Monday, May 26, 2014

Club Ride to Grenfell, 25 May 2014

Chas is the leader today. We arrived at the Caltex Nicholls just in time (again) to find quite a crowd. We, you ask? It’s not often that my better half Maream can be coaxed along, and today was a little on the cool side. But today is Maream’s birthday (I won’t say how old, but she could be a full member!), so what better to do than just sit on the back and relax – and fall asleep – again. It;s the first time Maream has seen the Kipper & Mick mobile, so that gave her a bit of a chuckle (sorry, didn’t get a picture!). Welcome back to the saddle Ian Paterson, having recovered from your injury. The 11 of us, plus one dog and the birthday girl left a little late, bound for Grenfell. 

Our first stop was at the Boorowa bakery, before making our way through some lesser-known back roads (Thanks Chas, they were a pleasant diversion to the main routes) to Grenfell, arriving at the Albion Hotel for a well earned lunch break. A bit of déjàvu – the last time we were here it was quite humorous having the meal order mixed up, and for a while it seemed again we were not going to get the meals served as ordered. Finally (don’t ask me who ate what!) we all got fed, had time for a bit of a chat about everything and nothing. 

Discussion was had about the logistics of fueling up for the return leg, as some bikes are a little pedantic and want to be fed 95+ (mine included). Some found fuel in Grenfell, others decided the bike will reach Harden on the return leg and fuel there. So off we went, Chas leading again through some diversionary route, where the road opened out to the Burley Griffin Way and Harden. Here we had our final coffee break and said our farewells. 

We all took the direct route home via B.G.Way, which may have been a mistake – there’s a few km of roadwork – no work being done but the road was wet down, and this resulted in the bikes being caked in that horrible road-base kind of stuff that dries like concrete.

Despite Chas’s warning this morning that there is a blitz on the Barton Highway, I got a little ambitious at the Yass side of Murrumbateman and was almost punished by the Highway Patrol for my indiscretion (the high side of 115 is possibly out of the question?). 

We all arrived home safely, and another great day out with our Ulysses friends.
Thanks Chas.

Chas Towie: ST1300
Gadge Cashmere (Chas’s brother-in-law): BMW K13S
Chris Dietzel: GTR1400, plus pillion and birthday girl, Maream.
Mick Beltrame & Kipper: Victory XC
Darryl Cullen: Bandit 1250S   
Garry McCurley: VFR1200
Ian Paterson: GL1800
Michael Winters: Trophy SE
Neil Goldfinch: CBR1100XX
Dave Robinson: FJR1300
Andrew Campbell ZX14R (unlike this list, at the back of the group is not where Andrew rides)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rebate Information: Rider training and /or First Aid training.

Recently a Canberra Branch member enquired about the Ulysses training rebate - unfortunately to access it you have to log in as yourself on the National Website. A general word search will not reveal any info until you log in.

The login is at the top of the National Website at

If you cant remember your username and password a quick email to  or phone call to 1300 134 123 will get the ball rolling.

The following info in italics is an extract from a FAQ page which is at

REBATE INFO: Rider training and /or First Aid training.

To claim the rebates you must forward a copy of your receipt of payment and the certificate or letter of completion for the course to the Administration Office with your current address, phone number and membership number; Ulysses Club Inc, PO Box 3242, Narellan NSW 2567.

For rider training a maximum payment of $80.00 applies, and for first aid course a maximum payment of $60.00 applies per three year membership period. 

The rebates are for 50% of the amount that you have paid for the course, up to a maximum of the $80.00 for the rider training and $60.00 for the first aid course. 
If the 50% rebate is less than $80.00 or $60.00, the difference remains a credit until the member’s next renewal date, when it is reset at $80.00 or $60.00. The credits do not accumulate. 
This rebate information is independent of any rebate schemes that were in effect previously, and are for courses completed on or after the 31st May 2007

Rebates will only be issued if the criteria are filled. It is the members’ responsibility to provide all information required to the Administration Office. At time of booking your course, please advise your training organisation that you require a certificate or letter of completion in order to claim your rebate from Ulysses Club Inc.


Rebates are processed once a month and may take six weeks to get back to you. This time frame is flexible depending on the time of year e.g. Christmas & AGM Event periods. You can call the Administration Office on 1300 134 123 if you would like to check that your paperwork has been received.

