There were 36 entrants to this year’s Rally at the lovely Victorian town of Daylesford, but only 34 riders as Bernie Clark was unable to come & poor Gary Woodcock blew a piston before he even left Queensland & came in a car. This was the first time TMRA has held the STR Rally in Victoria.
Of the 34 riders, eight were riding T160 Tridents; ten were riding T150 Tridents; eleven were riding A75 Rocket 3’s, including myself. There were also two Rob North race replicas , of which the T160 was ridden and the A75 was displayed. There was one X75 Hurricane & three modern Hinckley machines. The standard of these machines was extremely high which made our judging very difficult.
Thursday 14th March:
Most entrants arrived on Thursday & the Central Springs Inn was soon busy with the sound of Triples being started & run. After a meet & greet in the Inn’s dining room where Rally Packs were handed out we all walked down to the Royal Hotel for dinner & a very enjoyable evening ensued as we met with old friends & met new ones.
Friday 15th March:
It was a sunny but chilly start to our first ride of the Rally. The ride brief was held in the dining room before our 0930 departure for Lancefield, our lunch destination. We used the TMRA route keeping method which has been used at a number of TMRA events without incident. I had intended to ride into the little village of Trentham but cancelled that as roadworks & temporary traffic lights would have caused problems.
Instead we rode on to the famous Hanging Rock where the café was ready to warm our chilled selves with coffee. A group which included all the VVC ACT members climbed to the top of the rock where we were rewarded with lovely views. When we all came down the others were ready to go but there was some messing about as there was a $10 exit fee per machine which we thought expensive. A Ranger however advised us to go through the barrier in groups of 4 to reduce the cost. When we were all out we rode off for Lancefield to the pub for lunch. The Triples were a fine sight lined up along the historic main street of pretty Lancefield.
Whilst we were there our QLD entrants arrived with several having ridden the whole way. This I considered a heroic effort, especially Tony Hicks who was riding the tiny tank Hurricane: they were greeted warmly by us all.
After lunch we rode south to Romsey & then climbed to Macedon Range to the lovely Memorial Cross at the peak. This Cross was a 1st World War Memorial but was badly damaged in 1983 fires & was later rebuilt.
The ‘Top of the Range’ tea house provided a welcome afternoon tea of scones & jam with tea & coffee.
We set off for Wood End & a refuelling stop. At the BP one entrant accidentally put diesel in his tank which caused a delay as we loaded his bike onto the Skillen Trailer. Skillen himself decided to roar off & took a group with him on the direct route back to Daylesford.
The remainder off us took the designated route back on back roads via East Trentham. We were all back before 5pm & Michael & Melissa had opened the bar for us. So the inevitable bike fettling took place with a beer in had, a most pleasant time in the afternoon sun.
The diesel was removed by the owner of the A75, who was henceforth referred to as ‘Diesel’. We again retired to the Royal Hotel for dinner & another very pleasant evening resulted.
Saturday 16th March:
Saturday dawned warmer than the previous day & most of us were ready to leave by 0900 as originally planned, however we changed the departure to 0930 to better match our timetable.
Today’s ride was to Maryborough via the historic town of Clunes. This lovely town claims to be the first goldfield town in Victoria. However it is also known from the scene in Mad Max when ‘Toe Cutter’s’ evil bikie gang terrorised the town.
We had lost a group including the tail end Charlie, the breakdown trailer & Joe Fallon which caused some delays. A friend of mine, Malcolm Arber from Ballarat joined us on here on his 1966 T120.
Due to the delay we cancelled the visit to the bottle museum instead riding on to another historic town, Talbot. Here we had another wonderful photo opportunity in the quiet main street. The Tourism head, surprised to see us, rushed out to have a chat & welcome us. I would have told her we were coming but the office was closed when I passed through previously doing my ‘Reccy’.
The road to Maryborough is through scrub & of little interest; however this was made up for by our arrival at the splendid Maryborough Railway Station, our lunch & judging stop. Mark Twain visited Maryborough & reportedly quipped that Maryborough was a Railway Station with a town attached. This is still the grandest building in the town by far, even today.
We parked all the bikes on a tarmac stand in front of the railway station where they formed a most impressive sight, & difficult choices for our judging. We had a most excellent lunch in the Station Café before we did our judging duty.
After lunch we rode on to Dalton, well known to many as the destination for the ‘All British Rally’. Some refuelled here & we were supposed to stop for a coffee. But this plan went awry and the majority rode off for Daylesford without refreshments. Doug Gorie, a local & a Vic BSA Club member took the remainder up to the lookout above the town where there is a grand fire lookout tower. Upon climbing the tower we were invited into the fire lookout where the on-duty man showed us how he & other towers could triangulate a fire to about 30 yards. The ones who had left missed a good show.
We then rode back to Daylesford via Newstead & Hepburn Springs.
Attilio and Brian took on the task of counting the votes & we were ready by 5pm to hold the awards in the Inn Dining Room. Shirley Wishart provided delicious appetisers for the occasion. It would have been impossible to do the awards in the noisy Royal Hotel. Beside the major awards provided by TMRA I had other prizes so that more people could go away with something.
Here are the results:
BSA A75 Triumph T150 & T160
1st Gerry Rowley 1st Steve Cramp
2nd Steve Mobbs 2nd Dave Philis
3rd Ron Allen 3rd Daniel Nance
4th Joe Fallon 4th Ian Matthews
Prizes were awarded to those who rode significant distances to the Rally
Tim Tapsell: from Sydney
Tony Eklom: from Brisbane
Tony Hicks: from Brisbane
Kevin Lambourn: from Brisbane
In addition each winner was invited to take a motorcycle DVD from my collection.
After the Awards we again went for dinner at the Royal Hotel. However some decided to take dinner elsewhere, I think at the Bowling Club.
Sunday 17th March
The last ride of the Rally & a short one: the Queenslanders & the Canberra VVC men & the TMRA Committee members all left before the ride, the QLD men before the sun was up! However there were still a good number of us to ride. The destination was the American Hotel in Creswick. Our route was through the Wombat Forest which took us to Creswick via back roads. It was a lovely sunny warm day so we all sat on the verandah & ate our leisurely lunch there. Everyone seemed to have a warm glow of a successful Rally with no significant breakdowns.
We rode back to Daylesford again via back roads via Kingston Village.
An relaxing afternoon followed with many loading bikes & packing bags for an early departure on Monday. That evening, the dozen or so of us who remained had a very pleasant dinner at a Chinese restaurant opposite the tourist office. It was a suitable end to a most enjoyable rally.
STR Next Year 2020
It has been decided by the TMRA Committee that we will hold the Southern Triples Rally at the Central Springs Inn in Daylesford again in 2020,
the 13-15th March. Some have already booked their rooms. So put this date into your diary.
For Triumph Register of Australia: 30 March 2019