Ladies Of Ulysses

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Kate Marshman shares what she loves about being a Ulyssean…

I’m coming up to my five-year member anniversary, so I thought I’d share some of the things I love about our Branch.

For starters, I love the regular social contact. Being a live-in carer for my parents, coming along once or twice a week for a few hours of BS, coffee and tyre-kicking, is essential for my wellbeing.

I love that we come from such diverse backgrounds, with a wealth of experiences and knowledge that comes with that diversity, and the many stories told.

I love when we go on an overnight ride and go to places not seen before, roads not travelled before, in the company and safety of our members.

I love the annual Toy Run, knowing that, along with many other residents of the Bega Valley, we are helping to put a smile on the faces of children at Christmas time.

But what I love most is the support and help we are to each other. If someone’s not well and needs a lawn mowed, it’s done. If someone needs a listening ear, you’ll find one. If you are trying to work out a unique adaptation for your motorbike, there are many tinkering geniuses who will come up with solutions. And, as I’ve found out, if your bike is giving you grief, it will get sorted. Over the last 8 months no fewer than five of our branch members have helped get me back on the road…

Unbeknownst to me, while I was away on a much-needed respite break at Coonabarabran, Bruce and Alan started working on the Triumph. They got the starter motor out and cleaned it and discovered that it needed new brushes.

It started with a dicky headlight that was as dull as a candle and barely changed on high beam, and the instrument panel always showed the high beam indicator regardless. Bart and Chris spent two days going over the electrics and discovered it was caused by a wire in the handlebar mounting that had been crushed by the housing and was shorting.

Not long after that she just refused to start. I was getting the “click” but nothing else. A new battery made no difference so, after much consultation, and many cups of coffee, it was decided it must be the starter motor. Bart tried roll-starting her down Beach Hill, but to no avail, so we borrowed Bruce’s trailer and delivered the bike to Bruce’s garage to await her turn on the ramps.

Unbeknownst to me, while I was away on a much-needed respite break at Coonabarabran, Bruce and Alan started working on the Triumph. They got the starter motor out and cleaned it and discovered that it needed new brushes. When I finally came back out of the wilderness and into mobile reception I was able to give the go-ahead to order the part from the UK. A few weeks later it arrived and they put it back together again and she started… HOORAY!

Then Bruce and Alan took the bike off the ramp… and she wouldn’t start. B*tch…

After many man hours, and days, and a Wednesday morning of “Have you tried…?” and “What about…?” some genius suggested that perhaps the fuel hose had become squashed when the tank went back on… turns out I was… er… I mean, they were right. The boys found a kink in the hose so they shortened it and put a spring around the weak section and we set a time for me to collect her the following Wednesday, get her registered and get the old girl home.

She started first go and it was music to my ears. I donned my riding gear, put up the side stand and put her into first… and she died… AGAIN!!! A lot of expletives followed and I think that both Bruce and I were crying on the inside. Bruce drove me home and then gave Alan the latest news.

The next day, Bruce, Alan, and apprentice, Hans, looked at the clutch to find that it was seized, as was some piston thingy, so they pulled it apart, worked their collective magic and put it back together. Finally!!! She was working and ready to go. She passed rego .

I can never thank all of you enough for all the time spent and everything you’ve done to help me out. Knowing that my carer’s pension wouldn’t have cut it, I express my appreciation to all of you

Kate Marshman #62208

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