December 2020 Midnight Ride

Pics of yours or other interesting bikes taken out and about. Reports of Choppers Australia rides, with lots of photos and great stories. If you are not confident writing up a story, email Prof & get some help... choppers are all about riding, so let's hear your stories.
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Prof
Founder, Choppers Australia
Posts: 6038
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:54 pm
Location: Willunga, South Australia
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December 2020 Midnight Ride

Post by Prof »

With nicer weather and the Muster over, I announced our last Midnight Ride for the year. Did the usual call around and most of the regulars were working away, had their machines off the road or had family commitments or in the case of two blokes, need their eyes to be seen to due to poor night vision. A couple of the new members were also unable to make it, so I figured it might be a small affair.

I've explained Midnight Rides some time back, but about time to repeat the reasoning for them. Friday and Saturday nights in the late 60's early 70's usually found us young bikers meeting somewhere after work or tea. Those showing up would be the regulars and any new acquaintances made during the week or picked up at servos and traffic lights along the way. After the usual biker bull session an initial destination would be chosen and off a bunch of bikes would blast. Initially it was often Hindley Street but then some idiots trying to be dirty mean bikers like they saw on the movies got the police upset and we met at Glenelg and elsewhere.

After the initial gathering myself and a small bunch of mates and hangers on would head off again around the suburbs; Outer Harbor, Torrens Island, Elizabeth, Mt Lofty, Murray Bridge etc In those days there were lots of little lanes, pedestrian bridges over creeks and a few fire trails to the east. Follow the leader also often ensued with all sorts of shenanegans, u turns, wrong way up one way streets and you name it... just all good fun. Cops rarely bothered us, but front brake switches were disconnected and tail lights given a separate switch so we could duck into a driveway while the fuzz flew by.

We kept away from the bikies who got into more serious antics with the resultant bookings and high speed accidents. We just had a good time. We'd usually drop into a few favourite coffee shops of which there were many and around midnight/1am roll into the street by the Pancake Kitchen which was one of the few eating establishments open 24 hours... and a cool place it was any time of the day.

Then finally each riding peeling off from the group for home.

When I started Choppers Australia, most of this spirit had been lost and after a trial Midnight Ride got rave comments, we made it a frequent good weather thing... the main difference being a midweek night to keep away from the modern heavy traffic on weekends and the greater police presence. Plus we usually finish a bit earlier and are a little more law abiding!

Over the years our Midnight Rides numbers have fluctuated from 2 to 18, but every ride is different and at the end each participant whether we have had a big or small group have had a good time.

Last night was no different even though it was on the bottom end of numbers. I was especially saddened as I was getting ready to leave. Rilda has always come on all our rides, but due to illness can no longer ride on the chopper. I love having her with me, but now have to go it alone. This night as I was saying goodbye she had tears in her eyes saying , "I wish I could come". But she encourages me to take every chance to ride and I appreciate her for that.

Meeting to be a Villies at 8pm. I had to deliver some new stainless slugs to a customer in the western suburbs, so left home a bit early and cruised into the city. Traffic was light down the Southern Expressway and I just enjoyed the roar of the open pipes, breeze buffetting me past my small screen and the slight vibrations of the motor. Weather was cool but pleasant. Yeah man. Just in the wind, relishing the feeling of isolation from the world and the chance to have a clear head...

Found my customer's address. He is into Z1's...
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And rides his evo when his wife wants to join him...
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Couldn't get him in the picture, but he insisted I take pics of his bikes. Time to go and I took off for Villies. Villies has a carpark to the East and a smaller park to the west where we usually pull up. I was 5 minutes late and seeing no one in the west park idled on and U turned in front of the East park. No choppers there. Three sports bikes were parked out front, but didn't look like ours so I pulled up in front aware of the stares of the three owners watching through the window. Check phone and then sit back on the chopper to see who will roll in. Funny if it is just me tonight.

Ten minutes later Peter K9's iron head makes its presence known at the end of the street... well two of us anyway!

Pete's bike is dripping oil out of the rear and we crawl around on the tarmac looking for its source, to no avail...

Twenty minutes pass and time to make a move. Peter wants some CA patches off Ken. A call and yes he is home, expecting a call from work re an early morning (and I mean early) start, but is happy for us to drop by. He is way out to the north east, so off we go...
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Pete chooses the route with me alternately following, two abreast where safe and sometimes getting ahead depending on the traffic...
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Cruising up Hamstead Road we feel rather hemmed in by two semis and accelerating past see a bright light falling in the sky in front of us then just disappearing. Hmm! No idea what it is.

Bridge Road is not well lit and we rumble down much of its length, finally finding our turn off with some difficulty, though it does get easier each time. Think I have it worked out now. Had to U turn last time...
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A good time is had with Ken. Pete gets his patches. Out chatting covering some interesting topics goes long and pleasantly...
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11.30 and time to shove off. Pete's bike leaves no uncertainty as to its presence and Ken just has to get a pic!...
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Once back on the street, my stomach leaves me in no doubt that it did not appreciate missing out on tea. It demands pancakes!!! So I pull over and tell Pete I will be heading into the Pancake Kitchen. He needs to get home for a reasonably early rise to drive his bus. We part company near Scotties Motel and alone now I am pretty much the main road's sole occupant. Streets are dark until I turn into lower Rundle Street. It is well lit and a small crowd is still residing in a couple of the out door eating areas...
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My anticipation heightens as I turn off King William Street into the little alley leading to the Pancake Kitchen. Woah! Windows are dark. Drat! Place is closed, only open 24 hours on weekends. Well. I guess it will have to be Villies again. Only life in Hindley Street is a patrol car's occupants chatting a couple of pedestrians and a couple of security guards outside clubs and other disreputable establishments.

Ride on down to Villies. Oooh! They have pancakes! Finally come, but not too good. Hot chocolate is great though. It is with some amusement mixed with disappointment that I observe a young couple nearby who for the whole 20 minutes I am there are glued to their mobiles and I doubt spoke more than three very short sentences to each other. So sad. I feel like telling them to chuck their phones out the door and actually talk to each other.

Mount up on my trusty chopper, fire her up and we are back in the groove, for a relaxed and somewhat cool ride home. Express way is closed, so I have a great blast up Tapleys and then steady cruising home. Paul's truck is partly dismantled and it is quite a job to wriggle my big machine past all this and into the workshop.

Another ride over. Peter and Ken really enjoyed the evening as did I so all good. What will the next one bring?
Chopit'nrideit... Prof
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