BSAs invade Clare Valley
2015 BSA National Rally
6-8 November, 2015 – Clare Valley, SA.
The Beautiful Clare Valley would have to be one of the best locations on this entire planet to hold a National BSA Rally, and the Clare Caravan Park was just a superb choice for Rally HQ. This was a truly National event with 27 entries from Victoria, 7 from NSW, 4 each from Qld and the ACT and one that came all the way from the USA; does that make it an international rally? Friday evening saw the gathering of the troops for the first time at the dinner BBQ; a chance for all to meet new friends and for others to rekindle old friendships Déjà vu on Saturday morning when we gathered for breakfast. For some the conversation just continued where it had left off the night before, but the mood of the punters had shifted slightly to one of anticipation as the start of the first day’s ride approached. Gathering at the Clare Sports Ground were more than 130 motorcycles, all British and mostly BSAs. We even had locals join us just for the day’s ride. The local Mayor had come down to wish us the best, thank us for spending money in his town and to see us off. What a character! Fantastic sense of humour and a great send-off for the ride. Morning tea saw us in the Blyth Hotel with the bikes stretching nearly the entire length of the main street. The group was gathered out the front of the Blyth Hotel for the usual photo before we headed off back through Clare and then out to Burra for lunch. The unseasonal heavy rain earlier in the week had caused the ceiling to collapse on our lunch venue in Burra so the troops had to fend for themselves at the various other ‘intact’ establishments in town. This turn of events didn’t seem to faze anybody though with some of our crowd taking the opportunity to wander the street and explore Burra. After lunch we headed off again – some on the short ride back to Clare and some on the long ride home via Spalding and a chance to open up the throttle – just a little bit. Back at Rally HQ Happy Hour turned into happy one and a half hours which turned into happy two hours. All this while the bikes were being displayed twenty metres away for the judging of the trophies on offer. Later that evening we all gathered at the Clare Valley Function Centre for the Saturday night dinner, raffles, auctions and trophy presentations all MC’d superbly and might I say ‘energetically’ by our own Howard Parslow. If you didn’t have a good evening then you weren’t trying. Darren and Lisa Zacher from South Australia were big winners on the night with a recently restored and superbly presented 1932 Sloper taking out ‘Best Vintage’, ‘Best Single’ and ‘Best restoration’. But the weekend belonged to a recent addition to the South Australian family; Gerard Rowley and his 1969 Rob North BSA Rocket 3. This absolutely beautiful bike was a crowd favourite taking out the ‘Best Modern’, ‘Best Triple’ and the National Peoples Choice Trophy for Best Overall BSA. Sunday morning we were off again, this time heading south because south is where it is cooler and it was getting bloody warm. A quick stop in Manoora gave us the opportunity to look through the local Museum and then off to Riverton for morning tea. I noted that after leaving Riverton a lot of the tyres on the bikes looked slightly more laden. More superb riding through absolutely beautiful countryside and we arrived at Martindale Hall, Mintaro for the lunch and the final stop of the Rally. The bikes were all lined up again and the troops were gathered (like herding cats) for a photo out the front of the Hall and then it was all over. Hope those that were there had a great time – see you all in Victor Harbor for the 2016 South Australia BSA Rally from November 4-6.