Tattoo Club of South Australia Show

BACK IN 2003, the Tattoo Club of South Australia came into being and promptly launched itself into a position of prominence with its inaugural tattoo show. Fast forward a few years, and a lot of the same faces — with a healthy influx of new faces — are still at it: keeping the good name and the high profile of their club by running a slick and professional tattoo show. And they’ve got a clever twist that not many other people follow — they only put on a show when the time’s right.

It’s not an annual event, although it may well become that one day. It’s a tattoo show that the club puts on when they know they can do it justice, not a panicked series of rushed half measures to meet a deadline. It’s a good solid tattoo show they can be proud of and that they know other people will appreciate and enjoy.

This year’s show was held at the Live Nightclub, right in Adelaide’s city centre, so all the hard infrastructure was readily available — a couple of bars, plenty of seating, different rooms, DJ facilities, and a stage for the bands. Tattoo Club regulars Overdrive set the mood with favourites from musicians like Steve Miller, The Doors, Steppenwolf and The Rolling Stones. All the trappings that were needed for a sell-out show came through the hard work of the Tattoo Club members who organised the contestants, the judging, the tattoo booths, the live video for the crowd, and all the hundred and one little details that make a show flourish.

On entering, one of the first people you’d see after the bustling workers would be 77-year-old Fred. He’d agreed with a couple of mates that they’d start getting tattooed once they hit 75, but sadly his mates didn’t quite make it that far. Up to now, Fred’s had 38 tattoos completed and has another two just about ready to go. Not sure whether it was planned that way or not, but Chloe — with an enigmatic smile and her own collection of striking tattoos — who did Fred’s very first tattoo, was also one of the more noticeable people on the day.

Among the familiar Adelaide based tattooists working on site was Joe Faller, a German tattooist currently based in Ireland — Cork to be exact — and speaking near perfect English with a German-Irish accent and a mischievous air that owes more to Ireland than Germany. Having just come back from Ireland myself, and having met a similarly accented German Bandido who lived in Cork for years, meeting Joe was a strange moment… I mean, what are the chances?

Some of the highlights included Marte’s peacock arm and Tom’s weirdly gory medical scene arm job complete with super sexy nurses, deranged doctors and mummified patients. One young bloke had Chief Wiggum from The Simpsons on his leg as the first of the full set of characters that he plans to get. Something I’d never come across before involved good mates Nick and Danny: their pirate themed arms stood as complete works on their own, but also blended into each other when the two of them stood together. A unique and original thought (especially when you consider there are still people who mainly equate tattoos with skulls, wizards, and oriental dragons) and superbly executed by Tattooist of the Show winner Reg.

As sometimes happens when the best work’s on display, you could only admire the way a good tattooist somehow finds extra space on an arm or some other body part to fit in an extravagantly oversized work of art. Somehow or other, you’d see a tattoo that must have been 20 cm across neatly sitting in an area only 15 cm across. And not looking remotely squeezed or cramped! It’s a gift that seems to defy standard laws of physics, and one that only the finest tattooists enjoy.

Typically, tattoo shows don’t attract much attention from the major media outlets. Perhaps as a consequence of such things as the various Anti Association laws different state governments have introduced there’s been a greater interest in the sort of lifestyle Ozbike readers relish. Accordingly, ABC Radio sent one of their reporters along to do an online feature on the day’s events. Considering the shit camera they’d issued him with, Brett did an impressive job and should be welcome at any future tattoo shows.

There haven’t been many tattoo shows in Adelaide over the last year, in fact, right now, I can only think of this one. But even if there’d been half a dozen of them, Skin Deep would still stand out. It’s the fine product of the endless enthusiasm the Club members have for their art, and you know they’re going to keep on arranging it. But only when the time’s right.

Words & pics by Chris Randells

Ponde Sand Drags East vs West

PONDE is the spiritual home of sand drags. Not just for SA, but right across the country.

This is the place where it all started, in 1979, with a 120 metre track the Hells Angels built at the top of their site. People used to hack around on bikes at Ponde all the time and the whole sand drags concept quickly developed a life of its own.

The mighty V8 sand drag bike that Tomo from Hells Angels MC Adelaide built has become emblematic of the whole thing. An enormously powerful bike with a brutal appeal all its own, club members will tell you it was built with two thoughts in mind — one was Tomo’s perpetual quest for greater speed; the other was an idea to promote Ponde at speed shops, etc, although this didn’t entirely work out as there was more fun to be had with it on the track rather than leaving it parked outside somebody else’s business.

