Thursday morning, 10:30am. The Jet 200 formerly known as Princess (nice looking, fun to ride, and high maintenance) started third kick. With the engine recently returned to it’s original barrel, “Stage 3” fettled by the legendary Ian Frankland, and matched to a sensible 22mm Jetex and BGM V3 Clubman, this weekend would be a test of the new low-tech set-up (cheap, cheerful, and hopefully reliable and fun – who but Nick Townsend needs more than 11hp anyway?). First stop was the servo! “Is she a bit thirsty mate?”, from the bloke on the next pump, seeing me fill the spare can on the back. “Er, no – I’m riding to Melbourne”. He clearly thinks I’m mad. He may have a point, but nowhere near as mad as the Diffster, who left Sydney around 8pm on Wednesday and made it to Gundaroo sometime between 1 and 2am on Thursday.
Off to Ramhead’s, and the Jet is running really sweet. A brief stop and we’re on our way, to Albury to meet up with other non-Mexicans for a quiet Thursday night, and shortish run to Cape Schanck the next day. The ride down was uneventful, the Jet continued to run sweet, hitting 115 plus on the GPS (YES! bye, bye Princess, hello rally hack). We make it to Albury about 4pm, to be greeted by a half-naked Sean Heffers.
The next day’s early departure turned into a late breakfast and discussions about the best route. All the sensible people decided to head down the Hume straight to Cape Schanck, while Barney and I opted for a run through the high-country to blow the cobwebs away. Needless to say, this probably wouldn’t have happened without Nicky and Trish following in the utes to pick up causalities. Once again, the scoots ran superbly, and, thanks to GPS directions linked to Bluetooth helmet speakers a (mostly) detour free run was done over the next couple of hours to Whitfield, roadworks and a confusing one-way sign being the only hitch. After a coffee stop/second breakfast and refuel from cans, we hit the Whitfield - Mansfield road.
After stocking up on essential supplies (beer and wine) we arrive on site, say our hellos, and get the tent up.
After a shower and run into town for fuel and breakfast, it was time for the first event of the weekend. A ride-out along the peninsula and up to Arthur’s Seat. A short but great run. I haven’t been to Arthur’s Seat since we lived in Melbourne 18 years ago, so had forgotten how great the views were. Ice creams, snacks, corners to fang around, and splendid views. What more could you want?
- Best Series 3 (sponsored by SS Scooter Engineering) – Darren Harding
- Best Series 2 (sponsored by Scooterlabs) – Steve Diffey
- Best Series 1 (sponsored by Brisbane Lambretta Club) – Nicky Hussey
- Best Shaft-driven (sponsored by LCoA) – Trong y Nguyen
- Best Unrestored (sponsored by Lambretta Obsessions) – Sam Freeman
- Best Rat (sponsored by Carter’s Classic Scooters) – James Dickenson
- Best Custom (sponsored by Scoot Er) – Steve West
- Best of Show (sponsored by LCoA) – Chris von Scooterhead
- Gymkhana (sponsored by Lambretta Obsessions) – Michael Thornton
- Slow Ride – Michael Thornton
- Hill Climb – Nick Townsend
- Furthest Ridden – Rode from Sydney for the second year running – Steve Diffey (epic effort!)
If I’ve missed any sponsors, let me know and I’ll add them!
So, when I said the Gymkhana looked like being the highlight of the weekend, well I personally think it was beaten by the hill-climb, which can only be described as mental!
A hill. No safety gear. No limits. Hangovers. Two scooters. Sudden death knockout!
Names were drawn from the hat for the first round, and I’m up against Nick Towsend. Lost. Bum.
Round two. There are now an odd number of competitors, and I’m the fastest loser, so back in! Me v Trong, who stalls on the start line. I’m through!
Once again, a superb weekend. Massive thanks to Martyn Heffernan and Chris Merrifield for organising, and all those who came along, took part, and made this once again the greatest small rally in the country. Next year it’ll be returning to Canberra. I’m going to have my work cut out to maintain the standard of what has become a legend of an event in the three short years it’s been running.
The three videos and many of the photos used in this post were taken by ©Brant Cumming. Thanks Brant for adding a professional touch to our usual amateur efforts.