Rain in November Rally
Mount Alford Pub, 1-3 November
This will be my last rally for the year so I made the effort to attend. I attended its equivalent two years ago (and won a prize in the Show ’n’ Shine for “Best British”).
I set off on Friday afternoon on the T140 and rode along the Centennial Highway, and then the Boonah/Ipswich Highway, stopping for petrol in Springfield. I got to the rally site before dark and set up camp. Although 25 people would have been there already, there was nobody that I knew, so I ate by myself and had a few home brews that I’d taken. It was a cool night.
Next morning some stalls had been set up so I did a tour. There were stalls for memorabilia, clothing, poffertjes, pizza, coffee, custom bits and one promoting the motorcycle museum at Roadvale. I had a bit of homework to do, so I sat on my camp stool, making cups of tea as I concentrated on that. Many other bikes were arriving, some to stay the night, but the majority just for the day. In between I wheeled the bike to the show ‘n’ shine (which had a strong chopper/bobber theme). Some games were being played (first by kids,then adults) and all the while there was some good live music on the trailer stage.
The show prizes were awarded (nothing for me) and we started to settle in for the night’s activities.
We actually featured on Channel 9 news (in a story relating to bike gangs) – a news chopper circled the rally site twice for a one-second footage used in the news bulletin. (Many people just seeing the white chopper with bits of blue paint on it thought it was a police helicopter, but I had my binoculars with me, and I could read the 9 dots logo and digit on thef uselage).
But later at dusk there was a bit of drama.
We got word that we who were camped in the public area next to the pub (and there would have been 30 tents), effectively in a memorial park and playground, were there illegally and we would have to move into private property across the street. Most of us made short work of it, transplanting our stuff the 20 or so metres and re-pitching without fuss. Except that when the police came by to check that we had all moved, some rally-goers arced up and accused the police of harassment and for picking on us because we were bikers. That was entirely unnecessary and quite untrue. Eventually the storm in the teacup subsided. The noisiest whinger who made his belligerent, finger-pointing comments to the two police officers was lucky not to be arrested for being drunk and disorderly.
The rest of us had a bit of a laugh about it and after dinner we adjourned to the pub for a jar or two. In the main arena, there was a very good band playing. We retired to our relocated tents by midnight.
Next morning everybody packed up and quit the place (some as early as 6am– I left 2 hours after that and home in time for morning smoko).
Thanks to Ned Kelley for organising it, but he can be a little more proactive next time and tell us explicitly where we can and cannot camp. Also there were no showers at the site, which was a big minus for the rally. Apart from all that, it was fun and enjoyable.