Monday, 14 November 2016

BMW Clubs Australia Motorrad Rally 2016

Snow on Mt Hotham
We arrived one day early and were the first bikers to check into the Bright Holiday Park for the start of the BMW Clubs Australia Motorrad Rally.  On Friday we took advantage of the fine weather to lay a ghost to rest and rode up to Mt Hotham and beyond to Dinner Plain. Way back in 2007 we’d been caught out on the mountain in fog and thunder squalls and 40 knot winds. We tried again in 2008 but we turned back when we encountered cloud at 1000m. But on that Friday, in November 2016, we hit the jackpot, with clear skies, moderate winds and still a smattering of snow on the peaks.

Danny's  lookout, Mt Hotham
We were back in Bright by 1pm and hanging out at rally headquarters, enjoying a sausage sizzle and registering for the rally which was hosted by BMW Motorcycle Club Victoria (BMWMCCVIC).  I wasted no time attaching the rally pin to “The Next 100 Years” BMW cap and I wore that cap all weekend long. Back at our camp, on the banks of Morses Creek, you could hear the purr of the beamers as they rode into town and we knew we were in the right place.

Waiting for the ride start
On Saturday we were all at the meeting place ready for the selection of group rides on offer. The weather was starting to wobble, with mist on the hills, and I said to Steve, “Any whiff of rain and we should do our own thing.” We joined the Red Plod Ride (for red platers (historics), and those who feel like taking it easy). Our tail end Charlie gave a great ride briefing before we set off, with pointers like “don’t ride up the next bike’s exhaust pipe, as if they have a problem it will quickly become your problem.” Wise words, and this would have been well worth a mention at the start of The Barry Sheene Tribute Ride. By the time we made it to the top of Tawonga Gap a light drizzle misted our visors and then it rained, leaving no one in any doubt about the value of their wet weather gear.

Rally dinner
At the rally dinner, we narrowly missed out on the “longest distance travelled to the rally” prize with a biker from Darwin beating us by a couple of hundred kilometers and taking home a voucher for a set of continental tyres valued at $600.

Only the hardiest of souls turned out for Sunday’s group rides in the persistent rain. Most of us preferred to keep warm in the local coffee shops and bars, telling motorcycle war stories from the past and dreaming of great rides in the future.  Compass Expeditions entertained us on Sunday night with a movie length promo on one of their top shelf motorcycle journeys, Cairo to Cape Town. Sometimes you just have to accept things about yourself, and I would not be willing to spend the time to learn the skills, or suffer the hardship to be able to participate in this incredible motorcycle ride.

Great camp site on the Morses Creek
By Monday at 10am the motorbikes were gone and the caravan parks were empty. Weekends like this are a labour of love for the organising committee; Thanks to BMW Motorcycle Club Victoria for making it happen.


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