Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Geelong RAT wins award at the All British Rally

Well it was a great turnout for the annual pilgrimage to the All British Rally in Newstead. About 11 RATs turned up at the Wharfshed and all but 3 were packed with sleeping bags and tents ready for a big week-end of camp-fires, sing-alongs and maybe even a beer ot two!
The previous few nights had been wet and wild but on Saturday morning it was blue skies and high spirits as the Trumps pulled away from the Wharfshed.
It was the first time most of us had travelled through the Brisbane Ranges since the bush fires & it felt ghostly. Where once there had been dense bushland there was black charcoaled trees. The good news is they are showing new life already with little shoots of greenery growing from the blackened branches. We talked about it later and thought how much easier it made the road to ride as we could see through corners where once there had been dense scrub & bush.
We arrived at our usual bakery stop in Ballan and it was coffees and cakes all round. There were lots of bikes on the road and we were joined by a guy from Geelong on a Triumph Speedmaster - keeping PJ company!
After warming up with a coffee it was on to Newstead via Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. Great roads but in one spot a nighmare with loose gravel & roadworks - can't have it all I suppose!
As we got closer to Newstead we got the occasional glimpse of a BSA or a Norton on the road, their riders sitting on them proudly, giving them a quick test run after making adjustments to the carbie.
Approaching the campsite I was amazed to see so many tents, cars & bikes on the hillside where the rally is held each year. This was the 30th Rally so bike enthusiasts had really come out in full support.
It looked like a well oiled operation as the tents were unfolded, camping stoves assembled and a camp fire lit - though I was a bit concerned about the ex-digger that couldn't get the fire lit!
It was a great site and with the fire going it was really cosy. A quick ride into Maldon for lunch and a walk about to look at those old classics - they looked like they'd just left the showroom.

There was a new Triumph Daytona looking sad and I heard it was in a collision with a Speed Triple on Friday night.

Then it was back to the campsite where Martin, Mick and myself said farewell and rode back to Geelong via Creswick & Ballarat. It was a bloody cold ride home and there were times when I wished I was sitting by that log fire.
Later I heard that it was a great night and everyone had a merry time.

Then the big news - Paul won the best post 1988 Triumph Twin award with the Thruxton - Congratulations mate.

See you at the Wharfshed on Thursday night - 27th April @ 7pm

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