We allowed a week to travel over with the bike in the trailer expecting a lot of extra traffic on the road because of the football grand final. Very strange people these football fans, out in the heat in the middle of the Nullarbor with their scarves and beanies on! We arrived in Ararat a few days before the rally was due to start and caught up with our friends that live there.
The rally headquarters were at the Ararat Motorcycle Club
grounds which was about 3km from the town centre. The Ararat
Club have first class facilities so some rally entrants chose to
camp at the club grounds while others were booked in at Caravan
Parks or local B&B’s.
Sunday 4th - Registration day and a shakedown run in the afternoon and catching up even more friends followed by a BBQ at night.
Monday - A ride to the famous Seppelt Winery at Great Western,
the Winery tour was good but the catering was terrible. They
just wanted to sell wine. Even ran out of cold water.
Tuesday - Jeff is riding the Rover, and Neil and I travelling
in the car. Fleur went in the bus with some of the other ladies.
On the way to Halls Gap we stopped at a tiny village for petrol
and ice creams and all the kids from the junior school came out
to look at the 100 year old bikes. Totally blew them away.
We travelled on to Halls Gap in the Grampians National Park for
a display and lunch at the High School. We returned to Ararat
with one long hill that stopped a few of the oldest bikes.
Wednesday – Neil is riding the Rover today on a short run to Crowlands for a morning tea catered for by the C.W.A. Next we headed on to Ararat Town Hall where the motorcycles were on display for the public while we roamed the centre of town looking at shops, some found an antique shop or two.
At 2 p.m. we had our meeting in the town hall to vote for the
next National Veteran Rally and discuss other items relating to
veteran motorcycling. The next National Veteran Rally will be
Barossa Valley SA in 2017.
Thursday – Jeff back on the Rover, and we are off to an
historical farm called Narrapumelap (correct spelling) at
Wickcliffe. It was like a castle with a tower and is being
restored back to original after being derelict and vandalised.
One of the rally riders has been doing the electrical wiring and
some other riders remembered it as a wreck and can’t believe
what the new owners have now achieved.
We then rode to the lunch stop at Willaura where there was a
display of stationary engines for the men and quilts for the
ladies. There was a quilt made out of the rear pockets of jeans
of all colours and sizes. Look out guys don’t leave your jeans
Friday – Last day today, we are all feeling a bit tired but sad
that it is nearly over. Today we ride to Buangor to the old Cobb
and Co Staging Post, a lovely old stone building. This historic
town is now cut off by a new freeway.
We returned to Ararat on a scenic ride around a big wind farm
with about 50 towers with yellow Canola as far as you can see.
Friday evening – the presentation dinner was held in the Ararat
town hall. A great meal, even special diets catered for. It was
a light-hearted evening and goodbyes until we meet again in 2017
in Barossa Valley South Australia.
There were riders from every state of Australia, from New Zealand and England. There were a good number of riders from Western Australia among the 120 bikes entered. The oldest bike was 1905, there were quite a few breakdowns and repairs and one accident, thankfully not serious.
The rally had been very well organised by a small energetic
committee, nothing was too much trouble even extra marshals to
help us cross the busy highway which is very hard with no
gearbox or clutch and not very good brakes.
The National Veteran Motorcycle Rally is held every two years
and in a different State each time. We all become a part of a
big family and look forward to each event and have already made
our bookings for the next one.