Fresh blood stirs Velo fellows

Old Bike Australasia - - OUT’N’ABOUT -

From Colin Hanger: The Mel­bourne branch of the Ve­lo­cette Own­ers club of Aus­tralia is not now known as a rid­ing club. Th­ese days the mem­bers, who like all of us are start­ing to get on in years and have done the “rid­ing ev­ery­where thing” many times be­fore, are quite con­tent to just turn up at our lo­cal monthly meet­ings to catch up with like­minded mem­bers. In fact it’s like a men’s shed with­out the tools. Most also be­long to other clubs so if they want to ride they just join along with what the oth­ers have per­fected. En­ter a new, fresh, young en­thu­si­as­tic mem­ber – Scott Arnold – who wants to ride his re­cent­lyre­stored MSS. He has read in our club mag­a­zine about how the other states have started to get out on their girder fork mod­els. Our rid­ers don’t want to set land speed records (al­though one of our mem­bers cur­rently holds the record for the Worlds Fastest Ve­lo­cette – over 180 mph) they just want to blow out the cob­webs ev­ery so of­ten and prove to them­selves that they are still up to it. So Scott has started to or­gan­ise short rides, usu­ally start­ing early on a Sun­day morn­ing be­fore Mr Plod has set up in the hills, and all are wel­come. Our lat­est ride met out­side Eltham, which is the gate­way to the best part of in­ter­est­ing coun­try rid­ing near Mel­bourne, for a morn­ing’s ride to ex­plore the back roads be­tween there and our fi­nal desti­na­tion of Kinglake. The slower speeds were an ad­van­tage as the re­cent stormy weather had left the roads lit­tered with wet leaves, mud and bark ev­ery­where. There were no cor­ner mar­shals, tail-end Char­lies, back-up trail­ers (well you don’t need them when you are rid­ing a Ve­lo­cette) emer­gency phone num­bers or grand pre-or­gan­ised routes... just a few peo­ple go­ing for a Sun­day ride. We started with a MK 3 LE, a KSS, 4 rigid MSSs, a 1934 Nor­ton, Venom Club­man, a sprung MSS, a GS BMW and an MG Midget. It was in­ter­est­ing to note that when we got to Kinglake the great­est in­ter­est was shown, by the other early morn­ing rid­ers on push bikes, in the LE. One chap fawned over it and had a photo taken of him­self on it so he could show his dad, who may have men­tioned them in the past. The usual ques­tions of where were they made – France – Italy? A coffee and cake then back on the bikes for a slightly dif­fer­ent route home, with some say­ing where they would peel off along the way. It was all over by lunchtime which left the af­ter­noon for other things. I re­turned from it with plans to re-Red­plate the 1937 MSS in time for the next ride.

Main cat­a­lyst for the ride: Scott Arnold’s freshly re­stored MSS. Back onto the road af­ter coffee at Kinglake.

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