Eildon Rally Report July 2017

This rally was a late addition to the club’s events calendar and a welcome one, filling a midwinter gap. Thanks go to Ian Snadden, Rob van Lohuizen and Richard Sommerville for organising it. Socialising started as soon as we arrived at the motel at Eildon and continued Friday evening at the Golden Trout Motel Bistro during dinner. Cold weather seems to enhance a sense of togetherness. It was good to have most of the bikes snugly tucked away beneath the motel verandah.

Saturday morning dawned dry and relatively bright though very cold as Ian briefed us for the day’s ride. $5 vouchers for morning tea at Jamieson were handed out – a welcome innovation. The marshals departed and we were soon following, climbing a very bendy mountain road through the Lake Eildon National Park toward Jamieson. Cloud hung in the tall forest tree tops and views over the edge were plentiful if you dared to look. It was an exhilarating motorcyclist’s road demanding full attention not only on the numerous corners, but also on the surface which alternated wet and dry, and featured frequent loose gravel left over from recent roadworks. I had the BM in second most of the time and the handlebar warmers on the full ‘defrost me’ setting. We paused for a regroup to enjoy views of the valley and lake system far below, and club stubbie holders filled with chocolates distributed to everybody – a pleasant surprise.

Coming down off the mountain we rode into Jamieson in sunshine for morning tea at Deb’s Cafe. Deb and her helpers were prepared for our invasion, and though a queue of hungry and chilled riders and pillion passengers quickly built up, the orders started coming out from behind the counter about every one or two minutes – a good effort considering they had also had customers other than those on our ride.

From Jamieson Ian led us into more open country between the surrounding hills. The road was another good one for motorcycling, and in contrast to the mountain ride, one of fast sweeping bends. We arrived in Mansfield for lunch in occasional light showers, most of us visiting the bakery. From Mansfield we took the road back to Eildon via Bonnie Doon and Yarck where we paused for a regroup in a patch of sunlight and a cheerful rainbow.

Back at the motel bikes were parked and room heating cranked up, hot cups of tea or cold beers consumed depending on taste, then later a short walk to the bistro for dinner. During the evening Ian, Rob and Richard addressed the group, Ian thanking Burger for his Presidency. A lucky dip took place – if your name was drawn you had to tell your fellow diners what had been the highlight of the day for you – this resulted in plenty of laughs. Bill reiterated thanks to Burger and thanked the rally organisers for their efforts including the innovation of the vouchers and the club stubbie holders.

Sunday morning the weather was still holding good as we gathered again at the motel before Richard led us up the Skyline road for another enjoyable ride. Later at Molesworth Ian took over as Ride Leader when Richard’s bike developed a small problem and he had to head home. All too soon we were back in Eildon and packing to go home. The weekend had flown by and had been most enjoyable. Thank you to the organisers, the marshals, and Gary who did backup trailer duty.

John Best.

Rally participants:

COLIN & JULIE SULLIVAN, 1972 NORTON 750

MARTYN & ANN GOODWIN, 1951 VINCENT (Corner Marshal)

TOM ANTHONY, 1960 MATCHLESS 500

WALLY WALSH, KAWASAKI 900 (Corner Marshal)

KEITH Mc CRACKEN, 1966 NORTON 750

EDDIE PRESTON, 1976 TRIUMPH750

JACK YOUDAN, 2002 TRIUMPH 955 (Corner Marshal)

PAUL CLAYTON, MATCHLESS 500

ED SLEIGHTHOLM, 1982 HONDA FT500

GREG MYERS, 2014 BMW 1000

DARYLE KOPKE, 1997 BMW RT1100 (Corner Marshal)

COLIN BORTHWICK, 2016 TRIUMPH 1200 (Corner Marshal)

PETER CULLEN, 1976 BMW 600

IAN SNADDEN, 1974 BMW R90/5 (Ride Leader) (Tail-end Charlie)

RICHARD SOMMERVILLE, CX 500 HONDA (Tail-end Charlie) (Ride Leader)

BURGER DRAKE & NOAH, 1976 BMW 1000

BILL GARNER, 1985 BMW 750

ROB VAN LOHUIZEN, 2007 YAMAHA 1300 (Leader-Corner Marshals)

STEVE INMAN, 2004 BMW 1150 (Corner Marshal)

IAN BRYANT, 1960 MATCHLESS 650

RAY HARRISON, 1969 NORTON 750

RAY ISLES, 2004 BMW 650

DAVID KIMPTON, 2001 HONDA 1000

PHILLIP WAGSTAFF, 1987 HARLEY 1340

REG HAMMOND, 2016 TRIUMPH 900 (Corner Marshal)

EDWARD LAUDER, 1980 BMW R100RS

ALLAN & MICHELE PRENTICE, 1981 KAWASAKI 750

RICHARD MASON, 2005 SUZUKI 650

PAUL WHITE, 1972 Triumph

JOHN & VICKI BEST, 1986 BMW R80

BELLE & KEITH EMMET, CAR

GARY MOORE, BACKUP TRAILER.

(my apologies in advance for any omissions/mistakes in this list. JB.)