So here is something that many of you definitely don’t know about me – back in my mid-twenties I got my motorcycle license and bought a bike.  No, not a Jeep – I bought a bike.

One of my postings during my Navy career was to the Defence Centre Melbourne – a tri-service organisation in the Melbourne CBD.  For part of this posting, I was living in the barracks at RAAF Base Williams which lies close to Laverton just down the West Gate Freeway.  This is where I had my first introduction to an incredible machine called Harley-Davidson.

There’s no real in between with the Harley, you either love them, or you don’t – me? I love them and for me, it’s a deep seeded admiration and respect.

While I have never had the pleasure of owning my own Harley, I did enjoy a year or so surrounded by them in my leisure time through a couple of great mates – cue Tets and Nipper.  Both of these guys owned their own Softail Custom – a classic model in the HD range.  Me, I had my Yamaha Virago (also affectionately known as my YamaHarley and nick-named Vicki!).  As a new rider, I was restricted to 250 cc where as the Softail was a thumping 1340 cc and way out of my legal reach.  I had, however,  made a determined start towards saving up for the purchase price.

Tets and Nipper were both members of the Harley Owners Group or HOG.  It may surprise you to know that the HOG is very much family oriented.  They organise events where owners, with their bikes, gather for one day rides or long week-end camps, or rallies where they do what they do best – show off their bikes and have a lot of fun.  Each capital city has it’s own HOG Chapter and also some outer city and country regions

One of the rallies I went along to was in Canberra in 1995 – this was a national rally with riders from around the country gathering for a week-end of fun and games.  To top the week-end off, I rode pillion in the Rolling Thunder.  Just imagine, 500 Harleys parading along the main arterials in Canberra – it was noisy.

Coming back now to the present and the reason for this blog post.  My daughter’s dance studio backs onto the back lot of the Harley Heaven store here in Adelaide.  Usually empty on a Saturday afternoon, but on this particular day, and to my joy, I was greeted with chrome and black leather abound.

Camera in hand, I started snapping away and made my way through the calm gathering of people and bikes which turned out to be a casual bbq for the Adelaide HOG Chapter.

I was loving it; the sun was shining down and I had a chat to a couple of the girls in the group.  Thank you Martina and Raisa for making me feel so welcome.

I never bought the Harley; I was posted to sea so instead invested in real estate which really wasn’t such a bad choice at the time.

Check out a few shots from the day and keep scrolling down for a few more surprise pictures!!

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My 'Vicki' Virago

My ‘Vicki’ Virago

This is how we used to travel across the country

This is how we used to travel across the country

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Games at the Canberra HOG Rally 1995 – Leigh trying really hard to concentrate and not drop the bike while I’m chucking a balloon over the post.

The set up for the Rolling Thunder

Set and ready to go for the Rolling Thunder

My first, albeit very short, solo ride on Nipper's Softail.

My first, albeit very short, solo ride on Nipper’s Softail.

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