Bathurst Easter 1980

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The Easter weekend each year was a bit of an annual bike trip for a lot of the boys living in and around Cohuna. For a small town in country Victoria a lot of locals around my generation for whatever reason ended up riding motorcycles. Most of these guys are still riding today even though some of them don't live in Cohuna any more, but they still stay in touch with the one's that do.

So when the Easter weekend would come round we would head off to Bathurst in New South Wales for the motorcycle racing that was held at the Mount Panorama circuit. Cohuna to Bathurst was about 760km.

This trip in 1980 was my first as the year before I wrote my first Z1R off about a month before the Easter weekend. The Z1R in the photo was it's replacement.



The trip would generally start Thursday night before the Easter weekend and most of the group left for Bathurst on that night. In 1980 I was living and working in Melbourne so on Thursday night I rode from Melbourne to Cohuna. As most of the boys had already left it wasn't until the next day that the remaining four bikes headed off, me included. The first night on the road was spent under the stars in a rest area on the side of the Murray Valley Hwy. Saturday morning we continued on to Bathurst, NSW arriving early evening. Saturday night on the mountain at Bathurst could sometimes get a little bit out of control. This didn't help with the trip home as we got a lot of attention from the local establishment due to the events that happened at Bathurst that weekend. Their opinion was that all bikies were the same.



      The first night on this trip was when I became an official "Chock Beater", I think I might need to explain. Simpleminded people in the world who would often assumed that if you rode a motorcycle with the group of mates you were a gang. This was just a group of mates that had a common interest in bikes and it was a form of a social escape so someone came up with the name as a joke. On this night my Scunge, more explaining might be needed. Your Scunge is the sleeveless denim jacket that you wore over your leather jacket. This never got removed and was never washed unless it rained when you were out on a ride. So in order to become a "Chock Beater" your Scunge got the treatment. There was no patch involved on the back of your Scunge, this was just done as part of the joke of being a so-called bike gang.      

The afternoon of Good Friday. the remaining four bikes are just about to head off to Bathurst. This photo was taken at Colin Kidds better known as "Kitty" parents house.


The boys decided as I was about to take this photo to block out my bike parked behind them. From the left you have Michael, Ray, Les and Chris. The Moto Guzzi was Ray's.


Saturday morning getting ready to hit the road after another night in a superb 5-star establishment. This was a rest area on the side on the Murray Valley Hwy, only the best will do.


Crossing the border into NSW on one of the many bridges that cross the Murray River. The lead bike was Kitty's Rickman frame with a Honda 750 motor.


Saturday afternoon and some minor adjustments needed to the Rickman. The headlight was blown and as it was a sealed unit. The old one was smashed out and a new one taped in.


This was the our campsite up on the mount. As you can see nothing but the best. The bike out front is Trevor's Honda CB750. Custom paint job and a Walker 4 into 1.


Mount Panorama racing circuit. This photo was taken at the end of Skyline heading into The Dipper. The track didn't have the run off it has today.


Checking out the damage from the previous night on Sunday morning. The word was that this car hit a bike. Not all bikers are law-abiding citizens, hey I was shocked when I heard this too.


Sunday afternoon pulling down the campsite and packing the bikes. Getting ready for the ride home. My Z1R is all packed and ready to go.


Fuel stop along the way heading home. We left the track Sunday afternoon and rode for a few hours and spent another night on the side of the road. Easter Monday we continued on home.

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