Australian Ariel Register (AAR) 25th National Rally
23-26 March, 2018 – Traralgon, Victoria
This year’s AAR National Rally was labelled “Ariel Power in the Valley Rally” and was located in Traralgon in the picturesque Gippsland area of Victoria. Over 70 keen AAR members from Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania, Queensland and the A.C.T. made the journey. The Ariel marque ranged from a 1915 Ariel Roadster 500 through to several 1958 Ariel models. Two very early Ariels, flat tankers, were part of the Rally. The Rally HQ was based at the Big 4 Park Lane Holiday Park whose owners were very helpful in catering for our groups’ accommodation and some BBQ meals.
The Friday short fettling ride of approximately 75 km in warm dry weather took riders on some quiet roads to view a coal-powered power station and the Loy Yang open cut mine, then back to the rally HQ and a welcome BBQ dinner. The smallest Ariel bike made, the Pixie, did not make the full circuit and came back in style on the back-up trailer. Saturday brought some showery weather for the ride to Heyfield where a local charity group provided us with a delicious morning tea in a local park. The lunch stop was Bonny Brae, a farm stay/function centre, where the judging of machines took place in steady rain. Amongst the Ariels on display were some local’s unusual Ariels that were ex short-circuit racers which he demonstrated with his granddaughters as the “monkeys”, much to participants enjoyment. On return to Rally HQ the AAR AGM was held on site before moving to the Century Inn for the Rally Presentation Dinner. Local LaTrobe Shire councillor and motorbike enthusiast, Darren Howe, opened the Presentations part of the evening. A swap meet of all things Ariel started the Sunday activities. This time the ride headed into the hills behind Traralgon in showery weather, with a long and short ride on the windy, wet roads that combined at the village of Erica, then headed for the Walhalla Goldfields Railway Station for lunch. Walhalla is a popular tourist destination town and the cricket pitch and field on top of one of the steep hills is a unique feature. Some of the supporters rode the Goldfields train back to the next stop where the bus picked them up for the return trip to Traralgon. The ride back to Rally HQ was dry, an enjoyable ride for all. A Sunday evening Farewell BBQ was well attended by approximately 80 participants who were exchanging names and arrangements for the 2019 AAR Rally at Huskisson, NSW. All agreed the AAR Rally Committee from Traralgon and Melbourne did a superb job; special thanks go to Matt Gellert and his dad Noel, Greg and Vicki Vardy, Ken Ingwersen, and Ken and Jan Kennedy (deceased).
Ariels at Rosedale on the Saturday run.
Two Flat Tankers in action: Brian Fleming and John Deeth, both from Queensland.