As it turned out – not a great start to the year. The weather was fine and sunny, and although tending towards being warm, was as good as can be expected in mid Summer.
Riders of 7 historic bikes (in ascending age order):-
Geoff Walsh 1986 BMW K100, Gail Priest 1979 Kawasaki Z650, Ed Lowrey 1978 Triumph T140E, Alan Kernich 1976 Triumph T140V, David Saint 1974 BMW R90S, Gary Priest 1971 Honda CB750, Charles Oliver 1967 Triumph T120R.
and 10 moderns (in no particular order):-
Louis Peilschmidt Honda Africa Twin, Campbell Blaney Yamaha FZ1, Andrew McArthur Ducati Panigale, Wayne Lawson Triumph T120, Julie Mace Suzuki Bandit, Mick Drury Kawasaki Vulcan SE, Harold Beil Suzuki Boulevard M109R, Martin Mace Suzuki Boulevard M109R, Wayne Williams Yamaha XVS.
From Hazelwood Park, we had a very pleasant run to Strathalbyn via Summertown, Aldgate, Mylor, Echunga and Macclesfield to our refreshment stop at the Strathalbyn Bakery.
After our break we headed off towards Goolwa, but here the first of the day’s problems arose. Our leader Alan Kernich’s Triumph engine just stopped while sitting at a roadworks red light. He couldn’t restart and after some investigation found that the battery was completely dead- maybe an internal short? (the battery was later found to be totally and utterly dead when it inexplicably jumped from Ed Lowery’s bike on the trip home) He also discovered a possibly failing rectifier but whether this was relevant will remain a mystery. Thanks to all the patient club members who waited around while all this was going on. Eventually Alan, not wishing to push his luck any further, sent the rest of the crew onward towards Goolwa. Ed was sent off to purchase a new battery in Strath (not bad for a Saturday afternoon) and he and Alan then headed home and made it safely.
I was asked to lead the remainder of the ride down to Hindmarsh Island, have lunch in Goolwa and return. We headed through Currency Creek and then over the Hindmarsh Bridge to Murray Mouth. As we arrived at the car park in Murray Mouth, disaster struck again. Gail high-sided her Kawasaki Z650 at the last left turn before the car park. I have to say that the right-angled turn did surprise me and other riders and some suitable signage before this turn might have helped.
Gail had some grazing to her arm which was attended to by Wayne Williams and his first aid kit. She was a bit shaken, but there was no serious damage. Her bike however was unrideable, the electronic ignition plate and crank mounting had been destroyed and indicators, headlight, clocks etc were damaged also. A new member Geoff Walsh, who lives in Middleton, offered to fetch his trailer and store the bike overnight in his shed. Instead of lunching in Goolwa, we stayed at Murray Mouth and had lunch from the fish and chip van parked there.
Gary pillioned Gail home while the remainder of the ride headed back through Goolwa, Currency Creek and down Bull Creek Rd and into Meadows. Some riders split and went their ways home while the last three bikes returned via Mylor and Sterling. At Sterling I crossed over the freeway and ran into a police radar unit who clocked me on the Old Mt Barker Rd at the bottom of a hill and wrote me a ticket for $800+. Despite pleading poverty, the policeman gleefully completed the ticket and advised me to swap my 51 year old Triumph for a newer bike with a KPH speedometer (philistine!) and indicated that I could arrange to pay via a payment plan.
As one rider told me earlier at the start, they hate us and want us off the road. I’m thinking he may be right.
Charles Oliver, Secretary (standing in for the Club Captain).