Vets in the mid-west

Parkes Na­tional Vet­eran Rally

Old Bike Australasia - - RALLY REPORTS PARKES VETS • POWER RALLY - Re­port and pho­tos Gail & Peter Scott

29 Sept-4 Oc­to­ber, 2013 – Parkes Show­ground, NSW

Check-in on Sun­day at the show­ground saw a large gath­er­ing of rid­ers and ma­chines, with an en­try of 127 rid­ers with 169 vet­eran mo­tor­cy­cles. The pub­lic had been in­vited to view the dis­play. The rally com­mit­tee and some rid­ers were dressed in pe­riod cos­tume, or just old clothes from Vin­nies, and the wind-up gramo­phone with old 78 records was get­ting a work-out, all adding to the at­mos­phere of the event. The evening ‘meet and greet’ BBQ, again with pe­riod cos­tumes and mu­sic was a big hit.

Mon­day saw the rid­ers start the rally with a ‘shake-down’ ride out to the te­le­scope. The the­ory was that this would sort out any ma­jor flaws in the ma­chines be­fore the longer runs planned for the next few days. The bus, car­ry­ing wives and fam­i­lies, was avail­able daily with fun prizes planned for the pas­sen­gers and ar­rived at the te­le­scope be­fore the bikes. Lunch was pur­chased and many took ad­van­tage of the guided tours. Some rid­ers were in­ter­viewed by a lo­cal Prime TV sta­tion re­porter, a good look­ing blonde who did us a great spot on the evening news. Then it was back to the Parkes mo­tor mu­seum for a leisurely look around be­fore re­turn­ing to the show­ground. The next four days saw some long runs to in­ter­est­ing places in­clud­ing Forbes with lunch at the mo­tor mu­seum; Canowin­dra which is an in­ter­est­ing small town with the mu­seum of fishes, and a visit to an his­toric home­stead at Trun­dle. Un­for­tu­nately, there was one nasty ac­ci­dent which re­sulted in Don McRae be­ing hos­pi­talised. The steer­ing stem broke on his BSA and he hit the tar­mac hard re­sult­ing in a fair loss of skin and bruis­ing but no bro­ken bones. It is a fact that few of us have any idea of the state of the stressed parts of our old bikes. Who knows how many knocks they have taken over the years or how much hid­den cor­ro­sion in the frame or forks, not to men­tion fa­tigue of the metal, and of course the rid­ers. The long rides in lovely coun­try­side with very lit­tle traf­fic, plenty of good food, good mar­shalling and back-up ser­vices made for a very pleas­ant week’s rid­ing. On the last day I re­call see­ing vet­eran mo­tor­cy­cles in a long line, stretch­ing out into the dis­tance and thought how great, what a sight, and what a sound! These events prove that vet­eran mo­tor­cy­cles have a re­ally strong fol­low­ing in Aus­tralia. We should in­vite rid­ers from around the world to this event in the fu­ture. They would love the open, un­clut­tered roads and fair weather. A big thank you to all who sup­ported this rally. The rid­ers, mar­shalls, or­gan­is­ers and spon­sors. The next event is in Ararat, Vic­to­ria, in two years time. If you have a vet­eran ma­chine, it is well worth the ef­fort to get there.

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