As testament to its durability, 20 years on the frame is still the same, although the bike’s had about three different engines so far: initially, a standard Chevy borrowed from one of the members, briefly followed by another borrowed Chevy, and finally the current 400 Chevy with a Crane cam. 

The rear wheel’s increased by 25 percent from 12 to 15 inches, and the exhaust is basically the same as when it was built. There wasn’t a radiator to start off, then club members put one from a little Jap bike under the seat but it proved inadequate for the job and kept boiling all the time. The current, more effective, cooling system involves a locally made radiator up front with a water pump from a Jap bike and an alternator to keep it charged up.

The original front-end was from a 1974 FXE that one of the members had bought new; it was eventually replaced by one with a shocker, and at the moment there’s a FXR front-end. 

Since the initial version was built, members and a few close friends have put in untold hours of planning, adjusting, modifying, rebuilding, experimenting… you get the idea. So there’s been 20 years of steady, incremental progress, and this is still the bike to beat if you’re serious about winning anything in the top category.

Of course, other categories beyond the monstrous Unlimited have a different approach, with some very creative minds hard at work. Darren’s bright yellow quad is a prime example — it started life as a Yamaha YFZ450 but since he massaged a Kawasaki 1000 cc ZX10 into it, it’s now something completely different. There’s a ZX10 wiring loom, an angled radiator and a custom fuel tank; it gets up to 220 km/h, and possibly best of all, it looks right, as though it was a standard factory product over in Tokyo. Darren’s next project is to fit a Ducati 848 into another quad for competitions that allow engines up to 850.

With Ponde being more crowded than it’s been for years, you know there’s a lot of interest in sand drags right now. It’s a combination of factors — the undeniable appeal of the bikes/ trikes/ quads themselves, the pageantry of the event as different clubs come together, and the need for motorcycle enthusiasts to get together as a group in response to the SA Government’s determined and repeated attempts to stamp us all as criminals. At times like this, it’s important that we stick together. Plus, there’s that thrill of getting to Ponde slightly the worse for wear at 8 in the morning and seeing all those late night faces eating BBQ breakfasts, the people you don’t see often enough, and realising again that Ponde’s just somewhere that you want to be both physically and emotionally.

As part of the ongoing rivalry between the states, Club Deroes from WA brought over a couple of hugely impressive bikes, including a monstrous 5.7 litre V8, and Mark from Hells Angels Brisbane had his Nitro bike — both of these won first prizes. Gypsy Jokers from WA were also present with their brothers from Adelaide out in numbers, and the Red Devils worked hard throughout the day, giving wholehearted support. 

Bob from Mannum — one of the first people to get into the sport — was an early casualty when his 650 hp 13B Rotary Series 5 Mazda blew a gearbox. Still, when you’ve been hammering a gearbox for 10 years and you’ve got that much horsepower, something’s gotta give: this time it was the teeth from first gear.

There’s remarkably few accidents at any properly run sand drags. Sure, plenty of mechanical mishaps occur as engines and gearboxes are strained to their limits and beyond, but it’s pretty unusual to see any people get hurt; it just doesn’t seem to happen. 

Maybe this is related to treating people like adults, because although there’s a relaxed air to the place, you don’t see competitors or spectators taking unnecessary risks. There’s a fair degree of access to the pits and plenty of room along the track for those who want to experience it all close up, but nobody seems to push it too far. So all the kids who are there — and there are plenty — learn from an early age how to behave when they’re around potentially dangerous machines.

Hells Angels MC Adelaide have created and nurtured something special at Ponde. It’s evolved over the years, and one member’s comment about his racing style could well apply to Ponde as a whole, not only the sand drags: “Just power on! It looks out of control but it isn’t.”

words & pics by Chris Randells

Veterans MC Federal Chapter Icon Water Tour of Duty Poker Run

THE annual Veterans MC, Federal Chapter, Icon Water Tour of Duty Poker Run was once again upon us. This year was a change of format seeing the start and finish at the Queanbeyan Showground with free onsite camping available for all those who wanted; many of us choosing that option with people arriving from early on the Friday before the event.

Friday night there was a feed, bar open and local band Counterfeit Cash on hand to provide the entertainment. It was a beautiful warm and sunny day and would have been close to perfect to run a Poker Run around the Capital region but the weather gods are funny/evil.

Saturday morning, the VMC members were up early and the first of the punters began arriving around 0730 for the 1000 stands up. Numbers began to swell, even with the forecast of thunderstorms and rain, and by the time the event rolled out of the Showgrounds there were more than 250 punters with around 40 VMC members; and a crew ready to party on the bus following the run for those who did not or could not ride this year.

