In 2007 we started the old bike week away, it was a great trip back then and we enjoyed a lot of trips since. Bob had organised another nice route: Albany Ė Bremer Bay Ė Hopetoun Ė Karlgarin Ė York Ė Woodanilling and back to Albany.
As usual we were looking forward to the rides, camping, company and lots of laughs. Huw and Elina had travelled down the day before and the four of us set off to meet at the info bay. A lot of people had gathered already and some people had come to see us off. All up there were 19 bikes, lots of BMWís and quite some Moto Guzziís this year.
The bikes have to be 25 years or older to go on this ride. This year it is fine for a bike from 1992 to join this bike event although it is of course nice to see some older bikes.
The weather was fine, a bit cloudy and it looked like it was going to drizzle but we were lucky and it turned into a beautiful day. We had our smoko stop at the Bluff Knoll cafť where John Davis met us. I always enjoy riding towards Boxwood Hills with a nice view towards the Stirlings.
After our lunch stop it wasnít far to Bremer Bay where we set up our tents at the caravan park, great facilities and friendly people. Some went for a ride around town, others went for a walk to the beach and we stayed behind and had a chat and a drink.
Itís always nice to see everyoneís setup; tents, chairs, mattresses, etc. We all admired Jackís camper trailer that he was towing behind his BMW trike. That night dinners were heated up in the campersí kitchen and some walked over to the resort to have dinner there.
The next morning was sunny and warm. After breakfast it was time to pack up our gear, we didnít have to rush. We were going to meet at the Wellstead museum for a look around and a coffee. A great setup there, lots of history and nice coffee and delicious cakes and croissants (sorry Bob, you might have one next time ha ha.)
We took off and decided to have our lunch stop in Jerramungup. It was busy there with lots of travellers. One guy driving a car with a huge caravan behind it nearly cleaned up both Chris and Bobís bikes, it was very scary and very close.
When heading to Hopetoun we saw some of the damage the floods had caused, unbelievable what nature is capable of.
We booked our sites for two nights at the caravan park, some people had booked cabins and us campers were scattered a bit over the park. But there was a camperís kitchen where we could gather.
Most went for a meal to the pub just down the road. Ronnie tried to catch some fish for our dinner but didnít have any luck. We went for a walk to the jetty when it was dark, it was very windy. I bet it can get really rough here on a stormy day. Ronnie tried some more fishing when we got back to the campground but once the moon had gone he gave up.
The next morning we had our breakfast and got ready to meet everyone else at the cafť for coffee. We all had a look at the inlet where the floods had washed away the entire road, such a shame, so much damage and mess.
also had a look at the lakes on the east side of Hopetoun, where they
had flooded the road. Some people told us it will probably take nearly 8
months for it to dry up completely. We also heard from a guy Ronnie
knows that some of the dirt roads a bit further to the north are
The children cross it by dinghy so their parents donít have to take a big detour to get the children to school. I bet the children donít mind taking the boat in the morning and the afternoon.
We had a nice afternoon, reading, walking, chatting, relaxing, sleeping or going for a ride around town. Everyone gathered at the campersí kitchen for a barbeque. Wes had arrived and Jack had left that morning so numbers were still the same. Bob got the guitar out and we all enjoyed listening to him singing. The sing-along songs were lots of fun again too.
The next morning most of us had morning tea in Ravensthorpe, at the cafť, the servo or in the park. We rode to Lake King and had our lunch stop there. Everyone was keen to have a look at Lake King, so we rode the 15 km to the end of the lake and had a look at the amount of water in there. Then we were off to Hyden to get some supplies for happy hour, dinner and breakfast.
Karlgarin has got a lovely little caravan park with very friendly people who even got us yabbies out of the dam, very nice. It was a lovely warm evening (apart from the sandflies at dusk) and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, we definitely will come back here to camp one day.
Ronnie had this idea in his head since Bremer Bay, he wanted to have a competition: who would be the quickest setting up their tent. Maybe they could try it out in York where we would be for 2 nights.
