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A day at the Rally

By Wom Battle
Category: Rides

At 4.10am this morning I was startled by some serious thudding noises and recall thinking WTFace? Realising I was in a paddock next to the Racing Track at Mornington I soon worked out that horse training started very early, given the sun wasn't supposed to come up until 7am or so.  As an early riser generally, and being forced to think the little sleep I had had was over.

I crawled out of the tent, well got the rest of my body out of it, my feet had been outside it most of the night and discovered that the track was lit up, everywhere around it was black and a heavy dew had fallen overnight so the recently slashed grass was wringing wet.  Lovely!

With a few hours until breakfast was served I was at a loss for what to do so I ratted through my bike and bags until I had found enough gear and clothes to shower and put today's outfit on.  The grounds we were camped on weren't usually used for camping so the showers were washing enabled versions of portable toilets.  There was a screened area set up in front of them for the modest among the attendees and at that time of the day I was the only person in sight.  The shower was surprisingly warm the only issue encountered was that the shower cubicles relied on natural light filtering through the roof and it was pitch black outside and the doors could not be propped open. 

That said, after the rain, then the heat, then the partying of yesterday and last night I was keen to get freshened up as I was unlikely to get back here until tomorrow morning.

So cleaned up by 5am, still no-one about I made my way up to the common area of the Rally, the betting ring, and was thankful I had my iPad with me.  Luckily (or maybe sadly) after a couple of days away from the office there was work for me to do.  About an hour later early birds started arriving getting breakfast set up and thankfully about 6.30am a coffee van arrived and with a double shot down I was happy but soon followed it up with another.

After breakfast there were two local rides to go on and Heffy and I had committed the previous evening to take a couple of passengers on the shorter of the two, the Ladies of Harley ride up to Arthurs Seat, a lookout in the nearby mountains. There were about 30 riders and route took us the long way around the hills to the lookout, the alternative was a very windy stretch up the face of the mountain that was considered unnecessarily challenging for a group this size.

At the lookout there was a fantastic cafe and we settled in for a coffee, chatting and a raffle.  Two groups were formed for the trip back, one to return the way we came, the other )that included Heffy and I and our passengers) were up for a kamakazi run down the mountain.  The road captain of the ride led, with me immediately behind, Heffy behind me and another 7 or so following.  Wow! What fun tricky and very tight bends and pushing hard (within the speed limit of course).  The leader of the group had her Harley-Davidson almost sideways a couple of times on purpose and I could hear the squeals, whoops and holler's of Heffy's passenger from behind.

My passenger at one point said "What was that" to which I replied, "Just the bottom of the bike hitting the road, don't worry about it"  While I'm not sure if my advice was followed the post ride debrief was clearly very positive about the fun level experienced.

Then came lunch, good takeaway food, and the afternoon was spend both participating and watching the riding skill and other event that formed the competitive part of the Rally.  Heffy displayed a particular talent for catching water bombs as a pillion passenger while I rode around on grass.  Sadly we didn't win, but we didn't get we either.

The night consisted of a great meal, a very decent band and access to as much gin and tonic as I could cope with.  Then it was back to the smallest tent in the world hoping that horses don't train on Sunday.


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July 2020