Royal Enfield Club of Australia Winter Rally 2016

Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend – Gundagai  NSW.


Trip Report by Craig Katen and Jon Hinton


We all travelled independently to Gundagai with people coming from Victoria, Sydney, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands and ACT.

The Trip

Some of the NSW group (not on Enfields by the way) left on Friday for a more adventurous route via Nowra, Nerriga, Tarago, Bungendore and stayed overnight in Yass. The bulk of us left on Saturday. The Blue Mountains group travelled by Ute via the Central West to Cootamundra and rode from there. Stewart rode from Bowral as Terry trailered the Penguin which was their accommodation for the weekend. Due to predicted inclement weather ( and lack of space on the bike for winter clothing) Jenny and I also chose the comfortable option of trailering my bike there, which turned out to be an added bonus in the end as a second recovery vehicle. Since we arrived fresh at lunchtime Jenny and I decided to do a quick ride to the “almost” ghost town of Junee where it was difficult to get a hamburger at 2pm on a Saturday arvo!.

Excerpt  Part 1 from Jon Hinton’s Report  

From the Victorian side to the other side.,,,,Or: On the Road to Gundagai

The members going from Victoria to Gundagai from Melbourne initially had a few drop outs due to relocations and changed circumstance. On the day all we could muster for the ride up were 3 of us who had crossed the Nullarbor together.

Tim, Sir Anthony and I arranged to meet at Kalkallo just north of Melbourne on the Hume. We arranged to meet at about 9 O’clock, knowing that Sir Anthony wouldn’t show up ‘till sometime later in the day. As Tim & I waited around and got a coffee, filled up with petrol, watched the clouds roll in and wondered if this was the Kalkallo that Anthony had suggested, or whether there was another one.

I asked at the service station and the young lady there told me that “No, this is the only Kalkallo”, and so we waited a bit more.

The rain has now started.

Tim & I put on our waterproofs and waited. We watched a group of about a dozen old Holden’s meet up, and leave – maybe on their way to Winton for a fun day.

After a while we heard the noise of an Electra pulling into the servo. Here he was.

Apparently the rain had caused him to pull over and put his camouflage gear on. Probably not the safest way to travel through the woodlands alongside the Hume!!

Once refuelled we headed off north in the rain and trucks and what seemed like the rest of Melbourne leaving town. I had worked out a route that took us away from the Hume and over to Mansfield and Benalla to add a corner into the mix.

We turned off at Tallarook, and it was getting pretty cold and staying wet. I lent Sir Anthony a pair of silk liner gloves for his gauntlets and we moved on, but he was still pretty cold. Tim and I were faring better wearing ‘proper’ motorcycling gear with better insulation, even though Ant had about 7 layers on. On to Trawool and the Goulbourn Valley Hwy. A fair amount is limited to 80kph due to previous accidents, and that may have been good for a wet day. However we couldn’t get rid of the traffic heading to the High Country.

Yea was full – hardly a parking space to be found, and we got rid of a few of the cars as they paused for a break.

It was still damp, and very cold; but at least the heavy rain had finished. We motored on to Mansfield where we stopped for lunch. We found a great bakery which served a good coffee and thawed out. Anthony was feeling pretty worn out by the cold, but he was persuaded to carry on.  By this time Charles was concerned that we would take the High Country route and I must admit that I had also begun to think that the destination was more important than the journey on this occasion.

We left town to head up towards Benalla. The original plan was to head across country parallel to the Hume and catch it up around Wangaratta, but we needed fuel at some time, so we headed into Benalla proper and refuelled. We had a quick discussion and all felt that we should just travel on the Hume and get to Gundagai. Our arrival time was working out to be around dusk as it was; never a good time to be riding in bad weather.

The country around here is spectacular – more so in summer – and a great area to ride in if you’re on the back roads. When on the Hume you just wear your tyre square.

The rest of the ride was now completed as a fairly straightforward run in the now dry and cool conditions. We arrived at the Criterion to meet up with all the other members that had found the bar.

The Arrival

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After our ride to Junee  Jenny and I headed to the Criterion Hotel for the Meet & Greet. We caught up with the NSW guys that had arrived earlier and Charles and Owen from Victoria and Leon from ACT.

Others who braved the weather like Anthony,  John and Tim, Paul and Sue, Alastair, Roger and Narelle on the ” Monster Outfit” and the Lyons’ , turned up a short time after the rest of us for a well earned drink.

We then proceeded en masse to The Family Hotel for dinner which was just across the road.

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We awoke to a cold and foggy Sunday morning in Gundagai. The ride was scheduled for 10am start which we were thankful of since the temps were below zero overnight which frosted our seats.

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Sheridan St on a cold Sunday morning Luckily we weren’t scheduled to depart until 10am.


Ian’s top box was frosty

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Alastair’s BMW and my Enfield also copped the frost


The Ride

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We assembled across from the Criterion Hotel at around 930am.

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Our route was a loop south from Gundagai to Tumut then to Coolac for lunch and then north to Muttama and back down to Gundagai thru Burra Creek.


