When asked what I was expecting the
Numbat Rally to be like before going, I could only think it would be
something like a Borden B&S, but with wheels! I really had no idea,
in fact when I asked Bob what bike would be more appropriate to take,
the old CB 750 four Honda or the Harley, his reply was “whichever one
you don’t mind they throw into the bonfire!”.
Now can you see why I was just a little bit nervous! Ronny
& Antoinet were going, and I decided to tag along with them for the
‘life experience!’. They took their 2 beaut Guzzi’s and I took the
Softy. We agreed to meet at the Info Bay at 8am Saturday morning, it
had taken me hours to get my packing/luggage on properly (as usual!),
so being pulled over by the local constabulary up Chester Pass road to
check out my license, was not what I really wanted, especially as I was
like Michelin Mum in my 6 layers of thermals and my drivers license was
in my wallet in the deep dark depths of my panniers.
I had my hair tied up inside my helmet, so they looked a bit taken
back to find out I was a “she” and not a “he” and then proceeded to ask
me if the friends I was meeting to go on the trip, all had “bikes like
mine!” and I told them I was a member of the AVCMC and no! I am the
only rebel going through a mid life crisis, the others had “normal”
bikes! They wanted to know where we were heading and why,
obviously to warn the others up the road that ‘we were coming!’
It was bitterly cold riding in the heavy rain
and freezing cold wind, Ronny & I had our heated grips on, but even
they did nothing to alleviate the cold. We stopped roughly every 2
hours going through Cranbrook, Katanning & Wagin, Brookton to get
the circulation up and going again with a nice warm cuppa.
We arrived in York at 3pm, we were fuelling up
when Huw, Elina, Kylie, Sandra, Steve & some of the Perth AVCMC
crew arrived too, Huw startled us with his sick bike horn going off! We
all then headed out to the Rally, approx 50km out of York
We signed ourselves in, and set up camp. We
were warmly greeted by ‘Loose Bruce’, he had made a head start and
arrived the previous day, so yes, he was already in fine rally form!
Bruce gathered Antoinet, Elina and myself up and proceeded to give us a
royal tour of the paddock and introduced us to the other rally goers as
“three numbat rally virgins”, by the time we hit the Ducati club guys,
we were starting to feel like a piece of meat up for auction hahha!
headed back to the others for a quiet chat and drink around the fire.
We went and joined John & Tyler Sinclair, Ross, Steve, Sandra and
Stewie around one of about 30 bonfires. The venue was a large oval
paddock, like a big arena, and hundreds of tents and bikes camped up in
the trees all around the outside. All night there were bikes
going back and forth in the middle, doing wheelies, doughnuts, having a
great time. Later on, Tyler bravely offered to take me out in the arena
to show me what tricks dad’s sidecar can do, and let me experience what
being at a rally is all about. It was fantastic, I will admit to
squealing ‘just a little bit’, but laughing lots!
We did the doughnuts and zoomed flat out
through ditches, but thankfully didn’t do a wheelie! And yes, we had
our helmets on.Thanks Tyler!
Being a virgin rally-goer, I had no idea what
the big explosions that went off every 10 minutes were, nor did I know
what was meant when someone shouted out “fire in the hole!” Eventually
I learnt that the big bangs were drums & jerry cans of fuel, butane
and aerosol canisters, gas cylinders being thrown into the bon fires,
and when they call out “fire in the hole”, it means get out of there
really quickly as something is about to explode! It took a few goes for
me to grasp this.
There was all sorts of bikes there, side cars
(normal and homemade), dirt bikes, vintage bikes, quad bikes, road
bikes, little pee wee 50’s, homemade contraptions, there was one bike
that towed a trailer with a large 3 seater lounge on it.
And just as diverse as the bikes were, there
was all sorts and ages of people there, from kids to grandparents,
though it was almost a game of “spotto” to find a bloke without a gray
beard! Or someone without a flanny shirt on! Or someone without a drink
in their hand, be it water or other! I had been warned that if you are
soft and use the portable loo’s that you are opening yourself up for
ridicule, ie they rock the loo, throw rocks at it on the outside,
thankfully none of this happened!
Bruce sets the style standard with his enormous
creative hat with genuine fox tail dangling off it made by Kylie, its
fantastic, so weird and wonderful hats are definitely accepted, even if
some weird looks were given!