The first stop was to be Captains Flat and I took up the rear to make sure everyone was trouble free. Unfortunately, I rolled out the gate and some poor bloke had a broken throttle cable about 50 yards from the exit. We moved through town with the outriders doing a great job to get us all safely through Queanbeyan and forming up as a large pack heading to the first stop. The first leg was event-free, and when I pulled up in Captains Flat, the whole town was chockers with bikes lining both sides of the main street and a huge line up getting their cards.

After a beer and a few raffles the pack pulled out of Captains Flat with the next stop being the Royal Hotel in Bungendore. This leg was where those damn weather gods came into play — about half-way to Bungendore the Heavens opened up with some pretty poor visibility in torrential rain and lightning striking off in the distance.

The rain eased for a while but I could see another front heading towards us. We managed to pull into Bungendore just before the next front hit with strong winds, bucketing rain and even some hail; however, we were safely ensconced in the pub by the time it hit.

In the photos you will see a pic of three bikes out the front of the pub with water up to their rear axles. I was speaking to a farmer at the pub and he was loving it. Due to the drought he had been hand-feeding his sheep for more than eight months and this rain was going to help.

The next stop was due to be at the Loaded Dog Hotel in Tarago but rumour was about that part of the road had been washed out so two outriders were sent to investigate while we all had lunch at the Royal. In the end, with the heavy rain continuing to fall, the decision was made to return to Queanbeyan and start the bike show and the after event which was in aid of drought relief.

The ride back was once again in pouring rain with low visibility; and with the exception of one minor bingle (not even the weather’s fault), everyone made it back in one piece.

Final cards were drawn with Andrea, who was actually on the bus this year instead of riding, taking out Best Hand and the $1000 prize.

The bike show was well down on numbers as a lot of people took the opportunity to head off home so the bikes that entered had limited competition but the full prizes were still awarded; thanks to the local motorcycle dealerships for being a part of the event.

Another thing that was impacted by the weather was the numbers at the after-party with Matt Dent, Juggernaut and the Jukes putting on a great show for the hardy party goers who stayed on. I think, however, that the rain that washed out the party was worth far more to the local farmers than the dollars that would have come from the event.

Even with the thunderstorms and heavy rain, the event was a success, and the Veterans MC Federal Chapter was able to provide funding to the Braidwood Education Foundation and The Veterans Lounge at Canberra Hospital as run recipients and will also see the regular donations to the MRA/Salvation Army Blanket Run and Toy Run along with money donated to the Veterans Support Centre at Page.

Once again Veteran and club supporter Shea Jost was on hand with his cameras to take some great shots. Thank you Shea for your ongoing support. I have also pinched a few pictures from Poker Run Winner Andrea; she took some great people shots; and you will see some of my dodgy snaps too.

You will see a picture of our sponsors board; if you can please support these wonderful people and companies; without them we could not put on an event like this.

There are a lot of people from the club involved but particular mention needs to go to Road Captain Spaz and President Bones; well done, gents.

The format for this year was well received and the Queanbeyan Pelarang Regional Council has stated they will continue to support our use of the showgrounds so it is already booked for the weekend of 19/20 October 2019. We thank them for their support. Keep an eye out for the advertising for a bigger and better event for next year, now if we could just get those weather gods on side.

article written by Mork

Patriots Moreton Bay Chapter Roll of the Dice & Bike Show

AS IS OFTEN the case in Queensland, it’s beautiful one day and perfect the next—well on Thursday and Friday, it was pissing down and the members were wondering if the weather would break and it anyone would actually turn up. True to form, the clouds blew away and indeed it was a perfect, 27 degrees, day.

Registration opened at 9.30 am and it started slowly; the President and organisers were starting to get worried. This year there were more prizes, more vendors, more raffle donations, and of course, the club’s expectation to better the donation to Breakaway (the charity that the club sponsors) from the previous year.

At about 10.30 am, the club rooms were encompassed by more than 160 motorcycles and the atmosphere was great. Scattered amongst the traditional black and leather was the stark white uniforms of the Navy Cadets from TS Moreton who would be involved in the Remembrance Ceremony.

The day, of course, ran with military precision. Well almost—some rider took his eye off the traffic in front. Harley verse Commodore rear-end is no even match, luckily at fairly low speed, so a smashed up front-end and a broken ankle and bent ego were the only damage done.

Not to mention the Ride Captain and Secretary overtaking the ‘split pack’ to catch up with the main body and assist with direction, only realising when they arrived at the first stop that no-one was there because they had passed the President and the main pack!

