Duk-tales: Iron Horse Run 2015 – Day 9 – March 1, 2015
Day of Thunder!
It is the day I enjoy most at any State or National Rally, The Thunder Run is the pinnacle of the event where we ride as one big membership and show the locals what we enjoy. The folks love it too, showing their support by lining the streets. Hailed as the biggest HOG National Rally ever held in Australia with 2320 or so bikes registered I figured this one was a monster waiting to roar. Up at sparrows fart (well 7am’ s early enough) for the Thunder run muster to find an absolute mass of bikes were placed in alphabetical formation with Alice placing our 2 bikes in a 24 bike bay. The troops were gathered for the group photos but first chapters were trying to get individual chapter pics done. Being me I took the opportunity to increase our chapter exposure by photo bombing 3 chapters with the Alice Chapter flag in their backgrounds. Adelaide, Central Coast NSW and Darwin. Alice was alphabetically placed close to the front which was a blessing as the 2 of us might have got lost down the back. At 9am the first chapters rumbled out, somehow the Marshal forgot that AL comes before BI and he let the Big Sky Chapter go ahead of Sparks & Me right after Albury. That didn’t’ matter though coz we were proud as to be there flying the Red Centre Colours. The public response was unbelievable, the roads were lined from start to finish from the outskirts to Peel St in the City Centre where thousands gathered to the farmlands where little clusters parked under shady trees.
All along the route little wide eyed boys & shy little girls waved the endless stream of Chrome & Leather passing through Currabubula to Quirindi where another mass of townsfolk came out to see. Many wanting a palm slap just to feel like they were a part of the event. After the U-turn around a roundabout at Quirindi it took some 10k’s to cross paths with all the chapters still following. Just mind boggling. From here the weather turned nasty as the rumbling of the motors beckoned the rain from the skies and it poured down. I had taken the wind shield off the Heritage for show but now felt the sting of icy rain on my face and arms. A few bikes pulled over to hunt for their rain gear in the panniers but we were already wet so what the hell, Ride On. I was absolutely amazed that there were parents & kids staying in the rain to get another glimpse all the way back. Onya Tamworth.
With just the Show & Shine and a few Demos to round off the day the venue closed at 4pm. Last few drinks at the rally shared with AWOL, a follower of the Alice Chapter since coming to out 2010 State Rally who runs Destiny Farm Wildlife Park in the Riverland near Loxton SA. The after party at the Longyard Hotel finished the event as it started, with Jack Daniels and a crowd of mates. It was a hoot, however all our efforts over the weekend to win the leather jacket ticketed with every can of JD & Coke were in vain and our surprise of the evening was a freak storm blew most of tent city to the shithouse and we came home to Sparks’s wet swag and saturated floor & clothes. My gear was ok (funny that) on account of my window flap was left down. Bedding was damp, but ok. Baz and Ales had reported only a bottom full of water & wet gear so could sleep. It became a long night while trying to find some dry mattresses and blankets in vacant tents. A good number had blown down completely. Bills’ tent (his own personal dome of delight) was 2 inches under water, he toddled off to sleep in the coffee tent/marquee and Sparks who’d kept him company for a time rolled into bed hammered on HOG 3 Bourbon to assist with their sleeping predicament. Good Times..