His­tory does re­peat

Ta­ree & Districts Vin­tage & Clas­sic Mo­tor­cy­cle Club 25th An­nual Rally

Old Bike Australasia - - RALLY REPORTS HAWKE’S BAY CMC - Re­port and pho­tos Luke Wise

27 Fe­bru­ary – 2 March, 2014 – Ta­ree, NSW

Af­ter one of the dri­est sum­mers on record for the Mid-North Coast, the first weekend of March be­came the wettest weekend the area had ex­pe­ri­enced since the pre­vi­ous year’s rally, which had been aban­doned due to the foul weather. As be­fore the rally was uniquely held over four days, the Thurs­day be­ing the State of Ori­gin chal­lenge for vet­eran mo­tor­cy­cles. Queens­land soundly re­tained the per­pet­ual shield with a to­tal of three rid­ers as op­posed to New South Wales one. Ap­prox­i­mately 30 en­trants rode from Ta­ree to Man­ning Point, then af­ter a re­lax­ing pe­riod by the Man­ning River the en­trants pro­ceeded to Old Bar for lunch in the Sports Club and a re­turn ride to Ta­ree. Fri­day saw the State of Ori­gin chal­lenge for girder forked mo­tor­cy­cles. New South Wales field­ing ten rid­ers as op­posed to Queens­land’s four (the pre­vi­ous day’s vet­er­ans). As ap­prox­i­mately fifty rid­ers pre­pared to de­part, rain be­gan to fall heav­ily, but in­ter­mit­tently, as the ride pro­ceeded through Ta­ree, Ti­nonee, Bur­rell Creek and onto Wing­ham, where an early lunch was taken. By the time the lunch was com­pleted mod­er­ate rain had set in and a greater pro­por­tion of rid­ers re­turned to Ta­ree. About fif­teen hardier souls braved the weather for the sec­ond stage of the ride, but on ar­rival at Wher­rol Flat Hall, the rain was now heavy and af­ter a short drink stop and the wring­ing out of gloves, ev­ery­one pro­ceeded back to Ta­ree in what could best be de­scribed as ‘dif­fi­cult’ con­di­tions. Satur­day morn­ing was met with very heavy rain, how­ever there was no lo­cal flood­ing re­ported and it was deemed to be not as treach­er­ous as the year be­fore, so a vote was taken and about a dozen rid­ers stated they wished to brave the con­di­tions. Some of the 85 en­trants for the rally had al­ready de­parted for home with most only stay­ing for the pre-paid evening din­ner. As the mar­shals once more headed out into the del­uge, it seemed the weather wors­ened for our act of de­fi­ance and there was some re­lief when all rid­ers ar­rived at the Wau­chope RSL for lunch with only two in­ci­dents of bikes fail­ing to pro­ceed.

The evening’s pre­sen­ta­tion fes­tiv­i­ties were well re­ceived and most seemed to re­cover from the sorrow of be­ing un­able to ride. Judg­ing was deemed to be a com­bi­na­tion of the wor­thi­ness of the mo­tor­cy­cle pre­sented, and the ‘heart’ of the rider, for hav­ing re­mained in­volved dur­ing the most try­ing of cir­cum­stances. Bike of the Rally was awarded to Danny Marks for his 1947 1200cc In­dian Chief, rid­den all days, re­gard­less of the con­di­tions. USA res­i­dent, Cary Shoe­man, trav­elled all the way from Florida (USA) to par­tic­i­pate in the rally. Spe­cial men­tion goes to Peter Sun­der­land, who sadly lost his right leg above the knee in a mo­tor­cy­cling en­counter with a wire rope bar­rier two years pre­vi­ously. Peter rode solo on his 1956 350cc Ariel NH with a home-made hand-shift at­tached to the gear lever of his bike, to as­sist with chang­ing gear. This was his first at­tempt at rid­ing solo at a rally since the in­ci­dent and by all ac­counts, thor­oughly en­joyed him­self.

De­spite the weather, it ap­peared most en­trants spo­ken to en­joyed them­selves, if not for the rid­ing, for the good com­pany en­coun­tered dur­ing the pro­ceed­ings. Spe­cial thanks to the many businesses that spon­sored the event, and hard work­ing club mem­bers, with­out all of whom, it would not have been held. As they say in the clas­sics, we may have bet­ter luck next year.

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