Chucky brought a friend from work, and it was explained to her that the tradition was that you rode home from the last stop topless. Chucky and I had her to the point of acceptance with the uncertain approval of her husband, but then Joe, Chucky’s wife, let her off the hook! (Chucky, you need to have words with that woman).

Part of this run is the Remembrance Service. This year the speeches were done from the back of a ute which was flanked by the Naval Cadets (and we thank them for their participation).

The Moreton Bay Chapter would like to thank all those who attended, who donated prizes or their valuable time to make this another great event. The biggest winners were Breakaway Inc. With contributions from the day, we were able to donate in excess of $2000 to the charity.

Remembrance Poem conducted by Wombat

AT THE going down of the sun,

I crouched in a shallow trench on that hell of exposed beaches.

Steeply rising foothills bare of cover,

A landscape pockmarked with wars inevitable litter.

Piles of stores, equipment, ammunition; 

The weird contortions of death sculptured in Australian flesh.

I saw the going down of the sun on that first ANZAC Day. 

The chaotic maelstrom of Australia’s blooding.

I fought in the frozen mud of the Somme.

In a blazing destroyer exploding on the North Sea.

I fought on the perimeter at Tobruk.

Crashed in the flaming wreckage of a fighter in New Guinea. 

Lived with the dammed in the place cursed with the name Changi.

I was your mate, the kid across the street, the med student at graduation,

The mechanic in the corner garage, the baker who brought your bread,

The gardener who cut your lawn, the clerk who sent your phone bill. 

I was an Army private. A naval commander. An Air Force bombardier. 

No man knows me. 

No name marks my tomb, for I am every Australian serviceman.

I am the Unknown Soldier. 

I died for a cause I held just in the service of my land,

That you and yours may stay in freedom.

I am proud to be Australian.

Pics by Jo; words By Roo & Womat

Odin’s Warriors MC Inverell Tattoo Show

ONCE I HEARD the Odin’s were having a tattoo show, I couldn’t wait to check it out. Me and the missus turned up early to have a few drinks and catch up with some familiar faces before the rush.

As morning turned into lunchtime, the crowd was growing and there was an increasing amount of ink coming through the gate. For their tattoo show, the Odin’s had a good turn-out.

At about 3 pm, it was time to get things started.

The Female Arm section was first and wow! How good are these girls and their tatts! The three judges had their work cut out, let me tell ya. The guys were next and shit! Some of these guys looked like a bloody canvas — so much work and so much colour — fucking unbelievable! So many guys and girls, in so many categories, on stage showing off their tattoos. The contestants just kept coming!

The crowd loved it — the eruption of applause after ever category was amazing. This was turning into a great day of ink display. Even the missus got up and got her thigh out with her locket and ribbon tattoo on it. Nice legs, babe.

After a few hours of ink display, the judges were off to the bar to pick some winners — yeah, good luck, guys. The band started pumping out tunes as everyone waited for the results, and we headed to the bar for a few drinks and a bite to eat.

Half an hour later and the judges were ready. It time to present the winners with their trophies, and by the way the crowed reacted, they got it right. The missus didn’t win but better luck next year, babe.

What a great tattoo show this turned out to be. Great tatts, cold drinks and heaps of food.

Words & pics by Big Jim

Coffin Cheaters MC Bindoon Dirt Drags

THE LIST OF competitors at Bindoon was never ending, all keener than ever to put on a great show and enjoy themselves. These guys put their hearts and souls into their racing, often lending each other parts to ensure everyone remains competitive. Some builders spare no expense; others are built on mateship — mates donating parts, labour and beer to build these great machines for each other. Many at built at home in the shed, to race it down a dirt track, defying all odds, trying to make his creation faster than his competitors.

A lot more Harley-powered bikes are being built for the dirt drags these days. 

Many guys say they enjoy the challenge of getting their power to the ground, that’s why we see all the different tyre tread patterns and tyre combinations.

The battle between man and beast is always in full swing making it a great spectator sport to watch. A few of the bikes were getting sideways and giving their riders an adrenalin rush they will never forget; a couple of unlucky fellas ended up kissing the dirt.

The old rusty jailbird ute owner was busy impressing the crowd with his constant burnouts all day. This guy does it just for the hell of it. Good onya, mate.

Trinity from Picture magazine and the girls from the Voodoo Lounge were always ready to pose with everybody for the cameras.

As usual, the Coffin Cheaters MC put on a great day.

Footnote: Bindoon is normally a great BYO event. Not this year — the cops  put a stop to that — three weeks out from the event and they enforced a law to stop alcohol entering. Even though it’s held on private property, they say it’s a public event. Bullshit, I say. The very next day I was at the Red Bull Air Race in Kings Park and the public was openly drinking in front of the police. Clearly victimisation to the biker fraternity. 

