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June 2015 Club News

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Old Bike Week Ride

Story Bob, Pics John

The first day’s briefing on the Old Bike Week ride.
To encourage the use of older bikes the “25 year old bike week ride” was started some nine years ago and this time there were around 30 riders taking part, coming and going at different times.

Nudist crossing and Stirling Ranges at Amelup.
First day was a ride through the Stirlings to Gnowangerup (via Amelup) where we picked up John on his immaculate early Honda 750/4.

John on Honda 750 four.
We continued on through Dumbleyung to Wagin. There was a bit of drizzle around the Porongorups where we put wet weather gear on, but apart from that it was great riding weather for the rest of the day.

Wagin has a good grassy area for tents and we managed to put them up before the drizzle hit during the evening, it was only light, but the BBQ area is undercover so we kept dry. It was an amusing night with Ronnie on form.

Although disappointed John always has a sense of
Unfortunately for John his bike was only firing on two cylinders and Kerry towed their trailer to Wagin to pick him up. He was hopeful that he could fix it that evening and join Wes from Bremer in the morning.
Unfortunately the bike refused to comply and Wes rode his Ducati alone to meet us later that day.

Chris and I and some others had breakfast in the bakery in the main street, if you ever need a feed or a coffee in Wagin this is the place to go.

Coffee break in Narrogin.
Boddington was the next overnight stop, and to get there we went via Narrogin, Wickepin, Yealering, Pingelly and Crossman which took in some great roads where we don’t normally ride.

1964 and 1951 BMW.
The weather was now perfect for riding and stayed that way all week. You can ride whatever speed you like. Chris and I on our 1951 and 1964 BMW’s sat between 45 and 50 mph (just under 80ks, nice relaxing speed). Steve had the smallest bike - 250cc Ariel Leader - but basically sat on that speed all week. Richard was on his Velocette which took to the open road comfortably.

Campers kitchen at Boddington. Great place.
The couple running the Boddington Caravan Park were great, and it was surprising what a nice place it was with an excellent campers kitchen and plenty of space for all.

Guzzi mechanics supervised by Bob and Peter.
Garry’s V50 Moto Guzzi had blown a brake caliper piston seal during the day, and we had great fun fixing it late in the afternoon. Colin and Steve in particular gave him a hand and cleaning and moving the seal into a different position solved the problem.

We had a great meal in the pub that night, a lady on another table asked what club we belonged to, she said she wanted to join as we were having so much fun!

Next day we headed to Nannup via Collie. It was a cold ride to Collie with the overnight temperature being 4C. A bloke approached us in Collie to say he had some BMW’s for sale. We all went and had a look on the way out of town, but they were in very bad condition. One was still licensed, I think he was dreaming.

Balingup-Nannup Road. Brilliant riding.
We then went via the back roads to Balingup where we stopped for a while before arriving at the spacious Nannup campground.

Good fun at the Nannup pub.
Great campers kitchen there too, although we ended up in the pub for dinner, which was excellent value, plus it was happy hour when we got there.

Richard's Velo on the trailer.
Next day we headed off to Gracetown via Karridale, great ride. Unfortunately Richard’s Velocette was having a ride on the trailer now having stripped the nut that holds the shock absorber spring on the crankshaft, what would we do without the back-up trailers. The trailer towed by Mary carried most of the camping stuff, leaving the Club trailer, towed by Bronwyn, empty, but the back of her ute was full of eskies, food, a fridge and other stuff being carried for the riders. Thanks ladies.

Wes, Keith and Jim leading the group.
We then took the beautiful Caves Road to Gracetown. The caravan park is set in bush with plenty of room to pitch a tent and has a fully equipped campers kitchen. Next morning Colin and Steve took the car and trailer with the Velocette attached to Terry Germain’s place in Vasse. There with the help of Terry’s parts they got the Velo running again, much to Richard’s delight, well done fellas.

Augusta Bakery always has good food.
After they returned to camp we went for a ride to the bakery in Augusta for lunch, returning via Margaret River to stock up on supplies. Unfortunately whilst Phillip was road testing Elina’s Moto Guzzi a spring broke in the gearbox making it impossible to change gears. Phillip felt really bad about it, but we think it would have gone anyway. Bill offered to put it on his ute and take it back to Perth, and at least Elina could go pillion on the back of Huw’s bike.

