RETURNING FROM Queensland, I hardly had time to change my undies (thinking of it, maybe I didn’t) and I was on my way to the Wombat Rally. You will remember last year I had a great time despite not having the opportunity to taste the local wombats. I was told they are a protected species. This year, on the way to the rally, I stopped at a road-side fruit store to pick up some supplies as I was determined not to go hungry again.
Also, as I was running low on money, I had to forego my usual 750 ml bottle of rum for a mini bottle that looked like it was made in Lilliput.
Instead of going through Yass, I picked up the Cowra road after Bathurst as it is one of my favourite stretches of bitumen. However, I was starting to worry I was on the wrong road as I hadn’t see any bikes heading the same way. Approaching Young, I was sure I’d fucked up the date (which wouldn’t be the first time — Ed) and was in self pity as I pulled into the first petrol station.
There was a lady watching my unhappy face. “Can I help you with anything?” she asked.
“How far is to Wombat?” I whispered, expecting her to burst into uncontrollable laughter.
Instead her face beamed, “No more than 20 km, mate. There are already hundreds of bikes on the main street!”
I felt instant relief and thanked her like she had just saved my life.
Arriving to the camping area, I saw logs for the bonfire stocked so high I had trouble looking up without displacing my vertebras despite Skol saying I don’t have a spine.
“A mother of all bonfires,” I said to myself.
I started setting up my tent. Last year I had left half of it in the bushes but I couldn’t find any of it; they were probably already in other people’s tents. I decided not to get upset by such a small detail and proceeded to erect the tent in the record time of four hours — and I was still sober!
Now it was time to take some pics and to start enjoying myself despite the drastic reduction of my rum supply — and before long I was having a jolly good time as everyone else was.
The numbers were up this year, and talking to the organisers, Bikers Australia, they estimated more than 1000 heads were at the rally. According to Mouse, who has been to every Wombat Rally, this was the best yet (and her opinion didn’t have anything to do with the fact that she cleaned up most of the prizes) so with a clean conscience, as Sadam would say, I took her word for it and decided it was the mother of all gymkhanas too.
But wait — there’s more! The burnout was definitely the mother of all burnouts! The Jap bikes were leading the competition until Stork’s V8 came on the scene. Then everything paled to its performance. It took me a while to find my camera despite I was still holding it in my hands.
Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention young Luis The Skyrider (I nicknamed him after watching the jumps) who was riding his bike up in the air. Well, Louis, at 18-years-old, you showed the crowd what it means to have balls of steel.
That night we were dancing to the tunes of the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and some country music, provided by The Culprits who were aspiring successfully for the title of the mother of all cover bands.
By now my Lilliput bottle of rum was long time dried out and I was drinking whatever my dancing partners had in their hands. I suppose they had many hands as I found myself in my tent in a pleasant state of mind.
Early the next morning I awoke thinking something was amiss when I realised I was cold. I decided it was too late to find my sleeping bag.
There were some early birds already queuing at the food barn. I joined the ranks for a coffee and bacon and eggs bread roll. Then I dissembled my tent leaving some parts behind. They will come in handy next year even if they change their shape and colour (and will be attached to other tents).
Did I tell you it was the mother of all Wombats? Fuck! Has anyone seen my bong?
Words & pics by George