Words & pics by Gazza

Odin’s Warriors MC North Queensland Dirt Drags 2

LET’S START at the beginning. Two Odin’s Warriors, Carl and Dave, flew over to Western Australia to watch the Bindoon Dirt Drags which have been going for 10 years or more by the Coffin Cheaters MC. They were so blown away with what they saw, they decided to stage a similar event back home in the Mackay region. The Sarina Showground was chosen as a venue, permission from the council granted, the track graded, advertising done, and a million other hurdles were jumped over to make the North Queensland dirt drags happen. It was a massive task to undertake and no doubt an expensive one. Just the TV adds alone that ran for weeks before would have cost a fortune up front. The club was so committed to the event they built a V8 bike as well. Unfortunately, Wayne end-for-ended Carl’s new bike in qualifying, was taken away by the ambulance.

What was clearly evident right from the outset was any barriers that might have once existed between motorcycle clubs were gone. Several Gypsy Jokers MC and Coffin Cheaters MC from WA had brought their bikes over to race. They were pitted right beside the Rebels MC, and when they needed a battery charger, a Coffin Cheater loaned them his. The Gladiators MC and Descendants MC were also in attendance. Ozbike is not going to make a big deal of it but it’s worth mentioning that the new guilty by association laws down south are having the opposite effect the police and politicians intended. A lot of egos are being put aside, the club politics are gone, and there’s a new camaraderie developing that appears to be bringing the 1% bike clubs closer together. There was no confrontation, no agro, just a good day out at the races for everyone.

The public poured in by the thousands and witnessed some of the most spectacular bike racing ever seen in the district. Mick Hansen, winner of the 13 King of The Beach races, commented over the microphone that the V8 bikes gave him goose bumps every time they ran. Another local drag racer who has won national trophies and is racing a turbo’ed Hyabusa at Bonneville this year was blown away by the V8 bikes. He couldn’t believe how hard they left the line and how quick they were.

The bikes from WA were truly impressive and the experienced dirt drag racers made it look easy. They would idle up to the line, stage and blast off excavating meters of sand and dirt in a giant rooster tail every time. And there was no backing off if they got out of shape. One bike got sideways as hell, straightened up got the front wheel in the air when it changed into second gear. Then when they got to the other end of the track, there was no idling back. They’d spin the bikes around and blast back again.

Without a doubt the most outrageous bike at the event was Benno’s V8 dirt bike. It was simply unbelievable. To look at the bike in the pits you would swear that it would be impossible to ride the humongous machine. The paddle tire on the back is about two foot wide and the handlebars are above most people’s shoulders. A Kendrick Race Engine, 426 cube, all aluminium V8, fuel injected, roller cammed, metho burning, 900 hp sprint car engine is beautifully engineered by Big Col’s Engineering into the chassis. Also bear in mind that this is no super smooth hot mix ANDRA sanctioned drag strip they’re racing on either. Yet when Benno comes to the start line to stage, the bike looks normal, he sits upright, knees are bent, both feet on the ground, and the bars are like at lower rib height. The bloke is a giant and makes riding the 666 beast look effortless.

The other WA bikes that came over for the meeting mightn’t quite have the ‘fuck me dead’ looks but they were just as quick on the track. Danny’s bike for instance is an ex-ANDRA, six-second, 200 mph, nitro burner with a paddle tire. Jimmy’s V8 with a trick paint job is a small block Chev 400 on nitrous and makes 650 hp. Potter runs a nitrous’ed 100 cube Evo in the pro-modified class and was damn quick.

The most popular class in WA is the Sportster class and this was represented by Shep with his turbo’ed Sportster plus Red on his nitrous’ed 1200 Sportster. The sit-up style V-twins might look small beside the V8 bikes but appearances can be deceiving. They’re nearly as quick as the V8 bikes. In fact, if they get a jump off the line, looked like the V8 bikes had a hard time reeling them in over 200 metres.
The day isn’t just about the ‘dirt bikes from hell’. It was a real family day for many people. One grandma asked if Ozbike could take a photo of her six-year-old grandson on a Pee Wee 50. And when the little tyke fell over coming up to the line, it was a humbling sight to watch a patched club member scoop up the bike and kid and help him on his way.

There were several classes for bikes to race in. Many Moto X bikes turned out and Mick Hansen’s was one of the quickest. The metho burning CR 500 + Honda runs tens at a proper drag strip and won his class.

There were two almost show quality bikes racing in the modified class. Zeke’s S&S polishing Shovel and Dave from Chrome Horse’s rigid Evo raced each other several times and were very evenly matched. Other racers bought their normal daily ridden Harleys out and put on an impressive show.