Gracetown cafe.
During the day Phil Penny had arrived from Albany on his Triumph Bonnie, a great effort with no back up.
That night the caravan park had a free outdoor cinema featuring “The Jersey Boys” which you could watch if you wanted.

Food and drink galore.
Next morning Keith had arranged for the group to his place in Dunsborough for morning tea. Wow, what a spread. Keith, his wife Margy and daughter spoilt us with a huge variety of food and absolutely delicious coffee. We were there for quite a while before moving.

Birdwatchers at Eagle Bay.
We did a ride around Eagle Bay, checking out the local birdlife before riding to Yallingup where we had a (small) lunch.

Daniel talking to Terry in his workshop.
Then it was off to Terry Germain’s bunker to have a look at his collection of bikes and parts. We took all the back roads to Vasse and on the way Bill took us on a scenic tour which was interesting, although unintentional. Terry, Rita and a couple of friends were there to greet us together with afternoon tea.

Bill having a close look at the Bunker bikes.
We spent an enjoyable time there looking through his sheds before returning to Gracetown via more back roads. Some took longer than others. Bill ran out of petrol on his Norton about 50 metres from a service station which was lucky, and Steve had problems with fouled plugs on the Ariel Leader. But it was a great day riding through some fabulous country.

Murray, Erin, Daniel, Mary and Bill cooking up a
That evening we had more drinks at the camp site before heading to the campers kitchen to cook dinner.
Ralph, Steve, Colin and I were the last to leave after the lights went out in the campers kitchen. That was after the very nice lady who runs the place asked us very, very nicely to quieten down and go to bed, we had a very entertaining time.

Next day we were riding to Quinninup, but we were told there was an excellent bike-friendly coffee shop on the edge of town, so that seemed like a good idea, made excellent cakes and chocolate too.

We then took the new road to Nannup, and Richard’s Velocette was now running beautifully. The Vasse Hwy is one of the nicest roads around, and as always no traffic.

Phil and 1961 Bonneville.
We stopped for a break at Karri Valley, reminiscing about the Orange People before the next stop Nannup.
After ice creams and fuel we rode to Quinninup via the Wheatley Coast Road which is a fabulous ride, smooth with plenty of sweeping corners.

Three wise men at Quinninup camp.
$10 a head at the campground that night which is great value, although only the diehards were left as the cabins seemed to fill up quickly. The resident emus seemed to be missing this time, but there were still a large number of roos around. Last time we were here Phillip picked a tick off the back of his hand.

Raelene's birthday cake.
Quinninup also coincided with Raelene and Jim’s birthday, so a celebration at the pub was in order and cakes were dazzling as they were brought out after dinner.
Jim's birthday cake. 

The following day was Ronnie’s birthday too. We then headed back to camp where most went to bed and the stayers laughed the evening away under a pergola.

Steve making friends with the kangas.
Next morning it was the last leg, through Walpole to Albany. Again perfect weather for riding and the bikes were humming along around 50mph, (80ks), the quicker bikes going quicker! Then the usual stop in Walpole and Denmark before arriving at home.

In the eight days we did over 1600kms, and all the bikes acquitted themselves well. It was great to see so many on the ride. People came and went as they had other commitments, but at any one time there were over 20 bikes, all up we would have had over 30.

Statistics according to Daniel's GPS were 1694.28 kilometres at an average speed of 69km/h and actual riding time was 24 hours and 20 minutes and it took 7.5 days.

We couldn’t have done this without the back-up vehicle crew. Bronwyn (and Phillip) came from Kojonup to tow the Club Trailer for the week and carry a lot of the gear including the eskies and fridge and all the other bits and pieces we had.

Mary (and Dan) came down from Bow River and their covered trailer carried all the tents and sleeping gear. So between the two vehicles all our stuff was undercover and out of the weather. Thanks again to both of you from everyone on the ride.

Next year in March we’re going to head to South Australia, trailering or riding your bike - this should be a great three weeks, so don’t miss out.

Larger pictures of this ride

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