Twelve months goes quick doesn’t it?
Yep, it was time to get the old bike out for The Week-Long Ride to
Toodyay and back. 22 bikes were on the ride at various times with the
oldest being John Sinclair’s 1930 1096cc Grindlay.
Special mention must be made of Garry Blake who completed the entire
1,000 mile (1600 km) trip on his 1949 500cc Ariel Red Hunter, bearing
in mind the bike (and most probably Garry by now) has a rigid back-end!
70’s BMW’s were the popular choice, although as you can see by the list below there was a
good variety of bikes.
Heading off from Albany in good weather, taking
the back roads to Kojonup, then turning towards Moodiarrup and a look
at Lake Towerinning before arriving in Darkan. The caravan park was
grassy and clean with everyone tenting or in on-site vans.
we’d set up the tents and were settling down for a beer, the Perth mob
arrived comprising of John, Clive, Steve and Sandra, Kojak and Graham.
When they’d got themselves organised we all sat around having a drink
and nibbles outside the Smith’s residence. We then proceeded to the pub
for a counter tea before heading back to the camp for more socialising.
Next morning was beautiful, but a bit chilly.
The ride though was great, stocking up with fuel for us and the bikes
at Williams we headed through Narrogin, stopping at Brookton for a
then continued to York where we had lunch at Saints Diner. There was a
heap of bikes parked outside including Bruce’s ‘76 FLH Harley and Huw’s
’64 60/2 BMW. Great bikers’ cafe this, but its only opened Saturdays
Clive, Steve and Sandra, Kojak and Graham then headed back to Perth
with John continuing onto Toodyay with us, staying the night. Huw would
stay a couple of nights and Bruce was out for a day trip.
All went well, nice road, but a bit bumpy
between Spencers Brook and Toodyay. Raelene had a bit of trouble with
the back-up vehicle, although managed to get it going again.
The Moondyne Caravan Park just
out of Toodyay is a great place to stay, not much grass but plenty of
trees and very good amenities and ideal for our four-night stay. We had
our own BBQ’s, power and water in our area, and the rest of the
campsite was virtually deserted - $13 a head was not bad either these
Phil and Lurline and Colin (who was riding Phil’s 1960 Triumph
Bonneville) stayed in a cabin and Frank and Helen a caravan. The 5 BMW
boys were staying at the Toodyay Tavern.
saw us riding out to Tom (Toad) Constant’s place on the Chittering
Road. John and Huw were leading the way. Great ride and when we arrived
Tom was there to greet us. The two sheds on his property have somewhere
between 300 and 400 bikes (another 200 are stored in a shed on a family
He had prepared morning tea, coffee and biscuits. We had a very
interesting time there looking at his collection of rare and
not-so-rare bikes including his Leyland P76 V8 powered sidecar outfit.
All are as he found them, none restored. John Sinclair left us here and
Tom joined us for a ride to Bindoon to the Bakery for lunch.
Unfortunately we hit a couple of very heavy
downpours and we were mostly saturated, but being as the weather was
warm it didn’t take long to dry out, and the bakery was worth it. We
then had a beautiful ride back to Toodyay. The roads around there are
brilliant, although sometimes bumpy.
We had a BBQ that evening and later I got the
guitar out. Next day we headed to New Norcia for lunch via Mogumber - a
lovely ride and the weather - perfect. The bakery was shut at New
Norcia, so half the crew had lunch in the park and the other half at
the pub, most enjoyable. Huw left us here returning to Perth.
We returned via Calingiri, stopping
for an ice cream at Bolgart. That night another BBQ - great life, eh?
The last day in Toodyay and most of the campers decided to have a rest day, having a look around the town and just relaxing. The Toodyay Tavern boys were more energetic and went for another ride, Colin heading back to Lake King.
Next morning it was time to pack the tents up and head for Corrigin.
We’d decided to take a different route via Wundowie and then onto York.
We had a bit of a mix-up at one of the turnings and half of the riders
took the scenic route to Chidlow. We all met up in York. By this time
Phil and Lurline were well on their way back to Albany on their 1982
BMW R100RS sidecar outfit.
