Fresh blood stirs Velo fellows
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.