We headed off for the trip to Tumut and a about half way thru we we behind Stewart and Terry who we following Roger and Narelle on their Harley outfit when suddenly an “object” flew of the sidecar and hit the road and bounced up over Stewarts head,  Initially I though OMG Narelle has dropped her camera as on trips she spends more time looking backwards taking photos than facing the correct direction ! When it landed in front of us I realised it was an indicator as it hit the road and sent a spray of orange plastic into the air. It luckily bounced over the ARMCO and disappeared down the embankment. The sheer power of the Harley must have ripped it off.

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Morning tea was at Tumut where Mick a friend of Jenny’s  who has a motel in Adelong came to meet us and have a cuppa. If we ever decide to hold a rally there we now have accomodation.

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Jenny and I heading off from Tumut

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Just out of tumut we came across some cows and bulls on the road, one of which took a liking to Stewarts bike and decided to take a closer look which scared Jenny and I for a second time


Mark concentrating on his line

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Mike “Ponch” Floyd on his Californian “Highway Patrol”

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Lunch was the Beehive Hotel at Coolac where the hamburgers are as big as your head

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Just near the red ute in the photo on the right Mike spotted an echidna

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The Hinton boys

The Museum


It was then back to Gundagai where Charles had arranged for the Gundagai Historical Museum to stay open late for us to check out an eclectic mix of old homewares, newspaper articles, books, photographs, office equipment and a shed full of both rustic and rusty farm equipment.


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We also discovered Ian’s secret weapon and marvelled at how people communicated back in Ye Olde days

The Presentation

Sunday’s dinner and presentation was held at Gundagai Services Club


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They provided the club with our own section us being rowdy biker types !

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Mark Reynolds won best UCE

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Charles Todd – Best British

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Ian Lyons – Best Electra

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Ian also received an appreciation award for enduring such a long trip and for services as Tail End Charlie which he valiantly offered to do and noted that it’s the only time you’d see him at the back of the pack.

He was in slow-mode due to a rattle in the engine which he guessed is a cracked skirt on his piston. Jokes were forthcoming that he always seems to be  “piston broke” !

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John Wright – Best Iron Barrell

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Anthony Wright finally won something  – Most Distance Travelled – or did he ? 😉

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We thought there was some nice looking wine on offer from Charles however he gave it to Owen Bentley as some sort of bribe presumably to help fix his bike!

The Town

Such a nice part of the world where things haven’t changed too much

Click on the photos for larger images

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There was a truck show in Gundagai on the same weekend, not sure what the Ariel was doing

The Return

Monday morning Jenny and I went for another walk thru town, we caught up with Jon, Tim and Anthony at the Bushranger Cafe and then waited for the Lyons’ whom we had arranged to have breakfast with.

As we sat outside in the sun it was interesting to watch people from the club coming and going from their various abodes, meeting for breaky, strolling thru town, or refueling their bikes before making their way home.

Melissa, Kevin and Ian turned up and we as we ate we discussed the fate of Ian’s “Baby” who had an upset in the internal organs. Eventually he relented and we put her on the trailer next to mine bound for Campbelltown.

Speaking of upsets in the internal organs……

Excerpt  Part 2 from Jon Hinton’s Report  

From the Victorian side to the other side.,,,,Or: On the Road to Gundagai

On the return trip to Melbourne we left Gundagai on a cold and frosty morning. The plan was to leave at 9 O’clock again, and Sir Anthony called me at about 8am to ask if I was coming out for breakfast. I was impressed. He was up and running.

Tim & I joined him for breakfast to find that while he was no longer in his pyjamas he hadn’t got much further – still needing to pack and refuel his bike.  Oh well……..

After brekky the clouds and the mist cleared to leave us with a lovely winter’s day ride. We saw a number of the Club leaving with their bikes to travel back from whence they came as we waited for Sir Anthony to be ready.

We made the decision to travel back the shorter way, and stick to the Hume Hwy. My bike had started to make some interesting ‘clacking’ noises that I thought the hydraulic lifters were making. I had tried to track it down by ‘listening’ with a screwdriver and they seemed to be at the top of the motor and at all parts of the cycle.

By sticking to the Hwy we would save about ~150 kms from the planned alternative.

So off we pottered and we were quite happy to be travelling along at about 100kph. The noises seemed to have abated and all was going well.

Until we neared Wangaratta.

Then there was a loud ‘clatter, clatter – bang’ and my back tyre locked up just as I had overtaken a car, and my companions were catching me up. A quick dive to the side of the road as I pulled in the clutch lever allowed me to coast to a stop with a much seized engine. The kick start lever felt welded to the block.  It was obvious I was going no further on two wheels, so I invoked the “Recover My Ride” clause, and waited 2 hrs on the side of the road before being picked up and taken home on a flat bed truck.

The other two had left me to my own devices and so were home just 2 hours ahead of me, having had an uneventful ride home.

Thanks again to Charles Todd and Anthony Wright for organising such a great event

Thanks to Narelle and Jenny for the photos

Thanks to Jon Hinton for the “Victorian Perspective”