The weather looked good for a 730km relaxing ride around the South West over 3 days. Leaving Albany were six riders including Bruce who had ridden down from Perth on his 1968 Norton Commando.
Rob was following towing the back-up trailer with the camping
gear, fridge and beer esky. After a compulsory stop at the
bakery in Mt Barker we met Phillip (650cc BSA) and Bill (650cc
Triumph) at Rocky Gully. After saying g’day we continued onto
Lake Muir for a look - was it water in the distance or a mirage?
And then onto Manjimup, after having a look at Dingup House where accommodation and meals were offered for the Club - at a price.
A leisurely lunch in the park was followed by a ride down Graphite Road to Nannup where we were to camp for two nights. There was no-one at the reception so we found a suitable camp spot and put up the tents. There was plenty of room so we spread ourselves out, so the neighbours' snoring wasn’t going to disturb a blissful nights sleep.
Before too long Huw had arrived from Perth on his 1964 BMW 60/2
bringing the number of bikes up to nine. Wendy had also arrived
with a tent for her and Andrew.
Time for a beer and a BBQ. The campsite’s BBQ was more like a
slow cooker, so meat was transferred to the Club BBQ, once again
a valuable part of the back-up trailer’s equipment. Chris had
supplied enough salad for everybody and half the other campers
in Nannup - very tasty and went down well.
We then spent a pleasant night having a beer, a laugh and
solving the world’s problems. Bruce had spoken to Brook Henry,
the Ducati expert who had moved to the small town with all his
machinery, parts and bikes so next morning after breakfast we
rode out to his place.
Unfortunately he had left, but his lady was there and we had a
good look around his shed which had some remarkable equipment
and bikes including a Vyrus Arrow with unique front and rear
suspension. There was also a BMW R100LT which he was fitting
with 10 speakers - yes, you read it right 10 speakers, as well
as Ducatis and lots of spares
As we were leaving Brook arrived, we said hello and then headed
up the beautiful, though sometimes bumpy Nannup-Balingup Road
stopping in Balingup for a coffee. We then took the back roads
to Bridgetown, a very nice ride.
We parked the bikes in Bridgetown and bought some lunch at the
bakery. After which Bruce headed back to Perth. The Norton had
given no problems, although the next day the rear axle broke
which he reckoned might have had something to do with not
tightening it correctly, after adjusting the chain on the way
home the day before.
As we went to leave Bridgetown Phil noticed the rear tyre had a
puncture on his Triumph Bonneville. He managed to buy a tube and
the bike was put on the trailer - easier to fix it where we were
It’s a great road from Bridgetown to Nannup, must be one of the best in the State. We now had a plan for the afternoon - help Phil (but mainly watch) fix the puncture.
The QD Triumph wheel was a breeze to take off and with Ronnie’s
help the old tube was out and the new one in, pumped up with a
pump that Ronnie bought in America and it was right for the
return trip to Albany.
About this time the girls turned up from Albany, Antoinet -
Moto Guzzi, Raelene - Yamaha and Chris - Ducati, so after
sitting around with a few drinks and nibbles it was time to head
to the pub for a meal. On the way we paid for our campsite, $10
a head per night, which these days is very reasonable.
Had a great meal in the pub then a couple more drinks and
coffee at the campsite before turning in for the night. Next day
Huw rode back to Perth, Wendy went to see her mum in Manjimup
and the rest of us rode towards Albany, stopping for a coffee in
Northcliffe and later lunch in Walpole.
Just past William Bay the bolt that holds the float chamber to
the carbie on Garry’s Ariel decided to loosen and with it the
contents of the petrol tank. Garry ran out of fuel.
No worries the back-up trailer has a container of fuel, after
tightening the bolt and fuel in off we went again. Well not
quite, as the bike had run out of fuel we think that material in
the bottom of the tank infiltrated the carbie and the bike was
spluttering, coughing and generally farting around.
So Garry thought being so close to Albany, might as well put the bike in the trailer and join Rob for the rest of the trip home. It was a great three days, thanks for the company and a special thanks to Rob who was in demand with the trailer (and BBQ).
See you all on the next run.
Ronnie Jellesma - 1942 Indian Scout
Garry Blake - 1947 Ariel Red Hunter
Bob Rees - 1956 BSA Gold Flash
Bill O’Halloran - 1957 Triumph T110
Andrew Haydock - 1959 BMW R25/2
Phillip O’Halloran - 1959 BSA Gold Flash
Phil Penny - 1960 Triumph Bonneville
Huw Jones - 1965 BMW R69S
Bruce Burges - 1968 Norton Commando