2003 Club Rally


King of Rally

King of the Rally 2003

Ross Campbell with his 1939 Velocette Mac 350

A few more of the bikes at our Rally in 2003


Another Rally has now come and gone. This one will remain in many people’s memory for several reasons: the tragedy and devastation of the previous week’s bushfires; the suspected uncertainty of whether the Rally could even be run; the need for some regulars to miss the Rally to ‘stand by their homes’ with the fire threat still a real and present danger; the high temperatures and low humidity on Saturday and Sunday. It will also be remembered as another great Rally, with regulars and newcomers alike enjoying excellent motorbiking, camaraderie, socializing, food, drink and ‘bike talk’ (just ask anyone who attended). We will be producing a Rally Special Edition of Bike Torque for each attendee, but in the interim this report will give you a quick SITREP on how the Rally went.

The Rally again began on the Friday with many out-of-town entrants arriving from lunch-time on and jockeying for position on the camping front. Roy and Gwen Jury had even camped at EPIC the night before and took ‘pride of place’ in the camping stakes (under a big shade tree in ‘pole position’). John Broad, Ross Everett and many other helpers (a completish list will be in the Special Edition of Bike Torque) had gathered to set up the site with all of the needed equipment, tea, coffee, drinks, urns, tables, signs, motorkhana equipment, computer system, etc, etc. A flurry of activity saw everything set up in readiness for the Rally to begin in earnest on Saturday. Rally registration started at 9 o’clock and when it closed at the final official statistics were 145 machines entered by 149 entrants and 65 family members. We had 133 Saturday Lunches booked, as well as 165 Presentation Dinners and 120 Sunday lunches. The Motorkhana events started at about 9:15 with the Harris crew (ala ‘indian chief’ outfit fame) manning the cones, stopwatch and tape measure. The slalom was conducted first, followed by the slow ride and the judgement ride. Howard Kneebone from Goulburn again blitzed the field in the slalom on his Suzuki at 16 seconds, 2 seconds clear of the nearest rival. The slow ride at 20 seconds was a dead heat between Jon Gough on his Triumph Thunderbird and Rod Greschke on the ‘noddy’ Velocette. The judgement ride was won by Warwick Nicholson on his Velo Venom at 25mm. Well done guys.

The hot roast spud lunch was served at about 12:00 by Bob, Julie and Emma from Rustlers Spit Roast. A sumptuous feast was had by all. I have received plenty of positive feedback on quality and quantity! With bellies full it was time to fill the bikes’ fuel tanks and head for Gundaroo for a drink stop at the ‘Wine Bar’. In 35º heat several bikes had a struggle making the 31 km distance. Notables were: Yours truly’s Sloper refused to start until I treated her to a new spark plug, Geoff Nicholas on the 1905 Peugeot (mechanical pin failure), Edith Ussher’s A7 Beesa’s reconditioned engine ‘tightening up’, plus a couple of other ‘failed to proceeds’. The back-up trailers were kept fairly busy. At Gundaroo most of the parched bikers partook of the Wine Bar’s liquid refreshments in the sweltering heat.

The return trip to EPIC was via Bywong, Bundendore Road and Macs Reef Road for a change. A nice ride, although my trusty Sloper again refused to play until I produced the magical new spark plug (the old one had only done 31km!). On return to EPIC the machines were lined up in their various categories for machine judging, with the Velocettes taking pride of place in front. Category winners are shown at the end of this report. Well done one and all for the excellent array of quality machines.

At about 4 o’clock we ran the exhaust note competition under very strict rules. Bikes were only allowed to run in first gear over a short distance. Over-running the mark and wheelstands guaranteed disqualification. The winner was Nils Lantzke on his Beesa Firebird scrambler. It sounds great without the mufflers!! At about 5:30 I tried to kick life into the Sloper so that I could get home for a shower and change of clothes, but the old beast again refused to co-operate, even with a new plug! I parked the poor old girl and zapped home on Gwen Jury’s little ZZR 250 (alias the “club” bike). I think it is time to do a bit of work on the Sloper!

Everyone arrived at the Presentation Dinner between 6:30 and 7:00 after a well earned rest and freshen up. Dinner was another one of Rustler Spit Roast’s culinary fares (choice of roast meat, spud, salads, etc, etc). After main course we drew the raffle with many satisfied customers, although the failing PA system meant that most had to rely on lipreading to find out what was going on. Sorry about that folks. The final raffle prize was an autographed Andrew Pitt Kawasaki Supersport shirt and hat courtesy of the Primmer’s (Patrick Primmer is Pitts suspension mechanic; thanks guys). The winner was Dick Holland. The formal presentations of category winners were conducted after dessert with yours truly and President Bob officiating. The full list is at the end of this report. Well done to all of the winners. A special well done to Ross Campbell for winning King of the Rally on his beautifully prepared little Velo Mac. Barbi Osborn also awarded the winners of the children’s colouring competition (a real favourite with the kids) and the Best Exhaust Note. Rod Greshke judged the colouring competition and got some real good ideas on how to paint ‘noddy’! The evening drew to a close at about 10 o’clock.

