Birdwood Figure 8, March 2007
From Brian Forth
Sunday morning arrive with bright sunshine, not a drop of rain in sight. I decided to take the day off and attend the Birdwood Figure 8. I debated if I would take my 1927 Harley Davidson on its first official run, or select another bike for the day. I decided that I would take the Harley and loaded it onto a trailer and headed off for Birdwood.
Gates open, we drove into the rear of the National Motor Museum complex and parked our cars and trailers on the lawn, this quickly filled by club members arriving towing a trailer with a bike or two ready for the big day, some just rode there in small groups or solo, and a number of riders headed by Rob Smyth arrived from Adelaide.
The scene was set, the rear lawn quickly filling, bikes were unloaded, petrol mixed and tanks filled, riding apparel checked, bags attached to the luggage racks of veteran bike with a few liters of petrol placed in the bags in case it was needed. Then the sound of motors crackled in the still air as members warmed their old motors ready for the run.
That where my troubles started, my Harley decided that idling was fine but rev me up and I will cough, splutter and sound very sick. I looked about to see members looking my way and could hear comments like “I have a match’, ‘cut off one cylinder it would sound fine’, get a British bike’, ‘I feel sorry for you’, I just smile and cursed my HD for the embarrassment caused. I pushed the sick sounding HD across to Phil Jenner hoping he could wave his magic screwdriver and ‘fix my problem’? Phil tried very hard to tune the motor; I think he said it should be taken behind a shed and shoot it? But it did sound a bit better so I decided to ride the HD and trust my luck.
The first run had riders going north of Birdwood eventually stopping at Williamstown then back to Birdwood. The Williamstown Hotel car park was full of bikes and members, many venturing across the road to purchase a pie or pasty, coffees or drinks and meander about the bikes in idle chit chat – what a sight it was to see so many bikes.
Members then enjoyed lunch on the lawns gathering in small groups around tables and chairs or just walking about eating and talking to friends. I did notice some made lunch a very formal matter, but everyone enjoyed the atmosphere of the day.
The afternoon run took us south thru Mt Torrens to Mt Pleasant and back to Birdwood – another great run.
I must thank Rob Smyth and Ken Olsson for organizing and conducting another very interesting day. I am also very pleased to see the large attendance of members, family and friends for the Birdwood Figure 8, this is truly a great club event, a tradition that has established itself as the premier club run on our calendar, the members attendance with their bike indicates the this run ins held in high regard and one must attend. Thank you to the members for supporting this run and continue to enjoy what the VVMCCSA has to offer.
I often wonder what a visitor thought when they arrived in the public car park on a visit to the National Museum, and saw the rear lawn full of veteran, vintage and classic motorcycles, what a bonus to their visit, what publicity for the club, the only thing missing was out club banner facing the Museum to advertise who we were, I hope next year to remember the banner.
I enjoyed the day, loaded the HD on the trailer, squeezed a broken down 3t Triumph and headed home.