How big can this get?
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.