First, I would like to refer everyone to our national president – Dennis Paulin’s report in the August Riding On and specifically remind everyone that the first principle for the existence of the Ulysses Club is “To provide ways in which older motorcyclists can get together for companionship and mutual support”. I believe that one of the primary strengths of the Melbourne branch is the fact that we hold regular and very interesting rides from a variety of starting points and which are open to all Ulysses members irrespective of branch affiliation.
Rides and participation
I wish to thank our ride coordinator, Holly for all the effort she has put into filling the ride calendar for this year and all the people who have accepted the challenge and volunteered to lead rides. I would also like to thank all those who took on Tail End Charlie Duties.
I remind everyone that safety is the responsibility of each and every individual who participates in rides and events and unsafe practices will not be tolerated. Exercise courtesy and consideration to all road users to make sure we all get home safely and enjoy our rides.
Social and Future Events
The monthly Friday night social and both Saturday morning venues continue to provide camaraderie opportunities for members. Now that spring has arrived, the rally and event season is going into full swing. We are holding the High Country Odyssey again at Mansfield and it is now less than two months away so hurry up and get your registrations in. Details for the Christmas function, VSK Day and numerous other events are also detailed on the website.
Sponsors and Branch Finances
I would also like to remind members of our sponsors who fund the circulation of The Spare Tyre and the cost of running the website. These sponsors greatly assist the finances of the branch and I do encourage you to support them when it comes to bikes, servicing, clothing and even travel. The sponsors are Bike Mart, Jeffrey Motorcycles, Metro Motorcycles, Saffron Road Motorcycle Tours, South East Motorcycles plus Treads and Things. Thanks to the support of these sponsors, we have been able to minimise the need for raffles and still keep branch funds in a very healthy state for a social branch which does not have any fees for members.
Our website administrator Kate (an unpaid volunteer) built a completely new website from scratch. It has now been on line for 15 months and about 150 members are now registered users. The site is still being developed to accommodate the needs of members and new features are being constantly added. Many members have now added interesting blogs and forum posts to share as they see fit. I have also had many favourable comments on the layout and information available to members and prospective members.
I am aware that a very few members have had frustrating issues with registration and other things but we are working through those things. Security of the site has been greatly enhanced and whilst the benefits of that may not be immediately obvious, it does have many benefits which also flow on to members who use the site. Thank you Kate and keep up the good work.
Kate and Alf, the Spare Tyre Editor, are volunteers doing a great job so that you, the members, can get the maximum benefit out of your club. Thank you both.
The branch can only continue to provide for the enjoyment of members by having an active and constantly evolving committee. I am willing to stand again next year but we really do need to some fresh members to step up to the plate to ensure the continued health and vitality of the branch. John Taylor has been involved in organising Mansfield for a number of years and Keith rejoined the committee to help out. Peter rejoined to help out as treasurer again and Alf is has now been doing the Spare Tyre for 2 years after having previously served on the committee. We would really like to see a number of members nominate to join the committee and take the task of running branch related social events and bring in some fresh views. If you think you have some skills that can help the continuity of this great branch and club please do step up and get involved.
The branch and website are not my personal playthings. For example most members are capable of taking photos on rides and at other interesting events and getting them posted on the website, yet only a small number actually do so. I enjoy doing it but I encourage others to try also. Similarly for those who regularly participate in rides, consider leading a ride, doing a ride report or taking on tail end duties.
In the mean time enjoy the coming warmer months.
Finally, I would like to say, “When riding, practise road craft, courtesy and consideration for others so that we can continue to enjoy our motorcycling safely.”