Friday, 8 July 2016

My times spent in Wayne's world!

Around 50 years ago, an old Queenslander in Armagh Street was torn down and replaced with 3 homes. And in one of those then new homes settled the Pinna family from Melbourne. It wasn't long before one of the 5 Pinna kids and I were the best of mates.

Wayne Pinna was like me, a bicycle nut and we would ride for miles on our bikes. Brisbane airport for a milkshake and even a monumental ride with his younger brother Glen to Clear Mountain to my brother's piece of dirt up there. Back then the road was dirt all the way from the turn off just past the Cash's Crossing Bridge. In fact we boiled the billy at Cash's crossing for morning tea along the way.

We also built and crashed billy carts along the way too.. and saw Little Nellie from "You Only Live Twice" flying at Toombul Shopping Town as well.

Wayne, his brother Glen and I were wowed!

The mighty go cart. Ken McGrotty, Wayne (standing) and Gen.

Now every Sunday my mother would make apple pie for lunch.. I am sure Wayne could smell it.. truly! Because just as she would serve it up, we would hear Wayne's voice calling over the tennis court.. "You home Mark?" Well that's what kids did in the 60s.. just went out on the back stairs and yelled out their mate's name. Anyhow.. Wayne would be around in a flash and seated at the table devouring mum's apple pie and ice cream. He was always fun to be around. And we used to help each other wash our respective father's cars. HD Premier for his dad and HR special for mine. These truly were the wonder years, and all those happy summer days just melted into each other as we looked for things to do and places to ride our bikes.

Of course young boys grow (eventually) into young men. And we were the same. Wayne started an apprenticeship as a boiler maker at Eagle Farm at 16 and bought his first transport at 17. A Honda CL90. Oh wow! What a machine. All 90cc of power and a dazzling blue colour. He came around home to show it to me. I was amazed.. so beautiful. All of that chrome and an upturned exhaust. And it was a reasonable $325 on the road. Bargain. (Well it was if you had $325.)

That first Saturday he had it, Wayne and I and another mate, Ken Brand took this wonder to Kalinga Park where Ken and I learned to ride it on the big grassed oval. Even now some 47 years later I can still remember the sensation... the noise, the feel of the grips and the smell of that bike on my very first ever motorcycle ride. (Well I had been a passenger in a Police Sidecar.. but that is for another day)

Now Ken Brand was a medical student and he loved exploring the country side. So he soon saw the potential in having a small bike like this to explore his favourite parts of South East QLD. And that is how he and I got into trail bikes. It all started with Wayne's little Honda!

My love affair with bikes started with this little beauty!

Soon I had a car, a clapped out Mini and one night an FJ crashed into the side of it. I did have the right off way but it didn't help. Wayne was with me that rainy night.. first car crash for us both! Luckily we were fine and even the Mini got repaired too.

The clapped out 2 stroke brick.

Over the years we lost Dr Ken Brand who was one third of the bikie hit squad from Kalinga Park all of those years ago. He is sadly missed.

Dr Ken Brand on his DT2 on Boxing Day 1973 on the farm.

So the years roll by.. Wayne and I start to go down different paths but we meet up again years later and would you believe.. we are both working as professional photographers. Amazing.

Wayne's World.. it wasn't a movie to me.. it was all part of being Wayne's mate and part of his family as he was part of mine.

On Wednesday just passed I rode Fat Max up to Glasshouse Mountains to visit Wayne. He is not travelling all too well these days with his health.. but it was a good day out on the bike and wonderful to see him again. We laughed like kids as we recalled those early days of his Honda. And in particular the day we raced that little Blue Beauty up and down and around Kalinga Park.

Wayne old mate.. I'll be back  to see you again really soon on Fat Max!

If wasn't for Wayne.. then I wouldn't have Fat Max!
And check out this Motor Bike Writer article.