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Dec 2006... Tassie Toy Run... as reported by Andrew W...

The day was a scorcher by Tasmanian standards with the mercury hitting 34deg. The crowd at the Derwent Entertainment Centre car park built through the morning and as the 2.30 official start time approached there was a good crowd and a great vibe.

The toy run is organised by the local Motorcycle Riders Association with assistance from the Local Councils ( Glenorchy and Hobart City ) and the Tasmania Police.  The run supports the Salvation Army.  It's the best bike show around as far as numbers are concerned and there is something for everyone with all makes and models. Good people watching too (biking takes all sorts).

 The organisers announce the official start and the place lights up with thousands of bikes revving up.  The police shut off the roads and 6000- 7000 bikes and their pillion passengers, toys and tinsel, head down the highway.  People line the sides of the road and crowd onto footbridges.  Chocolates are thrown to the kids and they enjoy a hand slap with the slower moving bikes.  I witnessed people giving gifts for the bikers to take into the receiving station.  The run into the city takes only about 15 minutes as the traffic lights are all off and there are no cars so you can just cruise.  It takes about an hour for all the bikes to run through. 

Honda by Honda...                                                                                                          Honda by owner...!

The streets around the Hobart waterfront are shut down and the bikes line up down the streets.  The Salvation Army set up on the lawns of Parliament House with volunteers collecting the toys and gifts.  I saw three truck loads of toys, gifts and food and thousands of dollars were raised. There is an official toy run party at the Longley Pub and all number of other parties.  I caught up with Dave ( from Dubbo ) and Ian who helped out with my chopper outside one of the local waterfront pubs.  I think takings might have been good as we were all pretty hot and thirsty. 

Sue and I wandered back to pick up the bike and spotted a few good choppers but no owners.  Nice to know they're around though.  I've included a selection of my photos I thought captured the event and some chops and trikes.  My bike ran like a dog. It coughed and backfired but got us home. Sue only had to jump off once so I could kick start again.  Who says its always cold in Tassie.  Great day.


November 2006...  Fleurieu Run...

Despite most of the club riders having family visits from interstate, work or bike or body trouble, Sunday was a most enjoyable run for the couple of us who participated.

Jerry rolled up on his sparkling CB750 and parked it alongside my freshly cleaned and polished Shovel at 9.50 am. With everything locked and loaded, Jerry, Rilda and I headed off to Aldinga Beach to meet up with any others who might show.  No more arrived, so Jerry headed off in the lead to Sellicks.  As we got in sight of Main South Road, it was apparent that riders were out in force... and we would  see at least 50 other bikes and trikes over the next 5 hours.

Cruisin' over Myponga Dam wall...

The sun was out with scudding clouds for the whole day making for very enjoyable riding conditions... except for the wind which grew stronger as we rode further south.  Scenery in the Fleurieu is beautiful and rolling along, relaxed, heads up, feet forward on a chopper is the best way to view it.  We rode over the Myponga Dam wall  (twice, so Rilda could take our picture!) and then down to Yankalilla and through to Normanville where we made a toilet stop and Jerry adjusted his front brake.  After all eating, Jerry topped up his coffin tank and we took off to Cape Jervois.  Two banks of wind turbines turning lazily in the distance near Cape Jervois sure made the scene!.

          Road to Yankalilla...

Every time I go to the cape, things have changed.  This time, besides lots of new houses, the ferry terminal now has an airport quality lounge and ticket office. Jerry who is a bit of an antiques buff, suggested we call in to the Trading Post" at Delamere.  A brief chat with the owner and we headed up along the top of the ranges to Victor.  The wind was strong and gusty from the sea side, but "going with the flow" produced a gentle and relaxing bike ballet!  Jerry was worried about his fuel (7 useable litres) so we sat on a steady 85k. 

Normanville... Andrew & Jerry...

Victor Harbor turned on the sun for us and after a relaxing chat, and look in the Victor Book exchange, we dropped into a servo for petrol for Jerry.  Then it was back via the new ring route and main road through to Mt Compass and home.  Traffic was surprisingly light, so once again it was very enjoyable cruising, Honda and Harley pipes close together, creating that symphony so dear to al motorcyclists' hearts.

We rolled back into our place at 3.30pm having enjoyed a couple of back roads around Willunga with more great scenery.

A final chat with Jerry while checking out Michael's Sportster project in my workshop before he and his Honda departed with a good natured roar.

Sorry so many of you couldn't make it.  It was a perfect day and we are looking forward to the next run.


October 2006... Paruna Oasis Rally...

Jimmy's report... Our  journey to Paruna in our trusty Bronco (Pack vehicle) started on Friday 29th … that is for Bear, Pete, Shane, Jane, Kay and I. It took a bit longer than expected due to trans cooler problems, but we got there in the end!  We had to set up camp in the dark, but did  managed to finely get to bed at 2ish.  

The best of biking... camp fire and bike in the middle of nowhere...

Saturday morning... Rumble, rumble.. When we got up in the morning Shane and Bear decided to put the new battery in Shane’s Shovel and then Shane took it for a ride around the oval.  When he got back we noticed smoke rising and thought it was oil, but no, the battery had fallen out and was melting on the exhaust!  After sorting out the battery problem, we sat around watching every one else to rocking up… Rumbling big bike motors with load exhausts in the middle of the bush is a great sound...!

