Debenham Winter Tour
18th-19th June 2011

Report by Simon Whittaker

Well, they dont call it the Winter tour for nothing.....With temperatures in the low teens, it was fortunate I'd remembered to wear my thermals before we left for the 2hr trip up the Hume to Moss Vale caravan park..Ian Stevens (Suzuki AC50), Ray Lalic(Honda CB125) and I (Suzuki T250) had loaded the bikes onto Ians massive trailer previously, so all we had to do was get up at 5am and head off......This rally differs from most as the focus is on smaller capacities 250cc and below....or bigger if the machine is older than 30 yrs. We met up with club members Craig & Lisa Mill on their 70's Honda SL175s in the car park where there was a plethora of vintage rarities including a New Hudson, New Imperial and some old Triumphs and BSAs....A Nimbus was sitting there along with James' and other assorted English, Italian, Russian and Japanese machines including about 5 nicely restored T20 Suzukis......

After the riders briefing we were off into the chilly morning air on a jaunt along some very picturesque roads towards Fitzroy falls for morning tea...What a spread as we arrived! A production line of coffee &tea makers along with home made cakes, biscuits, scones&cream and plenty of sandwiches were eagerly devoured as about 80 riders took advantage of the organisers baking skills......About 40 mins later we were off again making our way towards the Mittagong RSL for lunch. The backroads were really nice, winding up and down alongside fields and down country lanes and past small towns along the way. A few short but very steep hills put the smaller machines to the test but they all handled them well even if 2nd gear and a slow crawl was all that could be managed.....that right Ian? Ray found some latent power from his 125 after bubbling along at 60kph when the carby must've cleaned itself out a bit and soon he was pushing 90+.....with a big smile on his face... My little Hustler went a lot better after I had found and cleaned a blockage in the baffle this past week so it needed a decent run too...After covering the road and everyone I passed on it with plumes of blue smoke it came good after a while and ran like a top.....

At Mittagong RSL club car park bike were rolling in even the really old ones chugged in eventually......Then we caught up with Lisa....Craigs SL had "ceased to proceed" about 2klms out from the start, so feeling fit and fiesty and a little peeved, pushed it back to the van park and discovered a wiring problem which he soon had sorted, but opted to drive to the RSL to be safe.We had another look around at some of the bikes and into the club for a buy your own lunch and a couple of lights.....An hour later we were all off again back to Moss Vale deciding to return via the Hume freeway about 5klms till the MV turn off. This was very interesting for Ian on his mighty 50cc especially with the headwind....he described it as "scary"......We three stuck together for the final 13klms along the back way to the van park.....The Mills were hanging around as they booked for the dinner at the Moss Vale RSL later that night and we'd made the decision to head back early so we'd loaded up and headed home. It was a great days riding and we'll definitely be back again next year rugged up and ready...........cheers Simon.


some photos can be seen HERE