Thursday, 20 October 2016

Barry Sheene Tribute Ride 2016

The hotels were full and the camp sites were empty this year due to a re scheduling of the 2016 ride to an early time slot. Scrutineering  started at 6:30am and only the hardy souls could cope with a night in the tent after over indulging at the Barry Sheene Charity Dinner the night before.

At 8:30am on the dot the bikes started filing out of the parking lot for the start of the Barry Sheene Tribute Ride. No briefing on best practices for a ride of this type, just get-go. This ride is fully escorted by the Victorian Police with police cars, motorbikes and a paramedic bike; just in case. Riders were fully aware that the first scheduled stop was two hours away but still some folks insisted on filling up on coffee half an hour before takeoff.

Hope this is not needed!
I was a picture of concentration as we rode away from Bairnsdale.  After only twenty kilometers the train of bikes had come to a near stand still several times and vigilance was paramount to prevent a massive pile up.  Still most riders chose to leave less than a two second gap which added to the concertina effect which plagued the ride all the way to Phillip Island.

We were riding mid fleet with hundreds of bikes all around us and it was magic to look ahead and find bikes as far as the eye could see. Villagers and school kids lined the streets as we passed through one town after another and it felt good to be part of this YAMS charity ride, and motorcycle awareness day.

The Red Devil on Gardner Straight, Phillip Island MotoGP Track
With the precision of a military operation, the police organised rolling road closures and kept the bikes together through every intersection. At the end of the ride participants get the chance to do a lap of the Phillip Island Grandprix Race Track. I think the pace car took one look at the bikes filing onto the track, four lanes wide, and he slowed down to the point where Devil couldn’t get out of first gear; looks like I’ll have to pay for a track day if I want to have some fun at the circuit.

It was a good day, tiring but loads of fun, another great event ticked off my bucket list.  We had great weather too; I can’t imagine the challenges if it had been raining.

YAMS - You Are My Sunshine – raising money to help find a cure for children with neuroblastoma.

More than just a dog, Bundy has raised many thousands for charity.

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