Chasing 30 seconds of glory on the outskirts of York

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IT’S A two-wheel sport infrequently competed by a small number of mostly vintage thrill-seekers — grab a handful of throttle, drop the clutch, take two corners and then cross the finish line. It’s all over in 30 seconds or less, depending on your skills and the behaviour of your mount.

Albany’s Mount Clarence has become Western Australia’s hill climb HQ in recent years but, with no event in Albany last year, the half-minute crowd was left high and dry.

Yesterday they got to dust off their mounts and tear up another hill — Mount Brown on the outskirts of York, as part of the expanded two-day York Motorcycle Festival. And, in a boon for spectators, the lay of the land enabled spectators to see more of the circuit than has been the case in Albany.

CAPTION: John Pitcher’s 1961 Norton 650 had no problem conquering the mountain. And it sounded glorious.

Yesterday’s event was pulled together by WA’s vintage bike community so it was no surprise that the machinery was flavoured vintage. Some was ancient, much of it was British, and more than a few were showing battle scars from many a friendly bout — but quite a few were exotic, highly polished and oriental.

The format gave each rider two runs at the hill from which to set a target time, then three runs to match that time as precisely as possible.

Event spokesman Greg Macham told The Bike Shed Times that at least seven of the 33 competitors were within a second of their nominated time.

“Clearly there was a group of people consuming a motorcycle high fibre diet, as there were a number of very regular runs,” he said.

“In the end it was Gary Ternardi, part rider, part metronome, who came up trumps with his three-run average being 0.26 seconds off his nominated time of 23 seconds on his 1935 Ariel 500.”

CAPTION: Gary Tenardi showed how it’s done.

Greg said that York Shire President David Wallace was on hand in the town centre afterwards to present Gary with his award, but Gary was nowhere to be seen.

“We found him taking advantage of a free dyno session in the main street on his race bike. The sign of a true motorcycle enthusiast.”

Greg said organisers were pleased with the event, and he paid tribute to the York Shire Council.

“The York Shire did a fantastic job preparing the road surface and pedestrian area. I believe they spent a week up there making it ready.”

The Bike Shed Times caught the York shire’s Community Bus up the hill from Avon Terrace and enjoyed a slow stroll through the pits as much as watching the bikes tackle the mountain.

CAPTION: Two bikes at a time — but they’re not racing, you understand. No, honest. They’re just trying to match their own predetermined time. But beating the other guy to the top is a major bonus … the Avon Valley made a lovely backdrop.


CAPTION: Gary Tenardi’s trophy-winning Ariel 500.


CAPTION: Lex McKinley’s Moto Guzzi and Dan Talbot’s Triton competed for most beautiful exotic in the pits. Beautiful things, both of them.

Also see:

2018 York Motorcycle Festival

2016 Albany Hill Climb

Peter Terlick

One thought on “First Mount Brown hill climb puts spectators in touch with the half-minute crowd

  1. Well done Greg, a credit to you and the riders. Let’s hope it’s an annual event and numbers grow.

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