Numbers (only about 100) were way down on expectations.  At one stage, we thought we recognized a bike on a trailer coming in. It was Steve (Bacca) and Tiani whom we hadn’t yet met , but knew all about from Choppers Australia forums.  After we introduced ourselves, we gave Steve a hand to unload the bike and had been talking for a while when in came Henry, Sharon, Graham, Cathy, Andrew, Rilda, Jethro and Sam.. While they were setting up camp Joe and Lurch from the Cruiser club came over to welcome them .  Through out the morning groups of bikes (our guys included) were regularly starting up and riding around.  It's pretty good having the excuse to get on your bike to go the the toilet!

Bacca  "easyriding"...

Gymkhana... The first event was a tire toss… Jane and Kay competed in the women’s event and Shane, Pete and I competed in the men’s. Shane and I were equal first until they (Cruisers)  let people take three to four extra shots to beat us!  Shane took out first in the men’s .triple tree toss and Kay came second in the women’s event. In this event you throw a tire and then try to throw a triple tree into it. Shane, Henry and I narrowly lost the tire race to a couple carrying their very light child and didn’t do too well in the water balloon toss (thanks to me), but we had a good time and kept the crowd happy. 

Jimmy showing his style...

 The bike events were initially really slow starters, until Andrew and Henry decided to shame the rest by lining up their bikes at the start line.  They reckoned the worst they could do was make fools of themselves!  When the others saw how well they were doing, other bikes started at last to roll up!  Andrew on his chopped Shovel and Henry (chopped Trumpy) competed in the slow race and Andrew managed to come 2nd.  

The next event was the slalom event where Henry and Andrew again competed and did pretty well considering the long wheel bases of their bikes. Henry and Sharon on the Trumpy did well in the water toss while did Andrew and Cathy (an expert balloon thrower from way back) on the Shovel took out the honours.  A brief water balloon fight (frustrated cruiser club members we think!) preceded  the last event which with was a short drag race (feet up start from neutral). Andrew and Henry competed in this and once again Andrew's Shovel cleaned up all opposition.  Which just shows that choppers aren’t such bad handlers after all. 

Judging and Burnouts... About thirty bikes were judged and then it was time for the burnout comp. People where a bit reluctant to have a go until Lerch managed to twist a few arms.  Shane representing Choppers Australia started the event off with a good 4th gear burn out on a new tire skillfully changing gears with his hand and no clutching.  Another guy on a Harley had his shot and let it rip followed by a Japper with a missing second gear.   

Shovel Shane just beginning the destruction of a brand new tyre... A bit later and it was all smoke...

As it was now getting dark, we all headed off to our camps to have dinner and wait for the night festivities. While some of the “more mature (aged!) of our party listened “the Seekers and other similar music of the seventies  from next door, the rest of us headed down to the hall at about 9:30 to watch the first set off the band.   

Party... party... In one of the breaks we got the results off the bike show and the trophies were handed out. Once again Choppers Australia shone and we took out four the trophies… Steve (Bacca)… best rat bike, Shane … hard luck story, Graham (Tazipom)… best tourer and Cathy… longest distance covered on a 250 or under with a distance of 149k. We headed back to camp after the raffle results, sitting around the camp fire ‘til all hours gradually drifting off to bed.  Sleep didn’t come so easily because every hour from one am ‘til five am this guy would start his bike and rev it for a few minutes.  Everyone was too bushed to get up and do anything about it (except curse very loudly)… but in the morning Cathy got him back… with a well aimed bucket of water!  

Sunday... Much of the crowd had left by Sunday, but most off those remaining, including five of our bikes cruised into Loxton. They tell me they had a good time, eating lunch on the river front and picking up with Ian from the rally.  In the after noon the weather began turning very threatening and the locals told us a bad storm was on its way, so we all packed up our gear and moved into the gym for the night.  Our evening meal (mostly C/A members) was a really great social event… good food, plenty to drink and plenty to talk about

At Karoonda on the way up...

 Monday: Going home... In the morning we packed up our gear and headed off home leaving Shane and his two girls behind to finish a hearty bacon breakfast and clean up the grounds  The bikes’ run home was almost uneventful.  At Karoonda Henry’s bike stalled (Very embarrassing in front of lots of tourists) and had to be jump started due to a flat battery.  Bear and I rolled up just as they got going again and didn’t catch up until we all had a drink and chat at Henry and Sharon’s place at Murray bridge.  Andrew, Rilda and Ian headed home via Strathalbyn, Graham and Cathy rode back to Mannum and we continued on home in our trusty Bronco. 

Everyone says they had a good time  and I think all are looking forward to the next weekend away…


2006 Birdwood Swap meet...

Wanted to get a few parts for Chopper Shed, so decided to put up a club stall at the same time.  Headed out of Willunga with Dav  (other shovel in the photo) soon after 6am, and had a beautiful run to Birdwood.  During the morning, Bear and Jimmy, Henry and Sharon and Marty rolled by.  Graham came fairly early and manned the stall while I went around the other stalls hunting bargains.  I picked up a couple of bits. I'll put up a pic of a CB750 on For sale forum, that was for sale at swap meet.

                                       Got pretty breezy at times...

We also got some very strong interest in club.  One bloke was so excited that there was a group of old school and classic chopper builders and riders in South Australia, he was just about speechless and kept standing  at the stall in a semi stunned state.  He says he will definitely be in touch.  A couple of others are keen to look up website and said they would join in on our runs in the near future.


                                       Part of classic m/cycle display...

We dropped by Bill's Bits and Bikes before we left Birdwood in the company of two other mates we met at the swap meet.  A good day, though most sellers were too expensive. and a great ride home...


September 2006 ... Barossa Run...

