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August 2010 Club News

Numbat | Trial | Barker | Pemberton | Ural | Calendar | Membership

Numbat Rally

by Jo Harrison

Kylie, Bruce, JoWhen 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 together. 

Panorama of crazy people in a dusty paddockWe 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!

Very attractive lips on that chairSo 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 your weapon. 

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. 

Dubious sexual practices in public placesThere 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 previously! 

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 more! 

Competition for everythingWe 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!

Three tired but happy rally-goersRonny, 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!

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