Trust this helps; however in order to obtain the most current and complete information you should login to the National Site.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Chomp and Chat – Captains Flat – 18 May 2014

  • Mick and Tracey W                          Triumph Trophy
  • Kris J                                            GSXR 1300
  • Ron T                                            Deauville 650
  • Neil G                                            CBR 1100
Outsider (Cafe) Riders
I don’t know if it was a case of the “wish I was there” AGM blues, post FA Cup Final sleep-in or the cloudy weather, but only four bikes turned out for the chomp and chat ride to Captains Flat. No matter –with less people to feed, Gunter would have less work to do and we would eat sooner.

After a quick and uneventful ride through the countryside we arrived at CF – with the road surface over the last ten kilometres still as bad as it’s ever been.

Brunch was up to the usual high standard expected of the Outsider Café. Three stacks of pancakes were wolfed down with bacon and eggs and a steak sandwich, coffees and hot chocolate.

We were all set to leave early – some had work that night and needed a nap beforehand, some were still sleepy after the FA Cup Final and others just looked forward to the luxury of a nanny nap. Aaahh – the best laid plans….

Mick and I were the last to leave and just as we left town we knew we were in trouble – red light on the instrument panel with the bike clever enough to tell us that the back tyre was low on pressure. 

it's not about size!
We stopped at the lookout where a closer inspection revealed a bit of metal in the tyre not put there by the manufacturer. We limped back to town where the bit of metal turned out to be a three inch long nail. 

"There there - I won't put you down for going lame".
Using the tyre repair kit purchased at last year’s AGM Mick was able to perform a temporary repair that got us safely home. Who knew that carrying around all this “just in case” stuff would one day pay off? (I had a plan B – I was going to catch a lift home with the senior citizens who had come to CF in the Goulburn Sport and Recreation Club bus if the repair didn’t work)

Here endeth the lesson - always Be Prepared.

Tracey Winters

Sunday, May 18, 2014

National AGM news: 2014-2015 National Committee.

Just in - the 2014-2015 National Committee are:

President: Helena Gritton

Vice President: Jen Woods

Secretary: Noel Wiltshire

Treasurer: Mike Abberfield

Committee members:    Rob White, Henry Rokx and Peter Baulch

Congratulations to the new committee members, and thanks to the outgoing  reresentatives who have served the club so well.

Friday, May 16, 2014

A special guest from Ukraine – Anna Grechishkina

Anna and her bike

I was very fortunate this last week to have a very special Motorcycle Tourist guest staying with Maream and I – Anna Grechishkina. Anna’s from Kiev, and she is doing what I, and I suspect, many of us would love to do. Anna is on a world trip; her mission – to do every continent (except Antarctica), solo, on her KTM 1190 Adventure. No support crew, just Anna and her bike.

A Ulyssian from Perth (John Cordier) sent an email to our Branch contact site, mentioning that Anna is on her way from Perth through Melbourne and Canberra, and would there be anybody who could put her up for a night or two. Having been on the receiving end of great hospitality in 2012 by the Ulysses Club of Germany where I really appreciated the opportunity to share stories of countries far and wide, I jumped at this opportunity. So John’s email included this link to Anna’s website, and the more I read, the more I thought ‘this is great’. You see, Anna, who is from Ukraine, a country that has seen more than its’ fair share of turmoil, has a mission ‘realise your dreams’, and to help women and children in under-privileged countries try to get the most out of life by following their dreams. 

So far Anna has travelled all through Russia to Vladivostok, into Asia (Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore), where she put her bike onto a ship bound for Perth. After staying a while in Perth, she travelled across the Nullabor Plain via Adelaide to Melbourne. So the week dragged by – Anna in Melbourne, where the fickle weather kept her off the road for a few days, and so by 10 May (my birthday, as it happens), Anna is due to arrive in Canberra (the day of the MRA Blanket run). But more rain approaching Wodonga kept her there until arriving in Canberra on Sunday 11 May. My family hosted Anna until Thursday morning, when today she headed off to Sydney, and from there it will be Brisbane, to Darwin via Rockhampton & Mt Isa, and after Darwin, back to Adelaide via Uluru, and Melbourne again where she will put her bike on a ship bound for Alaska, arriving there by mid August.