Five South Australian choppers, one cruiser, their riders and a couple of pillions, plus two cars braved cold weather and enjoyed a run more reminiscent of o seventies cruise than usual.

As you can see, we have a ball at these events.  

It began when I was ready and listening for the sound AJ’s Sporty and Bear’s Ford only to get a phone call instead… “Me bike won’t start!” A few minutes later with Bear’s arrival we headed down to rescue AJ. Tell you what, in push starting that Sportster a couple of us realised we are not 20 any more! How many times did you stall it AJ?  Anyway after a few dramas, we headed off and aside from not seeing Bear behind us once, we had a great run up through Meadows, Hahndorf and Mt Torrens etc to Birdwood… Oh except that AJ narrowly (very narrowly) kept himself from cleaning up a stobie pole on a sharp left hander!

The rest were waiting at Birdwood; Henry & Sharon (Trumpy), Russ & Loraine (rigid Trumpy), Graham (XS650), Cathy (Virago cruiser), so after a brief chat we headed off… to the servo (Russ has a small tank), then took off again, with roar of exhausts to wards Eden Valley. The line of bikes looked good, a few of us bravely riding two abreast where the curving road allowed.  Henry led, and basically knew where he was going. We missed a few turns, did a circle through a couple of intersections and thoroughly enjoyed the scenery, including Kangaroos and a spectacular view coming down Menglers Hill behind Tanunda.  Henry & Sharon had picked out a well set up picnic ground with a big stone building with fireplace and gas BBQ’s.

For the next hour we proceeded to annoy other users, as Henry tuned Russ’s Triumph which was sort of running! Turns out they had only assembled the heads having put in new valves and guides, the night before and not given it a good settling in run. Well after lot’s of noise, resetting the tappets, cleaning out the carby and plugs and fiddling with the mixture AND riding back and forth, it finally sounded civil and we charged into Tanunda for something to eat.

C/A business was discussed over a meal and for sometime after it.  Next it was back on the bikes and off through Tanunda, a left hander in Lyndoch… no Russ not straight ahead… come back Russ! Russ?  Cruising speed was some what lower than normal and Graham and I blasted off ahead for a while, then waited for the others to catch up again.

A sharp surprise left hander by Graham suddenly in the lead, took us up a very steep hill whose name escapes me. It was also windy… and BUMPY. Riding close behind Russ and Lorraine, I got to see bumps from a rigid’s point of view. Russ gunned it up the Hill and took in a beaut bump. For a moment I thought I’d have Lorraine on my lap as she bounced off her seat, sliding up the sissy bar, her surprised feet completely off the foot pegs! Oh for a video camera! But that girl is really something … just takes it all as part of the game!

The six bikes roaring into the Rocking Horse park (Gumeracha) got a lot of attention and quite a few waves and smiles… and then in for some hot food and drink… man those scones with jam and cream were heavenly.

Henry and Russ as you can see let down their hair and everybody had a rollicking good time. Some photos and then time to move. Final line up of bikes and we all headed our different ways…

Willunga Swap Meet...

A mate (Dav) offered me some space on his trading table, so I offered to help him set up and decided to put up a club display as well.  I can't say getting up at 5am after two very late nights is the best idea for remembering everything... hence no cover for table...

During the morning, a  number of people took information and a whole lot wanted to know how much I wanted for the Harley!  I met a couple of blokes who are bobbing or chopping bikes, and will catch up with them and take a few pics for the website.  One bloke has who has just shifted interstate, has a pile of spare springers of varying lengths and will let me know details which I will post on for sale forums.  A local couple I met have taken a member application and will join the club...

Not much bike stuff there and only Dav's table had custom or Harley stuff... I did pick up a few useful bits and pieces plus a couple of good value Harley books... Birdwood meet should be good as it is same week as Bay to Birdwood run... but means you'll be competing against lots of interstaters...

After helping Dav pack up, I came home and promptly went to sleep til Monday morning... but was a worthwhile 6 hours...


SA Learner Fees Protest Rally...

On Saturday 5th August over  one thousand motorcyclists rode from Oaklands park training centre to Parliament House.  There were a good mixture of bikers, scooters, sports  bikes, cruisers, old bikes and new, a few choppers,  Learners, women riders and the full age range.  The cavalcade was impressive and a lot of car drivers and pedestrians waved as we followed our police escorts.

A couple of speeches were made about the Government ripping Australians off at every turn , having full coffers, but still trying to take more.  It's fairly obvious to most of us that high fees will reduce the number of new riders AND result in more unlicensed and untrained riders.  Government  won't bend in a hurry, so it remains for each of us to keep up the pressure with letters to local  representatives.  You don't need to be too flash, just tell them to pull their heads in and put fees back to original and spend some of their excess on roads not cameras!.  One excellent observation was the brother hood of bikers... we stick together no matter what kind of bike we ride... something for other groups to learn from and for us as a group to develop.

If you weren't there don't complain when you are hit with price hikes and further restrictive legislation.  If you really were genuinely unable to attend (ie your boss would have sacked you) make up for it with some letters and phone calls.  Your freedom is not automatic and it is not someone else's responsibility.

Let's show some real gumption and some action and keep Big Brother in check.

A small section of the riders and some MRA officials...


August 2006... Willunga Almond Blossom Festival Parade...

This event actually occurred on July 30th.  the weather was supposed to be very cold with showers in morning... but we were blessed with sunshine and clear skies until we were ready to leave at 3.30pm. 