One surprisingly quick bike was Lucky Kaiser’s 500 cc speedway solo. Only weighs about 80 kilo and made it through several rounds of racing. He got disqualified for jumping the start.

There were many categories for racing and each class had a winner and runner-up trophy. Didn’t matter if you had a four wheeler, trike or buggy, there was a place to race.

For a first attempt the Odin’s Warriors have done themselves proud. They will no doubt have learnt a lot from the initial event and next year’s event will be bigger and better. The WA dirt drag racers have infected a lot of locals here with their monster machines and several 1% club bikes are under construction at the moment.

The WA club members who came over were great ambassadors for the Coffin Cheaters and Gypsy Jokers. They were made welcome by the clubs here and already several local 1% members are booking flights to WA; don’t be surprised if one or two come back with well sorted WA bikes ready to run. One bloke who literally went the extra mile is Benno who spent four days each way towing the trailer to and from WA. Also GKR Transport needs thanking for towing the sea container full of WA bikes to the East Coast and back; the show wouldn’t have been as successful as it was without them.

The winter July weather up here in the Mackay district is generally terrific with clear sunny 22 degree days. Next year, if you’re sick of the freezing cold down south, line your holidays and head on up. The blokes from WA enjoyed themselves so much over here they reckon they’re bringing two semi loads of bikes over to race next year. There’s also talk of holding the same event a week later in Townsville so everyone can get to see these awesome bikes run. Keep watching the upcoming events in Ozbike and when a date is published, lock it in Eddy, mark it on the calendar as a must-not-miss event. Ozbike will definitely be there again.

Words & pics by SS

Veterans MC Fallen Brothers Ride

LIKE most clubs the various chapters of the Veterans MC have Memorial Rides for Fallen Brothers. This year several chapters from around NSW decided to combine these rides and commemorate not only those from the Veterans MC who are no longer with us but also those who gave their lives in service to our country.

On Saturday 15 September, members from Veterans MC Federal, Southern Tablelands, South Coast, Sydney and Central Coast Chapters, all gathered in Goulburn North to ride via Crookwell to Grabben Gullen for an afternoon/evening of catching up, commemorating and knocking back a few bevvies. For most of us the ride to the meet-up point was actually longer than the ride to the pub from Goulburn, but this leg was done with more than 70 bikes.

We were not the only show in town either with the boys in blue passing through on their annual Wall to Wall Remembrance Ride and various others on their way to the Wombat Rally.

It was a fairly warm and clear day but there was a wind around 65 km/h blowing as was evidenced by the large dead tree that came crashing down alongside the road just before we took off from the meet-up point. It was a good ride with a pretty tight formation on some reasonable roads which we made short work of before pulling up at the hall right next door to the Albion Hotel in Grabben Gullen.

Some pitched tents and others like me threw a bed roll down in the hall, all done pretty quickly because there was a beer with my name on it less than 50 yards away.

If you haven’t been there before, Grabben Gullen is a dot on the map but the pub is great. Bike and car clubs are welcome, the staff are friendly, there is pretty good pub fare, and this time of year there were several fires burning to take the chill out of the air. There is also plenty of memorabilia around the walls plus two Triumphs — a Bonneville and a Thruxton — and a couple of pit bikes. The Trumpys are absolutely pristine and well worth the trip.

At 1900 everyone went silent as we all faced west as the Ode was spoken and glasses were raised to the fallen. There was also a special toast for Blacky’s wife who had only passed away this week.

Most kicked on well into the night; I really don’t know how long for as there were still plenty imbibing as I snuck off. I probably should have had a few ports to end as it was pretty cold night with the mercury going to zero and an apparent temperature around minus five. The iced up Ultra seat in the pictures is mine taken at about 0800 just before we wandered back to the pub for some hot coffee and breakfast.

After breakfast the chapters said their goodbyes and headed back to their homes. Everyone I spoke to agreed it was a great idea and there is a better than even chance this was the Inaugural of what will be an annual event in NSW. I certainly hope so.

Mork, VFFV.

Life And Death MC Gatton Tattoo Show

IT IS always great to visit the Glamorgan Vale Hotel. Rusty’s bar is always busy and serves up a great cold beer and good tucker; this year the food was supplied by the RSL from Lowood. People kept turning with their families waiting for the tattoo show which was scheduled for early afternoon. By the time it started, there were more than 300 people there. The guys from Life And Death MC manned the table for hours getting the tattoos signed in to their categories.