I won’t say any more of Anna’s trip, that’s for Anna to describe. You can follow it through her website, on the occasion she gets to have it updated. It was a privilege, and an inspiration, to have Anna here. I asked ‘what did it take to plan and motivate?’ – Anna reckons the hardest is the thinking about what may go wrong - A female travelling alone in foreign countries, far from any support, etc. But when she made that first step and got going, all the issues just get easier. 

So what did we do here in Canberra? Keen to just have a rest from the bike, Anna was happy to hop on back of mine, or walk, and do the touristy things in Canberra. The War Memorial, the ‘4 peaks’ – Mt Ainslie, Black Mountain, Mt Pleasant and Red Hill, and the ‘tourist-bus drive-by’ of the Embassies. We went to Parliament House on Budget Day (first time I’ve seen Parliament in session!) with the Ukranian Ambassador, and were shown through the local Ukranian Orthodox church in Turner (did you know there’s a small museum there displaying traditional Ukranian arts, crafts, music instruments and costumes?). 

We also attended the MRA monthly meeting on Tuesday night at the Harmony Club, and on Wednesday Anna went to Jindabyne to meet the ladies at the local branch of the Country Women’s Association. She almost didn’t make it – the bike wouldn’t start on this cold morning, and after a half-hour delay of cussing & cursing, a quick tweak of the battery terminals sorted it out. Thick fog she couldn’t see through, and -4 degrees at times. She reckons it’s colder than Russia, and she travelled right through Siberia!
Anna and hosts Chris and Maream

I wish Anna well on the rest of her travels, and am looking forward to reading her book when she gets around to it!

Chris Dietzel

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bermagui ride, 4th of May

  • Chris Dietzel GTR1400
  • Andrew Campbell ZX14R
  • Garry McCurley VFR1200
  • Mark Walker NT700V
  • Gary Thomas DL650
  • Kris Jirasek GSXR1300

The weather for the Bermagui ride looked quite enticing and the thought of some potential fish and chip fare down on the coast brought out a number of bike riders to the starting point at EPIC. Knowing that the starting temp would be cold followed by some coast mildness followed by some further cold temps around Nimmitabel, everyone was well layered. After a briefing from Chris D we headed off at a brisk pace.

Kris J led the charge to our morning tea stop in Braidwood and with much wounded manly pride we males followed behind. Various coffees and baked goods were consumed and clothing layers shed before heading off to the coast and on to a sightseeing stop at Narooma. Chris and Kris convinced a kindly old retired man to take some group photos down by the water before we got back on our bikes for the short hop to Bermagui.

Over a nice lunch in balmy Bermagui, Mark entertained with some philosophy on married life and the joys of visiting ones Wife's family in the wilds of Florida.  

We headed off for the return journey, with the temperature hovering around 19 degrees. Heading up Brown Mountain and on to Nimmitabel the temperature dropped to around 7 degrees and I for one had forgotten to put all of my layers back on! With a coffee or other hot drink on board we all warmed back up and were able to once again don our warmer clothing. With the sun getting low we fair-welled each other and commenced the run to Cooma and then onto the Monaro Highway for the final run into Canberra.

A great trip! Thanks to Chris D for leading.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Blanket Run, 10th May 2014

Tracey and I started the day early by cutting up bread rolls at 6.00am then loading the trailer and leaving to be at Old Parliament House at 7.30am sharp. 

Mick employs his powers of levitation (with assistance).
We were greeted by Chris Dietzel, David McEvoy and John Meert who were keen to help us set up. Chas and Jen, Gary Cashmere and Phil Nolen arrived along with our Egg Champion Sharon who outlasted all of us by cooking over 100 eggs. There were many others who came forward offering to help if needed.  

I would like to thank all our members, friends and family for their support on a busy morning at OPH. 

All present did the Ulysses Club proud and showed the motorcycling community what the Ulysses Canberra Branch does best – raising money for charity while enjoying the company of friends – a job well done!


Sharon and Mick prepare for the onslaught of hungry Blanket Run Riders

Ready Blanket Run Riders (with escort)