Thursday, 28 January 2016


Happy New Year to all Ulyssians and their families. May 2016 be a great one.

Although I personally haven’t been on many rides up until mid January, the branch rides have been well attended. You will have read Doc’s report (in a previous post) about the three day ride to Napier and beyond which sounds like it was a fabulous trip. Andy & I missed this ride as we were in the UK. When we first decided to go I contacted Steve the Secretary of the Great Britain Ulysses Club, who lives fairly close to where we were staying. Andy and I had joined the Great Britain club when it first started up, (Andy being an ex-POM) and on the Great Britain Club website they have a forum page which members create discussions, so Steve posted a comment that we were heading over to see if anyone was interested in a catch up. So on the 3rd January we all met up for coffee at Yondermann Cafe, Warlow Mires in the Peak District of Derbyshire. As the weather was a bit miserable we all travelled by tin tops. Two of the members even travelled 3 hours from Liverpool to meet up, which was amazing. One of the members was a New Zealander who is going to try and plan a visit to New Zealand in 2017 and incorporate the National Rally in the Wairarapa. Great Britain Ulysses is still in its early stages and members do not have membership numbers and there are no branches as yet, but with membership building rapidly I am sure there will be several branches before too long. Was great to see how other clubs are run and the Great Britain one is very well organised and has some interesting souvenirs.

Wellington Anniversary weekend was a busy time for our branch, with the New Zealand Classic
International Cycle racing in the Wairarapa from Wednesday through to Sunday which is a major fundraiser for our branch. Thanks to Rex Bateman and his crew of road marshals for making this event the success it is.

We had a pot-luck ride for those not needed for the cycle race on Sunday which ended up going to
Norsewood for a coffee. Then as Monday was a holiday we had a gymkhana at Brian & Jo Bosch’s property which was attended by 16 club members and locals alike. Featuring slalom courses, obstacles and slow riding courses then a dash up the hill to finish. Brian supplied a BBQ for lunches to be cooked on and a great day was had by all along with a few sunburnt faces. Thanks Brian & Jo.

Coming up I am looking forward to attending the National Rally/AGM in Westport. We have a contingent of 23 plus the Wairarapa Rally Gnome that will be attending, which is magnificent for a club of 50 odd. A group of 17 is doing a bit of a tour before hand and will attend the GUSS Rally in Nelson before taking a leisurely ride over the next week, meeting up with the rest of our group in Blackball for a night at the Hilton before travelling up to Westport, for a weekend of fun and frivolity at the National Rally.

Karen Wilson #7787

Andy and I with our National Rally 2017 Gnome with members of the Great Britain Ulysses Club. 

Monday, 11 January 2016

Journey to Jerusalem

Ten hearty souls assembled on time at Farriers; pleasantries exchanged and Greg then explained that it was not his way to detail such a trip and then reached into his jacket pocket and produced three sheets of paper with maps and details of the roads to be traversed on the first day.
Off we went on the least direct route to Napier on a bunch of windy roads that saw us around the back of Waipukurau and somehow through Clive then Napier.
The only interruption to progress was Yvonnes’ Guzzi which in true Italian style would not start without a push, something about a “bodge job” on the heated grips electrics’ blowing the starter fuse.
Laurie got the nod for directing us over the road from our camp-ground (yeah, right it was a waterfront motel-“roughin’ it”) to the R.S.A. for tea.
Day two began in a leisurely fashion and another perfect riding day across the Gentle Annie to Taihape where Glen met up with us.
Greg and Nik lead the way through the windies whilst I provided entertainment with “Black Betty”(Indian Chief) grinding her way around the tight bits complete with showers of sparks from the muffers as they touched down, much more “communicative” than foot peg feelers on those diminutive perambulators the less manly choose to be conveyed upon..... ??!!
The scenery on this road rivals any in our country with majestic panoramas and many places to pull-over to take it all in.
Final stop was Ohakune with a great view of Ruapehu, and with plenty of daylight we rode up to the ski lifts to take in the panorama. Thence dinner and bed.
Raetihi to Pipiriki and down the tortuous but divinely scenic road to Jerusalem (‘scuse the pun) on our third perfect riding day.
We ended up at Whanganui for a late lunch and began the chase home.
The perfect way to round-out the “festive season” and get ready for our various years’ beginnings, If you haven’t ridden these roads then put them high on your “must do” list .
Happy trails, Doc.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Ngawi Trip (Part 2)

The recent ride to the small coastal settlement of Ngawi proved to be a bit of a hit for our members!
14 riders took the opportunity to get another ride in before the annual Christmas activity of operating the BBQ and entertaining the grand kids began.:-)
We decided to take the back road to Martinborough where we were joined by Steve Miller on his Triumph.
With everyone fuelled up we headed straight down along the coast to Ngawi.
The road along the coast was OK but not fabulous and had areas of loose stone on bitumen (not a good mix for a bike) and some wash away areas to negotiate.
The weather at Ngawi was excellent and combined with a couple of well stocked food trucks we were all well fed and watered before heading for home.
Yvonne's Guzzi unfortunately decided to blow a fork seal on the way down and Tony's CBX 1000 Honda wasn't charging well at low speed which required him to keep the rev's up, but apart from those minor irritations we all had a great ride.
The group split into two on the way home with each deciding on a different route.
Again a great day, a great location, a great ride and all with great people!

Trip attended by:-
Brian Coley - Spider
John Boland - Aprilia
Rex Bateman - Honda
Tony Allen - Honda
Nik Player - Ducati
Yvonne Evans - Moto Guzzi
Greg Evans - BMW
Joe Quaedvlieg - Honda
Ian Carrick - Suzuki
Glen Morgan - BMW
Laurie Petterson - Suzuki
Keith Jones - Honda
Paul Dodge _ BMW
Steve Miller - Triumph