“Aftershock is basically a few mates sinking beers, racing bikes and getting loose in the sake of fun”. A quote pulled from the mouth of Rex from Garage Project Motorcycles in Perth back in 2015, who founded the first ever Aftershock in 2013. Since then, Aftershock has been a recurring event for the Sydney-siders who are lucky enough to gain an exclusive invite into this inelegant event. Since its inception, its mantra has remained, with 2018 showing just how much fun a bunch of mates can have with two-wheels (or skis?) and a whole lot of beer.
Once again, over a hundred two-stroke smoke-junkies were expected to fill the space come Saturday morning. Unlike last year, no rain was forecasted – in fact, homeowner Ben reported that they only had 4mm of rain since Christmas – so we knew every day would be a dusty one – and that’s not from the tonne of tinnies and bottles o’ rum supplied the kings at Sailor Jerry’s and Young Henry’s.
Friday saw a few keen beans there nice and early, setting up tents, fixing bikes, crashing bikes, and then fixing said bikes again. Thankfully that process didn’t last too long and folks just got straight to good ole drinkin’, then put themselves to bed to ensure a restful sleep before the following day’s antics.
For those who know the Aftershock agenda, the classes and their participants are announced on Saturday morning, before hitting the flat track for the day to warm up, get cosy, and get competitive within their race group, followed by the highly technical race track on the Sunday. This year, the class listings were as follows:
Posties and Scooters
While the classes were much the same as in previous years, one factor was tested this year to keep competition contained to the track. This was the elimination of point systems, resulting in no class winners. If you’re a competitive character, and actually a decent rider, this is a shit go for you because you’d have a good chance of winning. But for the rest of the riders, this meant that you weren’t necessarily riding for first place, but to beat the rider beside you – even if you were both trailing at the back of the pack. This really brought out the spirit of Aftershock, and successfully helped lower the number of broken bones. This year saw a few close calls, but ultimately only Carina from Shed of Threads broke a toe after running Marcus over. The bloke is fine though; luckily he was wearing a one-piece bikini.
As with each year, a soap-slathered slip-n-slide helped cool and clean riders after racing, and the RFS were on-deck with quality tucker for breakfast and lunch on both days to make sure nobody went hungry – what bloody legends. After a feed and quick rest-stop, some felt the need to wash off the dirt crusting away on their skin, so they made their way into the Colo River. After a dip, the evening’s events kicked off with ice-cold tins and a show – that show being the traditional jousting tournament. It’s pretty simple really, pool noodles with broomsticks inside them are held by riders mounted on pit bikes. Ride – collide – don’t die. Easy. After crowning Champo as the Jousting Champ (see what I did there?), the bikes and jousts were laid to rest, and the party began with a Vivid-style light and sound show in lieu of the traditional Aftershock bonfire, due to a total fire ban being in place. Smoke still spread throughout the valley though, only rather than burning wood, our very responsible (and very sober) guests burnt rubber. The rest of the night gets pretty hazy after that, but I do remember a certain bearded gent giving a few barely-conscious Aftershockers a TED talk on the Mariana Trench – what a wild night.
The next morning was a tough one, battling hangovers, rivals and a difficult track. Lucky the RFS were there to load us up with B&E rolls and fresh coffee – they were the real heroes of the event. The highlight of the day, watching the legend himself, Scruff, and his trusty Goldwing with street tyres hammering and jumping the course; and seeing the wildly wonderful and crazy builds tearing the dirt track in the Aftershock class. Did I mention there was a chariot?!
As usual, Aftershock proved above all that getting together with a bunch of mates and being cock-heads just brings you all closer together. A huge shout-out to Ben Males and Dave Vale for really making this event come together, as well as the RFS, Young Henry’s and Sailor Jerry’s for their incredible contributions. And finally, thank you to all the Aftershockers in attendance; you’re a bunch of crazy fucking legends.
Photos by Faidon Christodoulou and Matthew Coleman