18 October 2019

Bikes decades old take to Snowy Monaro roads this weekend

| Ian Campbell
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Abingdon King Dick 1912. Photo: Supplied,

Abingdon King Dick 1912. Photo: Supplied,

This weekend marks the start of a busy run of events for the Cooma Car Club, with a bike dating back to 1912 one of the early highlights.

The club has so far received 32 entries for this weekend’s Girder Fork Rally. The rally is exclusive to Girder Fork motorbikes manufactured prior to 1950.

‘Girder Fork’ refers to a front forks design that was predominant up to around the early 1950s. The prime attraction for the entrants is riding the uncrowded scenic sealed roads of the Snowy Monaro in the company of similar bikes and enthusiasts.

The oldest machine entered is a 1912 Abingdon King Dick entered by Kaj Nielson. Abingdon King Dick or AKD (as it was called later) was founded in Birmingham, England in 1856 and started off making tools.

Girder Fork Krudge. Photo: Supplied.

Girder Fork, Rudge. Photo: Supplied.

“The company branched out into making motorcycles in 1903. At that time, the industry which was in its infancy was booming, and Birmingham with its strong industrial base and equally strong workforce was on its way to becoming the epicenter of the British motorcycle industry,” a spokesperson for Cooma Car Club explains.

“AKD became known for its simple but elegant single-cylinder and V-twin motorcycle engines. The company stopped production in 1933 when a weak economy convinced them to pull out of the motorcycle market and concentrate on its successful line of tools.

“The 1912 model had a unique sliding spring fork front suspension, and the 500cc side valve engine had a claimed power of 3.5hp for a top speed of 35mph (55 km/hr).

“Other entrants with better known names include six BSAs, three Rudge Specials and a Rudge Ulster, a 1942 Harley Davidson and four Vincent/HRD Rapides which were the ‘superbikes’ of the late 1940s – and are still very fast.”

Girder Fork Bike, Indian line. Photo: Supplied.

Girder Fork, Indian. Photo: Supplied.

Registration is on Friday afternoon at the Car Club clubhouse and there will be an optional 70 km ‘shake down’ run on Friday afternoon for early arrivers.

Saturday’s ride comprises a morning run from the Car Club clubhouse to Maffra, to Ando Hall for morning tea and on to Bombala for lunch. After lunch, the riders and bikes will return to the clubhouse via Nimmitabel for a total round trip distance of 197 km. On Sunday, the participants will ride to the Mount Gladstone lookout, on to Berridale and return to the clubhouse for goodbyes and a safe trip home.

The event is also renowned for its social aspect which this year will include an excellent morning tea at the Ando Hall, followed by lunch provided by the Bombala Lions Club at Bombala Showground, and dinner on Saturday night provided by Tony Nassar at the Cooma Car Club Clubhouse; all providing opportunities for the historic bike enthusiasts to get together and talk about their fabulous machines and the day’s adventures.

Girder Fork Sidecar. Photo: Supplied.

Girder Fork Sidecar. Photo: Supplied.

Best places to see the bikes and meet the riders this weekend:

Friday, October 18, from 2 pm at Cooma Car Club Clubhouse, Bolaro Street, Cooma
A number of riders will depart the Clubhouse for a short ‘shake down’ run.

Saturday, October 19, between 8 am and 9 am, at Cooma Car Club Clubhouse.
Riders and bikes will be at the Clubhouse for briefing and coffee before departing for the day’s 197 km round trip.

Saturday, October 19, 10:30 am to 11:30 am, Ando Hall.
Morning tea

Saturday, October 19, 12 pm to 1:30 pm, Bombala Showgrounds.
Lunch and judging

Sunday, October 20, 8:30 am to 9:30 am, Cooma Car Club Clubhouse.
Riders and bikes will be at the Clubhouse for briefing and coffee before departing for the morning’s 70 km round trip to Berridale and return.

Sunday, October 20, 10:15 am, Berridale.

Other major events being run Cooma Car Club in October-November:

  • A Junior Development Motorkhana, Sunday, October 27 at the Longhouse, Polo Flat Rd, Cooma]
  • Cooma Motorfest, Saturday, November 2, at Cooma Showground
  • Mount Gladstone Hill Climb, November 23 and 24, Mount Gladstone Rd, Cooma.

For more information check the Cooma Car Club website.

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