Charity Bike Run


Wet-film shots with a 1950s Leica, 50mm lens and stitched together with Photoshop as a panorama, NSW 2011

The Charity Travelogue and more:

After the restoration, I planned to ride the finished Motorcycle on a Charity Bike Run through Australia, with or without an ‘escort’.

Since I have now relocated to the UK, things now look marginally different, of course!! I will still be doing a Charity run and any riders who wish to take part are very welcome (especially if on ‘appropriate’ machines), as long as they are sponsored! Joining and leaving along the way will be encouraged at specific locations, sponsorship pledge forms will be available on this site and certificates of mileage covered will have to be arranged as the project develops, as will the organisation of the ride as an event.

The first trip was originally planned from Adelaide to the east, along the south coast to Melbourne, up to Sydney and to the National Motorcycle Museum in NSW, with maybe a stop in Canberra along the way. The more the merrier, as all funds raised will go to a yet-to-be-announced Charity, Foundation or non-profit-making Organisation (suggestions encouraged).

I still expect something like a 3.000 km-ride each way… but the location will now be ‘Europe’ in a broader sense… Probably through France, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Poland, ending somewhere in the Ukraine… Not yet decided where, but it looks like being Vinnitsya.

Still looking a bit ambitious at the moment (especially in view of the fact that the bike is not yet finished, yet alone tried and tested!) and very much depending on support and the performance of the bike on the way ‘in’, the return journey might be up through Russia to St Petersburg and back along the northern coastal route to traverse as many countries as possible on the way back…

Apart from the raising of donations to the named Charity, the ride is intended to publicise the finished multimedia-book, some of the advertisers that have been attracted, like Museums along the way and parts suppliers Clubs etc., and to generally waken a few people to the sound and sight of these fabulous machines, which should never disappear from our hearts. There are, unfortunately, far too many young men, women and children who have never been exposed to the thrill of these bikes in the flesh, and I intend to do my bit to change the world, ‘one bike at a time’. Suggestions for stops and places that you may wish to have included along the way will be gratefully taken on board, as I shall be using the tour to take photographs (with a suitably vintage camera and wet-film, of course!) and to make a follow-up travelogue-style book, the proceeds from the sale of which will also go to the charity picked for the ride.

This process will repeat itself: The first bike being restored is a Velocette MSS mostly from 1948 as the chances of getting a push-rod engine repaired ‘in the wild’, should it be necessary…the second restoration I’m planning to do will probably be something from the late fifties with a swingarm and perhaps a bigger bike with more cylinders (Triumph T110?), the third I would like to do is a nineteen-twenties bike (BSA/AJS? Still not decided…)…each era presenting different challenges in the restoration, repair, running and obtaining parts for the bikes. After those books, there is still room for at least two more, one on the building/restoration of a classic ‘private’ Racer (Norton ES2/BSA B33/Ariel Red Hunter?) i.e. ‘affordable’, maybe a hill-climber… and another on building a pre-65 Trials bike (Ariel NH, BSA B40/Triumph Tiger Cub?). I also want to prove that it is fun, doesn’t have to cost a fortune, that anyone with a bit of interest in the subject can start to do it without too much by way of mechanical knowledge (yet!) and to help others to (re-)discover just how pleasurable an experience it can be to all and sundry!

Update on this is visible in the blog, I now have sold the rather lovely MAC and bought a ratty KSS Velocette in bits for the first restoration, which should be fun, and fitting the MSS engine to that!!

© Peter Gouws, 2012

Made on a mac