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December 2019 Club News

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My Hillclimb Experience

By Colin Dowsett Pics by Drew and Steve

The van and crew.
My involvement in the Hillclimb starts with organising the use of the Albany Horsemanís Caravan as the PA van. In September, I see most of our previous sponsors to confirm if they are still on board for this year and organise when to pick up sponsorship, prizes and also their banners. Increase Bob Wís stress levels by forgetting to tell him where Iím at with this. Two weeks before I start picking up prizes, and get two new tyres for my bike.

The Saturday before, I go for a walk up Stirling Terrace and remind the business owners about the road closure for the following Saturday, this only cost me two coffees and cake at Gourmandise.

On the Monday before I pick up the caravan and check it over, service and fuel up generators. I fit the wheels to my bike, change oil and filter, replace points, condensers and plugs, check carby synch, all ok.
On Wednesday, Leanne and I went down to Suttons Carpet Cleaning and helped Bob, Kim and Chester with the Hillclimb bags.

Thursday, I take bike to mateís garage next to Hybla so I donít have to worry about getting it down to the start on Sunday.

Antoinet and Huw setting up the results tent.
On Friday I sort out carpet numbers with Ronnie, Huw and Andrew and load them into the caravan. Load up ute with all banners and flags, hook up bike trailer ready for early start Saturday.

Early crew setting up the start tower.
Head down to Stirling Terrace at 5.30am to start putting up banners, man Spencer Rd closure for an hour then breakfast at Dylans. Spend the rest of the morning looking at bikes and talking. We were back-up for the long Poker raffle run. Only 1 casualty (Bruceís BMW). Finish at Rifle Club for cuppa and cake.

Back home to dump bike trailer, load up generators and other bits and pieces I think we will need, hook up
caravan, fit mirrors then back out Rifle Club for BBQ (meat and salad were excellent Ė thanks Petra) . Early night after Dougís mandatory cannon show.

Sunday up early and down to Middleton beach by 5.45, unload carpet squares then park caravan. Note to self: must remember to put it closer to road next year so Andy can see the start line better. Unload generators and run extension cords. I looked around to see if I could help anywhere else but it was fantastic to see everyone pitching in and the scaffolding, temp fencing and tents went up in record time.

I then pushed my bike from my mateís place next to Hyblas to my parking spot, then went and had a bacon and egg burger. Then it was time for the hillclimb briefing.

Colin going round the bend.
I ran 41 and 40 for the practice runs, so decided to err on the side of caution and nominate 41 Ė wrong Ė I ran 40 in the first run, and then it rained briefly at the start of the second round. So we stopped for lunch, as the road was still a bit damp when we started again I ran a 43. My last was a bit quick so it didnít count. Times-wise I was way off but I still had a great day.

As soon as the last round of bikes had finished everyone pitched in and packed everything away. After presentations and a debrief in the car-park we all headed home.

As all the mats were wet I had to spread them out in the patio to dry. Monday morning Huw & Andrew helped move all the mats out into the sun to dry faster. Sorted out all the banners and flags then delivered them to their homes. Cleaned the caravan and delivered it down to Centennial Oval on Thursday for Albany Horsemanís use.

I enjoy working with a great bunch of people to make the hillclimb a success.

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