1997 Club Rally

King of the Rally 1997

A few more of the bikes at our Rally in 1997

A Report on the Twentieth Annual Rally - 1997

Our request for entries to be in by the closing date worked very well though this may have been the result of the imposition of a late entry penalty. Approximately ninety per cent of the entries were received by the entry cut-off date. Maybe the prospect of entrants having to pay a late entry fee actually worked as there were only about twenty new entries during the registration period on Saturday.

The Friday afternoon/evening setting-up task went without a hitch due to good organisation and the high level of member involvement. Very early on during the proceedings the'Bar' was organised, the hot water urns were activated and tea,coffee and biscuits were available for entrants and members. This year we had nearly double the previous number of entrants camping on-site at EPIC. By seven o'clock on Friday evening there were at least forty people on-site and it was becoming obvious that the rally would go ahead regardless of the weather or other setbacks.

Saturday morning, the rally site had assumed a real bustling atmosphere as entrants continued to arrive, bikes were unloaded and tents erected. By nine thirty the reception tent was fully staffed and entrants began collecting their rallypacks or registering. As the morning progressed friends met and exchanged stories, riders from interstate dried their clothes, machines were polished, crankcases were drained and everyone seemed keen for the rally program to begin.

At approx eleven o'clock the organisers of theGymkhana touted for entrants to bring their machines and to contest various events such as:

At mid-day the food counter in the Bar was declared open and a huge line of 'hungries' soon formed. A valiant food preparation crew toiled to make a whole range of sandwiches and to keep the queue moving. Eventually, as appetites eased, the queue diminished and we still had food left in the freezer!

The Marshals were brought together and briefed on the proposed route and their respective posts for the afternoon Small Ride. A while later, the Club President had the pleasure of welcoming the entrants to our twentieth rally and outlining the program for the day. The Small Ride was soon underway taking the riders around our Sutton, Gundaroo and Murrumbateman Loop. Of course this route takes them past the George Harcourt Inn - a regular stop off and watering hole for most of the riders. The back-up vehicle crews dealt with a coupleof breakdowns on this run but fortunately, there were no disasters. Back at Epic the machines were lined up for the machine judging and the 'Exhaust Note Contest'. The latter attracted considerable interest, enthusiastic right wrist-twisting and smiles from competitors and spectators.

The Presentation Dinner on Saturday night was good as it brought together the majority of the participants which enhanced the camaraderie of the gathering and encouraged a higher level of participation. 160 entrants sat down for the Dinner.

Sunday morning saw the bikes lined up and ready to roll by nine thirty, marshals were briefed and dispatched and slower machines were set off. The weather for the Big Ride (part1) started fine but, just after the run started it got a bit drizzly. The Big Ride (part 1) took us via Fyshwick and Cooma Road to Lanyon Homestead on the South side of Canberra where we stopped for a pleasant Morning Tea. The Big Ride (part 2) took us via Tharwa to the Cotter Reserve where Lunch was provided. This part of the ride is through great bike riding country where riders enjoy a combination of open flat country and twisty roads that wend their way through the foothills of the Brindabella Ranges - Great ridin' country. After an excellent Lunch we began the Big Ride (part 3) which took us along Brindabella Road toUriarra Crossing, to Coppins Crossing and back to EPIC via some of the northern suburbs of Canberra. It was on this leg of the ride that the weather got unfriendly, dumping a lot of rain on us and making the riders nervous and the roads slippery.

Though we had some activities planned for Monday morning the prospect of a wet day caused the majority of entrants to depart from EPIC earlier than expected. A few campers decided to stay until mid-morning then, fresh from a good cool nights sleep, they packed up and set off home.

Rally Report by Steve