Tassi is nearly upon us, and this event is shaping up to be a good one. We have people attending from every state in Australia, two from the US and three from Sweden. There will be approximately 40 Indians and 60 people. This is a ride at you own pace event, which allows everybody to enjoy the scenery and the company.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Last Day - Georgetown to Devonport

A few more words about the night before. Our farewell dinner was at the Bass & Flinders Museum which was a fabulous setting. It had a boat in the room which actually had sailed into Tassie. We could go into the boat and check it out. The staff were wonderful and gave us a great meal. They really looked after us and put up with the loud and rowdy mob we were until midnight.
Photo shoot at George town
The photo shoot took quite a while to set up and was really hard to fit all forty  bikes in. However, everyone patiently stood there while at least ten cameras clicked away. Some of the women had to click away with a few extra cameras. Photo was taken at the back of the Pier Hotel in George town in the morning just before leaving for Devonport.
It was only fifty klms to Devonport so we planned to go via a few small interesting towns as didnt need to be at the boat until 5.30pm.
First we went to Westbury where some hung around to see the Steam Centre, where a mini steam train was in action around a property and there were two big sheds with a private collection of steam equipment such as steam rollers, tractors, etc.
Next we went on to Deloraine, a quiet little town with lots of craft shops and some cafes. There was a great fifties style cafe which was a must to see.
We then went through Railton and onto Sheffield where murals abound all over the town. The view of Cradle Mountain in the background was stunning. A few more little emporium and arty shops to visit then off to Devonport.

A mural in Sheffield
 The backup van that Tony got the tosser for was still out of action. However, we managed without it for the past week thanks to the few extra backups from Kylie, Alena, Rachel and Sue. Luckily we only had one bike out of action, that is until Lyndal's bike broke down about an hour before boarding the boat. Lyndal claims that Lola tried to take it for a spin the night before and stuffed it on her.
 There was a bit of a scramble to rearrange the vehicles before boarding as Peter and Toni's backup van was still out of action and not joining them for another week. We managed to reorganise and board the boat with one less vehicle with no problems, that is until time to get off.  Micks faithful 38' Chev which made it all around the island with no trouble, had battery failure just when it was time to leave the boat. Turns out the fan switch was left on overnight on the boat. Lucky the little tosser award "Bob" slept in on the boat, otherwise someone would have been wearing it. The last we saw of him was a picture floating around of him still asleep in bed.

Micks 38 Chev

Lamont & Wanda
  We had a some overseas friends on this tour. Lamont and Wanda from Iowa, USA. Lamont rode a Harley throughout the tour and Wanda chose to ride in the vehicle some of the time. This was a great opportunity to get aquainted with Wanda and we had plenty of laughs while driving around. They tell me they had a great time and was their first time in Oz. They will be flying home on Monday.
Another family from Sweden, Jorgen, Catarina and daughter Hannah came out for the tour also. They are regular visitors here and to some international rallies. They joined some of us for the UK tour in 2009. Daughter Hannah found English and our food a bit challenging but overall they all had a great time also. They will be here for another few days enjoying the sights of Melbourne.   There was also Tim Randall from the UK who is also a regular visitor to Oz and also
                                                                                                                         joined us on the UK tour.
Catarina, Hannah & Jorgen from Sweden

Tim Randall from UK
There were quite a few people from interstate as well. The three amigos Jim, Charlie and Chris from WA, who were spoken about earlier in the tour. There were also a few from as far as Queensland, Darryl and Phil White. Dave and Deb and Graham and Cheryl. 
Dave and Deb from QLD

                                                                   Christine Hemphill's brother Karl also joined us for the first week on his first  tour with the club and on an Indian. He did really well especially as he didn't even become a contender for the tosser award.  
Karl Hemphill
The last word goes to Kylie, who I think is a warrior woman, She managed to be
mother, roadie, nursemaid, backup, and all usually single handed. She had four small children to care for and did it  single handed most of the time (Darren was there when not riding though). She was in the car with the trailer when the backup van failed the last week but nothing seemed a problem for her. She gave a lot of the woman something to strive for if the men have their way and thats how to back up a trailer. Unfortunately havent got a pic of her as she didnt keep still long enough but three of her little ones are in the party pics.
Must not forget Toni and Peter. Thanks again for a well planned tour guys!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 12 - Bridport to Georgetown/Farewell Party

