2022-01-03 First Australian to Ride around Australia
Jeff Munro was his name and Speedway riding was his fame.
MR. JEFF MUNRO RETURNS
( 1929, December 5th Thursday )
Mr. Jeff Munro. who was the first solo motor cyclist to ride round Australia and Maroubra speed way star, returned to Sydney from London by the R.M.S. Orontes. During his ride round Australia he used an Ariel motor cycle and while abroad he was the guest of the Ariel Company at Birmingham. He was greatly Impressed with the modern works used for the construction of the Ariel motor cycles. Every engine, before It was placed into a frame was tested: and if it did not register a specified horse-power, was returned to the workshop. About 5.000 men were employed at the works, and every convenience was placed at the disposal of the employees. There are in England Ariel service cycles, which travel the roads and help unfortunate motor cyclists free of charge. Mr. Munro attended several dinners while in England, and was impressed by the goodwill that existed between agents and the Ariel Company.
The Ariel Company had a special plant for the building of motor cycles for use in Australia. At the present time they claimed to be exporting to Australia more machines than any other company in the world.
Mr. Munro expects to race Ariel machines in Sydney and to return to Adelaide at Christmas to compete in several races here.
Mr Munro was contemplating a 10,000 mile non-stop ride around the ‘Killer Drome’ in Sydney when it was suggested a complete circumnavigation of Australia might prove a better bet to win the Maudes Trophy – warded annually by the British Auto Cycle Union for he most outstanding feat of endurance by a motorcycle.
No doubt encouraged by his father Fergus – Chairman of Ariel Distributors Limited – the 21-year-old was soon sighted ‘running-in’ a new Ariel Sports Model ‘E’ around his home in the harborside suburb of Rose Bay. ‚
The Shell Company agreed to lay down petrol and oil supplies at strategic points along the proposed route and, on July 17 1928, Jeff departed the Shell Oil HQ in Bourke Street, Sydney. Only hours later, accompanied by Eric Haines riding an Indian Scout with sidecar, the adventurers rolled on to the Wisemans Ferry looking forward to escaping the mid-winter chill. However Eric made it no further than Singleton. At the time it was reported that he was repatriated to Sydney after an accident, though Jeff admitted many years later that Eric simply ‘couldn’t cut the mustard’.
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