Brrrrr! Brrrr! 6am. Lousy alarm... Get out of bed; it's still dark and cold ,and head for the kitchen and make breakfast.  Go to computer while things are cooking.  Check forecast.  Morning showers.  Looks like we'll cop it during the parade.  Ask the Man upstairs to be kind to us all and keep it dry 'til the parade is over at least. Put literature in bag with other bits and pieces and spend half an hour photocopying spare newsletters and hand out sheets.

 Up to the shed to get everything else ready for the stall. Bear and Jimmy are coming early to to set up display and man the club tent while rest are riding. Tent, poles, banner, pin up boards, hammer.  Strike...! Forgot the pegs.  Off to another shed to get them.  Have to make a stand for the banner (made for the club as a gift by Dru by the way).  Hear a twin coming up the road.  Not a Trumpy.  Must be Graham on his xs (chopping just completed)... and it is, followed by Henry and Sharon towing a trailer with their newly purchased triumph chop.  Henry excuses him self that it's too cold!  What an excuse, Henry!

Get the chopper off the trailer and the four of us check out the two bikes.  After an invigorating discussion, head in for a hot drink.

Getting late and still no Bear.  They had a party last night, so we guess what's happened.  Load gear into my old HG and get ready to go... and Bear rocks up .  They got to bed at five!

Harley , Yammie and Triumph followed by HG (Sharon bravely driving) and Bear & Jimmy in the Bronco head into Willunga.  Get some instructions and are directed through the bottom Oval Gates and find a spot.  We have five minutes to get up to parade, so with a flurry of activity and a few mistakes (Henry has that got you warm?) the tent goes up.  Leave the rest to B & J, fire up the three choppers and ride up street to find our buddies who have already phoned wondering where the H... we are.  Find AJ, Jeff and Russ & Lorraine, lined up behind the CFS truck. 

Russ reckons we should be allowed to ride with out our helmets, so I go to find the nearest friendly looking policeman.  He directs me to the patrol car a couple of hundred yards up the Hill... It's got the traffic sergeant in it.  He don't look so friendly and I have to wait for five minutes while they get radio instructions.  Pop the question.  After some thought, and discussion with his partner and some very persuasive entreaty on my part the answer is, "Yes.  But you must stay under 25 km/h"  Yes Sir!  Thank you very much.

Race back to tell the good news and arrange a truck behind us to carry our unwanted lids.  Gather helmets (except Henry... reckons his ears are cold!)  Someone else suggests they'll probably book us anyway, but what the heck.  In the mean time Graham has gotten  some photos of our intrepid band and Paul and Lisa have rolled up.  We get lots of attention and our photos taken by bystanders... which we don't mind at all.

Parade starts to move.  We have a couple of thousand little kids in front of us (well there seem to be) and the "Willunga volunteer Rifles behind us.  Its a good thing they don't have fixed bayonets.  Hope their cap and ball rifles aren't loaded either!  Slow walking pace is an interesting test of our skill with long front ends and rakes, but with a bit of feet dragging here and there we all make it safely.  Coast most of the time with regular revving and horn blowing.  A couple of late pillions, AJ's Samantha and Rilda race out of the crowd and hop on along the way.  More photos, lots of happy pedestrians... cool.

As we get to the turn off into the side street that leads to the oval, three of the bikes blast straight ahead kicking up a real racket.   They hit the skids when thy realise the cops are at the bottom of the street!  Twenty five kph?  Not likely!

Once our bikes are parked... in a nice line, all front ends canted on left lock we spread around to enjoy our selves.  Get less interest than we would have liked as we are on the far side or the oval along with the Holden guys, so Prof (that's me) takes off up to the Festival coordinator and suggests Club could contribute further by riding around the oval through the crowd occasionally.  Get the go ahead and that's what we do.  Every so often one or two bikes cruise around... very slowly in parts to avoid running people over... which really gets me... even four feet behind a person my straight out Harley pipes aren't heard!!!

As the day progresses, Russ and I cart a few girls, fellas and kids around as well.  Club gets an invite to ride in a parade in April at Goolwa and are now awaiting info. Graham takes of home early and then as clouds began to gather at 3.30pm we figure we are ready to head off ourselves.  A quick take down and pack up and some of us ride one final lap and head for our respective homes.

Everyone I spoke to had a good time, wished our display was better located and agreed to come back next year.  How about twenty choppers next time?  I've already had some positive feedback on our participation, so see you there in '07...

For information about the Willunga Almond Blossom Festival... http://www.willungafestivals.com/Almond-Blossom-Festival-Programme.asp


July 2006... Birdwood Motor Museum...

This event's location was chosen because we figured it would probably be raining... and it was... in patches.  Here is Jethro's report ...

 True to form, the mid winter skies loomed dark and threatening.  Brief showers and wet roads - Ummmmm.  Shall I?  Shan’t I?  Will I?  Won’t I?  Excuses ran through my mind.

Bugger it, I’ll go! 

Got about a ton of riding gear on, hopped on my  chopped 750/4 and headed off through wet roads - but relatively fine skies - towards Birdwood.  Ahhh! – felt good to get going.  Parked the bike out the front of “Bill’s Bikes and Bits” in the main street of Birdwood, and met up with Russ, Lorraine, and Martin.

 Soon the southern contingent of Andrew, Paul and Lisa turned up, who weren’t so lucky with the weather on the way.  Graham rolled up from Mannum, and as it must have been all of 8 degrees in the street, we all decided it was time to retire to “The Mill”.  We were able to get in for a group discount, (or was it a large family?) and proceeded to drool over about 200 plus bikes on display.

