Thursday, October 1, 2009



Our old mate Mark 'Firko' Firkin dropped us a line today, asking everyone in the industry to help a fallen brother, namely vintage MX racer Noel Clarke. Here's the letter from Firko, so check it out and weigh in with your support when you can:

Well known Bendigo, Victoria, vintage racer Noel Clarke is in the spinal clinic of Royal Melbourne Hospital after a nasty racing accident a month ago. Sadly, Noel is now a quadriplegic with a break to his T3 vertabra and other severe injuries. Surgeons have fused his spinal vertabrae from T2 through T5 to protect the damaged area and Noel now faces a long, painful and expensive recuperation period. I've spoken to his brother, Tony Clarke, this morning and he reports that Noel is scooting around the ward in an electric wheelchair which nurses have had to have two of its three-speeds blanked off to slow him down! 
Noel's attitude is reportedly extremely positive and being a Clarke you can bet he's itching to get out of hospital to resume his life in as normal a way as his injuries will allow. One of the keys to Noel's future being as active as possible is resting on his ability to get around. He's a shearing contractor with the need to have access to shearing sheds and other farm terrain. To do that he's going to need the best wheelchair available and that's where Klub Kevlar and Darren Hill come into the picture. As well as being a racer, Darren Hill is the Australian distributor for the amazing Levo wheelchair system. These chairs allow the owner to stand and live a far more active life than the simple bog standard chair. As with most groundbreaking innovation, technology costs money, which will put a hefty financial burden on the Clarke family. In an amazingly generous gesture, Darren has offered to provide Noel with a Levo C3 wheelchair for cost. This offers a considerable cost saving to the family but as I wrote, the chairs are cutting edge technology and therefore still very expensive. That's where Klub Kevlar comes in.
A number of us are good friends of Noel and even though he's in Victoria and we're in Sydney, we felt we had to do something. The first step was to bring Darren and Levo Australia on board and the next step is to set up a program of fundraising activities to enable the family to purchase the Levo wheelchair.
Our first effort will be a Show'n'Shine tentatively called the Klub Kevlar Show'N'Shine, Noel Clarke Benefit that's to be held at the beautiful and historic Alroy Tavern in Plumpton. The Alroy was chosen because it is set on a couple of acres of park-like landscape, with ample area for displaying our vintage bikes and for its close proximity to two M7 freeway off-ramps, making it foolproof to find. There’s a playground for kids and the pub has a great family friendly vibe. I've had a meeting with Alroy management and they're extremely keen for us to hold the event and have committed to assisting with media promotion in the weeks leading up to the event and have kindly offered a $10 spit roast deal to all entrants.
The event is still in the planning stage as I write this, but we plan to have awards for Best British, Best Japanese and Best Euro bikes, as well as other awards yet to be formalised. We encourage as many vintage dirt bike enthusiasts to bring as many of their bikes as humanly possible to make the show as interesting and entertaining to the public as we can. We will be inviting the classic speedway club to display their speedway machinery and hope to involve as many of the vintage movements suppliers and small businesses as possible. We encourage club participation and will approach both HEAVEN and Penrith clubs to set up displays and perhaps recruitment tables. 
We're holding the Show'N'Shine on November 15.
One of the toughest things to deal with in our sport is to see a fallen comrade do it tough. I feel it's imperative that we rally together as a movement to assist one of our own who is entering into a difficult future. I implore the vintage movement to support this event and to dig deep into your pockets to help raise as much money as possible to assist in the purchase of the wheelchair. Klub Kevlar won't be happy until we've raised the readies to cover the costs. Please, support this event with both your participation and bikes and by donating as much as you can spare. 
A side bonus to all that get involved is that we'll also have a bloody great time. 
If you've got any good ideas or comments please let us know:
    Mark Firkin:
    Jeff Keen:

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