Another rally has come and gone. Once again Western Australia had the largest state group there. With a total of 101 riders entered and 140 bikes present, it was quite a spectacle at the start each morning.
Many of the Western Australians shipped their bikes over ahead of them and flew to Tasmania and hired cars. The shipping container idea worked well however there was delay in Melbourne on the return.
We drove over and took two bikes in the trailer, onto the ferry and had our own transport while there. The rides through the week added up to 500km on the road and as expected Tasmania is covered with some spectacular views. There was also a coach for the women that left after the riders each morning and went off on their own way and then met up for morning tea and lunch each day.
The event started each morning from the local surf club, which has very nice facilities. On the second-last day we had our photos taken as the WA contingent and this made an opportunity for some of them to try beach racing.
Sunday, Day 1
Shakedown run... welcome dinner in the evening
The rally started with a ride to Sassafras Vintage Machinery display and lunch, riding along the coast for the first 23 km then going inland. The weather was in our favour, no rain or wind, lots of traffic in some places. Run was a total of 74m
We started off at 9.30 and went out to Wynyard via Burnie. It was beautiful countryside. “Wonders of Wynyard” is a museum that has a magnificent collection of veteran cars and bikes; we spent quite a bit of time there and then headed back to camp.
The riders headed to Leven Canyon via Sprent. Some very steep hills
Riders stayed on the coast road until they got to Heybridge then back to Penguin for lunch. The rally then returned to Ulverstone where the bikes were on display at the Anzac Park for three hours. There was a civic reception at night at the Ulverstone Surf Club.
The ride this morning was to Port Sorell to view a private car collection and morning tea. I believe this was really amazing. Riders came back talking about all they had seen. They then made their way back to the surf club. In the late afternoon there was a tiddler run for the very old bikes. Unfortunately Neil’s 1905 T.B. refused to start so it was not able to take part. Those taking part had a short ride to “Forth” and back total distance 18 Km. No big hills. The evening meal was at the Rivers Arms Function Centre, this was well supported and a good night had by all.
Day 6, Friday
Ride to Sheffield via Barrington, with lunch at Redwater Creek Steam and Heritage Society. Sheffield is famous for the murals throughout the town centre, on the sidewalls of the shops. There was someone actually painting one while we there and we could take part in the painting under instruction if we liked. When we stopped for lunch, Redwater Creek Steam and Heritage Society put on a show for us. We all had a ride on the steam train around the park. Some of the old machinery was still in place from the Steamfest the previous weekend. This was finished off with the Heritage Society Ladies supplying home-made cooked lunch for us. Friday night saw the Rally dinner and Prize giving at Ulverstone Rowing Club. This was also catered for and plenty for everyone.
There quite a few hills around to test the bikes each day. There was a lot of traffic on the first two days, due to public holidays. Fortunately there were no accidents. There were some breakdowns, most of which could be fixed back at camp.
Ladies and those not riding went on the coach each day and in a different direction to the riders. The highlight was one day the coach called into a tiny museum behind the local chainstores in the heart of Burnie. As you walked in the door, it didn’t look much just a few paintings, a waterfall in the corner and some books to look at. We went through a door and down the poorly lit passage way, it opened up to look like a street from the very early 19th century. As you looked in each window it was done up as an historical shop; dentist, laundry, grocer, printing room, sadler, bootmaker, blacksmith and a few others that slip my mind at present. Looking back up the street there was an amazing picture that made you feel like you looking even further up the street. Well worth seeing.
Of course these events are as much about catching up with old friends, which is great, and meeting new members to the veteran movement. It was certainly encouraging to see a lot of new faces at this event. The veteran movement is healthy in this country, with its people willing to put aside time and a considerable amount of money to get to these faraway places to participate.
The next National Veteran Motorcycle Rally is in Manjimup, Western Australia in 2021.