 Andrew noticed the lack of a chopper and suggested to the Mill about the Club building and donating one.  They said heaps of people ask about choppers and were over the moon about our suggestion – proceeding to bend over backwards in helping us out: providing us with the ‘conference room’ for our meeting; heating up meals for club members; giving extra serves of chips, and suggested on having a club run there one day and parking in the grounds for a display.  Not a bad idea when the weather gets better!

 After the meeting, I thought I’d shoot through while the weather Gods were kind, while the others took in some more sights.

 Got slightly wet on the way home, but all in all it was a great day, and I’m glad I made the effort in the end.



Graham, Marty, Jethro, Russ, Lorraine, Paul & Lisa... Prof took photo... Bikes... Cruiser, CB 500/4, Shovel, CB750/4


June 2006... housewarming...

About 25 folks rock up to AJs house warming Barbecue.  Because of the cold and threatening weather, those coming from a distance have left their choppers at home (sob).  Murray Bridge, Mannum, Smithfield, Elizabeth and the southern suburbs are all represented.  Four chopper riders and their pillions do roll up and rather than the planned hour and half run to Normanville, the four of us decide to have a bit of fun locally.  Paul and Lisa ride on their CB500 with Jerry on his CB750.   Jeff's lad Jarred, climbs up behind Andrew on the Shovel and Jeff takes his other lad Mat on his Sportster...  and we all head for the Aldinga Beach ramp. 

A quick check that all are happy to get some sand on their bikes and we hit the beach... perrrrrfect... Hard sand from water to sand hills and only one or two other souls braving the cold... bikers delight...  We blast up and down the beach for a couple of miles  having an absolute ball.  Gotto get some photos of this... Sun's low in the sky behind heavy scudding clouds, deep grey choppy water, rain squalls all round... a few hurried directions from the intrepid photographer... the video camera would have been great... next time for sure. 

It is raining over Sellicks but what the heck, we head up along the esplanade and are soon wet from the knees down as the water sprays up from our front wheels.  Choppers are not noted for effective front guards, but at least no muddy stripes up the face!!!!  Have a ball swapping positions, alternatively blasting up the tarmac then slowing down to let others pass.  Sellicks looks wet and two bikes turn back, Jeff hasn't bothered with his jacket and is freezing.  The Shovel and 500 keep on and the rain clears, so down the Sellicks ramp and back home a long the beach... the 500 hundred looks great, silhouetted against the setting sun as Paul and Lisa intermittently disappear behind sheets of spray as they charge through a couple of inches of water.  (A wash and alloy polish will definitely be on the cards!)

Back at AJ's street and a quick conference... play a bit of follow the leader around Pt Willunga or go back to the party?  Follow the leader has it, and off we go.  We check out some picturesque "no through streets" and take a few more photos.  After half an hour of thoroughly enjoyable mucking around (just ask Jarred), we head back to AJ's.  Pull into his carport announcing our most enjoyable time with revving motors.  Fellows are in the shed discussing the choppers there and their own projects.  Andrew offers Matt a ride on the Shovel and we go for a quick cruise, negotiating a road "closed for earthworks".  Go through mud, dodge ruts and barriers, push our way roadside bushes and head through the rest of the unmade road till we hit the main bitumen and open her up to ...k's (Ssh) then amble back to AJ's.

Meanwhile back at the house things are warming up... lots of merriment, food cooking, all round discussions with backs and fronts alternatively facing the fires and heaters etc.

More folks roll up from the north. A quick meeting where T shirt designs are finalised, future run details discussed and two more folks take out club membership.  And then food and socialising and Oh and Raffles.  $84 is raised for club and three people walk way with four prizes.  AJ gets to light sparklers on his apple and cinnamon cake and around 11pm a couple of us head up to Andrew's to check out the latest progress on Bazza's bike.  A set of handle bars changes hands too... because earlier a rigid Honda roller passes from AJ to Bear.  This club is definitely achieving its goals!

The party rolls on into the early hours and and people gradually reluctantly set off for home.  A few stay the night.  That's all I know.  I assume the rest left sometime today.  Great time, some grand riding, good friendships made stronger... If you missed this time, let's see you next month...


May 2006... Chopper-in-the-Shed Run...

Our special run to cheer up our chopper builders... and to meet those who haven't been able to join us yet... was greatly enjoyed by all... and it very nearly didn't get rolling!

Sunday 7th looked like being a beast of a day (and it was), so it was postponed until the following Saturday.  It meant a few couldn't be involved... but such is life and the rest of us forged ahead.

Rilda and I (on the red shovel) and Paul and Lisa (CB500) actually are ready to leave on time... but the 500 will only run on two cylinders.  Perhaps plugs are fouled... Oh well, a quick blast down the road should sort it out... Bad idea.  It conks out at  the bottom of our street 3/4 mile away.  After much kicking I finally manage to get it going and limp back home.  After some testing and checking of condensers etc...Lo and behold... one measly little wire to a coil is adrift.

So now 1 hour late, we finally blast down the road (and I mean blast) to pick up Jerry (rigid CB750).  A phone call to notify the others meeting us at Glen Osmond and off we go (Jerry had already gone for a couple of short jaunts while waiting for us... cheeky fellow).   Traffic is hellishly thick for a Saturday morning, so we dodge our way around side streets I know to miss as much as possible and arrive at the meeting spot.  Are they going to throw rocks at us or be kind?  They are kind.  Thanks folks.  I don't get a photo... Not game!  Not a lot of bikes this time.  Russ & Lorraine's rigid trumpy is still headless, so they are once again in their car.  Cathy's not too good, so only Graham has come,  and Henry and Sharon on their Shovel (big effort cos he's got a full day servicing his truck tomorrow)... plus Bear and Jimmy on their first run with us in Bear's Bronco.  Bear's picking up a chopped CB750 in pieces this arvo so it won't be long before he's on two wheels.  But I'll say one thing for dark grey Broncos;  when they are tail end Charlie it's easy to check if everyone's made it through the last traffic light!!!!