In York we discovered the weld had broken on my stainless muffler
and I needed it welded. After asking at the servo I was put in touch
with Alan De Klerk who has 17 BMW’s in various states of disrepair,
although he does have the only two Krauser R100 BMW’s in the State.
Clive chauffered me to Alan’s place before Alan took us in one of his
beat-up BMW cars, of which he has many.
His place was an eye-opener, but his generosity was just as great
and he did a great job stainless welding the muffler - it was much
appreciated and free of charge.
In the meantime Jim’s 1975 75/6 BMW had to
suffer the indignation of the only bike on the trailer for the whole
trip (only for a couple of hours though - eh Jim). But a local
electrician (who also has a BMW) spotted it and spent around two hours
trying to fix the electrical problem that was stopping the bike from
starting. He finally rigged up a system where Jim could hot-wire it and
it would start, so it was off the trailer, much to Jim’s delight, and
the bloke asked for no payment.
We then headed to Corrigin, stopping
at Quairading for fuel and ice-cream - it was hot. We put up our tents
on a grassy area and relaxed in luxury on their new pergola in
comfortable chairs, a very hospitable campground.
That night at the Corrigin pub Colin Hinkley and Jim Sharpe shouted
the group a meal at the pub in honour of their birthdays, a great
gesture gents, and the mixed grill was lovely.
Following morning we stopped at Kulin for a coffee - great coffee
shop in town if you’re ever passing through and the pub has had a
makeover and was looking very smart. Lunch was at the Harrismith Pub,
which took a little bit of finding at the Harrismith sign was missing
from the main road.
But lunch was very nice, the beer welcoming after another warm ride
and the locals friendly.
We arrived at Dumbleyung mid-afternoon,
checking in at the council office. Luckily we came across the lady in
charge of the reticulation and she agreed to turn them off while we
were there otherwise the sprinklers were going to be on at 1 in the
We had dinner at the Bowling Club where the
meal was very nice with Raelene and Garry putting on champagne to
celebrate Raelene’s birthday and their wedding anniversary. We’re doing
well this trip with freebees! We then spent the rest of the evening
socialising under the stars.
A cooler morning saw us riding to Katanning.
Garry’s Ariel stopped with oil on the magneto pick-ups, but with the
help of Daniel it was soon going again. Morning tea in a refurbished
Katanning pub was excellent, as was the ride to Mt Barker, although I
stopped and put wet weather gear on after turning onto the Albany
After saying our goodbye’s at Mt Barker we headed for home.
It was a great 8 days on the bike and we
covered around 1600 kms. Only one bike was trailered (and that was only
for a couple of hours). I think the iron-butt award should go to Garry
covering the whole way on a rigid bike - well done.
Thanks to Helen, Marilyn and Raelene for
driving the back-up vehicles. Thanks for the company everybody. See you
|John Sinclair||1930 Grindlay 1096
|Garry Blake||1949 Ariel Red Hunter|
|Chris Rees||1951 BMW R51/3|
|Clive Oakes||1956 Norton ES2 500|
|Clive Smith||1959 BSA 650 A10|
|Colin Penny||1960 Triumph Bonneville|
|Bob Rees||1962 R69S/Steib Outfit|
|Huw Jones||1964 BMW R60/2|
|Andrew Haydock||1973 BMW R75/5|
|Colin Hinkley||1974 Kawasaki ZA1|
|Jim Sharp||1974 BMW R90/6|
|Bob Jackson||1976 BMW R75/7|
|Keith Graham||1976 BMW R90S|
|Frank Cooke||1976 BMW R75/6|
|Daniel Webb||1976 Moto Guzzi Convert|
|Ronnie Jellesma||1976 Harley Davidson FLH|
|Bruce Burgess||1976 Harley Davidson FLH|
|John Barber||1981 BMW R100CS|
|Steve Braddow||1981 Honda CB750F|
|Phil Penny||1982 BMW R100RS Outfit|
|Kojak||1983 Kawasaki GPZ750|