Location: Manning Valley
Date: March 2011

March 5, 2011. Up at Sparrow's (well, almost) this morning and drove out to Taree Airport adjacent to which is the Airport Tavern/Hotel, where several members of the Taree and District Classic and Vintage Motorcycle Club assembled prior to a rally up the coast. There were over 100 classic machines parked there between 8 and 9:30am, although many of them arrived closer to 9am. In fact, there were only a handful when I arrived.

So it was an ideal opportunity to fire up the old Sony and take a few pics. The club chose crook weather for a motorcycle rally... it was raining up the coast a bit. But the cloudy weather provided me with diffused lighting conditions (no shadows) which was  ideal for photography, and I'm pretty happy with the images I managed to get (no duds).

The enthusiasts almost without exception were older guys, some so old they had difficulty swinging a leg over the saddle or kick-starting the old machines. Hehe. But they were all having a great time, which was the main thing.

One bike that caught my eye was a Magnat Debon. The owner said there are only six known to exist in the world (of that model, I presume) and his is the only one in Oz. He was working in New Zealand and happened to see it parked in a shed with a bunch of old spare parts at a Harley dealer's shop. "I made a "silly" offer and the bloke phoned 3 hours later to say it was mine." Now the owner is trying to sell it. He didn't look like the rallying type so I'm sure that's the only reason he was there.

There were lots of interesting bikes on display but the one that took the cake was the roughest of them all. I spotted it - an old AJS - away from the main gathering, and walked down to it. "Are you trying to hide this thing?" I asked the owner. "No, mate, I'm trying to get the bloody thing started!" (#052) Well, he did, and then joined the main arena.

I'm not a motorcycle fan by any means but I do enjoy an opportunity to see unusual vintage machinery and chat to people... and to take photos that are different, with a story to tell. I know Oregon Richie will enjoy the pics... he's a bit of a two-wheel nut. The thing about motorcycles, of course, is that there's no right or left hand drive, so they're all the same no matter where in the world they are. Click here for the photo album.


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