I can’t believe how quickly the Blessing of the Bikes has come around once again. With Winter now a distant memory and Spring almost two thirds of the way over, the 2018 Blessing of the Bikes was a welcome lead-in to Summer that’s waiting just around the corner. I didn’t get to catch up with Marcel and Sabine after our visit to their new Inline 4 Cafe, but I’m certain they once again pulled out all stops to make this the sort of event that is catching everyone’s attention. And clearly the Bass Shire had done similarly. This year I decided to do things a little differently, as I’ve really been into learning about video production, and so wanted to record the entire event with my new video gear. This was the first such event that I wanted to tackle from a movie making point of view but, unfortunately, it turned out to be a bust for various reasons.
After a great Friday, weather wise, the elements turned foul for the Saturday and, rather than the clearing showers that were forecast, it was nothing but rain when I arrived in San Remo. Showers was an understatement. I feared as much while driving in, as the horizon across the water, viewed from the Bass Highway after Wonthaggi, was a black as sin. So when I checked the weather forecast on arrival, it was showing a massive rain front converging onto San Remo and this wasn’t predicted to clear until midday or later. That was no good for me as I had to leave by midday and, as the weather was going to be pretty ordinary until then, I couldn’t bring out my video gear because of the rain. Not only that, it didn’t look like there was going to be much activity until later on as I guess riders were leaving things until the weather cleared somewhat. Who could blame them.
So there wasn’t much that I could do but take a few photos of what was there at the time and hope things might clear up before I had to leave. The few photos of what was there were mainly stands set up by exhibitors, as the riders were few and far between. The organisers had prepared a lot better for this years event, with access and parking much better regulated and orderly and I’m assuming that everything was orderly as the day wore on. A lot of things had changed as far as the arrangements went and the main stand was now perhaps better located, especially because of the rain, and allowed people to either take up a position on solid ground or grassy (but wet) areas next door. Bike parking had also changed, with what looked like better parking management along the length of the main strip and side streets.
When I finally decided to leave, as things were not improving one bit, the numbers were still quite low. Driving back home along the Bass Highway, there were increasing numbers coming down from the north as they rode through Mirboo North on their way to San Remo. I’m pretty disappointed that the weather turned out this way and especially that I couldn’t stay longer, which meant this story about the fifth anniversary of the Blessing of the Bikes has the least coverage of any I’ve done so far. But you can’t always have things work out, though I’m sure that the event would have turned out great once the clouds parted. When I looked at the weather radar around midday, it still showed a massive rain front sweeping down from the north-west, but San Remo looked to be in part sun with the rain band moving away. But what was a clear day in Mirboo North had turned dark with drenching rain as the rain band moved east, yet the weather forecast was saying possible showers. So it seems that San Remo received a blessing afterall.
Talking to some of the traffic management people during the morning, the change in the timing of the MotoGP for next week had disrupted quite a few events planned in the area, though I couldn’t find a reason for the change in date. I guess it’s tied in with other events around the world and it just happened to fall later in the year this time around. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to stay longer, come rain, hail or shine, and do a full coverage of the 2019 Blessing of the Bikes.