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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A good day to visit the city not only for the rally but to get an eye full of the new Daytona 675, rather a nice piece of work and it will be a hit I'm sure. Could'nt get passed the Goldie upstairs though but,,,,, wait and see what eventuates. 1050 Daytona !!!
Getting back to the rally, I can only hope that more people WILL participate and become a bit more active in the campaign against these outrageous levies. Gold digging, revenue raising, call it what you like but it's all coming out of your pockets and for what? What do you think you will get for it, and if anything for how long. I cant say I have ever heard of being taxed for enjoying your favourite pastime, riding. Get stuffed Braksy and keep your hands out of my pockets. C'mon bikers stand up and be counted, make a difference and have some input into where your money goes.