Half hour later, again through thick traffic our expanded group rolls into Simon's back yard (see photo below)...

Heather, Simon, Podgy, Bear, Martin, Graham & Russ, Andrew's Shovel and Jerry's CB750 in the foreground.

The next hour and a half is spent meeting new people, checking out their bikes, lunch and having our monthly business meeting.  Some good discussion ensues at the meeting including a decision to set up a chat room (Bear, Ozmarty, Tazipom and Simon) and to have our July run to Birdwood Motor Museum.  Russ & Lorraine & Henry & Sharon to be our SA event organisers...

Next stop Mick's...  Well almost. Graham accompanies Henry and Sharon home to Murray Bridge and we get separated by traffic lights and road works. A number of phone calls and running around get us regrouped only to find out that Mick's street has weird numbering which results in him running down the street after us.  Jerry is not used to city traffic and night riding , so he takes off for home.  Any way we make it to Mick's and look at his posters and his rigid xs650... actually it has the same mini swing arm frame as Bear's.

Then it's off to catch up with Podgy... and we don't get lost! His yellow Amen Saviour framed Honda is coming together and the fellas have a good natter, learn a bit about his different welders.

Podgy's wife, Gill, Lorraine & Russ, Bear, Podgy and Martin... and the Amen frame... nice set of pullbacks donated by Martin.

It's now home time. Russ and Lorraine head for AJ's at Aldinga. Rilda, Paul, Lisa and I follow bear to pick up his new project... It's getting late and cold, but I ain't missing out on this little adventure.  Find the place and load up the (literally) pile of bits... Jason's a seat maker, trimmer and an interesting chat follows.

On the road again as darkness settles in.  Have a great time, the two choppers and the Bronco boring along down the Salisbury Highway and up South Road, taking turns leading, grins and waves... this is riding... Coffee stop and round table discussion and then away we go again.  Wave Bear off at Morphett Vale and just the two bikes left to ride home side by side... finished off by our traditional race up our street (country) and in the two separate driveways... the Harley gets to the shed first this time. 

The ladies dismount stiff with the cold and head inside (Rilda's actually slept much of the way home).  Paul and I put our bikes to bed, lock up and go inside... another great day's adventure... If everyone enjoyed themselves as much as us... the day was highly successful... Thanks everyone.


April 2006... Sunday 2nd... SA Hills Run...

April's chopper run was through the Southern Hills...  Mt Compass,  Strathalbyn, lunch at Ashbourne pub and on through Meadows and Echunga to Mt Barker...

 and here is Tazipom's report...

So here we go, fly out of bed & get ready to go. I get the bikes ready.  Cathy makes the caffeine fix.  We are supposed to be in the Bridge at 9am & it’s  8.45 Hate being late! We arrive at 9.20 to the greeting from Henry, " You two are early". Damn! Forgot daylight saving... but on the upside, we weren’t late!

After a cuppa we all set of with Henry & Sharon in the lead on the HD, Cathy on her Virago, myself on the VN and Russ & Lorraine in the support vehicle due to a sick chopper. The day was looking good with clear blue skies and a soft breeze.

We hit the highway cruising down to the Strathalbyn turn off; the next part of the run takes in some great bike riding country through plains with long sweepers, hills with tight bends and scenery that can only be found in Australia ... to meet up with the rest of the riders at Mt. Compass.

Here we meet up with some other members.  and have time to chat & catch up with the gossip before setting off  to Strathalbyn.  Wish Paul a Happy 21st..  Say a sad fare well to those that can’t come for the whole ride.

The next stop is to check out Dru’s XS Yam Chopper in Strath. What a nice bit of gear it is. After a short drooling session the ride went on.

Taking in some more of the unbelievable S.A. hills roads (biker heaven), we set of for lunch at Ashbourne.  What a feast!  We recommend this watering hole.

After a lovely meal, we have a CA meeting to discuss up coming rides and events, as well as T shirts and stickers (more of that on Forum) followed by a general chat and good yarns.

We then set off for the home run.  At Meadows we part with Andrew & Rilda for their trip south.  The rest of us ride on through the twists and turns of the hills to Nairne, where we stop for coffee & dessert.

This is where Jethro lives, so we say our farewells and set of up the old Bridge road for home.

Just one last stop at Henry & Sharon’s place for a pit stop & coffee.

Cathy's & my last 30 k take in the start of a lovely sun set against the Adelaide Hills & Murray River... a great end for a very enjoyable day.


April 2006 Mannum Hot Rod Show Cruise...

March's cruise  was run on the second weekend to coincide with the Bear Rock Rodders' Hot Rod Show at Mary Anne Reserve in Mannum on the Sunday.

Andrew & Rilda on their Shovel, Paul & Lisa on their CB500  (both bikes loaded to the hilt) and AJ and Jeff on Sportsters headed up the Freeway to meet  the Murray Bridge/Mannum contingent at Monarto.  At 37 C, the day was pleasant as long as one was in the wind.  The CB500 started trailing smoke from the #1 pipe while blasting through the tunnel, but settled down again after a worrying hour waiting for something to go bang!

