Nice bikers on the run
COME on feel the noy-oyz, sang a British band from long, long ago, and one of the best ways to do that is to stand in a paddock full of motorbikes revving up, ready to go.
There’s the seismic rumble and crackle of dozens of Hogs, unhurried, magisterial, and from over there, the zzzzzppppp zzzzzppppp of some high strung Italian gizmo more suited to the moto GP.
“Prong”, the leader, has got the 90 riders back on their machines after lunch at Highfalls with no messing around. You have to run a tight show. The F word prefaces every command, and in the middle and at the end, lest you appear too nice to be in charge.
Next stop heading north is the Crossroads café, and then to Cow Bay Hotel for a giant whoop-up, staying overnight.
A band is coming from Innisfail.
This huge gaggle of social bikers will stop strategically at places along the way to spend their bucks so the locals will benefit.
“We leave the money on the northern side of the river, for people who aren’t doing so good,” said “Prong”.
It’s been planned that way, ever since “Prong” began this benefit ride 18 years ago. Same ride, same time of year, for 18 years.
It’s raised an enormous amount of money as well for specific charities, including this year a man in the Daintree with cancer, Alexandra Bay school P and C, the lifesavers at Ellis Beach, and (next weekend) the Avenue of Honour at Yungaburra (there’s a strong contingent of the Diggers club in the group, from Townsville).
(Further investigation reveals Prong is Wayne Trimble of Cairns and he’s renowned for this ride and his other charity work. I’m apparently the only one who doesn’t know all this, which he was too modest to point out).
People look forward all year to the ride. They’d like to do it more often, but “Prong” says that would ruin it. Once a year’s fine.
So what’s it like, riding around in a big bunch of bikers?
“Bloody thing ever.” How? “I dunno, it’s just the noise. The noise is great.” great, the best
Bikers from Cairns and Townsville prepare to roll out of Whyanbeel on their way to Cow Bay