Despite a lifetime of following the Bathurst 1000 and more than a decade as a motoring journalist, ghost-writing weekly newspaper columns for Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup, I have never seen the race live.
I’ve ridden and driven around the track on many occasions, like many tourists passing through the regional centre.
However, I was also either too young, impoverished and/or involved in my career and family to go to Bathurst for either the epic touring car race or the legendary Easter motorcycle races which ended in the late ‘80s.
But now, at the invitation of my younger daughter’s partner, Mitch, I’m attending my first Bathurst 1000.
Mitch is riding my 2010 Triumph Bonneville and I’ll be riding the Road Glide Special, possibly the best and most stable touring bike in the world.
Many motorcycle riders share our passion for V8 Supercars.
Take a look at the “carpark” of any V8SC event and you will see a host of motorcycles. It’s not only indicative of the support among rev-head riders, but also the ease of getting in and out of the event on two wheels!
Inter-race on-track entertainment also includes motorcycle stunt shows, Australian Superbikes has often shared events with V8SC and most of the V8 drivers are sponsored by motorcycle companies and are enthusiastic riders.
One of the best is Craig Lowndes who is a gun on both road bikes and dirt bikes.
Harley-Davidson Australia spokesman David Turney says they have long been aware of motorcyclists’ enthusiasm for V8SC and will have their 2016 model years range and Pepper, their salt flats racer, at this weekend’s Bathurst 1000.
“There’s a lot of synergies between lovers of motorsport and Harley-Davidson,” he says. “H-D fans young and all are mostly petrol heads at heart with muscle and fire in what moves us, love a good hot rod just like fans of V8 Supercars. It’s good to tap into these cultural icons of Australian motorsport and show the community that we’re all thinking as one.”
Even a corner of the famous mountain track, Forrest’s Elbow, is named after motorcycle racer Jack Forrest who scraped his elbow away after laying down his bike on the corner.
While the track has changed over the years and could never host a motorcycle event again because of the dangers of the concrete walls, Bathurst may soon have an extra track specially developed to attract motorcycle races such as rounds of the MotoGP and World Superbikes.
It all adds up to being a great ride, a great bonding experience and a great weekend full off high-octane motorcycle and car action at the Great Race.
To stay in touch with all the Bathurst 1000 action, you can download the free FOX SPORTS App available in the Apple Store or Google Play.
It includes live scores, comprehensive statistics, live timing, racing stats, car telemetry, breaking news, editorial features and video highlights.
FOX SPORTS Digital and Foxtel Sports subscribers will also be able to access in-race on-board cameras.