Well, I’m a bit tired and a little sore this morning after completing a 530km round trip to Canberra yesterday to attend a mate’s 50th birthday celebrations last night. Happy 50th, Shrewd Dude!
Up early and on the road through the highlands mist and cold. By the time I got to Wakefield Park, the temperature was 8 degrees, BIG props to the handful of riders who toughed it out at the track day, it must have felt like below zero there with the wind chill and the lack of warmth in leathers put together. It was good to catch up with ace photographer, Ray Oxford and also an old CRRC mate, Anti, who I last saw over 30 years ago. What a surprise that was.
From WP it was on to Canberra down the Braidwood Road and on to Dave’s place, otherwise known as the 4th Dimension. Dave is the guru of all things early Kawasaki and his garages, yes, I said GARAGES, reflect his passion. An amazing place which I plan to explore in more detail when I have more time. Suffice it to say that I am even more satisfied than I was before that I have left the rebuild of the Shadowfax’s engine in the best of hands.
On to Rick’s place, armed with the Shadowfax photo album, where he cleared up lots of details about the build and also identified some people in the various pictures. He also clarified just who it was who rode the bike, unregistered and uninsured, with no lights or legal running gear through the night to get it to scrutineering on the Saturday morning at Oran Park in March 1981. My lips, however, are sealed as to the identity of this brave soul.
Some more visiting to a few old friends’ houses and then an ultra-pleasant rest of the afternoon spent at Al’s place, admiring his bike collection (Ducati 748, 1981 Ducati Pantah with a hot rod 750cc engine), Ducati TT F2 replica in the stages of restoration, 1981 Honda CR250 and a vintage Jawa-engined short circuit slider). Sheesh! Al runs his own business doing stripes, graphics and signs for cars, bikes and shops, if you need some top quality work done, contact him, New Eagle Stripes, Graphics and Signs. Top workmanship! (email@example.com) I’ve known Al since 1976 and have no hesitation recommending his work. While I was there we went through his sticker collection (yeah, I know) and we found some fabulous stuff, including some CRRC stickers from back in the day. But he didn’t have one of the original 1977 ones. So he sat down at the computer, and, using the later ones and a tiny image of the original one on a photo of the Shadowfax, he lovingly and perfectly recreated the original Canberra Road Racing Club sticker! He then printed out 16 copies of it so I now have some “genuine” CRRC stickers for when the restoration of the Shadowfax is complete.
Later we tootled to a club in town where we celebrated his 50th birthday. I caught up with Paul Campbell my excellent spray painter (Redback RacePaint) and his lovely partner, Raelene, Axel Martinsen of Axel’s bike shop in Phillip, and several other characters from way back then who I am proud to call my friends.
I headed off about 10 and got home at 0030, tired but very happy. I completed my longest drive since the accident, had a great day and completed a “proof of concept” that I would be able to drive to Melbourne for the Kenny Blake commemoration on Thursday. Look out.
As I said, what a day!