1998 Club Rally

Best Post-War Classic Motorcycle and King of the Rally 1998

Ray on a 1949 Triumph Speed Twin

A few more of the bikes at our Rally in 1998

A Report on the Twenty-first Annual Rally - 1998

The rally was held at Exhibition Park in Canberra as normal, but at a different location at the opposite end of the site. A few reservations were held by some about the change, but as it turned out, it was a great spot, both for the events of the day and the camping overnight. The toilets and showers were a vast improvement on the previous ones!The rally started on a fine day, with only a few clouds in the sky, it was warm but not hot. Just what the doctor ordered! Some people turned up the previous night to claim their prime tent locations, but the majority turned up on Saturday morning. The sign-in tent was located at the centre of the site, so no one could mistake it, or not know that this was the place. It was helped by having the club logo outside as well as the notice board.

To ensure that the riders attending did not find the time till the first run too boring, a gymkhana was held with a slow race and a width judgement. The slow race caught a few people out, what with running out of fuel (fuel not turned on), jumping out of gear (too rough with the clutch, or possibly a very unsubtle clutch), or plain losing balance. The judgement also showed a few people that they think THIN! Their bikes turned out to be wider than they first thought. None the less all who attempted these two events enjoyed it. The bonus for wining was a bottle of port.

The run for Saturday was to be quite different from last year, we were to go out to the Sutton turn off, but then head for Queanbeyan and then through the middle of Canberra and out to Hall with a stop at the George Harcourt for a quick one, then back to the rally site. As the time of departure got nearer the clouds got bigger and more menancing. Some brave souls thought it wouldn't dare rain on this run and set out in normal gear. The rest of us being chickens decided that putting a little wet weather gear on was probably sensible.

The ride out to the Sutton road was quite spectacular as well as worrying. The clouds were really heavy in that direction, with plenty of lightening to watch. It looked like we were in for a good soaking, but we turned off for Queanbeyan before we got wet! Pheew, missed that one, prehaps it would be dry all the way around. Sure enough, Queanbeyan came and went without a drop of rain. This looked good, but then we turned off for Canberra! Hmm, this looked a little grim, but what the hell, we had got this far dry. At the airport a few drops fell, and it began to look like we may not stay dry after all. By the time we reached Canberra centre the few drops had ganged together and become proper rain. From here on in it was a question as to how long it would last and how wet we would get before getting back to EPIC. The rain got heavier and heavier with everyone getting a good soaking. Even those of us who put on the wet weather gear got wet, mainly in the neather regions. Not many stopped at the George Harcourt, but carried on back to EPIC. Those that did stop only stopped for a very quick drink before getting going again.It was almost dry at EPIC, but there appeared to be a bad case of bow legs developing, due to wet crotch syndrome. There were no complaints, but many jokes and plenty of happy people. The reason, the bikes did not over heat and the rain kept most things cool. Even those on belt drives survived OK. The worst that happened was a BSA which had a drowned carby.

The bike judging was done as soon as people had dried off a little from the run. It was good to see so many Veteran bikes on display, particularly the four Triumphs, 1906, 1907, 1908 and 1915 (I think those were the years). The bikes were laid out in a different way this year in an attempt to show clearly which class each bike was in, unfortunately for some they put their bikes in the wrong place and therefore lost out! A moral of this is that if you want to win a prize you had better make sure your bike is being entered in the correct category by being placed in the correct place.

Then came the evening meal, this was to be the same format as the previous year where a spit roast was laid on, but we had it inside one of the halls to ensure that no one got wet (although it had stopped raining by now). The only thing was it was a BYO chair, as there were not enough supplied to go around. This caused a little confusion, but eventually everyone got sorted. We had a great meal with Wayne supplying the easy banter throughout on his roaming mike, and Dick tickling the old ivories. At the end of the meal all the prizes were awarded. Having got the serious stuff out of the way, people could now relax and get on with enjoying the rest of the rally.

Sunday turned out to be a much better day for riding. The route was the same as in past years as all the out-of-towners thoroughly enjoy the Cotter loop. The first stop was to be at Lanyon for morning tea, followed by lunch at Cotter. Some found getting to Lanyon slightly harder than others with a BSA getting a partial seize (although this was not identified at the time). At Lanyon a wonderful spread was layed on with plenty of cakes for everyone. At this point a few members decided that the BSA needed looking at, so in the tradition of the club everyone came out with helpful advice and started to pull it apart. Geoff decided that the carby was at fault and thought he had a couple of spare bits at home. So whilst the rest of us moved on to Cotter via the loop, the BSA was taken home to have a little work done on it. It did arrive at the Cotter, but still on the back of a trailer.

The meal at the Cotter was slightly different from past years being cold cuts, as the intention was to go back to EPIC for a BBQ. When we got back to EPIC more food was the order of the day, with cakes and biscuits being laid on, before the evening BBQ. A surprising number of people stayed over Sunday evening and onto Monday. I think it was guessed that about 10 to 15 people would stay, but as it happened more than 30 did! This must be a first! It would seem that some people did not want to leave to go home. I am not sure I could blame them, as I thought the rally a great success with well over 100 bikes entered.

We hope to see you all again next year on the Australia Day VVCMCC Rally.