Girder Fork Rally

Every year, well nearly every year, we missed 2014 as I was still having radiation treatment, we go to the Girder Fork Rally in Cooma. What is a girder fork you ask? I can’t really explain, except to say, that is what most old bikes built up to 1930’s had on the front end. Google it and you will get the picture.

AJS 350

My 1928 AJS has a girder fork and not much else. One cylinder, one spark plug, a magneto and three gears (hand change). No lights, not much brakes and the only suspension is in the seat. She’s a wee ripper, nothing to go wrong and not much does.

To start it, you retard the spark, ‘tickle’ the carby i.e. flood it, then kick it and it usually goes first time, or second. I sound pretty cool huh?

So on this weekend we just cruise around the Monaro plains and stop somewhere for morning tea and then for lunch and look at what snow is left on the mountains, then go for dinner on Saturday night and do it again on Sunday, then go home. Great weekend!

Grandpa’s Douglas kept going all weekend as well, so nothing to do in the shed when we get home.


Vintage motorcycle rally

We set off on a chilly Saturday morning in winter to go riding our vintage motorbikes for the weekend. The Debenham Winter rally was sadly lacking Eric this year. A rascally personality like his is missed after all these years of racing and riding.

The usual culprits turned up with bikes new and old. Our camping companion had a good supply of firewood but we had remembered to bring some as well so that we were not too cold on a clear frosty night in Moss Vale.

It is so good to ride off on a completely different bike, hand gear change and no suspension or brakes to speak of, but that’s OK as you’re not going too fast. Puttering along at a leisurely pace gives you a chance to check out the scenery as you go. It is just as well you don’t go too fast because the roads around there are pretty rough. The only suspension is in the springs of the seat and that is a weird sensation having the seat bouncing but the bike not bouncing.


Socialising is the main purpose of the weekend, that and checking out everyone else’s bikes. Morning tea and lunch are also big events. Sunday’s run seemed like a mystery tour, travelling around and around the Southern Highlands and ending up back where we started. It is one of my favourite weekends of the year. I feel very competent starting my little AJS, if I stall it, which always happens at intersections or traffic lights as it doesn’t have the right carburettor on it, I just have to flood it then retard the spark and kick and away I go! It is just a lovely old bike and looks like it. Grandpa had fun on the Douglas and it went all weekend. Fabulous times.