Many bring their swag and a small tent to make a good weekend of it. They enjoy having a few beers with their mates and then partying hard after the tattoo show is finished. The bands ring out well into the night at Rusty’s and by the time the tattoo show is on the way, a few had had a few too many beers.

Many new tattoos were on show here today. I’ve got to say it was easy being there to take photos and getting to see some fantastic tattoos up close. One that took my eye was a young blonde lass, her chest adored with a fantastic and very hot tattoo of a pair of guns among roses. That would have been my pick.

It takes about two hours to judge all the different entries. There is Best Leg, Best Arm, Best Back, and so on. A few guys had their club patches tattooed on their backs, and you can see many hours of work everywhere, so many different tattoos, it’s mind boggling to remember them all.

Some of the girls adored their bodies with back, arm, leg and butt tattoos, and they like to show off their art like the guys do.

Soon it was time to give out the prizes. The trophies were great—Best Overall was a neat looking gothic sword; other prizes included dragons and fairies—which many were so happy to win.

Thanks to the guys from the Life And Death MC for organising a fantastic day. A great tattoo show.

Words & pics by Jules at Top Gun

Mareeba Workers Club Bike Show

I’LL be honest, I did have somewhat of a preconceived idea of what a bike show being held in the far flung tropics might look like, particularly one that was held in a small town 70 clicks outside of Cairns. Seems I got that wrong in the best way possible.

I was accompanied by long time mate and full time Kiwi Grant Thornbury who had not ridden these parts so I took him via the long way to show him the sights—rolling through Cairns, along the coast road to Port Douglas and in through Mt Malloy, halting only at Mt Malloy pub for a quick thirst quencher, then through to the Mareeba township itself. I highly recommend anyone coming up this way to take a spin along this route. The only down-side was seeing a fellow rider taken out by a fuckwit tourist in a Brits van along the coast road. Not sure who you are, mate, but if you’re reading this, I hope you are feeling better. The roadside drama aside, it’s not a long journey by any means but a great ride nonetheless.

We rolled through the gates at the Mareeba Workers Club and the event was well and truly underway with some razor-sharp-looking entries already being presented.

The show really started in the carpark area outside, with the venue looking somewhat under siege by hundreds of different breeds of motorcycles. Sort of like a motorcycle version of Custer’s Last Stand with the Workers Club building at the epicentre of the action. The odd Indian parked up around the fence-line helped pad that analogy out too, I guess.

Keenly supported, there seemed to be a prize category for everyone, with generous prizes coupled with some great looking trophies to boot.

The band kicked off with some crunchy tunes as more bike entries rolled in at a steady pace with numbers swelling by the minute, it seemed, only adding to the already fantastic fuckwit-free environment.

The Mareeba Bike Show has plenty of support by patrons and sponsors. Running an event is a lot of hard work, running an event and making it successful is tougher, but running an event and making it successful for many years is true dedication with the right formula brewed by all those involved. Dips of my lid to all who made it a great event.

article submitted by Pyro in Cairns

VVMC West Queensland Chapter Casper Memorial Poker Run

WITH THE prospect of a 500 km plus day in the saddle, and some of Queensland’s most unpredictable weather in history, there was an abundance of crossed fingers from both the organisers and ourselves as we headed out onto the Bruce Highway for the 170 km trek to the departure point at the old Cooyar Hotel. We made great time and arrived just in time for the doors to open for a cold beer and the ride briefing. All were asked to take it easy, keep the pack fairly tight and enjoy the day. Too easy!

At 10.30 am sharp and we were on the bikes and headed for the first stop of the day, the Grand Old Crow Hotel, at, where else, Crows Nest.

The roads this way are awesome and can only be appreciated fully from the seat of a motorcycle. The 100-or-so pack stayed together and sat at a moderate pace which worked well as we sped up alongside a few of the riders and Jo snapped off a few ride shots.

In no time flat we rolled into Crows Nest and parked up in the pub’s drive-through area which had been reserved for bike parking only; good foresight by the organisers as a huge carnival was on in town and every man and his dog had crowded into town to check out the festivities.

I must have missed the five minute call as I washed down the dregs of my third beer. I was casually making my way out the back of the pub to find the elusive dunny as the bikes were leaving the parking lot which caught a few of us unaware. This resulted in a flurry of helmets, gloves and sunnys, a loud roar as the bikes fired into life, and a painfully slow 60 km/h ride to the edge of town under the ever watchful eye of the highway patrol car that cruised around menacingly during our brief stop at the pub.

