The Bigga V Plate Overnight Event
3rd and 4th December 2011

The Riders:
Harley Davidson WLS
Ian Brock
Vincent Comet
Geoff Williams
Ducati GT750
Honda 350/4
Lorraine Litster
Triumph T150V
Ian Duvall
Yamaha XT500
Max Fielding
BMW R100
Lou Baljak
Yamaha XS1.1
Dave Walter
Backup Vehicle & trailer

...some photos can be seen HERE

Once upon a time (over seven years ago) I used to organise overnight runs for VVC classic bikes, & so they were. I took my Velocette of several of these events & I remember Ann Toet riding her very underpowered 350 Triumph 3TA. Gradually however people would bring modern bikes on these runs & so my Velo was replaced by my Trident on such events so that I could keep ahead of the pack, until all the bikes were modern, even mine:(my far from trusty K75 BMW Bulldozer.)

Well it was high time that we turned back the clock & so I organised this 'V plate only' overnight run to the isolated & little known town of Bigga, which is in the hills 60Km NW of Crookwell. Nine riders met at the Spanish Club on a lovely sunny morning, together with Dave Walter who had his brand new truck & the club trailer in tow. (We never took a backup vehicle all those years ago).

I had decided to make a full day of it so 275Km were planned taking Sutton Road then Bungendore road to Murrumbateman: hence to Yass & Bowning, Binalong, Boorowa & Crookwell: with the final leg to Bigga. Nothing too strenuous was planned with lots of stops. However we didn't quite plan on so many!

It all began to go awry when my T150V started to misfire & run on two cylinders (again). I had been chasing this fault for a while & had replaced all three condensers. I had test ridden the machine the previous day for over 20 miles & I was confident it was right to go (I was mistaken). So, somewhat frustrated I diverted into Yass & bought an ignition condenser. The miserable git charged me $26 for this piece of obsolete gear, just because he could see I needed it!

At our morning tea stop, the Rollonin in Bowning I set to jury-rigging this condenser into the circuit, with help. I even tripped over a table & sent teapot & cups flying. It was not my day. I set off again but only rode a couple of miles before I was back to two cylinders. I limped on to Binalong but there I gave in & put it on the trailer. This was a first for me & I was much ashamed.

On we rode to Boorowa, with all the other bikes running perfectly: then to lunch in the Boorowa Hotel. They do a very good value lunch by the way. Spirits were high (except mine) when we rode off on the long leg to Crookwell. This is lovely riding, & not good truck passenger country. Ian Duvall lost his numberplate, Lou picked it up. The XT breaks plates with regularity Ian said. The Vincent Comet was running like a train & causing great interest wherever we stopped, as it should!

We had afternoon tea at the top pub in Crookwell before the last 55Km to Bigga, nothing more would go wrong? Wrong! We stopped at the wonderful lookout at the top of the range & as we left the Harley was seen weaving violently. Col had suffered a rapid rear wheel puncture. We tried the finelec but no joy: it was a big hole for sure. So off the trailer came the Triumph & on went the Harley & I rode the sick T150 the rest of the way to Bigga, where we were soon settled into the Federal Hotel & having beer-o-clock.

After my 1st beer I decided to have another go at the T150: with all the others, beer in hand looking on in considerable mirth. I decided that if I connected the condenser straight across the errant arcing points it would fix the problem. With a Yamaha component from Ian this did the trick, until the wire broke off in Geoff's hand: argh ...defeat snatched from the jaws of victory!! But no, the very expensive Yass item was cobbled into the circuit & the whole points case covered in duct tape & IT RAN.

This left the Harley to fix. Denise our hostess at the pub found a fellow in the village with tyre levers & a tube & all looked good. With such good news we sat down to a delicious roast beef dinner followed by apple & apricot pie with strong appetites. The rest of the evening was most amicable & more beer was drunk before bed time. Lou was billeted with Dave, but Lou's snoring was so bad Dave was forced to sleep on a sofa on the verandah: I could hear the din through the solid brick wall!

On Sunday morning there was a brief shower but then sunshine. We all set off for walks around the village & very pretty it was. This led us back to a full cooked breakfast cooked by Denise & her team. All this was $55 a head! After breakfast it was the Harley's turn for the spanners & soon the wheel was off & the tube was out. It was a Czech 'Barum item in red rubber of unknown vintage. It had a 1cm split on the inside. No wonder finelec did nothing for it. The new tube was installed & by 1030 we were ready to ride on, with an empty trailer. Ian had left earlier for his country block nearby.

Fuel was short however & Lou spluttered to a halt on the hill down into Crookwell & rolled into the garage. I think the T150 was almost dry too. But with full tanks again we rode on to the Old Hume Café in Gunning for lunch. Tables were set for us out the back but several riders & the ute failed to arrive. Bad news, the Harley had lost a vital part of its carburettor & was back on the trailer. Col rode in with Natalie on her Honda 350/4. This is a delightful machine, by far the smallest bike on the run but not outpaced at all.

A pleasant lunch in the afternoon sunshine followed before our last leg to the Gundaroo pub. Here we said our goodbyes over a beer & we collected our gear from Dave's ute. We had enjoyed a most enjoyable two days riding with a bit of breakdown drama (or is that amusement?). Dave's ute & trailer was a godsend & I am personally very grateful to him for his offer to act as back-up. I had an email the next day from Max who declared that he had "most enjoyed the trip-especially the breakdowns!" And the Triumph?: After pondering the fault all the way home; with a cool head & no roadside pressure; I fixed it with a short shunt in a little over 5 minutes after my arrival home. Dhhh!

Lorraine Litster
12 December 2011


...some photos can be seen HERE