Each year my partner’s motorcycle club and their associated Scooter Club get together at Brighton and ride through Melbourne to Kustom Lane Gallery in Hawthorn.
All money raised goes to Ozchild, an Australian organisation that provides care and support for disadvantaged children and families.
So, we were up at 6am to leave at 7 to get to Healesville for an 8am start.
About 20 of the local club members met at a Petrol Station in Healesville for the first leg.
There were a few old school cafe racers, along with a number of not so old Triumphs, Harleys and a Victory or 2.
From Healesville we headed to Heathmont to meet up with about twice as many riders and their bikes. More cafes, some Harleys, Triumphs and even a side car.
Heading from the (comparatively) quiet country roads into the outskirts of Melbourne was a bit of a shock. More traffic and multi lane highways makes for a more anxious pillion.
Being early on a Sunday morning the traffic wasn’t too bad and we were lucky enough to see quite a few car enthusiasts on the road. Some nice vintage, classic and collectible cars on the road, heading out of town.
From Heathmont the large convoy headed towards Brighton.
Riding through some gorgeous suburbs, the people watching was fantastic.
Little kids holding their parents’ hands waving at the ‘parade’ of bikes.
Older people gazing over their fences torn being admiration of the bikes and a little fear of all the guys in black leather.
As got closer to Brighton the houses were more expensive, the roads cleaner and the spectators slightly more concerned. We took a bit of a scenic tour to the Esplanade (re-grouping) and discovered the home of the cyclists. They did not look overly impressed.
A quick u-turn and we were back on track to the Brighton Sea Baths.
We arrived to find some early arrivals had beaten us to the prime parking positions, but we quickly took over the remainder of the parks, the central paths and a few surrounding areas. The latte sippers in the cafe were quite excited by the entertainment.
Until they tried to move their cars.
After we parked I headed straight into the ladies – 2.5 hours on a bike and the dreaded helmet hair issues. Lucky I brought a hat along.
As seems to be the tradition with Mods and Rockers runs the weather was threatening for most of the morning. High humidity with big grey clouds had some of us (with a long ride home) dreading a drenching. Luckily the rain pretty much held off.
The festivities at Brighton included a lot of posturing, much bike envy and the obligatory Mods vs Rockers Tug-o-War challenge.
Due to a scheduling clash, the Tug of War moved from the standard beach location to the grassy knoll. The sloping ground gave a definite advantage to the team playing downhill.
The men’s event was first.
The amazingly fit and toned Rockers team were downhill from the not-as-weedy as expected Mods team. The Rockers won the first contest in an outstanding display of teamwork. The teams changed ends and the Mods evened the score.
Following a coin toss, the winning Rockers team chose the downhill end.
After a hard-fought match the rockers emerged victorious.
The ladies competition followed soon after.
As in the men’s competition the Rockers ladies started downhill, winning the first pull.
After the change of ends the Mods took the second contest.
The decider (Rockers downhill) was close-run, with the Rockettes just managing to win (no assistance from the crowd at all….)
With most of the morning’s activities complete, the last of bike drooling and Brighton baiting was finalised and we jumped back on the bikes for the run to Hawthorn.
A lot of very loud bikes (and some friendly police officers) stopped the traffic on the esplanade and we headed off.
Another ride through affluent suburbs and more intrigued spectators.
We arrived at the gallery, no sooner had my helmet come off than I headed straight for the shops on Glenferrie Rd.
(I am assured that the rest of the event was a success).
Did my standard wander along the shopping strip, checking out a lot of stores, knowing that I could only buy what I could carry on the bike.
A sushi lunch was first, followed by a top up of Haighs, then a chai at Starbucks.
You would think I would have learned my lesson in Vancouver.
Starbucks chai was slightly better than the ones I had in Canada, but only slightly.
Next time it will be straight to a boutique cafe, no more chains. (Although Villa and Hut do a very nice Vanilla Chai).
Having had my fill of food, drink and shopping I headed back to the gallery just in time for the end of the raffle and the start of the Mod Band – Loonee Tunes.
Great band, loved their music.
Headed home – 2 hour ride, very sore butt by the time we arrived home around 5.30pm.
Long day, early night.