There is a section of Melbourne called Lygon street in Carlton that houses most of the Italian cafes and restaurants so it seemed apt that this years FOIM (Festival of Italian Motorcycles) was to be held in its spiritual home, Argyle square nestling amongst the Italian culture of Lygon street.
With over 200 bikes on display it was a fairly big event in the MGCoV’s (Moto Guzzi Club of Victoria) calendar and we were keen to support them by attending on our machine. The MGCoV jointly co-host this event and have a stand to sell their merchandise, hats, T shirts etc.
The FOIM is an informal gathering of classic versus modern, stock or modified, rare, big and small, pristine and rough as, Italian machinery.
It was a sea of red with such a wide variety of marques being represented such as Ducati, Aprilia, Vespa, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Laverda, Moto Parilla, Motobi, Moto Morini and many more.
This year was also the 65th anniversary of the Lambretta scooter.
It was a cracking day and the number of visitors and attendees that turned out was great. In the photo Andy and Ferg are having a well earned rest and a chance to view some bikes. The festival has been run by several different bike clubs over the years, internal politics and differences of opinion meant the event was struggling for a while. Andy and Ferg were instrumental in reviving its fortunes even putting in their own money to save it. It was well worth the effort as it brings all the different marques together and gets bikes out and about for people to appreciate.
This tidy Lambretta is harping back to the Mods and Rockers days it looks a bit outnumbered here but there were other scooters there.
That’s me trying out Keir’s Moto Morini I used to have one back in England. My good friend Jan is also on one of Keir’s machines, a very sweet little Ducati Desmo.
On our rides to the pub in town to attend the monthly Guzzi social meets we found some nice routes in. This one around Yarra boulevard offered these lovely sunset shots over the city.
Next up on the Guzzi calendar was the Christmas BBQ, even though this was our second summer Christmas it still felt strange to us. The good thing about being in summer is being able to ride your bike to the BBQ on the sea front. On route we passed under this old trestle bridge which still has a steam train that crosses it. We made a mental note to return.
Like moths to a flame, the bike we are all admiring belongs to Peter, well technically it is actually George’s the 81 year young gentlemen we stayed with in Porepunkah just before our accident. Peter is his son they jointly restored it and he now uses the bike. We caught up on news of George who sadly has been unwell of late and then admired his bike. It is a beautifully restored Falcone and was so polished it lent itself to artful photos.
Mark and I were celebrating the fact we were both off our crutches and back riding bikes again. Rob the club joker was larking about, he is always good for a funny picture and a laugh. We are not the only inventive ones here check out the stubbie holder on Reg’s bike.
Matt showed us a different route home which passed these enthusiastic model aircraft pilots. We paused for a look almost getting decapitated as one went out of control over our heads and crashed onto the road, luckily the car stopped and all was well. Matt invited us back to his place afterward and treated us to some his excellent home brew. He and his wife Denise are getting really good at making beer. The others photos are of his garden.
Christmas was just around the corner and we finally got to have that dinner with Nev and Marg. Since they visited us in Lilydale we had been trying to arrange to meet up again. We first met with Nev and Marg way back on the East coast at Hervey bay where they invited us to stay when we got to Melbourne. We initially contacted them when we were at George’s (Porepunkah) but they were just leaving for a holiday abroad. When they returned and found our sad news (of the accident) they contacted us again and we arranged to meet once more. They only lived round the corner from Pierre’s in Lilydale. A couple of like minded friends were also invited and a very enjoyable evening ensued.
Yet another stunning sunrise at Olinda, time passed oh so quickly, attending hydro, walking Bridie etc. She’s such a clever dog and soon learnt to drive herself to get a walk, here she is trying out the dreadlocks look. In no time at all Christmas was upon us. We were well looked after on Christmas day and went to lunch at Pam’s sister who like Pam was an exceptional cook.
In the evening it was Rob’s family that descended on Olinda. The dogs got in on the Christmas spirit sporting their antlers, Bridie got a new toy which she would not leave and we were introduced to Kris Kringle. Who’s he we asked ? It turns out Krris Kringle is the Aussie version of secret Santa where everyone buys a present and names are drawn out of a hat. This version had a twist where by you were allowed to steal other peoples presents on your turn and a hilarious evening ensued. It was a lovely Christmas and we were made most welcome, thanks guys.
Next Up – Seeing in a new Year and Puffing Billy