Bikers boost coffers of local charity
Older riders help others
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.