rally site in company with
some of the Ducati Club, a lady with them had a beautiful 250cc Duke.
When we arrived we were surprised by the number of bikers there,
considering the weather. We quickly found the rest of the mob,
including five of our members
from Perth. They’d picked a good spot and had a pile of firewood ready.
They’d had no rain at all and the weather was perfect.
greeted us with a dusty doughnut on his Gold Wing outfit. Huw
on his old R69S BMW with new pannier racks - looked neat and
professional. Doug was very pleased with his BMW outfit with an Indian
Cosi sidecar which I hadn’t seen before. Norm on the Suzuki outfit,
John on the old (original) Panther and Brett on his Suzuki. Camped also
were friends and Brett’s girlfriend April.
By now it was around 4 pm and so there were a few bombs, donuts,
burn-outs and a few bikes tearing around the paddock. After dark there
was also fireworks let off as well as the usual
entertainment. We spent most of the evening sitting around the fire
educating Ronnie on some quaint Australian language.
Next morning a look around the Rally and then a wander over to the
Gymkhana. Ronnie and I went in the Musical Chairs - except they’re
witches hats which you have to fight for. From 10 starters we lasted
till there were only three sidecars left. It was a good laugh watching
the other events that the MRA put on - with Loose Bruce compering
- especially the Horizontal Bungee Jumping - you had to be there.
We wandered around a bit more, watched the awards. John got oldest
(and rider) with his 1938 Panther.
We then settled in for the afternoon sitting around, watching the goings on and chatting to various people who came to our camp - very entertaining. The weather incidentally on Sunday was more like summer than winter.
Very few people left the Rally on Sunday, so I reckon by afternoon
there was a bigger crowd than normal.
Kenny Gawenda arrived on his BMW in the afternoon after spending the night out Bullfinch way the previous night with the BMW Club.
After dark more fireworks and fiery
football started which some of
crowd joined in, kicking the thing is OK, picking it up and throwing it
- a bit daft - and heading it - dafter still - but a good laugh. It was
then decided to put a few bottles on the fire, and we had a few
nice booms. We then ran out of bottles, Norm thought I’ll put the jerry
can on and see what happens - big boom - blew the thing apart and also
much to our laughter put a hole in Norm’s chair and singed his jacket
which was hanging from the back of it.
There were then a few cans of
spaghetti (best place for it) on the fire and finally braised steak and
onions, some of which seemed to end up on the Cosi sidecar. Good night
After breakfast next day we took off in fog which quickly cleared into a sort of mist. Ronnie and I decided we’d return via Corrigin, Kulin and Dumbleyung. What a great ride - brilliant weather, complete contrast to Saturday. We had a great weekend, and looking forward to the Numduc in Dowerin next year.Back to Index Page