Sunday the 16th of August was a typical Albany winters day, cold, bleak and wet with the forecast predicting it would only get worse. None of this would bother a hardy member of the AVCMC so I set off to arrive at the info bay by 10am. I was surprised to see so many there, eight in all to start with and a couple more later, but there was only one bike!
Now there were two! Once I found a spot to park amongst the cars littering the area I realised the other rider was Ronnie who was on his BMW R65. This is a rebuild he recently finished with an extended driveshaft and a shock absorber worth more than my K100. He was keen to see how it went in preparation for a planned outback loop over the western half of Australia.
The others there huddled together like a damp flock of sheep, then the excuses started. “I don’t want the paintwork on my nice blue Honda to get wet, I couldn’t find my rain pants, I need to get home to finish the dishes, I may be the President but my commitment is weather dependent, I just came to see who else turned up, the dog ate my club magazine.”
No names will be mentioned! I suggested to Ronnie that we ride to the Cape Cafe at Cosy Corner for a coffee, so off we set through the big roundabout and on to South Coast Highway, left at Rutherford Road, then Lower Denmark road to the cafe. To say the conditions were inclement would be a bold understatement.
The wind had picked up to around 70kph and rain was sheeting down in torrents. None of this bothered the two fearless, intrepid riders as they plunged headlong into the tumult. Heading westerly directly into the furore was survivable but once on Rutherford going south staying vertical was problematic.
Travelling behind Ronnie I was concerned his necessary lean into the wind would result in the wheels being swept out from underneath him. However he prevailed, showing great skill and determination and setting a stalwart example for the lesser mortal travelling behind.
We arrived at the Cape Cafe to a hero’s welcome, warmly greeted by the delightful Christina and offered a place beside the pizza oven to thaw out. Over a hot coffee the discussion moved from motorcycles to the sorry state we had witnessed earlier of the fragility and delicate nature that had developed amongst club membership.
The ride back was marginally better with a following wind and we soon found ourselves at the excellent AGM venue of the Dowsett ranch. The meeting proved to be a massive anticlimax compared to the ride; however this was more than made up for by the superb catering provided by Colin and Leanne, enhanced even more by Colin’s heat generating talents.