From wild life to life in the fast lane
Jan 23, 2013
Apr 24, 2013
After Koala bears hardly moving and penguins just about waddling things started to speed up on Sunday with the Superbikes hitting close on 200mph on the Philip Island Grand Prix circuit.The weather forecast was for a hot sunny day with a slight breeze. They were spot on. Floppy hats and plenty of factor 30 for us. In Europe we are used to the fans arriving and protecting themselves from the rain, here it's a case of rigging up a form of sunshade.Wally hadn't been to The Island since 2000 and not a lot had changed really apart from the grass colour! Damp and chilly in 2000 to 30c heat in 2013. The crowd had changed though. The hoons seem to of grown into middle age and as in Europe no youngsters are taking their place. No sign of a drunk, burn out, wheelie or any other anti social behaviour. No riot cops either!Bikes were even allowed into the viewing area which is usually an invitation for the idiot or two to perform but nothing. Rather lacking in atmosphere would be a good way a describing the vibe at the circuit.The whole range of motorcycles were on display from pristine vintage to exotic Superbike. Quite a few cruiser style bikes though and a good number of those were Triumphs. GSs were out in numbers as they are everywhere.The Island is one of the fastest flowing circuits on the calendar which encourages close racing and it didn't disappoint. The actual show though needs some thought as the gaps between races seemed to drag on. BSB could show them a thing or two there.We were joined by our good friend Andy and his pal Bob. Bob had recently retired to Philip Island along with his collection of Ducati and Porsche. Not a bad place to be.Wally reflected on the fact that he had paid $ 90 each entrance fee. A most unusual occurrence as normally there is someone a ticket can be blagged from. The major point of concern was that the Penguins and Koalas had possibly provided better value than the bikes, according to Jan. Wally will give this some serious consideration, maybe age is catching up!Another sign of this process is that rather than venture into nearby Cowes to soak up the atmosphere(or lack of) Wally wasn't really interested but more intent on producing dinner for madam!After the initial cock up at the Ramada reception we nervously checked out waiting for the request for additional payment for one reason or another but with a nice smile the receptionist thanked us for visiting and we were checked out. Phew their cock up, we were very happy and $200 better off than we had imagined. Result.Next stop Geelong and Andys place. Rather than take the highway through Melbourne we decided to take the shorter and scenic route via the Queenscliff/Sorrento ferry. It was worth the expense to cross Port Philip Bay and see the the narrowness of The Rip at the entrance to the Bay. The bay is so large, when making the crossing you can't see Melbourne in the distance. The settlers had a real result when they realised the full extent of their discovery. As ever the quality of the houses on the hill tops is awesome.The 40 minute crossing soon passed. Accompaning us on the ferry were quite a few other bikers who were down from NSW and were going to ride the world famous Great Ocean Road. So are we tomorrow.