Once we were out on the open road again, it was on the gas and a mad dash to try and catch up to the pack. We hooked up with the riders as they started the decent of the Hampton Range. Here we got to kick back for a while and enjoy the scenery. After two weeks of solid rain the countryside was greened up nicely and the ride was very picturesque to say the least.

At about the half-way point, I remembered my full bladder, and trying as much as I could to think of other things, I finally succumbed to nature’s call and pulled into a clearing to bleed the lizard. Of course I wasn’t the only one, and within seconds we had the company of about 20 other riding companions, including the back-up vehicle, pulled over in the same clearing to help me poison the Lantana. Note to all Ozbikers: We need to come up with a hand signal for poker runs to let other riders know that a piss stop is required and to carry on with the scheduled ride regardless. This will help eliminate any delays, confusion and embarrassment for the pisser and his (or her) good hearted fellow riders.

The Club Hotel at Esk was the next port of call and the lunch stop. Sausages on bread with onions and sauce was the meal (nice and simple) and a welcome beer to wash it all down. I won’t mention my poker hand at the time but the missus was looking like she was in with a good chance.

The next stop was Harlin; we opted to ride straight on to Yarraman which was the last stop before returning to Cooyar. This served us well— first spot at the bar, an ideal photo opportunity as the bikes rolled in off the highway, and to make sure I watered the horses before the pub toilet got packed by the run-goers.

The trip back to Cooyar was very subdued, due to heads-up from a couple of the locals that the boys-in-blue had planned a couple of impromptu welcoming committees along the last leg of the run. I turned out that the cops had bigger fish to fry and we made it to the final stop unhindered.

Time for a few beers, relax and enjoy the afternoon. The poker hands were drawn (didn’t do any good there!) and the monster raffles were drawn with some great prizes on offer.

Food was available, and for $15, the mixed grill was a meal fit for a king. The outside bar was up and running by 6.30 pm, and Zak and Duffy, the two man band known as Jester, had the place rocking as the stayers partied on into the night.

The whole day went off without a hitch and all those who took part had an absolute ball.

The VVMC West Queensland Chapter would like to thank all their valued sponsors, the Cooyar Hotel, Wazza and the members of the Brothers In Arms MMSC, and to all the riders who took part on the day. Our thanks go to Ike and his brothers from the VVMC West for the invite, their kind hospitality and a great day out on the bike.              

Pics by Jo; words by Chuck U Farley.

Rotary & Ulysses Clubs Wodonga Show & Shine Bike Spectacular

THE VENUE for the Show & Shine Bike Spectacular had changed to a larger area on the causeway of the Gateway Lakes to accommodate the added interest from all and sundry. Col, the mover and shaker from Rotary Wodonga, had passed the organising baton to George who wisely had enlisted the aid of Albury-Wodonga Ulysses Club to help out. The popularity of this event was making it bigger than Ben Hur.

George also had the Ulysses panel judge the bike categories—smart move, not an enviable task at the best of times.

More than 1300 punters reportedly passed through the gate not counting the curtain climbers as they were free. More than 170 bikes were on display in 20 categories. Trophies by the score, a memorabilia auction, loudest bike competition, and more than 24 trade stalls kept everyone entertained throughout the day.

There were many and varied bikes on display from near and far with some entries coming from 300 km south in Melbourne.

The real beauty of these events is to check out the old bikes and catch up with mates from ‘days of yore’. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time to reminisce and check out all the gleaming bikes.

Some really nice custom Harleys this year to challenge the judges mettle. A couple of rigids, one a very neat and tidy Shovel Sporty with a springer front-end; another an acid-flashback Shovel extended rigid complete with ‘way out there’ front-end, metal flake paintwork and scroll engraving on the engine—whoa baby!

Heath had his Genny Shovel there—beautifully rebuilt with apes and flaming skull paintwork. Fitting really as the bike used to belong to Shane who had to bail out on a ride when the bike caught fire beneath him!

Then there were the classics and vintage bikes—that are not often before the public gaze—meticulously restored and polished to within an inch of their lives. 

Spud was there with a brace of Indians in fine fettle—one of which he had just completed a ride to Darwin. In fact, there were Indians everywhere. General Custer would have been having nightmares! Neil had his ’44 model with sidecar, an ex-police bike that he inherited from his old man. It was completely original and unrestored—a terrific looking machine. His daughter has her eyes on it now.

Then there was a 1965 Sporty, ex-military police, again completely original and unrestored with panniers still intact.

Beats me how these bikes have survived unmolested!

In the past this event has raised more than $11,000 towards Kidney Research. This year all funds raised, approximately $5000, will be split between Childhood Cancer Research and the Ulysses fundraiser, Arthritis Research.

Article submitted by Stewie from Albury

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