I pushed it off the stand and rolled it down my yard towards the back gate. I picked up my tool kit… then put it back down again. No time for that. I glanced at the nuts on my rims. They were still on the studs. Good. Safety check = done.
Off came the side panels. On went a plastic bag over my remote air filter. Squirt! Half a can of degreaser sprayed over the engine, tank and glove box. I made a coffee, then came back armed with the garden hose. 30 seconds later, most of my prep was done but the bodywork still needed to be shinier. A kitchen sponge, some laundry detergent and a bucket of warm water were acquired. Sorted. Prep over, and it only took half an hour!
There were six of us riding down together and it was agreed that we’d meet at 10:30am at a cafe near Siobhan’s house. The next morning, I arrived to find the team waiting: Morris (DL 200), Sean (GP 200 Currymaster), Siobhan (Jet 250 – Targa Twin) and the legendary Tony Tessier (Li S3 Mugimola 186 – borrowed from Siobhan). Terry was missing, but would meet us at Siobhan’s shortly.
Once Terry arrived (Jet 200 – SX lookie-likie) we packed the van and left Sydney. It was about 11:00am, so we were only 30 minutes behind schedule. I had done the ‘honourable’ thing by offering to drive the first stint. Yes, this stretch would be full of snarling, peak hour traffic, including lots of heavy freight, all queued up in long tunnels. Strangely, no one else offered.
Before long, we had our second minor issue. Siobhan pulled over just past a roundabout with a broken clutch cable. We were now somewhere near Picton, and although a warm day, thunder clouds had formed overhead. We watched the lightning strikes in the distance and felt a couple of drops of rain fall from the sky. A quick cable change was made, and with our wet weather gear now on we hit the road again. It was about 2:00pm, so we were still on track to be in Canberra by late afternoon. However, things were soon to change.
We joined the smaller Federal Hwy, and fanged our way towards Australia’s Capital Territory. The ride was fast and uneventful but with the road hugging the edge of the famous Lake George it was something I’ll never forget. Siobhan pulled over into the look-out carpark so we could stretch our legs and take in the view. It was now dusk and the sun had almost set. The view in front of us was absolutely stunning, with the half-light making it perfect for photos. After a short but memorable break, we continued on. It was now 7:20pm, and we all just wanted to get to the campsite and grab a beer. Only 30kms to go…
The first night’s event was a very casual get together, with a mostly Lambretta-themed quiz organised and compèred by Siobhan. This was a small rally, with only around 40 or so tickets sold. Us Sydneysiders (and Tony Tessier) sat down, taking a world of ‘abuse’ from our fellow, interstate Lambrettisti… how could the almost-locals have gotten lost? As ever the pisstaking was relentless but was all in good fun, and everyone took the opportunity to ease into things; reacquainting themselves with old friends and making some new ones. Chris Von Scooterhead’s quiz strategy was to answer most questions with ‘framebreather’, which seemed quite reasonable. After many beers, a relatively early night was had and some well-earned zzzzzzzz’s were taken.
Wooden Spoon – Steve Diffey, Andy Jackson and Tim Batman Swane.
Winners – Janine McGinness, Daniel Superina, Sean Heffernan, Tony Tessier and Bob McClelland.
The process for the treasure hunt was as follows – register yourself or team, then wait for Steve Ramsden to send the first clue via text message. Each item of ‘treasure’ would be a Canberra landmark. Once you found the landmark, you needed to send a photo back to Steve and await the next clue. Sean, Andy, James, Tim, Terry and I formed team ‘Barry’, and after checking my phone for the first clue, we headed off.
The first clue was easy, and we soon arrived at the Australian War Memorial. After sending our first pic, we received the second clue. Now, standing in the baking heat of the carpark for twenty minutes trying to work out the answer was not our idea of fun. We were losing motivation, fast.
Based on a hunch, we headed off to Old Parliament House, hoping we were at the right place. We were not, and were pretty much ready to give up and head to the pub. Luckily, Steven gave us the third clue and we soon realised that the answer was Old Parliament House! We worked out the location of the fourth clue quickly and headed off for a blast up to Red Hill lookout for a cool drink, taking in the spectacular view of Canberra and surrounds.
Clue six didn’t take too long to work out, and we were soon at Scrivener Dam, taking in the views and the requisite photo.
Wooden Spoon (slowest time to complete the course): Trong Ý Nguyen and Stephen Spicer
Winner (random pick of those that completed the course): Fleur James and Quiet Mark
Third – Chris Merrifield 1:38
Second – Daniel Superina – 1:35
First – James Grygiel – 1:33.
Best Slimstyle: Nevil Cope
Best Early Series: Bill Guthrie
Best Patina/Rat: Andy Jackson
Best Customised: Chris Von Scooterhead
Best in Show: Bill Guthrie
Furthest Ridden: Tony Tessier. Flew from France and then rode from Sydney.
Team Barry was chuffed to have three winners out of the six of us!
The bus was running two shuttle trips back to the Carotel, so I hopped on board after a great night. When we arrived, most of us headed up to the camp shed to put some tunes on the stereo and to talk more scooter rubbish. There was also an element of Lambretta molestation, mostly involving mirrors… but we won’t go there. At some point we noticed that James had disappeared into the dark (with his SX!) so we made our way down to the camping area to check that he was still alive. He was. I then shuffled off to bed, not too long before the second busload arrived at the camp and more silliness in the shed commenced.
Finally, thanks to Team Barry for such an awesome time with good friends.