Early morning showers and a large oil deposit at the entrance to Mundy St, courtesy of the pizza truck, didn’t deter entrants and spectators from attending the latest Classics at Hart event in Port Adelaide. There was a good selection of veteran & vintage bikes in the static display in the flour shed and outside at the end of Mundy St by the wharf, as well as a swelling number of starters for the ride to Birdwood Mill. Food vendors were set up outside and as well as sponsors Hancock & Just and Shannons. Two representatives from our beneficiary SAHMRI attended along with our very own Professor David Saint who was on hand providing information for interested patrons.
Apart from Brough, Scott, Panther and Ural we had most of the other manufacturers covered. There were more BSAs than Triumphs, several early Harleys and Indians and an array of racing and competition bikes including a wall of death Tilbrook. There were scooters, autocycles and even a Swiss made three wheeler circa 1910. Many walk-ups on the day contributed to the increased ride numbers and led to an impressive variety of machines on the day.
MC Bob Freeman started proceedings introducing Pt Adelaide mayor and COMCC patron Gary Johanson with state MP for Port Adelaide Susan Close, who were delighted to see such a healthy crowd gathered for the event and Gary in turn presented the event organiser Lew Hylton. We were to be led to Birdwood by the SA Police’s historic cars division and the order was given to ‘start your engines’. The sound bouncing off the Flour Shed and the TAFE building opposite was deafening to the point that it was difficult to hear your own bike running.
Riders funneled out of Mundy St and turned onto St Vincent St heading off along Grand Junction Rd, North East Rd and through Chain of Ponds. I found myself surrounded by 70s & 80s Ducatis for most of the way, then the Police escort pulled over in Gumeracha, which allowed myself and two other marshals to zoom ahead to Birdwood to position ourselves so that no one got lost. Everyone behaved themselves and we all arrived without incident at the back of the Birdwood Motor Museum and parked on the grass. The CFS did a fantastic job providing burgers, sausages and bottled water for all the riders and we should all also be thankful to Bob Chantrell and his crew for marshalling at Birdwood, as well as Wayne Williams who was following with a car and trailer should anyone have needed to be rescued.
Our two judges Malcolm Hermann from the CFS and Deb from the Museum circulated among the bikes and eventually made their decision :- A 1929 BSA sloper outfit, a 1954 Vincent Black Shadow, and for the moderns a Honda CB1000RR in Repsol trim and Clayton Penley’s Harley/sidecar/trailer combination won the best bike trophies. An excellent choice by the judges who were quite overwhelmed with the huge variety and quality of bikes present.
The return journey was a bit more of a spirited affair as we deviated towards Kersbrook and One Tree Hill and along the Salisbury Freeway back to Port Adelaide. On our return the band were performing on the flat bed truck and most of the bikes were on display by the wharf in the sunshine.
I think the ride component of the event went really well with no incidents of note. I’m not sure how they fared at the Port while the ride was on, but when we arrived back later in the afternoon it was quite hot for some of the volunteers looking after the bikes. Proceedings gradually wound down late in the afternoon. The good weather, great motorbikes and the many walk up starters helped make the event a success. Proceeds from the afternoon will be donated to SAHMRI, helping to keep South Australia at the forefront of medical research. Thanks to all the entrants/exhibitors for providing their machines, to Lew Hylton, Clayton Penley and all the volunteers who assisted to ensure that everything ran smoothly on the day. Also, a big thank you to our sponsors Hancock & Just, Adelaide Brighton Cement, Shannons and the Port Adelaide Council to name a few, which allowed us to put on the show.
*** The photos shown here only tell half of the story. For a real representation of the many different bikes on display and on the ride, click the Mill to Mill static display or Mill to Mill Ride to Birdwood .