ALREADY the campsite was a sea of tents, bikes and party-goers doing their best to take shelter from the harsh midday sun. It seemed that an air of calm and relaxation had settled in as the crowd readied themselves for what was to be a huge night of fun and celebrations.
The first familiar face we saw was that of the new publican at the Maidenwell Hotel. Spud offered us a warm welcome, and after a couple of refreshing ales in the public bar, it was time to make our way to the adjoining sports-field to set up our respective campsites. With the ritualistic cursing, sweating and “For fuck’s sake! We’re only here for one fuckin’ night!” remarks, our temporary Ozbike headquarters were established and we were ready for the one-minute walk back up to the pub so as we could do the responsible thing and replenish our lost fluids.
All the old faces from last year were there, and as usual, the Sunstate Riders bent over backward to make us more than welcome.
The first event for the day was the Show and Shine. All the rally-goers were urged to enter their bikes/trikes in the several different categories and give themselves a chance at picking up some of the many converted awards and a place in Pickled Galah history.
Once again, the unenviable task of judging was left up to me, and with the help of my faithful partners in crime, Dangerous Dave and Steve from Ink-Blitz Tattooing, we worked our way through the large display of machines to come to our final decisions. A few stand-outs and eventual winners were: Leon’s twin turbo trike (as featured in Ozbike #326); a Can-Am Spyder three-wheeler which looked like something Batman would have designed if he was on Crack; and best Rat-Bike which went to the two young fellas who rode around all arvo on their little Chinese cheapie and kept the crowd cooled down via the use of a massive water pistol. Good on ya guys.
As the afternoon progressed, other events were held. The Slow Race was livened up a bit by some bloke who decided to race a couple of bikes with a wheelie-bin and brought one of the riders down in spectacular fashion. Shit! Someone had to do something to liven things up! ‘Slow’ and ‘Race’ are usually two words I don’t use in the same sentence!
The Helmet Toss had a few onlookers diving for cover after a couple of the tossers were a little off target when it came time to have their go at hurling these so called safety devices as far as they could.
Young and old were invited to join in on the events, including the Toilet Roll Race, and of course, the now infamous Bike Jousting. This event provided an amount of carnage and laughter. Well done to all who participated on the day.
As the sun started to set, tucker was served in the form of some Jurassic spit roasts that had been steadily cooking away all arvo; and with dinner out of the way, it was time for the trophy presentations. A stack of trophies on offer, a lot of smiling faces later, and all the official duties were out of the way. Time to party!
The band for the night was the Kentucky Bandits. These young blokes did a great job of entertaining the crowd and had a swag of partiers up and dancing in no time.
In-between one of the bands sets, it was time to send the little kiddies to bed and I begrudgingly accepted the offer of hosting the wet-T-shirt competition. Seven lovelies came to the front of the stage to show the crowd their wares, and with the assistance of Dangerous Dave (the iced water application technician), and the aged old method of crowd response, we eventually came up with a worthy recipient for the cash prizes proudly donated by Harry’s Custom Bikeworks. Ahh, it’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it!
More music, partying and dancing followed and before we knew it was 11.30 pm; time to announce the winner of the Pickled Galah award. Shorty took out the big one and he gladly accepted the award with a huge grin and a set of eyes on him that looked as if he’d just ridden 50 miles through a sandstorm with no goggles on.
Midnight hit and the party seemed to move up a couple of cogs with the band rockin’ away, the usual hugs, kisses and impromptu fireworks displays.
My thanks go to the Sunstate Riders for putting on a great party and making us welcome.
Pics by Jo; words by Chuck U Farley