Today started with the Tosser award? Yes it went to Rod for his fire escapade in his 44 Chief the day before but todays went to Darryl and Bronwyn Jenkins for lock tighting a screw on his carby which caused a few issues.
We all went in different directions again. Some took the route to Launceston and stopped at the Car and Bike Museum. There were also some great wineries along the way.
Some of us took the short way straight to Georgetown then across the bay over the Batman Bridge to see Seahorse World and Platypus House.
The Beaconsfield Mine Museum was a great place to visit and had lots of info and interactive buttons which showed how the mine worked.
The weather was beautiful blue skies once again and everyone was still madly searching for an outfit for the big event tonight, "our fancy dress farewell party"
Sue and Mick met up with Toni and Peter in the local Vinnies store in Georgetown madly looking for outfits for those who didnt have time to get.

Mick at Columba Falls

Bridport Motel
Beauty Point was a lovely bay to visit with all the yachts anchored and few lovely places to eat and view the bay.

Once at the Georgetown Pier Hotel everyone gathered once again in the pub to recap the days events.

This morning also involved a photo shoot on the grass with the water and bay behind.
Also some of the Sydney guys discovered that they were in the local Examiner newspaper this morning with a great pic of about eight bikes.
However the absolute highlight for our night was our farewell dinner party which turned out to be quite a shocker. We were all dressed mainly sixties style but there was some great outfits. Only the pictures can describe the scene. However, Lyndal was a hit with her Lola outfit and character and received an award for her dress. Garry Maskell got an award for his hippie outfit and there were lots of men who turned out in drag,
Peter Parsons received a bottle of red from the kitchen staff as they said it takes a lot of guts to come dressed like that.(a lemon uniform dress)
All the back up drivers(Sue,Kylie, Debbie & Elaina )received  Huon pine cheese boards for their help. Rachel received a bottle of fine wine.
There were also awards for the mechanical nurses who helped who were Rod Barker, Jim Parker, Peter Van Stralen, Steve Kavanagh , Peter Parsons, and Harry Cutts. Without these guys a few people would have been off their bikes for the rest of the trip.
The three amigos also received a memorial photo as did Steve Kavanagh for the hard luck award. Rod Leihman  received one for his tosser efforts. Bianca Bonner received one for having successfully ridden the oldest bike without any problems as well. Overseas guests Wanda, Lamont, Jorgen and Catarina all received an aussie gift.

Lola, Showgirl semi retired with Jimmy Parker

Peter, Steve,Ian,Alina,Conor,Rachel

The whole motley crew

Lamont & Wanda (USA)
 Left: Lamont & Wanda from Iowa. Friends of Jim's and now all of us. Lamont dressed as an Aussie with boomerang in his pocket.

Conor, Ian, Alina, Garry & Lindsay

Lola warming up to the camera

Lindsay, I mean Les

Rachel, Steve, Sharon, Peter Van & Stan
Bub, David & Bianca

Toni, Peter B & Jorgen, Catarina from Sweden

Dave & Deb
Harriett & Steve

The three Peter's & Rod

Rob & Chris B.

