Words: Jock Davidson | Photos: Jock Davidson
Vinduro means Vintage Enduro. In simple terms, it’s a mob of dirt bike enthusiasts punting around an enduro loop on vintage dirt bikes. Sounds mad, right? Truth is, it’s a load of fun. Now in its fourth year, the Cookardinia Vinduro looked stronger than ever in 2014, with 90 entrants that came from near and far. Mick Delore made the trip down from Newcastle – a 1400km-round trip. 29 Victorians made the journey up, 13 from the ACT and 48 from the home state, NSW. Bumping the numbers to an all-time high was a strong local contingent, with quite a few from Wagga Wagga.
The event was proudly hosted by the Holbrook Sports Motorcycle Club on a property near Cookardinia, nestled in the South West Slopes of NSW. The weather was magnificent with a slight cool breeze that had just enough puff to blow the dust off the track. All-in-all, the camping and riding conditions couldn’t have been better.
Each year on the Saturday night there is a bit of a do. This year, Sam Casey of Cowra provided the big top tent and a whole lamb, which was slow cooked for five hours. Rob Heppell from Victoria came to the party with six bottles of his own private labeled red, ‘Three Blind Mice’, and Stu Neal brought the ‘Dr Jurds Jungle Juice’. The food and drink went down a treat. A big communal campfire and a crystal clear, star-filled sky provided a picturesque backdrop for Dennis ‘The Menace’ Myers to setup his outdoor cinema, which we huddled around watching vintage dirt bike films and talking shop well into the night. The atmosphere was good – real good.
The Vinduro ride took place on Sunday, September 21. To enter, bikes had to be 25 years or older, which meant this year the event was open to 1989 models. Interestingly enough, the bulk of the field was models from the ’70s and early ’80s, with just a few late ’80s models in the line-up. The array of machinery was vast and impressive, with a stack of Yamaha ITs or ‘Blue Oysters’ as Nils Proctor likes to call them. The sea of blue was accompanied by a good spread of Yamaha TTs, Honda XRs, Suzuki PEs and Kawasaki KDXs. We were blessed with a handful of Euro exotica, including a good show of Husqvarnas, a lonesome Spanish Bultaco, a swag of KTMs and a solo Triumph.
After the rider briefing on Saturday morning, entrants stood by their machines in the parc-ferme for a group shot before being sent out on the course. The 15km loop offered a great mix of terrain – from tight wooded sections to vast open paddocks, it really was a ‘big-bore’ heaven! The fast and flowing grasstrack was personally mown by event organiser, Adam Brooks, and was a real hit with the riders.
My favourites were the scenic hill climbs and the nicely lipped erosion banks and gullies that gave the opportunity for some all-important air time. Quite a few let it be known that they thought the course was the best yet. Most completed a handful of laps with the true Vinduro diehards getting in 10+ for the day. That’s one of the best things about the Vinduro concept – you can go as easy or as hard as you like. It’s not a race, it’s just fun.
‘Osama Bin Wheelie’ went most of the way around the course on the back wheel of his 1982 Honda XR500.
Several awards were presented after the ride on Sunday afternoon with lots of smiling faces eagerly awaiting a prize or two from some very generous sponsors. The ‘Most Laps’ award went to Nathan Senior from Yass, NSW who recently completed the Australian 4-Day Enduro on his ’89 KDX200. Feeling fit and ready, he made the trip to Cooka’ and finished on top with 14 laps (210km). His efforts were rewarded with a 12-month Transmoto Dirt Bike Magazine subscription and some goodies from MCAS.
An impromptu prize for ‘Biggest Air’ was awarded to Bill Rummery of Adelong, NSW after he was spotted launching his 1983 Yamaha IT490 into space off the back of an erosion bank. I’m not sure how he landed it so smoothly, but he did.
To divvy up the bounty of prizes, entrant names were thrown into a hat and drawn at random. Needless to say, there were some very happy heads. Special thanks must go out to the event sponsors for providing all of the goodies. Thanks to Andy and crew from Transmoto, Jeff Curley from MCAS and Mick Bennett from Prime-8-Racing.
Allan Rich – 2nd Most Laps award – 12 laps, 180km. Prize thanks to MCAS
Bill Rummery, Bryce Blackwell, Billy Bob – 3rd Most Laps award – 10 laps, 150km. Prizes thanks to MCAS
Josh Webb – ‘Baldy’ award. Prize thanks to PRIME-8-RACING
The Tolmey boys took out the ‘Team’ award. Prizes thanks to MCAS
The ‘Lucky Dip’ prize winners. Prizes thanks to PRIME-8-RACING
Recognition must also go to event organisers, Adam Brooks and Jock Davidson, who work tirelessly in conjunction with the Holbrook Club to make the event a ‘must-do’ on the Australian Vinduro calendar.
Last but not least I would like to give a massive thanks to the property owner, Murray Jones, and his family for the use of the land and everyone that chipped in over the weekend, especially Holbrook Club President, Derek Lewington, Don Belling and Murray Cook, also of the Holbrook Club, and John and Sandra Pyers, for the lunch on Sunday. Thank you to Vikki Watson who volunteered to be our First Aid extraordinaire and the St Johns Ambulance Unit from Albury – luckily there were no injuries to report.
Many commented that it was the best Cooka’ yet, with plenty of praise for the new grasstrack section – a welcomed addition to the event. Get your old bikes ready for 2015, it will be on again. Maybe next time we can crack a hundred!