Great Southern Gears Up

The Great Southern Division are few in number but have been busy working on a number of initiatives to grow the club in the bush. We have six members, four in Albany, one in Denmark and one in Katanning.

Meetings are held every two months at members homes, in re- cent times, monthly meetings have been required leading up to our signature event, the Inaugural Albany Tweed Ride ... more about that later.

A facebook page has been established. We have started a monthly Retro Ride on cycles older than 25 years. The Retro Ride has started to attract non-members for the ride which we are pleased about. We have been meeting at a café in Albany and gently pedalling 10km. The fine for riding the same bicycle on consecutive rides is shouting coffee for all riders. The fine won’t break the bank at this stage because rider numbers are small and Bay Merchants Café supports cyclists by providing a 50% discount.
Three displays have been conducted and we have discovered there is no shortage of opportunities to display old cycles, but with such a small number of members, there have been some opportunities we have had to let go. Our last display, Velo Vineyard, was held during Bikeweek at oranje tractor wine (owned by club member Murray Gomm and wife Pam). Oranje tractor wine is also the place of employment for another club member Collyn Gawned. Around 100 people attended this event. The lure of free coffee no doubt played a part! - Attendee’s were entitled to the freebie once they’d provided feedback on the Draft City of Albany Bike Plan. With 20 bikes on display the event was also a soft launch of a bike repair stand which that has twelve tools and a pump for cyclists to use. This was designed and built by club member Glenn Huffer.
Oranje tractor wine is an accredited cycle friendly business offering the following services to cyclists:
bike racks;
free iced water refill;
high carbohydrate meals;
free showers;
a handful of free seasonal produce. At the moment

that’s an apple straight off the tree ;
lycra friendly, i.e. lycra is acceptable dress;
rest areas and toilets;
tastings of Fat Tyre Wine. Yes, it’s a wine bottle with a

mountain bike tyre on the label. There is a broke spoke sauvi- gnon blanc, gear masher merlot, panic skid pinot and bespoke (sparkling sauvignon blanc). A percentage of the sales of these wines go to the Albany Mountain Bike Club for trail building and events;
bike repair stand;
vintage bicycle display;
free vintage trike use for kids; cycling maps and information and; coffee of course!

There are currently 10 vintage bikes on display at oranje tractor. A number of these are on loan from the Albany Historical Society and other collectors. Future plans are to feature a bike of the month. There is also a Bicycle Curio Cupboard crammed with all sorts of cycling ephemera. Special thanks to Perth club member David Clark who has loaned a number of particularly interesting items for a 12 month period. If any club members have any interesting bikes and components they would like to display at oranje tractor wine, please contact Murray on the numbers below.

In partnership with the Perth committee a grant for ~$10 000 has been submitted to Lotterywest. If successful this will fund a number of items for the Great Southern including banners, quick assembly marquee, bicycle repair tools, bicycle display stands, racks to transport bikes. Also, the Perth end of the club is in the hunt to secure a data projector, banners and marquee. The grant will also fund consolidation and updating of the club’s identity and collateral.

The Inaugural Albany Tweed Ride is part of the Vintage Vancouver Festival that will be held in Albany on Saturday May 3rd. We are looking forward to strapping on some tweed for a leisurely pedal through the historic precinct of Albany. We have been able to muster five local penny farthings for this event (only four riders at this stage)and hats off again to David Clark who will be making the trip down and bringing down a couple of barbeque stopping cycles to give our display a shot in the arm.

Alan Hinds and Alan Naber have both visited Albany recently (actually Alan Hinds has been a repeat offender having visited twice in recent times) and it was great that a couple of Great Southern members got to meet them and while away some time discussing old bikes. We look forward to other members visiting Albany and the Great Southern.

Murray Gomm