Sunday dawned with an ominous forecast of 38º! I rode my Beesa Super Rocket as the Sloper was proving reluctant. The traditional route through the Cotter to Lanyon was changed earlier in the week because of the tragic fires in that area. Instead, this year we went east to Tarago via Federal Highway, Macs Reef Road, Smith’s Gap and Bungendore. Harry and Ruth at The Loaded Dog Pub had opened early for our 10 o’clock arrival and the ever supportive Barges’ (Peter and Nerida), augmented with Lynn Scott’s baked delights, had set up a morning tea and ice-cold drink station that was a real treat. I counted 82 bikes at the stop. After we had depleted the food and drink stocks we headed back to EPIC via Kings Highway, Bungendore, Queanbeyan and Majura Road. The only casualty on the run was the little 2 stroke DKW ‘failing to proceed’. On return we were again spoiled with Rustler’s Spit Roast fare of hot roast beef or lamb rolls: yum!

As the temperature was steadily rising, everyone was given the afternoon off, with many choosing to cool their heels by the fridges in the Quokka Pavillion. Some even departed for home interstate. I put another new plug in the Sloper and gave it a firm prod on the starter. It burst into life! Obviously it just needed a rest. I quickly jumped on and snuck home for a quick swim, but I understand there were many stories told in the Quokka and, judging by the sore heads the next morning, much lubrication was taken! Monday morning saw the promise of cooler weather and 15 bikers were keen for a run around the lookouts. We headed for Telstra Tower on Black Mountain at about 9:30 and as we headed out it began to sprinkle with rain; a welcome relief after the sweltering conditions on the previous two days. A visit to the viewing platforms of the tower gave us all a good panoramic view of Canberra, including some of the burnt out areas. A coffee stop at Red Hill lookout was next, followed by the obligatory photo stop at Mt Ainslie lookout.

We got back to EPIC at about 12:15, where our final few visitors packed up and departed with the normal site cleanup following. Julie Orgill from the Shoalhaven Club gave us a hand with the cleanup, as well as a few others. The job was finished by about 2:15. We had come through the sweltering heat well, but although we had a great Rally yet again, our thoughts were continually with our mates standing-by on bushfire alerts. In the end, the alerts did not lead to evacuations and a safe weekend was had by all. Another great VVCMCC ACT Rally had been run, despite trying circumstances and conditions. Thanks again to all of the stalwart helpers throughout the lead-up, conduct and washup. A complete list of these important people will be included in the special Bike Toque Rally Issue. A special thanks also to our many trophy and prize sponsors. Without their help the Rally would be almost unviable. A complete list of sponsors will also be detailed in the Special Rally edition of Bike Torque. I look forward to seeing you all again at next year’s Rally.

In the meantime, Safe riding,
Bill Lewis Rally Director

Best Veteran Graham Froud’s 1911 Triumph 500
Best Vintage Peter Bland’s 1930 BSA Sloper 500
Best Pre-war Classic Peter Davey’s 1939 Brough Superior SS80 1000
Best Post-war Classic I Floyd Primmer’s 1952 Motto Guzzi Falcone Sport 498
Best Post-war Classic II Vince Darderi’s 1970 Honda CB750/4 K1 750
Best Modern James Primmer’s 1974 Ducati Desmo 248
Best Outfit Robert Harris’s 1944 Indian Chief 1200
Best Military Jim Carmody’s 1942 BSA WM20 500
Best BSA Dave Betts’ 1970 BSA Lightning 650
Best Norton Bernie Medway’s 1932 Norton 500
Best AJS/Matchless Dick Holland’s 1961 AJS Model 31 650
Best Triumph John Broad’s Triumph Thunderbird 650
Best Harley Davidson Phil (Rod) Greschke’s 1944 Harley Davidson WL
Best Velocette Ross Campbell’s 1939 Velocette Mac 350
Best American Machine Ross Holt’s ??? Harley Davidson ???
Best New Restoration Peter Bland’s 1930 BSA Sloper 500
Slalom Howard Kneebone/Suzuki T350
Slow Ride Jon Gough/1966 Triumph Thunderbird Rod Greschke/1952 Velocette LE
Judgement Warwick Nicholson/1962 Velocette Venom
Exhaust Note Nils Lanizke/1966 BSA Firebird
King of the Rally Ross Campbell on his 1939 Velocette Mac 350