Bendigo Black Swan Hotel Visit, 29 Oct

The October Sunday ride was to Bendigo to view the motorcycles that Dr Dugal James has on display at the Black Swan Hotel on High Street. The visit to the Black Swan was organised by the Bendigo Historic Motorcycle Club (BHMCC), with an invite extended to CMCCV members.

The starting point for the ride was the Magpie & Swamp Hotel in Wandong, not a usual starting point for a Club ride. So unusual was the start point that Gary (McKechnie) did a ‘recce’ on Saturday morning to ensure he had the location right – just the wrong day hey Gary!

By the 9:30 start time, 15 bikes that included two pillions were ready to head off for a coffee stop at Heathcote and to link up with a few other Club members. Being on a tight timeline to get to Bendigo by 11:30, I thought I’d set a ‘cracking’ (but legal) pace over to the Northern Highway to head north to Heathcote through Kilmore and Pyalong. Appears though the Commando was ‘cracking’ along a bit too much for some as the word was passed on to me at Heathcote to lower the RPMs.

At Gaffney’s Bakery in Heathcote we met up with Ian (Snadden), Graham (Boulter), Peter (Keage) and Vince (Rogers), who was in his Lotus with his mate Dez (Heaney) as ‘pillion.’ After coffee and a bite, we headed off to Bendigo at a more sedate pace via Axedale, arriving at the Black Swan Hotel right on 11:30.

There was already a good gathering of BHMCC members, and their bikes parked on the forecourt in front of the hotel. Following the BHMCC lead, we parked up on the forecourt, including Vince in his Lotus! On arrival we were met by many BHMCC members, including President Rex Jones.

Inside the Black Swan Hotel, a few dozen plus motorcycles were on display across two floors of the building. The walls are adorned with historic motorcycle pictures and accompanying information. The display consists of mostly Indian, Harley Davidson and Ducati machines. For me, the standout was a Harley Davidson hill climber that had a rear sprocket close to two feet in diameter! There was a large picture of this machine in action from its heyday, where the rider had the bike in the air past the vertical point, that is past the point of no return for a safe landing.

After having a good look at the motorcycles, a lunch of pizza at the hotel was enjoyed, before we started the return ride back home. Just as we were donning our gear, Geelong members Stan (Rogers) and Ron with Trish (Study) as pillion made an appearance (must be still on non-daylight savings time down at Sleepy Hollow).

From Bendigo, the ride went south to Sutton Grange, east along the Sutton Grange-Redesdale road to Redesdale, then through to Mia Mia before jumping on the Mia Mia-Lancefield road to Lancefield. These roads are great quiet country roads for motorcycle riding, but like all country roads there is a need to be ever vigilant for potholes. I heard an expression recently that “country people don’t drive on the left of the road, rather they drive on what’s left of the road”. This definitely applies to a couple of sections of the Mia Mia-Lancefield Road.

At Lancefield we had a short break after spending just over an hour on the bikes since leaving Bendigo. Whilst at Lancefield, Vince was generous enough to offer me a drive of his Lotus, which Snads joined me as ‘pillion’, that is after he folded himself in half to be able to get into the Lotus.

From Lancefield, the ride went to the end point at Wallan via Romsey. All in all, it was a great day out and riding conditions were perfect with temperatures in the mid-20s under sunny skies. The ride was well attended with 18 bikes and one car. It was also great to see a few members on the ride who hadn’t been on one for a while.

Thanks to the BHMCC for the invite and to Peter (Hansen) for doing TEC duties for the day.

Cheers,

Jimmy Linton

 

Participants

Rider Bike Year
Jimmy Linton Norton Commando 850 1973 (Ride Leader)
Scott Oldfield BMW R90S 1975
Vince Rogers & Dez Heaney (G) Lotus (car) 1975
Ron Sordello Yamaha XS 750 Special 1979
Graham Boulter Honda CB900 1981
John & Vicki Best BMW R80 1986
Ian Snadden Yamaha FJ1200 1990
Jim Cameron Yamaha XJ900 1998
Peter Keage Motto Guzzi Californian 2002
Tim Burton BMW GS1200 2008
Paul Clayton Honda VFR800 2014
Arthur Hampson Triumph T120 2016
David & Mez McLennan Triumph Thruxton S 2016
Laurie John DMW F800GT 2016
Peter Hansen Triumph Street Twin 2017 (TEC)
Gary McKechnie Royal Enfield Interceptor 2019
Richard Duncan Triumph Tiger 900 2021
Brian Mapleback Triumph RS765 2021
Paul Beukelman Harley Davidson Lowrider 2023