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April 2009 Club News

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2009 8-day old bike ride

Rest by the roadsideTwelve 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.

Good spot for a camp, too...After 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 break.

Good spot for a stopWe 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 and Sundays.

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.

Beautifully restored 1960 BonnevilleThe 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 days.

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.

Tom Toad's mighty V8 chair at the Black Duck Rally 1985Monday 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 farm).

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.

Grindlay fires up... black raindrops in car park?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.

Strain's showing after days on the roadWe 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 morning!

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 Highway.
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 next year.

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

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