Graham (Tazipom) on his cruiser (His raked XS650 frame is on the way), Henry and Sharon on their Shovel (custom, not chopped, but he's looking for a project bike) and Russ and Lorraine on their rigid Bonneville were waiting for us at Monarto as planned.  After a general greeting period we cruised off in pairs along a beaut secondary road to Mannum... chopper country at its best.  About half way, some of the rear bikes dropped behind and after waiting a while we thought we'd better head back and see what was amiss.  Lorraine and Jeff had seen something fall off Andrew's Shovel and had  hunted along the verge looking for it, not found anything and moved on.  A search of the Shovel and it's baggage showed nothing, so off we went.

We got to Graham's place, slaked out thirst and then a number headed off to the super market and pub for necessary supplies.  When Andrew grabbed for his belt mounted wallet to pay the cashier, the mystery of the object shed by the shovel was suddenly  cleared up.  Mild panic was followed by seven of us heading back to wards Monarto.  Lorraine was certain she could pick the spot.  Half hour of searching for "the spot" and then the wallet brought great jubilation.  Back to Graham's to slake our new thirst! 

A barbie and salads was waiting.  This was followed by a very profitable 'members meeting' and celebrations and shenanigans (including a late night blast around the streets) lasting into the early morning.

Sunday  saw us heading down to the reserve behind Graham's trike and little camper which was to serve as our club booth. 


A little later, Martin & Katie on their cruisers, Jethro on his chopped CB750 and and Rodney on his "very fast" shovel joined us.  They had met each other along the way coming up through Chain of Ponds and Birdwood; a ride they assured us they thoroughly enjoyed.

Our display with tables of literature looked quite impressive.  At least 100 vehicles were on display.  It was like stepping back into the fifties.  Probably 30 bikes rolled up for the day as well, ours being the only choppers.  We received some good interest and a number of our chopper buddies took the opportunity to become paid up members.

Russ delighted in taking a young lad for a ride around the park on his Bonnie, but confirmed an earlier suspicion that he had a blown head gasket.  'Twas a rather sick trumpy that chuffed back up to Graham's later that day to be trailered into a workshop... but it'll be ready for the next run...!

AJ, Jeff and Jethro took off early... and got drenched at Mt Barker!  Andrew, Rilda, Paul and Lisa had a leisurely run down to Murray Bridge to catch up with Mark who built choppers in his native England and is working on doing the same here.  With things looking pretty black we decided to play safe and stayed the night with Henry and Sharon.

Monday, after a lazy lunch in a Murray Bridge park (Paul & Lisa had to check out the Bunyip) we set off up the Freeway.  What a great time... two choppers cruising side by side.  Got home and were tempted to just keep going... but (sob) responsibility prevailed.

If you are a chopper jocky and could do with some Easy Ridin' experiences, how about joining us on our next run...

Look for some more photos on 'On the road pics...' forum soon...


Feb 2006 Club Cruise...

Weather on Sunday, February 5th turned out to be perfect.  A number of members who expected to make the run were unable to - Jeff having coil problems just before leaving to meet us.

Never the less, three bikes headed up the Freeway to Murray Bridge... Andrew and Rilda on their chopped Harley, AJ on his mildly done Sportster (He reckons his new personalised forward controls are just the bee's knees) and Paul and Lisa on a just completed (well almost) CB 500/4.

We actually first started the Honda at 2.30am that morning and after taking it for a half hour run, then finishing off various pieces, hit the hay at 4.30am!  We were reasonably satisfied it would make it and despite some oil leaks and a badly out of tune motor, it did.

We arrived at Murray Bridge an hour late (understandably not appreciated by a very hungry Russ and co. Sorry folks!) and then headed for a glorious little run up to a nice spot on the River just east of Mannum, to eat.

Over lunch, we acquainted ourselves with new folks and talked about our bikes, chopping and ways to get the word out that Choppers are Kool. Then off to Graham and Cathy's place for coffee and a look at CA website (for those without computers).  Our next run was pretty well decided on... another run to and overnight stay at Mannum, followed by a chopper display at the Mannum Hot Rod Show on the weekend of March 11th and 12th.  Graham and Cathy have plenty of  bunking down and bike parking space. 

The 'party' broke up at 4.30pm and guided by a number of the locals bikes we, the southern contingent headed back to Murray Bridge, said goodbye and had a great cruise home.

Paul and Lisa left us at Mount Barker for a visit to Glenelg.  Just out of McLaren Flat, AJ's rear exhaust announced very loudly that it had come adrift.  It took him three miles of flashing his lights and finally slowing right down to get our attention.  We pulled up in the street and out with the tools and into action.  If a problem on the road is fixable I don't mind, in fact I reckon it adds to the fun of biking... so, AJ you made my day!

We rolled up our driveway at 9.30pm. We had a great time... super neat riding, and great people.

We also got some neat photos and some good action video...


Jan 2006 SA Chopper Muster...

General Comment... A great day.. good showing of bikes for a first run...  looking forward to the next.

Ten  bikes (all but one were chopped) one trike and one convertible cruised.  A couple of folks who couldn't bring their bikes joined in at lunch in the park. Lunch combined with everyone getting to know each other, look at various photo albums,  and check out the bikes took a couple of very enjoyable hours.  During this time, the boys in blue set up a speed camera opposite us and a couple of us were fortunately warned in time not to be pinged as it was a luv'ly little piece of road!!!!