Kim, Deb & Roger
Before the fun starts

Sharon, Kim and Bub

Rachel, Steve,Sharon, Peter, Stan

Marli, Casey & Jasper

Mick, Lamont & Sue

Ahoy, Steve & Mick

Peter P, Peter V,  Rod, Jim


Peter was awarded the gutsiest costume by kitchen staff

Phil the flasher









Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 9 Scamander to Bridport

One thing we never get sick of is waking up to magnificent views and bright sunny skies - and this morning did not let us down. Frank Hutch was up early to take in the crisp air whilst others were tuning bikes or queing for the buffet breakfast.
With the Tosser Award being handed over last evening, our briefing this morning was a run through of all the sites and routes we could select from today. Fuelling up at Scamander we set off with coffee and Op shops high on the agenda. St Helens saw many riders converging on the St Helens District High School Op Shop  to find their outfit for tomorrow night. Riders have been warned that if they do not come dressed for the occassion then Peter and Toni will dress them - so let's see who will call their bluff.
The next stop for many was the Pub in the Paddock and the beer drinking pig,(Pinky whom Wanda and Lamond bought a pure blonde beer for and he drank every last drop) When it came to a photo shoot he was too tired to get up and participate. (what a life!!!)
Next stop was Columba Falls for those who wanted a walk or you could view it from the road which was a beautiful sight.
Alina and Jenny Maskell were exposed to moral danger at the Cow Cafe and Cheese Shop - it would seem that the cold weather did not stop a flasher in the carpark! The wind by this time was up and making the ride more difficult. The countryside was varied from flat pasture to rainforest and mountain passes.
The many streams that we passed were keenly eyed off by Steve Kav and finally he and Peter stopped and set off for the ultimate fishing experience. Unfortunately Kav did not see the electric fence until too late and was more than happy to do a Peter Garratt impersonation trying to get free from the charge.
A trip up the B82 to Gladstone for Jim and Peter P and a toasted sandwhich at Derby while others had another counter lunch at Weldborough and Scotsdale. Frank Hutch picked up some more EPs for his collection at the Vinnies store at Scotsdale and then rode with Lyndel, Jorgen, Conor and Eamon, Stan and Darryl J to Springfield... but someone had already taken the sign so they turned around disappointed...
The tourist trail vial Lilydale and then along the other end of the B82 into Bridport to the hotel accomodation.
The highlight of the afternoon was Rod Leamon lighting up his outfit - literally. He left the bike running and the fuel taps on while he paid for the fuel he was burning. Bike and rider were saved and a good hosing down was in order after the event.  Bets are on that he will be the Tosser of the Day Again!!!

Still in shock, the aftermath of Rods demise

Relax time at Pub in the Paddock
 We all had a great day and celebrated the night away in the local pub, telling tales of our days ride.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 10 - Swansea to Scamander

Conor proudly accepting his family's award
The day started with a briefing from Peter and of course the Tosser award, and today it went to Conor, due to his many issues yesterday. However, he decided to accept it on behalf of Kaye as it was a family effort and noticed that Eamon was assisting to honour the family by wearing it periodically today.
We had our two amigos departing today, Jim and Charlie. However, Chris Gielis has now become the lone ranger and the other two are a bit envious but work beckons on the mainland.
Some of us decided to breakfast at "Trellis Cafe" just down the road in Swansea while others rode on to morning tea in Bicheno.

Jim and Charlie (two amigos) say goodbye
 After breakfast we rode on and made a stop at the Bike Museum in Bicheno. It was a treat for bike enthusiasts with 60 bikes on display. However, this writer overheard some locals say that they never saw so many great old bikes together outside the museum before.
By the way a certain lady may be in the running for the tosser award tomorrow for riding forty klms in second gear without realizing. Her hubby was not amused and wondered why she was putting along so slow!!

The Sydney crew at the Bike Museum

Next we made our way inland up the narrow roads of Elephant Pass. Was a great ride for the bikes but not so good for cars as very narrow and falling rocks close to the road.

Next stop was the famous Mt Elephant Pancake Barn where we all satisfied our taste buds with delicious pancakes such as chicken, camembert and blueberry and many more delicious savoury and sweet treats. 
Eamon Murphy entertaining us at dinner

Chris Beaumont "Tosser for the day"

We then rode down the narrow winding road to St Marys, a very small town and then onto Scamander Beach Resort Hotel and were greeted with a flashing sign "Welcome Indian Motocycle Club". 
After topping up petrol, walking along the beach, and checking out the town, many of us settled in to our rooms and the usual gathering outside to recap the days tales.
After our evening meal together at the hotel we were all entertained by Eamon Murphy who was given a task by Kim Kavanagh earlier the day before. He had to match each person on the tour to an animal and tell us why this is so. He did a great job, not too many bruised egos and a lesson in public speaking for Eamon although he has learnt a thing or two from dad (the flea, because no one notices him)
Peter gave us a task for our last night at dinner. He told us to check out Vinnies stores and find an outfit to wear for the last dinner. Has to be somethings 60's. Mmm.... should be interesting. Keep watching!!


