18-21 April, 2014 – Murwillumbah, NSW
The tranquil areas around Murwillumbah set the stage for this year’s 23rd All-Indian Rally. In all, over 25 Indian motorcycles were dispatched to the Murwillumbah showgrounds ready for the round up and to tackle the landscapes, country and challenging routes within the immediate area. An unscheduled Friday afternoon leisurely ride to Teranora saw the usual big Chiefs forge out of the grounds and clear the path ahead of the Scouts and the slower, older Big Chiefs. The pace soon picked up as older Chiefs and Scouts got the mechanical, hand-operated oil pumps surging and left a smoke trail just to prove we had been there. A special commendation was given to Tony Milligan, who rode an Army Scout, for showing determination all weekend. We all thought he had left one of the spark plug leads off the bike, but this was later solved once it was discovered that the venturi was in backwards and he notched up over 45 mph for the rest of the weekend.
Saturday morning was the first official club run-day. Club chairman, Rob Patrick welcomed all riders at the morning briefing and proceeded to set out a well-orchestrated and researched set of rides over the weekend. Saturday’s ride was split into long and short routes giving all riders a choice of pace, scenery and duration. The first group rounded up for the long ride. Once mobile, the team members took their places and paced themselves on the ride to Beaudesert, Lyons Road and Kyogle. The final run back to camp followed the Tweed River with a series of beautiful undulating roads that kept all riders alert and attentive. The short-ride team headed off to Advance Town via the Currumbin Rock pools with some challenging directional changes. The day finished with a good lunch and lazy ride back to the Murwillumbah camp. In the evening, the gathering of members enjoyed a well-prepared dinner with a selection of tall stories and some Indian movies to watch, kindly provided by Darryl White. Finally the crowd took a position around the camp fire and pondered the challenges for the next day. Sunday’s program would be challenging with over 200 members of the public arriving early for the well-organised “Indian Field Events”. This was run by long-time club member Marc Gunderson on the Murwillumbah showground oval. The public was treated to a series of activities that involved all Indian riders keen to display their balancing capabilities while riding slowly, and in obstacle and timed events. The interested public then descended onto the oval for a closer viewing and many folk talked of their past association with Indian motorcycles. Moses Abraham won the selected public favourite award for his 1923 Chief.
As the bikes then fired up, a slow procession of riders without the wagon trains exited the arena and headed for the historic town of Tyalgum. The staff at the Tyalgum Hotel provided a welcome reception and lunch for all. As the day drew on, some riders travelled via Stoker’s Siding before arriving back at the Murwillumbah camp. The busy evening was well run as volunteers prepared for the much anticipated meeting to elect new office bearers. We then attended the final dinner and it was followed by the Indian auction and the Indian raffle. A special thanks must go out to Darryl White and Russel Price and their families for their donations of auction and raffle prizes which go a long way to supporting our club and therefore the camaraderie that exists in the group.
The weather and location for this year was excellent as was the help of all attendees which made this another great Indian rally. A big thank you to all those who helped to make this successful, including Ashton Willersdorf and Vivenne Rennie, who are worthy of a special mention, for providing back-up vehicle support. Let’s work towards our 24th Indian Rally in 2015 – we look forward to seeing you there.
John Wilkins warms up his 1928 600cc Indian Scout Model 101.
Moses Abraham manoeuvres his all-original 1923 1000cc Indian Chief during the field events. Moses is the second owner of this bike; his grandfather bought it new in 1923.
Dave Morgan, 1944, Indian ex-army 1200cc Chief, ponders the starting line and the day ahead.