PRIOR TO THE Rockers Ride I’d only ridden a Postie bike with no clutch. I decided not to take the Postie bike because it’s not fast enough; I wouldn’t be able to keep up with everyone. Instead, I borrowed my dad’s Royal Enfield, a 500 cc single with a chrome tank, but more importantly, it has a hand clutch which I hadn’t used before.
Must admit, I was having second thoughts on the morning of the ride, not having ridden with a lot of other bikes before, and my experience with the hand clutch was non-existent. Nonetheless, I used a couple of cable ties to attach my L plate to the Royal Enfield and off I went.
When I turned up at the meeting place in Camperdown there were old classic bikes everywhere. I loved looking at all the old bikes and hearing about all the problems with them. It was pretty exciting to be around lots of people with such a common interest. I was pretty proud of the Royal Enfield too; it fitted right in. There were some interesting, run down, old scooters there as well.
I hadn’t seen the rockers style before, the way they dressed—the goggles, short helmets, leather jackets and hair. That whole 1960’s café racer style was neat. I wouldn’t do the hair myself though.
I left a bit earlier than the rest of the run so I didn’t get into any trouble riding through the crowds. I was still apprehensive about the clutch when I took off but I didn’t have too many problems; only stalled it once at a set of traffic lights.
I rode along the Princess Highway into the Royal National Park and around the snaking corners for the first time on the Royal Enfield. The first couple of corners were a bit scary, although it felt good having the extra power then I was used to on the Postie bike.
I rode down the mountain and pulled over for the first stop at Bald Hill which overlooked the ocean. There were lots of cool bikes pulling up. I walked around to look at the bikes and talk to their owners.
I then followed the coast road down to Austinmer Beach and turned into a local pub carpark which was packed; I even had trouble finding a park. There were about 200 bikes, maybe more, I reckon. They took over the pub. We hung out there for a while.
Eventually we left and headed back to Sydney. I enjoyed it more and more as I got used to the bike. As I flew past a couple of scooters, I was glad I didn’t bring the Postie bike.
It was still early afternoon when I crossed the Tempe Bridge and followed a couple of other bikes into the Newtown Jets Club where they had a Show & Shine bike show with even more old bikes I hadn’t seen on the ride.
I parked the Royal Enfield and wandered into the club to listed to the rockabilly band, Dragstrip Riot, and watch the rockers dancing rockabilly style. It was all pretty cool. Other rockabilly and Mod bands followed.
I enjoyed the day and I recommend it. I’ll be back next Rockers Ride, although I still won’t be doing the rockers hairstyle.
Words by Giulian; photos by various members of the Ton Up Boys.