THIS year the event was run over a full weekend. Beginning on Friday evening, the members held their fortnightly social sips event at the Queanbeyan Showgrounds for a catch-up with friends and supporters. The members and partners had been at the grounds all day preparing for the event, and with many camping for the weekend, it was a nice, quiet catch-up prior to the big weekend ahead.
Saturday morning, gates opened at 0700 for breakfast and coffee with registrations and first card from 0800 and stands up to be at 1000 following a brief from Bones and the Road Captain Spaz. All went to plan for the 200 participants of the Poker Run, just a bit of a delay getting out the gate. Those who were there know all about it and it did not put a damper on the rest of the day; enough said.
Senator Jacqui Lambie had joined the VMC for the run and was enjoying herself with the crowd and hitching a ride on President Bones’ bike. The Senator was there to enjoy the day with fellow veterans as Jacqui and did not want a fuss made; onya Jacqui.
The first leg of the run was through Queanbeyan, a bit of country road and a bit of highway to the Bushranger Hotel at Collector for the second card, raffles, catch-up with mates, make new ones and a lemonade. It was a good vibe.
The second leg started off on a brief stretch of dodgy road with no issues for anyone there. It was a very windy day which presented a bit of a challenge but not like the storm that erupted on the second leg of 2018. Everyone rode on to Yass where card three, raffles, lunch and more catch-up at the Soldiers Club.
After lunch the outrider and event security group headed off early to refuel (that wind was taking its toll) and move into position. A large group of participants saw the early group head off and join them. This was going to be an issue as at Murrumbateman the outrider and security groups were going to be splitting up. Storm in a teacup, the security group simply pulled over at the turnoff and waved the rest of the participants onwards to Gundaroo, some refreshment and card four.
The final leg was back to the Queanbeyan Showgrounds, the final card and seeing how you fared. Only one bike ended up on the recovery trailer and there were no incidents on the 235 km run.
Cards checked and tallied with Vietnam Veteran and retired member of VMC South Coast, Bilge, the winner of the $1000 best hand. He celebrated that win well into the night.
Time for the after party — local musos Matt Dent and Juggernaut were back this year rocking the crowd as only they can. This year the VMC brought in Aussie Rock Legend Swanee backed up by local act Beats Working to headline the show. The cold wind brought numbers down but those who were there enjoyed all the bands and Swanee singing all the hits that made him a household name as a solo act and with the Partyboys.
Sunday morning, we all woke up to a beautiful day, light winds, blue skies and sunshine. It was going to be a cracker for the Inaugural Tour of Duty Truck & Bike Show. This event was promoted as a community event with entry via a gold coin donation and the people showed up in droves. There was a huge display of trucks with some pretty sweet bikes as well.
It was a great way to spend a Sunday morning/afternoon, wandering around checking out some pretty fine machinery that the owners put a lot of effort into. Check out the pictures, you will see what I mean with some pretty happy owners getting presented their trophies and prize money.
Best Overall Bike and People’s Choice were won by Denise on her pride and joy Boulevard, Pink Bits. If you live in this part of New South Wales you have probably bumped into Denise somewhere on the road. This is a bike that is ridden far and often.
This is first year trucks have been a part of the show; some awesome machinery on show. I hate cleaning my bikes so I can’t imagine the effort to goes into polishing those rigs for the show. There was a heap of categories and thanks to the Terry and Joel from TJS Transport for driving this (see what I did there).
So where is the money that we raised going because, after all, this is a charity fundraising event? This year the major beneficiary of profits from the run, show and events will be the homeless bus that is being built by the Queanbeyan Pelarang Regional Council. Due to be delivered in April 2020, the Veterans MC Federal Chapter are very proud to be supporting this great initiative with a sizeable donation to be announced officially in the near future. The chapter will also continue supporting our regular Veteran and Community charities. In fact we will increase our charitable donations by 57 percent this year.
Thank you once again to fellow Veteran Shea Jost of Photos by Shea for the continued support and taking the photos over the two days of our event. There are quite literally a truckload; check them out on our website; there is a pretty good chance you will see yourself or your bike.
Normally the event is run solely by club members. Due to the size this year, wives, partners, family and friends offered up their help. Thank you to all of them, we could not have done it without you.
Thank you to the continued support of the Queanbeyan Pelarang Regional Council. Thank you to Icon Water for once again taking up naming rights sponsorship.
Thank you to all of the sponsors and vendors who make this event what it is. We will once again thank everyone through our Facebook Page. If you are in the region please support these businesses; they are local and the money stays in our region.
MORK, Sgt at Arms, VMC Federal