Well doesn’t time fly when you have jobs you should have done in the off-season? I swore to myself just after Bridgetown last year I was going to get my bikes ready long before the 2011 race calendar started so that I could avoid the usual last minute panic to get the bikes ready only weeks before the new season starts.
So umm… Seeing as I was frantically trying to reassemble everything back together the Saturday morning prior to race day at Collie it would appear that I have failed at that one yet again!
On the upside it means after the long hot off-season the 2011 race calendar has arrived and it is time to get the bikes out for another year of Vintage fun and frivolity.
First up a big thank you to all those who braved the hot weather and came out for the Busy Bee at Narrogin. With all your efforts the track and grounds were tidied up, the power upgrade has been completed and everything has been brought up to its usual excellent condition. Dandaloo Park has subsequently passed its annual inspection with high praise from the inspector.
This past weekend saw a first time event with a VMX fun day held at the Collie MX club. This event was a combined one with the VMXWA club and our slightly backward cousins from the Pre85MXWA getting together to have a laid back weekend of vintage motocross.
Things kicked off on Saturday afternoon with a good old-fashioned swap meet. There was a good selection of treasure up for grabs with some standout items being Bill Watson’s 2 Huskies he had for sale and a rather stunning Maico Paul Copley had built up that had me considering just how much trouble I would be in with the boss if I had brought it home (Hint: I wouldn’t be here writing this if I had!). From all reports some good sales were made and many went home with some new swag to fill their sheds.
As night fell the Pre85 club put on a delicious roast dinner for the 60 or so people in attendance and there was plenty of lively discussion with some of the usual “lubrication assisted” exaggeration thrown in. The night was rounded off with a projector and big screen set up so we could watch a selection of motocross movies whilst stretched out on the lawns. It’s not a bad way to spend a balmy March evening lying out under the stars sharing some good conversation with friends.
Sunday saw a turnout of around 53 riders from the two clubs and a decent handful of curious VMX newbies who had decide to come down and have a try at the event. The Collie track had been, as always, manicured to perfection by Steve and the crew at Collie MX club and it is certainly a huge bonus that the track is fully reticulated. The riders were split into groups and each group went out to ride the track in 15 minute free ride sessions. Each round consisted of Pre 75 Group A and B and Pre 85 Group A and B and also one nutter who insisted on bringing his sidecar along to have a go on the Collie sand.
In my defence… they did say I could bring it and I will take any excuse to get the chair out. I did also notice that most of the people who told me I was mad to even try quickly followed up with an offer to swing for me if I needed it! I am also pleased to report that the sidecar blasted through the Collie sand no worries whatsoever.
The free ride format was an excellent way to start the year off and to get some of the gremlins sorted out on both the bikes and riders. All riders were having a good time tearing up the challenging sand track all morning even if we did have a few issues keeping riders to their allotted groups. Although yes I suppose technically our Pre75 bikes are also Pre85 and I do admire the eagerness.
I have to confess I did briefly fall to the dark side thanks to a ride on Paul’s big Maico 490. The difference between a Pre 75 and Pre 85 is quite incredible when you hop straight from one to another and bugger me does that thing have some grunt! There may have been a few obscenities uttered in my helmet the first time I really opened up the throttle.
The day came to an end fairly early as the heat started to take its toll on the riders and after 3 rounds in the morning the day finished with one more round after lunch. There were many flushed red yet smiling faces in the pits and many comments about needing to get their fitness up. Though notably some of the last riders standing were two of our over 55 members Frank Barron and Bill Watson, so I guess they just don’t make them like they used to!
A big, big thank you to Steve and Alison Melvin and the Collie MX club for all their efforts to get the track ready for the weekend and keeping the club canteen pumping out the tasty food. Also huge thanks to Paul and Natalie and the Pre85 club for organising the weekend and especially the Saturday meal. And lastly a big thanks to all the flaggies, officials and club members who assisted on the day.
We have a bit of break now through April until the next ride at Narrogin on May 8th. Here’s hoping that by then the weather cools down a little and we finally start to get some rain!
See you at Narrogin!
“Real riders like a bit on the side!”