We rode up to Narembeen and waved at Colinís brother Graham who drove the roller at the road works. We had our morning smoko in town and rode through Bruce Rock before meeting at the Kokerbin rock. It was pretty warm and Iím looking forward to go there again once it is a bit cooler so we can explore a bit more.
Our lunch stop was in Quairading and off we went to York. Now York is a lovely place with a lot of history, nice old buildings, shops, museums and nice roads. We got to the caravan park and there was some confusion about some of the bookings, not everyone was too impressed with the owner.
The park is set in a beautiful area with lots of trees and there was grass to put up our tents. Most of us were a little grumpy and it was pretty warm, the mosquitos were attacking and no one felt like doing ďthe quickest tent setup competitionĒ Next time Ronnie! We had our whinge and our say and got on with things like a beer and nibbles. Life is really too short isnít it although it does feel good to have a bit of a whinge every now and then.
The next day we all went to town to have morning tea, girls only, eight of us this year! We had a coffee and a chat away from the boys. It is nice to talk about something different than bikes, engine capacity and fuel consumption.
We said goodbye to Elina who went back to Perth, Huw rode with her and was going to meet us later that afternoon back at the park. Ronnie and I went to the pub for lunch before going for a nice 60 km loop south of York.
That evening after drinks and nibbles and dinners we sang along with Bob in the campersí kitchen, I still have the whistling in my head, for 4 days it has been in my head and I canít get it out! We had some good laughs when Bob and Ronnie made up songs, very funny.
That night it rained a bit but lucky by the morning it had stopped. The temperature had dropped a lot, we have had great weather all week but by now it was quite cool. Ronnie and I took off and had a stop in Pingelly.
When Huw and Colin arrived we rode to Whippyís farm to have a look at his motorbikes, heís a real character and we had a good laugh. We arrived at Woodanilling caravan park at about 4.30 pm. Nice and cheap park with friendly people. Phillip and Andrew had gone to have a look at Lake Dumbleyung, lots of water there of course.
Everyone got ready for a night out in town. The Woody pub is just down the road, a nice walk. We all enjoyed our last evening, celebrating another great old bike week away with fantastic people.
We walked outside to head back to the caravan park and were amazed at how cold it was. We didnít need the torch; the moon was bright and guided us back to our camp where we had another drink or cuppa and a good laugh.
The next morning bikes, tents, covers and seats were white from the ice, it was pretty chilly. Colin wanted to get home and left before 7 am. He couldnít find his winter gloves when he left home last week so had to wear his summer ones, it must have been a very cool ride.
We stopped in Gnowangerup and enjoyed the scenery when riding towards the Stirlings, where we had another brief stop before heading home.
I would like to thank Bob for organising another successful O.B.W.A.
Hopefully we will be back for the one next year! Thanks to Bronwyn and
Mary for doing back-up and to everyone else for your company.
The riders and their bikes 2017
Chris: 1951 BMW 51/3 500cc
Bob: 19612 BMW R69S Steib outfit
Colin: 1970 Honda CB750
John D: 1970 750 Honda K1
John McK: 1970 BMW R75/5
Steve & Chrissy: 1971 BSA 650 Lighting
Andrew & Wendy: 1972 BMW R75/5
Keith: 1974 BMW R90S
Wes: 1974 Ducati 750
Phillip: 1976 BMW 75/6 (pretty green)
Daniel: 1976 Moto Guzzi I Hydro Convert
Raelene: 1978 Moto Guzzi V50
Garry B: 1979 Moto Guzzi V50
Elina: 1981 Moto Guzzi V50 Monza (racing red)
Ronnie: 1983 Moto Guzzi California 2
Antoinet: 1985 BMW R80GS Paris Dakar
Garry T: 1985 BMW R65
Jim: 1985 BMW K100
Jack: 1985 BMW K100 trike with camper
Robert: 1985 BMW R80RT (deep blue)
Huw: 1991 Moto Guzzi NTX650