Bikes...  Rigid CB 750 with 8" over springer and no front mud guard (from Melbourne), Rigid CB 750, mildly chopped CB 750, Mildly chopped Kawasaki 4, Rigid trumpy, two mildly chopped Sportsters, chopped Shovel, mildly chopped Harley Sprint and a nice shiny cruiser.  The Sprint (our official video bike) carked it on the way down and ended up on a trailer (fortunately with us) so the Graham's volksi trike took its place.  Three guys are looking for 650 XS Yammies to chop.  Any one got one for sale?

Lunch over, we cruised down Port Road to Semaphore, which was packed and turned a few heads as we went along the esplanade.  Our intrepid movie makers took a couple of hours of video and moved back and forth through the bikes to get some nice footage.  We kept on through Outer Harbour and a petrol stop (1 gal tanks!) just before Port Adelaide. Various ones then headed off while the rest off us headed back to pick up the trailered sprint and then cruise back south to Willunga. 

Tea around a big long table was preceded by oohs and aahs, looking though a pile of 70's chopper mags.  Then followed some video viewing until the party finally and reluctantly split up.

Riding with a bunch of genuine old school, classic and mild choppers is a real blast especially when the owners and their partners are as nice as these guys are.  Thanks everyone.  See ya all next time ...

If you are into choppers how about joining us on the next run .


Dec 2005  Run Report... 

Run was to Victor Harbor via Yankalilla...  just nice easy cruising...  We also met up with a fellow chopper dudes (Russ & Lorraine) who have a nice rigid, chopped Triumph.  They've just become members and joined us on our Chopper Muster on the 15th.  Prof forgot to fill up with petrol and ran out on the way home, but draining some from another bike into a canteen did the trick.  Ah what fun.  A  great day enjoyed by us all.


Dec 2005 Adelaide Toy Run...

Sunday Dec 11th was  HOT!!!! An estimated 20,000 bikes steadily streamed out of Glenelg from 11am and were still rolling into Hahndorf an hour and a half later.  The run up Anzac Highway and Cross Road was not kind to my Harley clutch as all the Jappo first gears seem to be quite a bit lower, even though mine is geared down from stock.  There was some definite clutch slip when we finally accelerated up the freeway.  My wife on pillion wore her arms out from waving at what must have been at least 2000 spectators.  Kids and adults were standing out on the road way to slap palms with the riders and catch the sweets that quite a few of the riders threw into the groups.  Our batteries all must have suffered from our enthusiastic horn blowing.  We rode in particular company with a couple of one club member's mates.  One of them was on a rigid (custom) framed 80 ci Harley flat head on which he regularly rides long distances at very respectable speeds. 

Just through the tunnel, we passed two pranged cars.  A mate who was present said one driver was so busy gawking at the bikes he rear-ended  the car in front! 

Unfortunately only four club members made the run.  There were a couple of other choppers at the event and I was able to chat with one interested owner (mildly chopped Honda 4) and left info about the club tucked under the speedo of the other bike, a fairly radical Honda 750/4.

Three St Vinnies trucks were filled with toys brought up on the bikes.

After an hour of looking around and talking, we fired up and had a very relaxed back roads cruise home.  A very enjoyable day and well worth the sunburn!


Oct 2005 Super Show Display...

We put on a club display on the 29th & 30th of October at the Adelaide "Extreme Horsepower Supershow".  Seventy five percent of space was taken by custom cars, some of them pretty wild.  Bikes on display were mostly Harleys with a few Japanese sports bikes.  Three bike shops displayed bikes and accessories and two $100,000 plus "Long bikes" were unveiled with lots of fanfare.  Our Harley chopper and one other newly built Evo were the only old school and classic choppers represented.

Our Choppers Australia display consisted of only one bike (sob)...  Andrew's chopped Harley.  We had a table display of 70's chopper magazines and books and three display stands of A4 coloured chopper photos taken from those mags. 

A lot of people stopped to look.  Quite a few were 'nostalgic' and chatted about their 70's biking and chopper experiences.  We also enjoyed talking with a  number of fellows who have or are building old school choppers and we will be getting together with them pretty soon. 

A couple of chopper enthusiasts offered us photos and mags and one has donated two trophies won by his brother in chopper shows in the 70's!

Three of us spent time manning the stall, Andrew, Rilda and Dave.  It was good fun and next year our display will be bigger and better.  I reckon 10 choppers would be a good goal.  How about it folks. 

PS... The Harley chopper looked rather plain alongside all the expensive, glistening and beautifully painted stuff, but it still got lots of positive comments.

PPS... I put a sign on the Harley seat... "I may not be the prettiest girl in town, but my owner loves me and takes me out every day"... 

and that is what I think old school choppers are mainly about.  You build your bike to suit you and you build it to ride. 


Oct 2005 Birdwood Swap Meet... 

At 6am on a chilly Sunday morning a few weeks ago, Henry and Andrew took off on their choppers for Birdwood. Riding into the sunrise was delightful, Harley and Yamaha exhausts blending as we rode side by side where ever possible or took turns to roar past each other and lead. But crikey was it ever cold once we swung off the Freeway and both were amused by the other's hand warming antics.

The line up at the oval gates was loooong, so in true biker fashion we idled innocently to the front of the line and got in quickly. Our simple club display consisting of a sissy bar friendly foldup table, two folding chairs and a big bag of display goodies was soon put up.

The swap meet was much smaller than we expected, but we did have some good chats with interested bikers and have had follow up contact with some potential new members. We each came away with bargain Sportster tanks and one or two other bits and pieces.