A grand ride in the Grampians
IT was another huge event when the Grampians Ride to Remember was held on February 2.
Estimates of number varied, but there were around 550 registered participants, plus late arrivals, who enjoyed a ride through the picturesque Grampians region.
This was followed up with a BBQ lunch, and a Show & Shine which was well supported by the local motorcycle shops.
Ride to Remember is organised by a sub-committee of the Ararat RSL, who were thrilled with the big turnout of motorcycle enthusiasts from across Victoria, South Australia and from throughout the local areas.
The event perpetuates the memory of Victoria Police killed in the line of duty, which was signified by one minute’s silence prior to the Ride commencing.
It was the 10th Anniversary of this event, which raises significant funds for the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation – Ararat Branch, to support East Grampians Health Service.
Ulysses Club Grampians Branch thought they had it covered with an information stall, which was promoting both the Club and their local Branch activities, but they were amazed by the level of interest.
We handed out 23 membership application forms, and 580 flyers detailing our Branch activities, and a magnificent day was had by all in attendance.
John Harkin #26230
Grampians Branch Secretary
Media Release, Ararat RSL
This year’s Anniversary Ride was extended to 234km, to include the spectacular route from Dunkeld to Halls Gap via the Grampians National Park. The route included morning tea at the Willaura Memorial Hall and a water stop at the Halls Gap Cricket Ground before returning to Ararat for a BBQ lunch at Alexandra Gardens.
Starting this year from the Ararat RSL carpark and spreading across Queen St, the assembly of bikes was testament to the growing interest in the annual Ride.
Coordinating this year’s Ride involved huge support from Victoria Police, and Ride coordinator Dianne Radford was full of praise for all involved.
“The Grampians Ride to Remember requires a lot organising and importantly the involvement of our local police whom we are indebted, in addition to the State Solo Unit with this year four coming up from Melbourne.
“They do a fantastic job and are ably assisted by our volunteer marshals and support crews, who for the last few months under the guidance of Chief Marshall, Simon Clayfield rode the Ride route many times and addressed all the safety aspects so everyone had a safe and enjoyable Ride, and it was.”
Leading the Ride out of Ararat was patron, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner of Road Policing, Doug Fryer together with the police solos to the raising of the flags by Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation CEO Neil Soullier, Ararat Branches Terry Weeks, Ararat Deputy Mayor Gwenda Allgood, East Grampians Health Service Board President Matt Wood and retired long time motorcycle supporter to the Ride, David Rosengreen of Ararat.
The Ride travelled out of Ararat via a contingency route to Lake Bolac and onto Willaura for morning tea, where the Willaura Health Service Auxiliary, together many helpers looked after the large contingent. Then it was onto Dunkeld, up through the Grampians National Park to Halls Gap for a quick water stop and back through Pomonal and Moyston to Ararat – total of four hours
Feeding the masses at the Alexandra Gardens, as per every year of the Ride was the Ararat Lions Club who had a big team of members involved again and did the task in record time, plus the hot and cold drink stations did a good trade.
The ‘Show N Shine’ was well supported by riders with some impressive bikes vying for prizes and trophies plus there were displays by long-time supporters and the Blue Ribbon merchandising van did a roaring trade.
Reflecting the past 10 years, Dianne Radford said: “It is fantastic that the Grampians “Ride to Remember” has become a signature regional event and the interest by motorcycle enthusiasts to do the Ride has increased, and more dramatically over the last couple of years. Approximately $100,000 has been raised in the ten years to support the Ararat Branch projects at East Grampians Health Service.”
Following a full debriefing of all involved in this year’s event the Ararat Branch and the Ride Sub Committee will sit down with Victoria Police to start planning for next year’s Ride To Remember.