Rosco’s Trip to the 2023  ‘Bottom End” motorcycle run

28 Feb

Organised by the S.Y.P. Historic Vehicle Club

17th _19th February 2023. The 37th Annual Run

Richard Germein & John Francis were organising this event & had sent me details via email, & I spoke to Geoff Barnes & we decided to go, of course! It was arranged that I would pick up their gear on the Thursday before we left & I met them around 10.00am & off we went.

Geoff was riding his 1960 BSA A10 with sidecar that they had ridden from England to Oz in the 60’s & he has kept this in good condition & rides it to all of the motorcycle rallies.

Geoff won’t go across South Road without traffic lights so we went for a long way up to Anzac Highway, then down to the South Road & away towards Coobowie, at last!

I stuck in close behind them until we reached Pt Wakefield where  we always have lunch at the top of the gulf. Good spot, shady seats with a roof & a toilet block. This year no one else turned up so we had lunch & headed for Coobowie, stopping for petrol at Ardrossan. I didn’t see Geoff take off & thought he was in front sitting on 80 K’s as he does, so I thought I’d soon catch up, but when I didn’t find him, I thought he was behind me so I pulled into a shady spot & waited for perhaps 10 minutes, then set out for Coobowie. Well Bless me, when I arrived at the Rally HQ, there was Geoff’s BSA! So we booked into the Rally, saw many of our mates from previous evens there, said Good Day & headed off to the house that Geoff had booked us into. This was only 2 streets away & was big enough for umpteen people! Geoff set up in a bedroom somewhere & I had a small room with two sets of single bunks one above the other, close to the kitchen. Immediately inside the front door there was a large sitting room with a giant TV screen 

That night we had booked into the Club Dinner at HQ & queue  up & got a small bread roll in halves, no butte, two scoops of shithouse cold stuff  & a good serve of a nicely cooked bit of meat. After I’d eaten this I found there was one piece of nice bun stuff left, so that was dinner! No more thanks!

The Saturday Run was departing at 9.30 am & I had previously told John Francis that I would appreciate getting a ride with a pickup truck & he had arranged for me to go with joker who drove a modern Merc pickup with trailer.

Turned out the driver was a great bloke & we got on well. He was a spritely 86 & seemed pretty fit. He’d been in the UK army, served in the Malaysian emergency, & done heaps more. I’ll keep in touch with him.

The Saturday Run was 191 K’s around the bottom end of the peninsula, lunch at Port Victoria & morning tea at Curramulka. En route we went to the Harry Butler Memorial at Minlaton & stopped there for a look. Harry flew a WW1 plane from England to OZ & established a mail service from Adelaide to Minlaton in the early 20’s but died in a plane crash in 1922.  The maps given out to us were a big help that day too. After lunch I couldn’t find my sunglasses but when we got back to HQ I asked if anyone had found some sun glasses & sure enough, they had been handed into Jenny, so Beaudy Newk, I got’em back!

 Then home & don’t spare the horses! Geoff had booked us into the Edithburgh Hotel for dinner that night, thankfully after the crap we’d had last night, & this was very good. Best crumbed gar & chips I’ve had, brought half of it home, plus the best serve of pudding & icecream I’ve had. Took a sleeping tablet that night & retired early.

Sunday’s Run was to be 126 K’s roughly from Coobowie to Point Turton to Minlaton again, then home via Yorketown & Port Giles where the silos are enormous. I’d already handed my meals tickets in so didn’t stay long at HQ but went out to look at Oaklands where dad was borne. His father was the School Master there in 1898 & I like to see how it’s going when I go to Coobowie. It’s a bloody rubbish dump, even worse than last year. The school building & house are one building & that’s about all of Oaklands, I did write to the local council last year about it being a National Trust Building but got no reply but will try again this year. Took lotsa photos of it. Dunno how to attach them to this document yet, but will get Helen to fix it.

On Sunday’s Run, at Point Turton I noticed a very nice Vincent motorcycle  & asked the owner if it was a Black Shadow but he said it was a Rapide, a much cheaper version of the make. He rattled off the others, starting with the 500cc Comet then the Rapide, Black Shadow & finally the Black Lightning. On the way home we stopped to pick up a broken down motorcycle that looked like new. It was a Harley Davidson, a make that I don’t know anything about coz of the type of people who ride them, but this one was different. It was a 1935 side valve, & the owner said it had taken him 3 ½  years to restore. Now it had seized up. Coincidently, one of his mates who had stopped was the Vincent owner from the lunch stop. Plus a pickup ute had stopped there. There were three jokers there to load the motorcycle onto our trailer & they had a good aluminium ramp to run it up on, but the channels on the trailer were too close to the sides of the trailer so the crash bars were hitting the trailer. So I took control & told them to run the bike up into the middle of the trailer & hold it down with ties. This worked well & we headed for the owner’s home, which, by sheer chance, was only two streets away from HQ.

At HQ I found the Barnes busy having a cordial with a group so I headed off towards Edithburg & continued on to a group of enormous wind towers. Looked like hundreds but I went on to the end of the road & found Wattle Point Wind Farm, with a notice telling me that there are 55 Wind Turbines with a generating capacity of 90.75 MW & they’re owned by AGL! They had been commissioned in 2005. The Turbines are 68 meters high!

I had a look around Edithburgh for a general store , a hardware store & the sort of shops you would expect to find in every suburb in Adelaide \, but the region is devoid of them. I mentioned this to Geoff & he told me that there was a good shop in the Caravan Park in Coobowie, so I presume that if you want to shop you have to go into Yorketown 20 K’s away.  

On Monday I had decided to travel home closely following Geoff & we left early & were in Port Wakefield before Noon. Geoff filled with petrol there & we set out for home, arriving around lunch time, so after we had unloaded his gear from the wagon he made a cuppa & Hellina found something to eat. Then for me it was Home James & don’t spare the horses!

Found Rotti4 at the gate & we had a cuddle & then I had to unpack & go down the road to get some tucker for us both. How good it was to be back to normal!

I won’t go again at my age so it was a good experience, it has taken me a cuppla days to recover, but it was worth it!.