|There's nothing like a
weekend in the country with friends; even more so when the friends bring along their
The Grampians - at least the Australian version - is a range of mountains springing from the rich farmland of western Victoria. Famous for its wildflowers and spectacular views, most the the range is now incorporated in a National Park. If there is better motorcycling country around I don't know where it is!
In September, about 20 pre-1931 bikes gathered in the Grampians for a rally organised by the Antique Motorcycle Club of Australia.
For the Saturday run, we climbed our way up to the Boroka Lookout - at 840 m one of the higher lookouts in the range. I was a bit disappointed that the 1910 FN four actually required a little "LPA" on one of the steeper climbs. The first time I have had to pedal in earnest since I've been riding it!
The climb to Boroka was a little too much for Colin Sargent's newly-restored chain-cum-belt Rover, which responded by spitting its new aluminium muffler onto the road. As I approached the forlorn object on the FN, I first mistook it for dead wildlife, then a piece of car bumper. But that smell... It was only when I reach the summit and found an amused group studying the Rover's much-modified exhaust arrangements that it all fell into place. Someone had tried to pick up the remains, but it was too hot to handle until the return journey. The Rover - outrageously noisy without a muffler - completed the rest of the journey without incident.
The run back to camp was mostly downhill, something that the FN does not enjoy particularly. Like a twostroke, the bike enjoys a load. Not to mention that the rider enjoys a challenge, and the climbs were "just so". Don't believe what you hear about veterans liking flat runs!
Sunday's run took us out onto the plains and across to visit an enthusiast's shed in Horsham. A feast for Douglas enthusiasts!
Altogether a very pleasant weekend, well worth the 1000 km round trip from Adelaide.
|Copyright © Leon Mitchell 1999|