Bik­ers boost cof­fers of lo­cal char­ity

Older rid­ers help oth­ers

Havelock North Village Press - - Omeliving -

The Ulysses Club Inc for older mo­tor­cy­cle rid­er­swas formed in 1983 and is now one of the largest or­gan­i­sa­tions of its kind in New Zealand and Aus­tralia, with mem­bers in nine other coun­tries.

Its pur­pose is to pro­vide ways for older mo­tor­cy­clists to get to­gether for com­pan­ion­ship and mu­tual sup­port, show by ex­am­ple that mo­tor­cy­cling can be an en­joy­able, safe and prac­ti­cal ac­tiv­ity for rid­ers of all ages and draw the at­ten­tion of pub­lic and pri­vate in­sti­tu­tions to the needs and views of older rid­ers.

The club has grown to 29 branches through­out New Zealand, with about 3000 mem­bers. Branches ar­range rides and so­cial func­tions and by join­ing the club, a mem­ber can at­tend any branch meet­ing, ride or func­tion around the coun­try.

The Hawke’s Bay branch started in 1988 and boasts a mem­ber­ship of 110. The club or­gan­ises rides ev­ery fort­night, weekly evening rides through the sum­mer and mid­week­meet-ups. They also so­cialise with Ulysses branches in other ar­eas. To be a full mem­ber you must be 50 years of age, how­ever you can be­come a ‘ju­nior’ mem­ber at 40. Mem­bers come from var­i­ous walks of life and all have a com­mon in­ter­est in mo­tor­cy­cles. The club also of­fers a rider men­tor pro­gramme if you haven’t rid­den for years or think you may re­quire­more skills.

The St John Am­bu­lance ride is held ev­ery year on Anzac Day and high­lights the work St John does for the com­mu­nity.

“There have been mem­bers of the club who have used their ser­vice unan­nounced and found them help­ful and pro­fes­sional,” says Ulysses HB branch pres­i­dent Tim Ste­wart.

“Most mo­tor­cy­cle groups sup­port char­i­ties. Ulysses HB sup­ports St John Am­bu­lance, Brain In­jury Trust and Birthright Toy Run. Other clubs join with us and in re­turn we sup­port them.”

The St John Am­bu­lance Ride has been held for more than 10 years and over those years money do­nated has been kept within the re­gion. In more re­cent years money raised from these rides has pro­vided the lo­cal branch of St John with spe­cialised equip­ment, in­clud­ing a stair chair, scoop stretcher and a First Re­sponse Kit val­ued at $700. There have been more than 200 mo­tor­cy­cles and cars on each ride and this year the Ulysses Club is hop­ing to boost that num­ber even fur­ther.

The ride this year starts at 1pm at the St John Head­quar­ters on Taradale Road, Green­mead­ows, takes in ap­prox­i­mately 80kms and fin­ishes back at the St John Head­quar­ters with a bar­be­cue at 2.30pm. Par­tic­i­pa­tion is by do­na­tion.

“All mo­tor­cy­cle rid­ers are wel­come to join us on the day to sup­port this good cause”, says Tim.

“If you have amo­tor­cy­cle that is 250cc or more of any breed, and like to spend a day on the road with like­minded peo­ple, the club wel­comes you. You can also turn up to our monthly meet­ings and talk to mem­bers to see if our club is for you.”

LIKE­MINDED: The Hawke’s Bay branch of the Ulysses Club, long-time sup­port­ers of St John Am­bu­lance.

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