The Ulysses Club How it all began...
The Ulysses Club for older motorcyclists, the largest organisation of it's kind in Australia, is now a familiar part of this country's riding scene. The original suggestion for a motorcycle club for over 50's was put forward in a letter from Stephen Dearnley and published in the August 1983 issue of Bike Australia. This drew two significant responses: one from Rob Hill, a reader at Albion Park NSW, who suggested the present name and motto for the club: the other came from Peter Thoeming, the then editor of Bike Australia who sketched the logo and offered support from his magazine if Stephen could get the club of the ground. This was done at an inaugural meeting in Sydney on the 6th December, 1983 when the five people present approved a basic constitution (PDF format) and the Ulysses Club was duly formed.
From that tenuous beginning it has never looked back and the club now boasts a large and extensive network of members throughout Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Norway. Click on the following link for further details of the Ulysses International members. [to come]
The name comes from a poem of the same title by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It tells how the great Greek hero Ulysses, now middle-aged and securely in charge of his kingdom of Ithaca, is getting bored with things around him and longs to go adventuring again with his shipmates of old.
It describes very well indeed the sort of person who has enough spark to go on riding intro middle and later years. You will find it in any good poetry anthology such as the Albatross Book of Verse.
What does it do...
Riding On publishes a quarterly newsletter, Riding On, which contains information about forthcoming events, provides a forum for members' news and views and carries articles on topics of interest to members of the club.
The club has grown to over 130 branches spread throughout Australia, and continues to grow. Those branches arrange rides and social functions for the club members in their location. By joining the club, a member can choose to attend any branch, branch ride or function of their choice. As well, there are sister clubs in New Zealand and South Africa, and fledgling branches of the club in Canada, Germany, and hopefully in the near future the U.S.A. and U.K.
Each year, club members from all around Australia, as well as some from overseas, travel to the designated location for the Annual General Meeting, an event that has grown from a campover, meeting and meal of the early days, to a major event spanning over a week, and incorporating involvement by the major motorcycle manufacturers and suppliers putting on trade displays and test rides of the latest machinery, a Grand Parade through the town or city, several nights of various entertainment, Friday and Saturday night social events, a church service and of course the official meetings and ceremonies.
Throughout the year, members raise the club banner at rallies and events around the country as a focal point where members and their friends can join in good companionship. Our "Old Man" logo, which has been preserved from it's original hand drawn form as our registered trademark, is recognizable throughout the country and club members wear it with pride.
What are it's aims...
- To provide ways in which older motorcyclists can get together for companionship and mutual support.
- To show by example that motorcycling can be an enjoyable and practical activity for riders of all ages.
- To draw the attention of public and private institutions to the needs and views of older riders.
The Ulysses Club National Website...
The Ulysses Club also maintains a national website which provides a range of information and services for use by members. The Ulysses National Website can be found at HERE