By ERWIN CHLANDA
“Missing you already” is bound to be the message of Alice Springs to the departing members of the Ulysses Club for bikers over 40, determined to “grow old disgracefully”.
In fact that’s purely tongue-in-cheek as there was nothing disgraceful about the 2500 club members who livened up the town with their road trip yarns, their cherished bikes and love of their mates.
The oldest rider, at age 86, was Bruce Reid from Gunnedah, NSW.
The whole town enjoyed the visitors, says local event director Ross Geoghegan: “There were no issues, no dramas.”
They spent an estimated $5m here. They stayed at Blatherskite Park in 170 plus RVs and some 700 tents or bike-drawn camper trailers.
More than 400 locals worked as volunteers, cooking meals and providing entertainment, including a Henley on Todd “battleships” face-off. The volunteers did a fantastic job, says Mr Geoghegan, and so did the Convention Centre where 1350 people attended the annual club dinner and had their registration centre.
IGA set up a temporary store at the show grounds.
No monumental decisions were made at the AGM which is pretty well just an excuse for the mature bikers to travel up to 10,000 kilometers.
The club elected its first woman national president, Helena Gritton from Mount Gambier who, ironically, wasn’t riding because she was recovering from a spill.
It was the first Ulysses AGM in Alice in 20 years and, regrettably, it may be another 20 until they return. The next AGMs will be at Wodonga, Launceston and Lake Macquarie.