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                         LOBETHAL GRAND CARNIVAL - 2009.

 

    Living in a state with names like Ipswich, Warwick, Stanthorpe and Stafford, a name like Lobethal really gets attention, especially mine, coming from Europe. During my motorcycle racing there and having criss-crossed Germany in every direction, Lobethal was very familiar.

 

    It took a phone call from Ian Milton early this year to inform me that a town with that name actually was situated close to Adelaide and further that the town was famous in motor racing circles. Further still that a recreation of those races which to place from I believe the mid 1930s to about 1952, was organized last year.

 

    An additional reason for Ian's phone call was to tell me that he had a set of "supp regs" for this years event and was I interested in going. Was I what?????

 

The format was a bit like Leyburn but untimed as the "Spirited Demonstration" took place on the original 14 kilometer long public road circuit and the time has long passed where you can race on, admittedly closed, public roads.

 

    Six Queenslanders made the trek down, Helen and Fred Van Loonen with the BSA, Tony Jacobs (team manager), Ian Milton with his Manx and side car and passenger Karen Jackson and myself with Manx in tow.

 

    The initial sign on was on Friday October 2nd and we were met by a most co-operative number of people form the Lobethal Grand Carnival organizing committee. The only thing they forgot was to organize some nice warm and dry weather.

 

    Saturday was again cool but with only occasional showers. Tony and Ian saved my day by brining a pop-up cover for the bikes that also left enough room for us to keep out of the showers when they arrived.

 

    The organization was nice and relaxed and all participants were very well looked after.

 

    Each day both Saturday and Sunday gave us 2 X 2 laps on the 14 klm long track behind a pace car. That may sound a bit boring but when I tell you that the pace car was a hot V8 Commodore with a very enthusiastic driver, you probably get the idea.

 

    Of course through the township of Lobethal as well as a couple of other built up areas, the pace car subdued the speed but when we hit the open road - well !!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

    It's a long time since I have seen 7,000 on the taco of the Manx in top with the second tallest gearing I have and to see the power poles and trees pass you at approximately 200 Ks, it took me right back to some of the tracks I have raced on in Europe.

 

    I am sure it's good for the circulation. I have said in the past that I think we should support and participate in any event on public roads, because that's really where the bikes we are riding came from.

 

    I think I can speak for everybody who was there, that it was a very enjoyable weekend.

 

    One of the highlights was that Ian and I got the opportunity to ride "shotgun" for a solar powered car, to provide a contrast and I suppose, a visual demonstration of progress.

 

    It was interesting and the people with the solar car were really nice but they will need a lot more sunshine before such a car is a match for our two Manx's.

 

Rob Olsen.

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