Day 9 - Nubeena to Swansea

The day started with pelting rain and wind. After breakfast everyone gathered in the bbq area of the Parsons Bay retreat for the days briefing. The "tosser award" was given to Rod Leihman for two reasons: His fight with the agapantha bush while entering his house that wouldnt let him in the driveway. Then the little tassie devil which jumped out at him and caused him a problem again. Seems Rod's all out of luck today as well. His 44 Chief and sidecar broke down not long after leaving this morning near the Donnelly Hotel and had to be trucked to Nubeena.  Luckily, there were a lot of willing bike mechanics on hand to help fix his bike by the evening. Rod rewarded all with a generous round of bottles of wine for the night which kept the party going for a while

Rod Liehman
 The rain was an unwelcome problem and there were a few breakdowns and repairs. Garry Maskell's bike had to be transported and by the days end it was clear the bike was out of action for the rest of the trip. Garry, however could continue on a borrowed bike.
Peter Birthisel had to have a head gasket change.
At days end it was discovered that Conor Murphy had quite a few little issues including poor Kaye having to help push his bike and took a little tumble but landed back on her feet. Kaye also just managed to make her plane back to Melbourne in time.

Roger in his lunchtime break

No problem pit stop cafe, Orford

Roger McGregor decided to fix his bike during his lunch break at a cafe at Orford as a problem the day before was still giving him grief.
He was however on the road again within an hour or so.
No problems with a bit of help from Ian Pryde's toolbox.

There were also reported a few small hailstorms by several of our members. No damage and eventually when most of us arrived at beautiful Swansea the sun was shining and the view was breathtaking. Beautiful beaches and mountain scenery abound as well a superb views from some of the hotel rooms 
Lyndel stoked about her fish cone for lunch
The rest of the night was spent with plenty of laughter, drink, hearty meals and lots of humour. All agreed the day was a good one regardless of any hitches.
A certain group were still celebrating with their well earned bottles of wine until late into the night outside their rooms.
Some were hiding in their rooms due to the chill factor during the night.  


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nubeena Cont'd

Mick, Sue, Darrel, Bronwyn, Roger and Deb all went on the Tasman Island Cruise. A must see for anyone coming down this way. Cruising past the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere. Tasman Island and Cape Pillar were some of the highlights. The three hour cruise started with a bus that took us from Port Arthur to  Eaglehawk Nest.
Darrel,Bronwyn,Roger,Deb, Mick,Sue
The highlights would have to be the Totem Pole and Candlestick and gliding in and out of the many sea caves. The Aussie and New Zealand fur seals sunbaking on the rocks were a great sight to see.
The weather was perfect and a the sea calm. The two young hosts Ollie and Chris were very entertaining.
All agreed was the best money ever spent. We arrived safely into Port Arthur and a short walk back to where we started.
The last half hour of the cruise was a little bit like a river ride at a theme park but we all managed to get through it without any dramas.

One of many caves we explored

Waterfall beside the cliffs

We were all quite satisfied with our days outing but some of us still wanted more.
Mick, Sue, Rachel Barker, Kaye and Eoman Murphy decided to brave it and went to the Port Arthur ghost tour that night. However the ghosts were also on holiday but the tour guide gave us a scare or two. Worth the adrenalin rush.
Coffee with Burt Monroe's grandson
It was reported by Lindsay Jennings and Chris Carr that while sipping on a coffee at their stopover in Richmond a few days ago, they had a conversation with an interested bystander that went something like this:
Hi, I like your bikes. They are Indians eh!!. My grandfather used to race Indians.
Oh yeah said Lindsay. Where at?
Bonneville Saltflats.
He wouldnt be Burt Monroe, would he?
Yeh actually it was.
"Bullshit" said Chris
No its true.
After a few more Bullshits from Chris, they decided to have some lunch and Peter Aitken (Burts grandson) went on to tell them that he is a landscape and underwater photographer.
He only met Burt twice when he was young and his mother was one of nine children from one of Burts two marriages. His mum still lives in Christchurch and had some damage to her house in the recent earthquake but was uninjured.
Lindsay Jennings and Peter Aitken (Burts grandson)
He described Burt as a "madman" obsessed with speed and his family came second to his passion. Peter lives at Paleena and rides a Triumph rocket 3.
So its a small world eh!