How big can this get?

Old Bike Australasia - - FRONT PAGE -

Easter can be a re­laxed time, watch­ing the footie on tele­vi­sion, see­ing how the Royal Tour is pro­gress­ing, and try­ing not to de­vour too many hot cross buns. Not in this house­hold. For the past six years, Easter has meant the Broad­ford Bike Bo­nanza – this year the Pen­rite Broad­ford Bike Bo­nanza – and for Mr and Mrs Edi­tor it’s a non-stop, to­tally ex­haust­ing whirl­wind of ac­tiv­ity. The or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee, of which I am part, works fever­ishly to make sure ev­ery­thing is in place be­fore the gates open early on Good Fri­day morn­ing, be­cause once the gates are open it’s all hands on deck. The 2013 Bo­nanza was by far the big­gest yet, but the just-con­cluded 2014 event far out­stripped it. We had 1,200 AON-spon­sored num­ber plates printed, and by Sun­day af­ter­noon all but about 70 had been at­tached to a mo­tor­cy­cle. There were so many rid­ers keen for a squirt around one or sev­eral of the tracks, we ran out of wrist bands. There were so many ve­hi­cles pour­ing in, the exit lane had to be tem­po­rar­ily con­verted to an­other en­trance lane, which made get­ting out of the place a bit tricky for a while.

The Bo­nanza con­cept of a re­laxed, fam­ily-ori­ented weekend where ev­ery­one sim­ply min­gles, nat­ters, soaks up the sea of eye-candy, and flits from venue to venue as the track ac­tion takes place (eas­ily achieved thanks to the three free cour­tesy buses that con­stantly pick up and drop off at var­i­ous points) is un­de­ni­ably a ru­n­away suc­cess – as Alan Cath­cart puts it... ‘to­tally unique in the mo­tor­cy­cling world’. There are no snarly se­cu­rity staff, no overly of­fi­cious of­fi­cials, in fact, the ethos of the event is you can do what­ever you like, as long as you do the right thing by all con­cerned. A mea­sure of this was how tidy the place was – hardly a drop of rubbish any­where. The staff re­spon­si­ble for the clean up on Easter Mon­day said al­though bins were full, people had sim­ply placed any ex­cess neatly at the base of the bin, rather that toss it away in­dis­crim­i­nately.

Satur­day night’s gala din­ner was a sell-out, and next year re­verts to a larger venue to sat­isfy the ever-in­creas­ing de­mand for tick­ets. The food, pre­sented by Tah­bilk is su­perb, with their fab­u­lous wines at sub­sidised prices, and Alan Cath­cart’s in­ter­view with Graeme Crosby was en­ter­tain­ment par ex­cel­lence. The night also saw awards to the first two mem­bers of the Mo­tor­cy­cling Aus­tralia Leg­ends of Mo­tor­cy­cling – Ted God­dard and Lind­say Urquhart. Both these fine chaps have done im­mea­sur­able work for mo­tor­cy­cling (Lind­say is a mem­ber of the Bo­nanza com­mit­tee), and both re­ceived a fit­ting ova­tion.

Sure, not ev­ery­thing was per­fect, but there are no in­sur­mount­able is­sues, and by the time you read this, the com­mit­tee will al­ready have had its first plan­ning meet­ing for Easter 2015. Bring it on!

The edi­tor sam­ples the 1978 Cas­trol Six Hour­win­ning Yamaha XS1100. Many thanks to Mal Pit­man for the op­por­tu­nity to ride this su­perbly pre­sented mo­tor­cy­cle.

Peter Arun­del’s Vin­dian. See fea­ture story on P58.

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