Birdwood Figure 8 Rally, Sunday 16th March 2008

To set the scene, March 16 was Adelaide’s fourteenth consecutive day with a maximum temperature above 35 C (that’s 95oF), and the twelfth consecutive day above 37.8 C (100oF). It had been a very hot – indeed record setting – couple of weeks, so if members looked like this at the run…


… they could be forgiven.

When the alarm went off at 7.30am Sunday morning I wondered if I had done the right thing. I had bought some small bottles of water during the week & had them in my portable WECO fridge ready to take with me for the day. As Laurie was not well, Denis Saunders had kindly offered to do the backup trailer for me. However I was still wondering how I was going to get the Marshal’s Vests, the dozen bottles of cold water, along with my large first aid kit & the boards for under Motorcycle stands to Pelican Plaza ready for the run to Birdwood. Once at Pelican Plaza Denis could take the bulk of the load but I still had to get them there. With gear strapped to me and to the Bike I made my way safely and I think legally to Pelican Plaza by 8.30am. I was soon joined by a few others and the numbers kept growing. By 9.15 about 15 to 20 machines were assembled and after a few words we were off to Birdwood. Upon arriving at The Mill at around 10am I was pleasantly surprised to find about the same number assembled and ready for the start at 10.30am. It was pleasing to see a few Veterans ready for the ride, as I had modified it slightly to accommodate shorter distances and more time for telling stories etc.

We assembled around 10.20 and after a few words and no questions, we headed off towards Mt. Torrens where we turned left towards Tungkillo and on to Mt.Pleasant for morning tea and toilet stop. At this point I must comment on the Steam & Whistle Café. The new owners have now put in a large glass counter with Pies, Pasties etc as well as a good assortment of cakes. They will also have a sandwich bar operating shortly which will make it a great place for a rest. We were second in line behind the Harley Owners Club who viewed our bikes with great interest. After refreshment we journeyed off on the Crick’s Mill Rd towards Williamstown but turned left at the tee junction and headed back on the Warren Rd to Birdwood where we broke for lunch and a look at the National Motor Museum and of course more talk. At 1.20pm it was time for the afternoon run of only 30km, where we headed off along Angas Creek Rd, up Burford Hill through Kenton Valley and on to Gumeracha for another toilet stop if required. This is a good spot as it has a couple of large trees with plenty of room to park. Shops are just up the street if you need them. From there we turned off on to Forreston Rd to Martin Hill Rd then Cromer Rd and back to the Mill. We dropped a number of riders off at Gumeracha and our numbers were fairly depleted by the time we finished. I stayed around until most had gone, and made my own way home. Denis Saunders offered to take my baggage home for me, which alleviated some of my worries. Thanks to the people who helped, to the Marshals who do a great job, to Glen Poyner a visitor for the day & a friend from the Classic Club, to Denis Saunders who drove the backup Vehicle. To Audrey Govan who followed with a second trailer in the morning & to Dean who elected not to ride in the Afternoon but followed with a trailer. Last but not by any means least, everyone who made the effort to be there and made a great day.

Malcolm Gray.


Those attending:

Peter Arriola    1954    AJS Twin     Solo
Mike Brown    1965    Gilera    Solo First time out
Colin Behn    1954    AJS    Solo
Don Cellier    1958    DKW    Solo
Neil Caust    1954    Adler    Solo
Pud Freeman    1956    Jawa    Solo
Chris Harley        Brough    Outfit
Paul Knapp    1947    Ariel    Outfit
Bruce Lehmann    1948    Ariel    Solo
Mal Mackay    1959    BSA    Solo
Kevin Mead    1948    Velocette    Solo
Terry Rowe    1914    Bullock Precision     Solo
Daryl Rosser    1956    Triumph T110    Solo
Daryl Rosser    1924    AJS    Solo
Rob Smyth    1924    AJS    Solo
Ed Sanders    1939    Norton    Solo
Geoff Thompson    1950    Jawa    Solo
Kevin Wilson    1953    Adler    Solo
Jeff & Dawn Schaefer    1929    BSA Sloper     Outfit
Ted Williams    1955    Triumph    Solo
Bob Whitehead    1918    Healing Jap    Solo
Graeme Bartlett    1952    Norton    Solo
David Cant    1947    Indian    Solo
Dean Govan    1914    Douglass    Solo
Arnold DeGroot    1912    Rudge    Solo
Phil DeGroot    1930    Norton    Solo
Bob Kretschmer    1941    Army BSA    Solo
Alf Lear    1948    Ariel    Outfit
Chris Magor    1964    BSA    Solo
Bruce McKenzie    1958    Triumph    Solo

Ian Baldock    2006    Suzuki    Solo
Bob Frankham    1994    Yamaha    Solo
Peter Langdon    1973    Triumph    Solo
Malcolm Gray    1975    BMW    Solo
Chris Warner    1976    Kawasaki    Solo
Glen Poyner    2002    BMW     Solo (Visitor)

Many thanks to Denis Saunders  for driving the back up trailer.


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