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Bad Barry - I shouldn't be alive and other short stories.

Bad Barry

Barry Mollison or 'Bad Barry' as he is known (Founder Annie's Dad) was one of the hardest riders in North West Tassie during the 50's & 60's. That's him winning a race at the far right. Back then, they trained hard, raced hard, drank hard, threw the odd punch, had a hug and then did it all again the next day. 

Here are some of his stories.

On watching Richie Porte crash at the 2017 Tour De France

I'd been racing in the morning West Park, Burnie and we decided to do a bit of a roll to Wynyard.

So we were comin' back from Wynyard with some boys. Smithy and them fellas.

A car came by, I sprinted after it, sitting in behind. Was on my fixed wheel, no brakes. Then he stopped dead in front of me on a corner. I couldn't go around him cause of cars coming the other way so I went on the inside.

Hit a stationary car

He (Richie) didn’t hit the turf near as hard as I did when I hit that car at nearly 80km an hour. Knocked myself out and broke my forks off like they had been cut off by a bloody hacksaw.

No helmet, didn’t wear helmets in those days

Was easily doing 50miles/80k an hour.

I shoulda been killed that day.


Race Tactics

I jobbed - you know, knuckled, punched - my best mate over in Wynyard track after a race.

We'd had a match race, on a Sunday arvo and we used plenty of tactics - stall, cut one another off. In those days it got rough, you could push each other into the fence.

There were three of us in it. My mate Tiger Howl, Graham Rigs - they was really good bike riders. Bloody rammed me into the fence coming into the furlong (final 220m)

After the finish I went up to him and said “You better learn to ride that bike straight”

“I’ll ride it anyway I feel like” Tiger laughed back at me.

"Well ride this one" and I hung one fair on his nose

My best mate he was

I had a nasty temper on me when I was young and that was one of the worst things I have ever done in my life. We used to knock around everywhere, train together, drink together.

The Milkman

When I was 14 I used to work in Burnie and lived in Stowport. To get to Burnie you used to have to come down a long steep hill on the bike - about 2 ks long

There used to be a milkman that lived Stowport and deliver in an old Ford ute

I used to give this old milkman about a 200 head start down the hill, then I’d chase him down the hill and round him up with about a couple of hundred metres from the bottom the hill.

She was bloody on.

I was at the Stowport shop Satdee morning, the road (maintenance) man, he told the shop fella - "this is the young bloke that will have his brains on the Stowport hill one day” 

Made me laugh. It used to give me a great thrill to come down there flat strap

I was queer - a bit mad - I shoulda been killed really.

I don’t think I had any fear, I used to come racing down them hills flat out.

Might have been the Irish blood in me

I mean Scottish - yeah that was it. Scottish.

Training for the advocate tour

I shouldn’t be here actually.

With my mate, George Mason,

George. Still one of my best mates. Still alive

So we rode from Burnie to Launceston after work one Fridee night.

The room we was staying in had a rifle in it. George picked it up, had a look, thought it was unloaded
I’m layin' on the bed
George pulled the trigger about 4 times at me.
Click. Click. Click. Click. 

Then he turned around pulled the trigger and put a bullet clean through the wall
He got a bigger shock than i did
Musta been a bullet right in there.
They couldn’t believe i wasn’t dead
That’s a true story

I'm the luckiest bugger in the world.



  • I’ll ask him about it over Christmas. Plan is to get a whole lot more stories and speak with a few of his mates. T

  • What about the frog bet.

    Doc Hancock

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