Next morning we woke to the first bike revving
his engine nice and early, and the customary explosions going off in
the background, by now I had stopped jumping (slightly). Ronny,
Antoinet, Huw, Elina and myself went for a stroll and checked out all
the bikes and riders, getting ideas on what others do for camping gear,
looking at their bikes and catching up with old friends.
There was an old shed on the property that the
local CWA ladies were running a small canteen out of, us girls headed
over to see what was on offer, Antoinet & I opted for a great big
greasy bacon and egg sandwich which hit the spot. We were waiting
around for the gymkhana to start at lunchtime.
Bruce was the MC for the day, and does it well.
There were all sorts of events for rally-goers
to join in and have a good time, something for the kids and well as
those that thought they still were! Some were weaving in and out of the
witches hats on your bike, collecting bowls (that had the centre
drilled out) off a wooden stake with a pool foam noodle with a spike as
Then there was some slow races, the dirt bikes
were obviously the bike to have for this event, Ronny took his Guzzi in
this event, and did really well till about halfway, then his foot went
down, and then was eliminated, but really it all was about
participating and having fun.
There was ‘dunny roll sex’ which I had never
heard of, Ronny & Antoinet teamed up and so did Huw &
Elina. The girls line up at one end with a plumbers plunger
between their legs with the stick sticking out, and the boys line up at
the other end with the dunny roll between theirs, the idea being when
the girl gets to the end where her partner is, she has to get the stick
bit of the plunger into the dunny roll and then get back to the start,
it is actually harder than it looks.
Ronny and Antoinet had all sorts of difficulties, I think this was
because Antoinet’s legs are longer than Ronny’s, they resorted to
trying all sorts of positions, it was the funniest thing to watch. Huw
and Elina were absolute guns at this tricky manoeuvre they beat Ronny
& Antoinet hands down, I sense some secret training was done
Sensibly I opted to have my turn with the
lovely Kylie, we seemed to only have half the troubles the other
couples had. Then there was a few throwing competitions, us girls
and guys all got in there and gave the big red rubber capsule a good
throw each, but were outdone by the city dwellers unfortunately. Though
I did manage to win the ladies shotput section, so I am officially now
the ‘2010 Numbat Rally Female Tosser’, it’s an honour, I think!
During the afternoon a big willy willy come
through the gathering of rally-goers, it was quite impressive.
Unfortunately there was one nasty accident over the weekend when the
gymkhana had just started where a sidecar rolled, the passenger walked
away with minor injuries, but the driver who is one of our AVCMC
members was not so lucky and an ambulance was called.
It is always very sobering and sad when this
happens, the club wishes him a speedy recovery and hope he’s back on
his wheels really soon. Clive and Anne turned up later in the afternoon
to joined us. Huw & Elina had to head home, as Huw had to work on
Monday, unfortunately the rest of us had to stay and play some
We had a quiet night sitting around the
fires, though some did some mighty impressive big explosions that
night, and some fireworks were also going off. Bruce rocked up on his
chariot (aka the lounge on wheels) and demanded our company for a tour
around the arena in the dark, one of the many new experiences and fun I
had over the weekend!
Clive decided that he wanted to take the
sidecar and me out for some fun around the arena, I never knew sidecars
could do such tight doughnuts and stay up on 2 wheels for so long! It
was great! Thanks Clive.
Later that night I learnt that if you soaked a
toilet roll in petrol, then you light it up, that you could play dunny
roll soccer! Amazing, all these new skills I have learnt from the rally
to take home and share with my darling kids! Lots of new friends and
jokes were made over the weekend, and a good time had by all. The
weather had been perfect all day, no wind, blue skies.
There was that much dust up our noses from the
dry paddocks that after a few days without a shower, I couldn’t tell if
I smelt or if others did! I learnt that if you kept your sox on for 3
days, your toes won’t drop off! I also came to the conclusion that all
those things I have always told my kids not to do, WE DID!
Antoinet & I packed up early Monday morning and headed home, it was
blue skies but we knew we were in for some rain and cold weather, and
yes, it was freezing going home, though we stopped in at the wonderful
bakery in Narrogin for a good feed to keep our tanks full. We covered
about 900km’s for the weekend there and back. In conclusion, it was
definitely a ‘life experience’ and I really can’t wait for the next one
in 2 years time, though I am not taking the Softy, 2.5 hours of
cleaning when I got home takes the shine off the weekend!