Thursday, March 30, 2006

Quick Update - March 06

Monthly Meeting
The Monthly Meeting has come round again and is on Thursday night (30th March) at the Wharfshed Cafe.

Next Ride Day
The next ride day is on Sunday 9th April leaving the Wharfshed at 9:30am. An idea is to have a short morning ride to Ballarat via Stieglitz & Brisbane Ranges and then lunch at The Grapes Hotel where we can discuss the calendar for the rest of the years outings. So if you've any ideas or thoughts on rides/weekends away let them be known so they can be included.

Worlds Fastest Indian - pre-screening at Reading
Mick (red Sprint) has made some enquiries with Reading Cinemas about pre-screenings for the The Worlds Fastest Indian which starts showing next week. Reading Cinemas in Waurn Ponds are having a pre-screening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 1:30pm. Anyone fancy an afternoon at the flicks? We'll have a chat at the Wharfshed meeting to work out a time that suits most people.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Get Up, Stand Up!

We all know that the current Victorian Govt. has treated motorcycle riders with nothing less than contempt. They introduced wire barriers that have been banned in other states, make us pay an extra $50 levy each year (gone up to $54 this year), want to introduce front number plates and are now planning to make lane splitting illegal!!

So, early on Saturday morning several Geelong RATs met at the Corio Roadhouse to make the trip to Melbourne to take part in the anti-levy rally and keep the red flag flying!! Six of us on 4 bikes started off and on the way we were joined by Mal & Cheryl on the Trident. Once in the city & the bikes safely parked in Elizabeth St, we all followed Pete to Melbourne Central for a hearty breakfast at Mee.Too Cafe.
A quick tour of the Peter Stevens shop and a perv at the new Daytona 675 - looks even better in the flesh! I know at least one RAT that's got it in her shopping basket!! The gold Speed Triple upstairs took the attention of another RAT so all in all it might have been an expensive visit for a couple of people...

The bikes were gathering enmasse as it approached lunchtime and the kick off at 12:30pm. Sitting in a cafe balcony on Elizabeth St we had a grandstand view of the action. The police looked like they were expecting trouble with 4 police cars & motorbike outriders parked on standby - and it was with good reason as PJ rocked up with his mate Yogi looking for a riot!!

We all signed the petition and at 12:30 we were off. It was all a bit disorganised and I wondered why the police had even bothered to show up as they did nothing to assist with traffic or the congestion as 500 motorcycles tried to get down Latrobe St in front of trams, other road users and pedestrians - maybe they were only there to see if they could collect more revenue for Bracks to pay for the Commonwealth Games fireworks ($50m)!

Anyway, we headed out past the tennis centre and MCG giving the Games spectators something wothwhile to look at - and it was free! Those girls outside the Rod Laver Arena trying to sell us Games Programs were ambitious!
The rally ended in Hawthorn and there were speeches from Motorcycle lobby groups that came from NSW and Tasmania - both had the impression that the transport minister here is a w..ker! Glad I'm not the only one that thinks it (just spend a week travelling Vline to Melbourne if you don't believe me)!! Denis Napthine made a pledge to fight the rope barriers and the levy & we were all encouraged to make our votes do the talking at the next State election.

After the rally we decided to head for Williamstown and lunch so it was off out on to City Link and over the West Gate via the Domain tunnel. PJ was still itching for a fight when we sat down for lunch but the serenity of the city by the bay quickly took effect - or so we thought!

As we rested in the park before the trip home a wedding party approached from the south! Quickly PJ gave his congratulations and told them he wanted the second bridesmaid from the left! Then the bride spotted a bike that was the same colour as her bridesmaids dresses and her shoes! "I want that one"! The nuclear red (some think its pink) Speed Triple quickly rolled into action to the thrill of the bride & groom. The photographer lined them up and the shots were taken - that Speed Triple will be bringing back happy memories for many years - the bride even told Pete to let her know if he ever wanted to sell it!
Well it wasn't the most exciting ride up the freeway but the company made it a great day and the cause was very worthwhile. It was good to see Ash back in the saddle too.

Catch you all at the next Wharfshed meeting on Thursday 30th March.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Motorcycle Levy (Bracks Govt) Protest Ride

RATs are departing from the Corio Roadhouse at 8am on Saturday morning to support the protest against the Victorian Govt's motorcycle levy which increases this year to $53.90.

Information from website:

To the end of June 2005 approximately $10.6 million was raised from the levy.

It is expected riders will flood Melbourne's CBD on Saturday as part of a statewide rally calling on the State Government to abolish a $53.90 motorcycle registration safety levy.

The protest ride, on Saturday, March 18th, is to travel from Elizabeth Street in the City, with riders to gather from 10am. Riders will leave from Elizabeth Street at 12:30pm with Member of Parliament, Denis Napthine, riding as a pillion, to the VACC Motorcycle Industry Forum in Hawthorn where a petition against the safety levy will be presented to Mr. Napthine.

No other motor vehicle in Victoria pays an additional levy. The Motorcycle Safety Level Program was introduced in 2002 at a cost of $50 to provide funding for road safety programs.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Daytona Dave is 40!!!

Believe it or not - the young Daytona Dave is turning 40 this week and wants you all to help him get over the line with a Barbie and a few beers.

Venue - Dave's place in Torquay on Saturday 18th March (day after St Paddy's Day!) - bring your own drinks & food.

If you've got Dave's number give him a call otherwise send me an e-mail and I'll send you back details of venue etc.

Remember to leave your bike at home...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Sunday Ride Day - 5th March 06

Ride report by Cheryl:

With at least nine regular RATS scattered to the four winds (in Northern Victoria, Adelaide, Tasmania and Philip Island) only three bikes turned out at the Wharf Shed on Sunday. After some discussion it was decided to take a leisurely ride around the Bellarine Peninsula.
A minor detour saw Geoff lead us down the Pt Henry road to try out the corners - must have been that ride on the Rocket III on that road that inspired him. Paul managed to avert disaster when the Thruxton was hit with a dose of the speed wobbles – I suggested he check the nut that appeared to be loose on the rider’s seat!

A coffee stop at Dave and Jane’s and some gentle pushing saw them join us on the leg to Queenscliff - with Jane riding Effie.

Lunch at Queenscliff was followed by the scenic route to Ocean Grove. Geoff and Paul carried on towards Barwon Heads whilst Dave, Jane and I cut back across to Drysdale.
A farewell toot at the roundabout and we went our separate ways.

In essence a short ride out but a very pleasant one.