NATIONAL SCOOTER RALLY - PORT MACQUARIE
AUSTRALIA DAY LONG WEEKEND - JANUARY 25-26-27TH 2008
The NATIONAL SCOOTER RALLY was held in PORT MACQUARIE over the AUSTRALIA DAY LONG WEEKEND JANUARY 25-26-27th 2008.
So Scott and I thought it would be a really swell idea to head off to it. We jumped onto a Bolwell Firenze each (mine black and his silver) and headed off from Noosa to Brisbane on the 24th January 2008. I had never ridden on the highway before, never ridden a 250cc either and definately never ridden for longer than an hour in one go... it was a little daunting. With confirmations from Scott that I could stop at any time and we could leave the scooter and pick it up on the way back, we headed straight out to Eumundi and onto the Bruce Highway.
We stopped off in Brisbane to pick up Joe from Scootopia and Teresa on the Friday night. I felt pretty good, the Firenze is a comfortable scooter for the long distance ride so I was happy to head off again on Saturday morning.
So Scott and I were both on 250cc Bolwell Firenzes, Joe rode a 500cc Gilera Fuoco and Teresa was on a 250cc Piaggo MP3. Off we headed on Saturday morning - the ride out of Brisbane was just great. We left early enough to miss the traffic and got to see a beautiful sunrise.
However on the Gold Coast it rained... I don't just mean rained, it really really rained. I was very glad of my new rain pants (as attractive as they are, they do the job don't they?) and it was the first time my waterproof liner in my jacket has got a good workout. I am glad to say it worked a treat and I was dry and warm inside my plastic cocoon. By the way I had never actually ridden in the rain before...
The rest of the ride down was pretty smooth - a little bit of light rain, but mostly sunshine. Lots of breaks taken - which I was really glad of. As comfortable as your seat is, it is still nice to stand up every now and again.
Arrived in Port Macquarie late Saturday afternoon, checked in and then down to the Rally to sign up. Unfortunately, due to all of our breaks we missed the Show and Shine (but needed those breaks more than we needed to see shiny scooters), but we we still up for the dinner, award and disco on Saturday night.
It was really great to see Rob, Shel and Dallas (who rode his Vespa PX200 all the way there and back - no backup group - what a brave <CRAZY>man) there. There was a big representation from the Canetoads SC of Brisbane (hi to Laura!) and great music by the DJ - whose name I failed to get. But he rides a red and cream Lambretta and provided all the music and was just great. Heaps of food and dancing.
On the Sunday we rose late (unsurprisingly) and went off for breakfast on the waterfront. Port Macquarie is really pretty. Sunday afternoon a ride was organised by Sandra out to Timbertown - we had an assortment of scooters. Scott, Joe and Teresa got to ride a Penny Farthing bicycle.
Monday morning we were up (not to early) and ready to ride back to Noosa. On the way home, Scott may have selected a wrong turning (hence his new nickname GPS) so we had a 15.5 hour trip back. Which is a hell of a long time.
When we arrived in Armidale our scooters were sooooo dirty (and so were we), we went straight to the pub and ordered a slap up meal each. We rode back inland and kept stopping regularly. Riding down Cunningham's Gap was scary with all the semi-trailers. They are like a massive dinosaur groaning down that mountain and we were just little specks in comparison. Having said that nothing could be as scary as that dirt road!
Prior to the ride home, I had never previously done the following:
- Riding at night
- Riding on dirt (120 km's dodging 4WD's coming the other way, cows, cow shit, falling rocks, slip zones, potholes and corrugations - luckily the logging trucks had a day off)
- Riding in Brisbane City at night (Noosa only has two lane roads and 2 sets of traffic lights - slightly different to Brisbane city)
- Riding down Cunninghams Gap
- Riding in one million billion bugs all of whom are on a kamikazee mission
And now I have done them all.
Scott says I have got the Merit Badge for scootering. I am no longer afraid of anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A good weekend was had by all and I discovered a lot of abilities I did not know I had.
If you want to check out some photos - they are on the forum at:
The proposed venue for next year is Tasmania! Don't worry, we will be putting the scooters on the train, flying down and picking them up from Melbourne.
NOOSA SCOOTER & MOTORCYCLE ACTION PLAN 2008-2012